New Touchstone exhibit explores artists’ ‘Mutual Understanding’ |
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Shirley McMarlin

Artists Adrienne Heinrich of Murrsyville and Judith Musser of Bedford will display their works in “Mutual Understanding,” a joint exhibition opening Aug. 2 at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Fayette County.

An opening reception is planned for 2-5 p.m. Aug. 4 in the arts enclave’s Iron Gate Gallery at 1049 Wharton Furnace Road, Wharton Township.

The exhibition, running through Sept. 30, is a joint presentation of Touchstone and the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. Both featured artists are AAP members.

In the featured works, “Judith and Adrienne guide us through layers of feeling, memory, and personal attachments, gravitating us further in thought and appreciation with their ingenious way of utilizing both grace and power in their execution,” says curator Jennifer Panza, who has 15 years of design, display, art exhibition and installation experience and works in her family’s business, Panza Framing and Art Gallery in Millvale.

Panza says she visited Heinrich and Musser in their studios to select the featured works. Heinrich will show cast silicone sculptures with embedded artifacts, including a tiny doll that she inserts into each piece, while Musser will show two-dimensional pieces including paintings.

“Each piece can work individually, but it all works together and it’s all about their experiences,” she says. “It’s very powerful when you put your own personal emotion into the work.”

She was especially intrigued, she says, by a Heinrich piece entitled, “Woman in Pain.”

“Adrienne said it had been rejected from shows before because, ‘Oh, it’s too creepy,’” Panza says. “I said, ‘Then let’s show it.’”

“Jen has found thoughtful ways in which artworks complement one another. The show looks great in the space,” says AAP Executive Director Madeline Gent.

The artists

Educated at Cleveland Institute of Art, Heinrich is a sculptor, painter and installation artist whose work is represented in the permanent collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the Heinz Endowments and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

Musser did postgraduate work at Cleveland Institute of Art and Seton Hill College (now University). Her professional memberships include AAP, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society and Pittsburgh Society of Artists.

“Mutual Understanding” is the second collaboration this year of Touchstone and AAP. A previous exhibit featured artists Kristen Letts Kovak and Silvija Singh.

Viewing hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, or by appointment.

Details: 724-329-1370 or

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