Recently, the Levy Fishman Watercolor Group of Washington, DC was trying to decide upon a weekend destination that would be exciting enough to suitably mark the 30th anniversary of our painting together! It had to involve art, be located within a 2- to 3-hour drive of DC, and accommodate a member who was not very mobile. An old clipping torn from The Washington Post (“More Than Landscapes,” October 18, 2009) introduced us to the 23-mile trail of artists’ studios, galleries, and museums that encompass the Pennsylvania Arts Experience, just 90 miles from Washington. Thanks to Richard Zuber, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Arts Experience, our weekend surpassed our wildest dreams! Richard presented us with a veritable cornucopia of exciting things to do, each of which was based upon our group’s particular interests.
The Lancaster Arts Hotel (300 Harrisburg Ave. in Lancaster), built in an historic tobacco warehouse, proved to be the perfect place to base ourselves, as the lobby, corridors, and guest rooms of this fine hotel all display the paintings, drawings, and sculptures of local artists. Dinner at The John J. Jeffries organic restaurant at the Hotel was not only a gastronomic, but also a visual, treat as we were surrounded by art!
Among the highlights of our Pennsylvania Arts Experience weekend were visits to the studios of just a few of the many artists who live and work along the Arts trail, which extends from York, through Lancaster, to New Hope, along Route 30 and Route 113. Thanks to Richard’s intervention on our behalf, each of these artists opened his studio or home to us, generously sharing with us his art and his experience, and we are extremely grateful to all of them.
Nationally known sculptor George Mummert gave us a tour of the Keystone Art and Culture Center in Lancaster, of which he is Founding Director, showing us the bronze pieces that he built in his foundry and explaining the steps of the lost wax casting process that he uses. Lynda Mylin Ross warmly welcomed us into her studio in Marietta to share her dynamic charcoal drawings, paintings, and pastels. Rob Evans, whose work been shown in the Corcoran Museum, invited us not only into his studio in Wrightsville, but also to his gallery nearby where we were able to view a retrospective of his paintings which were inspired by the Susquehanna River Valley. Fiber artist, Sue Reno, shared her amazing quilts, some of which included cyanotype prints of leaves and seed pods that she had collected. Marion K. Stephenson’s vibrant pastels of autumnal ponds and trees made the walls of her York studio glow, and Glenn E. Blue’s watercolors of snow scenes transported us, making us vow to return for one of his weekend workshops.
Other treats included an opening reception at the Charles Demuth Museum, where James Warhola exhibited the original watercolors from his book, Uncle Andy’s, that illustrates his
childhood visits to his Uncle Andy Warhol’s New York City townhouse; a 60s “happening” (complete with silk-screening and a Velvet Underground cover band) at Tellus 360 Degrees, to celebrate the “Art Goes Pop: American Pop Art” exhibit at the Demuth Museum and the Lancaster Museum of Art; and, finally, an incredibly magical installation by Artist-in-Residence Wayne White at the Marketview Arts building of giant (15’ tall) figurative sculptures and puppets (some of which are moveable, all of which are made of cardboard) illustrating Civil War soldiers entering the town of York under the leadership of General Jubal Early in 1863.
If you love art and are looking for an inspiring way in which to spend a weekend, we could not recommend more highly that you explore The Pennsylvania Arts Experience (www.PaArtsExperience.org)! The Orientation Center, located in the Marketview Arts Building, at 37 West Philadelphia Street in York, would be a great place to start. Its Director, Richard L. Zuber (Director@PaArts Experience.org) could not have been more helpful in helping us to plan a trip that we will remember all our lives!
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