Kay Weprin: Abstract Personified

Kay Weprin: Abstract Personified
October 21 – December 24, 2022

An impressive retrospective of this Toledo icon’s mixed media abstract paintings including brand-new, never-before-exhibited pieces

20 North Gallery presents a retrospective solo exhibition of large and mid-scale abstract pieces by Kay Weprin. Featuring curated paintings from earlier in Weprin’s artistic career, the exhibit welcomes the viewer to discover the journey that has brought Weprin to her current distinctive style.

The exhibit will open with a free, Public Reception on Friday, October 21, 2022 from 6 – 9 p.m.

The exhibit continues through December 24, 2022.

Click to view the Kay Weprin: Abstract Personified exhibit catalogue, containing art images, prices and artist commentary for the full exhibit.

The vibrant, expressive and experimental mixed media artworks of Kay Weprin capture the energy and emotions of our surroundings. Viewers are invited to explore the dynamic, large-scale paintings that form the foundation of Weprin’s abstract series, to her energetic and reflective recent mixed media drawings. Utilizing oil paint, oil pastel, cold wax and handmade paper, Weprin’s interpretations of natural scenes show a passion for art’s rejuvenating and cathartic power.

"Candy Glass City" oil pastel on paper by Kay Weprin
“Candy Glass City” oil pastel on paper by Kay Weprin

Kay Weprin (Toledo, Ohio) received her B.F.A. and M.Ed. in Art Education from The University of Toledo (Ohio). Now a retired art educator, she has published articles for School Arts Magazine, and educational websites. As an artist, her work has won awards and has been displayed in regional art exhibitions, receiving multiple First Place awards through the annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio) and Athena Art Society annual juried fall exhibitions among numerous other group art shows. In 2021, she enjoyed a solo exhibit at Hudson Gallery (Sylvania, Ohio).

Weprin’s mixed media works in cold wax, oil pastel and handmade paper can be found in many corporate and private collections including the Kingston Healthcare Company Headquarters (Toledo, Ohio), ProMedica Toledo Hospital (Ohio), Owens Corning World Headquarters (Toledo, Ohio), as well as the permanent, public collections of the Sylvania Branch of Toledo Lucas County Public Library (Ohio), The University of Toledo Center for the Visual Arts and Butler University (Indianapolis, Indiana). Weprin is a current member and past President of the Athena Art Society and current Historian for the Toledo Federation of Art Societies.

"Where the Rose Grows" oil pastel and cold wax on paper by Kay Weprin
“Where the Rose Grows” oil pastel and cold wax on paper by Kay Weprin

Artist Statement

The isolation during the pandemic quarantine gave me opportunities to explore different ideas and materials. Discovering the cold wax medium with oil pastels was a way of building layers of expressions through color and line.

Sometime in the early days of lifting parameters of the quarantine, I had difficulty getting out of bed. Thinking I had over-exercised, I powered through my pain for weeks which turned into months. When doctors were able to see patients, I went through a litany of tests and medicines discovering I had an incurable, aggressive systemic autoimmune disease. In the meantime, painting outside with my plein air friends became my focus.

"Marsh Animals" oil pastel and cold wax on paper by Kay Weprin
“Marsh Animals” oil pastel and cold wax on paper by Kay Weprin

Walking along the sometimes narrow and rutted paths, pulling my wagon full of supplies to our destination was arduous. Trying not to think of the pain, instead I felt the gentle breeze, the fresh air and sun beating down rejuvenating my strength.  However painful it was in handling my drawing tools, I quickly captured the light, shadows, lines of the landscapes into vivid abstract compositions. The playfulness of my painterly lines running through the cold wax exudes emotion and new life. Back in my studio, I reworked markings and added collage elements to energize the paintings and give new spirit to me and my work.

My background is in mixed media. I have always been able to paint with expression. My style is recognizable, but I am always changing and experimenting. Usually, I work my ideas out in a series of work. I tend to work very large, but now it is a challenge to create smaller work. Currently, I am working with handmade paper, oil pastels, and mixed media. Titles are very important to me. It is a way for the viewer to be engaged in the work. The viewer can then create their own narrative. I only give them clues!

Click to view the Kay Weprin: Abstract Personified exhibit catalogue, containing art images, prices and artist commentary for the full exhibit.

For purchase inquiries, please contact
20 North Gallery:
419-241-2400  or  info@20northgallery.com

Kay Weprin: Abstract Personified Installation Images: