October 17, 2002

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Greenberg creates artwork based on spirituality

Dione Greenburg with daughter Mollie

In her new exhibit, artist Dione Greenberg gives color and form to an aspect of human nature most often considered inexpressible — our spiritual, internal being.

“It’s inner-directed rather than external forms,” she said of her exhibit, “impulses of the spirit,” which opens during an artist’s reception this Friday, Oct. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Sam & Eddie’s Open Books Gallery. “It’s about internal space and expressions of the soul.”

The exhibit is part of the autumn Art Stroll, this Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. The bi-annual event, which features the original work of local and regional artists, will be featured in several galleries and stores, including the Epic Book Shop on Dayton Street, the Winds Cafe and Village Artisans on Xenia Avenue, and “would you, could you” In A Frame and Julia Etta’s Trunk at 100 Corry Street.

Greenberg’s work features vivid colors and a variety of media — pastels, acrylic, paper and watercolor, often layered on top of each other — in a range of abstract shapes.

Greenberg said her paintings are improvisational. “I don’t have an idea in mind when I begin,” she said. “When I sit down I close my eyes and try to focus on the kind of energy that’s in my body and the colors I see. Then I work with the way the colors blend and move and shift. It’s almost like a dance.”

Sometimes her paintings are finished in a few hours, and other times she returns to them over and over. Often, she said, she doesn’t know what she is painting until she is finished, when the form takes on meaning.

“Sometimes I’m so much in the middle of the moment that I can’t define it,” she said. “It can take a month or a year.”

Greenberg, 43, who was raised in Montana and moved to Yellow Springs in 1992, can’t remember a time when she hasn’t done artwork. Her paintings have been influenced by her childhood love of the natural world and by her work as an art therapist with developmentally disabled adults who, she said, create art from “a deep, rich, primitive place.”

For the past six years — since she became pregnant and gave birth to Mollie, aged 5 1/2 — Greenberg’s art has also been colored by her experience as a mother, she said.

“Having a child opened me up as a person,” she said. Before having Mollie, Greenberg was “playing around with art,” she said, but after giving birth, she found she had a stronger desire to take her art seriously and to create finished pieces.

Most of all, Greenberg believes her art reflects her spirituality. She and her husband, Saul, have participated in a variety of local spiritual groups, including the Dharma Center, the Friends Meeting and the Bahá’ís, and practice a daily meditation process they learned in India.

“The spiritual process is so intangible, so hard to pin down,” said Greenberg, who hopes that, after seeing the exhibit, people “think about their own spiritual path.”

—Diane Chiddister

Other Yellow Springs Art Stroll participants include:

•“Tribal Colors — A Show of Masks,” by Lisa Goldberg, which will be featured at the Winds Cafe and Bakery on Art Stroll night, and will continue through November 3.

•New work by jewelry maker Sandra Picciano will be on view at Julia Etta’s Trunk at 100 Corry Street.

•A mixed media exhibit by local artist Kathy Wilson-Gardner will be featured at “would you, could you” In A Frame at 100 Corry Street. The exhibit’s opening will be held from 6:30 until 10 p.m. on Friday and the exhibit will continue through Nov. 8.

Wilson-Gardner, for many years a staff artist for The Antioch Company, will show more than 50 paintings in oils, pastels, and colored pencils, including landscapes, portraits and still lifes. Formerly a school teacher, she now paints full time. This is her first exhibit.

•Work by mother and daughter Pat Simon and Gail Davidson will be featured at the Epic Book Shop on Dayton Street. Davidson will display handcrafted quilts, while her mother will display oils, pastels and watercolors. Refreshments will be served.

Artists working on their creations will be featured at Village Artisans on Xenia Avenue.