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June 4, 2013

Bottle Works exhibit will focus on folk art

JOHNSTOWN — Folk art will be on exhibit, and a workshop will show the ins and outs of being a folk artist.

“Crafts of Regional Artists” will be on display Saturday through June 27 at Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

An opening reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, with a free folk arts workshop from 4 to 5.

During the reception, guests can enjoy refreshments and shop for crafted items to take home.

The exhibition will feature selections from Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art’s permanent collection as well as crafts from more than a dozen regional artists, including Mary Ann McAuiffe, Barry Poglein, Amy Dabbs and Dorie Sheridan.  

“We expect 50 pieces in the exhibit,” said Rosemary Pawlowski, Bottle Works executive director. “It will include a dozen pieces from SAMA’s permanent collection and work from regional craftspeople, including wood, fiber, glass and metal.

“There also will be several traditional quilts from the Log Cabin Quilters and pottery, baskets and Shaker furniture from Bedford for sale,” Pawlowski said.

“The visitor will marvel at the level of workmanship seen in the folk art. The collection speaks to the pride the craftsmen expressed in creating their pieces.”

Marcene Glover, Bottle Works’ consultant with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ folk arts infrastructure, gathered the works for the display.

“This exhibit celebrates the range of interpretations – from humble roots of the tradition to current artistic expression,” Glover said.

“As craft evolves, growing and adapting with current culture and artistic influences, it still speaks of its origins, born out of function.”

This is seen in the beauty of a well-crafted bobbin made so that authentic patterns of lace could be crafted from it.   

“Sometimes the beauty in a piece is seen through its elaborate embellishments, and other times the beauty is found in simplicity, in looking into finely crafted material and seeing the mark of past craftsmen, of handed down standards and a sense of founding generations’ traditions living on,” Glover said.

The exhibit will be the backdrop for the “Howdy, Hoedown,” a collaborative fundraiser with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra auxiliary, which will be held June 18.  

Tom McCarty, leader of the bluegrass band Mountain City Grass, which will perform for the fundraiser, is a rostered artist, woodworker and teacher who will have several pieces in the exhibit, including his Santa Claus collection.

The opening reception will be followed by a no-cost folk arts workshop,  where participants can meet with fellow artists, bring their own traditional craft, learn how to stay active as a folk artist and share in the discussion.

Topics to be covered include the state apprenticeship program and the Bottle Works’ online roster.

“This workshop provides the chance for people to have questions answered to find out whether they are considered folk artists and fit in with these programs and sign up to have professional development and technical support,” Glover said.

The apprenticeship program in folk and traditional arts offered by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts allows artists to apply for up to $3,000 to help pay a master artist or mentor to teach a student program.

Participants also will learn about joining the Bottle Works’ online roster, which can be seen at bottleworks.org/rosterartists.html.

If you go ...

What: Crafts of Regional Artists exhibit.

Where: Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

When: Saturday through June 27.

Information: 536-5399.

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