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Local Artist To Debut River Series April 19, 2017

A painting a week for one year - creating more than 50 pieces of art - was the challenge that local artist and Columbia resident Diana Thomas set for herself in December 2015. "I wanted to stretch myself and make painting a regular part of my life instead of only an occasional pastime," Thomas said. Having lived near the Susquehanna River for more than 30 years, Thomas said she found it a fascinating and inspiring subject suitable for such a challenge, especially since the mood and color of the river changes so dramatically and often.

As part of the challenge, Thomas went to the river several times a week and took photographs of whatever interested her. She compiled the weekly photos into albums, adding a weekly written entry about her experience and thoughts on the progress of the work and the river itself. While away on vacations, she enlisted the help of friends to take photographs for her, and she continued painting during her travels.

Her desire was for the project to be challenging, but not to become impossible or overwhelming. However, late in the summer she found herself becoming discouraged as she fell behind by six to eight weeks. In order to find fresh motivation to complete the project, Thomas decided to reach out to organizations whose work it is to care for and promote the value, health, and history of the Susquehanna River. "I offered to lend the whole body of work to anyone who could use it in the promotion of their work for the good of the river," explained Thomas.

However, the project was put on hold in September 2016, when one of Thomas' daughters died unexpectedly. Only weeks later, her daughter's partner of 10 years died, leaving the couple's 8-year-old son an orphan. The entire family was stunned.

In the weeks that followed, Thomas continued taking photographs of the river until eventually she felt it was time to pick up the paintbrushes again. "These new paintings are a little different in style, even somewhat abstract, but then I'm different too, so I guess that is natural," commented Thomas.

"Finishing the paintings will take a little longer to complete than I planned, but life is filled with the unexpected. I've learned to go with the current," Thomas said with a laugh. "That's something I really enjoy about the river. The current washes things away but also brings something new."

"Looking back, I would most definitely do it again even if I could know what the future would hold," remarked Thomas. "Painting is a very peaceful and restorative thing for me to do, and so is spending time on the river."

The complete works of Thomas' "Current Color" series will debut during Fourth Friday in Columbia on April 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the cottage at Mount Bethel Cemetery, 700 Locust St., Columbia. The exhibit will also be open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. Light refreshments will be served. The series will include 50 completed paintings and two that are partially complete. "I decided to show them in progress, as that may also be interesting to some people and I really wanted to have 52 paintings for the show," noted Thomas.

The original works are not for sale this time, but prints are available to order.

Thomas has been an artist all her life and is a 1973 graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. To learn more, readers may search for "Artsy Girl" on Facebook.


UZRC Posts Artwork Exhibit April 13, 2017

The rotating art gallery at United Zion Retirement Community (UZRC), 722 Furnace Hills Pike, Lititz, is hosting the work of local artist Caroll Pennypacker during the month of April.

Pennypacker, a Lancaster County native, studied art under professor Henry Libhart at Elizabethtown College in her early years as an artist. Later, she attended York College and was a medical coder for local hospitals while raising her family. During this time, she also taught evening art classes and sold several of her paintings. She works with acrylics, watercolors, and mixed media, and her chosen subjects are landscapes, seascapes, and floral motifs. She still takes art classes and attends fine art workshops.

Pennypacker, who recently retired, has completed her fourth year serving on the board of the Lititz Art Association, through which she has assisted with the Outdoor Art Shows of Lititz and exhibited her paintings. While her home and studio are in Brownstown, Pennypacker displays and sells her artwork throughout Lancaster County.

Pennypacker's work can be viewed during the visiting hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information on the rotating art gallery, readers may contact Alyssa Wojcik at or 626-2071. The retirement community is located 1.5 miles north of the square in Lititz.


Arts Night Winners Posted April 11, 2017

The Red Land Area Women's Club's annual Arts Night was held on March 20 at the Red Land Community Library. There were 27 student art entries and eight student photography entries. All first-, second-, and third-place winners received a monetary award in addition to a ribbon and certificate.

The various categories and winners were as follows: Art - Color: Sadie Hughes, first place; Jacqueline Eberie, second place; and Jacey Smith, third place; Art - Black and White: Julia Lerch, first place; Jacqueline Eberie, second place; and Autumn Myers, third place; Photography - Color - Living Things: Avery Van Etten, first place; Photography - Color - Scenic: Avery Van Etten, first place; Megan Athinger, second place; and Binh-an Nguyen, third place; Photography - Black and White - Living Things: Megan Athinger, first place; Avery Van Etten, second place, and Binh-an Nguyen, third place; and Photography - Black and White - Scenic: Avery Van Etten, first place.


Craft Guild Plans Display April 11, 2017

Chester County Craft Guild paired 20 poets with 20 craft artists and invited them to write an "ekphrastic" poem, in which poems are written in response to artwork. The poems, and the works in glass, metal, wood, fiber, clay, and photography that inspired them, will be exhibited in the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Gallery, 335 N. Queen St, Lancaster, from Friday, May 5, through Tuesday, May 30.

An opening reception will take place on May 5, and visitors may vote for their favorite poem and artwork from 5 to 9 p.m. The public is invited to attend.


Artist Program Features Muralist April 11, 2017

South Central PaARTners at Millersville University, the Lebanon School District, the City of Lebanon, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Cedar Foundation recently announced the first of two innovative artist-in-residence programs. Hosted by Lebanon High School as part of the Great Lebanon Community Project, the residencies will feature muralist Carrie Kingsbury this spring and found-object sculptor Jason Lyons in the fall.

