Gene Allen graduated from Kutztown University in 1966 with a degree in art education. For the next 39 years he taught elementary students, high school students, and, students at Kutztown University.
Gene has also been a window dresser, sign painter, mural artist, private teacher, and an artisan demonstrating the construction of historically correct bandboxes.
This presentation of paintings was created to honor the nature that surrounds us and hopefully make people aware of the destruction and loss of it in our area.
I was born and raised in the Kempton Valley. Art and the environment have been strong constants throughout my life.
In 2004, I graduated from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, with a major in Art & Design. Over the years I have traveled to such places as Costa Rica, Ghana, and the American Southwest, immersing myself in new cultures and traditions, and incorporating those experiences into my work. Regardless of whether I am working in sculpture or photography I try to see things as they are and be present in the moment, letting the material or scene speak for itself.
A native of Lower Bucks County, Mark has been working with clay for over thirty years. Beginning as a production potter, he continued to practice pottery as a "hobby" while he developed a career designing and building homes. After a brief hiatus, Mark has reestablished a studio at his home in Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania. Mark now creates unique, one of a kind functional pieces. They are primarily made with stoneware clays that are reduction-fired using simple oxides and glazes. The simplicity of the finish compliments the natural qualities of the clay and the beauty of each form.
Catherine F. Botch
Born in Bethlehem, PA, she began participating in art shows during high school. She graduated from Kutztown University with an Art Ed degree, with additional craft certification, and a Master of Art Education. She has taught full-time as well as an artist-in-residence for the Allentown Art Museum, Mayfair, LVAC, and several schools.
In 2000, she opened The Blue Unicorn Studio in Allentown, working in mixed media, painting, and textiles, as well as doing murals and private classes. She has several collages in both permanent collections of Arcole' in France, and the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction in Mexico. She is a member of LVAC and The National Collage Society.
Lenhartsville artist Eric Claypoole carries on the hex art painting traditions learned from his late father, Johnny Claypoole, who in turn learned hex sign painting in the 1950's from the legendary Johnny Ott.
Claypoole is the only known professional barn star painter left in America. He paints his work 40 feet up on a ladder on the side of a barn. "It's primarily a Berks County art form," Claypoole said. "The hex signs are actually painted onto a sign whereas the barn stars are painted directly onto the barn."
Johnny Claypoole was featured in Charles Kuralt’s famous “On The Road” book and television series.
She has an undergraduate degree in art education from Toledo University and a MFA in fine arts from Penn State. She currently teaches at Northampton Community College and Moravian College.
Known for her ceramic sculpture and tile, she returned to painting in 2002 after her son was stationed in Iraq. Her work features high contrast lighting and bright colors using both acrylics and oil paints. Her Iris prints are on rag paper with archival inks limited to editions of 200.
Marie J. DeFilipps
Marie DeFilipps grew up in Chenango Bridge, NY, surrounded by a large extended family and a wonderful variety of friends. She began studying at SUNY Binghamton, transferred to Kutztown, then changed gears and went to Lincoln Technical Institute to earn an Associates Degree in Drafting Technology. While working in the field of architecture, she returned to KU to complete a BA in Fine Arts. Currently she teaches at Penn-Bernville Elementary School.
"It is important to me that my students see me not only as a teacher, but also as a practicing artist. My paintings have been shown at The College Gallery at RACC, the Salon Exhibit at the New Arts Program, and various local art venues and juried shows at the Reading Museum."
Tony has spent the last twenty years surrounded by color, canvas and paper. After graduating from Kutztown University in 1992 with a BFA in Communication Design, he went from Pennsylvania to California then back to Pennsylvania as an art supply clerk to painter to graphic designer to husband to prepress specialist to cook to father to design instructor and to illustrator in the blink of an eye.
Tony has numerous pieces hanging in private spaces on both coasts, most notably at his parents house in Pennsylvania and his illustrations have been on book jackets and in print since the early ‘90’s.
He focuses his own paintings on the loves of his life… his relationship with Jesus Christ; his love for his wife, children and family; his loyalty to his friends and things that go bump in the night. Tony’s continued hope is to always be able to run with scissors, constantly wake up with a smile (hopefully not while driving) and one day find that elusive painting he didn’t do yet.
Kathi Ember lives with one man, three sheep and four cats in an old stone farmhouse just outside of Kutztown. After graduating with a BFA from Kutztown University in '76, she eventually figured out that she was meant to be an illustrator. At first she did black and white gardening illustrations, but eventually tired of drawing broccoli and started working on colorful, conceptual editorial pieces. Then in '92, her work evolved once more when her style caught the eye of an art agent who specializes in children's illustration. Once more, the "art gods" had put her on the right path. Her love of animals, sense of humor and whimsy and a penchant for storytelling all came together. And so, she sits at her desk everyday, living in a fantasy world and watching little anthropomorphic animals come to life…and…life is good.
Steve is part owner of a business that designs and operates thrill ride photo systems in amusement parks. He has spent the last several years exploring and experimenting with his own original photography. He enjoys discovering new ways to reveal aspects of his photos, such as adding hand painted or collage effects. He does all his own printing, using archival inks and paper. Steve is from York, but has lived near Lititz with his wife for the last 34 years.
