“The name of the place is I like it like that…come on, let me show you where it’s at…”
For this 3rd installment of an intimate art preview, the name of the place is Millworks. And like the authors of this hit song from the ‘60s, the Dave Clark Five, Millworks is now featuring a different quintet comprised of diversely talented artists, as varied as their menus offerings. View this new show through June 13 on the main lobby wall. Come out this Saturday, June 5, for “First Saturday,” where many of the artists will be working in their studios.
Starting within the group is a quartet of women artists. Kristen Fava is a well-known name about town, having worked with TheBurg for six years. Known for her letterpress printing designs, she melds old world skills through the use of historical equipment in a precise manner that brings modern-day results to a finished format. In addition, she designs publication illustrations for clients as varied as the Kennedy Center and the Washingtonian magazine. Kristen is the founder and owner of Rexmake, a local printmaking business started in 2016. Her products can be appreciated on stationery that can be seen and purchased at Millworks studio 210. Ms. Fava is a talented graphic designer with years of multimedia experience. Her art is featured immediately upon entering the foyer. “Drawing” from a palette of neutral shades of tan and gray, Fava creates magic with works on paper that are soothing to the eye, maintaining focus within her crystal-clear vision. (Pictured: mixed media by Kristen Fava)
Elaine Elledge of Studio 212 minds her p’s and q’s like “the student of beauty” she is, advancing printmaking with pen-and-ink to paper as her prescribed medium. It often lifts her to the clouds in a dreamlike state. Her “p’s” include precision, poetry and parachutes. As for the “q’s,” Elaine quietly quantifies quality quintessentially. She is influenced by the German tradition of scherenschnitte to street art—religious symbolism to fantasy stories that inform her works of the human condition. Universal struggles shared by her own emotions and loss provide positive outcomes through her prints, lifting her spirit and those around her. Her art, buoyant and boundless, is like flying in a hot air balloon. Her art lifts me to lands uncharted. And like her art illustrates, she parachutes to a safe landing every time. (Pictured: mixed media by Elaine Elledge).
There is art and there is fine art. That is meant not to diminish the art of any modality or person working within the discipline. The only difference is fine art speaks to a practitioner of consummate skill and accomplishment. Yachiyo Beck falls into that category of artists. Her art ascribes to aesthetics and beauty as influenced by Asian art, with an emphasis on the natural. Beck’s paintings unfold as a most delicate flower opens up to the transformational changes in nature. Fine art is distinguished as unique to applied art or decorative art. Yachiyo’s works are representative of the intrinsic beauty she creates with her brush. In the vein of past masters like Georgia O’Keefe, Beck’s studies evoke exquisite refinement. She is an award-winning painter who works primarily in watercolors and oil. Working from Studio 320, she portrays still lifes, florals, landscapes and portraits with equal aplomb locally and on an international stage. (Pictured: watercolor by Yachiyo Beck)
Another award-winning artist, Linda Benton McCloskey, elevates the art of painting to immeasurable heights as she has mastered the craft in so many forms. Her love of creating through varied approaches encapsulates cold wax, encaustic, contemporary and abstract art and oil paintings. The artist states, “I paint because not to paint is unthinkable. Painting completes me and truly is my life’s passion.” A member of the International Society of Experimental Artists, she is recognized worldwide. Linda provides knowledge well beyond her fine art paintings in that she continues the thread through instructional workshops. In depth detail and execution are all part of her visual repertoire. She gives way to the process of creation, allowing for shape and movement to flow freely. Her work can be admired in Millworks studio 103 and in galleries nationwide. (Pictured: “Hopscotch” by Linda Benton McCloskey).
Ending with the only gentleman in this quintet is Richard Souders, retired art teacher from the Harrisburg School District. His career spans instruction at the Riverside Arts Magnet Program and Harrisburg High as well as the prestigious Pennsylvania Governors School for the Arts when it was located at Bucknell University. Initially forging interests in clay and fiber, Souders today delves into a recently developed love of street photography. This fascination is certainly where the action is, with so many side avenues. Adept at candidly capturing casual conventions, Souder’s street art turns into an intersection of ingenuity. His photos hit the bulls-eye every time. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education from Kutztown University, Richard holds both ed cred and street cred as part of his resume. You can find Souder’s works on the upper level gallery at studio 317 and can be viewed on his Instagram page @streetseen9.
SAM Goes To Extremes with Persephone
If you are traveling to and through a rough neighborhood, it is advisable to bring a friend along. In my 70 years of living, I have heard the stories of the toughest neighborhood known to man. It starts with an “H” and ends with double “L’s”—you get the picture. To venture there would be an undertaking of Herculean proportion. So imagine two women going forth in a collaborative journey that took one year to complete. The narrative arc of the Greek goddess, Persephone, inspired a dualistic, multi-layered art opus. The exhibit is on view now in the main lobby at the Susquehanna Art Museum. Artists Elody Gyekis and Joanne Landis “paint on each other’s works and alternate the roles of both artist and Persephone. They explore the themes of birth and death, love and renewal, separation and reuniting, mother and daughter and the seasons of the year.”
Through their work, the artists celebrate the universal theme of the power of women in exploring feminine archetypes and mythologies that reflect current themes. In the end, the 12-panel panoramic exhibit is a testament to two women and their collaborative process. These artists share their journey of creation in an artist’s talk and tour at Susquehanna Art Museum on Sunday, June 13, at 3 p.m. This is an event you won’t want to miss, so reserve your spot today.
You Saw It There First—A Real Jim Dandy
It isn’t everyday that the New York Times features a Harrisburg artist. So, one can only imagine the surprise felt when, on May 13 in the Style section of the paper, I recognized a local name, Jim Caufield. Mr. Caufield was selected among a handful of other artists who had submitted a work of art made over the past year during the pandemic. He “envisioned it as a fantasy place with no rules or recipe.” In fact, “an antidote for the times” (no pun intended) Caufield relied on found and natural materials as an extension of his role as a board committee member for Friends of Wildwood’s “Art In The Wild.” Jim has been a driving force in this annual celebration of environmental engineering for the nine years it has been in operation. With 124 installations accounted for in AITW’s rich history, he borrowed the naturalistic refrain from the annual event in creating his craft. As a retired architect, it was an easy transition for Caufield to shift from design to builder with his “Rustic Magic” creations. His 16-inch tall creation, an abode, reflects a rustic wooden cottage full of charm in its finished rendering. Caufield’s piece was one of 26 nationwide selected for the article bringing recognition to a local artist for his creative work. If you are a fan of AITW, you can bring a bit of it indoors with one of Jim’s dandy art pieces. From the small to the tall, whimsical abodes to light fixtures, e-mail Jim at email@example.com. You can also view his creations through Fine Art America. (Pictured: “Not Gingerbread 1” by Jim Caufield).
HBB in HBG
In local artist news, Millworks adds a new team of artists to the roster in June at the restaurant/brewery/art studios. Zack Rudy and Garrick Dorsett comprise the Huckle Buckle Boys, outsider artists who march to their own beat. Moving from their West Shore locales to the city, they will be sharing space in studio 318 with Reina Wooden upstairs at Millworks. Look for more HBB news later this month in Bob’s Art Blog. (Pictured: “Where We Met”).
Except where noted, most photos in this story are by Jana MacGinnes.
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