TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Har-Brack grad to share his famed art career in miniatures at museum talk

Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, who is spending his summer working with the museum, peers in from the rear hallway of Cinderella's Castle made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, who is spending his summer working with the museum, peers in from the rear hallway of Cinderella's Castle made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, places a lightbox miniature, made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, in the showcase at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, places a lightbox miniature, made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, in the showcase at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Jamie Stoner, Heritage Museum Curator, wearing white gloves, holds a miniature of Cinderella's Castle, made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Jamie Stoner, Heritage Museum Curator, wearing white gloves, holds a miniature of Cinderella's Castle, made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, who is spending his summer working with the museum, hold's a magnifying glass over a set of miniature's that show the process of their development and made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, who is spending his summer working with the museum, hold's a magnifying glass over a set of miniature's that show the process of their development and made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Jamie Stoner, Heritage Museum Curator, wearing white gloves, holds a miniature replica of the German doll on the left, both made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Jamie Stoner, Heritage Museum Curator, wearing white gloves, holds a miniature replica of the German doll on the left, both made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, who is spending his summer working with the museum, and Museum Curator, Jamie Stoner, hold a miniature pendant of a small yellow bird made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Ryan Kuehn, a Penn State Military Artifact Intern, who is spending his summer working with the museum, and Museum Curator, Jamie Stoner, hold a miniature pendant of a small yellow bird made by famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - A fingertip of Jamie Stoner, Heritage Museum Curator and a dime lay beside a self-portrait of famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>A fingertip of Jamie Stoner, Heritage Museum Curator and a dime lay beside a self-portrait of famed Disney artist, Bob Olszewski, who grew up in Natrona Heights, at the Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
www.olszewski-miniatures.com - Bob Olszewski's 'Scrub Jay and Magnolias' from his songbirds collection sells for $240.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>www.olszewski-miniatures.com</em></div>Bob Olszewski's  'Scrub Jay and Magnolias' from his songbirds collection sells for $240.
www.olszewski-miniatures.com - Bob Olszewski's miniature titled 'Oriental Lovers' sells for $240.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>www.olszewski-miniatures.com</em></div>Bob Olszewski's miniature titled 'Oriental Lovers' sells for $240.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - The Heritage Museum in Tarentum features an exhibit by miniatures artist Bob Olszewski that includes Disney's Cinderella's castle.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>The Heritage Museum in Tarentum features an exhibit by miniatures artist Bob Olszewski that includes Disney's Cinderella's castle.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

‘Art of Miniatures'

What: Presentation by “All Things Small” artist Robert “Bob” Olszewski

When: 1 p.m. July 27

Where: Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society's Heritage Museum, Tarentum

Admission: $5 donation; free to graduates of Har-Brack High School class of 1963 and Allegheny-Kiski Valley Heritage Society members

Details: 724-224-7666 or www.akvhs.org

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Julie Martin
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

His work might be small, but Robert “Bob” Olszewski's impact as an artist who focuses on tiny details has been big.

The Harrison native, who lives in California, will give a presentation on the “Art of Miniatures” at the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society's Heritage Museum in Tarentum at 1 p.m. July 27.

He has traveled to some 750 shows worldwide and given talks at at least 500 of them, but home remains close to his heart. “Without the Alle-Kiski Valley, I would not be where I am today,” he says.

“The art of miniature is where my passion lies and my exploration of miniature has taken many forms,” Olszewski says.

Among those forms are pieces created for Goebels Company (makers of E.I. Hummel figurines), the Danbury Mint and Disney.

To say the award-winning artist's work is done on a small scale is an understatement.

According to Olszewski, his final works can stand as tall as 58 of an inch or, with more extensive works, such as a miniature of Disneyland's Main Street, or measure six feet long by two and a half feet wide.

“I would say I am fascinated with the compression an image or images into a reasonably small scale or onto a small surface such as a box.

“This act done right will redefine the larger object and cause you to look at it differently.”

Olszewski's work is done as small as what is called Z-scale, a 1:220 scale ratio.

The opportunity to meet the well-known artist comes courtesy of the Har-Brack High School 50th class reunion.

Olszewski — who graduated from Har-Brack (the predecessor to Highlands High School) in 1963 after attending Birdville Elementary and Blessed Sacrament School — will be in town over the weekend for the reunion.

In a nod to his fellow alumni, admission will be free to members of the Har-Brack class of 1963. For others, a $5 donation is suggested.

In addition to his presentation, the artist will sign up to three pieces.

He will share a slideshow and discussion on his work, which includes not only the tiny collectible sculptures he is best known for, but also early paintings.

“People are always curious as to how I got started, which is a question asked at every show,” he explains. “I will answer that, along with sharing the evolution of my career.”

Olszewski's interest in painting and drawing art developed early, and by 16, he began winning awards for his work at art shows.

After earning a bachelor's degree in art education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he moved to California to pursue art while teaching.

He discovered the world of miniatures while building a dollhouse for his daughter and later left teaching to devote himself to art in miniature full time.

In 1993, a 30-year museum retrospective of his work was mounted at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, Calif., and, in the same year, he was named International Collectible Artist of the Year.

The Heritage Museum features a permanent display of Olszewski's artwork. The collection was donated by his brother, Ray Olszewski.

“It is a beautiful sample of the various type of work Bob has done,” Allegheny-Kiski Valley Heritage Society president Dolly Mistrik says.

She says that the permanent exhibit includes items Olszewski made while under contract with Goebel, the Franklin Mint, the Danbury Mint, Disney and Enesco.

Jamie Stoner, curator of the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum, has a unique perspective on Olszewski's miniatures.

“Having worked here at (the museum) for a while, I am really excited to meet the man behind one of my favorite exhibits,” she says. “I love miniatures, and I have never seen more detailed ones,” Stoner says.

She would know; she oversees the cleaning of the tiny figurines in the Tarentum museum's permanent display.

“For this process,” she explains, “we use high magnification. Even at 10 times magnification, the details and facial expression are clear.”

In anticipation of the upcoming program, Stoner has purchased an Olszewski collectible of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

“The exhibit highlights a local talent and gives the opportunity to appreciate the hard work and detail that Mr. Olszewski puts into all of his work,” says museum intern Ryan Kuehn.

From Stoner's perspective, the upcoming program and the permanent exhibit offer a chance to see art in a new way, especially when you look closely.

“I think Olszewski's work brings us the unique chance to look at and examine the small details in the world.”

Julie Martin is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read AlleKiski Valley

  1. Child pornography videos tied to Winfield man
  2. Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana
  3. Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
  4. ATI reveals details of contract offer to steelworkers union
  5. South Butler superintendent heads home for Mohawk job
  6. USW rallies in support of ATI, other steel companies’ employees
  7. Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft
  8. Surveillance video shows Fawn tire shop burglar
  9. HBO to end ‘Banshee’ series, disappointing Vandergrift
  10. Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg
  11. Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley offers free services at clinic