Tag Archives: Baum School of Art

Baum School of Art Holiday Pop-Up Shop 2018

Once again I’ll be participating in this annual event at the Baum School of Art in Allentown, PA.

This year I’ve changed things a bit – I’ve taken clay work, as I usually do, but for this season I’ve got cylinder people, animals as well as tiles, on display as part of the sale.

The Baum School of Art is a community non-profit visual arts school located in downtown Allentown. It’s been serving art students for 90 years and is going strong. Located at 510 Linden Street, Allentown, PA, it is across the street from the Allentown Art Museum. You could visit both places, shop, and take in the artistic visions of many artists.

Here is a link with the info on the show. Note that there are two receptions, if you would like to shop in a party atmosphere!

OPENING RECEPTION:
Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 1–3pm
WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION:
Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 6–8pm

Baum postcard holiday shop

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending August 10

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.


Art in all kinds of forms. Yes!

Sunday, August 5 – This week’s diary may be skimpy on information, I warn you. I plan to devote a lot of time to my secret project and I can give you only glimpses of it. I worked on it both days this weekend – here are those glimpses:

And here is what else I did. Odds and ends of clay work. I put my name and date on the backs of these sgraffito tiles. Now they are ready to be wrapped up and stored (soon as my ordered bubble wrap comes in…)

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I started coloring these tall figurines. They will be part of my next firing.

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And the small figurines I did late last week are drying. Notice how the color changes as the figures dry out.

Monday, August 6 – Some more work on those clay ladies…

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More work on the secret project.

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Tuesday, August 7 – My husband and I went to Allentown, PA, to drop off a painting for an upcoming exhibit at the Baum School of Art:

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That took no time. So we decided to walk up the Art Walk to eat lunch at a restaurant we’ve enjoyed in the past, Queen City BBQ. Here are some pictures of the Art Walk:

We stopped at the Dick Blick store on the way home.

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Now I am a devoted Blick customer but I do my shopping through the internet – the nearest store to me is in Center City Philadelphia and that’s not easy to get to. So when in Allentown we often take the opportunity to stop in here and browse. I bought a tube of paint, a sketchbook with gray pages, and some white acrylic ink as a treat for myself.

Wednesday, August 8 – These two ladies are finally done. Ready for firing.

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Thursday, August 9 – I priced these tiles and wrapped them up. Now they can be stored until I take them to a show.

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I loaded the kiln with the work that I have on hand. I may try a firing as soon as I get a cooler day (the kiln should not be run on 85 degree F +/- days, it doesn’t like it). This load is tiny but I don’t worry anymore about packing the kiln fully for a firing – I mostly want to keep the work flowing. I’ll check the weather and see what looks good. Anyway, even if I add more work, I’ve got this amount already set to go, that’s always a nice thing.

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Friday, August 10 – Well, this week didn’t go as planned, really – I have had ongoing family issues and some other hitches in the schedule. Hoping next week might hang together a little better.

This afternoon I did some work for my secret project – I can tell you that this aspect of it involved painting some papers. I used acrylic inks today, mostly:

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and I used acrylic paints, including the new one I bought on Tuesday in Allentown. I do love trying out a new paint. This one looks like I’m going to love having it in my paint workforce.

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I was painting at random to achieve my effects today – here are the things for the project:

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and here are some accidental byproducts that are extremely useful. I usually use a page from an old book to blot or spread inks or paint – today I used this one, from my childhood collection:

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Who knew the Bobbsey Twins could be so versatile as to still be hard at work solving mysteries and opening eyes right here in the art studio, 50 years after I purchased this volume? The paper is soft and absorbent but is not at the point of being so brittle that it crumbles. Here are the results. I’ll save them to use later.

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And, I’d like to mention, these papers were painted to the accompaniment of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, can’t say enough good about them – and then, my favorite radio program ever, Funky Friday on WXPN Philadelphia (Fridays 4-7 PM, just saying). You will always paint beautiful papers to the sounds of music that makes your feet move, believe me.

All right. I’ll finish up here and go listen to more music. Happy Friday!

See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending January 12

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

I started off the art week on January 7 with some collage. Oh, it’s messy.

I finished up, set a painting on the table for some other time, and cleaned things up. Ready for the next session’s work now – though all I am planning to do to this painting is paint the edges black. It’s pretty much finished otherwise.

I then went downstairs and worked on some tiles. I’m now addressing 4″ x 4″ commercially-made terra cotta tiles – I have a case of 80. I don’t need to do all of them, just maybe half, but that’s ok – I won’t need them until May.

I work on tiles in my basement. I have a little area set up down there just for tile work. I continued with more tiles on January 8.

On Tuesday, January 9, my husband and I went to Allentown, PA, to pick up unsold work from the holiday show at the Baum School of Art. I took a few photos of the area around the city center while we were there.

Allentown is undergoing a lot of changes – there is a new arena there and lots of new construction or renovation of downtown buildings. It’s nice to see. The areas near downtown are in transition too – new buildings, older ones awaiting development, and many blocks of fantastic row homes and traditional cityscapes.

I think these photos could make nice inspirations for paintings or tiles or ???

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On January 10, more tiles. And take a look at my brushes. Clay work is where my acrylic brushes go to live out a retirement that is more stressful than their original roles, because the clay items are so rough – they just eat up brush bristles.

The table is filling up. I will have a kiln-load soon. Normally I store tiles in process on shelves in the other room, but I’ve been too lazy to make the transport when I know pretty soon I’ll be taking them to the kiln. They might as well wait here.

