The “Small Town Ohio” exhibition in Canton explores the landscapes of the city and the countryside


CANTON – In warm and subtle colors, artist Kathleen Gray Farthing depicts on canvas a scene from Americana lost at an intersection in downtown Lisbon.

With its stainless steel exterior, glass panes, curved roof, distinctive clock and vintage sign, the Steel Trolley Diner is both commemorated and reborn through its piece on display in the “Small Town Ohio” exhibit at the Canton Museum. of Art.

This oil painting by Sharon Weaver depicts a historic attic in Bellville.  The artwork is part of

Showcasing more than 60 paintings by members of the Ohio Plein Air Society, which includes artists from Stark County, Ohio and surrounding states, the exhibit runs through October 24 at the museum at 1001 Market Ave. NOT.

The group creates outdoor art on site through direct observation.

This is the Ohio Plein Air Society’s first exhibition at the Canton Museum of Art.

Poignant and sometimes evoking nostalgia, the works capture moments and buildings, houses, natural settings, industrial landscapes, rivers and other curiosities.

Topics and locations include a gas station in Beach City; a barn in Danville; a bridge at Brinkhaven; an attic in Bellville; an antique store and library in Chesterville; the grain elevators in Andover; a small chapel just east of Granville; a historic post office building in Kent; and a yellow wheelbarrow leaning against a fence in Fredericksburg.

Until October 24, the museum is also exhibiting “Close to Me: Ceramics by Erika Sanada”, “Moments in Time: Watercolors by Yuki Hall” and “Soar, Roar, Explore: Animal Life from the CMA Collection”.

This work of art is part of the exhibition,

“We try to give variety,” said Christy Davis, the museum’s exhibits curator. “One of our main goals is to make art accessible to everyone. There is no one theme or one medium that affects everyone.

“I think everyone has a style of art that resonates with them, but if they say otherwise, they just haven’t found it yet – it just hasn’t been discovered,” a- she added. “We want to see new faces every time (we have exposure). I think that’s a measure of success.”

Museum opening hours are 10 am to 8 pm Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Adult admission is $ 8; students and seniors are $ 6.

This oil painting by Doug Kelley of a scene featuring the Sandusky River is part of the

Visitors will be required to wear masks when visiting the museum until further notice.

Tickets can be purchased at the museum or online before the visit at

Free admission, sponsored by the PNC Foundation, is offered from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday.

Admission is also free on the first Friday of each month for extended hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in conjunction with First Friday events in downtown Canton.

Bob Maurer's depiction of the Thompson building in East Liverpool is part of the

Steel Trolley Diner in Lisbon

Gray Farthing, from the Alliance region, said she felt compelled to capture the famous Steel Trolley Diner through works of art.

“My daughter did theater in the small town of Lisbon, so we drove past the Steel Trolley Diner a few times and ate there a couple of times,” said the 65-year-old. “When the theme for our exhibit was announced, I thought the dinner was a perfect topic. Unfortunately, the dinner is closed now.”

When asked why scenes from a small town are worth preserving through art, Gray Farthing said: “Many outdoor painters have captured an iconic scene or building to experience more. late that he disappeared. Our paintings become a historical record. ”

To make the exhibition unique, all of the works were created outside on site, she said.

Outdoor painting gained popularity in the 1860s and was fundamental to Impressionism, according to the Canton Museum of Art.

The term “open air” described Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and the Impressionists in France, the museum said in a press release on the exhibition. Since the late 19th century, the term has been used to describe artists who take their easels outside to paint.


The beauty of plein air painting is “what you see in the artwork is what the artist saw at that time,” Farthing said. “Outdoor paintings are usually started and finished within about two to four hours.

“Longer and the scene has changed too much to continue,” said Farthing, who studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Farthing, an outdoor artist for about 13 years, said that through the “Small Town Ohio” exhibit, people can “discover pieces from Ohio that they have never seen before.”

“… We can discover that a small winding alley can make a painting as beautiful as a large estate. Seeing our condition through the eyes of artists can encourage the viewer to take a second look at their surroundings.”

Christy Davis, left, and Kaleigh Pisani-Paige of the Canton Museum of Art discuss

Discovering a unique architecture

Bob Maurer, 73, of Canton, placed first in the juryed exhibition “Small Town Ohio” for his watercolor, “The Thompson Building, East Liverpool”.

Maurer worked as an urban planner for the city of Canton for 30 years; he also worked for Habitat for Humanity for about 10 years before retiring.

The artist said he appreciates “the vintage architecture that still exists here and there, and is always happy to discover an unusual architectural style for making a painting, especially on outings in the great outdoors.”

Cantonal artist Bob Maurer portrayed the Thompson building in East Liverpool in a painting created near the site, a style known as plein air.  Maurer's finished painting won first place in the

“Small Town Ohio” features a variety of styles, said Maurer, a fellow of the Ohio Watercolour Society and the Pennsylvania Watercolour Society.

“It is especially interesting to see how different artists paint their particular impressions on a subject,” he said. “Small towns are disappearing and we are invaded by glitzy malls and super malls.”


Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]

On Twitter @ebalintREP

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.