I make copper, brass, and bronze jewelry using found objects including vintage watch parts, deconstructed costume jewelry, and new and vintage hardware. I make necklaces, rings, brooches, and earrings. To me, the hunt for interesting materials that I can repurpose is an essential part of the creative process. Where someone else sees an old broken Timex or Hamilton watch, I see a pair of earrings, a necklace, and charms for a bracelet.
For many years my hobby was quilting. From that I learned to have the patience to see a creative process through from initial idea to finished project. Quilting, like jewelry making, is not an activity for a person seeking immediate gratification.
I have been inspired by both the steampunk and industrial esthetics. Vintage watch gears or salvaged escutcheons are carefully manufactured objects. By refashioning these into jewelry, I am able to extend their useful lives and share their innate beauty with new audiences.
I also find inspiration in my full time job. As the director of operations for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, I help to manage our jury process and website. Consequently, I have seen thousands of images of not just jewelry but of fine art and craft in a variety of media. The quality of work and range of creativity I see in my job has inspired me to take risks in my own work. In addition, I have been fortunate to meet jewelers who could mentor, providing encouragement and education as continue on the journey of expressing myself visually.
Cheri Harte was born in Akron, Ohio, where her family took photographs on special occasions like birthday parties, Christmas, and vacations up to Lake Erie.
When her father died when she was ten, most of those types of photographs stopped. It was later when she attended Kent State University and majoered in English and Journalism when she too a black and white photography class that she got interested in photography. She also realized how she treasured old family photographs. She became the official recorder of her family’s and friend’s life events. For her, a photo holds a memory forever whether it is a wonderful view of the mountains or the first time she set eyes on a grandchild. She loves capturing the beauty of nature through close ups of flowers, leaves, icicles on trees, and many other sights captured while walking locally in Centre County.
Cheri Harte was a high school English Teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia for twenty-seven years before she retired to Pennsylvania with her husband, who was a graduate of PEnn State and wanted to come back to Happy Valley. When her husband passed away five years ago, she decided to stay because she has become so involved with the arts community in Centre County. She has exhibited with a group of fellow women photographers (InFocus) at Schlow Library, Mt. Nittany Hospital, and the Gamble Mill Restaurant. She has also exhibited with another group of women artists (COCO) at the Art Alliance, Otto’s Pub, and Bellefonte Art Museum. She is a regular contributor at the Art Alliance for the recycling, figurative, abstract, member shows, and juried shows.
She currently lives in Liberty Hill in Boalsburg and keeps busy with many activities with the University Women’s Club, her church, art groups, tennis, and traveling.
Christine has always had a passion for the natural environment. Graduating from Penn State with an environmental education degree, she has explored many sides of northeastern flora and fauna. Through her papercuttings, she enjoys highlighting the beauty that is constantly around us, although sometimes overlooked. She also has a fascination with the idea of made-up worlds. She finds inspiration through her two small children to investigate and to travel into these secret places. Usually, the longer you look at her pieces, the more you will discover.
As a child, I always loved to draw and was encouraged by my dear cousin who is an artist in New York. But when I graduated from high school, I was torn between my love of art and my love of math. At the University of Delaware , my decision was to major in math. In my “first” professional life (I have had many), I became a high school math teacher.
Along with my husband, Jim, we moved to State College in 1970, where we raised three daughters, all of whom are very creative women. My job experiences along the way include a baking business; being the school director for many years at Congregation Brit Shalom; and ultimately, becoming the Assistant Director of Administration at the Hillel Foundation at Penn State. When I retired from a 10-year career at Hillel, I summoned up the courage to take an art class. Although my early experiences and comfort zone in art were drawing in a realistic manner, I began to evolve when taking an abstract acrylic course taught by a wonderful artist, Isabel Kumerz. It was a mind-opening experience and although I find it a great stretch for me, I enjoy the process and the creative women with whom I paint.
Much of my work is connected by my choice of bright colors and by the concrete images from still life compositions or places I have traveled, drawn into my abstract painting. The materials I use consist mostly of acrylic paints on canvas or paper but I also like using charcoal, water- soluble crayons and watercolors. Quite often, I collage onto my painting with objects that are meaningful to me–a souvenir from travels abroad or a flower from one of my plants, etc. My works are often textured with layers of acrylic and/or paper.
My process of abstract painting revolves around the techniques I have learned from my teachers over these past nine years. These techniques are a good way for me to “get started.” I have fun doing abstract/semi-representational painting.
The support from family and friends to explore my creative side, along with my inner voice to create, have been my impetus to continue.
I graduated from a tiny little school in Virginia called Bridgewater College with a Bachelors of Art in Art. After graduation, I worked as a staff photographer for two years at James Madison University, mainly photographing events. During my time at JMU, I also taught an undergraduate level course on Iphonography. I am currently a graduate student at Penn State University in pursuit of a Masters of Fine Arts in photography.
