Double Exhibitions | Loretto Museum with works of art by 3 painters, 1 potter | features

LORETTO, Pa. – An exhibition of artists who capture the world as they see it is on display at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto.

The exhibition Something 4 Everyone is on view at the Sullivan Gallery through June 5 and The Found Voice in Art is on view at the Margery Wolf-Kuhn Gallery at SAMA-Loretto, St. Francis University. 112 Franciscan Way.

Artwork by Stacy Datsko, Dan Helsel, Diana Williams and Kim Williams are featured in Something 4 Everyone.

“The show consists of three painters and one potter,” said Beverlie Hartnett, registrar of SAMA.

“What’s interesting about all four artists is that they specialize in interpreting what they see into a work of art and focus on how they apply their particular approaches to art.”

Datsko, a teacher at Northern Cambria Elementary/Middle School, fell in love with wheel-thrown pottery in high school.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in ceramics from Slippery Rock University, a teaching certificate from Carlow University and a master’s degree in education from St. Francis University.

Datsko creates functional and decorative pottery with her husband and two children, often influenced by faith, nature and outdoor adventures.

When she’s not teaching, she pursues her artistic passion, pottery, in her home studio.

“She focuses on how the work of pottery—whether it’s a punch bowl, a mug, a beverage dispenser, or a tea or coffee service—fits its purpose and how this well-crafted object creates a moment between people,” Hartnett said.

Helsel began painting in 1995 after retiring from the business.

He enjoys painting in the style of the Old Masters of artists such as Chardin, Vermeer, Rembrandt and Velazquez and believes that style has an enduring quality and beauty.

Helsel works in the studio with real objects and not from photographs.

His paintings can be found throughout the United States and have been purchased by Mount Aloysius College, the Cambria County Community Arts Center, and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

Helsel studied at the Sulkowski Academy of Fine Art.

“His work is about observation and seeing something special in something that might be an everyday object,” Hartnett said.

Diana Williams is fascinated by faces, personalities and the spirit of individuals.

An artist specializing in portrait and figure painting, her work demonstrates her ability to capture a likeness, tell a story, and present a vivid representation of the subject’s true essence.

Diana Williams enjoys the time-consuming and specialized effort required to create heirloom-quality portraits that have the potential to become valuable conversation pieces and investments in an archival family genealogy record.

“Her work consists of figurative studies and portraiture, and she seeks to capture the likeness and convey the personality of the moment that is being portrayed,” Hartnett said.

Kim Williams began creating at the age of 8 when her parents and a teacher recognized her passion for drawing and painting.

She attended Lock Haven University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, pursuing a degree in illustration.

Kim Williams pursued a career as a designer at The Tribune-Democrat and as a design editor for Johnstown Magazine.

She started her new path of painting artwork and mixed media pieces with her 2015 ArtWorks exhibition 365 Inspired Art.

Kim Williams’ work is often nature-based, characterized by strong creative skills, and has been described as honest, exuberant, full of integrity, spirituality and joy.

“She focuses on wildlife and landscapes and paints what she observes,” Hartnett said.

“There are 119 pieces arranged in a grid format and each of the paintings is designed to look like a piece of a mosaic. So if you stand back, it looks like a blue heron in flight.

“There are fascinating layers in her work.”

There will be a reception on May 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where artists will have their say.

“Having the artists there to discuss their work helps people understand art and why it’s important,” Hartnett said.

Drinks are served.

The reception is free and open to the public.

Registration is recommended and can be done online at www.sama-art.org.

Showcasing 70 works from SAMA’s permanent collection, The Found Voice in Art exhibition showcases a full spectrum of unique voices.

Curated by painter and collector Fred Danziger, the show includes pieces by American artists such as Charles Burchfield, Alice Neel, George Bellows, Jacob Lawrence and Ben Shahn.

“He (Danziger) made a selection of paintings and assemblages,” Hartnett said.

“His philosophy answers the questions: ‘What is art? How do individual artists interpret their art? And how did the artists find their voice?’ ”

The works were created between 1900 and 2018 and include landscapes, still lifes, surreal dreams, social criticism and abstract reflections.

“Each work says something that the artist had a duty to express,” Hartnett said.

“They use different artistic methods to communicate with the viewer.”

She said viewers will see a variety of artworks and it will feel like an overview of an art history class.

“Often permanent exhibits are about a subject, an artist, or a movement, but this introduces people to something that they may not have considered artistically significant,” Hartnett said.

“You can understand why people make still life or abstract art, and there are still techniques and choices that are made for composition to create something harmonious, contrasting or dynamic.”

Danziger is offering a virtual tour and discussion of the exhibition on May 14 at 5 p.m.

“He will talk about why he chose what he did and offer information about the artists featured in the exhibition,” Hartnett said.

Registration for the free event is required at www.sama-art.org/event-list to receive the zoom link.

A recording will be made available to registered guests after the event.

The opening hours of the gallery are Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The museum is open to the public free of charge.

For more information, call 814-472-3920 or visit www.sama-art.org.

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