News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 16, 2011

River City artists’ work on display at library, Clabber Girl, The Landing

TERRE HAUTE — Current exhibitions by River City Art Association members include Jeff Paitson at the Vigo County Public Library, Debbie Anderson at Clabber Girl and other members at The Landing at Fort Harrison. In October, Anderson will exhibit at the library.

An opening reception is slated at 7 p.m. today for Anderson’s exhibit at Clabber Girl.

After taking inlaid wood (intarsia) lessons from Charlie Girton in the fall of 1999, Anderson fell in love with medium wood. Anderson designs doors, murals, portraits and abstract pieces. She has won numerous “Best of Show” 1st place awards and several “People’s Choice” awards.

Anderson was raised in Terre Haute and now resides in Parke County. She holds degrees in art education and physical education and has taught physical education for Vigo County School Corp. for more than 20 years; she currently teaches at Lost Creek where her two granddaughters are among her students.

She competed in the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii and received a gold medal in the Masters 800 Meter run in Australia. Anderson was number 30 on the Tribune-Star Greatest Athletes List of the 1990s.

Paitson fell in love with photography during his teen years. “One night while visiting a girlfriend, her father motioned for me to come down to the basement so he could show me his hobby. I politely accepted out of respect, but I had no idea how that one moment would change my life.

“The stairs were narrow leading down to the small basement. There were books and boxes everywhere, jars of chemicals, containers of film and photographic paper. Photographic negative strips were hanging from the ceiling and there was a slightly noticeable chemical odor. There were pictures everywhere; all sizes, all shapes and all black-and-white. On a homemade workbench was his prized possession, the enlarger. I said, ‘what is this and what do you do with it?’

“What happened next was that I had my eyes opened to the world of photography. I spent the next two hours learning how to print pictures and I was hooked. I eventually got my own camera and enlarger. I set up my own darkroom in my parents’ basement. I went on to become the head photographer for the yearbook at Terre Haute South High School. During my junior year I attended Operation Catapult at Rose-Hulman where we worked with lasers and created some of the first holograms,” Paitson said.

After completing a mechanical engineering degree at Rose-Hulman, Paitson decided to pursue a career with his father at Paitson Heating & Air-Conditioning.

His darkroom was long gone as his focus changed to career and family. After 35 years, he again turned to his love of photography.

Now in the digital age, the computer is the darkroom. Book publishing also has entered the digital age where books can now be written and published by individuals and printed on-demand.

Paitson’s vision is to use his love of photography and the pictures he creates to illustrate lessons he has learned and to show his children and grandchildren that God is present all around them and that He will instruct them how to live their life.

Paitson has been instructed by some of the best professionals in the business: Peter Mortimer; former photographic editor for Arizona Highways Magazine, Steve Burger; print master at Prodigital Imaging, and Mark Kettenhofen; Nikon Professional Services instructor. Paitson has been published in the L.A. Times and is the recipient of numerous awards. To learn more visit

The first Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. is “Meet the Artist” night at The Landing, 3350 N. Fourth St. Members’ art is also on display at Ed and Kathy Cook Photography, Number 7 Lower level Meadows, and The Golden Frame, 509 E. Vorhees St.

For more information about River City Art Association call Ruthann Brady at (812) 235-5759.

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