Ligonier galleries prepare for art walk
Gallery owners will gather in celebration of all things art during the 2015 Ligonier Art Walk slated for Nov. 7.
“The Ligonier Art Walk is a really special event that celebrates that visual language and promotes community involvement in the arts,” said Andrew Thornton co-owner of Allegory Gallery.
“Ligonier is fortunate to support a vibrant art scene, featuring not only local work but from artists from around the world. The Art Walk spotlights that creativity and features the venues in town dedicated to actively supporting and fostering that visual language.”
Six galleries and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art will participate in the event by featuring special exhibits and artist demonstrations — Allegory Gallery, 215 E. Main St.; Conte Design-Lifestyle Gallery, 113 E. Main St.; Dovecote Ligonier, 136 W. Main St.; G Squared Gallery, 138 E. Main St.; Jaime Cooper Gallery & Studio, 212 W. Main St.; and Main Exhibit Gallery, 301 W. Main St.
“The Ligonier Art Walk is a fun way to explore Ligonier and celebrate the arts,” Thornton said. “We encourage people to come out and see what the participating art venues have to offer, stroll around town, peek inside other shops, get a bite to eat, start thinking about the gift giving season ahead and most importantly, enjoy the day.”
Most participating galleries will participate in the Art Walk from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., with Allegory Gallery staying open till 9 p.m. for an artist's reception.
Guests visiting SAMA are invited to tour the museum and watch a demonstration by Batik artist, Jeanne Wagle, who will have several pieces for sale.
Wagle, who recently exhibited her work at the Mountain View Playhouse, teaches Batik watercolor at Main Exhibit Gallery.
“It's important for SAMA and the other galleries to do something like this to show the community that we are here for them and everything we do is with them in mind,” said Emma Noonan, site coordinator of the SAMA Ligonier Valley.
“During the Art Walk we put ourselves out there a little more to get the community excited about the art community in Ligonier,” Noonan said. “It's important for us to appear as a united front. We are in this together and we try to promote each other and celebrate each other.”
At Allegory Gallery, artist Theodore Bolha will use intricately cut paper to create expressive narratives and imaginary landscapes.
“Theodore's work is meticulously handcrafted and we appreciate his precision to detail,” said Thornton. “He builds layers of carefully sliced paper to create elaborate scenes. When most people think of paper-cutting, they imagine the bucolic, folksy patters of Scherenschnitte. Theodore breaks out of the mold though and takes a more fluid and dream-like approach. Just like in dreams, his pieces can vacillate between the fanciful and the terrifying — liquid smooth lines can be met with jagged razor barbs. We are thrilled to feature his work at Allegory Galley.”
Bohla will be doing a demonstration from 4-5 p.m. preceding the opening reception, which will take place from 5-7 p.m.
Visitors will enjoy browsing the gallery's selection of beads, finished jewelry and unique jewelry making items.
Conte Design-Lifestyle Gallery on the Diamond will feature several artists.
Vermont landscape artist Dennis Sheehan, whose works adorn numerous galleries include the White House with local Scrimshow artist W Ward Ryan.
The work of Ligonier resident and Guinness World Record sculptor of miniatures, Robert Shamey's work will be highlighted for the afternoon.
Additionally, author Andrew Conte will be available to sign copies of his newest book, “The Color of Sundays.”
Dovecote Ligonier will feature Latrobe artist Kathy Sobota.
“Kathy's paintings are wonderful and well presented,” said gallery owner, Beth Whitlock. “I appreciate her balanced composition. You can really relate to her work.”
A member of several local art centers, Sobota completes still life watercolors of fruit, flowers and food.
“I adore participating in the Ligonier Art Walk,” Whitlock said. “It feels like the gallery owners are a big family. We all work well together and support one another. It's a very nice event.”
G Squared Gallery will be presenting the work of Charles ‘Bud' Gibbons, of Lower Burrell.
Gibbons has painted around the world and his painting are showcased in galleries both local and national. His work is dramatic and full of movement and excitement.
Gibbons is known for his landscapes of southwestern Pa. which he has been painting for more than 50 years.
“We at G Squared love the Art Walk because it gives us the opportunity to showcase the wonderful artists that live and paint in our regions,” said Judy Ross, a retail marketing representative from the G Squared Gallery. “It's a great marketing strategy in that it creates and builds awareness of the variety of outlets for art in Ligonier.”
Historical oil painter Jaime Cooper will demonstrate an oil painting at her gallery and studio.
“I'm excited to invite the public into my studio to see my work, discuss painting techniques, private art commissions, and private art lessons,” said Cooper, who is nationally known for her award winning portraiture and figurative work.
Cooper is an elected artist member of the American Artists Professional League based in the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
“Bringing visitors into town to experience the gems of our artistic community will make this a great cultural event,” said Cooper. “I think it's going to be wonderful.”
Main Exhibit Gallery, who will be welcoming several artists, is featuring the theme, ‘Prints, Pastels, Platters and More.'
“Without intending to, I seem to have created an underlying theme, ‘A Kaleidescope of Color, that reflects the nature of these works,” said gallery co-owner Mandy Sirofchuck.
A perennial favorite, printmaker Jan Heath always delights with her jewel tones of stylized landscapes of the forests and mountains surrounding her West Virginia home.
Ceramicist Ron Korczynski, who has been showing his art at Main Exhibit Gallery for 20 years, has intensified color and depth of his low fire ceramic platters, which are more art than functional works.
A newer artist at the gallery, Gail Beem, creates pastels of area pastoral scenes with a richness of color that exudes warmth.
Also prominent in the exhibit are Martha Murphy's painted whimsical metal art.
“The Art Walks are a very nice experience,” said Vickie Lipinski of Indiana who has attended the event is previous years. “It's nice to personally meet and learn about the various artists. It helps understand the essence of what they do.”
Guests who plan to attend the Ligonier Art Walk can learn more about the event by contacting any of the participating galleries or online at facebook.com/LigonierArtWalk.
“We hope visitors will take time to stop by all the exhibits during the Ligonier Art Walk,” said Sirofchuck. “They will be pleasantly surprised with the quality and scope of work available in our small town.”
Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.