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Exhibition opens in honor of Fritz's life work

Date: 4/2/2012

April 2, 2012

By Katelyn Gendron

WILBRAHAM — The late Vickie Fritz was a survivor of the perils of World War II, a mother to five children, a teacher and an artistic visionary.

To commemorate her life's work, the Wilbraham Art League (WAL), of which she was a founding member, has opened a 40-piece exhibition of her artwork at the Wilbraham Public Library through April 21. The exhibit features Fritz's landscapes of Wilbraham, still lifes and portraits in watercolor, pastels and oils.

Fritz's daughter, Patricia Fritz of Rhode Island, described organizing the exhibition as a difficult experience since losing her mother on Oct. 1, 2011, but also cathartic as she was able to revisit more than 100 of her mother's masterpieces. "It was just so hard for me to go through the paintings because there were so many of them and there were so many memories associated with them," she said.

"My mom had been a well-renowned artist in the area for years but never had her own exhibition," Patricia Fritz added, noting that was another reason for staging the show. "She just had such a nice feel for artistry and paintings and I want people to enjoy [them]."

She described her mother as dedicated wife to her husband, John, and a passionate homemaker, mother and art teacher. The perils of the war, her mother's time spent in a displaced persons camp in Germany and later the solitude of life in America, where she met her husband, John, and later settled in Wilbraham, all influenced her work, Patricia Fritz added.

"She loved to paint still lifes and scenes of Wilbraham. [Her work] was very realistic and just perfect. She was knowledgeable in composition and values," Joyce Emerle, member of WAL, said.

The exhibition reception will take place on April 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Wilbraham Public Library, 25 Crane Park Drive. Viewing of the exhibition will be during regular library hours.

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