John de Vries’ ‘Seasons’ at Zahradnicek Gallery

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Photo of a painting of a house in rural America.

An exhibition of paintings and sketchbooks by John de Vries is now on display at the Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery. The exhibit, “Seasons,” will be on display through Thursday, Oct. 22, and will also include a brief talk by the artist’s daughter, Janet de Vries, as part of the RedStone Recital and Gallery series Friday, Oct. 2.

de Vries made his living as a commercial artist in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, but, according to information provided by the artist’s daughter, his real passion was in watercolor painting, pencil sketching, and pen and ink drawing. de Vries was always sketching, even during his four years spent in the U.S. Army in the European Theater during World War II. Using the GI Bill, de Vries graduated from the Cleveland School of Art. “Dad spent most of his career working for the Crawford Company in Akron, where he moved up the ladder from the manager of the mimeograph department to art director and vice president when he retired in 1980,” said Janet, Casper College retiree and former director of what is now known as the student success center.

de Vries, an extensive reader and avid Ohio history buff, spent much of his free time on historical illustration. “Focusing on Northeast Ohio, he did many illustrations of Zoar Village, Ohio Indian trails and Ohio canals. In 1953, he created and illustrated a collection of Ohio history facts for the state’s sesquicentennial,” noted Janet.

The exhibition is also part of the 2020-2021 RedStone Recital and Gallery Season opener Friday, Oct. 2. Janet’s brief talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Zahradnicek Gallery, followed by the recital, featuring Casper College music faculty at 7 p.m. in the Wheeler Concert Hall. All events are free and open to the public.

The Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is located in the Music Building, located on the Casper College campus.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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