from Winter-Spring 2015 Alumni Newsletter, by Madeline Patton Shivers ’77 with additions from Summer-Fall 2015 Alumni Newsletter.
The owner of Concrete Mystique Engraving in Nashville, Tennessee, Rick Lobdell '92 turns monochromatic concrete into works of art.
"I hand-draw, hand-cut, and hand-stain all of my floors, I do not use stencils or templates ... since everything is done by hand, each project becomes very customized to the client or location," Lobdell explained about his work with decorative concrete for an interview published in Mount Union Magazine.
Lobdell earned a bachelor's degree in art and philosophy from Mount Union and a master's of fine arts degree in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design.
In addition to creating unique interior and exterior designs using concrete, Lobdell travels around the country teaching other contractors, demonstrating his techniques at design shows, and working on projects in private homes, commercial enterprises and public spaces.
"I love what I do. I found a niche that most artists don't even know exists. I could be just another artist trying to sell artwork out of a gallery. Instead, I travel the country and show people the amazing things you can do with the surface of concrete," he told Mount Union Magazine.
Rick Lobdell worked with fellow artist John Campbell to create the three-dimensional look of a pond in the billiards room of Godsey House in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Above with title, Rick stands on the dye-colored, polished concrete floor he designed and created for a synagogue. He made this spiral-designed floor for a business.
Bob Askey '49 was interested in art while attending the Salem schools and even majored in art at Bowling Green State University. Sixty-seven years ago, at the age of 16 he won $25 for a cartoon featuring Nesbitt's Orange Drink. However, he never worked as an artist until he retired from his career in advertising.
After college and military service Askey worked for 13 years in account management for Young & Rubicam, the large advertising firm based in New York City. When he and his wife, Alice, moved to New Hampshire he started his own advertising company and it grew to become the largest in the state.
When he retired, Askey took several art courses at Keene State College to learn about the latest techniques and materials.
After such a long hiatus from producing art, Askey now immerses himself in producing works in watercolor, oil, pen and ink, and etchings. He creates both whimsical and serious art, and has won awards throughout New England.
|Bob Askey enjoys working in various media. "Four Falls" is an example of his mixed media art. "Uptown" is a copper plate etching.|
Mark Gagnon ’78 earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Ohio State University (OSU). His work has been featured on book covers and national magazines including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, GQ, and Vogue.
|Metallic under painting adds to dramatic effect of “Walt Whitman” in neon paint on wood.|
Gagnon’s paintings are part of the permanent exhibits at the headquarters of Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus,Switzerland, the SHS Alumni Association in Salem, and in New York City at the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum and at Public School 169. In 2014, he launched “Out To See” a cultural event at the South Street Seaport in New York City that featured 31 artists and five bands in 17 venues.
After finishing at OSU I got on a plane and went to NY and never even attended the graduation ceremony. I wanted to be here from the minute my parents brought me here in my early teen years. I have been here for over 30 years.
My big break was having such great supportive parents [Ted and Nancy Swartz ’57 Gagnon]. I was taking huge risks but always knew there was a place to go and people who loved me. I quickly learned that you are only as good as your last opportunity, meaning that working in high profile situations is a huge boon to one's career but never enough to sustain a creative lifestyle.There are millions of creatives in NY hustling just like myself.
In New York City there is always unexpected opportunity. Amazing, crazy experiences have happened and continue to happen to me just because of living here.
Creating public art is a big responsibility for me. Art can be so intimidating, exclusive and elitist. I like to use humor and color and familiarity that invites people from all walks of life to engage with my work.
|Mark Gagnon ’78 painted "Mark Twain" for a series of famous Americans' portraits that New York City's “Percent For the Artsˮ commissioned him to make for Public School 169.|
Through her parents’ business, Chappell’s Picture Framing, Diane Chappell Foreman ’81 met a variety of artists with different styles. However, it was a class with Art Professor Elmer Day, at Kent State University Salem, when she was a young child that she credits with exciting her about the arts.
|Foreman created the photograph of a Salem house and the frame for it.|
She now takes photographs, creates mixed media art, and crafts award-winning frames for the framing business where she works with her mom, Donna Maestill Ward Chappell ’47.
My favorite thing to photograph is old buildings. If I am painting, I usually do multimedia abstracts. It’s easy to search for ideas in Salem, since I love to take photos of its charm and features. Not everybody takes the time to look up and see the character of a building.
I enjoy framing other people’s artwork because I get to apply some artistic design to enhance their piece.
