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HomeNewsArchivesEric Winter Exhibit Showcased at Gallery St. Thomas

Eric Winter Exhibit Showcased at Gallery St. Thomas

Feb. 13, 2005 –– Original sketches, drawings, and oil paintings of the late Eric Winter will be on exhibit and available for sale during the opening reception from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb.18 at Gallery St. Thomas, Grand Galleria, and through the close of the exhibit Thursday, Feb. 24. The comprehensive body of work was selected by Eric's widow, Nadine Winter and his family. The exhibit will be the most and likely the last comprehensive showing of his available body of work.
Winter moved to the Virgin Islands in 1954 after receiving his degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland. Winter's parents lived in the Virgin Islands and upon arriving, "he told me years later that he knew the moment he stepped off the plane, he was meant to live here," reflects Nadine Winter. Eric Winter made his career on the islands and beyond through the use of his hands and sharing his knowledge.
In the early days of his nearly 50 years on St. Thomas, he was known as a building contractor and woodworker, working as a supervisor on such projects as the Watergate Condominiums and crafting fine cabinetry for many homes on the island.
He also spent time as an art instructor at the then-College of the Virgin Islands, Antilles School, and taught many private drawing and painting lessons. "He inspired scores of people,"Nadine Winter says. "I have had so many people say that he taught them the ability to see what to paint, not just direct them. A lesson that many of his students say changed their lives forever."
Winter saw himself as a traditionalist oil painter, painting from life, experiences, and memory, never photos. He felt strongly about his ability to capture light on canvas and saw the capability as an important aspect of a painting. Known for his paintings of West Indian culture at work, play, worship, and everyday environment, he recorded and painted scenes that he knew would eventually disappear forever. While these paintings were well received and well collected, he most loved painting figures.
Winter believed that in order to paint properly you needed to be able to capture the human form. In his traditional West Indian cottage studio, he held life drawing and painting classes for many years. He was quoted during one of his many shows that he "enjoyed the challenge of painting nudes. They are difficult to paint because if the anatomy is incorrectly rendered, any observer can quickly determine the error. The female nude body has varied shapes and forms, lights and shadows, the obvious and the mysterious. The nude has been a favorite subject for artists for many centuries and probably will be for centuries to come." In this spirit, most of the works in the current exhibit are figures.
Upon being diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1994, Eric chose to spend the last years of his life devoted to painting and primarily painting the human form. "He thought the figures were his best work," reflects Nadine. "He believed it was more of a challenge and he was very pleased with his accomplishments." In 1997 Eric Winter received the Excellence in the Arts Award presented by Gov. Roy L. Schneider, M.D.
Eric Winter died in January 2001, leaving behind a legacy of his paintings, collectors, students, friends and family. Winter is survived by his wife, Nadine; their daughters Skye and Lana; his adult children from an earlier marriage, Page Winter Allen, Eric R. Winter, Leslie Mills and Cy Winter; his brother, Page Winter, also a St. Thomas artist; and his sister, Joan Winter.
Gallery St. Thomas hosts the exhibition in their Grand Galleria location on Emancipation Garden. The opening exhibit and reception for Nadine and Skye Winter will be on Friday night, Feb. 18, and continue on Saturday 2-6pm and Sunday 9-3pm. The exhibit will close Thursday February 24th at 6pm. For more information contact Show Coordinator Gallery St. Thomas at 777.6363 or go to www.GalleryStThomas.com.

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