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Shirley McMarlin
(from left), Molly Zindash, Kenneth Nicholson, exhibiting artist, (art shown back), Todd Keyser and Brian Ferrell, gather for a photo during Art on Tap and the opening of 'Dark Matter: Paintings by Kenneth Nicholson', held at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg on Friday evening, December 8, 2017.

It’s a great American art success story:

A boy grows up in tiny Norvelt, studies art at Westmoreland County Community College and then at Seton Hill University, and soon his work is hanging in The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg.

That artist is 29-year-old Kenneth Nicholson and his painting exhibition, “Dark Matter,” opened Dec. 8 along with the monthly Art on Tap happy hour.

Nicholson, also the recent recipient of a master of fine arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, says his portraits are both expressive and figurative and somewhat influenced by the grotesque.

He currently works at both of his local alma maters as an adjunct art instructor. His work can be viewed in the museum’s Robertshaw Gallery through Feb. 4.

Former instructors, now colleagues, who stopped by to support Nicholson at his opening included Kathy Dlugos, Patrick Daugherty, Brian Ferrell and Todd Keyser. At his side was girlfriend Molly Zindash.

Repping The Westmoreland were Judith O’Toole, Barbara Jones, Claire Ertl and Randall Oaks.

A contingent from the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra included Endy Reindl, Joy Carroll, James Cook and Mike Matteo.

Also seen: Marie Gallatin, Amy Faith, Sally Loughran, Danny and Sarah Overdorff, Jim Clayton and Mary Catherine Motchar, Barbara Ferrier, Pamela Cooper, Keith andShirleah Kelly, Patrick andKelly Epley, Dan and Sharon McCue, Jim andKaren O’Connor, Gay Wasserman, Sherry Anderson and Anita Manoli.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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