Breathe easy and unwind your mind by taking a summer retreat at Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery. Enter and enjoy the languid stillness of a summer afternoon and feast your eyes on a sumptuous visual picnic. For two months only, starting Friday, June 3rd, LPF will be hosting a Summer Retreat exhibition of Masterclass proportions, featuring all of the best landscape and plein air artists of the Central PA region, including works by Paul Gallo, Bob Heilman, Jill Peckelun, Julie Riker, Steve Wetzel, and Jean Zaun. These celebrated painters are assembled under one roof for the very first time to bring you their unique interpretations of that midsummer feeling. LPF will not be hosting a live artists reception but the exhibition will be available for viewing on our Facebook page at 5pm on Friday, June 3, 2022 and will be on our gallery walls for live viewing until Saturday, July 30, 2022.
Paul Gallo enjoys utilizing the tactile quality of oil paints in a representational manner. Inspired by all things visual, his primary area of interest is painting en plein air. Though he humbly claims that his work is purely representational and “nothing profound,” his confident brushstrokes gently guide his viewers out of the moment and into his serene landscapes.
Robert Heilman is often considered a photo-realistic painter, though to the artist himself, his work is more about presence and substance, and less about technique. Much of his work in the past has centered around the subject of nocturnal, small-town scenes, which exhibited the same quietness and intimacy as the contrasting pastoral landscapes. The focal points in Heilman’s work are the emotion and the essential qualities a particular setting provokes. Purposefully devoid of human figures, he cares little for social realism as a subject. Rather than injecting a narrative into his paintings, Heilman paints to provoke a more immediate response from his viewers.
Observational painter Jill Peckelun grew up on a farm in Lebanon County and considers that experience to be the single most important factor behind who she is today. Currently residing in Hershey, PA, Peckelun sketches daily and finds inspiration in everything she sees. As a self-proclaimed introvert, Peckelun has found no need to travel in order to find inspiration for her art, because to her, “beauty and emotion are everywhere.” When the artist is not sketching the trees and fields in their natural splendor, even the waiting room is full of “free models.” Her skill was honed over the span of eight years, with weekly lessons from technical artist John N. Booth. Oil and acrylic in a variety of colors are mediums which Peckelun enjoys, though she considers herself an evolving artist and does not like to be constrained to any particular style.
Camp Hill artist Julie Riker works as a professional artist and operates her own decorative painting business. For over twenty years, Riker has provided antique restoration, custom murals, and faux finishes for many homes, churches, and businesses. Riker studied illustration with an emphasis on academic drawing at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where she completed an MFA in Illustration. After graduation, Riker embarked on her artistic career as a part of the PA State Capitol restoration project. The artist calls herself an “observational painter,” as she primarily paints on location and often travels to “scope out” new areas for inspiration. “I have always found inspiration from travel – specifically painting trips with other artists,” Riker remarked; “2020 has kept me in my hometown looking for new inspiration. What I am finding is that there is inspiration everywhere.”
Plein air landscape painter Steve Wetzel was born and raised near the Susquehanna River, where the river, as well as its surrounding farmland, meadows, and acres of woodland continue to serve as a continual source of inspiration. “The river was visible from my high school parking lot, elevated on a hillside, where we looked down into the valley to sketch the river as it flowed past the bend at Turkey Hill and meandered toward the Chesapeake Bay,” said Wetzel. “These vistas, this scenery, filled me with a deep love of nature, and this is where I always return…to the landscape.” For more than half a century, the Susquehanna continues to be a deeply loved and frequent subject of his paintings. Wetzel utilizes oil as his primary medium and paints in a representational style. He works mostly on rigid surfaces as opposed to traditional stretched canvas in order to accommodate his use of the palette knife. A number of these palette knife paintings will be featured in this exhibition.
Jean Zaun is an award-winning painter based in Fredericksburg, PA. Professionally trained with an art degree from Kutztown University, she once described the act of painting as a lifetime’s journey and considers the easel as her biggest teacher. Zaun presents her work as a meaningful visual dialogue, where inherent beauty could be observed, unobscured by the viewer’s inability to slow down. Zaun’s work adheres to a time-honored tradition of impressionistic paintings; she considers herself a privileged participant.
Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery has been serving the regional artistic community since 1999. Aside from professional and quality archival custom framing, its gallery regularly features exhibitions of local artists, as well as unique handcrafted gift items such as jewelry, paintings, ceramics, sculptures and more.