Posted On On: February 3, 2016 Categories Filed Under: Member News

Opening with a reception from 5 to 8 PM on Friday, February 26, a five-artist exhibition with varied media will go on view at the Art Association of Harrisburg, 21 N. Front St. Glass mosaics by Josephine Alexander, clay sculptures by Deborah Williams, photographs by Karen Commings, enamels on metal by Matthew Bennett, and a unique installation with video by Francesca Pizzurro will debut the evening of the reception, complemented by music by the versatile Jonathan Frazier. The exhibition is sponsored by Tracey Meloni.

Glass artist Josephine Alexander admits that it took a long time to understand her own creative urges. She states: “This is a fact – I cannot be still when creative ideas seize my thoughts. For many years, gardening, sewing, needlepointing, drawing and painting were my main avenues for exploring my creativity. In 2007, I realized that the pointillist aspect of needlepoint could readily be transferred to mosaicking, something I wanted to try in order to make stepping stones for the garden. For about a year, I bumbled around with mosaics making every mistake imaginable. After breaking up (intentionally) dozens of dishes and pieces of pottery, I finally discovered that stained glass was the perfect medium for mosaic projects. Presently my most passionate expression for my creative urges is ‘painting with stained glass.’ The drama, intensity, translucence and luminosity of glass intrigues me utterly. For me, successfully ‘painting’ a picture in glass is, simultaneously, like solving a mystery and finishing a jigsaw puzzle.” Alexander lives and maintains her studio in Dover, PA.

Josephine Alexander's September Bouquet with Goldenrod and Pomegranates

Josephine Alexander’s September Bouquet with Goldenrod and Pomegranates

Matthew Bennett of Carlisle says that he has always enjoyed exploring art using traditional materials and techniques in non-traditional applications. Whether it be constructing, designing and painting replica World War II bomber “nose art” panels of curing and decoratively etching cattle horns, Bennett feels that learning new skills and using a wide variety of media can be the most rewarding aspect of an artistic endeavor. For the AAH exhibition he will showcase his enamels on metal.

Karen Commings  of Harrisburg considers herself primarily a street photographer. After seeing a Garry Winogrand exhibit in Washington, DC, and attending a 3-day New York City workshop conducted by the In-Public group, she began devoting much of her photography time to working the streets in order to capture people during the unguarded moments everyone experiences when they think no one is looking. She says that when patience and luck intersect, she generates photographs that tell a story. Untitled, her photos invite the viewer to interpret what is happening. The photos in the AAH exhibition were taken in New York City, Washington, DC, and multiple Central PA locations over a three-year span. Commings holds her BA in art history and her Master’s degree in Library Science.

Francesca Pizzuro’s installation is entitled “Material Bodies: The Exploration of One Self.”  Some of her musings include: “People’s disgust thrills me;” “ The use of line in art is so captivating;” “My body creates mediums;” and “Why are we restricted to ‘normal’ materials to compose art?”  She says that “Everyone longs for beauty: perfect complexion, no bodily functions, and long hair, but the moment it leaves the body it becomes grotesque and disgusting in the eyes of others.”  She “lives for reactions,” and says she is “fascinated with myself.” All this can be summarized in her statement that “through hair I find myself and lose myself.” Her installation is based on and created with hair. “I am emotionally tied to the meaning behind it and am broadcasting my philosophical concept further and further with the research of feminity, body and self-realization.”

The fifth artist in this eclectic mélange is DL Williams of Harrisburg. She began her artistic pursuits as a child, making toys out of aluminum foil and went on to work with clay in high school and at Columbus College School of Art & Design. As a single mother of four, she was forced to take a hiatus from her art career, but then returned to school to study at New York State University, where she obtained a BA in Computer Science and the Visual Arts. After her children were grown up, Williams was inspired to return to her first love – sculpting.  She strives to have her sculptures evoke strong emotions on “a personal level with feelings of loss, joy and strength,” with some of her works based on life experiences. She currently works out of her studio at  River Bottom Pottery and Galleria in Harrisburg.

The exhibition will remain on view through March 31. Visit for more information, or call 717-236-1432.