The 14th Annual Art Ability Exhibition & Sale at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital’s Patron’s Preview Party on November 7th was a sensational event kicking off the extensive art show featuring more than 400 art works by 128 artists from 23 states and 10 countries. The hospital on Paoli Pike is an excellent venue with high, long walls, a fine hanging system, great lighting providing a wonderful stroll or roll along a meandering path to wander and take in the wide array of fine art.
Photographer Linda Fry Goschke was honored with the catalog cove, a beatific portrait of a “Crested Caracara“, a raptor she spent time with in a bird sanctuary. The photograph is poignant, strong and sensitive; at first glance it appears to be a painting with golden light brushing the elegant bird’s feathers, the dark head contrasting the ochre beak and the glint of disinterest in the eye, a perfect metaphor for the theme of the exhibit.
Goschke told DoN that in order to capture her images she had to wait for new technology to catch up with her vision – the lustrous flower photograph is actually created on a flat-bed scanner, then enhanced with Photoshop.
Linda Fry Goschke, Barred Owl, photograph @ Art Ability.
Sal Panasci was commissioned by Bryn Mawr Rehab to create the design for a mural leading to the admissions center, formally along stark hallway to what could be an uncomfortable experience.
Now, the hallway is a colorful, exuberant scene welcomes people to what may be an extended stay to rehabilitate the body, mind and spirit. Panasci’s painting was transformed into wallpaper creating a warm, sunny vista.
Sal Panasci, Late Autumn Palette, oil.
Ken Smith, Blue Flower, photograph pigment ink on paper on board, encaustic. Smith’s serene composition won honorable mention, The Mary Armitage Green Memorial Award presented by Heather and Damien Lubeski, the wax finish means the print will survive for a very long time.
Michael Jameson, Charlois Bull, oil painting on birch panel
Sheryl Yeager, pastels. DoN talked with Sheryl about her inspiration for the delightful pig and zebra pastels, she explained that she portrays lots of different animals because they make her feel free, at one with God & nature and the art heals her past. A self described high functioning autistic, her most popular drawings are of elephants and she’s more than willing to accommodate her customer base. This is Sheryl Yeager’s 5th year with Art Ability, she has been accepted into the Pastel Society of Little Rock and has exhibited her work at the Andrews Art Museum in North Carolina.
The big fish are by Arnie Segal, the drawing is by Mari Newman, Dick Wexelblat created the menagerie and won honorable mention for Fine Crafts presented by Sal & Linda Panasci, the sculpture in the right forefront is by blind artist Tara Arlene Innmon. This tableau is very popular with visitors with the vibrant animal forms delighting the eye and lifting the spirit.
Arnold Segal was a true art star at the Art Ability Patron Preview, selling most of his collection of sculptures and earning commissions – a mixed media artist, Segal uses plaster, paper mache and electronics to enliven his sculptures which often have hidden surprises.
Liam Kennedy, Dreams, bronze, winner of 2nd prize for sculpture, the Sarah Hair Shearer Memorial Award.
Kathy Harris, Double Self Portrait & Winter Bride. Harris created the portraits from life masks – the double self portrait is from 30 years ago and the Winter Bride is a recent mask. Kathy told DoN that the younger version is dreaming of the future and the elder shows aging through time, either way she’s beautiful with a wonderful spirit and wicked wit, we had the best time chatting about her career making paintings, ceramic tiles and pipes.
Michael Tavani, Winter in Chadds Ford, oil.
Jack Beverland, Happy Trails, acrylic & plastic.
Clif Anderson, The Last Rose, oil. Clif told DoN this was literally the last rose in his garden last November.
Beverly Strohecker-Yablin, Favorite Teacup, oil.
David Gerbstadt is one of the famous Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, his mixed media paintings are super-pop, perfect for a hipster’s pad or austere modern interior. DoN was recently in the Dumpster Diver gallery on South Street and a patron bought 27 of his $1.00 drawings as Christmas gifts.
Marilyn Lavins, 40th Anniversary 1969-2009, Moon Landing, collage.
Photography by Jim Knisley @ Art Ability.
Gregory Gans, Spirit Over Waters, photograph, winner 3rd Prize for photography, The Denise Fraunfelter Memorial Award.
Photography @ Art Ability Exhibit in Bryn Mawr Rehab.
Gregory Gans, Forest Cathedral, photograph. DoN had the opportunity to chat with Greg’s biggest fan, his wife, who offers constant support and encouragement and agrees with DoN that if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything. Gans’ has been a working photographer for 45 years, creating hundreds of images – now many of his photos have Biblical & spiritual references reflecting his faith and strength to battle the epileptic seizures he endures after having a benign brain tumor removed.
The Art Ability show has so much to see it’s impossible for DoN to share it all – Evan Gozali’s brilliant digital Asian style scroll is transcendental, Elizabeth Core’s imaginative large painting, Christine Severson‘s jewelry…the point is that even though the art is all created by artists with disabilities there are no boundaries, no style, no medium that is exempt from an artist with the will to create from painting to drawing, photography to sculpture, fine art to crafts, an artist is an artist even if they have to hold the brush with their mouth, work from a wheelchair, try to hold steady until the tremor passes or struggle to articulate because the words won’t come.
DoN was so happy to see so many red dots indicating sales – 80% goes to the artist and the remainder is used to improve the facilities to aid people who need rehabilitation everything else is provided by volunteers including the wonderful sales team. DoN had the pleasure of meeting Ellie Pfautz, a volunteer sales rep who absolutely loves Bryn Mawr Rehab since they helped her recover from a brain aneurysm; the two of us marveled at the new Lokomat suite – a robot which helps train muscles & nerves by reminding the body of motor pathways, building new neural networks and strengthening the body without manual manipulation by a technician. To see a short video clip – click here.