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Artist Wayman-Maurer spreads wings, takes flight

With the Art Hop just around the corner on Saturday, July 20, businesses and artists throughout Merced’s Downtown Entertainment District are gearing up for the quarterly event.

One of the many local businesses that will be showing during the event is Vault Works.

Located on the corner of N Street and Main Street, Vault Works will be inviting residents to view the works of artist Donna Wayman-Maurer, as well as to learn more about Central Valley Community Radio.

Wayman-Maurer started her journey into creative arts as a young child, and slowly worked toward the professional artist career that she has today. Originally, the arts served as a way for Wayman-Maurer to express herself to others despite being “so shy I couldn’t talk to others.”

She first noticed that she could use the arts to express herself and talk to others during an elementary school class when she completed a painting of a robin. She was asked to put it on the board for others to see. From that point forward, Wayman-Maurer would receive praise for her work, which would continue to push her to use arts as a way to communicate with others to this day.

As time went on, Wayman-Maurer would find herself working with colored pencils for her pieces before moving onto oil painting. She would largely gain inspiration from music for her work, which would shape her path to include creating artwork for renowned Jazz and Blues festivals in the Las Vegas and Carmel areas.

As part of her series working with musicians, Wayman-Maurer works from photographs and videos, and begins by taking note of their energy as a performer that she’ll then work to capture on canvass.

Once she begins to work with paints, the subject’s eyes would be the first area to be painted, with Wayman-Maurer working outward from that point in order to capture “the energy and feeling” they portray through their music or performance on stage.

In addition to working in portraiture, Wayman-Maurer has also found herself painting vehicles and taking commissioned work. Currently, the artist is working on two paintings that will be featured inside of the renovated Hotel Tioga upon its completion. They include a portrait of Marilyn Monroe and a piece depicting Richard Nixon — both of which are painted from historical photographs from their stays in Merced.

No matter what type of medium or subject matter Wayman-Maurer is working with, it all serves a universal purpose for the artist.

“The world gets too crazy sometimes, but if I can turn on my music and paint, I can have a calm moment,” she said. “It serves as a kind of therapy.”

For those who make their way to Vault Works to speak with Wayman-Maurer, there’s also the opportunity to meet Frank Beaman from Central Valley Community Radio. As a community-based radio station available at centvalley.com, Central Valley Community Radio strives to act as a connecting point between the public and information from local non-profits and other resources throughout Merced.

With 20 years of industry experience, Beaman says that he is hoping to fill a crucial gap between service providers, such as those providing veterans benefits, and the local residents who use them. He notes that many veterans know that there are benefits due to them for time served, but don’t realize how expansive they are.

Beaman also hopes to work with the local homeless population as he relays individual stories to the public through a series of interviews about how they ended up in their current position.

“I’m really feeling my way to see what the community is interested in at this point,” Beaman said.

The Merced Art Hop — including art exhibitions, music and dance performances, and family activities — will be held this Saturday, July 20, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., inside various shops and outdoor areas along Main Street and inside Bob Hart Square. For more information on the Merced Art Hop, go online to: MercedArtHop.org.

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