This marks the sixth year Mertz has donated his work to help raise funds for Make-A-Wish, the non-profit organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“I donate paintings to four or five different charity auctions every year but I make it a point not to miss this one,” Mertz said. “I hope my art can, in some small way, help them in the supportive and caring work they do.”
Mertz’s paintings have been shown widely in the Triangle area since he moved to Cary six years, and are included in numerous corporate and private collections.
His paintings are large, abstract acrylic pieces with visible layers of colors, shapes, lines, changes, mistakes, and evidence of his hand. He starts by applying charcoal or graphite marks on the canvas, then paints in a childlike manner, capturing the spontaneity, exuberance, and joy of discovery of a child but with an adult sense of composition and color.
“My work expresses my feelings, thoughts, moods, and memories -- or what I had for lunch,” Mertz quips. “I’m not a brooding, angst-ridden artist. I take my art very seriously, but not myself.”
He also finds painting “a perfect opportunity to smoke a cigar, sip some Jack Daniel’s, and listen to Willie Nelson,” he says.
The Make-A-Wish Ball included dinner and dancing along with the silent auction to celebrate wishes granted and to raise money to grant even more wishes to deserving children. For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina, visit eastnc.wish.org.
For more information on Don Mertz and his work, go to www.mertzart.com.
About Don Mertz: Don Mertz is an abstract artist who has lived in Cary for 12 years. A former Marine, IBM branch manager, and managing director of an employee engagement and leadership development consulting firm, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and The Art Students League in New York City where he lived for 25 years. He is a member of the Visual Arts Exchange of Raleigh, the Fine Arts League of Cary, and the Durham Art Guild. He is represented by ArtSource Fine Art Gallery in North Hills, Raleigh, NC, and Joe Rowand Art Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC. For more information visit www.mertzart.com.