Lenhartsville artist Frank Fretz is a natural history illustrator and woodcut and wood engraving artist. He illustrated the classic, ''The Mountain & the Migration,'' authored by past sanctuary curator Jim Brett.
Fretz will be giving demonstrations on woodcuts (using plank grain of wood) and wood engraving. Wood engraving involves a very interesting technique where you carve into the end grain of wood, resulting in beautifully detailed fine lines.
Kutztown artist Dennis Einar Johnson earned a BFA at Tyler School of Fine Art and an MFA at Syracuse University. Having been an art professor at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania for twenty years, he now works as a full-time artist at his studio near Virginville, PA. He has recently studied with the late Jack Coggins, noted author and marine artist.
His work is primarily marine art done in pastel, but he also enjoys painting the beautiful landscapes of Pennsylvania and the countryside in Great Britain. He has exhibited at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, the Allentown Art Museum, The Reading Art Museum, the regional exhibit of the American Society of Marine Artists at the Maryland Washington County Museum of Fine Art, Yellow Springs Art Show, Immaculata University, Moravian College, Kutztown University, The Hill School, the Birdsboro Art Show, Wyomissing Institute, the Highlands at Wyomissing, and the Governor’s mansion in Harrisburg.
His work is included in private and public collections both in the US and in Europe. Several pieces have been purchased by Kutztown University as part of its permanent collection. He is a member of the American Society of Marine Artists.
In the autumn of my life
I have come to value the creative process
the energizing challenge of solving problems
the sheer delight of making and forming
the simple pleasure of finding
watching images emerge and merge.
Art has become a journey
to seek, to find, to listen
to bring forth the past, the forgotten, the overlooked
to give new meaning to the old, the discarded, the ordinary
to capture items of nostalgia, grace, and beauty within boxes.
Meanings have become more personal
images assembled with reflections about
giving new life to old things that have reached the end of a useful life cycle
aging and the loss of youthful vitality
being cut open, taken apart, and put back together.
Milan Melicharek of Orefield, Pa., inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, creates winter and summer scenes.
Angela Scanzello has drawn and painted for many years, but never in any consistent manor. After retiring from the English Department of Kutztown University in 2001, Dr. Scanzello returned to her two favorite interests: painting and the violin. Although she had studied art intermittently prior to her retirement, in her early years at the Delaware Art Center, and then at the Baum School of Art in Allentown, it was not until she joined the "Art in the Afternoon" group under the expert guidance of Joanne Lapic that she began to draw and paint regularly.
Her most recent works are displayed here. They represent a variety of media: watercolors, acrylics, pastels, conte crayon and mixed media. The also include a variety of subjects, some drawn from her travels.
A graduate of Kutztown University, Doris received her BFA in panting in 1981. She has attended workshops with numerous artists since graduating. Her work has been purchased by corporations and private individuals. She has won several purchase awards and participates in several area shows.
Working primarily with watercolors and acrylics, she paints landscapes, birds and animals, and still life's. She is an avid "birder" and enjoys painting birds with the aid of several field guides. Her blue bottle collection is frequently the source of inspiration for some of her still lifes.
Kara enjoys creating artwork in her Allentown home. Observing people in everyday settings is her favorite subject matter. She also enjoys creating abstract forms on paper.
Kris Tuerk utilizes the Plein-Air Painting Technique in her travels to discover and re-discover her intuitive ability to create, to trust her own vision and continue along a familiar path or try new ideas with color and form. Tuerk also has a strong passion for photography, collaborating with Bill Attridge, a Scotsman who is a noted landscape photographer on the Isle of Skye, in the Scottish Highlands. All of Tuerk's work is from her travels to this Misty Isle in Scotland.
Kutztwon artist Reno Unger is currently Associate Professor of Public Relations at Kutztown University, following a 25-year career in the field. His interest in art and photography began to develop in college, primarily in watercolor. For five years after college he was in the Navy and travelled all over the Pacific, spawning a lifelong fascination with photography.
In graduate school, following the service, he minored in Art. During this time, he developed a love for graphics, such as the etching and the woodcuts. Additional courses in photography honed his technical skill. During that time, his photography instructor arranged for a three-man photographic show of his work along with two other students at the Huntington Fine Arts Gallery, in Huntington, West Virginia. Since then, Reno has expanded his study of art and photography together, with the skills and techniques of one discipline informing his work in the other.
The study of color, form and composition in art training have had a particularly strong influence on his photography. Whatever subject he explores, Reno is always drawn back to the beauty of nature and the scenery of his adopted home in Berks County.
Reno currently has juried shows hanging at the Goggle Works and Jackie and Daughter Flowers, in Kutztown. Other recent shows have taken place at the Kutztown Gallery, Gallery 20, in West Reading, and shows put on by the Kutztown Chamber of Commerce and the Kutztown Library. A future show, entitled "Flatworks", sponsored by the Kutztown Rotary Club, is planned for November. Reno plans to retire at the end of this school year and invest more time in art, travel and photography.
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