River-inspired art show in New York includes Thunder Bridge

Thursday, April 12, 2018

An art exhibition in Westfield, New York, features Spencer natives Bill and Wendy Bale. The show opens April 20 and will be on display in the Octagon Gallery through June 1.

Now living in Jamestown, New York, the Bales draw inspiration from waterways they’ve explored together, including the Little Sioux. Bill Bale’s recent pieces include tables, benches and bedroom furniture evoking rivers in natural slabs with embedded stones. Wendy Bale creates river-inspired charcoal drawings and cut paper sculptures. The exhibit depicts 17 rivers and creeks from seven states.

“I knew I had to include the Thunder Bridge in this show, since it was such a vivid memory of our childhood growing up in Spencer,” Wendy Bale said. “It was always thrilling — and a little frightening — driving over that bridge as a kid. As I planned the drawing, I was remembering the experience from a child’s perspective.”

Bill Bale is an award-winning woodworker who has taken honors at art festivals across the Midwest and New York. This recent body of work adds new materials, epoxy and stone, and explores new techniques.

“Using a live edge and working with the grain in a more abstract way is freeing,” he noted.

Bill Bale won first place at the Roger Tory Peterson Wild America Festival at Panama Rocks, New York last summer with his first “River Table.”

Wendy Bale’s creative design career took a U-turn artistically with this collection of works on paper.

“After decades of computer design, it is refreshing to get back to working with my hands using traditional materials, charcoal and paper,” she added. The Patterson Library Octagon Gallery is at 40 S. Portage St. in Westfield, New York. The exhibition opens with a public reception and artists’ talk from 7-9 p.m. April 20.

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