Work of late artist Robert Wood is topic

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The Kent Unitarian Universalist Church will present Mara DeMattia as guest of the Library Committee's 2013 Speaker's Forum at 3 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Church Sanctuary.

DeMattia's talk, "Investigating the Life and Work of Robert Wood," will include biographical information of his early life, his Kent years, and the authentication process of his artistic output.

Robert Wood, long regarded as a singular personality in the Kent community and among area artists, died unexpectedly at the age of 68 on Feb. 5, 2012.

His large body of work, produced during a 40-year period in Kent, represents a variety of techniques, including oils, watercolors, and computer-generated designs.

DeMattia's interest led her to research and document the date of all available paintings and to record pertinent personal and historical information related to each work, including professional exhibits.

The research "is a fascinating detective project since his works are scattered all over Northeastern Ohio and the East Coast," said DeMattia.

The discovered information will form the basis for a future formal archive of his work.

DeMattia has had a longstanding interest in Wood's creative output. Her initial interest was sparked by John Kluth of the John Kluth Gallery in Kent. They are working together on an "Oral History of Wood" as part of a planned biography of the artist.

DeMattia's previous work as an archivist began with the Herman Miller Furniture Company (Zeeland, Mich.). She was contracted during a three-year period to organize their extensive photo collection of innovative pieces manufactured since 1917 to form a visual history of the company. The photos may be found at Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Mich.

DeMattia lives in Kent with her husband, Rick, and their daughters, Rosalyn, Eleanor and Lillian.

A reception will follow DeMattia's presentation. This event is free and open to the public. For further information, call the church office at 330-673-4247.

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