Abstract Artist Hangs Eight Paintings in Durham Mayor’s Office

North Carolina abstract artist Don Mertz of Cary recently loaned eight paintings to the City of Durham, which are now hanging in Durham Mayor Bill Bell’s office at 101 City Hall Plaza.

Ranging from 20-inch squares to 48-inch squares, the mixed media on canvas paintings are from Mertz’s Watermark Series.

“The Watermark Series includes a group of paintings that are distinguishable by their background of watery, pastel, colorful ‘dripping/running’ sheets of color with a saturated, impasto, abstract area at the top or bottom,” Mertz explained.

The eight abstract paintings will remain in Mayor Bell’s office until mid-May.

Mertz donated “Watermarks on Lavender and Blue” to the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh for that organization’s live auction fundraiser in February.

Mertz was chosen to hang work in City Hall out of the list of artists who have had shows at the Durham Arts Council. He had a solo exhibition there in 2010.

The arts program at Durham City Hall is made possible through a partnership between the City of Durham’s Office of the Mayor and the Durham Arts Council. According to Mayor Bell, the exhibition series celebrates local artists while simultaneously giving the artists exposure to a different audience in a different venue.

“I felt this was a great opportunity to further celebrate not only these artists and their work, but to show all visitors that come to my office the caliber of arts we have in the Durham community that help to make it the special place that so many of us fondly call home,” Bell said.

Don Mertz moved to Cary from New York City 12 years ago. Since then, his abstract paintings have been included in many solo- and group exhibitions throughout the Triangle region and sold to numerous art collectors. For more information, visit www.mertzart.com.

About Don Mertz: Don Mertz is a North Carolina-based abstract artist. A former Marine and IBM branch manager, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and The Art Students League in New York City where he lived for 25 years. He is a member of the Visual Arts Exchange of Raleigh, the Fine Arts League of Cary and the Durham Art Guild. He is represented by ArtSource Fine Art Gallery in North Hills, Raleigh, NC, and by Joe Rowand Art Fine Art Services in Chapel Hill, NC.

For more information: Website: www.mertzart.com Blog: “Mertz Art News & Media,” http://mertzart.wordpress.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/donmertzart LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/don-mertz/3/9a4/900

By Susie Potter

Susie Potter is a 2009 graduate of Meredith College where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina Statue University. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. For more information visit SusiePotter.com.