Exhibit showcases travel through art

Published 7:19 am Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new exhibit opens this weekend at the Austin Area Art Center.

The gallery, featured through August, will showcase the work of James Wegner and Mary Weis — including images of flowers, landscapes, abstract compositions, sculptures, and a “found” collage.

The show opens Sunday with a public reception from 1 to 4 p.m. and continues through the month.

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Wegner, who taught art at Riverland Community College for 28 years and in Austin junior and senior high schools for 10 years, holds a motto of “Have brush; will travel.”

Wegner has documented his travels to Spain, France, Greece, the Caribbean and Hawaii through his artwork.

“I always travel with a camera and watercolor kit to record my first impressions of a new place or scene,” he said in an art center news release.

Wegner has studied with many noted artists and received awards for his work in oil, acrylic, watercolor, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and fiber, according to the news release. His work appears in collections in the US and Europe.

Weis, whose interest in nature led to a degree and career in marine technology, became an artist while pursuing her love of seabirds and driftwood.

She said in the art center news release: “I have enjoyed drawing and the natural world for as long as I can remember. As a child growing up on a small Carolina island, the back porch was my ‘museum’ of shells,

sticks, rocks and dropped butterfly wings…My art comes from combining and altering natural objects into pieces that capture the essence of a particular place and time.”

Weis has studied with South Carolina artists, and taken classes under Wegner at Riverland Community College.

She is represented by two galleries in the Myrtle Beach area and along with her husband, she splits her time between their homes in Austin and Garden City, S.C.

The Austin Area Art Center is open from noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday in the Oak Park Mall.

August featured exhibit

What: artwork of James Wegner and Mary Weis

When: opening reception is 1 to 4 p.m., Aug. 1; exhibit runs through

August, Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Austin Area Art Center, Oak Park Mall,

1301 18th Ave. NW