BY TOM LAVIS
Painting on a different plane is a positive study for artist and Altoona native Barbara Wachter.
Her latest exhibition, “Seeing the Invisible: Paintings by Barbara Wachter,” opens Friday at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto.
The exhibition features 35 canvases of contemporary impressionism that will be on display in the museum’s Margery Wolf-Kuhn Gallery.
Featuring landscapes and figure studies, the exhibition emphasizes Wachter’s ability to weave together reality, imagination and the subconscious.
Wachter selected the title of the show, “Seeing the Invisible,” because she believes a person has to view a painting for a long time before gaining a full understanding of it.
“A person must look for the invisible elements in each painting,” she said. “By looking at it a long time, people eventually should see something mystical and spiritual.”
The paintings are light-filled essays in personal mysticism or, as Wachter explains, the illumination of “an existence visible nowhere else except in the works created.”
All the works in the show are oil paintings, but Wachter also works in watercolors and mixed media.
Wachter lives in Charlottesville, Va., but retains ties to the region, often visiting her family homestead in Logan Township.
One of the paintings in the exhibit, an oil-on-canvas titled “Barn at the Fischer Farm,” was painted in 2012. The barn is located on the family farm.
Wachter’s late father, George Fischer, who also was a painter, owned the farm, which was passed on to him by his father.
Wachter attended St.Francis University, but eventually earned a nursing degree elsewhere.
Painting has been her passion for more than 20 years.
Wachter does a lot of field studies and often does sketches or takes photos prior to tackling a subject in the studio.
“It is simply the culmination of all of the invisible elements in this intricate process of creating,” she said.
As an impressionist, she understands that when people pose in the usual ways, sitting or standing together, animals standing quietly or boats resting in harbors, that it is far from commonplace, but it is and does become a mystical experience.
“I would love people to leave with a feeling of peace, calm and tranquility after viewing my paintings,” Wachter said. “Much of my work reflects on my roots and the love of family.”
“Seeing the Invisible” will remain on display through Dec. 7.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Information: 472-3920 or visit www.sama-art.org.
What: “Seeing the Invisible: Paintings by Barbara Wachter.”
Where: Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto.
When: Friday through Dec. 7.
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