Local artists cross borders; From Reading to Reutlingen

Photo by Rebecca Blanchard From Left to Right: Cherylene Shollenberger, Inge Rothmyer, German artist Ulrike Franz, former Mayor of Reading Tom McMahon, Susan Biebuyck of Studio B, Boyertown Mayor Marianne Deery, Dr. Strobele, Lauralynn White of GoggleWorks and German artist Susanne Immer.

Two artists are celebrating two cities through their brushstrokes.

In the summer and early fall of 2012, Susan Biebuyck and Lauralynn White took part of an art exchange between the city of Reading, Pa. and the city of Reutlingen, Germany.

Together, they travelled and painted the two cities.

These works now make up the exhibition entitled From Reading, To Reutlingen & Back.

This exhibit, which was formerly on display in Germanys Volkshochschule gallery, is now on display at Studio B in Boyertown, Pa. until Wednesday, July 31.

Biebuyck, the gallery director of Studio B in Boyertown, and White, the gallery Director of Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, have worked alongside each other for years.

During the exchange, both artists painted in a fashion that allows the artist to respond to the raw environment: En Plein Air, which is French for in open air. Both are experienced and celebrated artists who enjoy the social exposure and interaction that only open air painting can provide.

The landscape is similar, the mountains are similar--though theirs are bigger. We painted places we could walk to, and the host family took us to Honau, DE. said White, a Pottstown native with family from Germany. Sue paints what she sees; shes fascinated by signs, theyre interesting to her. She likes to capture the culture of the town, said White. I see people; figurescapes.

According to White, figurescapes are a fusion of the landscape and the human form. She creates a collective sense of the earthly and of the mystical.

Despite the similarities between the cities and between the artists, the depictions from vary greatly.

The two women have exhibited together in the past. However, according to White, this is the first exhibit which solely features the two of them.

Biebuyck and White gathered on Studio B on Thursday, July 25, alongside other area notables to welcome Reutlingen artists Ulrike Franz and Susanne Immer. Franz and Immer who will be exhibiting at GoggleWorks beginning July 26 to Sept. 4 as a part of the continuing exchange.

The German visitors are in the United States because I was lucky enough to exhibit in their district last year as part of an exchange with Reutlingen-Reading Sister City program. Next year I will be inviting artists from Pennsylvania to join me in Germany for another cultural exchange, said Biebuyck. Im eager for Studio B artists to have a chance to explore this possibility.

This artist cultural exchange initiative was chaired by former Mayor Tom McMahon in conjunction with Frau Petrta Bannasch, Cultural Office of Reutlingen.

About the artists:

Lauralynn White, educated at Savannah College of Art and Design, works in a variety of mediums with a concentration in oil painting and pen and ink. She holds a BFA in illustration and art history and is an exhibiting member of the National Association of Women Artists and the Visual Arts at Chautauqua.

Susan Biebuyck, an accomplished painter, trained at Kutztown University. She is passionate about utilizing classic art techniques and believes that creating art is a continuous exploration of style and skill. After working as a commercial artist, Biebuyck determined her true passion was fine art. Her paintings and pastels have been sold to several national and international collections and are exhibited throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.