Local artists will display works at Gretna show

By on August 17, 2016

Mount Gretna, a picturesque waterside hamlet in the northwest corner of the Record-Express’ coverage area, will be the host of the town’s 42nd annual Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show.

The show will be held Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, on the streets and in the parks of Mount Gretna.

Chatauqua Drive gets pretty busy during the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show.

Chatauqua Drive gets pretty busy during the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show.

The show features fine artists and craftsmen from throughout the United States and Canada. This year’s show will feature 260 exhibitors, selected from nearly 500 applicants, as well as an “Emerging Artists” area for talented artists who have not exhibited previously, and are thought to deserve a wider audience.

Dennis Maust, Lititz, will be displaying his clay murals and pottery at the show.

“The village has its own sort of quaint charm,” Maust says about the Gretna venue.

Maust, who has been an artist for 45 years, creates clay murals, one-of-a-kind sculptural vessels, and functional pots. He’s also been called upon for site-specific tile commissions.

“And, I offer classes in my studio near Lititz,” Maust adds.

"Shoes," by Margaret Thorn

“Shoes,” by Margaret Thorn

Watercolorist Andy Smith is a veteran of Lititz-area and county-wide art shows. His inspiration to become an artist came when he was quite young.

“I saw the work of Andrew Wyeth at a young age and wanted to paint like that,” Smith explains. “ I explored all mediums but settled on watercolors in my 20s. I love watercolor and the struggle to make the medium do what you envision.”

Smith will not only be selling his work at the show, but demonstrating as well.

“”I do not paint for one signature piece but rather strive for an overall recognition of my style,” Smith explains. “I want people to see a painting and say, ‘Oh, that’s an Andy Smith.’ I think people connect with my work because it is snippets of everyday life. Snapshots of what is around us that we may overlook or take for granted.”

Lititz black-and-white photographer Ray Becker will be displaying and selling his work, including prints of one of his personal favorite works, Dreamcatcher.

Dreamcatcher, a photo by Ray Becker

Dreamcatcher, a photo by Ray Becker

Becker fell in love with a particular tree, and took a series of photos of it.

“A few days later, my wife drove past the tree and there was a chair underneath the tree. So I went up a took some pics of it,” Becker says. “The chair was there for about a week. We never found why the chair was there.”

Becker says he learned the art of photography from other artists he admires.

“I studied the old masters,” Becker explains, “and learned more from an old timer in Manheim who actually gave me my camera I am using now.”

Margaret Thorn, after receiving her master’s degree in printmaking from Tulane, spent some time working as a street artist in New Orleans.

“Later, I taught elementary school in Houston and in Lititz for 22 years,” Thorn explains. “Now, after years of deferring my passion, I am back to being a full time artist.”

Lititz watercolor artist Andy Smith painted this decorated window recently.

Lititz watercolor artist Andy Smith painted this decorated window recently.

Thorn, who has found success as a watercolorist, uses rough paper in layers to add texture to her work.

Her Collections series, mundane groups of objects painted in a whimsical, magical way, have drawn the most attention.

“I won best in show at the Lititz Outdoor Art Show and other awards for my painting of Blue Crabs in 2012,” says Thorn. “It was the high point of my artistic career. It was especially wonderful to be recognized in my home town. I am so happy to have a second chance to do my life’s work, and I am also grateful to all the people who have supported my passion to paint, especially my husband Artie, who has encouraged me and works like crazy next to me, getting us ready for our shows every week.”

All the artists look forward to the beautiful venue Mount Gretna affords.

One of Dennis Maust’s many clay murals

One of Dennis Maust’s many clay murals

“I have many artist friends at Gretna so it’s relaxed and enjoyable,” Smith says. “Several of us go get ice cream at the Jigger Shop together after the show.”

“Mount Gretna is a beautiful setting in the woods, and such a pleasant place to have an art show,” agreed Thorn. “I also like the shoppers who come there. They are not only sophisticated and appreciate art, but they come ready to buy.”

“Great people live there,” says Becker. “They, as well as all the patrons, really support the arts. What else can you say about this great show under the trees?”

Margaret Thorn at last year's show.

Margaret Thorn at last year’s show.

The show also includes strolling performers, live music, a kids art display and sale at the Chautauqua Playground, and a food court.

Tickets for the show cost $12 for adults. Those 12 and under enter free. Two-day $20 passes are available for purchase in advance, at mtgretnaarts.com. The admission fee includes parking in designated parking locations and free shuttle bus service to and from the Butler Road lot until one-half hour after show closing.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at 721-4452 or mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com.

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