Visit the new exhibit in Antioch Midwest’s alcove gallery off the main entrance lobby. The current exhibit, running through April 30, is by local artist Mary Beth Whitely. Mary Beth Whitley is a native of Ohio and currently lives in Dayton. She received her BFA from Ohio University with a focus in drawing and illustration. While attending Ohio University, she received the Charles Logan Smith Award of Excellence in Graphic Design. In 1995, she became a docent at the Dayton Art Institute, and in 2001, she joined the museum’s Education Department. After working as Yeck Coordinator and Assistant Educator for School and Teacher Services, she retired in 2013 and began creating her own art. Inspired by nature, she combines natural materials with photography. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Dayton Visual Arts Center (Dayton, Ohio), Rosewood Arts Centre (Kettering, Ohio), and the Dairy Barn (Athens, Ohio).
Whitely’s exhibit is titled, Wrapped and Bound which explores our interconnection with nature. These mixed media works include photographs combined with materials gathered from nature, then embellished with beeswax and pastels. Funerary customs of various cultures serve as inspiration for the wrapping and binding of fallen branches. The tree, or tree of life, has long been a metaphor for the idea that all living beings are related. As such, the tree serves as inspiration and provides the imagery, as well as the raw materials for the artist’s work.