Early November signifies the beginning of all things seasonally nostalgic, including holiday customs with a list of “pre’s”: pre-holiday shopping, pre-setting the oven for baking and, the most important one of all, pre’s bring the pumpkin pie. Actually, November also includes holiday gift open houses, craft studio tours and, within a few days, a firehouse of an art sale.
Part I: Paxtang Art Association Firehouse Special
Sound the sirens—it’s a four-alarm “doozy” of an art sale at the Paxtang Firehouse for the borough Art Association’s 31st annual three-day sale of paintings.
Taking place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 5 through 7, at 3423 Derry St., the event is touted as the largest sale of art under one roof this side of the Susquehanna. Over 2,000 paintings from 100 artists leave no doubt that the people of Paxtang love their art. The range of works includes mediums across the board, with something for everyone’s taste and pocketbook as the holiday season is just around the corner.
The association is happy to bring back its annual event, as last year was a moot point. Highlights for this art extravaganza include a roster of “local artists with talent to spare,” according to the association’s instructor and front man, Nick Feher. Capably assisted by Vivian Seetoo, they have bragging rights to a corral of creatives who have put their art up for purchase. Wanted posters feature a posse of painters that include the aforementioned Vivian, whose art includes miniature paintings on tea bags as well as familiar scenes from New York City.
In addition, look for Michelle Phillips’ “pop art” everywhere, as she is no longer a Mama and Papa (just kidding), as well as Gary Ditty’s legendary landscapes. If the firehouse gets crowded, just walk across the street to the Tiger Eye Coffee Co. for a break of Hershey’s ice cream, coffee, tea, snacks and a whole gallery full of art from 16 more creatives. Owner Makayla Burton will be happy to serve you scrumptious treats and show you the gallery. So, mark your calendar for this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Part II: Over the River and to the Woods—The Foothills Artists 14th Annual Studio Tour
November also includes holiday gift open houses and craft studio tours, some of which are well worth a road trip, just an hour from Harrisburg.
A craft consortium of 11 artists nestled in the idyllic beauty of the Fairfield Valley will unveil their art for the 14th annual edition of the Foothills artists on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This special weekend event begins by just crossing over the Mason Dixon Line west of Gettysburg. Comprised of equal parts male and female artists, potters, sculptors and fiber art experts, as well as woodworkers, a veritable variety of artistic approaches include something for all. Road trips are the perfect excuse to get out of town for a change of scenery and a different perspective. It is no wonder that, in this rich valley, craftspeople truly elevate their mediums to new heights.
Joh Ricci weaves art through fiber in autumnal colors from a knotted vessel of beauty, a kaleidoscope brooch and a hand-stitched scarf that demonstrates dexterity with tools of the trade—mostly her hands, yarn and a crochet hook. Creating fiber art from the age of 8, shape and design are explored with an endless color spectrum. Schooled in the fine arts, Ricci’s resume lends ed cred to thread cred.
For Rod Stabler, turning wood has not lost its appeal over the 40 years he’s been involved in the art, making vessels, platters and bowls. The artist states, “There is something deeply satisfying about unleashing the beauty of raw wood. Each piece has its own personality and character.”
Ann Rupert creates jewelry, as well as two-dimensional media, that include pastels, oils, watercolors and color pencil. She works in collaboration with Rod to join her mixed-media art with his turned pieces.
Judy Pyle is a sculptress and jewelry maker, employing torch-fired enamels for over 20 years. She makes her fittings from hand-fabricated silver for brooches and rings. Rare metals of gold foil and silver add to the jewelry’s luster.
Laurie McKelvie, guest artist, will be showing pastel paintings of landscapes. “They capture light and color found in the natural world.” Laurie is a realist painter helping to perfect the world through her art.
Geoff Grant is a fine art photographer specializing “in painterly landscapes, candid portraits of people of different cultures and street photography.” He is equally skilled in color and black-and-white formats. His calling card entails atmospheric avenues of departure.
Jack Handshaw is the founding member of the group show. Crafting pottery out of his log home for over 40 years, Jack is an award-winning potter who works in all types of clay. For the tour, he will offer porcelain, redware and raku.
Anne Finucane works in a variety of printmaking. For the tour, she will feature etchings and linocuts. Inspiration comes from nature, mostly plants with mediums changing in an evolutionary process that embraces methodology in a gradual course moving toward the finished goal.
Geoffrey Thulin is a painter of “bold celebration of color and form through animal imagery, landscape and abstraction. I explore rhythm, pattern and energy and their connection to the spiritual in nature,” he said. Watercolor and gouache comprise the mediums of choice that Geoffrey uses to create.
Michael A. McCollough is a “gestural abstract artist” offering stretched and un-stretched canvases. His wife, Sharon Pierce McCollough, is a sculptor, painter, author and, for the weekend tour, will offer concrete sculptures of found objects and metal, as well as children’s books and paintings.
The historic houses are a draw in their own right, as is the generous nature and gratitude shared by the collective group of 11 who express their appreciation to all visitors who venture out for this annual craft tour. The lush background rich in history and culture of the Fairfield Valley provides the setting for all five studios. After viewing all of their work, you’ll feel this was an adventure well worth taking. You may share in the joy of “taking back something worth remembering” as Three Dog Night reflected back in 1970. That thought and sentiment 50 years later are exactly what makes the trip over the river and to the woods all the more relevant today. For tour map, visit www.foothillsartists.net.
Part III: The Adventures of Pamela in the Poconos
Millworks artist Pamela J. Black is known up and down the eastern seaboard for her instantly recognizable paintings. In her latest offering, “Changing Seasons,” the artist unveils a series of 13 stylized works in abstract departures inspired by the seasons. She creates an ever-changing palette of poetry in paint through this dramatic offering.
“The similar thread of nature ties them all together,” the artist shared.
The temporal turn of time translates to a bounty of colors and context now gracing the canvases featured at the Laurel Lane Gallery at Nemacolin Luxury Resorts, nestled in the Poconos, showing through Dec. 30. Pamela’s grouping represents a portion of over 1,000 paintings throughout the resort’s buildings.
“Waves of color, pools of paint and controlled mark-making are used to pull intentional color palettes and inspiration from each season,” Pamela revealed.
What better time of year to bid adieu to fall and greet the holiday season full of great promise, providing the perfect opportunity for a getaway gift to drink in the beauty of the seasons as they turn from their golden hue to evergreen.
Paxtang Art Association 31st Annual Art Sale, Nov. 5 to 7, at Paxtang Fire House
The Millworks First Saturday, Nov. 6
State Museum of Pennsylvania 54th edition of “Art of the State” through Jan. 2
Carlisle Arts Learning Center, “A Sense of Place,” through Nov. 27
3rd in the Burg, Nov. 19
Perry County Council of the Arts 7th Annual Juried Exhibition, opening Nov. 19
The Millworks Odd One’s Fall Bizarre indoors Saturday, Nov. 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27. Start your day at the bizarre and then gallery hop to your favorite lair
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