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Earth, Fire and Water Forces in Balance

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

March 18, 2023 - April 28, 2023

Exhibition Artwork

Our Reception

Meet the Artists

Rita Lewi

Rita Lewi's passion for oil painting started in her childhood, she loves ovserving living things in nature. Her art themes include portraitures, landscapes, mountains, sky, and water. In her paintings, she attempts to capture the vibrancy and energy of water with her expressive brush strokes. She sees art as deeply intertwined with philosophy, nature, and human experience.

Barbara Bell

Barbara Bell began her formal training in art while on academic leave from university teaching. She worked in studio arts at Montgomery College (Rockville) in 1980s, concentrating on lithography. Before re-entering the workforce as a teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools, her works hung in numerous local exhibitions. Twenty years later, retirement afforded her time to return to artwork, and she took up watercolor painting, studying first with the late Leroy Lawson and then, for the past fourteen years, with David R. Daniels. Barbara has been a member of the Art League, the Foundry Gallery, the Laurel Art Guild, the Rockville Art League and the Takoma Watercolor Group. She has been a Resident Artist at Artists&Makers Studios (Rockville) and is a signature member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society. Her work is held in private collections in Washington, Baltimore, New York, New Haven, Palm Beach, Indianapolis, Portland (ME), and London.

Loren Scherbak

Loren Scherbak has had a love of clay since attending high school in Maryland. She earned her BFA in printmaking and ceramics in 1979 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Today, Loren is a wood-fired ceramic artist. She makes a variety of works, all functional. She uses leaves collected on her daily walks as drawing tools to represent her love of nature in her suburban neighborhood. She is committed to minimizing her environmental footprint by reducing her use of harmful chemicals. She uses wood firing to produce the surfaces and colors of local rocks and flora and hopes to inspire users of her art to see there is beauty all around us.

About the Exhibit

Earth, Fire, and Water: Forces in Balance is a collaborative exhibition in which three artists have come together to present their shared appreciation of the natural world and to express the balance, calm and order they discover there.

Rita Lewi's large oil paintings anchor the exhibition, reflecting her reverence for nature and using bold color to capture the power of waterfalls, monumental mountains, and swirling waters. Her more abstract works use a softer palette to draw her viewers into calmer, more contemplative spaces.

Wood fire ceramicist Loren Scherbak displays a variety of pottery vessels, relief wall plaques, and plates that incorporate local flora in their surfaces. Her experience as a printmaker helps Loren create pieces with strong, natural designs. Over more than 45 years as a potter, Loren has developed a unique glazing method resulting from the ash deposits produced in firing in her own backyard kin.

Watercolorist Barbara Bell's paintings focus on the fluidity and rythms of the natural world. She invites the viewer to see the fleeting moments often missed by the casual observer - instances of regeneration and renewal balance and discord. A former lithographer, her paintings reflect her love of line and pattern, balanced by a more impressionistic use of color. Bell users her own photographs, taken in local woods and along the creeks nearby as resource for all of her paintings.

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