Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery is honored to present the work of two extraordinary Lebanon County career artists, Karen Rich Beall and Michelle Shuff. Beall, based in Mt. Gretna, is an adjunct instructor of art at Lebanon Valley College and owner of KRB Ceramics, offering lessons in clay instruction to both children and adults in her studio space. Schuff, a fine art painter and muralist based in Cornwall, also works as a freelance graphic designer and is the owner of Bottomline Design. While both artists profess to be influenced by the natural world, their adoration is expressed in distinctive yet complementary ways. This incredible combination of sublime, organic sculptures and bold, vibrant paintings will be on view during the month of April. Artists’ Reception, open to the general public, will be held on first Friday, April 5th from 5 to 8 PM.
A self-proclaimed “tree-hugger” and plant lover, Beall’s work stems from her interest in nature and science. Her work is largely situated at the intersection of replication and abstraction of organic forms, with an emphasis on environmental concerns. “I want my art to enrich the way we see, experience and understand the world around us,” Beall remarked. By displaying the plants on the walls inside a gallery and removing them from their natural environment, she wants the audience to have a formal experience with nature as form, color and texture. For this body of work, Beall has utilized clay hand-building techniques to recreate plants found in nature. Her latest work includes a series of allegorical portraits in clay, symbolizing environmental concerns such as air pollution and habitat loss. Beall’s work has been exhibited nationally for over twenty years, most notably a major commission for the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2001. Additionally, her work has been reviewed in Sculpture, Artpapers and Art in America. Beall has an MFA in sculpture from the University of Tennessee.
Shuff has been a professional visual artist for the past two decades. Landscapes, florals and still life are the focus of her subject matter, and she works mostly with oils, acrylics and watercolors. Her work in the graphic design field has proven to be a valuable asset in developing both her style, techniques, color selections and the composition of her visual arts. As a muralist, the artist designs, creates and paints florals, faux finishes and children’s rooms. For this spring floral show, Shuff focused on using thicker brush strokes in her oil and acrylic pieces, and a loose, impressionistic style. The focus gives energy, movement, playfulness and whimsy to her work. Shuff has participated in many juried exhibitions, and her mural work has been featured in the Lancaster and Lebanon Parade of Homes. She has a Masters degree in Communication Design, emphasis in Computer Graphics.