Penitentiary Glen’s Spring Art Show has arrived

Oil 36X36 Green Algae By Mark Badzik
Ebb & Flow: The Magic of Water Spring Art Show will run through Sunday, May 12, at Penitentiary Glen Reservation. Artwork by Mark Badzik

By Mimi Vanderhaven

From a dainty dew drop to crashing ocean waves, water takes on many multifaceted visages. Connect with your inner art lover and delve into Ebb and Flow: The Magic of Water Spring Art Show at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, now through Sunday, May 12.

“All of the parks in the Lake Metroparks system feature water in some way—from wetlands to rivers, waterfalls, ponds, and, of course, the fabulous natural resource in our own backyard—Lake Erie,” says Wendy Pittenger, who is interpretive exhibit naturalist at Penitentiary Glen. She’s been in charge of the art shows since 2003. “I always like to have a particular topic for each art show, and this seemed like a perfect time to focus on water.”

The local artists in the show include Mark Badzik, John A. Sargent III and Eva Volf, who work in oils; and wood carver Ray Thurston.

Their differing yet complementary styles make for an eclectic multi-media experience. John creates intensely realistic representations of nature concentrating on color and light. Mark’s paintings are precise and photo-realistic, with glazed layers that create an illusion of depth and reflective surfaces. The ocean is Eva’s muse, and she likes to sketch seascapes at the beach before finishing them in the studio. Ray’s carvings are crafted from driftwood he finds around the world.

And if you fall in love with any of the 51 pieces of art featured in the show, you can take them home—for a price. All of the art on display is for sale.

“Our mission with all art shows is simple: To connect visitors to nature through art,” says Wendy.

And why not make a day of it at Penitentiary Glen…hiking along the eight miles of trails or catching a glimpse of the fascinating wildlife at the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center? Nature Play beckons children to discover the adventure of nature through interactive play. It’s open weather permitting.

Penitentiary Glen Nature Center is located at 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland. The Art Show runs through Sunday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free. In addition to conserving and preserving the natural resources of Lake County, Lake Metroparks provides more than 3.3 million visitors each year with educational and recreational programs and activities. For more information, visit or call 440-256-1404.