*Written by Craig Inzana (Board Member, Marketing Committee)
HOLLY KOMONCZI: Perry is one of the ways that Wilds actually leaves the Wilds and then helps. Maybe he hasn’t been to Lithuania yet [a reference to something earlier in the night]. Perry takes the Wilds with him everywhere he goes. He’s addressed Congress. He has a studio in Asheville, North Carolina. He is great at talking the Wilds and telling the story outside the PA Wilds region. Congratulations Perry.
PERRY WINKLER: People that know me well understand that I’m typically most comfortable at home in my studio. So they know I feel like a fish out of water. I guess considering this is the PA Wilds that we’re in, that’s an appropriate reference.
First of all, I was raised here by two wonderful parents. My mother had the greatest idea to give me a name like Perry Winkler. (A creative choice for a creative student, to be an artist.) My father was a very creative person. He was a laborer all his life. He was probably the person that caused me to be inspired, to want to paint, and to do artwork. I was raised in this beautiful environment by creative people.
Also, I have a great partner in business and in life. He’s sort of my left brain that helps me to take care of those left brain jobs that I’m not so strong at.
A couple instructors I had, from this region, that were so important to me. First, the late Patsy Dunmire from Punxsutawney, PA. Wonderful person. She not only taught me about the possibilities of what you’re able to do with watercolors, but she taught me the significants of how artwork and painting is a language and how you can communicate messages. You know the reference: A picture is worth a thousand words. That is so true. And so you have to be careful what you say with those words. I’ve always looked at artwork as something that holds a common ground for people of different ethnicities, financial backgrounds, or political standings. It’s not to knock people who do work that is controversial. I just like to produce worth that is more common ground.
Also, a dear friend and mentor of mine for years is Roger Nippress from Asheville, North Carolina, who is 81 years old and he is blind now. He’s still my go to guy for business, for questions on pricing, on technique, and painting, and what makes a good piece of work. He’s been a great mentor all my life so I’d like to give him credit there.
Also, I want to thank the people from this community who supported me in those contests throughout the past several years. It’s amazing how a small community can come together. A lot of contestants come from larger cities. The people here are strong and I appreciate that.
Most of all, as I’ve gone through life I’ve realized more and more God’s presence in my life. The doors, the opportunities, the people who have been put in my path. My life has been custom made for me. My heart is full of gratitude for that.
I want to thank the PA Wilds and Lumber Heritage for this great honor. I will always value it.
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