Wolfgang A. Ritschel first enjoyed a successful academic career in the medical sciences before being able to devote full time to a creative life in the visual arts as an internationally exhibited expressionist painter and sculptor.  He and his wife, Ingrid, traveled across America and overseas to catch impressions of the land and its people and their different ways of life and heritage.  

While growing up in Austria, he always had a great love for and interest in the visual and performing arts. During his ensuing academic career in the medical sciences over the next forty years, he always took along his sketchpad and travel set of watercolors over the world so they would be available at a moment's notice.  In his fifties, he began to follow his increasing desire to devote once again more of his spare time and energies to the arts, taking art courses at the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Art Academy, Miami University, Oxford, and at the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado.

Over the years, he presented numerous art talks, lectures and demonstrations at diverse forums such as the Museum of Alabama, Cincinnati Art Museum, University of Indiana East, University of Southern California, Hillel Gallery, at national and international health science meetings, the Peruvian-North American Cultural Center, Cincinnati Art Club, Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors, and Mason Art Association.

Wolfgang described his style as expressionism influenced by fauvism.  His use of vibrant colors was derived from the influence of German expressionists, particularly Gabriele Münter and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.  In his expressionistic rendering of city scenes he depicted both the excitement and cultural richness of city life, including his beloved adoptive home of Cincinnati, and at other times themes such as the social and economic disparities and loneliness of their inhabitants.  

In 2010, Wolfgang passed away after his long struggle with cancer.  Many friends in the art world and medical fields alike were deeply saddened by the news.  This exhibition celebrates Wolfgang’s life and will feature over 50 of his paintings that were enriched and inspired by his worldwide travels.  


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Eddie Eckenrode

 

Eddie was a prolific painter. He lived to paint; everything else he did in his too-short life he did in order to be able to paint, doing so daily for well over 40 years.

Born in Harrisburg, Pa., Eddie first came to the Dayton area in 1963 to attend the Dayton Art Institute, or DAI, which was then part of the University of Dayton. At DAI, his teachers included New York abstract expressionists Jay Milder and Anne Tabachnick, and Dayton artist Ray Must. He also remained lifelong friends with many of his fellow students from DAI, who also settled in Yellow Springs and the greater Dayton area.

In the mid-60s, he left college and moved to New York City, where he stretched canvasses for Roy Lichtenstein, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko, worked as an assistant to sculptor Louise Nevelson, maintained a studio across the street from abstract expressionist Adolph Gottlieb and painted artist Lester Johnson’s apartment in a trade for one of his works.

In Yellow Springs, he was well-known as a Xenia Avenue shopkeeper from the early 70s until his death. In 1996, he and his wife started their own business, Sam & Eddie’s Open Books, which features a book, card and gift shop on the first floor and an art gallery and small performance space upstairs, where together they hosted over 100 public events. A dedicated and gifted painter, Eddie worked daily at the shop and his separate art studio.