By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
Great talent, at times, emerges from small places.
Critically acclaimed artist Bill Greer talks about his senior class of six from Camden High School’s Class of 1955 – all who are still alive, he’s glad to say – in his biography and in conversion.
“There were no art classes, but really good teachers,” including Ruby Mills, who taught English, that Greer says gave “much encouragement in so many ways.”
He also credits a one-year art teacher at Richmond High, Charlene Welsch, who taught art to him after school his senior year.
“It was like an epiphany,” he said. “Because of her, I went to the art institute.”
Greer’s journey outside Ray County began at Kansas City Arts Institute, which he called “heaven.” He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors.
“There were beatniks and sports cars, but none of the bad stuff,” he said. “Many of the young teachers went on to great renown. It was some of the best times in my life – a terrific and exciting time,” he said.
Greer said he always like classical art while others were embracing abstract expressionsim. “I wanted to know how to draw,” he said.
His style is full of detail, both in oils (mostly on board) and pen and ink. Although rarely fully satisfied with each work, Greer says he considers his artistic growth as “using everything I know how to do and then learn something new at the same time.”
Remarkably, a collection of his work hasn’t been shown in Ray County until this weekend. The public is invited to visit with Greer 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Friends Gallery, 110 S. Camden St. in Richmond. Additional gallery hours for his collection are 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday and 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 17 and Aug. 24. Private collections of his work by area businesses and individuals will also be on display.
“There’s a number of people in town who’ve been ever so supportive,” he said.
IF YOU GO
Bill Greer art show
Reception with the artist is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9 at Friends Gallery, 110 S. Camden St., Richmond. His work will also be shown at the gallery from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 11 and 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 17 and 24.