Amna Kasi is a person you would imagine with big dreams that come from her childhood being all about traveling. Then spending most of her teen and young adult life in Indiana, pa. She is from Pakistan and belongs to the Kasi tribe. A lot of her work ties into her rich Pashtun culture, from the clothes to the traditional practices like the application of henna. Henna is a big aspect to Amna’s artwork, because henna only stays on the body for about two weeks, so Amna wanted a way to keep her work more permanent, like painting henna designs on canvases or carving out henna designs on pottery. She is someone who loves mixing different types of mediums; from embroidering beads into canvases to crocheting flowers. She is currently working on advancing her pottery skills and figuring out how to crochet different types of flowers while she is running her henna business. Through every one of her pieces Amna’s story is written in the form of art.
Antoinette 'Nettie' Nestor
Antoinette Nestor has an absolute passion for making quilts. Her work has evolved to show off specialty fabrics. It's pure excitement and Nettie can't wait to start the next one. She is a graduate of Kent State University with degrees in Art History and Library Science. Living in Indiana PA for over 35 yrs, she married a sculpture and had two sons who are now both photographers.
Barb Kubala's fiber arts are tactile and exciting jewelry pieces, wearables, and wall hangings. Kubala unites her fiber arts skills with bold constructions of soutache, sailor's knots, crystals, feathers, and more to make distinct wearable art. She is a retiree of the Indiana Area School District and has been active in the community for many years. As a fiber artist, Barb has practiced many different techniques. Much of her work includes pin weaving, which gives her the flexibility to weave any shape she draws. Her use of organic shapes is a constant and she is pleased to say that every one of her pieces is completely unique and one-of-a-kind!
Brandon Hirt is a fine art photographer that currently resides in Ebensburg, PA. He boomeranged back to the area after living the dream in both Colorado and Oregon. During his time out west he developed his eye, and with that came an addiction to photography.
"I strive to find a different perspective for my images. My photography sweet tooth is long exposure landscapes. The longer exposures help bring a silent peace to images. I create most of these with the power of moonlight or daylight and ninja special effects. These shots can last 2 seconds or as long as 2 hours. Long exposures will smooth out crashing waves or have the stars spin around the Northern Star. Variety is the spice of life, so I engage different sorts of image creation."
Brandon also photographs weddings and portraits. He is constantly striving to create images of everyday views from brand new perspectives.
Brianna Adkins is a senior Art Education and Dance Arts undergraduate student at IUP. In her photography, she aspires to capture the world as it is, particularly through the alluring moments that are created by the details and lighting of everyday life. More often than not, the world needs no enhancement, as it is intriguing, beautiful, and poetic enough in its raw forms. She stops to appreciate
the moments that sometimes go unnoticed (much to the chagrin of whomever she is walking with) with the intent of sharing the beauty she sees with others and encouraging people to take a moment to
breathe it all in. Her recent work focuses on Italy, as a result of studying abroad in Florence last spring, and reflects the emotions of having to leave suddenly due to the onset of the pandemic. She hopes to allow viewers to envision themselves in these beautiful places, on the adventure with her.
Philosopher-Lawyer, Chere Winnek-Shawer’s jewelry unites precious metals, Akoya pearls, and semi-precious gems like jasper and agate into extraordinary expressions. When she retired from her law career, Chere rekindled her creative fire in the arts. Chere’s first forays into weaving and fiber arts is evident in her careful handling of patterns and textures, making unique, wearable art that has a classic design sure to be worn again and again by whoever you gift it to (even if that’s YOU).
Chuck Stump has been creating ceramics for over 50 years, after becoming inspired during his undergrad years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). He currently works out of his studio that includes gas, oil, and wood fired kilns in Frostburg, Maryland. Chuck's main process is wood-fired, salt-glazed stoneware, exploring richly textured and decorated forms of are wheel-thrown with slab and coil additions, the patterns on the surfaces of his forms are enhanced by the subtle, natural effects of the wood ash and salt glazing.
