"The Artist in the Garden" explores the relationship between artists and nature from early in the 20th century to today. It begins with the close of the Progressive Era (around 1920), a time when industrial and urban development began to transform the landscape, and ends with recent work by living artists. The exhibition represents a broad array of stylistic and aesthetic responses to nature and the garden within the context of larger social and environmental changes.
This exhibit features thirty extraordinary, hand-colored, oversized images of the birds, flowers, and insects that photographer Kate Breakey has memorialized through her work. The brilliance of her palette draws viewers to a close-up and unexpected confrontation with mortality. The images are life-size silver gelatin contact prints toned by hand with a golden wash.
Lehigh Valley-based photographer, Edward Vatza has a keen eye for detail and the ability to capture mood, textures, and a very strong graphic presence in his work. This installation focuses on a segment of his Manhattan Project series, which depicts the personalities and attitudes of street people in lower New York City neighborhoods.
Herman Leonard was an Allentown native whose love of jazz drew him to New York City, where the had the chance to photograph music legends such as Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. His jazz photos, now collector's items, serve as a unique record of the jazz scene during the 1940's through '60s.
Drawn from the Steidle Collection at the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at The Pennsylvania State University, "Iron & Coal, Petroleum & Steel" features an array of artwork inspired by Pennsylvania's industrial past.
Juxtapositions of newer and older work provide insight on the arc of the artist's nearly six-decade career. Her style varies from abstract to realism, but most works feature swaths of color that wash across the canvas.