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Noted artist offers pictorial journey through the years

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events River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

On Friday, Feb. 8, the 120 Gallery, 120 North Main St., will host an opening for "An Ammerman Retrospective: The Collected Works of William Ammerman," from 4-8 p.m.

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The show will feature a collection of work from William (Bill) Ammerman, 87, and runs through March 2.

Ammerman said the show will include about 28 items -- final numbers will be determined after everything is hung.

As items sell, Ammerman will replace them with other paintings from his collection.

Painting since college -- about 65 years -- Ammerman said that since he retired from the UW-River Falls art department in 1988, he has had more time to paint.

In the last two years Ammerman said he has not been able to paint as much due health issues.

"I can't do what I used to do," he stated.

The showcase at Gallery 120 will feature many of Ammerman's watercolor paintings that are anywhere from three to 20 years old.

Many of his paintings feature barns. He said: "I pick things that have a short life -- that are passing."

Ammerman went on to say that he chooses barns with unique characteristics because they are becoming less and less common -- with lack of upkeep and tearing down being a big issue.

Ammerman's collection also contains many watercolor paintings of flowers, "They are beautiful things today but gone tomorrow," he said.

Typically to do a painting Ammerman does a drawing outside, then comes home to do the painting.

"I don't like to copy from photographs," he said.

While some people like to paint outside on site, Ammerman does not. He said that weather or bugs -- wetness -- can spoil his art.

Ammerman also does pen-and-ink drawings and some oils, though he said he prefers watercolor.

He attributes that to the immediacy he can get with the watercolor paints, in both drying time and in set-up time. He said with watercolors you can have them set out and work when you want to.

"Oils require more tool manipulation," Ammerman said. He also pointed out the odor that oil paints produce.

For the complete feature on Ammerman, his works and his life story, please see page A2 of the Jan. 24 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

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