“My ceramics professor, Dr. Frank Ross, lit the spark," says Chuck Stump. "He mentored, encouraged and inspired me to pursue a career as a ceramic artist. That’s where my passion for working in clay began.” His contemporary vessels reflect the atmospheric effects of fire and air currents within the kiln - the wood ash that settles on surfaces and creates a glaze or the salt added during the firing that produces a unique orange peel-textured glaze - interacting with different clay bodies and different applied surface textures. An avid whitewater kayaker and downhill/back country/cross country skier, Chuck also draws inspiration from the environment around him. Favorite themes include water motifs from kayaking Western Maryland’s rivers, as well as lobster and fish motifs from summers at the beach.
Artist statement coming soon
Donn Hedman grew up in Africa where his parents were missionaries. You can see the influence of the regions he traveled to in his work throughout his life. He usually works with stoneware. Sometimes it's sculptural, sometimes it's functional. Just being open to new ideas and willing to take risks puts a smile on his face. "I love the possibilities art affords me and I can't imagine a better way of life. To quote a North Carolina folk potter: 'I whistle on my way to work and I whistle on my way home.'"
Donn Hedman has spanned a career in pottery since 1970. His education includes the University of Kansas, Washington State University, and Edinboro University. He has a teaching history from 1973-2004, where he retired from Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a Ceramics Professor Emeritus. Donn has received numerous grants and fellowships including a National Endowment for Arts Research Grant in 1981, a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship in 1989, and an IUP Senate Research Grant from 1981. He worked in multiple art residencies, workshops, juried art exhibitions, and such. He was a Peace Corps volunteer from 2011-2013 and has been a member of the Craftmen's Guild of Pittsburgh since 1982.
Elle Woods grew up in Indiana, PA and has been a teacher for over 18 years. She is now the coordinator of Gifted Support Services in the Indiana School District. She studied visual and creative writing, but stopped creating after university. She is happy to have started again. For her, artwork is very spiritual. Elle Woods has 3 sons.
Glenn T Himes
Glenn graduated from Indiana University of Pennsyvania (IUP) in 1992 with BA degrees in English and Religious Studies in 1997 and later graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a MA and PH in British literature and digital instructional design. From Unl he went to a post-Doctoral fellowship with the British Academy working on Project Corvey and subsequently joined the faculty at Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Glenn returned to IUP as the director of the Instructional Design Center in 2000 and retired from IUP in 2010. Just before retiring Glenn wanted to "do" something with his daughter, Gwen, at age 12, and they decided to take a continuing education and class on abstract painting with Julie Engelmann. The experience proved transformative for him and painting is now a treasured part of his world.
Inspired by Ansel Adams, Greg was one of our Gallery photographers from 2013 until he passed away in July of 2018. Greg turned his camera's eye on views of nature, always with a focus on light. Sometimes he digitally enhanced the effects, and sometimes the images sprang straight from his camera's lens. Bringing us images from the coast of Maine, the American West, and Western PA, his work is full of light, color, and beauty. He was always growing as an artist and photographer - and was a big part of The Artists Hand. He often showed up to help hang shows and to get the Gallery ready for the Holidays. He just helped out that way. From the very first session in the dark room he built in the early 70's, he knew this would be a love that would last a lifetime. The first image he developed gave him inspiration. With guidance from his stepfather who was a professional photographer, he grew as an artist. When he retired, he became a full-time landscape and nature photographer. Greg will always be missed. "At this time and place I am meant to be, to develop my craft."
Educated at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Greg's work resides in many private collections throughout the United States. Professionally, Langham was employed by the Penns Manor School District as the High School Art teacher; a position from which he retired in 2008 to return to his personal artwork. His work may be described as a mixture of realism and fantasy, with periodic excursions into the abstract.
