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South Point artist on display at OUSC

For South Point resident Annette Ritchie, painting is not only a profession but also a passion.

Ritchie currently has about 30 of her most recent works on display at Ohio University Southern in the Collins Center and the Bill W. Dingus Technology Center. They will be displayed until the middle of October.

"Painting is just such a unique thing," she said. "Each work has a piece of your spirit in it."

She has painted since 1976 after her sister, a full-time artist, gave her lessons. During the last 26 years, she has painted nearly 500 pieces of art, she said.

The multi-talented Ritchie paints still life, seascapes, landscapes, photo reproductions, portraits and more.

"I am inspired by the beauty God has placed around us," she said. "I paint a lot outside."

"Looking at mountains really makes you feel small," she said. "I do not feel I can capture their beauty and grandeur on a small canvas but I try."

Ritchie works in every medium including watercolors, pastels and acrylic, but oil paints are her favorite because the consistency is nice and it is very forgiving, she said.

Gary Tillis, art coordinator for OUS, said they have had a good relationship with Ritchie and try to display as many local artists as possible.

"I feel that the university provides a unique opportunity for local artists to display their work," Tillis said. "We try to fill a niche that might not be provided by area galleries."

"We look to provide a window for the community to come in and view local artists' work," he said. "Fortunately, in the Tri-State we have so many good artists we can keep displays up all the time."

Ritchie is a graduate of Ohio University and taught at South Point High School for 27 years. She retired in 1992. She sells a few pieces of art each year and hopes to create a Web site soon, she said.

"Really, you paint for yourself but to be able to see others appreciate it too is very rewarding."

Currently, she is selling prints of one of her works, "The Lighthouse" for $25 with all the proceeds going to help a missionary from the First Baptist Church in South Point build a church in the Philippines.

She also has works displayed at Graebear Gallery in Ashland, Ky. and the Ashland Area Art Gallery.

Ritchie will have seven additional pieces on display Saturday at OUS for the Ironton Artists Association Art Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She encourages everyone to come see the work.

"There are a lot of good artists in our area," she said. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune