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Artists make connections through annual Penn State New Ken show |
Art & Museums

Artists make connections through annual Penn State New Ken show

Rex Rutkoski
| Monday, December 3, 2018 12:03 a.m
Delmont watercolor artist Dan Yaklich’s “Cardinal in Snow.”
“Withstanding,” acrylic on wood panel by Peter Cehily of Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County.
New Kensington photographer Anthony Latella entered a shot of of the exterior of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel.
“Big Bone Wonder,” oil on canvas, by Bob Bickers of Murrysville, is based on a scene the artist saw at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Lower Burrell artist Ted Scanga will donate this mountain lion wood inlay to Penn State New Kensington after the exhibit as a thanks for the university’s decades of support for local artists.
Sue Yaklich of Delmont’s acrylic Westmoreland County landscape, “Stream by Donegal.”
Monroeville artist Larry Brandstetter’s ink and colored pencil “Let It Snow” was designed about 30 years ago and printed onto sweatshirts.
Eileen Kopelman of Lower Burrell’s oil over pastel, “Tree Frogs on Vacation,” was inspired by lily ponds near Ligonier.
Watercolor artist Barbara Jewell’s two entries depicting elephants began with a visit with her photographer son to the Pittsburgh Zoo several summers ago.

Photographer Anthony Latella of New Kensington tries to capture images that others might ignore.

Dan and Sue Yaklich of Delmont seek creative ways to express and share their love of nature, she through photography and other expressions and he via painting.

“Sharing this love of creating together is a very special addition to an already great partnership.” says Sue Yaklich.

Retired lawyer Bob Bickers of Murrysville enjoys telling people, “I paint what I like and sometimes I even like what I paint,” even as he follows and is intrigued by an inner muse to “make something that did not exist before.”

Sometimes, says Eileen Kopelman of Lower Burrell, a painting evolves … and evolves, and evolves, and 20 years later she has an entry in the East Suburban Artists League’s annual month-long exhibit, underway Dec. 3-21 in the gallery at Penn State New Kensington.

See with new eye

The entrants represent various levels of experience and exceedingly varied backgrounds and find their motivation to create in widely different ways.

But they share a commonality in wanting to reach others with their labors of love, to elicit a reaction, make us smile, perhaps shed a tear, make us think and to encourage us to consider new ways of looking at the familiar.

They will be willing to talk about all this and more at a free meet-the-artist reception 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7 in the gallery.

“I do art because it is fun and it is enjoyed by others. I hope that people see some beauty in it and try to guess why it is the way it is. The arts bring quality to life,” offers Ted Scanga of Lower Burrell, who plans to donate the wood inlay mountain lion he is displaying to Penn State.

“It is their symbol, and Penn State has done a great service in providing the space for artists to show their work. It is the best place in the area to show your art,” he adds.

Hats off to ESAL

Having been a student at Penn State New Kensington in the mid-1980s, artist Peter Cehily of Allegheny Township says it is always a bit of a thrill to return to display his art work and see the campus.

“They have a very nice gallery space and do very nice openings,” he says.

He says being a member of ESAL has opened up a lot of opportunities to show his paintings in local communities.

“I also really appreciate the camaraderie of the fellow artists a lot. It has been a wonderful and very enriching experience in many ways, artistically and personally,” he says.

Bob Bickers says that ESAL has always been his artistic home.

“It’s a place to meet and associate with other artists, share our craft, have some fun and even learn a thing or two,” he explains. “The people are real, local, and are my friends in a way that cannot be experienced on social media alone.”

‘Walk’ into landscape

ESAL member Pamela Beatty of Murrysville likes when her paintings have depth.

“I strive for the viewer to ‘walk’ into my landscape and feel the cold of the snow or the warmth of the sun. I hope to convey an experience for the viewer,” she explains.

Artist Barbara Jewell, also of Murrysville, hopes to draw viewers to the beauty in what is usually considered “the ordinary,” and thus often overlooked.

“Much of my inspiration is drawn from the world of nature,” she says. “Whatever the subject, I paint what ‘speaks’ to me in a way that I want to convey my perspective and emotion to others.”

The conversation continues at Penn State New Kensington.

The group actively encourages people to join or at least to attend a meeting and experience the camaraderie themselves.

Information is available at

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Categories: Museums
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