The best advice: Do the art that makes you feel good, it will show in your work.
|In her photography Diane Chappell Foreman ’81 focuses on the beauty of Northeast Ohio, as in the award-winning photo of the Packard Park Bridge and abstract paintings, like “Wild Wall Street,ˮ which include social commentary.|
Interior design is the vehicle for the artistry of Cher Stone Beall ’77. Her interior design firm, Cashmere & Co. of Newport Beach, California, focuses on large-scale residential construction and reconstruction projects. Her projects typically take several years from initial meetings with architects to choosing every interior detail from windows to plumbing fixtures, door knobs to bed linens.
|The open balcony of the office on the third floor of a new California hillside home was designed at the owner’s request as a work space that meshes with the activities in the living and kitchen areas and provides fabulous views of the beach.|
Her work has been featured in national home decorating and design publications. She has a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University.
When searching for ideas, I’m inspired by my clients’ vision of where they want to live or work and almost anything and everything including architecture, nature, fashion, or the color of something random. Never a shortage of ideas or inspiration!
Designing a home is just my 3-D art. It’s a huge creative puzzle that must support a lifestyle or business functionally, fit a budget, and then be beautiful and unique to its owner. As a business, it also needs to be profitable. It’s usually hundreds of custom elements fabricated and layered to create a space that first of all functions appropriately, but that also evokes a feeling and a visual delight.
When a project is done, it’s wonderful to see it used and enjoyed.
The best advice I was given was to do what you love and are passionate about. My design business is always challenging, interesting, and very creative!
|Cher Stone Beall ’77 designed the kitchen of a cottage-style house as an efficient workspace that opens to a family room with garden views.|
The paintings of Lois Getz Mountz ’53 have been shown throughout Ohio and at art shows from Virginia to Florida, where she has won numerous awards. In recent years she has added digital art to her repertoire.
|“Buttermilk Falls” is a painting Mountz created of a favorite vacation spot near Blue Mountain Lake, NY.|
When the Class of ’53 needed a fundraising project for its 50th reunion, Mountz did 12 scenes of Salem Past and Present that were printed by the printing company owned by Harold Amos ’53. These prints are displayed at the Salem Community Center, Salem Public Library, Salem High School, and in homes and offices around Salem.
Her other artistic endeavors include playing the organ and hammered dulcimer, and composing poetry and hymns.
For me, music and art are part of me. My husband [Kenneth Mountz ’53], and I operated Mountz Gallery for 25 years in downtown Salem. In addition to showing and selling paintings, prints, and gifts, we sold stringed instruments. During those years I served on the Salem Renaissance Committee, meeting with officials and landscapers, drawing plans for the planting areas, and getting the landscaping areas and mini-park installed. My husband and I also showed my works widely during these years with my paintings now being part of collections in every state of the U.S., as well as many European countries.
My favorite things to paint other than scenes of Salem, are flowers, birds, and landscapes—anything having to do with nature.
|The paintings of Lois Getz Mountz ’53 include special images of Salem that have benefited community service projects.|
Don Getz ’52 received the Ohio Watercolor Society's Jim Brower Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. While employed in commercial art for 30 years Getz painted with watercolors in his spare time and encouraged other watercolor artists. In 1972 he started the Boston Mills ArtFest and directed it for 25 years. He also started the Boston Mills Artist Workshops, which ran for 10 years.
|“Yellowstone Monarch” is one of the 300 ink and watercolor sketches Getz created during his crosscountry trip. At journaling workshops along the way, Getz taught other artists his practice of capturing a subject with a quick sketch and color “to cement the scene in your memory,” as he explained in the Spring 2014 newsletter of the Ohio Watercolor Society.|
After the death of his wife, Judie Krupp, in 2011, Getz embarked on a cross-country tour of the U.S. He refers to his “odyssey.” as “a fabulous trip, one that went too fast.” I decided to become an artist when I decided to take my father's advice (given during spring break my senior year) to follow my dream and be an artist. He told me, “If you do something you enjoy, you never have to work.” Thanks Dad!
I specialize in ink sketching and water media because I prefer sketchy, loose renderings. After thirty years of commercial art, I constantly strive to 'loosen up' my art! I sketch or paint whatever is in front of me. I do not have a favorite subject, as a result, except maybe cars and race cars.
My tour of the country in 2012-13 was just fantastic; I had 43 target cities, big and small, where I taught two or three-day watercolor workshops ... made a lot of new friends and saw lots of old ones. The 18,000-mile journey was a first time, by an artist, to my knowledge.
