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Philadelphia Realists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at JSC


Young Philadelphia Realists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at JSC

March 3, 2008

Ten artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will be featured in a new exhibit at Johnson State College, March 3 to April 5, 2008.

The exhibit will be in the Dibden Center for the Arts’ Julian Scott Memorial Gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibit brings an inspiring and accomplished group of emerging artists to Johnson for the first time. All were trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and bring expressive painterly realism, dynamic use of composition, and exemplary play of decision-making to each canvas.

The exhibit provides viewers with an opportunity to see influences from the East Coast/Philadelphia art world on an up-and-coming group of young American painters.

Painters Brian Rego, Thomas Walton, Aaron Lubrick, David Campbell, Elana Hagler, Logan Blanco, Jon Laidacker, Andrew Patterson-Tutschka, Tim Conte, and Victoria Barnes offer a variety of realist painting styles and unique thematic approaches that draw from art history as well as contemporary life.

What unites these artists, regardless of individual trompe l’loeil styles or layers of shellac-based ink, is their ability to capture formal elements while infusing them with emotion.

Each artist reinterprets “what” is “every day” and ultimately provides poetic nuances to otherwise common personal realms.

Several artists explained their work.

Muralist Jon Laidacker said: “I’m not as interested in creating a painting on a wall, but rather another dimension of space; an area that seems inhabitable… as though you could step right in to it.”

“Within my work, I try to embody a felt experience that can be communicated to others,” said painter Elana Hagler. “I attempt to encounter the visual world in a way that is informed by thousands of years of the creation of art objects and yet, at the same time, is somehow fresh.”

Still-life painter Victoria Barnes noted: “I have a large collection of objects that I have found or received throughout the years. I start each painting by looking through my collection. Thinking about the significance of the inanimate objects breathes life into them and creates a narrative between the pieces.”

Landscape painter, and recipient of the Joan Mitchell Grant for a Recent Graduate student, Andrew Patterson-Tutschka, said: “When I connect with a site I sometimes feel as though I am being held hostage. Capturing the presence of the site means evoking the way that it surrounds me.”

Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts MFA Class Speaker and RAC Award for Artistic Excellence, Logan Blanco, added: “Light for me is an event. Its behavior nourishes my compulsion to paint. Mundane objects, people, alluring interior views of my studio, and the expansive landscape have become a point of departure into my imagination. The simplicity of my subject matter allows a multitude of possibilities.”

For more information, contact Gallery Director and Coordinator of Campus Arts Leila Bandar at 802-635-1469, cell 802-730-3114, or email:

PHOTO: “Portrait of Bill Scott” by: Thomas Walton, Size: 35″ x 25;” medium: oil on canvas; photo credit: Karen Mauch Photography