Studio B Fine Art Gallery in Boyertown opens “Common Ground,” an exhibit of paintings by two well-known, accomplished artists Judy Lupas and Barbara Thun who interpret the world as they see it.

The exhibit opens Feb. 21, with a reception at 5 to 8 p.m., and the exhibit runs through March 15, both free and open to the public. Studio B hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and by appointment.

Lupas captures the essence of the image she sees in heartfelt color, composition and brush stroke. Her roots are in abstract, intuitive and impressionist painting. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, she has been awarded for outstanding drawing and painting.

Her work can be seen in private collections, major corporations, and in her current studio Spring City Mill Studios. Her work has been accepted into the archives of the Pennsylvania of the Fine Arts; her awards include “Lost Dreams on Canvas”, an award from the governor of Pennsylvania honoring children lost to street violence.

"The immediacy of line pulls me into combinations of drawing and painting," said Lupas. "Natural form, color and movement inspire me in each piece. The process of painting involves wiping out lines and patterns of color...leaving the memory of line and tone... a dialogue begins and the painting is underway. The moment captured is the most important thing to me."

Timothy Hawkesworth of the PA Academy of the Fine Arts said, "Judy Lupas’ abstract paintings draw heavily on her relationship with nature. The colors she uses and the visceral handling of paint speak of her relationship with nature. The forms she discovers in her animal studies play out as knots of energy in the large paintings. Judy is an artist whose search is rooted in the intuitive. Like John Keats she believes in ‘the truth of the imagination and the integrity of the senses.’ Her works seek to connect us to the physical nature of our lives and to celebrate the spirit that infuses this experience with energy and vitality.”

Thun looks for forms in the natural world that express a deeper, more mysterious message, where the individual might connect and interpret the work in a meaningful way.

In bringing a thoughtfulness or meditative approach to the images, she begins with an image, phrase, or question. From there the process moves to possibilities; in mediums, combinations of forms, color and always ‘How might it be otherwise?’. As the work begins to take shape the problem solving becomes complex – that is the challenge and the reward.

Thun received her BFA from Plymouth State College in 1983 and went on to become a member of the Phoenix gallery in Soho, exhibiting there for three years before completing the MFA program at Bard College in 1989.

She has exhibited widely in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, including The Currier Museum, Colby College, Anselm College, University of New Hampshire, Lehigh University, Northampton Community College, Muhlenberg College, Allentown Museum, Reading Museum, Penn State Berks, Reading Area Community College, The Freedman Gallery at Albright College, the Fleisher Memorial in Philadelphia, the Yocum Institute and the Goggleworks Center for the Arts.

Thun served as gallery director at Penn State Berks from 1989 to 1991, was president of the Penn State Berks Fine Arts Council from 1992 to 1995, and chair of the "Landmarks" Outdoor Sculpture exhibition of 1997. From 1997 to 2000 she was president of the Friends of the Freedman Gallery at Albright College and served as chair of the Albright Fine Arts Commission. She is a past trustee of Albright College, and has been a Board member of the Reading Public Museum and is currently a member of the Goggleworks Community Art Center Board.

Contact Jane Stahl, 610-563-7879, janeEstahl@comcast.net or Susan Biebuyck, 484-332-2757, suebie@ptd.net for details, to discuss donations toward prizes during the exhibit, or future sponsorship of an exhibit.

Studio B, located at 39A East Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown, is the home of the Arts and Activities Alliance, a committee of Building a Better Boyertown, a nonprofit Main Street program dedicated to revitalizing small towns.

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