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Fayette native named Artist of the Year by Touchstone Center

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Touchstone Center for Arts and Crafts, Farmington, recently honored Fayette County native Patrick Daugherty by selecting him as Artist of the Year for 2013.

“It's wonderful to honor one of our own,” said board member Mary Len Hajduk. “Patrick Daugherty is a Fayette County artist who is known nationally.”

Daugherty was pleasantly surprised by the accolade.

“This is a terrific honor,” he said. “It came out of the blue.”

Daugherty's primary inspiration was his parents.

“They encouraged me to do what I was interested in,” he said. “They encouraged me to do what I enjoy.”

Daugherty graduated from Uniontown High School in 1968, after which he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After serving in the Army for several years, Daugherty used the G.I. Bill to attend Penn State, where he earned his BFA. He later earned his MFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He and his family returned to the area in 1981.

Daugherty's artistic influences include 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

“Vermeer had a passion for light,” Daugherty said. “He also depicted everyday life.”

Painter Mark Rothko, an abstract painter of Russian descent, was one of Daugherty's influences, too.

“I admire his use of color and light,” said Daugherty.

Daugherty considers himself a student of life.

“Everything I experience affects my art,” he said.

Hajduk lauds Daugherty as a versatile artist.

“He works in oil and acrylic. He is a mixed-media artist. He does it all very well,” she said.

To be considered for the Artist of the Year award, an artist must be an instructor at Touchstone and must contribute to the Touchstone community. Based on the quality of that candidate's work, the members of Touchstone nominate potential artists of the year. The board members make the final decision.

“To have someone like Patrick Daugherty in our own backyard is amazing,” Hajduk said.

Daugherty is the curator of the Frank L. Malega Museum, Brownsville.

Barbara Starn is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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