Local Underground Railroad stop is subject of exhibition

Aug 02, 2017
  • By Brett Turner
  • Contributing Writer
The Gammon House, Springfield s stop on the Underground Railroad, is the subject of a new exhibit in which area artists painted their impressions of the historic structure. CONTRIBUTED

Several artists captured one of Springfield’s most celebrated historic locales on one day recently.

Members of the Ohio Plein Air Society, a group that enjoys painting live outdoors, and Western Ohio Watercolor Society celebrated Juneteenth by creating their impressions of the Gammon House, the area’s stop on the Underground Railroad.

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The paintings are part of a free exhibition on display at the Springfield Museum of Art’s community gallery space.

“Everybody’s painted the same thing, but they’re different takes,” said museum curator Erin Shapiro. “There are a lot of stylistic approaches to the same subject matter.”

Some used oils, others did water colors among the 13 pieces.

Some just did their takes on the Gammon House itself, while others added touches such as a child blowing bubbles or booths set up as Juneteenth was combined with other celebrations, such as FatherFest.

The Gammon House has been renovated and is used as an educational center.

Some of the artists contributed multiple paintings, and there were prizes for the best, with Rhonda Sloan taking first for her watercolor work titled “Hope.” She was recently the featured artists at Art Affair on the Square in Urbana.

Placing second was Libby Rudolf’s watercolor “Gammon House” and Susi Havens-Bezaire was third with her oil on linen/Gatorboard piece “If Trees Could Talk.”

Each of the works is for sale. The exhibit will be up through Aug. 31 and available during museum hours.

Shapiro said the museum will be opening various areas of the gallery for more groups and organizations such as this in the future.