Perryville is home to working artist
by Lisa Tome
Although it's not advertised widely, downtown Perryville is home to an art gallery.
And for the last 15 years the town has served as home to abstract artist, Wilbur M. Reeling.
Reeling, 72, admits that he's an accidental Perryville resident. In the 1990s, he owned a condo in Port Deposit. He formerly owned an art gallery in Baltimore. Upon selling the gallery, he lived in a hotel. He then looked at condos in North East and planned to buy one there. Instead, he found his current home/gallery in Perryville and moved in within three days. He's been there ever since.
Reeling is a Vietnam veteran and finds Perryville ideal due to proximity to services at Perry Point VA Medical Center.
Reeling was studying at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) when he got drafted. He went into the Army and began working in cinematography. He went back to art school after his time in the service ended in 1969. He also studied on and off in various art schools in Europe for a decade. "I have a lot of stories to tell," he said.
He then began working for NBC. His first assignment was filming O.J. Simpson. "He didn't seem like a murderer to me. He was just kind of conceited," said Reeling.
He also became friends with Oprah Winfrey while working in cinematography. He hopes eventually, to sell his massive collection of art to Winfrey. He began showing and selling his art in Pikesville in the early 1970s. His first show was in Owings Mills. That was close to home for the Parkville native.
He said his artistic ability is something that comes naturally. He was born that way. When he was 12-years old he began painting murals in people's living rooms. He started working because although he was below driving age, he lived on a farm and wanted to own a car. "My first car was a 1939 Plymouth," he said.
He continues to work, painting daily between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. and has a large collection of works at his home. He shows by appointment only. "If you're an artist, you make art," he said.
He works in abstract expressionism. "You have to have a style that's unique that no one else has ever done," he said. "I'm going to keep doing what I do and hopefully sell my body of work to Oprah." He supports a lot of charitable causes, with recent works fetching large sums for good causes. His works are also in the corporate world on display in the offices of judges, doctors, and lawyers.
To view his work, on the web go to wilburmreeling.com.
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