The artwork of John Bittner
The Beloit Art Center is pleased to announce the August exhibits.
Art has been a huge part of John Bittner’s life from early on. His father was a professional brass musical instrument hand engraver for premier instrument manufacturers across the country. This required artistic talent and creative imagination at the highest level. John showed the same tendencies at a very young age and so his dad began teaching him drawing techniques. By age ten he was painting in oils. At age fourteen his father introduced him to hand engraving. He has kept the engraving tradition alive on specialty commissions and historical restorations on a part-time basis for over fifty years.
In college, John majored in Broad Field Art. Ceramics, sculpture and oil painting were his favorites. It is only after retiring seven years ago that John decided to return to painting. “My wife and I don’t like the smell of oil paint or thinner so I thought I would try acrylic paint. I absolutely love it. It enhances my style of bold contrast and vivid color,” John notes. “Most of my work has been influenced by our travels. I am looking for inspiration every time we go somewhere.”
John has been involved in the Wisconsin Regional Artist Program (WRAP) for the last seven years. He is also an active member of the Association of Wisconsin Artists (AWA) and a member of the Beloit Art Center. He has received seventeen state awards, two honorable mentions and seven monetary awards from individual WRAP shows and State Day shows. John teaches acrylic painting classes through the Community Development division of Blackhawk Technical College, held at the Milton campus, in Milton, Wisconsin.
The Bell Gallery will feature a Tenant Artist Showcase. Works in the Showcase will include acrylic and oil paintings, charcoal drawings, and pottery pieces. “The Beloit Art Center is proud to house fifteen artists and small business in studio spaces at our Grand Avenue location,” notes board president Gary Dencker. “In conjunction with the gallery exhibit, we will also be hosting a building Open House during the First Friday Gallery Reception. You are invited to explore the building beyond the gallery spaces and talk to artists, board members and volunteers on each level.”
In partnership with the Beloit Public Library, the Art Center also installs quarterly exhibits in the library entryway. From July – September the featured artist is Mariclare Sheil. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mariclare’s paintings, drawings and murals can be found in corporate, public and private collections. Mariclare is also the lead instructor of the Beloit Art Center Thursday Evening Open Studio Artist Group, which meets from 5:30-8:00pm each week. Attendance is open to artists working in any medium. At 6:00pm Mariclare leads a short time of instruction on varied topics. The rest of the session is for working on projects and casual conversation. This group has a come when you can, drop-in enrollment and meets on the second floor.
The First Friday Opening Reception on August 6 is from 5pm - 7pm at 520 E. Grand Avenue, Beloit, Wisconsin. The event is free and open to the public. Both in-house exhibits will be open until August 27. Gallery hours are Monday 10am - 2pm; Tuesday 10am - 5pm and Saturday from 10am - 2pm. For more information please visit: www.beloitartcenter.com
Tenant Artwork featured in the Bell Gallery in August.
Beloit Public Library - featuring Mariclare Sheil