Bethlehem Press

Monday, September 16, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIERParticipants in Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission’s “Fifth Biennial Self-Portrait Exhibition: The Last Picture Show,” Rotunda Gallery, Town Hall, Bethehem. Copyright - © Ed Courrier PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIERParticipants in Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission’s “Fifth Biennial Self-Portrait Exhibition: The Last Picture Show,” Rotunda Gallery, Town Hall, Bethehem. Copyright - © Ed Courrier

Last ‘Self-Portrait’ exhibition in Bethlehem Town Hall Rotunda

Friday, August 2, 2019 by Ed Courrier Special to The Press in Focus

The Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission’s “Fifth Biennial Self-Portrait Exhibition: The Last Picture Show,” an exhibition of works by 40 Lehigh Valley-based artists and non-artists continues through Aug. 8, Rotunda Gallery, Town Hall, Bethlehem.

Richard Begbie, James A. DePietro, Barbara Kozero and Vince Gentilcore curated the show, and provided works of their own. Artists, musicians, educators, and area residents who support or influence the arts were invited to participate.

The late Richard Redd, professor emeritus of art at Lehigh University, originated the concept in 2011 of “having a mix of artists and non-artists come up with what they consider are their self-portraits.”

According to DePietro, the fifth annual exhibition is “The Last Picture Show” for the Fine Arts Commission based on this theme. He cited the work involved in organizing such an event as the reason for discontinuing it. The arts commission will continue themed shows. “The next one will be celebrating abstraction,” DePietro said.

The self-portraits, rendered in a variety of media, feature literal representations, abstract work and metaphorical pieces.

Bethlehem-based painter Sandra Corpora can be viewed at her easel in the reflection of the silver pitcher that serves as a vase in her “White Roses and Green Apples” (oil on canvas).

In her “Point Verge” (oil on panel), artist Elena Shackelton expresses her frustration with censorship. Her head is wrapped in a cloth and her mouth is gagged. She explains in the painting she is “on the verge of expression” and feels restrained from continuing.

Easton-based artist Will Hübscher titles his colorful self-portrait “Many Masks” (monotype). The collage-like arrangement of flowers, vases, and masks reflects on his gardening, the florals in Hübscher’s artwork, and the “many masks” he wears as he struggles with ADHD.

“I’m an artist wannabe,” quipped ArtsQuest arts administrator Stacie Brennan. Her “Introspection” (relief print) captures a thoughtful expression on the young woman’s face. “I am excited to return to artmaking for myself and to develop my own creative voice,” she said.

Ann Lalik, Ronald K. De Long Gallery Director, Penn State Lehigh Valley, is a fine arts jeweler. With “Creative Seeker” (rice paper, copper, silver, and amethyst), the delicate blossom is a metaphor for womanhood.

The symbolism that graphic design artist Kristine Kotsch employs in her “Finding My Soul” (digital assemblage, archival pigment print) are a pair of boots she wears and a crow figurine.

Retired newspaper columnist Bill White’s “Portrait of a Columnist” (cardboard cutout photograph) is a life-size photo of him from his annual “Eating My Way Through Musikfest” feature for The Morning Call.

Also contributing “self-portraits” to the exhibit are: Elli Albrecht, Maciek Albrecht, Earl Bethel, Lee Butz, Kara Cenni Mohsinger, Dr. William Crow, Pat Delluva, Tim Fox, Barbara Fraust, Lucy Gans, Keith Garubba, Kassie Hilbert, Diane Hutchinson, Lindsey Jancay, Femi Johnson, Zach Kleemeyer, Diane LaBelle, John Landis, Merry Landis, Allan Meyerson, Jackie Meyerson, Dominick Naccarato, Paul M. Nicolson, Barbara Schulman, Thomas Shillea, Jacquelynn Simoné, Ward Van Haute, Hub Willson and Matt Wolfe.

Rotunda Gallery, Town Hall, 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem. Gallery hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday, Closed weekends. Information: bfac-lv.org.