‘Their work is incredible’ | Allied Artists of Johnstown exhibition features diverse selection

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JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The summer is made for artistic expression.

The Summer Exhibition of Allied Artists of Johnstown is on display through Aug. 31 in the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center gallery at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

The show features 43 works by 35 artists from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana and Westmoreland counties, including paintings, fabric weaving, mixed media, collages, photographs and digital art.

High-quality

“Every time we do a show, the quality gets higher,” said Patrise Henkel, exhibit co-chairwoman.

“The membership is really very committed to their work and does a great job of showing up with a good presentation and interesting work. They are taking chances and pushing the envelope.”

The show also attracted a new member to Allied Artists of Johnstown and includes amateurs, semiprofessionals and professionals.

“Like almost any nonprofit organization, our membership is aging, and we’re always welcoming new and younger people and encouraging them,” Henkel said. “There is room for everybody, and you can see that in the variety here at this show.”

Creative juror

Arthur Lambert, retired department chairman of fine arts at Windber Area School District, served as juror.

His creative work includes sculpture, paintings and photographs, and he sold fine art for a prominent Chicago gallery.

Lambert graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in education. He also holds a master’s degree focused on teaching the arts through the senses.

He studied painting at Temple University and multidisciplinary education at Penn State.

“He was great to work with, and afterward, he hung around and gave feedback on why he turned away the pieces that he did and what would have made some of the pieces better,” Henkel said. “He was impressed with the variety and the strength of the work and the overall quality of presentation.”

Award-winners

Six works received awards from Allied Artists of Johns-town.

• “The Quilt on 14th,” a watercolor painting by Larry R. Mallory, of Glen Campbell, received Best in Show.

• “Unstoppable,” an acrylic painting by Joe Berezansky, of Johnstown, received first place.

• “Evening Light,” an oil on linen by Diana Williams, of New Florence, received second place.

• “I Don’t Have To Be Me ’til Monday,” an acrylic and collage by Alan Rauch, of Johnstown, received third place.

• “Mellow Cello,” a photo on canvas by Judith Crookston, of Johnstown, received an honorable mention.

• “Big Horn Ewes Near Grand Junction, CO,” a watercolor painting by Lydia Mack, of Ligonier, received the watercolor award.

“It’s uplifting and an honor to receive an award,” Henkel said.

“It’s a big boost. I think a lot of artists lean toward the introvert and being self-critical, so it’s a big help.”

Most of the pieces in the exhibition are available for purchase and range in price from $130 to $5,000.

“It’s always wonderful to collect local artists’ work,” Henkel said. “You’re collecting their stories, and you have a chance to talk to them about their work and follow what they do.”

She said viewers will find the display entertaining because of the variety and strength of the show.

‘Cool stories’

“I hope they have some conversations, and maybe there will be a surprise where they’ll want to know more,” Henkel said.

“Every piece of art is a story, and there are a lot of cool stories here.”

To celebrate the exhibition, an opening reception was held Friday at which award-winners were recognized. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists.

Angela R. Godin, executive director of the arts center, said that the summer show features works from a robust community of artists.

“Their work is incredible and there’s so many types of mediums,” she said.

“It always excites you to go in and see their show every year because they’re constantly thinking of new works to produce. We’re very fortunate that we get to annually showcase the summer show with them.”

Godin said the artistic quality of work gets better each year.

‘Different stages’

“Each artist really is trying to expand and advance their own works, regardless if they are a younger artist or a well-established and professional artist,” Godin said. “It’s special that we see the history of different generations and genres, but also different stages in people’s artistic careers.”

Godin said that viewers to the show will gain a better sense of their community.

“These are people who are producing works that are local and so valuable, and the talent we have here is really incredible,” she said. “Being able to enjoy that and have a sense of beauty from our neighbors is really amazing. The work is juried, so it gives it an added quality because there’s standards and expectations, and they want to continue to raise the bar as a group and as individual artists.”

Allied Artists of Johnstown has more than 100 members of amateur, semiprofessional and professional status from around the region.

The group hosts three art exhibitions each year and offers scholarships to area students entering art fields.

There is no admission fee to attend the exhibition.

Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information about Allied Artists of Johnstown, visit www.johnstownart.com.

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