The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

July 16, 2014

A one-woman show: Central City artist’s work on display

JOHNSTOWN — Mary Wiley-Lewis has a lifelong enthusiasm for art. Yet it wasn’t until the age of 39 that she picked up a paint brush to fulfill her dream of becoming an artist.

The 71-year-old Central City woman is presenting a one-woman show at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

Over three dozen works in a variety of media are on display in the art center’s Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Gallery.

“Having a one-woman show is a rarity for me because my works are usually part of larger exhibits with multiple artists,” Wiley-Lewis said. “A one-woman show is a real plus for me because people will get a better sense of who I am and what I represent.”

Arts center Executive Director Rose Mary Hagadus said the exhibit will be on display through July 31.

“This exhibition has a lot of variety as far as subject matter, style and media,” Hagadus said. “Visitors will savor the drawings, oils and pastels.”

As a youngster of 11 or 12, Wiley-Lewis remembers leafing through a magazine when she came upon several pages featuring pictures of paintings.

“I studied those paintings as my eyes locked on those pages,” Wiley-Lewis said. “I told myself that I would someday be an artist.”

The motivation to become an artist came from caring for her gravely ill mother.

“My mother had cancer and I was taking care of her,” Wiley-Lewis said. “She spoke so much about how many regrets she had over the course of her life. It was then that I realized that time was fleeting and we all run out of tomorrows.”

After the funeral, she quit her job and dedicated her time to really learning to paint.

She converted one of her bedrooms into a studio and began to explore her art.

“It wasn’t easy financially and I often questioned my decision,” she said. “But by the grace of God, I got through the rough times.”

For the most part, she sees herself as a representational artist.

Wiley-Lewis understands an artist’s personality shows through as each work progresses.

“It comes through whether you know it or not as bits and pieces of a painting fall together like pieces of a puzzle,” she said. “It happens each time that I put my brush to canvas or paper.”

While oil is her favorite method of expression, she has become accomplished with colored pencils and pastels.

“Years ago, a dear friend persuaded me to try pastels,” Wiley-Lewis said. “I steered clear from using pastels because I thought they were too messy. But I experimented with them, kept coming back to them, and now I’m comfortable using them.”

Wiley-Lewis paints landscapes and also created works in still life, portraiture, florals and animals.

All of the art works are for sale. They range in price from $150 to $1,000.

“People’s lives are so hectic. I hope my art gives those who see my work a sense of peace and tranquility,” Wiley-Lewis said. “I want my work to be a reminder to people to take some time and appreciate the many beautiful and peaceful things that surround us each day.”

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


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Report: Local jobless rate up in June

    A report released Tuesday by the Department of Labor and Industry showed an increase in unemployment locally from 6.4 to 7.1 percent in June.

    July 29, 2014

  • Detroit dealer admits role in Johnstown heroin ring, could face life in prison

    For more than a year, Kenneth “Kane” Carter ran his drug ring like a fine-tuned business, federal prosecutors said following his 2012 indictment.

    July 29, 2014

  • Police: Women stole thousands from elderly sisters, used money to show St. Bernards

    Two western Pennsylvania women have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from two elderly sisters and using the money to attend dog shows.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads