Paint Nite Fun!

Art, art of any kind, shows that folks are trying.  ~Walter Kirn

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Me & Lisa at Paint Nite in Pittsburgh (Allison Park) at Rocky’s. Great time! Lisa’s painting has so much depth! I love it! 4/10/15

My friend Lisa Zettelmayer, yes the same Lisa from Happy 50th Anniversary, had a great idea to get together for a Paint Nite!  For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of experiencing or even hearing of such an event, they’re seriously so much fun!  I can’t believe that was two weeks ago already!  I’ve been so busy.  With what you may ask?  You’ll find out in the next few blog posts.  In the meantime, I’d like to talk about Paint Nite.

Our event was held at Rocky’s on Route 8 in Allison Park in Pittsburgh.  What exactly is Paint Nite?  Simple, it’s an event whereas you purchase a ticket to paint a specific painting.  Yes, before signing up for the gig, the coordinating artist, along with the painting of choice is listed for review before committing.  These activities are held in multiple locations periodically throughout the year.  Do you have to be an artist?  Absolutely not!  That’s what makes it so much fun.  You get to hang out with friends, kick back a few brews, and listen to Ben, who happened to be our artist extraordinaire two Fridays ago.  His job?  In addition to setting up the brushes, our paints, supplying our aprons, and the canvases, yes they were very nice canvases stretched over wooden frames measuring about nineteen inches wide by sixteen inches height, he also instructed us with the steps to painting our very own masterpiece.  Ben was in essence playing Bob Ross.  He gave step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the finished piece.  Naturally, when reviewing all the paintings in the room, about forty individuals, everyone maintained the same general theme but with their own artistic touch.  Is this fine art?  No, not in my opinion, just a neat way to introduce the arts and some culture into the lives of everyday people, while getting out and socializing and trying something new.  Personally, I loved it!

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Paint Nite at Rocky’s in Pittsburgh (Allison Park) with Lisa Zettelmayer… she’s smiling in the background. I just started my painting. 4/10/15

Not only has it been a while since I’ve seen Lisa, and it’s nice to catch up, but it was also a pleasure to meet her friends.  However, what I really enjoyed was holding a paintbrush again and being around art.  You know, my art history professor Maureen Vissat, who was an excellent teacher and a wonderful person, once told our class, “Unless you’re involved in the arts, there will be a time when you miss it.”  Paraphrasing her of course, I realize just how true that statement is!  I do miss being around art, and participating in it.  Granted, I do graphic design on the side, but it’s not the same.  I actually long for the interaction between artists and the inspiration floating in the air.  There’s nothing like it.

While we were painting, I had a feeling of déjà vu.  I knew exactly what it was.  It was being among artists, lined up in front of easels, focusing on a single piece, from way back to my days at Seton Hill University, when I had drawing class with Phil Rostek.  Only our subjects consisted of  nudes, or some sort of masterpiece projected on the wall, or a fun center display.  I used a lot, and I mean a lot of charcoal and conte crayon in that class.  Seriously, I looked like I was mining the coal mines every time I left class.  I sported charcoal on my face, cloths, ears, hair, under my nails, neck, you get the idea.

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Paint Nite with Lisa (in the background) at Rocky’s in Pittsburgh (Allison Park). My painting is about halfway done. 4/10/15

What I miss the most is getting my hands dirty in clay and sculpting pottery on the wheel.  Pottery was always a passion of mine, and I do miss that the most.  (After spending a few hours in the clay studio, I wore more of the clay than what was used in all my pieces combined!)

I don’t consider myself an artist, even though I love art, art history, I have a Fine Art Degree, which gave me the opportunity to have a gallery show My Senior Art Exhibit at Seton Hill University – ARTsylum, and admittedly, I do have an artist eye.  Perhaps, if I participated in developing art for the sake of art, then I might be able to classify myself in that manner, maybe.

Prior to the event we met at the Tuscan Inn, a few minutes away, for dinner and wine.  It was truly an enjoyable dinner with a great group of gals, delicious food, and fun conversation.  Maybe too much fun, for we were laughing and bringing the place to life.

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Another progression of my painting from Paint Nite in Pittsburgh, Pa (Allison Park) at Rocky’s. 4/10/15

This trendy paint party, has become a big thing.  I’ve heard of them before, I’ve just never participated.  And you know what?  I’m ready to do it again.  Once I posted my painting to Facebook, a few of my cousins commented that they wanted to join me the next time I go.  That sounds like a plan!  I was told the Latrobe Art Center has them occasionally and the participants are permitted to bring his/her own alcohol, if desired.  I’m in!  Hopefully, I can get a ticket from Groupon, like I did this one.

