In keeping with an 11-year tradition, the SHAPE Gallery opened its 2013 season with an exhibit featuring a diverse offering of surreal and abstract art.
Trisha Grace, president of the board of directors, says the goal of opening with a non-objective exhibition is to “celebrate art in all of its varied forms.”
The gallery hummed with a celebratory vibe during Friday night’s opening wine and cheese reception as patrons nibbled on refreshments and chatted among the many works on display. Many of the artists were present to discuss their work and the creative process.
The exhibit, which runs from Sept. 6 through Sept. 27, features the work of 18 artists from around the region.
From recent Shippensburg University graduates to former faculty members and veteran local artists, SHAPE’s current show is a testament to the imaginative talent of south central Pennsylvania’s artistic community.
Vibrant colors and bold textures dominate the exhibit, shifting the focus from concrete objects to sensory impressions.
The art on display includes works in watercolor, oil, acrylic, mixed media collage and sculpture that offer a wide variety of styles and approaches.
The exhibit provocatively explores themes ranging from artwork of the deadly sins of “Gluttony” and “Greed” to the mysterious vastness of the “Galaxy.”
By contrast, there are also pieces that illustrate abstract representations of the natural world.
While it is difficult to put the essence of abstract art into words, here are some glimpses of what to expect.
Roberta Iula’s “Self Portrait 1982” is a study of the elusive beauty of a mind busy with inspiration and recalls her thoughts as a student in design school.
Lynda R. Myers debuts several pieces from her mixed media collection. “Scaffolding #2,” composed of “ephemera and remnants of other peoples’ lives,” memorializes the forgotten odds and ends — buttons, snaps, ribbons and tattered scraps — that “hold us together as we move forward toward our goals and objectives and purposes in life.”
Leighton Scott imagines the physical texture of “what an unseen planet might look like” in his mixed media compositions. His work reveals the influence of his earlier career working at NASA.
The creative endeavors of these artists, and the others represented, challenge viewers to look beyond reality and embrace the unreal.
The exhibit runs from Sept. 6-27 at 20 West King St.
For more information, visit www.ShapeArt.org or call 717-532-2559.