Athens County Artists Spotlighted At Majestic Galleries

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Nelsonville's Majestic Galleries is spotlighting three Athens County artists during the month of October, with exhibit openings taking place Sept. 28 during Final Fridays.

Picture, Picture by Ron Kroutel and Pat Wolf will be displayed alongside Aaron Smith's Landscapes in the Majestic's large gallery space.

In addition, the Majestic's smaller gallery has been converted into an additional exhibition space. Now known as "The Front Gallery," the room will feature local projects on a monthly rotation.

The Kroutel/Wolf collaboration was conceived through the desire to explore their individual styles and curiosity regarding how individual perception differs. The duo began the project with a series of photographs taken of outdoor sites, mainly around the Athens area.

From each photograph chosen, they planned to each create a 24-inch canvas that would depict their personal interpretation and representation of the photographed image. The twist, however, was that they were not allowed to see the other’s work prior to its completion.

Growing up in Chicago, Kroutel attended The Art Institute of Chicago for studio art courses in painting and drawing and The University of Chicago for academic courses. He later earned an MFA in painting at The University of Michigan. In 1966, he took a position at Ohio University where he was chair of Painting, Drawing and Foundations for many years.

Nationally and internationally exhibited with over 30 solo exhibitions, Kroutel has been awarded three Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, an Arts Midwest NEA Fellowship and numerous prizes and awards. Currently, he is a Professor Emeritus of Art at Ohio University.

Born in Kentucky and raised on the south side of Chicago, Wolf received an Associate Degree in graphic design at Prairie State College in Chicago, a BFA in illustration and graphic design at Ohio University, and an MFA in painting at Ohio University.

She was employed at Lawhead Press in Athens as a graphic designer and illustrator before heading the Illustration section of Graphic Design at Ohio University. She also taught classes in design, drawing and painting.

Wolf directed Study Abroad programs for the School of Art at Ohio University in both London (summers of ’92 and ’94) and Prague (spring quarters ’95, ’96 and ’97). She has been in solo and two-person exhibitions, as well as competitive exhibitions, across the U.S. and in Prague and Shanghai.

Aaron Smith, born in 1969 in Cincinnati, Ohio, currently resides in Nelsonville with his wife Ann Judy, who is also an artist.

Smith, a full-time artist who specializes in oil painting, is the co-founder of Majestic Galleries and the former president of the Athens Area Arts Alliance. He also has experience in large scale murals, installation pieces, and digital macro photography.

He received his formal art education from Ohio State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1998.

Smith has been working on his Nelsonville Series for eight years. During that time, he has exhibited the series in over 15 solo and group shows. His works were praised by Dialogue Magazine as skillfully painted, and images and articles appeared in The Columbus Dispatch, The Athens Insider and The Athens NEWS.

He was also a recipient of the 2003 Ohio Art Council Fellowship based on the Nelsonville Series. His current exhibit, Landscapes, represents a collection of the artist's previous and present work.

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