You can see the difference between fully-dried underglaze and that just applied and still wet – the colors in the latter case are bolder and resemble the finished results.

The newest tiles are at the bottom of the picture below. You can see the more intense wet colors on the tiles in the above picture.

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On Friday, January 12, I had a treat for myself – an art visit with my friend Martha.

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We got together to catch up on our art and our personal lives. She presented me with some collage materials, we looked at selections of her collage and assemblage work that she brought with her, and then we did some art ourselves. We chose to paint papers for future collages – here is a sample of book pages painted with very watery acrylics that I made.

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I also took the opportunity to paint random colors all over the remaining 12″ x 10″ masonite boards that I want to turn into more odd-people portraits. This is the first step in my painting process – I do not like the look of white backgrounds and I need several layers of color, any color! on a painting before I can start to feel the painting is actually in play.

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OK, that’s it until next week.

Baum School of Art Holiday Gift Gallery – closing on December 21

The last day to take in this holiday gift event at the Baum School of Art is December 21. On that day, you can attend the closing reception as well as the rest of Destination Arts: Third Thursday, when Downtown Allentown is filled with arts related events and there are restaurant specials, happy hours, live music, late retail shopping and the Allentown Art Museum is free and open until 8pm.

The Holiday Gift Gallery’s reception hours are 6-8 PM, December 21. Baum School of Art is located at 510 Linden Street, Allentown, PA.

Holiday Gift Gallery 2017 at the Baum School of Art

Once again I have tiles in this holiday event, taking place from November 30 to December 21 at the Baum School of Art, Allentown, PA. The Baum School is a wonderful art center in downtown Allentown (510 Linden Street) and sponsors exhibits, classes, and other art activities all year long.

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There will be two receptions:

Opening Reception – November 30, 6-8 PM

Closing Reception – December 21, 6-8 PM. This reception coincides with Destination Arts: Third Thursday, when Downtown Allentown is the location for lots of arts-related events and there are restaurant specials, happy hours, live music, late retail shopping and the Allentown Art Museum is free and open until 8pm.

I Asked and I Was Answered

On Saturday, 10/22, my husband and I went to Allentown, PA, to take a look at an exhibit at the Baum School of Art. The show featured the work of Franz Jozef Ponstingl, an Allentown native. His work is surrealist and abstract, beautiful and thought-provoking. We took our time and found a lot to enjoy and to talk about.

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Beyond the visual, I was really struck by Ponstingl’s life story, which was detailed in the exhibit catalog. Born in 1927, he was self-taught and devoted himself to his art, turning out many paintings. He was also a veteran of WWII and the Korean War, held quite a few jobs and moved around. Through it all he painted, but his work found no acceptance. At one point in his life, faced with uncertainty about his future, he donated all his paintings on hand, a substantial number, to the Salvation Army. An art dealer acquired them, sold some, kept some. Ponstingl, meanwhile, painted more. Where these went I don’t know and I don’t know if anyone knows, exactly. Eventually, discouraged by his lack of success, he moved to California and lived the rest of his life there, dying in 2004. It did not sound as if in later life he continued to paint.

This exhibit came about when a collector (unnamed in my information source) acquired the remainder of the portfolio held by the art dealer and set about raising Ponstingl’s profile, seeking out other works. This exhibit at the Baum School came about as a result of these efforts.

This story made a strong impression on me. I feel I have been and continue to be compelled to make art by some inner force. I felt a kinship with Ponstingl in that regard. Doing art is essential to my mental and spiritual health and I am under no illusions about its value to me. Priceless.

I felt it that Ponstingl went through his life not able to convince others of the value of his work, to the point of giving it to a charity shop. I have had more success with selling then he did,  I think due to the subsequent growth of street and park art fairs. I haven’t been “discovered” and am unlikely to be.  Unlike Ponstingl, I have been fortunate in feeling the appreciation of viewers. I have also been able to pay for my art supplies and to add a bit to my family’s income through my artwork. But –

I thought about how many artworks I have sold in the past twenty years as a street fair artist – hundreds, if not more. I have very few of my own works on hand. I have no idea where they are, in the majority of cases. The tangible evidence of my thoughts, the artwork, sold, but leaving behind them always been a feeling of incompleteness, of uncertainty.

I told my husband what I was thinking. I said Ponstingl’s story really illuminated something I’d begun to think about, now that I have so many years of artwork to look back on, the actual pieces disappeared into the world, gone from me. Do people still have them hanging? Do they still enjoy them? Do they continue to find meaning in my work? Does anyone remember me? Did anything I did make any difference? I don’t have the art in front of me to remind me, to reassure me.

I have no way of knowing, I said, and the idea makes me sad.

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Well, we looked a bit more at the exhibit, and then we went to the desk to buy the exhibit catalog. We chatted with the lady checking us out.

Then, looking at me more closely, she said:

You look familiar. Do I know you? Are you an artist?

– Yes, I am. My name is Claudia McGill.

– (her face lighting up) Yes, I know you. Didn’t you do collage, some years back?

– Yes, I did, though I paint now.

– Well, I bought a collage from you, some years ago, for my daughter, a city scene, because she was living in New York.

And she went on to describe the meeting, the pleasure they still take in the picture. As she talked, I remembered the encounter myself – the mother wanting to buy a gift for the daughter, an artwork she still values.

I can’t tell you how I felt after this conversation. I felt almost dazed by it. It seemed as if the universe heard me and took quick and direct action to let me know that my artwork, no matter where it is and even if I don’t know it, has a life of its own. It does matter.

I felt immensely reassured when we left the building. I know I will be thinking about this day for some time.

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