Resident discovers new hobby after move to Riderwood

by Almeda Girod
Resident Writer

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In a sculpture by Ron Mentzer, a Greek hunter, Syparissus, dies of grief after accidentally killing his pet stag.

Ron Mentzer moved from Prince George’s County to Sebring, Florida in 1991 to pursue a golfing retirement. When he abandoned playing daily golf, he developed a new interest: drawing with graphite, charcoal, and colored pencils. Ron and Peggy, his wife of 60 years, moved to Riderwood in 2006. He took a class on sculpting, “making the usual ashtray.” He soon began to work independently making clay figures with internal steel armatures to emphasize athletic motion. Hence, his pieces cannot be fired in a kiln and are relatively fragile.

Ron describes himself as “more mechanical than creative,” though those viewing his work may dispute this. He visits local sites for inspiration. The idea for the juried work came from a four-foot statue in the garden of the former National Park Seminary in nearby Forest Glen. The park was a finishing school for girls which opened in 1894 and is now a housing development. Ron took several photographs in 2008 and then made his copy (over an eight week period) in his sunny kitchen studio in Meadowbrook Square. He displays about two dozen sculptures in his apartment and has gifted some to his three daughters and eight grandchildren.

In addition to sculpting Ron enjoys duplicate bridge, reading, and trekking named and unnamed creek-side trails between the Potomac, Patuxent and Anacostia Rivers.

In early June, the current exhibit at Lakeside Commons will move to the Windsor dining room and other spaces at Montgomery Station. Jurying for the new exhibit at Lakeside Commons is scheduled for June 1 in the Card Room at Village Square.

Artwork selected for this new exhibit will be on display by June 9. Applications to participate in this next exhibit will be available at the front desks by May 8. Residents and staff are encouraged to apply. If the response is large enough, the Lakeside Commons exhibit could be expanded to designated space just inside the Overlook dining room. The Arts Council of Riderwood can arrange to assist residents with transporting artwork to the jurying space on June 1.

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