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Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation exhibition to showcase abstract artwork

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    “Faulkner Plan” created by Brian Wiggins will be one of the many art pieces at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation’s Great Expectations exhibit. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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    “Selfie Malta” created by Pat Badt.

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    “Unchartered” created by Gary Jurysta.

Published July 11. 2019 12:11PM


The Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation will present the opening of Great Expectations, an exhibition that aligns with the foundation’s mission to expose the public to fine abstract art, from both old masters and new artists, and educates current and future generations on the significant styles of Abstract Expressionism.

This group show brings together several young and midlife artists — all local to Pennsylvania — with the great expectation of showcasing how the abstract tradition continues to influence contemporary art in surprisingly new ways.

Assistant to the Director at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation Eric Bannon said the exhibition opening next weekend will offer the local community the opportunity to see remarkable new abstract art from contemporary Pennsylvania artists.

“This style of painting is not easily found in the Jim Thorpe area, so it’s vital that people here be exposed to this art form that is both historically significant and still important today,” Bannon said.

The artists participating in Great Expectations include Pat Badt, Aillinn Brennan, Claire Giblin, Ryan Hnat, Gary Jurysta, Joel Le Bow, Sarah MacNeill, Shozo Nagano, Robert Stark and Brian Wiggins.

Some of the artists currently live in Jim Thorpe.

Artist Brennan moved from New York City to Jim Thorpe in 2006 and urges people to view local talent.

“It’s an opportunity to see a lot of local palettes. I have several neighbors who are fantastic painters,” Brennan said.

The Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation resides in the former Presbyterian Church of Mauch Chunk, which dates back to the 1850s.

The building is home to one of the largest and most historically pertinent collections of American Abstract Expressionism in Pennsylvania. Focusing primarily on The New York School of Abstract Expressionism, the exhibition center in Jim Thorpe is an ideal setting for these dramatic works. The art foundation opened in 1985.

“It is always much better to experience artwork firsthand,” Claire Giblin, artist, said. “Abstract work is meant to be interpreted by the viewer. Often people have very different ideas or concepts of what they are viewing, and to me, that indicates the painting is successful.”

The opening reception of the exhibition will be 4 to 6 p.m. July 21. Some of the artists will be in attendance. Light refreshments will be provided. The exhibition runs through Aug. 24.

Paintings will be available for purchase and can be picked up after the completion of the exhibit.

The foundation is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.



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