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Then and Now - Wachs' exhibit a homecoming

June 18, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Artist Gretchen Wachs had a homecoming of sorts last weekend with the opening of her "Then and Now" exhibit at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown's City Park.

Wachs, who once worked at the museum, saw relatives and childhood friends at the show.

Wachs recalls nervously playing a piano recital in the museum when she was around 10 years old.

The 1970 North Hagerstown High School graduate served as a curatorial assistant at the museum in the late 1970s. Robert Preszler, the curator then, curated her new exhibit.

Wachs wasn't sure what she wanted to do careerwise when she finished high school and went to art school.

It wasn't until she was about 30, had sold a few artworks and was living in Eugene, Ore., studying ceramics that Wachs decided to focus her attention on art as a career.

Wachs works in various mediums, including paint, monotypes and ceramics.

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She finds botanical themes most inspiring. "Not literal landscapes, but a real reverence for that."

Wachs, 54, lives near Santa Fe, N.M., with her husband, Michael, and son, Ryan, 12. Her mother, Betty, lives north of Hagerstown and her late father, Ernest, was a well-known attorney in Hagerstown for many years.

"Then and Now" will be on display through Sunday, Aug. 6.

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