Local Artist Teri Utz Bersée Featured At Maumee Library

Teri Utz Bersée, a Waterville native, is returning to the area and hosting a solo show at the Maumee branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library through July 30. Bersée’s fine art typically uses oil and soft pastels, but she’s open to experimentation when the need is there. MIRROR PHOTO BY KRISTI FISH

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Teri Utz Bersée has always had a love for art. Since she was small, she has found various ways to create pieces of art.

One of her first jobs was as a child, designing signage for her dad and grandpa’s apple business.

She then spent many years in the commercial art and design field.

A Waterville native, Bersée has returned to the area from Lake Michigan and is spending her time working on her fine art, finding inspiration in her surroundings.

“You can be looking at the most mundane thing and find something worthy,” Bersée said.

Having built up a large collection of pieces, Bersée has brought them to the Maumee branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library for a solo show until July 30.

More than 60 pieces, showcasing her oil and soft pastel works, are currently on display.

“I’ve done watercolor. I love to do graphite drawings. Right now, I’m happy with oil and soft pastel,” Bersée said. “Within each medium is just a plethora of different brands and materials and it’s hard not to try it all.”

Over the years, Bersée has experimented with different mediums and styles. She now describes her style as realism leaning towards impressionism.

“An artist’s life is full of experimentation. Some artists come into their style quite quickly and early and easily. That’s not me,” Bersée said. “I like to do a lot of different things.”

Playing around with the brush stroke sizes allows her the opportunity to go about things in an almost messy manner before she finishes a piece.

On some projects, she’s realized afterward that the composition isn’t what she wanted, so Bersée has used an artist’s trick to resize or re-crop the finished painting.

In other instances, she follows the plein air technique, painting a scene outdoors quickly before the light changes.

“This plein air movement is wonderful. Life drawing and plein air are both really raw and right-there experiences. You have to think quickly and learn to draw quickly,” Bersée said. “In the case of plein air, you also add color. It’s just a really good way to hone your skills.”

Back in the studio, Bersée can heighten and darken her art or add more to the canvas, adjusting until she is able to capture what she saw.

“In the end, it has to read right, with lights and shadows and colors. It has to say what you want it to say,” she said.

If there is a story to tell, Bersée hopes it is accurately portrayed in her work, but mostly, her images are just meant to be enjoyed.

There are usually no hidden messages; she just wants people to see the beauty that she has seen.

“I’m happy that I have this gift because I think it makes me look at the world around me more and makes me observant and appreciate what I see,” Bersée said. “I hope I’m sharing a lot of that with my paintings.”

Now that she’s back in Northwest Ohio, Bersée is hoping to spread that appreciation for the community to its residents.

“There is plenty of pretty around her,” Bersée said.

To see a selection of her last six years of work, community members can stop by the Maumee branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library from now until July 30. The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A meet-the-artist event will be held on Friday, June 21 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the library, 501 River Rd., Maumee.

More of Bersée’s artwork and information on purchasing prints or a commission can be found on Bersée’s website at https://www.teriutzBersée.com.

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