August 15, 2018
Arts & Entertainment
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  • Drew Fockler submitted “Pages” for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show at Benfield Gallery.
    Photo Provided
    Drew Fockler submitted “Pages” for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show at Benfield Gallery.
  • Jeanne Burton Fryer exhibited the painting “Bras d'Or Yacht Club, Cape Breton.”
    Photo Provided
    Jeanne Burton Fryer exhibited the painting “Bras d'Or Yacht Club, Cape Breton.”
  • Barbara Sause submitted one painting and two metal sculptures for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show.
    Photo Provided
    Barbara Sause submitted one painting and two metal sculptures for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show.
  • Barbara Sause submitted one painting and two metal sculptures for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show.
    Photo Provided
    Barbara Sause submitted one painting and two metal sculptures for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show.
  • Barbara Sause submitted one painting and two metal sculptures for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show.
    Photo Provided
    Barbara Sause submitted one painting and two metal sculptures for the Richard Niewerth Influence Show.

Artists Pay Tribute To Richard Niewerth At Benfield Gallery

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June 27, 2018

A teacher and student of art for more than 50 years, Richard Niewerth observes shopping malls, checkout lines and busy metropolitan streets, capturing people’s discomfort and intensified reactions when dealing with confinement. The Severna Park resident is a figurative artist.

In addition to his personal work, he helped create and develop the fine arts program at Anne Arundel Community College.

Paying homage to his career, more than 20 of Niewerth’s students entered work in the Richard Niewerth Influence Show, on display at Benfield Gallery now through July 28.

During an opening reception on June 16, juror Matt Klos selected Betty Pethel’s “Waiting” for first place and George Walker’s “Narragansett Beach” for second place. Honorable mentions included John Moran’s “Standing in the Pause Between Breaths,” Joni Guhne’s “Sunroom Shadows” and June Hock’s “End of the Creek.”

Some of the other local artists talked about their work and why they wanted to be in the exhibit.

Drew Fockler

For his 18-by-40-inch acrylic on canvas, “Pages,” Drew Fockler used palette knives and layered multiple-sized rectangles to represent pages of notes, letters and documents.

“The larger white ‘pages’ represent work documents and time spent in my professional world,” he said. “The red pages are those in which bad news was received centering around my family and mental health challenges. Teal and purple pages represent the various cards and celebrations, good news. The smaller reversed-out squares are the many ‘love notes’ [my wife] Mary Beth places around the house for me to find. They are flesh-colored as they come from the heart and contain messages that affect my well-being.”

Fockler currently resides in Severna Park with Mary Beth and their three girls — Mckenna, Reese and Bennett. Fockler was born in Germany; moved to Daytona Beach, Florida; and became a Navy medic who served in the Gulf War and Middle East missions.

Contact 410-387-8167 for details about his work.

Barbara Sause

When Barbara Sause asked Richard Niewerth if she could register for his landscape class with no previous oil-painting experience about 20 years ago, she was surprised that he said yes.

“It seemed like you'd need to master the basics of manipulating oil paint and maybe design before you layered on the difficulties of working outside,” she said. “But I came to learn that he's that kind of guy — gracious in a word, willing to share his love of painting with everyone. To my further astonishment, everyone in the class was expected to participate in an exhibit at Pascal Gallery at the end of the semester. Richard wanted us to have that experience, too. And since I immediately fell in love with the challenge of working outside — the quest to capture a painting despite the changing atmosphere and light — the landscape class was motivation to sign up for Painting 1, also with Richard and also a great class.

“Over the years, Richard has cultivated a merry band of followers who paint with him all over Anne Arundel County. He sends us beautiful maps to get to the locations he seems to have a knack for finding, then walks the site with us, evaluating the pros and cons of each spot where someone might set up their easel. At the end of each session, there's a critique, so we learn from each other's work. Richard's patience, kindness, and care have nurtured his flock for a very long time. That's a lot of art as well as all the good that comes with art.”

Jeanne Burton Fryer

Jeanne Burton Fryer was “honored” to be included in the show named after Niewerth.

“He has had a vital impact on the arts through his ability to teach, encourage, inspire, and generally promote opportunities through classes and art appreciation,” she said. “Being from the local area, I am inspired by the water and landscapes. I am also inspired by travel such as the oil painting titled ‘Bras d'Or Yacht Club, Cape Breton,’ which is exhibited in the show.”

 

See the exhibit during gallery hours, which are 10:00am-5:00pm Monday through Saturday.


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