Painting is very personal for me. It is a beautiful inner, in-depth experience and watercolor is the perfect medium. It rewards me with energy. I paint in the early morning, gentle mornings – and a dialogue ensues, a spirit of cooperation between the painting and myself. So I begin with the aim to flow, to be one with the conversation; The relaxed tones, the fluid stroke, shadow and sunlight emerging. Each phase in a painting is complete in itself. A testimony, a bond and remains forever only known by the artist.
On the Iris
Iris was the Greek goddess representing the personification of the rainbow. She was the messenger of the gods who lead the souls of dead women to the Elysian fields. The ancient Greeks planted the purple iris on the graves of women.
The iris symbolizes feminine power, love, intuition, beauty, and hope. In one painting it appears courageous, central, frontal, unfurling its petals – part enchantress, part priestess. In another like a bud, still wound around itself, encasing its full promise, trembling and expectant.
Flower painting is a very recent development for me. I gained interest in them as subject material when I began using high quality watercolor paints that allow for translucent layers of pigment and color interactions that I couldn’t achieve before. As such, I don’t associate any deep or hidden meanings to the images, although I hope my enthusiasm for exploring color and new techniques transfer to the viewer as a sense of visual pleasure.
Having always been inspired by nature and its expressions in the landscape, Lisa Dawn White collages handmade and painted papers with botanical specimens that she collects, presses, preserves and enhances using a variety of techniques. Each collage is created in multiple layers and finished by hand painting the botanicals to maximize their color preservation over time. Works are often finished with dimensional paints, textiles, shells and stones to help create a sense of movement and spirit.
With the addition of color and texture provided by vibrant pigments and papers, Lisa’s collages offer a contemporary interpretation on the ancient art and craft of pressed flower arranging. Lisa is always searching for pattern and repetition in nature and is thrilled to find it in unexpected places. A whimsical interpretation of nature is the golden thread running through all of her designs.
Most of the botanical specimens used are not commercially available: foraging is an integral part of the process. Lisa hopes that her works inspire people to observe nature more closely, reflect upon their relationship with it and help to nourish it in any way that they can.
Photography documents – it makes note of – it bears witness. Photography asks us to look and to study. It can record that which is forgotten or make visible that which should never be erased. That is the purpose of this interruption.
Violence against transgender people is an epidemic; it has been labeled a “global genocide” (Kidd & Witten, 2008). The aggressions include familial disownment, homelessness, job discrimination, poverty, discrimination in shelters and in housing complexes, and higher risks of suicide. The conflux of disownment and discrimination places already vulnerable bodies into heightened spaces of danger that, given the intersections of racism, sexism, and transphobia, are most likely to affect transgender women of color. Every year since 2010 the homicide rates against transgender people have increased. Yet their names and their stories are left unseen by corporate media and, as a result, a good deal of the populace.
Don’t Turn Away seeks to interrupt the media silence and confront attendees through multi-modal photography, asking them to bear witness to the ways in which “normal” and maybe even “safe” spaces can be a battleground for those who are targeted by ignorance and fear. The interruption implores the looker to imagine a world that is hostile and even deadly to the existence of a human being because of their gender. This interruption denies erasure through using a razor blade to etch a history of violence into ethnographic photographs. Don’t Turn Away raises and scars the otherwise smooth surface of the print to impress upon the looker that spaces carry traumatic traces and our ignorance, our silence, is complicit in violence.
Susan Nicholas Gephart developed a deep appreciation of the earth and its relationship to art when she was a young child. Her passion to explore out door painting, or “plein air” painting is expressed through a unique use of color, texture, and atmosphere, capturing the landscape with spontaneity and directness. Susan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pennsylvania State University in 1979, and an Associate in Arts from Montgomery County Community College in 1977. She has been exhibiting and painting award-winning landscapes for over forty years. Her colorful, impressionistic plein air pastels and oils are in private and permanent collections across the country, such as The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Susan is an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America, and a Signature Member of the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society. She also co-founded the Plein Air Painters of Central PA.
Susan spreads her love of creating art in nature to all ages through her teachings. She has been instructing since the mid 80’s, and organizing the Hameau Artist Retreats for all levels and mediums. Susan’s workshops are supported by top national art supply companies. Her workshops and artwork are advertised in Pastel Journal, PleinAir Magazine, and Fine Art Connoisseur.
Susan’s pastel, “Hameau Farm Sunset and Clouds,” was published in PleinAir Magazine’s July 2016 article, “The Many Moods of Clouds.” This fall, Susan was a featured artist to watch in Pennsylvania Crave Magazine. Susan will be invited faculty for the 6th Annual Plein Air Convention in San Diego.
For more of Susan’s work, visit her website at www.snicholasart.com.