"Fear no art" might be Jane Runyeon's slogan because she embraces all kinds of art and wants others to do the same.
Runyeon, who grew up in Wyomissing and now has a studio in Shillington, attended the Wyomissing Area School District through the ninth grade before she went to St. Tim's, a private girls school in Maryland.
While in Italy as a 16 year old, Runyeon decided she wanted to be an artist.
"I was studying art history and boys in Florence," Runyeon said. "I grew up in an artistic, musical family. A lot of my work is influenced by astronomy, music and landscape."
When it was time to choose a college, Runyeon matriculated at Indiana University in Bloomington.
After graduating, she supplemented her art education with a year of independent study at the Rhode Island School of Design and earned her MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 1981.
Runyeon appreciates the varied landscape of Berks and still loves walking at Stonehouse in Wyomissing where she skated as a child.
"I love this area," Runyeon said. "The landscape is really phenomenal."
Henri Matisse, French painter and sculptor, Giotti and classical music have influenced Runyeon's artistic style the most.
"More than anything I am effected by the human condition," Runyeon said. "I want people to walk away with an awe of the universe.
"My art is very positive and joyous. I don't paint just pretty pictures. My art has hope, not despair."
Runyeon is also inspired by the written word. One of her diptyches "Fire and Ice" developed from the Robert Frost poem of the same name.
Work in a variety of mediums is Runyeon's specialty. She created the stained glass for the 614 Bistro on Penn Ave. in West Reading.
"I worked with Mark Ratcliffe, a designer, but I was the general contractor (artist) for the job," Runyeon said.
This was Runyeon's first job after teaching at Albright College for 10 years where she enjoyed mentoring art students.
When not immersed in the art world, Runyeon enjoys astronomy, the Philadelphia Eagles, cooking and music. And she loves her 13-year-old "guard dog," Clifford Henry, who looks like he couldn't hurt a flea.
Runyeon and her company, All Together Art, Inc. (www.all2art.com), were commissioned to do the artwork in the new "N" building of The Reading Hospital.
Although busy with her company, Runyeon still makes time to mentor young artists.
"I worked with a ceramic class from Wyomissing Area High School from the inception to the completion of the project through Karen Palcho, who headed the art department at the high school for years," said Runyeon. "The work was exhibited at the Canal Street Pub."
Runyeon believes everyone's work changes with time.
"If you are doing good art work, it will change because your life changes," Runyeon said. "Art has a unique pulse related to it."
Back in the mid '80s, Runyeon had a unique opportunity to exhibit some of her art in a gallery. However, this wasn't your typical gallery.
"I had my artwork displayed on "As the World Turns" in a gallery on the show," said Runyeon, whose brother Frank starred at that time on this soap with Meg Ryan and got her the gig, which lasted a few episodes.
Usually, though, Runyeon has more conventional locations for her current projects in Reading, Allentown, NY and Philly.
"I'm driven more by subject than style," Runyeon said. "My work is largely modern and abstract though based in reality.
"I'm a great believer in everything metaphysical. Art and science are closely related," - A belief that has served Jane Runyeon and her creative side well for more than 25 years and will continue to do so.