Pat Snyder, artist, teacher and print maker will be the featured artist for the months of May and June at Gallery By The Bay, located at 2100 Union in North Bend. A reception in his honor will be held from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Gallery. An original painting will be raffled at 6 p.m. and the winner must be present. Robin O’Neill, guitarist/harpist will provide the music throughout the evening and refreshments will be available.
Snyder was the middle sibling of the nine children in his family. His mother was very supportive of art, his father made his living as a sign maker. “At home there were always drawing materials within our reach, and many times our father would sit us at our large kitchen table in the evening and proceed to show us drawing techniques,” Snyder recalls.
Continuing in the artist's words, “I was attracted to art at the age of 5 or 6 and was fascinated that I could pick up a pencil or crayon and make marks on paper, seeing the scribbling become recognizable or be an expression of feelings. It was exhilarating.”
Pat remembers checking out Walt Disney’s "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" book — the drawings and sketches, then copying to find out how they did it. On his own he would draw scary monsters with lots of fur and teeth to entertain his friends.
The Cold War with USSR created an emphasis on math and science in schools during his time in high school so he skipped taking art during those years. After graduation, with the country’s economy in recession he joined the U.S. Army.
Following the three-year commitment to the military, he entered college at Northern Illinois University, choosing math as a major. “I quickly became disillusioned however, finding myself dozing off, so I switched my major to business,” the artist says.
When his parents moved to Sarasota, Florida, he was informed by his mom about there being the Sarasota Ringling School of Art so he decided to enroll there. It was there he established a strong foundation through hard work, nonetheless enjoyable, and the all-day art classes in design, lettering, drawing, figure drawing and painting which strengthened his art skills.
He decided to return to NIU in the early 1960s, completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Education with art emphasis and later, a Master of Arts Degree with a minor in Printmaking. “I was highly influenced by their young instructors and especially the discipline and imagination of etching printmaker David Dreisbach who studied at the University of Iowa with internationally renowned artist Maurico Lasansky. I eagerly attended NIU sponsored printmaking workshops, headed by other internationally known printmakers Carol Summers, Garo Antreasian, and Gabor Peterdi.”
Pat says of his teaching career, “My first teaching job became the one where I would learn much more about the field of art and make my career. I started teaching in 1967 at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, where I had fond memories of the Pacific Northwest when I was a preteen."
"Exposing the students on an equal balance of contemporary and past art movements was my primary goal. I also made sure students were introduced to as many art mediums and tools as possible, going beyond drawing and painting only. I would self-teach myself in the areas of ceramics, sculpture, jewelry making, calligraphy, collage, etc. before introducing these mediums to students."
After 31 years he retired (1998) so that he could devote his time fully to art. His work has been exhibited through the years from coast to coast in museums and in many prestigious shows across the country.
In 1999 and 2002 he received the Purchase Award in two separate juried Expressions West exhibitions produced by Coos Art Museum. Both paintings are to be seen hanging within the building at Southwestern Oregon Community College. (See photo of The Fire Escape)
Two of Snyder’s paintings are in permanent collections: one in Oklahoma City Art Museum, Okla., and here at Coos Art Museum.
Two of his local seascapes may be seen at the Bay Area Hospital. His painting of the former US Bank at Second and Central (shown in photo) in downtown Coos Bay can be viewed inside the very building depicted on the outside. This painting was wisely chosen by LNG to hang in their new offices.
The public is invited to attend this social evening of fine art by our area’s well respected and much loved artist, Pat Snyder.