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FRESH art: Five young women display unique talents at new show


LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Valentine Mountjoy, right, describes her oil painting, “And the Throne They Accompany,” during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH,” an exhibition inside the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center. The show features five young women who work in various mediums.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Valentine Mountjoy, right, describes her oil painting, “And the Throne They Accompany,” during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH,” an exhibition inside the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center. The show features five young women who work in various mediums.

SHAMOKIN — “FRESH,” a visual art show at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities Fine Art Gallery, celebrates the work of five female artists with different styles.

Curator Lisa Welch Knecht said she selected the women because of their specialties in a variety of techniques, then allowed them to choose the pieces to bring to the show, which opened Friday evening.

The five selected artists are digital artist Miranda Balthaser,

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Young artists featured in “FRESH,” an exhibition at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center, are pictured during an opening reception Friday evening. From left are, front, Miranda Balthaser and Mary Cotsack; back, Savannah Kerrick, Erin Clarke and Valentine Mountjoy.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Young artists featured in “FRESH,” an exhibition at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center, are pictured during an opening reception Friday evening. From left are, front, Miranda Balthaser and Mary Cotsack; back, Savannah Kerrick, Erin Clarke and Valentine Mountjoy.

of Shamokin, painter Erin Clarke, of Danville, photographer Mary Cotsack, of Conyngham Borough, Luzerne County, charcoal artist Valentine Mountjoy, of Coal Township, and painter Savannah Kerrick, of Beaver Meadows.

“I tried to bring in five young women who are all doing something unique,” said Knecht.

Distinctiveness is also key for the artists in selecting their subjects. Mountjoy said she looks for compelling characteristics when choosing a person for one of her charcoal

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Valentine Mountjoy, left, describes her oil painting, “And the Throne They Accompany,” during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH,” an exhibition inside the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center. The show features five young women who work in various mediums.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Valentine Mountjoy, left, describes her oil painting, “And the Throne They Accompany,” during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH,” an exhibition inside the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center. The show features five young women who work in various mediums.

sketches.

“My goal is to either tell a story or describe a person’s character,” she said.

Among the pieces Mountjoy selected for the show is “Portrait of Seth,” a close-up facial sketch of her neighbor. Through the expression in his eyes, which she said are a striking color, Mountjoy portrayed his key characteristics of thoughtfulness and quietude.

Cotsack said she is more spontaneous in choosing scenes to shoot. The 10th grader pointed to “Sky

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Miranda Balthaser, 13, of Shamokin, creates digital art during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH.”

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Miranda Balthaser, 13, of Shamokin, creates digital art during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH.”

Chief,” a photograph of a gas station with three vintage pumps, and said it caught her attention while she was on a drive with her family.

“It was a really small thing amid all the foliage,” she said. “It was kind of cute.”

Cotsack’s photography, which included chiaroscuro portraits and surrealistic images, added a degree of levity to the show. Balthaser, 13, spent much of the opening at work, demonstrating her method of

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Miranda Balthaser, 13, of Shamokin, creates digital art during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH,” an exhibition inside the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center. The show features five young women who work in various mediums.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Miranda Balthaser, 13, of Shamokin, creates digital art during an opening reception Friday for “FRESH,” an exhibition inside the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center. The show features five young women who work in various mediums.

using an electronic pen and tablet to create images.

The opening reception had a steady stream of attendees, and Knecht is optimistic more people would visit the gallery and sign the visitor log over the course of the show.

“It really encourages young artists when people come out and see their art,” she said. “It may mean whether they continue doing it or not.”

The show runs through Feb. 9. The Gallery is open during normal business hours Monday through Friday.