How to go
What: Gallery 42 Fine Art in Mason presents its January featured artist, Don Schuster
When: Continuing through Jan. 31. Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays noon to 6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and also by appointment.
Where: Gallery 42 Fine Art, 117 W. Main St., Mason
Admission: Free, open to the public. Paintings are available for purchase.
More info: www.Gallery42FineArt or at (513) 234-7874. Also visit www.daschusterfineart.com and www.Artistsites.org/DASchusterfineart.
This month, Gallery 42 Fine Art in Mason will present its January Featured Artist—Don Schuster, who specializes in series work — landscapes done in oils. His work will be on display through Jan. 31.
As a featured artist, the gallery will exhibit its exclusive collection of Schuster’s “Fence Row” and “Beckett Pond” series of paintings. Schuster’s gallery opening was held on Dec. 21, when he made a special appearance in support of his work.
“All of the work from the featured artist is displayed in the front room, right when you walk in, or so people can see it from the street as they are walking by,” said Angela Reiter, gallery manager, Gallery 42 Fine Art. “The goal of the gallery is to promote local artists, so all of the artists we have in here are local.”
The gallery has about 13 of Schuster’s paintings currently on display, which range in size from an 8 x 10 to a 42 x 54. Prices start at $200 and up, and are based on the size of the painting and complexity of the work. A handful of his pieces have already sold.
“His work is more impressionistic than realistic, Reiter said. “Mr. Schuster does landscapes. He does series work. He will do about 10 paintings of one subject, but with different views.”
Schuster grew up and was trained during the abstract expressionist and concept-oriented mid-century art scene. However, he said, has always felt a closer affinity with the currents and movements of the early 20th century. He currently works in a contemporary realist style in oils and stained glass, with homage to tonalists and the Arts and Crafts movement. He admires the work of John Twachtman, William McKendry Snyder, Claude Monet, Louis C. Tiffany, Maxfield Parish and Edward Hopper.
Schuster, a Liberty Twp. resident and Cincinnati area native, attended University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning and earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in printmaking. After graduation, he went into management and had a successful 35-year career in the printing/prepress industries. Up until about five years ago, when he began working full-time as an artist out of his home-based studio, he only occasionally spent time on his fine art talents. Although, he said, he has always had an interest in art and has been involved in various aspects from theater design (sets and lighting), painting, drawing and photography to antique restoration and stained glass.
“It was about five years ago when I started thinking seriously about getting back to the fine art area,” said Schuster. “The things I was doing in the printing industry were art-related, but I didn’t really do any fine art at all.”
Schuster and his wife have three children and one grandchild. Since taking up residence in Liberty Twp. about 25 years ago, Schuster said he has developed an interest in the natural beauty and historical texture of Southwest Ohio and the surrounding areas. With the landscape of the region rapidly changing from rural to suburban, he has set out to capture some of its beauty in oils.
“With the ‘Fence Row” series, those paintings are all based upon images from different fence rows that I’ve seen in and around the Liberty Twp. area,” he said. “The predominant subject matter for that series are illustrations of trumpet flower, which is a native growing species.”
“The work that is showing at Gallery 42 is all oils on canvas,” Schuster said. “All of the paintings are done in probably an American Impressionist style, which is fairly realistic as far as color representation, but uses looser brush strokes than what most people think would happen with representational art. They are fairly true to the subject matter as far as the way they look, but if you study them closely, they have a fairly loose brush technique.”
In painting each piece. Schuster said he carefully considers things like the subject matter, composition and how it’s presented.
“The main thing I am trying to approach in my art is there is a lot of very attractive locations and subject matters in this geographic region that most people don’t even think about, or notice on a day-to-day basis,” Schuster said. “There are things that catch my eye that become part of my artwork. That’s what I’m trying to do, is to point out to people that there’s a lot of really beautiful things in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana. If people stopped and looked, they would be able to notice a lot of those things themselves.”
Schuster is a member of the Cincinnati Art Club - Board of Directors, Oil Painters of America, Ohio Plein Air Society, Southwest Ohio Plein Air Painters, Ohio Online Visual Artist Registry and Arts Alliance Painters. In 2013, his work was also showcased at numerous area art shows and events, including at the Cincinnati International Fine Arts Fair, Mason Arts Festival and at The View, Rosewood Arts Center in Kettering, where his work received first place honors. He also does commissioned pieces.
In addition to Schuster, other local artists work on display at Gallery 42 Fine Art include David Mueller, Chuck Marshall, Richard Luschek, Alison Shepherd, Barb Pask, Stacie Seuberling, Barb Chenault, Millie Null and Kay Hurley. Gallery openings of the monthly featured artists are generally held on the second Saturday of each month from 5 to 9 p.m. Overall, 50 to 60 fine art pieces are on display at the gallery on an ongoing basis.