McGrath named artist of the month

SIDNEY — Darren McGrath, of Lancaster, is artist of the month during May at the Amos Library Art Gallery.

He uses soft pastels, pastel pencils, and charcoal, creating the effect of paintings.

He is a self-taught artist who began his journey in art when he was very young.

“I was inspired by my great-uncle Budgie who would hold me on his lap when I was little and tell me to never stop drawing,” McGrath said. “After he passed in 1979, I stopped until 1985 when my mom became ill with cancer. Her hospital room was always bare while the woman beside her had flowers everywhere. That inspired me to make a floral with the idea that my mom could have that in her hospital room.”

Then 10 days before she passed away, “I promised her I’d never stop again.”

The art exhibit features many well-known picturesque places in Ohio, as well as a painting of the People’s Federal Savings & Loan Bank in Sidney.

He also has some portraits, including one of Joseph Collette, an Ohio soldier, from Lancaster, killed in Afghanistan this year.

McGrath is engaged to Sidney High School graduate Sarah Watkins.

The exhibit may be seen during regular library hours, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The library is closed on Sundays.

The Amos Library is located at 230 E. North St., in Sidney, and is a part of Shelby County Libraries which have locations in Anna, Botkins, Ft. Loramie, Jackson Center, and Russia.