"Art is Freedom"

Dana Henz and her six-year-old daughter, Makenna, look at artwork by Dana’s brother-in-law, Russell Henz, during an opening reception Thursday evening for “Art is Freedom” at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery. The event showcased 50 pieces created from the hands of the 39-year-old from Coal Township.

SHAMOKIN — Colorful artwork of various media were showcased during an opening reception Thursday evening for “Art is Freedom” by Russell Henz at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Fine Art Gallery.

The walls of the gallery located in the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center were lined with 50 pieces created from the hands of the 39-year-old from Coal Township. Guests remarked about the talent of the U.S. Army veteran who began drawing comics in the eighth grade.

Henz’s interest in the arts include water color, acrylic pourings, oils and air brushing. He has used his talents to depict landscapes, people and animals based on photographs as well as from the imagination.

“Each one has its pros and cons,” he said of working with various media. “I don’t really have a favorite. I choose a medium based on what I want to do at the time.”

Henz said air brushing offers more avenues for expression, such as painting on license plates and T-shirts. A favorite air brushing among guests at the reception was a depiction of an American flag with an eagle’s face near the corner of the canvas.

Henz said the show’s title describes the freedom artwork offers to artists and observers.

“It gives you the freedom to escape from everyday life,” he commented while looking at a painting of a waterfall. “It gives you the freedom to do whatever you want.”

Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those interested in purchasing artwork can contact the artist directly at 570-933-0506 or irishman79@verizon.net.

The gallery is located at the arts center, 2 E. Arch St., Shamokin. There is free parking at the rear of the building and visitors should use the lower handicapped entrance.

For more information about the gallery or to get involved as a volunteer, contact director Lisa Welch Knecht by email lisawelchknecht@gmail.com.

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