SHELBYVILLE — Each year the Shelby County Art Show, held at the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center in April, showcases work from local artists. This year Ron Bartanen from Sullivan is their featured artist. A display open to the public for viewing will be from 3-7 p.m. Saturday and from noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Ronald (Ron) Bartanen is both a minister and an artist. He has drawn from the time he could hold a pencil, but began painting with oils in 1960, taking classes near Chicago. He has since included acrylic and watercolor. Since beginning painting, he has exhibited and sold his work in numerous art fairs and exhibits. Many of these have been exhibitions in which he has won many awards, including first place and best-of-show in, at first, amateur and later, professional categories. Some of the exhibits have been juried. Since 1970 his work has been accepted in galleries in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana and Kentucky.
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While Ron has done many still-life paintings, especially in florals, his greatest joy is in seeking to capture the flavor and colors of the rural American countryside. He does not concentrate upon detail as much as mood, rendering his work in an impressionist style. As a Christian, he believes that all of nature proclaims the glory of God, and he seeks to express this message in his paintings. He has found much encouragement (and beneficial criticism) from Doris, his wife of almost 65 years. He says that though she does not paint, he is his best critic.