To aspiring artists, I say you must be totally committed. Because of computer electronics, the training is entirely new, [compared to] what I experienced. I would recommend a school like the Cleveland Institute of Art, where all phases of art are taught. I speak from experience, as I taught there in the late 1990s.
|Don Getz ’52 paints with watercolors and acrylics at his home studio in Peninsula, Ohio, and wherever he travels.|
Maggie Berthold Fearn '99 moved to Brussels, Belgium, with her French husband two years ago from New York City, where she had worked in the intimate apparel industry. She has seized the move as an opportunity to challenge herself with new artistic outlets and to explore different forms of design.
|Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine, FL, is the subject of this ink and watercolor painting by Fearn.|
She earned a bachelor's degree in textiles and apparel design at Cornell University. In addition to illustrating and developing websites, Fearn operates the Etsy shop JoJackLee.
When I was a teenager in Salem, art played a large role in many of my favorite experiences. I had wonderful teachers who introduced me to art in such a natural way that later in life I found myself with a general knowledge that I didn't recall having memorized—about artists, techniques, standards—and only then realized it was not all common knowledge. Getting involved was easy. I remember assisting at the McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, participating in competitions, art clubs, and helping at the Burchfield Homestead Museum. We were able to learn by doing, which was quite a gift.
Now I see art as one way that we can leave a unique mark on the world. Creativity (in all forms!) is the only thing an individual can do to contribute to the world that is truly his or her own. Making art and sharing it is a choice. If I don't do it, no one else can bring it to life for me.
My favorite medium right now is watercolor. I've been working on smaller works for the past few years and I think I've been attracted to watercolor because it doesn't require a huge amount of materials, setup, or cleanup, and it's compatible with smallspaced apartment living. With a set of paints, a brush, a little water, you can get started.
The best advice I ever got was just create! Put it out there, try to do something small every day, and over time your efforts will grow into something substantial. Done is better than perfect. This wonderful advice is from two people who are encouraging many to get their art out into the world: Austin Kleon and Sam Bennett.
|The "all-in-one" creations of Maggie Berthold Fearn ’99 are origami cards, envelopes, and illustrations.|
|“Cassia Vine” is a watercolor Bailey created after seeing a cassia vine climbing on and smothering a sabal palm in the Cypress Cove Preserve near her home in Fort Myers, FL.|
Joyce Waddell Bailey ’57, a Latin American art scholar, has created art throughout her life. In her remarks after receiving the 2009 SHSAA Honored Alumnus Award, Bailey said her art is rooted in the love of nature Charles Burchfield depicted in his watercolors. She earned a bachelor's degree at Youngstown College, a master's degree at Tulane University, and a PhD at Yale University.
When I was a teen, art epitomized the work of Charles Burchfield, especially “The Three Trees” at the Salem Public Library and his other works at MacMillan's Book Store, where I delivered "tear sheets" for The Salem News every day.
Now I work in all media, depending on the subject and the desired expression. For inspiration I walk in the woods, or in Florida I walk in a preserve. When I look back on my work over the years I am amazed at the diversity of expression--from wash drawings of children in the Irish Channel in New Orleans to four foot by five-foot abstract oils or digital prints exhibited in New York City. It all comes from the same creative energy.
The best advice I ever got was from the work of Burchfield: he granted me the artistic authority to be myself and to seek individual expression. I can explain this further if you have a year!
|Nature inspires Joyce Waddell Bailey ’57, a painter and Latin American art scholar.|
Ron Roberts ’72, an engineer at Steel Equipment Specialists in Alliance, has received numerous awards at regional art shows for his sketches that he sells in resort communities in North Carolina and New York.
|Roberts created “Birds” using colored pencils.|
Roberts credits the art courses he took with Janis Yereb at Salem High School and the electives he took at Wittenberg University with helping him find a fulfilling avocation.
Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Wittenberg and a mechanical engineering degree from Youngstown State University.
My favorite medium is colored pencil because it lends itself so well to achieving the detail and precision that are usually part of anything I do.
Art appeals to me as an extension of the creativity that is inherent in engineering, turning that creativity in another direction entirely. While the creativity of an engineer is restrained by adhering to scientific principles, the artist can operate without any such restrictions.
The best advice I ever got was to always remember that in a work of art, what is not shown is just as important as what is shown.
|Ron Roberts ’72 brings the technical skills of an engineer to his drawings.|
|This four-foot by three-foot oil painting is based on a long seashore drive and the often heard question from the back seat to the driver, “Are we there yet?” Izenour likes to add whimsy to his art works.|
|Harry E. Izenour ’58 likes to add humorous touches, like spats on a bovine's hooves, to his sculptures and paintings.|
Harry E. Izenour ’58 has shown his work in the U.S. and Europe. His important exhibits include the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1994; the Academy of Art Museum in Warsaw, Poland in 1994; Ameriflora International in Columbus in 1992; the Ohio Board of Regents in Columbus in 1987; and Humor in Art in Sophia, Bulgaria, in 1986.
