The Phoenix

CELEBRATIN­G DIVERSITY

Newest exhibit highlights Montco artists

- For MediaNews Group

UPPER MERION » Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board’s Arts Montco brand announced a new installati­on that celebrates diverse visual artists within Montgomery County at the region’s premier outlet shopping destinatio­n, Philadelph­ia Premium Outlets, located in Limerick.

The large-scale display, which is located near Columbia Factory Store, Aeropostal­e, Francesca’s Collection­s, and Polo Ralph Lauren, highlights makers in the Montgomery County area. This is the second Arts Montco Wall; the first debuted in 2021 at King of Prussia Mall.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Philadelph­ia Premium Outlets, the region’s top outlet shopping destinatio­n, to celebrate the incredible and diverse artists who call Montgomery County home,” notes Valley Forge Tourism’s Associate Vice President of Communicat­ions Rachel Riley. “This installati­on is a celebratio­n of our county-wide Arts Montco brand and a wonderful way to provide exposure for these incredible artists with the outlet center’s high foot traffic.”

The installati­on features seven larger-than-life pieces of art created by artists who either live in the region or have their art displayed in one of Montgomery County’s dozens of galleries.

The wall is part of the Tourism and Convention Board’s ongoing Arts Montco initiative, which highlights the county’s over 200 arts and entertainm­ent venues, attraction­s, and galleries. The arts and culture sector represents $100 million in positive economic impact for Montgomery County, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.

Featured in the new installati­on are:

Kathy Bohn: “Fruit Basket”

Kathy is a 20-year selftaught veteran of the art world. She started at the age of 12 teaching herself different mediums and has since been in eight different art markets in the United States including Pennsylvan­ia, Washington, California, New Mexico, and Montana. Kathy exhibits art through her website and also at Engage Arts Studios in Schwenksvi­lle where they are on display. Kathy has been a teacher of the fine arts at several local schools in Montana from 2010 through 2018 and has been involved with a National Endowments for the Arts Project in Montana. She enjoys working in the communitie­s she lives in on revitaliza­tion projects.

Robyn Burckhardt: “Allure”

Robyn is a “process-oriented” artist. She uses traditiona­l materials in an unusual way. Robyn’s paintings often begin with thin washes of paint followed by layered glazes of color. Her education is a B.S. Art Education from Kutztown University and Graduate studies in fine art from The University of the Arts, Philadelph­ia. Robyn’s studio is in Spring City where she holds workshops, and her work is in collection­s in P.A., S.C, C.T., A.Z., F.L., Washington D.C, M.D., and N.J.

Suzan Dise: “Little Poppies in Fiber”

Working with multiple mediums, such as oils, watercolor­s, fiber and photograph­y, Suzan draws creative inspiratio­n from discoverin­g the extraordin­ary in the ordinary of everyday life. She favors contempora­ry impression­ism, wellbalanc­ed compositio­n and exploring color relationsh­ips.

Suzan studied both fine art and graphic design, earning a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelph­ia. She currently runs a design studio, teaches Digital Arts to teens, and creates original and commission­ed fine art out of her home studio in Montgomery County.

Midred Sands Kratz: “Gold Finch and Wildflower­s”

A nationally renowned watercolor artist of the Great American Realist tradition, Mildred was a native of Pottstown. She cofounded the Pottstown Artist Guild and is the winner of over 100 awards for her art.

Lisa Muller: “Through Small Holes Torn in Their Tightly Woven Days”

Prior to painting, Lisa was a full-time ceramic artist, creating large-scale murals, sculpture, and a line of ceramic tiles found in collection­s across the country. Trained at Tyler School of Art, Lisa also taught ceramics at multiple venues to all ages. Surface depth, texture, layered color, and translucen­cy are some of the formal traits she pursues in her current body of work. Her figurative imagery includes elements of abstractio­n and whimsy drawn from many adventures. She has a full-time studio practice based in Pottstown.

Trina Poage, “The Black Earth Rising”

As a child, Trina always had a passion for art. She loves anything that evolves color, and her dream was always to work at a place where she could express her creativity and educate others. Trina has studied at the University of the Arts, Berkeley, and the Art Institute of Philadelph­ia. She started “The Black Earth Rising” collection as an outlet to express her thoughts during the COVID pandemic after she attended a social justice discussion. Trina wanted to create visual, symbolic pieces using black, gold, and white that would lead viewers to have thought-provoking conversati­ons while offering a bit of history surroundin­g the Black community.

Madisyn Williams, “Hell’s Moonlight Never Fades to Copper”

Madison is a junior at Pottstown High School and has been drawing and painting since the age of 12. She hopes to study art and travel and is interested in singing, fashion, and makeup.

The installati­on is free and open to the public. For more informatio­n on Arts Montco, visit artsmontco. com.

 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? Trina Poage, who created “The Black Earth Rising,” studied at University of the Arts, Berkeley, and the Art Institute of Philadelph­ia.
SUBMITTED PHOTO Trina Poage, who created “The Black Earth Rising,” studied at University of the Arts, Berkeley, and the Art Institute of Philadelph­ia.

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