Kym Laret, the maker of Heavenly Creations, is delighted to have multiple creative outlets. She’s currently the costume technician at Indiana University of PA and has performed throughout western Pennsylvania with Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, the Mendelssohn Choir, River City Brass Band, and the Pittsburgh Savoyards. When she’s not singing or making costumes, she also enjoys being a fiber artist, creating custom bags, masks, and garments for family and friends.
She received her Bachelors of Music in performance from Ithaca College and her Masters of Music, also in performance, from Carnegie Mellon University.
Harold K. Miller was born in 1950 and grew up in southern New Jersey. He attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.A in Art in 1972 and a Masters in Printmaking and Education in 1975. After surviving 32 years in the Pennsylvania public school system, Harold retired in 2006 and began painting full time. Beginning with small plein-air studies, he gradually moved on to larger studio paintings. Of particular interest is a series depicting the farm structures on the Gettysburg battlefield. Harold resides in Indiana with his wife Susan and has been influenced by the work of Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, the Wyeths (N.C and Andrew), and Sidney Laurence.
"I wanted to “get a life” as a balance to the life of a high school French teacher. By signing up for Continuing Ed ceramic classes at IUP and eventually credit classes, I found the challenges and rewards provided the balance I sought. The variety of teachers presented the ideas and instruction to enhance my desire to learn more…and surprise myself. In addition to IUP classes, the past 25 summers in Chautauqua Special Studies classes at the School of Art continue to provide a starring roster of different teachers and new inspiration each week of the summer session.
As helper to my friend who teaches warm glass jewelry classes in Special Studies at Chautauqua I was introduced to another material that presents so many possibilities. These past 2 summers gave me the possibility to make glass plates and dishes when ceramics classes were not available.
Whether with glass or ceramics my goals have remained learning something new and different inspired and stimulated by the encounters with a variety of teachers and techniques, getting better at what I can achieve- I always say: for my own amusement and amazement! What a compliment when others like what I do. The friends made in the studios are the best bonus!"
Because Jamie was raised to appreciate diverse views and to value encyclopedic knowledge, he holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of South Florida. Jamie believes his teachings in mathematics, physics, and chemistry doesn't constrict his right brain capabilities such as the arts. His skills in acrylic, ink, and digital media physically embodies interests and instincts combine logic. Using arithmetic geometrics, Jamie creates colorful abstraction, heart-full levity, and spontaneity.
JoAnn Wesolosky is a painter, portrait artist, and art educator living and working in PA. She received an MA concentration in drawing and painting from Marywood University. She focuses in landscapes and flowers from the local area or her travels, often working in pencil, watercolor, and oils. In her spare time, she is also an avid reader.
Jamie Coptic focuses in oil paints and watercolors. Her work includes illustrative stories, spiritual imageries, and powerful figure drawings with the understanding that the human form is not something taboo, but something beautiful. Art was a turning point for Coptic. She took a shot in the dark and studied art later in life. It helped her find her skills when she didn't know what to offer to the world.
Her mentor, Karl Huber, guided her with support, positive encouragement, and constructive criticism. Huber taught Coptic that being her own artist is enough.
Joanne Arnall was inspired to interpret early and mid-century modern art in jewelry. Kandinsky, Rothko, Miro, O’Keefe, Matisse and Calder among many others are transformed into sets of wearable art. Arnall’s “derivARTives” in necklaces and earrings offer 6 pairs of possibility because they are sold in sets of three. These are special and unique to this Indiana, PA artist. “Oh, an Arnall!” could be the words that tickle your ears.
Joanne Arnall is a self-taught artist of sculptural jewelry and other wearable and decorative art. She was introduced to bead stringing in summer camp, nearly 50 years ago (after being counseled that learning the names of birds and trees would be the real value of the camp experience). Later, during intervals of nest-building, she developed a fascination with wrapped wire creations while re-functioning wire hangers into household cleaning and repair items. She is inspired by both the natural and man-made world, and holds that art is any creative expression unleashed to be experienced by others.
