The Daily Star
---- — An art exhibit opening Saturday in Sidney Center will highlight diverse works created close to home.
Maywood Arts will host a reception at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Schoolhouse Gallery to celebrate the opening of two solo shows and one group show highlighting the work of six local artists.
In Gallery Two will be the paintings and sculpture of David Byrd. Born in 1926, Byrd has been painting since childhood and worked odd jobs as a young man so that he could continue his art.
As a merchant marine, Byrd painted ship scenes in his spare time. After his service, Byrd studied at the Art Career School in New York City and was later accepted to study with French cubist artist Amedee Ozenfant at The Ozenfant School of Fine Arts in Chelsea.
He was later employed at the VA hospital at Montrose, which inspired many of his paintings, he said. Byrd began working in wood when he moved to Sidney Center 25 years ago. He also creates assemblages of found material from vacant houses.
According to the media release, Saturday's opening will be Byrd's first exhibition, despite having created hundreds of paintings and other works of art.
"It's a matter of religion to paint," Byrd said in the release; "to keep on painting is the main thing."
"Across the Stretch of Seasons," the artwork and poetry of Alicia Leonard Pagano, will be featured in Gallery One. According to a media release, Pagano was born in Sidney, grew up in Unadilla and returned to the area after a career in higher education and as national director of programs for Girl Scouts of the USA. She has published and presented her poetry and paintings across the country and abroad.
Pagano's poetry focuses on "daily life and feelings of family, home, and nature, as well as adventures of travel to places far from home," according to the release. Her most recent book of poetry titled, "A Leaf Falls," is a remembrance of her mother, Norma Collins, on the 100th anniversary of her birth.
The exhibit will feature Pagano's landscape watercolors, as well as the work of Pagano's mother, who was brought up in the town of Butternuts and lived her adult life in Unadilla and Sidney. Pagano will give a reading of her poetry at 7 p.m. Saturday, and copies of her work, "A Leaf Falls," will be sold to benefit the Schoolhouse.
Also on display will be the group show, "Hometown Art, a Group Exhibition." This exhibit showcases the work of four area artists: Lillie Anderson, Judy Cordes, Peg Halpin and Martha Weaver Phillips.
"I am impressed with the diversity of talent demonstrated by these artists," Maywood Arts member JEssica Farrell said in the release. "They bring decades of experience to life through their artwork. We are thrilled to have an opportunity to share their work with the community."
The Schoolhouse is at 10770 County Highway 23 in Sidney Center. For more information visit www.maywoodarts.org or call 369-4916.