The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 21, 2013

Westmont artist presents the 'Motherlode' at his first solo exhibition

Tom Lavis

— Brandon Locher of Westmont is a musician and visual artist who relishes using a wide variety of mediums to enlighten people.

Locher will present more than 25 works in an exhibition titled “Mazes to the Motherlode,” which will open Sept. 28 at the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center at 411 Third Ave. in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

During an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m., Locher will perform a selection of his music using two computers and various electronic equipment.

“I will be performing new and old tracks from ‘The Meets’ project along with other old and new solo creations,” Locher said.

On Oct. 1, the Johnstown-based art collective My Idea of Fun will release Locher’s newest full-length album with “The Meets It Happens Outside.”

In his first visual arts solo exhibition, Locher will present works and illustrations from 2012 and 2013. The show will be on view through Nov. 5.

“If I try to speak of the ‘Motherlode,’ I can’t say what it is, because it won’t fit into words or concepts,” Locher said. “This is human life. Weeds will flourish, though we hate them and wish them gone; flowers will die, though we love them and long for them to remain.”

Locher is having his first one-man show at the Bottle Works even though pieces of his work have been shown in many shows in many venues.

“This is his first solo flight, and Brandon shows commitment to his work – both visual and musical – and a commitment to this community,” said Rosemary Pawlowski, arts center executive director. “He went to school here, continues to work here and live here.”

Locher is the co-founder of My Idea of Fun, a collective of musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and writers based out of Johnstown.

Since 2006 Locher has quietly disseminated more than 50 releases under various monikers and in a wide variety of mediums.

For Pawlowski, it has been fun to watch Locher develop his skills and widen his circle to include and involve other artists, musicians, patrons and appreciators of the arts.

“For this show, Brandon has created  a number of mazes that pull the observer into his work,” Pawlowski said. “The new work is all pen on paper, very intensive studies.”

He also will show some earlier paintings in mixed media.

Generally, Locher concentrates on only one artistic medium at a time.

“I will switch my creative gears completely for a few weeks and only focus on my visual art and then vice versa,” he said.

“With both ‘Mazes to the Motherlode’ and ‘It Happens Outside,’ the final presentation and pieces only become this small percentage of my overall heady vision for each project.”

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on LavisTD.