VISUAL ARTS

Artist finds 'Haven' in region art community

2012-07-13T10:00:00Z Artist finds 'Haven' in region art communityBy Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 13, 2012 10:00 am  • 

Region–based painter Rita Berg retired eight years ago, but she is hardly resting on her laurels.

In addition to creating and exhibiting her own art, Berg currently serves as the treasurer of Illiana Artists and is also on the board of Chesterton Art Center.

According to Berg, taking it easy in her retirement years is not an option.

"I have always lived a very busy lifestyle," she said. "I went from being busy in the medical community to being busy in the art community."

Exhibiting a series of paintings in a solo show, "Harbors & Havens," at South Shore Arts' Crown Point branch, Berg was reared in Connecticut and made her way to the region in 1960. For decades, she worked as an X–ray technician at Hammond Clinic and Community Hospital before retiring in 2004.

Passionate about art since she was a youngster, Berg began taking painting classes at South Shore Arts in 2002, where she concentrated on oil and watercolor paintings.

Subject–wise, Berg looks to the seaboard and lighthouses from her Connecticut upbringing and the lakefront of her longtime home base.

"Around the East Coast, there's a lot of rocky hills," she said. "They don't have many sand dunes. And it's the ocean instead of lake. Because I was raised on the East Coast, I find it more appealing. And because I'm here, I find (creating lakeshore art) appealing."

More than 20 paintings, many of which were created by Berg over the course of the last three to four years.

"What I like people to do is to get that feeling of the East Coast and Lake Michigan and view some history of lighthouses," she said. "I hope that they get that feeling of being near the water."

South Shore Arts' Crown Point branch is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

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