Arts Place Opens April Exhibit

Artists Phil Wood (left) and Tom Etter (right) paused for a picture during the opening of the Arts Place Auglaize-Mercer Center's April exhibit.
Staff Writer

A comment made to an 11-year-old Phil Wood on a visit to a family friend has guided the Fort Recovery native's art career and is part of his teachings for the next generation of artists.

Wood — who is the featured artist at the Arts Place Auglaize-Mercer Center for the next five weeks — has been interested in art his whole life and it has driven him to not only create portraits and landscapes of the world around him but it has also influenced his professional career. Beginning to seriously paint after he completed high school, Wood knew he needed a job to help supplement his artwork — and pay for all of the practices pieces he made — so he started a sign painting business.

"I always tell people the secret to painting is practice," he said. "So I started my sign painting business and I do truck lettering and that sort of stuff for work so I could still be in the art world and I paint on the side too."

When Wood was 11, his family visited an antique dealer and artist, Gloria, in Royal Oak, Michigan. While visiting, they young Wood had some conversations with Gloria about her artwork; specifically a painting she had made of a crystal ball.

Wood explained further with the help of his version of Gloria's painting — rightfully named "I Paint What I See" — that the ball is made up of "a smear of light here, a circle there," that do the job of creating dimension in the painting. "I Paint What I See" has a prominent place in the exhibit on the right-hand side, facing the front door.

Surrounding Wood's works at Arts Place are several photographs from the camera of Tom Etter.

"There are images all around us every day," Etter said.

After snapping a picture, Etter will edit it on the computer, print the image and then paint over it with a clear acrylic to give the picture a painted appearance.

Arts Place is located at 207 E. Spring St. and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the April 13 print edition of The Evening Leader.