Wheeler to be featured at arts festival
by Special to the Banner
Apr 21, 2013 | 929 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ronald Wheeler
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More than 30 talented artists, authors, and craftsmen from as near as Cleveland and Signal Mountain and as far as Murphy, N.C., will be highlighted at the BLOOMING Arts Festival at the Museum Center at Five Points.

This three-day event at the museum will include demonstrating and selling a variety of contemporary and traditional works. One of the artisans to be featured is Cleveland resident Ronald Wheeler.

Originally from Kentucky and raised in West Virginia, Wheeler moved to Michigan, where he spent his working career. In 1959, he served in the U.S. Army where his interest in segmented and wood turned bowls began. “We had a fully equipped wood shop which no one used, so I had full access,” Wheeler said.

“My first segmented bowl was not a disaster, because it was usable, but artistically it was a failure. I improved on them over the years and finally when we moved to Tucson I discovered those wonderful artisans — the Indians.”

Wheeler said in Arizona he found inspiration from the Indians and their works of art and decided to try to model them for himself.

“When I decided to duplicate their creations in wood I found a niche in wood turning,” Wheeler added.

Over the years when time allowed, he worked to improve his bowls from rudimentary and practical ones, to a collection of more than 300 pieces of imbedded wood, creating unique, decorative effects.

He is just as passionate about the hardwoods used in his bowls. Wheeler said he prefers working with domestic hardwoods as he aims to stay away from timber that might be illegally poached from international preserves.

Recently, Wheeler has begun writing an anthology of short stories and a couple of novels. No date has been set for publication.

Wheeler’s pieces are available for purchase in the Museum Store and will be among others featured at the BLOOMING Arts Festival April 26-28. The event begins with the Preview Party Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. which is free to all Museum Center members.

Others can purchase tickets for $10. The party offers early buying privileges, and a pasta buffet with fresh homemade breads and desserts. Saturday’s highlights will include a courtyard CHALK OFF for those who want to show off their artistic nature, and more art from the talented artists on hand.

Sunday’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanks to Medford Retirement Group, admission to the museum’s exhibits will be free all weekend as well.