Artistically Speaking: A New, Young Artist Joins the Gallery Shop

Last Updated on Jan 6, 2017 at 2:48pm | Arts & Culture

"Artistically Speaking" is a regular feature of The Lake-Front magazine, in cooperation with the Garrett County Arts Council, and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue.
Rebecca E. Diller, a 23-year-old native of Garrett County, is one of the newest artists to display and sell her artwork in Garrett County Arts Council’s Gallery Shop. She was accepted in with photography and jewelry in September 2016, but her time working in these mediums goes back much further. She has been making jewelry for the past decade, and has been taking photographs for the last six years.
The arts have always been an interest in Diller’s life, even as a small child. She recalls that at a young age, she was very interested in jewelry and first started making her own when she came to own a child’s plastic bead set. It was after examining some of the jewelry she had purchased and discovering how it was made, that she gave her jewelry making techniques an upgrade. “Once I got the supplies I needed, I just kept trying new things and practicing the techniques until I got good at them. Then friends and family started wanting some of the pieces I made and it went from there.”
As for the photography, her interest began in her childhood years as well. She started by taking pictures with a disposable film camera and getting them developed. She enjoyed taking photos of various subjects, especially her friends and pets. It was when she was in her preteen years that she moved to digital photography, purchasing a point and shoot camera. Since then she has taken a few photography classes, which helped enhance the techniques she already knew, as well as teach her some new things. She also received some pointers from her two older brothers. Diller says, “I never really thought about doing photography, it just kind of happened because I liked to take pictures and get a different view on things that you normally wouldn’t think about.”
When it comes to inspiration for any medium Diller is working in, she has often found that her passion for animals and nature play a big role. For her jewelry, she is also inspired by the techniques and styling Native Americans use when making their jewelry. She has always admired the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into making these pieces and how they exemplify the culture’s history. All of these inspirational elements are very evident in Diller’s work style, which she describes as natural and unique.
Although Diller loves working in photography and jewelry making, her talents in the visual arts go well beyond these two mediums. She paints with acrylics, watercolors, and oils, draws with pen and ink, pencil, colored pencil, and charcoal, and does wood burnings, mixed media, and pottery too.
Diller has a deep enthusiasm for animals, owning three cats, eight rabbits, a horse, a fish, and a turtle. She says “I love animals and I own a lot of pets that I like to play with and take care of, plus they are a big inspiration for my work.” Diller enjoys other activities, such as reading, watching movies, playing games, horseback riding, swimming, cooking, hanging out with friends, sledding, and traveling, especially to historic places.
Diller is not only a juried artist at The Gallery Shop, she also works as a gallery associate. When the artist was younger, she visited The Gallery Shop a few times. While doing an internship in 2014 with former local artist, Jillian Mazur, she learned more about GCAC and its programs. The artist says “During the end of my internship, she [Mazur] was displaying her artwork as one of the featured artists at the gallery and introduced me to The Gallery Shop, Garrett County Art Council, and what they do. What struck my interest was that the GCAC supports individual artists and the art programs in the schools. It’s also nice that The Gallery Shop provides a place for artists to sell their work.”
To see the artwork of Rebecca E. Diller, as well as many other local artists, stop by The Gallery Shop in its new location at 108 South Second Street, Suite 1 in Oakland, MD 21550 or call (301) 334-8139.
Garrett County Arts Council is funded by Maryland State Arts Council, Garrett County Government, and through membership support. For more information or to become a member, contact GCAC administrative offices at (301) 334-6580 or visit