GLENBURN TWP. — Sometimes inspiration comes from places one might take for granted.
Joanne Benson, an artist and organizer of the Glenburn Township Annual Art Show and Sale, said inspiration for her paintings often comes from her own back yard.
“I live on a two-and-a-half acre lot in the woods, so we see lots of wildlife,” she said. “A lot of times if I see the deer sitting out in my yard, I grab my camera and I take pictures, because when you’re an artist, you not only want the pictures, but you like to have them for photo reference for a painting.”
Benson works primarily with watercolors, but also paints with pastels, acrylics and oils. One of her entries in the Glenburn exhibit is a watercolor titled “Winter Coat,” which she painted from a photograph of a deer resting in her yard.
This year’s show – the 12th annual – will open with a public reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Glenburn Township Building, 54 Waterford Road, Dalton. The artwork will be on display through Thursday, Dec. 8, with gallery hours from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Admission is free and the event is supported by a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Municipality Grant, a program of the Lackawanna County Commissioners and the Lackawanna County Council on the Arts.
Diane Stizza, who works mostly with watercolors and colored pencils and occasionally acrylics, had a harder time pinpointing the source of her inspiration.
“I don’t know,” she said. “It’s something that I’ve just always done. I doodle, and when a scene catches my eye, sometimes I just have to paint it.”
Stizza submitted two pieces to the show: a watercolor painting of a sunrise scene with men rowing a boat and an acrylic painting of a stormy night scene with an old white house on a hill.
Another of the artists, Barry Singer, said he gets his inspiration from a variety of sources.
He submitted two pieces to this year’s show, one of which was inspired by a story in the Bible and is titled, “The Loaves and the Fishes.” The second depicts a pollock (as in the fish), using the spatter-style painting technique of Jackson Pollock (as in the late famous American painter).
The painting is aptly titled “Pollock Pollock.”
When asked to describe the annual exhibition, Singer, who has participated almost every year since the first, was nothing but positive.
“There’s only one word (to describe it) – spectacular,” he said. “She (Benson) puts on a great show. She always has.”
He added the event is “well done,” from the room, to the refreshments, to the attendance.
Benson started the show 12 years ago as a way to “do something nice” for the local arts community. Until her retirement in June, she worked as the municipality’s secretary-treasurer for 16 years. She gained permission from the township board of supervisors to continue running the art show after her retirement.
The exhibit represents a variety of mediums from a mix of professional artists, hobbyists and high school and college students. Some examples from past years include photographers, digital illustrators, painters, potters, print makers and a pisanki artist. New this year is a fused glass artist.
“There’s always something different,” Benson said. “There’s always something new.”
The show is juried for space and presentation guidelines only. Attendees at the opening reception can vote for a People’s Choice Award and the artwork is also for sale.
“What’s great about this show is you don’t have to be a professional,” said Benson. “You’re not juried in, in terms of your level of talent – although most of the people are very talented – and it’s an opportunity for someone who is a hobbyist to show their work.”
For more information or directions to the Glenburn Township Building, call 570-954-1489.