Five Clarion Area Artists at the Red Brick Gallery
The Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop’s end-of-summer exhibit will showcase the eclectic work and unique personal visions of five established and emerging artists from the greater Clarion area: Mary Hamilton, Carolyn Shiffhouer, H.O. “Jake” Jacobson, Karl Jacobson and Darren Troese. Each working in a different medium and style, the artists will exhibit works ranging from linocut prints and digital art to photographs, woodcarving and folk art painting. The show will run in the RBG’s Upstairs Gallery at 17 Main Street in Foxburg from Friday, August 12 and through Sunday, September 25 with weekend hours: Fridays 1-6 pm, Saturdays 11-7 pm and Sundays 12 noon-5pm.
Join us to celebrate an ALL CLARION ARTS DAY in Foxburg on Saturday, September 17 for a Meet the Artists wine and cheese reception from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, preceding the 7:30 PM Lincoln Hall concert by a performer with Clarion roots - Billboard-charting, 9-time Global Music Award winning and internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter/pianist Katherine “Kool Kat” Farnham and her band. Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to welcome Kat back to the region, a Clarion Area High School graduate and former Miss Teen Autumn Leaf Festival who went on to become a truly world class artist. A full biography can be found by visiting the events tab at alleghenyriverstone.org Those attending the 5 Clarion Artists Meet the Artists reception on September 17 will get a voucher and only pay the $20 ARCA member price for Kat Farnham’s 7:30 PM concert in Lincoln Hall.
Mary Hamilton is a well-known and beloved linocut printmaker who has shown her art throughout our region. Her work is notable for its cheerful colors and playful imagery. The works are not reproductions, but are original prints printed with linoleum blocks by the process of reduction. “I print and carve the blocks myself. The edition sizes are small, usually 60 or less. No more will ever be made of that image. After a color is printed, the block is cut away. What is carved away will be the color I just printed. The block is then printed darker and carved again. When I am finished, all that is left on the block is the area of the final color. I cannot go back to change colors or to make more prints.” Her handmade prints are done with oil based inks for archival quality, printed on Fabriano or Arches paper and presented in acid free boards and backing materials. “My subjects are rooted in myth, everyday wonders and the interconnect-edness of all beings. Xena, my Belgian Sheepdog and my Collie-mix Bindi often work their way into my work as they are constant inspirations. I have a story for each picture but you might like to make up your own.”
Carolyn Shiffhouer was born in California and later moved to PA. She attended California University in California, PA and received a Bachelor of Education. Carolyn became a member of the Winkler Galley in 2004 and has been an active member since that time. Carolyn’s preferred medium is Digital art and photography and her drive to create is the challenge of taking a photo and enhancing it so that the finished picture is something beyond the original snapshot. “I have always been driven to create. I kept trying to find a medium that fit. Once I found design using the computer, I was hooked. The possibilities are endless and intricate. The computer has had a profound impact and is the growing, changing and challenging medium of the 21st Century.” Carolyn has explored the intricacies of Photoshop, and uses it to share with viewers a deeper view of the magic that is nature. “I take my inspiration from the world around me and the emotional connection I feel. When looking at nature through a digital lens, I enhance the bits of magic that are already present. Using digital tools, I distill nature to extract the essential meaning or most important aspects of the image.”
H.O.”Jake” Jacobson is a self-taught woodcarver whose work possesses a recognizable personality with a mood of introspection. “I have drawn all my life but struggled with capturing the sense of depth and perspective that I saw. When my Jr. High art teacher informed me that I had no artistic ability and that I should concentrate on other endeavors, I stopped drawing altogether. After coming to Clarion I tried my hand at wood carving as a way of relieving stress from my demanding job. I found success in decorating furniture with what is called chip and relief carving. At some point I tried my hand at 3D carving. I realized my drawing frustration was caused by my ability to see in three dimensions - carving fit the bill. I carved for my own enjoyment until one day a local shop owner saw my work and asked if she could carry my works. So began what has become my professional side gig.” His work is described to be Scandinavian folk carving infused with spirituality. “My works draw from the mystery and mastery of the ancient druid and Viking folk carvers as well as the work of late 19th and early 20th Century Scandinavian “High Artists.” In 2012 I created Tre Kronor Studio (3 Crowns). In 2020 my son, Karl joined the studio as a painter and graphic designer. At this point my work primarily consists of custom commission work and an annual appearance at the Autumn Leaf Festival... but retirement is coming!”
Karl Jacobson, a self-proclaimed “Folk Art Revivalist”, has been examining the people and places that make this area such a unique place to call home. Karl has spent much of his early life gaining experience at Clarion University, first as a teen apprentice and then as a student where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in theater set design. Later, he continued pursuing his passion at Penn State where he obtained his Master degree as a theatrical set designer. When the pandemic began, his life shifted back to his first love - painting - with a new-found clarity inspired by the storytelling element from his theater experience. The work on display is from his Working Class series that focuses on re-imagining the Farm Security Administration photojournalism series from 1935-1944. The series documented life in rural communities across the United States. He infuses these images with print and artifacts from the period to tell the stories of the individuals. The paper offers a fragility to the hard lives that are etched on the faces of the subjects.
Darren Troese is an up-and-coming photographer in the Clarion area. While working in his family’s business as a chef/cook, Darren made the effort to start a photography studio in town. His prints are available at chasingsunsets.darkroom.tech/ He does portrait work geared toward expressing the individuality of his subjects and making people feel better about themselves. He also does photographs of landscapes and townscapes of the area, but always looks at things from a slightly different perspective. Even his most traditional images carry a sense of mystery or a feeling that something peculiar is going on. Darren has explored various genres, from the beautiful to the macabre, but always seems to display a sensitivity to the underlying sentiments that make his images appealing.