ArtPop Lehigh Valley 2017 Winners
Melissa Perhamus, Easton
Warmth Beyond the Hills – Acrylic
Melissa Perhamus’s works are thought-provoking surrealistic landscapes which are inspired by her organic memory of nature. She sees her work as a unique language to communicate and connect with others in a way verbal and written languages may lack. Melissa is a mixed media artist currently working out of her studio at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem and is an active member of the art scene in the Lehigh Valley, showing consistently at various locations in solo and group exhibitions. She has been featured in Lehigh Valley Style Magazine, and interviewed by WFMZ 69 News, WDIY Musings and The Morning Call, to name a few. Melissa received her BA in Studio Art from SUNY Potsdam. She also studied at The Colleges of Ripon and York St John in England where she feels she really learned to hone her voice with her art.
Susanna Parker, Bethelhem
Horizon – Mixed Media Digital Collage
Susanna Parker is a self-taught abstract expressionist who loves using color and texture to evoke emotional landscapes.
Cathy O’Connor, Orefield
Orlando – Cut Mosaic
Cathy Christy O’Connor’s professional career has involved working in advertising agencies, publishing houses and graphic design firms. Cathy also owned a small creative firm, producing custom publishing projects, graphics, web sites and full marketing programs for many national clients. Now, having retired from the many demanding clients and insane deadlines, she is devoting all her time to her true passion, creating one-of-a-kind glass and tile mosaic artwork. More of her work can be seen on her website at www.theartbarcafe.com.
Keith Shepard, Easton
Midday Solace – Airbrushed Acrylic on Canvas
Keith Shepard spent most of his childhood drawing and creating everything from flip books to Origami. Keith soon learned how to use the airbrush by watching instructional DVDs and by trial and error while practicing on scrap pieces of cardboard and paper bags. As he developed the skills needed to airbrush simple t-shirt designs at a fast pace that people were willing to buy, he felt the need for more challenging work with an attention to detail, so he chose canvas portraiture. Again, Keith turned to video tutorials from various professional portrait artists that he wanted to emulate, combining the best techniques from all of them and pushing his work to its full potential. Keith now works on large-scale canvas pieces, mostly in black and grey, with an emphasis on pop culture and nostalgia.
Michael Brolly, Bethlehem
Mother, Daughter – Turned Wood
Michael Brolly was born to Irish immigrant parents in Philadelphia and has been showing nationally and internationally since getting his BFA from Kutztown University in 1981. He received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2007 and has been teaching ‘Wood Arts’ at Moravian Academy since then. Michael has work in the permanent collections of many fine institutions including Detroit Institute of Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Erin Anderson, Riegelsville
Karen Looking – Oil on Copper
Born in 1987 in Waterville, Ohio, Erin Anderson was immersed in art from a young age. Enrolling in her first art lessons at 7 years old, she spent her early years learning to paint and draw copying works of the old masters and spending summers drawing from life at the Toledo Museum of Art. In 2009 she earned a BA in Psychology and Entrepreneurship from Miami University. Upon graduation she decided to enroll in an independent program called The Waichulis Studio and later moved to Bethlehem where she lives and works today. Her work has been featured in national publications as well as exhibitions throughout the U.S.
High School Competition:
Olivia Lunger, Liberty High School
Math Wiz – Digital Media
Olivia Lunger is a junior at Liberty High School. She’s been drawing her entire life and is never without her sketchbook. Along with art, Lunger loves writing and has an ongoing web comic. She aspires to have a career in storytelling or character design.
People’s Choice Winner:
Michelle Neifert, Bethelehm
New Year’s Day – Acrylic on Alumalite
Michelle Neifert was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley. She attended Kutztown University graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Printmaking in 1993. Michelle has also continued her education at both The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Baum School of Art. She has worked in the service industry, as a decorative interior designer, and in business management to support her love of art throughout her life. In 2012 she departed her business career to pursue her art full time. Michelle now paints and creates wearable art from her studio as a resident artist at The Banana Factory in Bethlehem. She continues to exhibit her work nationally and is firmly established in her local arts community.
For details on the national ArtPop program, check out ArtPopStreetGallery.com.