Third Musing: “Artistic Icons of Harrisburg”
What comes to mind when you think of Icons of Harrisburg? A call to local artists went out in late March by Harrisburg Magazine asking that question and the results were twenty-five unique paintings chosen to be exhibited at Smith Gallery & Fine Custom Framing, a partner with Harrisburg Magazine in this artistic endeavor. An exhibit opening is scheduled for Sunday June 11, 2:00 – 5:00 PM.
Because this was a call to artists rather than a juried show, the sponsor of the show, Harrisburg Magazine, chose the theme, issued the open call to artists, and ultimately chose the winners. In a juried show, one or more jurors, who are artistic peers, have the final decision on which artists will be exhibited at the opening. Another important consideration beyond creativity and originality of the art, during this particular judging process, was the key ability to reproduce the piece for a vertical magazine cover without the need to crop the original image.
Artists chose a variety of styles and mediums to channel their creative visions choosing mixed media, digital painting, photography, watercolor, acrylic, oil, and even 3D mixed media to express what Iconic Harrisburg means to them. Every piece of art is unique and tells a story of the city and its distinctive surroundings.
Subject matter includes churches of Harrisburg, bridges, and views of the Susquehanna River. Views of the Capitol are represented as well. The Seward Johnson sculpture at the Kunkel Plaza on Front Street is nicely illustrated in a variety of photographic and painted art. Subway Café, an iconic business, since 1948, is captured in a beautiful night painting of this spot. The Rockville Bridge, considered the longest stone masonry arch railroad viaduct ever built is honored in a large digital photograph on canvas. A mixed media painting gives honor to ‘Commonwealth’ by honing in on the 14.5 feet-high gilded statue that adorns the main dome of the PA. State Capitol building. A talented member of the art community chose to create a 3D mixed media piece by using a denim shirt and adding collectors’ patches honoring the Midtown sign above Midtown Scholar bookstore, the Broad Street Market signage, Little Amps, the dome of the capitol and an admonishment to ‘buy local’. Another artist created a collage of five of Harrisburg’s iconic sites.
So many of these sites are a daily treat to locals but I do wonder if we begin to take their beauty for granted because we have seen them so many times before: a beautiful spring walk along the riverfront seeing the various blossoming trees and plants coming to life, the fireworks that light up our sky numerous times during the year, the majestic beauty of an impending storm gathering force along the river, the fog settling in over the bridges, the Pride of the Susquehanna making its regular trips back and forth over the calm Susquehanna River, the absolute beauty and grandeur of the Pennsylvania State Capitol. All of these themes have been captured by local artists to remind us of the iconic nature of this beautiful city.
The three top place winners will be announced at the opening of this exhibit. Harrisburg Magazine chose the top three winners and will give a cash prize to the first-place winner along withthat piece of art being replicated as the cover of the August Simply the Best edition of the magazine. The art will also be incorporated into the plaques that are created for winners of Harrisburg Magazine’s Simply the Best and Reader’s Choice. In addition, the first-place art entry will be auctioned off at the annual Simply the Best gala, held in September. The proceeds from the auctioned piece of art will be for the benefit of the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society.
In addition, The Art Depot in Mechanicsburg will be awarding a $50.00 gift certificate to the second and third place winners. The Smith Gallery & Fine Custom Framing is awarding a gift certificate to second and third place winners as well as the People’s Choice winner. In addition Smith Gallery & Fine Custom Framing has framed all of the art appearing in the exhibit.
People who attend the opening of this beautiful exhibit will have the opportunity to vote for a ‘People’s Choice’ winner to complement the three winning pieces chosen by Harrisburg Magazine. All pieces, with the exception of the first-place winning piece, will be for sale, giving customers the chance to own one of these original creations representing the Icons of Harrisburg.
Some of the artists who are taking part in this exhibit may already be known to you and you will have the opportunity to meet even more members of the Harrisburg artistic community whom you may not have been familiar with before.
All artists exhibiting in this show are part of the future of a bright and vibrant arts community right here in the Harrisburg area.
Artists that you will be able to meet and converse with are:
Susan Benigni Landis
Alissa King Minor
Please join in the fun and excitement of the exhibit opening on Sunday, June 11th 2:00 – 5:00 PM in the Atelier Gallery of The Smith Gallery & Fine Custom Framing located at 190 Reno Ave, New Cumberland. Enjoy the magnificent local art, listen to the piano stylings of Greg Strohman, and savor the light refreshments offered. Spend some talking with these local artists, find out what feeds their passion and soul, how their art makes our community a richer place to live, and how the city itself spurs them forward in their creativity. And finally, support our iconic artists of the Harrisburg area by purchasing a painting of our iconic city.