SHAMOKIN — The Northumberland County Council for the Arts Fine Art Gallery will present its annual “Fresh: Up and Coming Young Female Artists” show with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday. This year’s installment will feature Mount Carmel native and Pennsylvania College of Art and Design student Maddie Lyash.

“The Fresh show was conceived in order to draw out and highlight local talent,” said gallery coordinator Lisa Knecht. “Specifically, young women from teens to early 20s, who tend to have a tougher time breaking into the art establishment in any given area. Last year’s show featured five diverse young women of various mediums and subject matter. This year we have only one artist, but she filled the gallery with her own wide variety of medium and subject matter — photography, painting, drawing, graphic design, sculpture. It’s amazing and not to be missed.”

Lyash is passionate about two things: Her family, who have inspired art, including a children’s TV show concept, and Dolly Parton. “My dream is to be the head graphic designer at Dollywood,” said Lyash. “I am pursuing a graphic design education in order to help me achieve that. I feel that I have the talent and passion to succeed.”

Her interest in graphic design began with a chance selection of a computer course in junior high school where she fell in love with the artistry and creativity that working on the computer allowed her to explore. After winning second place in the regional computer fair in the graphic design category, she was encouraged to keep competing, eventually placing first in both regional and state FBLA competitions and moving on to nationals in Chicago. The next step after high school was art school, where she is a sophomore at the college located in Lancaster. “I really enjoy all I am learning and am particularly excited to master my craft and to start working in my field,” she explained. “As Dolly Parton always says, ‘find out who you are and do it on purpose!’ I have and I will.”

Visitors to the show should use the rear lower handicapped entrance and follow the signs once inside the building to the gallery. Light refreshments will be provided by arts council volunteers. There is plenty of free parking in the rear of the arts center, located at 2 E. Arch St.

“The gallery is always looking for new exhibitors,” Knecht said. “Especially young people. We are also actively seeking art-minded volunteers to help with shows, keep our programs relevant to the community and guide the gallery into the next decade. The best way to get involved is to attend a show, see what we’re all about, talk with us. You don’t have to be an artist, you just have to care about keeping the arts alive in the community.”

Information about the gallery is available on their Facebook page or website nccahgallery.weebly.com or contact Knecht at lisawelchknecht@gmail.com.

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