Sunday, October 14, 2012

Markeim Art Center

by Kim Huyler Defibaugh

The hour long drive west to Haddonfield on Friday night was highlighted by the most beautiful autumn sky I have seen in many years.  The colors and textures of the clouds foreshadowed a remarkable evening reception for the New Jersey Art Educators exhibit in the Markeim Arts Center.  
Photo by Ann Marie Miller

Upon entering the gallery, my attention was drawn to a beautiful mosaic that was perched on a window ledge.  “Nature and Geometry” was created with glass and clay by Gail Scuderi.  I can only imagine the time and effort that went into the creation of this piece.  My eye was skillfully led through the mosaic by wavy horizontal lines of varying shades of blue as my eyes experienced an explosion of color in flowers and radial designs.

Zhe Xhou Jiang, who works at the Arts Center, displayed a large Chinese Watercolor print titled “Night of Philadelphia.”  In this photo he can be seen explaining his watercolor technique to interested attendees. 

Lydia Hamilton Brown painted these two large acrylic works titled “Monet’s Kitchen” and Picasso’s Stuff.”  I found her interpretations of the artists and their surroundings intriguing and colorful.

Diane Driessen created 3 pieces with handmade paper titled “Frog,”  “Bee” and “Oak Leaf”   She used foam to create the frames then collaged them and additional shapes (leaves, bee and honeycomb) with her paper which she painted with watercolors.   Inside the frames were boxes formed from more interesting papers adding depth and interest to her works.  

Sandra Marvin Koberlein shared 3 prints on different papers.  She pulled the prints while attending the Artist Teacher Institute in the summer.  Sandra is pictured next to 2 of her prints titled “Lotus 2” and “Lotus 3.”  The exhibit also featured several artists who displayed works made of cut paper including 2 that can be seen beside Sandra’s prints.

Many children attended the reception since this was an exhibit by art teachers and the Markeim Arts Center provides classes for students of all ages.  It was especially rewarding to see a teacher with a group of students examining my two works.  The girls were thrilled when they figured out that “Hidden Image 1” was actually an embroidered representation of a hand.  They also discussed the use of plastic bags to crochet “Royal Society Doily, 1948.”  These youngsters were seen using their cell phones to take photos of art throughout the gallery. 

Art teachers are drawn to the field of education because they have a passion for making art and they want to share it with students who aspire to be artists.  Teachers who continue to make and exhibit art throughout their career not only improve their skills, they inspire others outside their classroom to create art.  I brought a high school friend to the reception and she was awed by the work created by New Jersey Art Teachers.  She is now motivated to get back into making art of her own.  Can’t wait to see her work!

Hope you find time to visit the Markeim Arts Center though October 28th.  20 artists participated in this exhibit sharing works in a variety of media.  Those who attended the reception enjoyed light refreshments and the opportunity to speak to many of the exhibiting artists.  Special thanks go out to Elizabeth Madden (Executive Director of the Markeim Arts Center) and my friend Laura Petrovich-Cheney for coordinating the exhibit.

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