Adams County Arts Council – Supporting the arts in Adams County, PA

Posts Tagged ‘Artist Spotlight’

Artist Spotlight: Sally Becker

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

sally beckerWhile exploring the gully and stream behind her childhood home at the age of five, Sally Becker found clay. Over 50 years later, her Iron Blue Gully Studio sits above that very clay deposit. The iron-rich, bluish clay is a reminder of her first experiences with nature and art, inspiring her work, along with the memories, landscapes and history of her childhood home.

Sally’s mother was not a professional artist, but believed in the importance of art, and shared that belief with her children. Sally took art classes outside of school, and developed the philosophy that art is good for everyone from an early age. Later, she took many courses in clay, as well as drawing, painting and photography, while working toward her BFA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She went on for a Masters in Education from Penn State, which she credits with improving her effectiveness as a teacher. An elementary and high school art teacher for 40 years, Sally describes herself as the jack of many trades, working in a variety of media.

Sally retired from teaching two years ago, which has opened up opportunities to work in her studio. Ten years ago, she began exploring Encaustic painting, a medium of hot wax and pigment, which originated in ancient Rome. She was able to study this medium with Michael Campbell at Shippensburg University.

Sarah_M_Becker_Memory_Bank_Barn_frontThere’s a lot of clay in her studio, too, but she often mixes media: clay sculptures often have images carved into them, or she will draw with colored slips. She also enjoys drawing with pastels, ink, pencil and graphite. “When I retired, I thought I would start this studio for the fun of it,” Sally says. “But I’m beginning to think there’s more. I am continually drawn to what’s around me where I grew up, landscapes, memories, animals, historical aspects of the farm. I want my family to see these things and remember from my point of view. I want to find a way to get people to think; to make them stop and look.”

fish plateIt makes sense that this urge to inspire people to notice the beauty around them is still with her after 40 years of teaching. Fortunately for our community, Sally continues to share her inspiration and skill teaching classes at the Adams County Arts Council. This session, she is teaching Beginning Drawing and Introduction to Soft Pastels. This summer, she will offer two camps: Turn Songs into Paintings, for ages 8-10 from June 8-12, and 3D Architectural and Figurative Sculpture, for ages 11-14 from June 22-26. Her work can also be seen at numerous ACAC Exhibits and Instructors’ Shows throughout the year… including clay pieces inspired by a 5-year old’s delightful discovery.

 

FarmPump

Artist Spotlight: Carol Herren Foerster

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

CarolAdams County Arts Council member Carol Herren Foerster has been sharing her drawings in Adams County for more than 25 years, but she recently recommitted herself to “really doing her art.”

Unexpected family obligations that arose earlier in her career made it impossible for Carol to finish her teaching certification, despite finishing a Bachelor’s degree in art.  Later, a work-related injury left her legally disabled with Radial Tunnel Syndrome in her right arm.  Carol says it’s no coincidence that drawing is the one activity that doesn’t aggravate the disorder.  The fine detail of her work is further evidence that drawing is what she is called to do.

Carol’s first priority has always been her family. Though her two children and four step-children are now grown, her house still often bustles with the sounds of little people – her grandchildren – for whom she cares while their parents are working.  As a younger mom, she worked odd jobs here and there, squeezing in time to draw when she could.  Since her own children are now grown, she is enjoying the freedom to pursue her drawing more seriously, particularly since the youngest grandchild is out of diapers.

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This piece will be on display as part of the Art of the State Show at the State Museum of Harrisburg until September 2014.

She also credits a sense of artistic liberation to Facebook and social media.  Since posting her work on Facebook, the overwhelmingly positive responses have allowed her to let go of self-imposed angst and inhibition surrounding her abilities as an artist. Her confidence has snowballed over the past few years, during which she has not only improved her skills, but she has also entered more shows and contests, won a few awards, and most recently, she received a letter from Pennsylvania Senator Richard Alloway, III congratulating her on a spot in the Art of the State Show at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, which began Saturday, June 22 and continues through September. She also has work showing at the Salmagundi Club in New York City this summer. Because she practices her art and submits her work without expectation or worry, the notifications of awards and acceptances like these feel like happy surprises.

When asked about her plans for the future, Carol says, “I’m no longer taking commissions. I just draw what I want.” An earlier plan to draw a series of women’s portraits evolved into a beautiful, eclectic collection of subjects that were on display at the ACAC Education Center last May.  She looks forward to another show at ACAC in April of 2015.  To prepare for that show and other upcoming events, Carol says she will just “go with the flow and follow inspiration.”  It’s a tactic that has been serving her well so far.

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This piece will be featured for the summer at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Ave., New York NY.

Carol has a website, but you can see her most up-to-date work on her Facebook page.

Contact her through Facebook or at carolsartsite@gmail.com to inquire about purchasing her drawings.

dalmatian

The fine detail of Carol’s work makes it clear that drawing is what she is called to do.

Would you like to nominate yourself or another ACAC member for an Artist Spotlight article on this blog?
Email Lisa Cadigan or Karen Hendricks with your ideas for a great art story.

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