Artist brings beauty to life despite visual challenges | News, Sports, Jobs




Mirror image by Patrick Waksmunski /
Artist Sam Dietz operates on a celestial painting in his Altoona household.


Born with severe cataracts more sophisticated by glaucoma, Altoonan Sam C. Dietze hasn’t allow his visible issues cease him from having fun with the outside or creating a career as an award-winning artist.

His oil portray “Interstellar Filaments” appears in the July concern of Astronomy magazine, an all-art challenge dedicated to the Most effective Room Art of the Global Affiliation of Astronomical Artists. The oil painting is an “expressionistic impression depicting a single doable gasoline flowing by way of the early universe,” according to a caption in the journal. Dietze is just one of 42 artists showcased in the once-a-year special edition.

The journal is available at newsstands and booksellers or can be bought online at, mentioned IAAA President Aldo Spadoni. A lot more than 200 entries were acquired and only 50 ended up picked.

“Sam’s function was picked for a selection of good reasons, not the the very least of which is for the reason that he’s an superb artist. Also, he’s at ease with summary interpretations of intricate astronomical phenomena and concepts. We wanted some artwork to signify some unique features of the early Universe and his piece … captured that completely,” Spadoni stated via electronic mail. He explained Dietze as a “veteran and very well-respected artist member of the IAAA. He has explored the use of oils, pencils, acrylics and plein air painting to depict a wide variety of astronomical phenomena. Sam has a exceptional design, which is promptly recognizable, that includes distinct swatches of paint and daring use of colour.”

Lawfully blind, Deitze simply cannot travel. As an alternative, Dietze (pronounced deets-ee) rides one particular of his three bikes to the gym and for errands and depends on mates Diane and Frank Barry. He satisfied Diane as a result of his participation in plans by The Blair/Clearfield Affiliation for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

“I paint the way I see factors or function from my creativeness,” Dietze discussed. “It’s been the same all my life. I’ve by no means identified usual eyesight. I’ve under no circumstances had it. It’s a challenge. Individuals never recognize.”

To study a printed letter, he retains it near up to his eyes. For personal computer work, he works by using excess massive fonts to see textual content.

Inspite of his disability, Dietze succeeded in his academic endeavors as he pursued his pursuits in science, particularly astronomy. He attained a bachelor of science and a master’s degree in astronomy from Penn Condition University and then a 2nd master’s degree in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

He coped by sitting in front of classes, listening to audio tapes and did finest with “very verbal” professors.

His late parents nurtured his “can do” attitude.

“They would say ‘there’s nothing at all you just cannot do, you just have to do it differently,’” he mentioned. Apart from for living in State College and in Colorado for various many years, he’s lived in Altoona.

Employment proved elusive, so he turned to creating art complete-time. He paints in two different designs: plein air, painting outdoor scenes even though outside and landscapes of the heavens and other planetary landscapes working with his scientific and astronomical know-how combined with imagination.

“The outside scenes arrived through my enjoy of being outside and getting in nature,” he reported. “It’s a different form of science and looking at the science in mother nature.”

Dietze usually joins other location artists at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Altoona Local community Generates events, stated website Director Hannah Harley. A solo exhibition of his operate just lately concluded.

“I’ve located Sam Dietze’s creative design is a modern-day take on impressionism. His examine of light-weight in landscapes and imaginative skyscapes are colorful and vivid. The works are not rigid or careful, but you can see he’s beautifully considerate of the gentle and switching hues. From afar, the artworks seem as scenes, but up shut, they turn out to be shades aspect by facet in a development,” she mentioned. “I’ve normally adored Sam’s plein air parts. By painting outside, Sam can actually emphasis on and delight in the shifting gentle and the beautiful hues of a scene.”

She also admires Dietze’s “generous spirit” as he aids newcomers master.

“He has a generous spirit. Sam is a type and thoughtful person and he is a proficient and hardworking artist. Those persona and inventive traits appear collectively (and) signify that Sam is an inspiration to lots of. His art continues to wow our community, and it will be so fascinating to see what he results in subsequent.”

His appreciate of the astronomical heavens is expressed by more substantial canvases motivated by his education, creativity and photographic views from scientific voyagers, this kind of as the Hubble House Telescope. Nevertheless, he doesn’t replicate images but takes advantage of the illustrations or photos to gasoline his imagination, he mentioned.

Fellow artist and longtime mate Stephen Gilbert describes Dietze as “very thoughtful, clever and a bit taciturn. He does not say a good deal most of the time.”

The two have painted normally alongside one another, and Gilbert praised Dietze for his creative talents.

“He’s fully self-taught. He pursues it incredibly methodically and provides a whole lot of assumed to his use of shade. He’s pretty achieved. I definitely enjoy the landscapes he does. He has a splendidly quirky way of undertaking it that is all his personal. It is clear it’s his work.”

His design and style is apparent in his broad brush operate, Gilbert mentioned. “He doesn’t detail the way an individual with better vision would. His get the job done has a bold freshness to it. It is very charming.”

Dietze has experienced his functions proven in many solo displays, and gained national, point out and regional awards. A solo show of his is effective is prepared for February 2023 at the Bellefonte Artwork Museum in Centre County.

Neighborhood resident Chabela Grabb, a former Hollidaysburg art gallery operator, is the happy proprietor of two Dietze works shown in her home.

A person perform functions trees in a wooded area with leaves ablaze in distinctive colors.

“It’s not incredibly defined, but all alongside one another will make a attractive combination,” she reported. “I definitely enjoy his operate.”

The other function characteristics a “magnificent sky with trees with an night dark and blue sky. It is lovely. The colors he paints are amazing.”

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