NORTH CANTON Bill and Karen Bogdan meet more than 50 years ago while enrolled in an art class at the University of Akron. The instructor of the class encouraged students to leave the classroom to find subjects for their art creations.
Both Bill and Karen found themselves at "the abandoned, decaying and overgrown horse stables on the Barber Estates in Barberton."
Bill said just the two of them choose this particular subject to draw.
"We had the same subject, but both saw and drew it differently," Bill said. "It is really a study of complementary personalities as Karen’s rendering is precisely executed almost an architectural rendering. Mine was rendered rapidly in indelible felt pen in a care-free don’t care messy style of flowing rhythmic lines that see with poetic eyes that reflect an undisciplined mind."
Reproductions of what they both created that day are part of the month-long exhibit at the Little Art Gallery in North Canton. The two have been together since and the exhibit is in part a celebration of their engagement 50 years ago.
The two work in different mediums. Bill works in wood cuts and digital. Karen creates using fabric and mixed media. Bill’s digital process is to paint a scene in oil pastels then photograph the painting. Next, he digitally works on the photo to make a final product.
"All of my work includes scenes from local sites such as parks," he said. "I call myself a talented amateur. Both my wife and I enter art contests and we do pretty well competing with the professionals."
Karen said she got started working with fabrics after taking a quilting class. She said her teacher at the time told her she wasn’t going to be a typical quilter.
"I’ll keep creating as long as God keeps giving me ideas," Karen said. "I’m thrilled the Gallery decided to exhibit our work and hope people enjoy it."
The Gallery’s curator Elizabeth Blakemore said this exhibit will be on display through Dec. 4. An opening reception was held on Nov. 3.
Blakemore said the Bogdan’s had works on display during the annual May show at the Gallery which displays artworks of local artists.
"I originally approached Bill about doing an exhibit of his wood cuts, after meeting with him at their home and hearing their story, I knew I had to exhibit works from both artists," Blakemore said. "Bill is adamant that his wife’s work is more art than his and I appreciated that sentiment."
The Little Art Gallery offers new exhibits every five weeks throughout the year. The Gallery exhibits classroom art from students attending North Canton City Schools. It also holds an annual May show of all Stark County artists, this show is in its 75th year.
The Bogdan’s exhibited works are for sale. There is a catalog available at the entrance of the gallery with titles and prices.