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RAC founder exhibits at center

April 25, 2012

Richard Chenoweth, of Wapakoneta, poses by one of his pen and ink artworks that will be on display during his exhibit at the Riverside Art Center. The exhibit opens on Sunday and will be up until June 17.

One of the founders of the Riverside Art Center will have his artwork displayed at the center — a form of art that he has been practicing his whole life.

Richard Chenoweth will have his “Pen and Ink Exhibit” on display at the West Auglaize Street center, with an opening reception being held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. His exhibit will be on display until June 17. The public is invited to attend.

Chenoweth, who enjoys designing artwork involving wolves and American Indians, had previously exhibited a few pieces of his work to the center, but this is his first time he will be the main exhibitor.

“Dick’s work is just phenomenal,” Riverside Art Center Gallery Director Anna Fisher said. “Riverside Art Center is extremely lucky to have his work here.”

He began drawing when he was child. He noted his mother painted on the back of glass, a reverse form of painting, and his father did photography during his spare time.

“I would often get in trouble in class because I would draw instead of work,” Chenoweth said.

Chenoweth spent most of his pre-teens traveling throughout the United States, as his father worked on the railroad.

When he was 15, his parents asked him if he wanted to go to an art school, so he attended the Chicago Art Institute, where he studied pen and ink.

“I went for six months,” Chenoweth said. “That’s all we could afford at the time.”

When Chenoweth was 18, he joined the U.S. Air Force.

Chenoweth, who was born in Aurora, Ill., resided in Chicago before joining the service. He moved to Wapakoneta in 1972, and after retiring from the service after 20 years, he has worked several different jobs in Allen and Auglaize counties.

During his whole life, he has always been involved in art in some form.

While in the service, he completed the Washington School of Art by correspondence. During that time he also had the opportunity to study oil painting under H. Ludwick while stationed in Germany.

His last study of art was at The Ohio State University-Lima branch, with professor Libby Lloyd.

As he traveled through the United States and abroad, he said his artwork was influenced to a certain degree.

“I feel that one must study and illustrate art every day in hopes of improvement,” Chenoweth said.

Chenoweth has mostly his pen and ink artworks on exhibit, along with a few acrylic paintings, a medium he is looking to explore.

“I want to do more expressionism,” Chenoweth said. “I just want to do something different.”

When Chenoweth does a pen and ink piece, he said he often sketches out a drawing, erases and sketches another one until he gets it to where he wants it to be.

“It may take a few copies,” Chenoweth said.

Then he traces it on watercolor paper, and uses a razor blade as his tool to lighten areas on the artwork.

“All of this has been done with my wife’s patience,” Chenoweth said, of his wife Jean, who has supported him throughout his creative process. “She’s always pushing me.”

Chenoweth and his wife have been married for 57 years, and they have four children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Chenoweth is a lifelong member of the Riverside Art Center, where he has served as president, secretary and treasurer.

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