Jolene Joyner is an oil/pastel painter. She has lived in Indiana County for most of her life and currently lives in Clymer, PA. Her studio is in her home. She works from photographs that have been taken locally and from her travels to France and Italy. Her artwork is representational because she enjoys the challenge.
Jolene also helps manage the figure drawing nights at The Artists Hand every first and third Wednesday of the month (unless canceled due to illness). Feel free to join. A donation of $5 is strongly encouraged for the model's time.
Jonelle Summerfield graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Although she has no formal art education her mother, Jolene, was her art teacher. She had exposed Jonelle to art since childhood, and then in high school she took a drawing class for extra credit and discovered that she actually enjoyed producing art. After she graduated from college her mother taught her how to paint with oils. Jonelle had worked for eight years as a kitchen designer and is now a full time artist. “I paint in the realistic style partly for the challenge of it, partly because I want to capture moments, days and events that will perhaps never occur again.”
Joy Biesinger Fairbanks received her BS/ED and MA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her master’s degree is in the field of jewelry with a sculpture minor. During her graduate work she became interested in photography and has been exhibiting in that field for the past 35 yrs. Her work is included in museum collections as well as private collections. Joy is a member of the Indiana Art Association, the Pittsburgh Society or Artists, the National Collage Society and the Allied Artists of Johnstown.
JR Sherburne - Gift a piece of The Artists Hand with pottery hand turned, glazed and fired by “Jimmy the Potter.” JR Sherburne’s mugs are what we choose to use to serve delicious espresso bar drinks. Pair that with a bag of hand roasted Commonplace Coffee beans of your choice for a complete gift.
J.R.'s formal background in ceramics began in 1974 in the apprenticeship program at Berea College in Kentucky, culminating with a B.A. degree. Following graduation, J.R. was a studio potter in Florida, California, and Kentucky. While in Kentucky he was very active in the Kentucky Department of Humanities Artist-in-Residence program, working primarily in rural districts presenting residencies ranging from two weeks to nine months, as well providing teacher in-service seminars, facilitating visiting artist workshops, and advocating for the arts to community groups. He earned an M.F.A in Ceramics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2008. JR is our resident potter. If you see someone throwing clay in the back, be sure to say hi!
Kathy Sartoris Rafferty
'My name is Kathy Sartoris Rafferty and I am a self-taught artist. I have been drawing since the time I was very young, but started painting since 2002. I have always enjoyed doing portraits, but have found animals, still-life, scenery, and anything that is a challenge to be extremely gratifying. I love it all! The mediums I enjoy are water-based oils and acrylics. Oils have become my favorite due to the slower drawing time. I am on the board of the Latrobe Art Center and have had some of my paintings turn into puzzles at the Joyful Nook Gallery in Durango, Colorado. I am happy to be a part of The Artists Hand!'
Ken Fairman is a self-taught artist and a retired heavy equipment operator. He paints to capture special features in nature and indeed enjoys hiking. In his spare time he reads up on artistic techniques. Ken Fairman is from Indiana, Pennsylvania and is a part of the Indiana Art Association. In his work, he values subjects inspired by the natural world. For instance, trilliums bloom in the spring from shady ravines, capturing the beauty and light that can manifest in darkness.
In LA Gallanar's own words: "I began my voyage with clay in southern California in 1968 when my mother-in-law persuaded me to take a class with her at the park. She found she was allergic to clay, I was hooked for life.
At first I threw terra cotta hanging planters for the street fairs that were popular then. Soon I went back to my first love, hand-building and began experimenting with Raku firing. By the early 1980s, I was teaching Raku workshops - at Sweetwater Art Center in Sewickley, Touchstone Center for Crafts and Indiana University's Summer Happening, and the Community- University Evening Studies Program.
