22 | January 25, 2018 | The Lockport Legend life & arts lockportlegend.com Getting to know Sally Beller Beller has been a part of The Artist Guild of Lockport for more than two years. What media do you work with most? I have three media that I work in. It goes between acrylics and watercolors mainly. I started a watercolor class Beller about two years ago with the Lockport [Township] Park District, and I had never done watercolors before. I kind of like to challenge myself every once in a while. Watercolors is intimidating for a lot of people and it was for me to tell you the truth, but now I love it. How did you get into art? I’m old, and it’s been a lifelong pursuit of mine. I’ve always dabbled in the arts. Now when I had my children and raising my family, it kind of went on the back burner, but once my kids got a little older, [I picked it back up]. I’ve always kind of taken some classes...I always like to keep my hand in it. It was always something that I really enjoyed, but I really never felt I was educated enough to sell my artwork or anything like that until I got into [TAGOL], and boy it’s been eye-opening for me. When did you first get involved with The Artist Guild of Lockport? When I initially went to Family owned business built on Trust! All Plumbing Repairs | Installations Sewer & Drain Hot Water Heaters | Sump/Ejector Pumps FREE ESTIMATES Upfront Flat Rate Pricing! ing! No Hidden Costs! SENIOR AND MILITARY DISCOUNTS Licensed Plumbers Protect the Health of the Nation 22CM.NEWS/DRCP that art class, Mary Ehrler, who is also a member, said, “You need to join this, you’ll really enjoy it.” So that was a little over two years ago, and that’s how I joined. What local artists do you admire? Ed Smith of course. Rich Green, he’s only been around for about a year and his work is just phenomenal. I look up to so many people in the guild, and I feel like it’s a learning experience just being there and being in a community with these people. It’s hard to say who I admire the most. What is the toughest part of art for you? Pricing it. When it [comes] to putting that price tag on 708.223.7041 ® $ 25 OFF Any Plumbing Repairs LIC#055-043295 $ 50 OFF $ 100 OFF Water Heater Installation Any Sewer Repair it. But also, subject matter. Sometimes you get, like writer’s block, you get artist’s block. You’re looking at that canvas and saying, “OK, what can I do today?” But I [get] a lot of my inspiration [from] travel. I’ve been to Ireland, Hawaii and Mexico. All of those trips, I’ve produced art from them. And that’s a good inspiration for me — travel. What part of art comes easiest to you? Once I’ve made up my mind what I’m going to do, just getting into it. To me it’s so much fun. I can sit at my easel for four or five hours and look up and say, “Where did the day go?” That’s the easy part. What are your future goals for your art? I want to start up a website, so I’m trying to get my son-in-law to help me out with that. So it’s kind of in the works. The goal is to get a website going. How would you describe your style? I want to say eclectic. It’s all over the place. All of my acrylics I kind of look at them and I can say, “Yeah, I did those.” They don’t look like anybody else’s. Now the watercolors on the other hand, it’s a much softer medium, so I tend to be a little dreamier I guess you would call it. It’s just a softer medium so all my works seem a little calming. In fact, two of my artworks I’ve named “Calm.” A specific style, it’s more traditional. I’ve not attempted to do any abstract things. They’re really hard, maybe that will be my next goal. Do you do art full time? It’s more of a hobby, but “Red Jacket” is one of Sally Beller’s favorite pieces she’s created because of the patterns and colors in it. Photo submitted since I’m retired I spend a lot more time [on art] than just a hobby. And I’m a little more committed I think than just a hobby. And being in the guild, once a week I meet with everybody. I try not to miss our Tuesday night socials. I try to participate in every show, so it’s a little more than a hobby. My goal is to sell some things, but I’m not going to quit my day job, which I don’t really have. I wouldn’t mind selling some things. You don’t realize how emotional it is to sell one of your works, and the first time I sold at the gallery, I was like “This is so sad, there goes a piece of me.” I’ve sold other things, but it was something I had put my heart and soul into, and I was surprised at my reaction. What’s your favorite part about being in TAGOL? My favorite part about being in the art guild is just being part of that community. It’s something I never expected. In this leg in my life, I’m just thrilled to be around like-minded people, which I’ve never been before. What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve created? There’s a watercolor I did called “Red Jacket” and for whatever reason I just love it. It’s an Asian person in a boat with a hat and it’s got pattern to it, it’s got the colors that I love. So, that one I like, and then I’ve got a sentimental one that I did from a mission trip that I took to Mexico. It’s kind of like a cityscape, however the city is pretty small. And I challenged myself by putting people in...I don’t know if you notice, but a lot of landscapes and cityscapes, you don’t see the people. It’s like the apocalypse has come. And I challenged myself to put the people in there because these people were my friends. It’s kind of sentimental because I lost one of my friends, and she’ll always be there because I painted her. Interview by Editor Max Lapthorne
lockportlegend.com life & arts the Lockport Legend | January 25, 2018 | 23 Butler students experience recycling hands-on Students turn 1,210 pounds of plastic into benches for the school playground Submitted by Homer 33C What do 1,210 pounds of recycled plastic get you? In the case of Butler School, three heavy-duty benches. Students and staff began collecting plastic lids from peanut butter jars, coffee cans and mayonnaise jars last March in the hope of having them melted down and turned into a single Buddy Bench for their playground. But when first-grade teacher Jane Baar and media center assistant Denise Yaeger arrived at Green Tree Plastics, LLC with two carloads of plastic lids, they were shocked to learn they had enough to make three benches. Students and staff embraced the “A Bench for Caps (ABC) Program” from the beginning, dutifully bringing in acceptable lids from home each week and setting aside lids from their school lunches. The program is part of Green Tree Plastics’ ABC Promise Partnership, encouraging students to learn more about green living. At Butler School, students not only learned about the power of recycling but the importance of working together and caring for one another. They were told the benches would serve as a place to sit when they don’t have a friend to play with at recess, encouraging others to invite them to join them in a game or activity. The Butler PTO helped make the project come to fruition, contributing the $250 needed to make the first bench. The school paid for the second bench; an anonymous donor paid for the third bench. Students returned to school Jan. 8 to find three Buddy Benches made from 1,210 pounds of plastic they had collected. Photos submitted Butler School media center assistant Denise Yaeger (left) and first-grade teacher Jane Baar delivered 1,210 pounds of plastic caps to Green Tree Plastics, LLC in December The plastic caps collected at the school filled three containers. Butler School students take a seat on and around the three Buddy Benches made from recycled caps. Vote & Win a vacation for 2 to Cancun! Jan. 18- feb. 12 Choose your favorite local businesses in Beauty, Dining, Education, Fitness & Recreation, Health, Pets, Services, Shopping and Vehicles. Complete at least 50 categories and be eligible for 22nd Century Media’s Southwest Choice Awards prize — one three-night trip for two (2) adults to Riu Caribe in Cancun, Mexico, courtesy of Apple Vacations. Look for the ballot in the center of this newspaper or vote online at 22ndcenturymedia.com/swchoice starting Jan. 18.