New life: Art Alliance holds Recycled Show

The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania will host its 22nd annual Recycled Show, “Around the World,” April 8-10 in Lemont.

Each year the Art Alliance’s Recycled Show inspires environmental and artistic goals for central Pennsylvania artists. Entry is open to artists of all ages. There are awards for adults, teens and children, and those who attend the show will vote for a winner of a “popular award.”

All works are made primarily from recycled or repurposed materials and adhere to this year’s theme, “Around the World.” Joe Krentzman & Son Inc., metal recyclers from Lewistown, and the Recycling Center at the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority are sponsors of the show. After the show closes, some of the pieces will be displayed at the Interpretive Center at the CCRRA.

For Peter Pepe, of Boalsburg, art, music, medicine and learning have been longtime parallel life activities. Art started in childhood by copying comic strip characters in pencil on brown paper bags, and at the age of 8, Pepe began playing the saxophone.

“It seems like I always wanted to draw — no one else in my family was art-oriented,” said Pepe, who is a physician specializing in rheumatology. “I’m essentially self-taught by using ‘how to’ art books and visiting museums. There was no Internet, and there wasn’t any spare money for art instruction when you are working to make tuition for college and medical school.”

Pepe’s work in the show is “Trajan Romano Moderno,” a sculpture of found or reassigned objects. The discarded tree wood was shaped on the lathe by his co-sculptor, Scott Camazine. Other components include farm tools, car parts, glass and wire, assembled as a Roman totem column. The reference is to an emperor of antiquity and the rulers of the modern world.

State College artist Christine Hill discovered at an early age that although she frequently lacked words to express feelings or tell her story, she could communicate vividly with pictures using lines, shapes, textures and colors.

“When not creating edgy, sometimes surreal, collages, assemblages, and sculptures, you can find me with a Nikon in one hand, a Sony RX in the other and an eye open for the astonishing — be it a photo opportunity, an aged scrape of handmade paper, or a colorfully rusted piece of metal — all collected for future art projects,” Hill said.

The title of Hill’s piece is “Around the World Star Ship Time Machine.” The project started with an old paper globe pencil holder and developed into a sculpture of recycled hardware and clock parts.

“You can travel back in time, see the pyramids, the Great Wall, the ancient Silk Road, and others as they are being constructed,” she said. “You can meet Michelangelo, DaVinci, Van Gogh, Matisse and other artists painting in their studios. Observe the Druids worshiping at Stonehenge, the Incas constructing Machu Picchu, and Hemingway climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! A trip of many lifetimes.”

Gloria Plosky Scaltz, of State College, graduated from Penn State in art education and taught for 39 years in the State College Area School District. Art has always been of interest of hers, and her father supported that interest since she was 10, by giving up his garage every summer so that she could build in it.

“Wood was my primary medium until I started to make collages,” she said. “They have wood in them but various metals and found pieces have crept into them. Now altered paper and photographs are entering the picture.”

Scaltz said that art has become a healing force in her life.

“You have a lot of time when you retire and a lot of distractions,” she said. “It teaches me to concentrate on the now. Lately, my work has been about dates. The piece ‘1944’ shows the determination of a nation at war and the cost to its citizens.”

“No matter what the medium, visual art can be more than ‘pretty pictures’ that somebody ‘has to like,’ ” Pepe said. “It can be a means to express what you have experienced or would like to say without putting it into words. No one has to like a visual art piece but just experience it.”

An opening reception for the show will be held 7-9 p.m. April 8 at the Art Alliance.


  • What: Recycled Show: Around the World
  • When: Friday-Sunday; opening reception 7-9 p.m. Friday
  • Where: The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, 818 Pike St., Lemont
  • Info: www.artalliancepa.org