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

Posts Tagged ‘sculpture’

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

Adventures in Abstract Art

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Robyn Warren - DaveLisa VinoOpportunities for adventure are endless with abstract art.  Whether you claim to “like it” or not, abstract art invites an audience to participate in the creative process.  Because the pieces often do not represent identifiable objects, viewers are taken on an adventure of the senses, drawing on individual experiences and emotions: Does that shade of purple evoke the soft color and smell of flowers in your grandmother’s garden?  Do those undulating blues remind you of a trip to the beach with a long-lost love, making you melancholy? Or do they remind you of a vacation you took last week with a new love, evoking a sensation of bursting happiness?  Whatever you are feeling, the person standing next to you may be simultaneously on a different, but equally relevant emotional adventure.

This phenomenon only allows the adventure to continue.  Once we have processed our own feelings about a piece, we can discuss our impressions and feelings with a friend… or a stranger.  Will you bond over the experience of the piece with the person next to you, or will you engage in a debate, so moved are you by the feelings that no other interpretation seems possible?

Continuing the adventure still, we can imagine the motives of the artists who created the pieces.  Is Arlyn Pettingell’s “Night Ocean” a peaceful sea or a harrowing one? Is there a storm threatening a lovely sky, or are the soft yellows and pinks glimmers of the calm that follows the storm?Pettingell

If you would like to find out, join us for the ACAC’s Abstract Show adventure, which peaks on Friday, August 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a First Friday reception at the Adams County Arts Council’s Education Center, 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA, and will continue throughout the month of August.  The show offers a diverse range of style and subject matter in a variety of media, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed media.  Artists will be in attendance at the reception to discuss their work, and all pieces are for sale.

Handshaw

 

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