WITF Events

Art in the Atrium: Sharon McCuen

Written by Cary Burkett | Jul 28, 2016 12:51 PM
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Dipping into the pool of lost memories

When Sharon McCuen was doing her graduate work in Fine Arts at Penn State University, Sharon McCuen heard a lecture by a philosopher about the "Stuff of Water" based on Greek mythology.  The concept, as she describes it, is that when people die, all their thoughts, memories and experiences are deposited in a sort of communal pool. Artists have the gift to be able to dip into this pool and bring thoughts and ideas back to life through the art they create.

That lecture became a point of inspiration for her art. She says she hopes she can bring a glimpse of the truths of life in the beauty of her work.

McCuen taught art in the public school for 20 years, while at the same time taking continuing classes in art and specifically in the four-color process of printmaking. She now teaches private classes in printmaking and watercolors, and has her own art studio in Selinsgrove.

The printmaking process builds up colors on an image in multiple layers on a smooth plate. A single color of yellow will be overlaid by a red plate, then a blue plate and black. At each step she removes the color on the plate in those areas where she doesn't want it. For example, on the yellow plate, she leaves the color on areas that she wants to be green or orange, so that the yellow will combine with the later colors to produce the desired result in the final print.

"What I like about printmaking," she says, "is that you never know what the result is going to be for sure. There are always surprises - the way the ink spreads or the way the color combinations develop. So it's always an adventure."

Her work is inspired by images in nature, combined with some abstract elements.

McCuen's most recent show was a 7-artist invitational at the Art Association in Harrisburg. She also had pieces in a recent group show at Susquehanna University.

A selection of her watercolors and prints is currently on display in the Lowengard Atrium of the WITF Public Media Center until September 23, available for viewing during regular business hours. 

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Tropical Ranch Botanical Garden by Sharon McCuen

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