This month, the Gallery at Lebanon Picture Frame will be featuring the dynamic works of artistic couple Dave Adams and Mary Kopala. While working in different mediums— Adams in photography and Kopala in watercolor, pen and ink— both are inspired by their shared love of extensive travel abroad. The experiences of meeting new people and learning of diverse cultures continues to be the source of inspiration for the pair. Aside from the far-flung places, Adams and Kopala’s art is also influenced by the cottages and community of Mt. Gretna, where they have been based since retirement. These shared experiences of travel and home life are expressed by the pair through very distinctive and different styles. Join us for the artists’ reception on first Friday, June 6th from 5 to 8PM; exhibition will be on view through the 30th.
Photographer Dave Adams grew up in coal country of western Pennsylvania, where the old industrial buildings, as a subject matter, had a large impact on his artistic development. For many years he has found inspiration in the cottages of Mt. Gretna. However, many of the images in this group of works are the direct product of his travels with his wife. His work favors nighttime photography, specifically High Dynamic Range technique, where multiple photographs of a single scene are taken at different exposures and then combined and rendered digitally. The technique allows him to capture a fair representation of what the human eye can see at night. The artist started out taking photos with the family box camera; after college and starting his first full-time job, he was finally able to purchase his first 35mm camera with interchangeable lenses. Adams shot almost exclusively color slides until about 10 years ago, when he started working with digital cameras and digital printers. Primarily self-taught, Adams has participated in several workshops and completed several courses at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. “I don’t think you can overstate the value of reading about a topic like photography and looking at and studying the works of others,” Adams said, “and taking many, many of your own photographs.”
Growing up in the Northern Lebanon, Myerstown area, Mary Kopala was a curious child. She credits her parents for their support and for providing her with ample educational opportunities in art and science, such as exposure to various kinds of live theater, museums and travel. Kopala considers her entire life to be one big, significant formative experience. Aside from an impressive formal education–a B.S. in Art Education from Penn State, a Master of Science in counseling and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology–Kopala continued to study various forms of dance and attended writing workshops. Since her retirement, she began learning French and resumed her education in art by taking workshops with renowned artists. For this exhibition, Kopala has selected mostly works in watercolor, even though she is also fond of working with professional grade pens and ink markers. While the two methods are seemingly at odds with each other–the former ambiguous with little planning and the latter deliberate with much control–the approaches were dictated by the mood she wished to convey. The majority of the work in this exhibit focuses on the use of negative space and working with layers of paint from which shapes emerge. According to Kopala, “These paintings are a smile for life; ambiguity and a lack of control are always present in life, it is up to us to make something of value despite the ambiguity and our lack of control.”