In the early 1990s, I began burnishing my pots with a polished river rock before firing to give them a soft gloss without glazing, and firing them in clay cylinders (saggars) packed with straw or sawdust and chemicals that vaporized in the enclosed atmosphere, leaving random flashes of color on the pots." LA Gallanar is inspired by techniques from Raku pottery. Raku pottery developed in Japan in the 1500s. The word Raku means enjoyment and freedom. If we contemplate the form, we are to recognize spiritual guidance. Earth, air, fire, and water is needed to make pottery. As it is very common for pottery to break during the creative process, especially in Raku, the Raku pottery that survives is said to be blessed.
Linda Van Gehuchten
Linda Van Gehuchten first came to Indiana in 1992. She is a wood turner and teacher out of Sarver, PA. She teaches her art to interested artists through the Indiana Council of the Arts. She enjoys working with wood and has an incredibly talented way of manipulating it. Linda prefers to work alone, but sometimes uses her husband to help with some of her projects.
Mandi Moerland didn't set out to be a visual artist. Her first art form was dance. She began dancing at age 2, and continued through until 1990, where she entered graduate school, Master of Clinical Social Work, 1992. Painting became important to her when she moved from Florida to Ohio, where she became ready to pursue art seriously. She entered Kent State undergraduate art program in 2011. Formal art classes helped her navigate and explore drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. However, she was to move 2 years later and was unable to finish the program. In her new home, she found an art studio and began painting full time in 2013.
"My painting continues to evolve. I'm in a stage of exploration and experimentation. I enjoy painting the figure, landscapes, and abstractions. My focus is to combine movement the figure, and abstraction. At this juncture, I am not certain how these elements may manifest. However, they are always on my mind when I am painting."
Mark Altrogge graduated from IUP in 1972 with a degree in Art Education, and in 1979 earned his Masters Degree in Painting from IUP as well. Influenced by Vincent Van Gogh and other expressionists, Mark uses rich colors and rhythmic brushwork in his oil paintings.
Mark and his wife live in Indiana. They have five children, and four grandchildren.
Mea is a recent graduate of Indiana High School and is now studying art through university.
Mel Dunlap Jr
Mel Dunlap Jr is a woodworker and craftsman in the local area. His favorite quote speaks for what he strives for in his work: "The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection." - Michaelangelo
Rhonda Luckey: Enfoldme Fiber Design reflects the contemporary textile and fiber art of Rhonda Luckey. Drawing upon her early training as a weaver and garment maker, Rhonda explores techniques to create and recreate fabric using block printing, painting, quilting, sewing, and nunofelting. Her works are influenced by her early childhood living in Asia and Europe, where her mother immersed herself in the textile and floral artistry of Japanese, French, and Italian cultures. Rhonda’s techniques include, for example, Shibori, Sashiko, Ikat weaving, eco-printing and silk painting.
Enfoldme Fiber Design is a counter to the dizzying pace of the 21st Century and provides Rhonda the environment to listen to the imaginal world within while being immersed in colors and textures from nature. From the woods to the garden, with antique linens and silks, with vintage garments and found objects, each piece is a labor of love and echoes her prayer of gratitude.
Rich French has been represented by The Artists Hand since 2016. He formerly worked in clay, making whimsical vessels and sometimes non-functional display items. He famously claims to have been lost in the woods and raised by a family of muskrats until being reunited with his family in 1976. This may or may not be true. We know for sure that Rich graduated from IUP in 1976 and lives in Ford City, PA. He took a hiatus from ceramics in 2018, and returns to the gallery with what he has wanted to do for years. Paintings. These acrylic paintings bring his whimsical vision to canvases with collections of images that are first apprehended as a pattern and then dance into your imagination. Perhaps with a story, or organizing themselves into larger families and collections within the canvas. Fun. Colorful. Playful.
Ron Korczynski has established himself as one of Western Pennsylvania’s premiere clay artists. His functional pottery is a colorful delight. If you think pottery is full of dull, look at these OTHER colors found in nature! Korczynski’s earthen ware is inspired by the colorful tradition of Pysanky egg decoration, and is suitable for both serving and display. His stoneware is equally festive. The Korczynski Pottery is a well established ceramic studio in Western Pennsylvania, and we’re glad to be able to represent this IUP graduate’s work.