Both artists will develop projects that weave the arts into an understanding of the local watershed. Kingsbury will work with high school students in teacher Megan Fetzer's advanced painting class to develop a mural that will span both sides of the pedestrian bridge on Seventh Street between the YMCA and the public library. The mural will incorporate characters drawn by elementary, middle, and high-school students for a collaborative children's book that accompanies the Great Lebanon Community Project. Upon installation, the mural will be framed by mosaic tiles created by the younger students in the district.

Kingsbury, a Birdsboro-based artist who has installed thousands of large-scale murals across the United States, will demonstrate mural arts to the high school arts classes during her 10-day residency, teaching every phase of mural painting, from undercoat to installation. In addition, she will be on hand for the unveiling of the mural on Saturday, April 22, which coincides with the United Way's Day of Caring, a full day of community projects that kicks off at Lebanon High School.

The Great Lebanon Community Project brings students, staff, and community together through project-based learning opportunities that address the issues of the local watersheds and the environment. For more details, readers may contact Marci Nelligan at 717-871-4207 or


Art Students' Work On Display April 11, 2017

Commercial and graphic arts seniors at the Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus have partnered with the Chester County Art Association to display their original artwork at the association's storefront in the Exton Mall as part of the Commercial and Graphic Arts Senior Exhibit. The exhibit, which contains everything from personal branding pieces to self-portraits, will be on display for the public through Wednesday, April 19. This is the second consecutive year for the partnership.

According to Troy Campbell, commercial and graphic arts instructor at TCHS Brandywine, started the event as a way for seniors in the program to display their high level of creative talent and to receive recognition. The association donates the storefront space to the students.

The commercial and graphic arts program at TCHS focuses on helping students hone in on their artistic creativity and the technical skills necessary to pursue a career in that field. The variety of projects submitted for the exhibit - including packaging, photography, multimedia, hand-illustrated, and design projects - reflect the wide range of students' interests in the program.

The Exton Square Studio Gallery at the Exton Mall is open on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the programs offered at TCHS Brandywine, readers may visit Details about the Chester County Art Association are available at


Relics" April 5, 2017

The Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM), 1401 N. Third St., Harrisburg, will present an exhibition of large-scale black and white photographs by Stephen Althouse (b. 1948, Bucks County). "Relics" portrays humanity through the tools and artifacts left behind. The collection of photographs will be on view in the museum's lobby gallery through Sunday, May 7.

SAM is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more details, readers may visit or contact Lauren Nye at


PCA&D Posts Summer Classes April 5, 2017

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCA&D) has announced its weeklong summer youth classes, which will take place from Monday, July 10, to Friday, Aug. 4, with new sessions beginning each week.

General studio courses will allow children to explore color, watercolors, drawing, cartooning, sculpture, textiles, printmaking and more. The courses are designed with specific age groups in mind and will offer a creative outlet with a flexible schedule allowing for morning-only, afternoon-only or full-day enrollment.

Middle-schoolers will be able to take Cartooning Basics, Youth Studio Art, Drawing for Grades Six to Nine and Young Artist Academy. New classes will include Sculpture Lab for students in grades one through five and grades six through nine. Pop Art: Inspired by Popular Culture will be offered for students in grades one through five.

Through its Continuing Education department, PCA&D's youth classes teach more than 400 children annually, with more than half of them attending the summer classes. The college also provides full and partial scholarships to school-age students based on merit and financial need.

Also, courses with a pre-college focus will be offered for high school students. Intro to 3-D Computer Animation, Figure Sculpting and Graphic Design for Social Good will be offered during Session One, from July 10 to Friday, July 21. Fundamentals of Design, Storyboarding and Figure Drawing for Character Development will be offered during Session Two, from Monday, July 24, to Aug. 4.

PCA&D will also offer adult studio classes for personal enrichment such as plein air painting as well as professional development courses such as website design, social media marketing and photography.

Course descriptions and registration for summer classes are available at For more information, readers may call 396-7833, ext. 1019.


PCA&D Posts Exhibit April 5, 2017

This spring semester, the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design's (PCA&D) Main Gallery, 204 N. Prince St., Lancaster, is presenting "Creativity of Consciousness," featuring the work of artist China Blue and her team. The exhibition, which opened on March 17, will continue through Friday, April 28. On March 17, China Blue presented a lecture. A First Friday reception took place on April 7.

China Blue is based in Providence, R.I., and recently has been nominated as a two-year artist-in-residence with the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at the Rhode Island Hospital.

"Creativity of Consciousness" is the first exhibition of the artist's neuroscience-based art, which integrates all of her works while exploring the brain, mind, and society. The exhibit aims to pioneer new access to cognitive and emotional domains.

"Imagining Blue" is an interactive brainwave sculpture that responds to a participant's mind by changing in light, motion, and sound. With this sculpture, users are able to observe their own current brain in action. "MindDraw" is a real-time, interactive work that enables participants to create brain-based images. "Memory Network" is a series of paintings that reflect how individuals may connect and hold on to their life experiences.

For additional information, readers may visit


Art Exhibition Openings Posted March 28, 2017

Creative York will celebrate the opening of new exhibits. The events are free and open to the public. For additional details, readers may visit or contact

The "Collector's Exhibit" will debut at Creative York, 10 N. Beaver St., York, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will feature artworks from the personal collection of Genevieve Ray in the Kerlin Gallery and Joaquin Calles Guzman's installation "Nucleus" in The Project Space, including a live performance piece. Light refreshments will be provided.

An opening reception will also take place at Creative York West, 118 W. Philadelphia St., York, from 5 to 8 p.m. on First Friday, April 7. "A Three Man Show - The Artistry of Mark, Zack and Cody Bluett" will feature hand-crafted stringed instruments, landscape paintings, and funny, punny "PreZoodents." The exhibit will run from Monday, April 3, to Saturday, April 8.

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