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RIDGEWAY — A Ridgemont alumnus will return to the school later this month to offer an artistic workshop.
Marilyn Turner McPheron is the daughter of Melvin and Betty Turner of Kenton and graduated from Ridgemont High School in 1972.
She completed her bachelor of fine arts degree in printmaking from Penn State University in 2010. A returning adult student, she combined a career in helping agriculture students find international study opportunities with her own classroom experiences. As part of her degree requirements in Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, she tackled an independent project to create a book from start to finish.
She had written the text for a children’s story book some years earlier following a series of particularly harsh central Pennsylvania winters. Starting from this text, she used her printmaking skills to illustrate the entire book with linocuts.
She then hand printed illustrations and story, assembling all into a limited edition of handmade books. The result was her original book OH NO! MORE SNOW! One of this limited edition set is now held by the Mazza Museum at the University of Findlay. The book has since been printed in paperback by Trafford Press and is available through Amazon or Barnes and Noble on-line book-sellers.
McPheron has had several exhibitions and has offered several workshops, and the latter brings her back to Hardin County. She will spend the week of April 16-20 as a guest artist in the Ridgemont school district, her alma mater, and will visit both elementary classrooms and the high school art program to teach printmaking techniques and explain how she went about writing, illustrating, and printing a book.
She credits teachers in her Ridgemont years with instilling an early desire to express her artistic abilities.
“Mrs. Crooks encouraged me, back in fourth grade, to add illustrations to my book reports,” recalled McPheron. “and that was just the start of my interest in art. Many other teachers kept that interest alive as I progressed toward graduation from high school. To come back to Ridgemont to pass on my experience is a wonderful opportunity to give back.”
During this visit to Hardin County, she will also have an exhibit of linocut prints, including original illustrations from a published story book, at the Gallery at the Holland Theatre in Bellefontaine with a reception and book signing event on Sunday, April 22 from 2 to 4 p.m.; a monoprint workshop in Mount Victory on April 14; and a linocut workshop at the Gallery at the Holland on April 21.
The cost of the workshop in Bellefontaine is $55 per person and is limited to ten participants. Registration must be made by April 15. More information is available at 937-592-9002.