Ron Korczynski is a native of Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Master's Degree in Art Education. Ron taught art in the public school system for 32 years. In his early years as a potter, Ron's main body of work was functional stoneware pottery. However, for the past 20 years he has been extensively involved with highly decorative and functional lowfire work. His use of color and design on each individual piece is remarkably elaborate.
Ron and his wife, Judy, maintain a studio and gallery at their home in Pennsylvania. “The work is about love.”
Sandy Pembleton - Sandra Pembleton’s stained glass ornaments are a holiday tradition in Indiana. Sandy selects her materials carefully, and hand solders the metal frames that capture holiday spirit in sparkly, colored glass. Your gift of a Pembleton ornament will be remembered every year as part of your friend or loved one’s tree trimming tradition. This is a gift that keeps on giving.
Sandra is from the Indiana area and has been working in stain glass going on 25 years. She has retired from IUP, where she worked for 23 and a half years - and is also where she received her BA degree.
"I got started in glass work when I took classes at Mr. Croup’s shop back in 1991. I started out just doing small pieces to hang in windows (sun catchers); then I was asked to do a leaded window. Now I do whatever someone would like to commission me for."
“Woven with love and spirit,” describes the scarfs and throws created by Indiana fiber artist Sandy Trimble. When these one of a kind, handwoven articles touch your neck and hands they feel like breath and life. Sandy selects yarns and colors, dresses her loom and weaves on a pattern that she created to express any number of thoughts and feelings. Cool thing is, you get to wear these beautiful, sublime creations for years and years. Or give them! What a warm and cozy gift.
A member of the Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh, Sandy has been working as a fiber artist for almost 20 years. She began her work as a weaver, doing several liturgical works locally and regionally. She moved on to felt making and Shibori dye work about 8 years ago. She loves the immediacy of the two mediums, and their expressive qualities. The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and 3G Gallery in Pittsburgh presently represent her Pashmina scarves and stoles. A former art educator,she works full-time as a weaver and felter. Her works have been exhibited at many events and has received numerous awards for her creative designs and soft sculptures
Jewelry artist Sharon Shepard travels the world and what she experiences is revealed in her compositions. Some delicate, some bold, and many with sparkle and shine. Shepard’s wearable art includes precious metals, Swarovski crystals, delicate beading, and fascinating patterns. In fact, one could say that the fascinating patterns of her jewelry reflect the fascinating patterns of human interaction that she’s experienced in her travels. Yeah. We like that. So will your friend when they receive a “Shepard” from you this holiday season.
Sharon Shepard earned an undergraduate degree from Penn State University and taught Learning Support at Derry Area School District for over 30 years before retiring in 2007. Sharon has always had a love for hand crafted jewelry as well as a need to channel her own creativity. Creativity is a cornerstone of successful teaching and retirement created a new avenue for that creativity; making beaded, fine silver and copper jewelry.
Sharon is a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Arts, the American Craft Council, and the Latrobe Art Center. Her jewelry is also exhibited and sold at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Latrobe Art Center, ArtWorks of Park City, Utah, and Indian Gallery in Hatteras, NC.
A true Renaissance man, Tim is a self- taught artist working primarily in oils. He enjoys painting local landscapes and historical scenes of a finalist in the Art Renewal Center's 14th International Salon's landscape category. With exceptional skill in portraiture, he continues to be retained for commissioned works with several on permanent display in the local courthouse. Also an accomplished faux woodgraining, and other decorative finishes. In 2005 he received Historic Gettysburg Adams County historic preservation award from a museum quality restoration of the Frederick Wolf house circa 1753. Each painting is truly part of him and to have you take him into your home is the greatest reward and achievement he can think of, thank you!- Joined The Artists Hand community of artists in 2022.