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Art-in-the-Park, West Park, Allentown, PA – here’s what happened

Art-in-the-Park, Allentown, PA!

Claudia McGill, Artist

We participated in this show on Saturday, June 17. Normally held in the park, the anticipated weather problems necessitated a move indoors, to the Masonic Temple right across the street.

Glad we were inside, as it did rain hard in the morning and off and on all day. I hate being out in the rain at a show. I do hate it.

Nonetheless, things were chaotic in getting set up, with everyone having to figure out the new layout, find their space, and haul items up and down stairs. Additionally, this is the first year for a new set of show organizers – the previous ones (30 years) having passed the baton. It all turned out fine and I give everyone compliments for adapting and making things really nice.

OK. So we had a spot in the lobby, right at the front door. Couldn’t have asked for a better one.

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Plein Air in Chestnut Hill – Take a Look at What Happened

Plein air – Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA. Yesterday! I was there!

Claudia McGill, Artist

I participated in the 3rd annual plein air painting competition in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia on Saturday, June 10. Here is what happened…

Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood about 15 minutes from my house. Though part of the city of Philadelphia, it very much thinks of itself as an entity and has an active business association that puts on lots of events such as this one. The main street is Germantown Avenue, lined with all kinds of shops. On a Saturday, it’s very busy with shoppers and pedestrians all day long.

We arrived a little after 8 AM and went to our spot in the 8500 block of the avenue.

I chose a spot in front of the Wells-Fargo bank. I thought it would be nice because of the trees (offering shade) and the fire hydrant, which meant no one could park in front of me and block…

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Saucon Creek Arts Festival – Here’s the Report

Art show life – yesterday was another chapter at the Saucon Creek Arts Festival.

Claudia McGill, Artist

Yesterday, Saturday, June 3, I participated in this festival, held on the grounds of the Heller Homestead and put on by the Saucon Valley Conservancy. The event was held in Hellertown, south of Bethlehem, PA, about an hour from my house.

The show featured about 50 artists with booths set in the grassy area surrounding the house and in the gravel parking lot. I did this show two years ago but did not attend last year. It’s a new show – 2015 was its first year.

We drove to the show in rain. I was not happy. I’ve vowed to avoid doing shows in the rain any more, but the weather forecast was for clearing later in the morning. I crossed my fingers.

We arrived. It was pouring.

We were directed to our spot. Knowing the site from my earlier attendance, I asked for a space up near the…

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Tile Festival 2017 – Now a Nice Memory…

Claudia McGill, Artist

We spent the past weekend at the Tile Festival on the grounds of Fonthill/Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. Held every year, this show celebrates tiles. All kinds, but only tiles!

For information on the site, you can look up Henry Chapman Mercer on your own, but as a quick bit of background, he is the man who built the concrete house (Fonthill) and established the tile works. His life was dedicated to several things, among them being the preservation of implements and objects of pre-industrial everyday life, and making tiles. The tile works continues to produce tiles according to his designs and in a handmade manner. The house is Mercer’s interests all in one place. Both are open for tours and are worth seeing if you are ever in the area.

So you can see why the Tile Festival is held at this location. It’s an annual event and draws…

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I Am an Onlooker

Yesterday I made a trip over to Chestnut Hill College for a reason other than writing poetry – I wanted to attend the Senior Seminar presentations in art.

If you follow my poetry blog, you know that I go to the library here every week to write. A few weeks ago I noticed posters for these presentations taped on the library doors. I decided I’d check it out. I was interested to see what the students would have to say and I was curious about the art studio facilities, too.

So I arrived at the campus and climbed the hill to St. Joseph’s Hall.

St. Joseph’s Hall, Chestnut Hill College, April, 2017.

This building is formed in a T shape – the front façade being the top of the T with the Rotunda in the middle. The main part of the building extends out the back. The art studio is located on the top floor in the left side of the T top, as you look at the building. What a fantastic location! Windows on three sides of the room and huge skylights.

The building was constructed in 1903 and I believe this room was always meant to house an art studio. And – we are really high up in the air. We can look down on the top of the flagpole from the window.

One of the professors told me that when the students want to do landscape paintings, but the weather is bad, they have a panoramic view from inside the room to use instead. And it is true.

We settled in to listen to the presentations. The art department is small at this school – there were only three seniors. It was obvious from their work that they were given a great deal of attention and support and they had thrived in it. The senior project involved not only creating artworks, but doing so as to carry out a theme, and using more than one medium; the project also included a written paper. Each student’s work was well-thought out and went into some depth. I went away having learned something from each one.

After the presentations we went out into the art gallery to view the works themselves. This space is located on the mezzanine of the fifth floor outside the studio.

As you can see, we are really high up in the building! I have a fear of heights and I stayed away from the (substantial) railing, but there was plenty of room and I did not feel afraid. I had a chance to talk to each student, ask questions, and see the work up close. I really enjoyed this part of the experience because I enjoy comparing what I see in the work with what the artist intended.

Finishing up, I took a few pictures looking over the railing. This took some courage for me!

I had not really understood the scope of the day’s events. It turned out that all seniors were presenting their major projects – either making an oral or a poster presentation. (The tables below were being prepared for some of the posters/students). I made my way downstairs (slowly, taking some time to wander around the building – it was a good time to do it, as the place was full of visitors and so I was not the only one craning my neck at the views…).

By that time the rest of the event was in full swing. There were several rooms of posters and students standing in front of them, ready to answer questions.

I also learned that students in other academic disciplines were giving oral presentations.

Next year I’ll be better prepared and I’ll stop in on some of these as well. As it was, I walked around the room and talked to several students – topics including Hemingway, abnormal psychology, art therapy…any interest you might have had, I believe you could have found a student ready to talk about it.

I came away very impressed with the students and with the college for providing them with the chance to shine like this. I had a great time and I’ll be looking for another trip back here this time next year. Look where art takes you!