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Richard Shearer of Springwater NY

Livingston Arts hosts its first Artist in Residence, Richard Shearer

By Betsy Harris for The Lake Country Weekender

June 2014



Artist Richard Shearer.

Although Richard Shearer has lived in Springwater for over 20 years, he still feels himself a newcomer to the area. Before settling in Livingston County, Richard grew up in Boston and spent time in many places including Rochester, central Pennsylvania, and abroad in Sweden. He received his artistic training at Valands Konstskola in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he focused on landscape oil painting. When discussing his work and life as an artist living in the Livingston County area, he often asks, “What is this place? What art its unique qualities and essences?”

To explore these questions further, Richard is not only working on a series of oil paintings entitled, “This Ground,” but he will also be organizing a lecture series open to the public. The Dansville Public Library will be hosting one on Saturday, July 12, and the second will be part of the “Learn About Letchworth” lecture series on August 19. The speakers he has invited will each present different perspectives of our area. These include the geological origins of the area presented by Dr. Richard Young, a SUNY Geneseo Geology professor, and some of the history surrounding the building of the dam presented by Amie Alden, Livingston County Historian. Through these lectures, Richard hopes to encourage dialogue and engagement.

At present Richard is working as the first artist in the new Artist in Residence Program started in 2013 at Livingston Arts on Murray Hill Drive in Mount Morris NY. Richard approached Livingston Arts to be closer to the subject of his paintings, the Mount Morris Dam. Along with available studios for painting, there are also facilities for ceramics, and it is an ideal, peaceful setting for writers. The public is welcome to stop into the studios and learn more about the Artist in Residence Program and Richard’s works.

The “This Ground” series of oil paintings Richard is currently working on began when Richard became interested in a collection of photographs documenting the Mount Morris Dam project from the forties and fifties. The visual and physical forms captured in the photos, documenting its construction, inspired him to begin exploring Livingston County through his own interpretations. As the artist states, “The forms involved were intriguing and I wanted to work with them in my paintings. It’s never been my intent ot take a photograph and copy it.” The abstract nature of the pieces reads as echoes and transformations of their former values and appearance, yet are still faithful to their essence.



This Ground.



The Mount Morris Dam Project.

Richard is an Individual Artist Grant recipient funded by the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Livingston Arts, a member-supported organization.

For more information about Richard Shearer’s lecture series and where to view his paintings, please email info@livingstonarts.org or call Livingston Arts Center at: 585-243-6785. To learn more about Livingston Arts’ Artist in Residence Program, visit Livingston Arts.

Betsy Harris is a Program Coordinator for the New Deal Gallery at Livingston Arts at Murry Hill in Mount Morris NY.

Diane Olson is the Editor & Publisher of The Lake Country Weekender, LCWeekender@stny.rr.com

Say you saw it in The Lake Country Weekender!