The Bethlehem House Gallery is celebrating four years of providing innovative art in a variety of contemporary styles with its 2018 Summer Show. Let’s meet the artists responsible for the artwork hanging on the Gallery walls during this exhibition.
Ross Brodar is the only other American artist, besides Jackson Pollock, to be featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Born in New York and a self-taught artist, Brodar’s art is a reflection on his time spent in the urban jungle. His style is graffiti that features faces, cityscapes, and stolen bicycles with bold colors. He also has a mural in Sunset Park, Brooklyn which features three male figures on the side of a brick building. While his art in the Gallery is focused on painting, he also does sculpture and is a filmmaker.
Recently Brodar moved to an old farmhouse in Bethlehem, where he continues to paint.
Growing up on an old farm, Douglas Ihlenfeld was inspired by his father, welder, and sculptor Klaus Ihlenfeld. While he enjoyed the old school methodology from his father, learning to use an acetylene torch, he later went to technical welding school, where he started welding on his own.
Ihlenfeld works with non-ferrous metals such as copper, bronze, brass, etc. While he is trained in different welding techniques, he is always drawn to the old tradition of oxyacetylene. The final step to Ihlenfeld’s creative process is to apply color or oxidation to enhance his work. He resides and creates his works in Berks County, PA.
With a Fine Arts degree from Bard College, Elizabeth Johnson has a great eye for art has been writing art reviews for artpractical.com. She started writing reviews in San Francisco but after moving to the Lehigh Valley in 2011 has since covered exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, and the Lehigh Valley.
She recently participated in “Introductions 2018,” curated by Enrico Gomez at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn. Her solo show will run from January 2019 – February at Cedar Crest College.
Michael Lebson not only works at the Gallery but is a talented artist himself. His work is proudly on display this summer and his pieces take shape in the form of selectively representational or abstract raw forms that attempt to become alive. By using colors, shading and simple shapes, he creates movement in his pieces, which are subtle but playful. Lebson’s primary medium is paint on canvas.
He is easily inspired by feelings, emotions, memories or moments of nostalgia. Sometimes, his art can celebrate people, place and things most import to him, as well. With these factors in mind, he presents common themes such as universality, scale, and repetition through his work.
Rigo Peralta is a print maker, but considers painting his primary medium. He chooses to use an organic method versus making preliminary sketches, and with complete freedom, opens himself to express through laying color and texture across the bare canvas.
While Peralta explores many themes like nature, humanity and spirituality, he primarily focuses on the push and pull between human and machine. “I express this complex relationship with textures and brushstrokes within the human anatomy interlocked with mechanisms of cogs and wheels,” he explains.
Our next artist is a jack of all trades. Ian Summers has been an art director, investigative journalist, and creative director – just to name a few. After reinventing himself, identifying his loves and rediscovering his passion for teaching, he created Ian Summer’s Heartstorming Workshops.
Summers holds a BA in Art Education from the University of Bridgeport and has done graduate work at Montclair College and NYU. His work was represented by Santa Bannon Fine Art where he has appeared in solo and group shows from 2013 through 2016.