Izenour was an art professor at Kent State University from 1967 to 2003, and now has emeritus status. He began his teaching career in 1962 at Salem Junior High School, leaving in 1965 to earn a master's degree in fine arts from Ohio University. While living in Poland as part of a professor exchange program, he added conceptual art to his repertoire.
When I was a teenager in Salem, art gave me the confidence to question, observe, be critical, and strive for individuality. Art in Salem was a part of daily life.
Teaching about art is a terrific way to teach about the world. It is all encompassing. During the Italian Renaissance “arte and scienza” were interchangeable terms, i.e., “the science of medicine” and “the medical arts.”
Creating art isn’t easy. One questions whether one is truly “creating art.” Paraphrasing Aldous Huxley, “There is no such thing as art, only men working.”
The best advice I ever got was “Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut ... you’ll learn something.”
Janet E. Trisler ’50 earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Akron University. In recent years, her works have been included in exhibits at the Phoenix Airport Museum and Glendale Community College in Arizona. Early in her career, Trisler exhibited her works in Ohio shows including the May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
|Trisler’s “Tsk, Tsk, TseTse” ceramic sculpture incorporates a poem by Ogden Nash.|
Trisler finds “working in the third dimension” most intriguing. She learned lathe work in wood, pottery on a wheel, and hand building in clay from her husband George Palovich. She credits him with showing her how “to see” in drawing and painting. Aside from their art, Trisler says their lives have been “enriched immeasurably” by their daughters Louise, Melissa, Donya and Shano.
The couple convenes biweekly life drawing classes in their TriPal Arts studio in Sun City, AZ. My first job as an artist was doing the weekly drawing for the Kiwanis Newsletter. Sometimes the ideas came easily and sometimes I was right up to the deadline.
When I was an SHS student the art class taught by Mrs. Ethel Headrick was the highlight of my day. Marcy Vaughn Wood ’49 and Don Getz ’52 were in the same class and we worked hard to outdo each other. Mrs. Headrick always encouraged our “Bohemian” style.
Her favorite authors include Ogden Nash and Lewis Carroll. The best advice I ever got was from my dad, who said, “Don’t ride the clutch.” I think there’s something of a life lesson in that statement.
|Janet E. Trisler ’50 with painting of her granddaughter Jordon. The “Mock Turtle” ceramic sculpture by Trisler incorporates the words of Lewis Carroll.|
Mitzi Garrett Beach ’64, a Wichita, Kansas-based interior designer, has in recent years focused on helping baby boomers create barrier-free, elegant homes. As a certified aging-in-place specialist, Beach educates other design professionals on design issues for baby boomers.
|This barrier-free, award-winning bathroom exemplifies Beach’s Boomer Smarts® interior design for healthy homes of the future.|
Her book, Boomer Smarts, Boomer Power, and blog offer practical advice to help baby boomers adapt and update their homes to meet their changing physical needs.
When I was a teenager in Salem, art was in nature with my vivid color memory in the lavendar of lilacs, yellow in lightning bugs, purplish black of thunderstorms, reds of Ohio tomatoes, and greens of the lush trees and grass.
Designing a home must be BOTH functional and beautiful.
Now as a book author and blogger, I use art to inspire others to be artistic masters in the SMARTS of their lives: S spaces M Mindsets A attitudes R routines T togetherness S spirituality.
The best advice I ever got was from my mom, “Go for it. You can do it!”
|Mitzi Garrett Beach ’64 is a Witchita, Kansas-based interior designer who specializing in designs that help baby boomers age in their homes.|
The art career of Elizabeth Babb ’84 began with her early apprenticeship with an established professional artist. Babb earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Kent State University, and a master of fine arts degree from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Her formal art studies included a year in Rome, Italy.
In recent years, she has taught art courses at Kent State University’s Salem and East Liverpool campuses.
Her paintings in oil, acrylics, and watercolors, as well as her woodcuts have won awards and been exhibited in many places including at OIA in New York City.
As a teenager in Salem, I did not study art in high school because I studied with the artist Glen Michaels starting at age 12.
My favorite medium is woodblock printmaking because it is closest to Communist ideology.
Teaching about art is rewarding. My favorite place to create is my studio. The best advice I ever got was study anatomy.
|Babb likes to make art woodblock prints, like this one entitled
“Joe Strummer,” because they are inexpensive to make and can be dispersed to a wide audience, at a low cost.
|Elizabeth Babb ’84 paints with oils, acrylics, and watercolors, and makes woodblock prints.|
Interested in More Alumni Art?
View sketches from early Salem High School year books, The Quakers, which are full of interesting class writings, photographs, and sketches from years gone by.