Monday, Apr 23, 2018
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Artistic soulmates on the spot

Bedford club displays work of members


Gloria Sandusky-Mossburg, left, Evelyn Deselms, the Bedford Artists’ Club publicity chairman, and Donna Whittaker stand before some of the works on display at the Bedford Branch Library. Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg and Mrs. Whittaker are friends as well as club members, and they paint together in Mrs. Mossburg’s studio in her Lambertville home. Both say they’ve been painting since the late 1950s.

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TEMPERANCE — The Spot Show art exhibit wrapping up this week at the Bedford Branch Library is dedicated to paintings done by two friends and artistic soulmates who are the Bedford Artists Club’s two oldest members.

Gloria Sandusky-Mossburg, 82, and Donna Whittaker, who turned 87 on Saturday, have painted for more than 50 years.

The ladies paint together in Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg’s spacious studio in her Lamberville home, and neither has any intention of letting up.

“It keeps us off the streets,” Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg said, laughing.

The ladies mostly do still lifes and landscapes. Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg uses impasto, a technique that involves thickly layering paint, and Mrs. Whittaker works in oils and watercolor. Their works on display at the library have titles such as Peonies, The Old House, and Lonesome Pine.

Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg said she spends 20 hours a week at the easel. Mrs. Whittaker said she is in the studio three or four hours a day, two days a week.

At one time, painting was Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg’s financial sustenance. “I raised six children on my own by teaching art at my studio,” she said, “Not in the big studio I have now, but a little one.”

Mrs. Whittaker of Temperance said she and Mrs. Sandusky-Mossburg started painting in the late 1950s and find it stimulating. When she travels, she photographs interesting scenes and later puts them on canvas. Cactus, one of her works in the library exhibit, is based on a photo taken in Arizona.

The Spot Show is organized by the artists club, formed in 1967 by a group of local artists, many of whom had taken adult education classes at Bedford High School, said Evelyn Deselms, the club’s publicity chairman. An annual juried art show is held in late April and early May.

On Friday, The Spot Show will feature a new collection of members’ artwork. Each exhibit lasts a month.

Mrs. Deselms said the club numbers about 40 members; 25 years ago, it was 100. Most are from Monroe County. The club meets in the library at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month in September through May, except for December. Newcomers are welcome.

“You don’t have to be an artist to join, just being interested in art is enough,” Mrs. Deselms said.

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