Tucked away in an inconspicuous warehouse lies The Thought Lot: a gallery that shows contemporary art exhibits and concerts. The opening reception for the fall gallery opened at 6 p.m. on Sept. 6, and will be on display through the end of October.
Inside the gallery, the atmosphere is buzzing with warmth.
Artists and patrons alike stroll around, munching on snacks and chatting with friends. String lights wrapped around poles and tables and chairs turn the industrial look of the warehouse into something more inviting and akin to a cozy living room or family gathering.
Hannah Nawa, an artist manager for The Thought Lot and owner of Whiskers Vintage and Vinyl, a shop nestled in a corner of inside the lot, was all smiles and greeted visitors by name.
“We feature new and contemporary artists from Cumberland Valley,” Nawa explained.
“Most of the events are free here. And [for] all-ages.” Nawa said.
The Thought Lot is all about inclusivity and expression, whether you are 13 or 100 years old.
Mary Seay, an artist from Shippensburg, says she wants people to make their own message about her art.
“I like art to be as relatable as possible. I don’t want it to be about one specific thing,” she said.
And that rings true, Seay’s abstract art is open to interpretation through her use of bold colors, mixed materials and use of ’90’s-inspired patterns.
Tracie Leisher, a digital artist from Shippensburg, credits nature as her main artistic inspiration.
“I love nature. I’m fascinated by the patterns. It’s natural,” she said.
Leisher takes digital photographs and turns them into glitchy, psychedelic edits combining the world of computers and graphics with the natural world. “This is my first time,” Leisher said about being in the exhibit. “I’ll do my art and just put it out here.”
Melissa Libertini, a “paintologist” from Manchester, Maryland, cites color as her muse. “I love colors,” Libertini said, laughing. “They scare me so much sometimes.”
Libertini also credits her parents. “I got into art to get out anger after the passing of my Mom,” she said. “There is a little bit of my Mom in my art. I may be 49 years old, but I still want my parent’s approval.” She adds that her coworkers have also been a great support.
Libertini’s art combines watercolor with abstractism. Her pieces feature things found in the natural world, like flowers, lemons and animals, but painted in a way that makes them seem otherworldly.
“I like that the three of us are really different,” said Libertini. “But we really go together as a whole.” This is especially evident because no particular artist owns a particular spot in the gallery.
You may find an abstract piece next to a photograph, or a photograph next to a watercolor piece.
All three styles meshed together, using bright colors as a common theme. The variety of the show gives people of all different tastes and preferences something to enjoy.