Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

The Painted Word: Get schooled in art this spring.

“Whale Bay Antarctica No. 4” by Zaria Forman.

Over the past year, I have pursued art in all its forms for TheBurg.

I could be found at galleries and museums, art associations, festivals, restaurants and even tea and coffee emporiums for craft week and poetry readings. I have attended salons in artists’ homes and viewed great art in cathedrals and churches. I even found art in the great outdoors, right above our eyes, gazing upon majestic murals throughout our fair city.

The focus of “The Painted Word” has been to highlight upcoming art shows, events and opportunities to meet artists creating their works. This has been achieved primarily through TheBurg’s print issue on a seasonal basis. My alter ego, “Bob’s Art Blog,” pops up semi-monthly in TheBurg’s online daily edition, where I truly get to be myself. To gain a fresh perspective on the art shows of spring, I plan to venture to exhibits at local colleges and universities. Now, I can actually say, “Class is in session.”

There are two distinct themes, front and center. Franklin and Marshall and Lebanon Valley College are joined in addressing an ongoing national forum through two riveting exhibits. The black-and-white photos from revolutionary photojournalist, Danny Lyon, followed the 1960s-era civil rights movement. Meanwhile, at F&M, artist Sonya Clark’s “Finding Freedom” uses the objects found in the everyday to create mixed media works that promote a dialogue revolving around racism, violence and “who owns history in the United States.” And, speaking of topicality, climate change and its impact are explored at both F&M and Bucknell.

As you may have deduced, the settings for the spring column are college campuses, which feature an eclectic mix of exhibitions, all within an hour’s drive of Harrisburg.

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, The Samek Art Museum
What better place to start than with Bucknell’s renowned Samek Art Museum? This past fall, “Guerilla Girls” ran riot in the upstairs gallery, featuring guest lectures from a troop of marauders, revealing their histrionic happenings of art activism. New this spring is “Against Time: Climate Calls From The Ice Archives,” through March 22, which portrays history’s view of mankind’s ongoing climate change crisis.

Franklin and Marshall, Lancaster, The Phillips Museum of Art
In the Dana Gallery, “Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom” highlights Lancaster as a key location along the Underground Railroad and the use of the night sky to guide those seeking freedom. This exhibit runs through April 30. Of special note, an Underground Railroad tour with the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania will take place on April 25 starting at 10 a.m.

At the Rothman Gallery, “What a Wonderful World” runs through March 29. The exhibit features four artists—Binh Danh, Rena Detrixhe, Ryan Hoover and Marion Wilson—who share a common concern over the environment and the future of our planet.

Through March 29, the Gibson Gallery is showing “Containing the Muse: Artists’ Books As Expression & Form.” Artists’ books are a form of creative expression that offer an opportunity for multi-discipline communication. Moreover, the Phillips Museum of Art celebrates its 20th anniversary this spring with special events such as a jazz night with the F&M Jazz Combo on March 12.

Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Schmucker Art Gallery
“Split Void” is an exhibit featuring the work of Julie Wills, associate professor of art at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. She is an interdisciplinary artist who works in the mediums of sculpture, collage and architectural interventions. She’s an artist with no ceiling on what she creates. Case in point: the mixed media schematic “Radical Geometry,” which marries art to the sciences, informing its own blueprint for tomorrow. Her exhibit runs March 27 through April 18. In addition, Wills will judge the works of students for the concurrent “Juried Student Exhibition.”

Lebanon Valley College, Lebanon, Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery
Lebanon Valley College features an exhibit from renowned civil rights photographer Danny Lyon, which runs through March 22. These black-and-white photos from the 1960s captured the history of the civil rights movement as it unfolded. Of special note, a photography workshop takes place on March 21. Afterwards, a student art thesis exhibit opens on April 23.

Messiah College, Grantham, Aughinbaugh Art Gallery
“Night, Desert, Garden: Matthew Doll Exhibition,” which runs through March 13, examines the relationship that coexists within landscapes that intersect Jerusalem and Rome. The exhibit seeks a commonality amidst strife, striking a balance between harmony and dissonance. “Messiah Senior Show I” and “Senior Show II” follow, both featuring works from senior students in the BFA Studio Programs, caps off the spring semester.

Millersville University, Millersville, Eckert Art Gallery
“Marc Chagall, Etchings and Lithographs,” March 12 to May 1, features 10 etchings and over 40 brilliantly colored lithographs from renowned artist Marc Chagall’s “Bible Suites” series. According to the gallery, Chagall stated he did not see the Bible but dreamed it as a child. His vision incorporates his Jewish heritage and his painting aesthetic as a modernist. Chagall’s works inform viewers with his poetic interpretations of the meaning of life.

For more information on these exhibits, visit the colleges’ websites.

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