Arts Place Opens Photography Exhibit

Jeff Squire admires a picture of birds on Grand Lake St. Marys Friday evening. Squire and 84 other community members stopped out for the opening of the Friends of Grand Lake photography exhibit at Arts Place.
Staff Writer

The most recent opening for Arts Place Auglaize Mercer Center was well attended with 85 community members taking time out of their night to take in some art. Part of that quality attendance is likely because of the current exhibit's subject, Grand Lake St. Marys.

The exhibit, titled Friends of Grand Lake, is a way for the center to give back to the community that supports it and shine a light on the improvements being made.

"The Grand Lake area helps us be who we are and it's time we give back to the area — this is our way of doing that," Auglaize Mercer Center Director Heather Dowell said.

Dowell, a Celina native, is not the only one at the opening reception who feels that way about the lake. Ned Burris, one of the 18 photographers with works on display, originally grew up in the area before leaving to live across the country and across the globe. Despite living abroad, Burris and his wife were drawn back to the area about five years ago when they moved back to St. Marys.

"Everything [about the lake] is inspiring," Burris said.

Burris has eight pieces on display at Arts Place and said he likes to focus in on birds and wildlife but admits he'll photograph anything that catches his eye.

The Friends of Grand Lake exhibit will be on display until Feb. 16 and features 83 pieces of art, all featuring the lake or surrounding communities. Arts Place is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Dowell said the next gallery will be a mixed media exhibit featuring the Lake Area Arts Group which will have its opening Feb. 22.