Gingi Martin & Grover Slater stand in front of a display of Martin's oil paintings at the Flemish House Art Gallery in Johnsonburg during their November/December/January run being featured artists.
Local artist gets enjoyment out of creating.
By Heather Tressler
Record Staff Writer
JOHNSONBURG – Gingi Martin is an artist who grew up in St. Marys, and now lives in York, N.Y.Martin says she has always been interested in drawing, creating and painting. She built her art foundation at St. Marys Area High School, where she was taught by fellow artist Grover Slater. Slater and Martin both have work showcased at the Flemish House Art Gallery. Martin and Slater often display their work together, and Martin says she enjoys it because of their history. “It's wonderful to show with Grover,” Martin said. “We’ve known each other since high school because he was my art teacher. He was a great inspiration. He loves music.We used to talk about music, and it is really my inspiration.”Upon completion of high school, Martin moved on to study art and music to receive a bachelor's of arts degree. She recently decided to further her education on to her master's degree of fine arts in painting and sculpture. When Martin was asked what inspires her to practice art, she said, “Art is a part of you. A lot of people don’t continue to work at it. I am driven to do art, and to continue to learn and study.” Martin says learning and creating is her life’s passion.During Martin’s journey to achieve her master’s degree, she was required to write a thesis which she featured Beethoven and his creative genius. Martin says she will soon expand on her thesis to a book. Martin is collaborating with her husband, Peter Ferran. Aspiring artists can get discouraged, but Martin offers a little wisdom. “Don’t ever stop experimenting with art and media,” said Martin. “Don’t make excuses for not working.”
Grover Slater and Gingi Martin stand in front of a display of Slater's watercolors at the Flemish House Art Gallery in Johnsonburg during their November/December/January run being featured artists.
Slater started as a teacher of art, but since retiring he has experienced a rebirth of his creative side.
By Heather Tressler
Record Staff Writer
JOHNNSONBURG – Grover Slater is a retired art teacher who taught in the St. Marys Area School District for 35 years. Slater says after all those years working with other people and their art, he wasn’t able to concentrate on his own. Since he is now retired, he has built a studio and dedicates the majority of his time towards his masterpieces. Slater’s works with sterling silver wire and water coloring. Slater recently displayed 15 pieces of his work in a beautiful exhibit with fellow artist Gingi Martin at the Flemish House Art Gallery in Johnsonburg. Slater defines art in his life by comparing what art used to be to what it is now. “Earlier in my life art provided me with a meaningful job,” Slater said. “It was fun and enjoyable. Now art gives meaning to retirement.” Slater says that while working with students is enjoyable, he admits he wasn’t able to really think about paintings on a more mature level because back then it was more of a developmental process.“For an adult, our perceptions of the world are more developed,” said Slater. “I bring that to my paintings; my art gives me a means of making sense of what I see.” When Slater was asked how he decided to teach art over many other things, he chuckled before replying, “I was told by my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Smith that I should go to Edinboro and be an art teacher,” Slater said. “When I was a junior, and had to pick a future, I remembered Mrs. Smith. It was always a pretty obvious choice I should gointo art.”Slater’s talent is impeccable, and he decided to teach art instead of going into an expressive art field because he wanted something more practical. “It never occurred to me that a person would be able to make it in the art world, and at the time I really had limited knowledge.” Slater said. “I graduated in 1962 when there wasn’t a whole lot of career development. Edinboro college was close by, and I liked working with kids so I decided to be an art teacher.” Slater has previously displayed his work with Martin at the Elk County Council on the Arts, and says he chose the Flemish House Art Gallery because the director, Stephanie Distler, was extremely motivated and he enjoys working with her. Slater spoke about upcoming art galleries in York where Martin is from, but nothing is certain at this point. In a final note, Slater says to all aspiring artists, “don’t sacrifice quality, and be very demanding on yourself.”