Farmland Preservation Artists’ ‘Rural Landscapes’ exhibit captures beauty of region’s views

For the CDTMay 2, 2014 

  • if you go

    What: “Rural Landscapes: Exploring Rural Heritage Through the Art of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania” exhibit

    When: exhibit through Nov. 14; reception 2-4 p.m. May 25

    Where: Centre Furnace Mansion, 1001 E. College Ave., State College

    Info: www.centrecountyhistory.org, farmlandpreservationartists.org, 234-4779

A new exhibit at the Centre Furnace Mansion shows how the Centre Region and its scenery inspire local artists. The “Rural Landscapes” exhibit features pieces from members of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania, a group of 16 artists who promote the area’s farmland through visual arts. The event is a collaboration between the Farmland Preservation Artists and the Centre County Historical Society.

The exhibit includes a variety of paintings and photographs and will be on display at the Centre Furnace Mansion through Nov. 14. Historical society Executive Director Mary Sorenson said the display is designed to honor the region’s scenery and promote awareness of rural land that can be affected by new construction.

“We hope this helps to promote the cause of preservation in a number of different ways,” Sorensen said. “Part of what inspired this initially was some of the transportation projects going on in the area and how they will impact the rural landscape.”

Bellefonte painter Susan Nicholas Gephart has a pastel painting of winter in the woodlands in the exhibit. She said she thought the piece might provide a nice contrast to some of the others that depict the area in fall or summer.

“I moved here from outside of Philadelphia, and one of the things that struck me most was the quickly changing features of the land,” Gephart said. Things change particularly in winter, “and it’s a restful period for land. ... That piqued my interest in doing snow scenes.”

Nicholas Gephart said most of the Farmland Preservation Artists members have works in the exhibit and they look forward to partnering with the historical society and the Art Alliance.

“We are, for the most part, people who have a passion for the land,” she said. “What you can expect to see from us are paintings that see the sky, the water, the animals that are in central Pennsylvania.”

All of the pieces in the exhibit are for sale and proceeds will benefit the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, Centre County Historical Society and the Centre County Farmland Trust.

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