Now, my next step is to create my Thrill of the Hunt scavenger hunt Events as such a hot topic!  One day, my scavenger  hunts will be the thing to do all over the nation, at least I hope so.  I love adventure!

 

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After a hard night of painting, socializing & having a few brews… this is the result. Paint Nite in Pittsburgh, Pa (Allison Park) 4/10/15

posted by auntheather in Education & Learning,News,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Reminiscing,Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunts,Travels and have No Comments

Latrobe Theme & Variations Art Gala

All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.  ~Federico Fellini

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Latrobe Art Gala in the auditorium. Mom, Aunt Carol, Kathy Dominick & Donna Fannie 11/6/14

Last Tuesday mom, Aunt Carol and I, attended the Theme and Variations art gala at the Greater Latrobe High School.  This wasn’t a typical high school function.  Nope!  When Latrobe does something, we go all out, turning the already elegant school entrance way into a ballroom with stations upon stations of hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.  The art not only included the impressive school collection consisting of hundreds of pieces of work from established artists curated over the years, but it also included the art hand chosen for the gala.  Again, local artists.

Like many, I too take Latrobe’s art collection for granted.  Our school halls have always been decorated with an eclectic arrangement of artists using a variety of mediums, even before my grandpap Chester, along with Mr. Fred Rogers graduated from Latrobe in 1937 at the old school (currently Latrobe Elementary School, LES) and long before my mom, who was the first graduating class from the new high school (current location), my Alma Mater.  While studying art in high school, we were exposed to the culture that surrounded us on a daily basis.  Personally, I wish I knew more about our collection and was required to do so.  I have always been proud of the acquired art, and that pride has only intensified over the years.  Trying to  get that message across to Kyle is a bit of a challenge, or perhaps he does get it but doesn’t want to give me the satisfaction of showing it, either or are very possible with Kyle.

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A piece in the Latrobe art collection, My Neighbor by Kathy Rafferty

When speaking with those who have not been exposed to Latrobe High School, I always forget about our influence by culture in the arts is a rarity.  A privilege not a lot of schools and their students experience.  I’ve actually encountered individuals from other learning facilities who were amazed at the quality of the school, especially the art that lines the halls.  Usually the comments consist something like “Do they ever get vandalized?” and “How do you protect your art?”.  Seriously, until those questions were brought to light, I never thought about it.  You see, much like a family, it’s all how your were raised.  Latrobe students were raised on the arts, at the very least exposed to it early on.  There is always an underlying respect for our collection, which I believe resonates in the minds of the students, whether they are aware of it or not.  Like anything, introducing a child to something early and it will be a part of them for life.  Unfortunately, sometimes those privileges are taken for granted.

Latrobe is also known for our music programs, athletics and academic excellence, but today I’m focusing on the arts, my personal passion.

What was this gala about?  It was an event, not only to view and appreciate local artists, but it was a way to bring the community together to vote on the next piece of art joining the collection.  Yes, everyone attending had a vote, as did the Latrobe schools: elementary, junior high and high school.   This function brings young and old together, from people of all art appreciation levels and understandings, and all sorts of backgrounds.

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The winner of the art gala at Latrobe High School is titled Portrait Study by Mara Light 11/6/14

In my opinion, Latrobe should be used as an example for surrounding and national schools alike.  I believe we have discovered a simple underlying solution to respect for the community, our heritage and ourselves.  It not only is present in the art, but how we elevate the arts and bring everyone together to celebrate in our local accomplishments.

When discussing the subject matter of art, the question of ‘What is art?’ always comes to mind.  Perhaps it was my education going through the art program at Seton Hill University that always has me thinking, for we were asked to define that very question.  To me art is history, whether it’s art imitating life or life imitating art, it can’t be denied, it’s history.  There is a specific year always tied to a piece, or sometimes several years.  Looking at the paintings displayed at Latrobe High School, usually the year it was completed, directly reflects the happenings at the time, although not always.  Still art is a time piece that can be and should be revisited time and time again.

So who was the winner?  It was Portrait Study by Mara Light.  Her painting also ranked among the ones selected by the students.  It’s a beautiful piece of mixed media that included gauze as part of the painting.  A truly striking painting that captured my attention immediately.

It was a wonderful night of beautiful artwork, all stunning and very talented artists!  I can’t wait until next year’s gala.  I wish I was more involved in the arts, after all, Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas are very supportive.

It’s great to see Latrobe excelling in all aspects of learning, especially with their continued interest and support for the arts over all these years.  Go Wildcats!

Below is the program booklet from Tuesday.  I scanned it to give credit to all the artists,  the donors,  and to all of those who helped organize the event.  Thank you!

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Latrobe-Art-Gala-Booklet-2 11-6-14 Aunt Heather Piper

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posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,News,Observation & Imagination and have No Comments
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