‘Side by Side’ affair

Staff Writer
Photography and watercolors do not typically coincide in a piece of artwork, however, at Riverside Art Center, the two will be hanging “Side by Side.”
Watercolor painter Barb Sailor, of Jackson Center, and photographer Pamela Baker, of Spencerville, are collaborating in Riverside Art Center’s upcoming exhibit, “Side by Side.”
The two artists met in 2010 via fineartamerica.com, a website where anyone can browse through other artists’ work. 
Barb said she “fell in love” with a photograph Pamela took of a local barn and wanted to ask her if she could replicate the photo with paint.  
Finding out they lived within a short drive of each other, the two met and became friends. Throughout the last three years, they have worked on numerous collaborative art pieces, but the upcoming exhibit will be their first showing together. 
“Side by Side” will be displayed exactly as titled, with Pamela’s photographs hanging beside Barb’s paintings. Each photograph was taken locally, and each painting mimics the photograph’s scenery. 
The two artists described their work as “iconic American scenes,” including old barns, trucks and houses. 
All of the artwork sceneries are local. Some may be recognizable to locals, including the Ross Covered Bridge in Tawawa Park in Sidney, while others are local “hidden gems.”
The opening reception for the “Side by Side” exhibit is from 2:30 - 4 p.m. Sunday. Refreshments will be served, including meatballs, sandwiches, cheesecake, cookies, punch and wine. 
Pamela’s photographs are in many different sized prints and will be sold from anywhere between $5 and $100. Barb’s watercolor oil paintings, drawings and mixed media are valued at between $25 and $300. 
The reception is free and open to the public, as is the exhibit throughout the month of October until Sunday, Nov. 3. 
Guests will have the opportunity to meet and discuss with the artists during the reception.
Barb graduated fromBowling Green State University with a degree in art education. She taught high school art for 30 years. Barb is currently the program director at Riverside Art Center.
Barb has received multiple awards for her art shows, including a first place in the Riverside Art Center’s Community Art Exhibit.
She has had her work featured in many local shows and businesses, including the Meeting Place on Market in Lima, St. Marys’ art festival, and Delphos Canal Days.
Barb also teaches watercolor classes on Monday nights at Riverside Art Center. Barb said anyone interested in her work can visit her blog for updates of her weekly paintings at barbsdailycreations.blogsspot.com.
Pamela is a self-taught photographer and the owner of Baker Creek Photography. She has had her work displayed at Cloud Nine Cafe in Wapakoneta and has another showing coming in May. 
Pamela said she originally picked up a camera because her brother was a photojournalist in the Navy in the 1970s.
“When he came home, he gave me all of his photography equipment,” Pamela said. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Pamela said she bought her first digital camera in 2006 and can now do even more with photo editing programs.
“It’s a creative outlet for me, especially with the new digital age,” Pamela said. “Photography gives you the opportunity to see the world and yourself in a different perspective.”
As a photographer, Pamela said she is always on the look out for a beautiful photo. Most people will pass by an old water pump or truck, but she said she has an eye for what will photograph well. Her artwork can be viewed at bakercreekdesigns.com.
Pamela said she has never been to an exhibit with two different versions of on scene displayed together and said she thinks the concept is unique.
While each artwork resembles the same scene of the photograph, many of the paintings have color schemes and interpretations of their own.
While she was painting the Delphos Antique Truck, Barb said she had to completely change the color of the truck to add contrast. 
“The photograph is so beautiful, and the color is perfect for the photograph,” Barb said, however, she had to adjust it in order to make it work for her painting.
The artists said they would like to welcome the community to see their collaborative artwork of local scenic photography and paintings.