Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College will host a “Meet the Artists” reception for the “Visions” art exhibition on Sunday, June 1, 1-3 p.m. at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown. The exhibition features the artwork of four area artists: Phil Smith of Schwenksville, Jim Hendricks of Pottstown, Julie Longacre of Barto, and Sonya Moyer of Earl Township.
The exhibit opened May 12 and will continue through June 6. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Longacre’s Dairy will serve homemade-style ice cream at the reception. Everyone is welcome.
“Entitled ‘Visions’ this exhibition reflects how each of us, with our own separate working styles and mediums, has been united by the common idea of strong personal visual expressions,” says Phil Smith.
As a metal sculptor, Smith likes to create sculptures as visual recordings of his life and how his life has been involved with these things. His sculptures incorporate weathered, used objects, such as old tools, machine parts and discarded metal objects. “The sculptures are nearly all the assembly of the brazed and welded metal parts coming together to express an idea based on my perception(s) of life,” he notes in his artist statement.
Smith, now retired, taught Fine Arts in the Norristown Area High School for 33.5 years, and his sculptures have appeared in numerous local galleries and exhibitions. He earned a bachelor’s degree and Master of Science degree in Education from Millersville University and a second master’s degree in education from Marywood College in Scranton. Additionally, he has taken courses at Temple University/Tyler School of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, as well as other area arts centers, and has an associate’s degree in Art from Montgomery County Community College.
Stone/wood sculptor Jim Hendricks is a former student of Smith’s at Norristown Area High School in 1978-1980. The two sculptors have maintained their friendship throughout the years and are looking forward to exhibiting their work together at the gallery.
Hendricks has always been inspired by the human form and his work is influenced by a range of work from the German expressionists to Aztec and Mayan carving and from the American realists of the Works Progress Administration to the Medieval and Gothic carvers, according to his artist statement. “I believe that by exaggerating, enlarging, stretching and distorting the forms of the human figure, I can express powerful emotions and ideas to the viewer through the sculpture,” he says.
A native of Norristown, Hendricks graduated from the University of the Arts in 1984 and helped to fabricate sculptures for the Treehouse exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo. He then worked as a studio assistant on government-commissioned monuments in Washington, D.C. He currently has a studio in Pottstown.
Like Smith and Hendricks, artists and sisters Julie Longacre and Sonya Moyer look forward to sharing gallery space at the Fine Arts Center, too.
Julia Longacre, a Berks County native, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas. She first exhibited her local landscape paintings in 1971 at the Boyertown Historical Society, launching her successful career in fine art. Throughout her career, Longacre has held numerous solo exhibitions locally, regionally and as far as Nova Scotia, Canada, and garnered many awards and accolades.
Proficient in any medium, from watercolor, oil or acrylic, Longacre is well-known for her landscapes and buildings of the rural countryside of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her love of painting and joy of writing has been an integral part of Berks County community for the last 40-plus years.
Artist/photographer Moyer lives in an 1838 restored stone farmhouse, where she enjoys capturing the bucolic landscape and “workings” of the farm through her camera lens. She credits her sister for encouraging her to exhibit her photographs and to truly “see” and appreciate the world around her.
“I try to capture the joy and wonder, the quietness and beauty of nature, a small frame of perfection in an imperfect world. So many times, these little scenes are just fleeting moments and are gone before you fully appreciate them. Sometimes it just takes my breath away, that I am lucky enough to see and experience these moments and I want to share it with others so that they, too, can see, feel, enjoy and reflect on them,” says Moyer.
The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
For more information about the exhibition, contact Montgomery County Community College Galleries Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information and photographs of exhibitions and participating artists, friend us on Facebook/DestinationArts.
Pottstown, PA – Lumière Blanc: A study of white by Robert Koch opens on June 7 at ArtFusion 19464. The show will run until June 29 and there will be a meet the artist reception June 7 from 6-8pm. Light refreshments will be served. All receptions are free and open to the public. Robert Koch, a Boyertown native currently living in New Jersey, produced all new work for this innovative show.
Robert talks about the inspiration behind this work: My approach as an artist has always been to make work that is as much about the materials themselves as the application of the materials. With my ceramics I have always kept my forms simple and functional and allowed the glazes to be the main focus. My welded steel sculptures are more about the welds than the steel. With my paintings I use the fluidity of the paint to dictate what happens on the surface.
Building up layer after layer of paint it became apparent to me that color was no longer important. In fact the less color there was applied to the surface the more the paint itself because the primary focus. After stripping away most or all of the other colors the interaction light combined with the layering of paint revealed very subtle complexities.
For this show the artist was also inspired by the way water moves in a river. “With my paintings each layer is like the surface of the water. After each layer dries and more layers are added the light has more texture to interact with. As the light changes throughout the day the surface of my paintings changes as well,” Robert said.
While working on this show, Robert was also faced with some serious health challenges, undergoing heart bypass surgery. “I was forced to take a break from art and life to allow my body to heal from coronary bypass surgery,” Robert explains. “Life’s unexpected events have made it even more exciting to have the opportunity to share this work.”
ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.