Siblings Show Off Works

ST. MARYS — The Arts Place Collective Center, 142 East Spring St, St. Marys, held an opening reception for its newest exhibit, “Different Visions,” featuring artists and siblings Kay and Val Sluterbeck. The Van Wert residents share a house, and a studio, but have very different artistic styles.

Val Sluterbeck, who has been painting and drawing for about five years, likes to create works based off of things he sees in everyday life.

One painting on display, of a tree with an eyeball in the middle of its trunk, Val took from something he saw during a visit to OSU’s campus. There was a tree on which someone had really painted an eyeball, he said, and he wanted to capture that image.

“I think it’s just neat,” he said.

Val received the “Best of Show” award for the painting at the Van Wert County Fair in 2010, his sister Kay said.

“I’ve never gotten best of show,” she said. “I got third best of show (one year).”

Another painting on display from Val’s collection showed the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The inspiration for this watercolor work came from a picture he saw of the building and liked.

“I just liked the looks of it,” he said.

Val’s medium of choice depends on what he feels like doing, he said. He also draws. Art is all about enjoyment for him, he said.

“It’s fun,” he said.

While Val’s works are very uniquely drawn or painted in a style that is entirely his own, Kay’s are all very different.

“I’m trying to figure out why I do that,” she said, about the variation among her paintings.

They range from whimsical, depicting fantastical scenes with wizards, crystal balls and dragons, to winter landscape scenes to multi-colored cats.

“(I’ve) absorbed a little bit of everything,” she said, reading how-to art books and biographical books about specific artists.

One artist in particular who influenced Kay’s works was pen-and-ink artist Aubrey Beardsley.

 “I like drawing best of all, so pen and ink (is my favorite medium),” Kay said.

Kay worked off and on for 20 years as an editorial cartoonist for the Van Wert Times Bulletin, where she received an AP “Best Editorial Cartoonist” award.

Art is something that has always been a part of Kay and Val’s life, as their mother was also an artist. She did many different types of paintings, Kay said, including  landscapes.

“Still-life was her favorite,” she said.

Kay has been painting and drawing since the age of about 5, she said. It was such a huge part of her life that she was under the impression as a child that everyone could draw, she said. For her, art is an escape.

“Your pencil and pen and brush are magic wands,” she said. “Anytime you want to go someplace different you just draw it.”

The paintings that are dearest to her heart are those that bring back memories. Before moving out of her house of 40 years, she painted several pictures of her cats in the house and of the house itself.

A lot of these say “not for sale” for that very reason.