BY TOM LAVIS
A strong body of work by an accomplished art educator and Johnstown native will be on exhibit at Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center.
The “Faces and Places” exhibit will be presented by William Perry of Harmony, Butler County.
The “Faces” demonstrate every state of diversity and emotion. The “Places” are scenes painted in Italy.
An opening reception will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the arts center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
The exhibit, which will include as many as 60 pieces, will be on view through December.
Perry, a recognized and prolific master artist, says his love of art was nurtured in the Johnstown Central Catholic school system in the 1950s.
His first recognition as a painter came when he won a first-place ribbon in an Allied Artist children’s show.
Then, he received a scholarship from the same organization to study at the Artists’ League of Ligonier Valley. Although his teachers believed he could have a career in art, his family steered him into a teaching career.
For more than 20 years, Perry’s medium was oil paint. He abruptly gave them away and tried to develop a working relationship with watercolors.
“This unpredictable medium was not simple, but one can clearly see he has conquered it,” said Rosemary Pawlowski, arts center executive director.
“Bill likes the freshness and spontaneity that watercolors allow, and we are pleased to have Bill bring his art back to Johnstown where it all started.”
Perry earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and did graduate studies at Penn State and Clarion universities.
His career in art education began in Beaver County’s Aliquippa School District, then onto the city of Pittsburgh, always challenging his students to think creatively.
He received Pittsburgh School District’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1982.
After retiring, he taught at Carnegie Mellon, and continues to paint and teach workshops near his home.
Who: William Perry of Harmony, Butler County.
What: “Faces and Places.”
Where: Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
When: Saturday through Dec. 31.
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