Bernadine Puffenberger Stetzel

Born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio with two brothers and two sisters, she started painting at age 12 while attending St. Mary Catholic School, where her early artistic talent was recognized. After graduating from Calvert High School in Tiffin, she spent six months as a model in New York City, together with her identical twin sister. After returning home she married Fred Stetzel, a businessman and future mayor of Fremont, Ohio, where they lived and raised 3 children. She still lives in their 1872 Victorian mansion near the Hayes Presidential Center, was once owned by the President’s uncle, and now restored and filled with paintings and antiques.

Earl North

Earl W. North was born in Haskins, Ohio in 1904. He studied music as a child and became accomplished on the violin and saxophone. When he was twelve he began learning the watchmaker’s trade from his father Frank North, who founded a jewelry business in 1899. Earl continued in what became F. North & Son Jewelry in Haskins for over fifty years.

Peter Koelsch

Ruskin Stone

Ruskin Beechler Stone was born December 2, 1906 in Fostoria, Ohio. His father was a businessman and Civil War veteran, and was said to be very creative. His mother had received a good edu­cation and loved poetry and literature. In 1916, the family moved to Toledo, Ohio, near the new Toledo Museum of Art. Young Ruskin showed an interest in sketching and drawing and soon be­came a student of the local legend, Karl Kappes.

Rudolph Schroeder

Pen and Ink and Ink over Acrylic paint.  These are the mediums Rudolph Schroeder has been working with for over 30 years as an artist. A romantic at heart, Rudolph grew up in New York City where he attended Grammar and High School in Queens. His interest and talent for art was visible in High School. Early work was in Tall Ships and then to Lighthouses. Today he has a handsome collection of art work on both subjects. He also has explored in Lake Freighters, Old Trains, World War l and ll Fighter Planes, Birds of Paradise, Vintage Cars, Carousel Horses etc. Lee Iacocca has Schroeder’s original India Ink sketck on the “Miss Liberty Centennial.” The White House now has Rudolph’s framed picture depicting the New Millennium. Former President William Clinton sent a “thank you” note to Schroeder on this piece of artwork. A framed print is also available on Liberty Island, New York for millions of viewers to see as they visit the Statue of Liberty.

Nora A. Hutton

Nora Hutton is a children’s book illustrator and writer. She is a graduate of Maumee Valley Country Day School and The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio. She has taken art classes since she was young. Eleanor grew up in an artistic environment and continues to expand her career through the exploration of the arts. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.

Art Shumaker

Dream Paintings:  The Magical Landscapes

Born on a farm in 1939 in Malinta, OH, Art grew up in nearby Napoleon and graduated from Napoleon High School.  He then did maintenance work for Henry County Hospital and several cable companies in Napoleon.  Married for 15 years, he has two children and four grandchildren, with a granddaughter who has become an artist.

While working, Art did side jobs painting commercial signs.  After retiring in 2001, he began painting imaginary scenes, inspired by the cozy glowing windows in Thomas Kinkade’s paintings and the small-town values illustrated by Norman Rockwell in his Saturday Evening Post covers.  He alst admired Terry Redlin, whose calendar art detailed wildlife, blazing sunsets, and nostalgic storytelling earned him several awards from U.S. Art magazine in the 1990’s as “America’s Most Popular Artist.”  Art even visited the Redlin Art Center in Watertown, South Dakota.

Most of Art’s paintings are combinations of past and present, featuring old farms or towns with superimposed people, cars, pets, birds, wild creatures, and barnyard animals.  Sometimes, he also slips in a can of Campbell’s Soup to honor their Napoleon factory.  Each painting starts with a photographic reference and takes 2-3 weeks or about 100 hours to complete, with Art using acrylics on canvas board.  “I just want to get up and see what pops out of the paint brush,” Art states.  “I don’t take requests as it would feel too much like a job.”

Art says he was known for years as “the guy that didn’t sell any paintings,” which were stacking up in rooms and closets throughout his home. They were discovered by auctioneer John Whalen of Neoplis, Ohio, who saw a few paintings in a Napoleon restaurant.  He tracked down the artist and persuaded Art to sell some of them, now on display at Our Town Gallery in Grand Rapids, Ohio.

Source: Interviews by Mary Ann Ankenbrandt with Art Shumaker at Our Town Gallery, March 17, 2018 and Library House Books & Art, May 20, 2018.