The 5x5 Show
The Banana Factory will be closed to the public until further notice.
About the 5x5 Artist Group
Regionally, The 5 X 5 Artist Group has presented annual art exhibits entitled The 5 X 5 Show in different art spaces throughout the Lehigh Valley. This small coalition of artists celebrates and shares their artistic visions within our cultural area.
The concept for these exhibitions always highlights 5 artists and their 5 defining medias. The Group’s primary mission is to showcase these artists’ vast array of imagery and individual styles. Their curated shows cover a wide range of subjects for the entire community to view and serve to further educate a younger generation of future art lovers by exposing them to the distinct mediums on display.
The history of this venture started in 2015. Some artists and friends realized that some media were being overlooked in various art exhibits and competitions and that omission became a driving force to promote their respective mediums on an equal basis. Calling themselves The 5 x 5 Artist Group were: Richard Begbie (photography), James A. DePietro (oil/acrylic painting), Barbara Kozero (mosaics/sculpture), Jacqueline Meyerson (pastels), and and Patricia Delluva (printmaking/ drawing) joined this artistic family of five. Each year they present new work at various galleries or museums. Although their styles and subject matter vary, the overall effect is a strong collection of individual voices speaking as one.
Having previously shown at Gallery 514 in Allentown, The Nurture Nature Center in Easton, The Baum School of Art, The Nazareth Center for the Arts, and The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts in Bethlehem, this current exhibition at the Banana Factory from January 23 to March 21, 2021 marks the 6th edition in their exhibition schedule.
JAMES A. DEPIETRO
Telling a story or stating a message about our world is a pivotal part of my artist expression. I am essentially a visual storyteller and have been using my aesthetic voice by utilizing a series format approach with my artwork for many years. My unique and imaginative point of view on a variety of contemporary sociopolitical themes is evident in these oil / acrylic paintings which explore a wide range of topics. Work submitted for this exhibit come from three of my series: The Flora Series, Objets d’art Series, and my latest grouping, The Stream of Consciousness Series. My realistic figurative imagery contrasts against abstract fields of colorful backgrounds or vibrant borders which together convey my personal statement to the viewer.
Storytelling through repeated images appears in my numerous paintings and prints. Experimenting with different methods and techniques in picture-making has always energized me. Recently, I have revisited charcoal as my current medium of choice to express my desire to create moods using images from my walks along the canal towpath in Bethlehem. There is a narrative expressed in these works, and it is often difficult for me to express my thoughts in one piece, so often I will end up with a series of images. Nature has been a frequent theme, but I take equal interest in uncovering uncommon relationships in the ordinary, often using light and shadow to create pattern and mood found within my charcoal drawings and monotypes.
In my photographs, the viewer first sees the realistic subject. Through further examination, the abstract elements of the image force the viewer to experience the duality of the subject matter. I attempt to use my camera to provide a view of the subject on a second aesthetic level as a realistic expression and as an abstract expression. By using both natural and enhanced use of texture and color, I want to convey a multi-layered image to the viewer. I rarely manipulate my images, but I do use photographic software to edit, and in some cases, enhance the natural image. I print my images on 100% cotton smooth fine art paper. This provides an image that is slightly softer in edge which replicates the look of a fine art print or painting.
Although painting and drawing are an integral part of what I do as an artist, my areas of focus are ceramic sculpture and mixed media mosaics. The sculptures are often "opportunistic”, inspired by and including found objects or materials. I will use old window frames, toys and broken dishes or cast off dime store "nick knacks." These sculptures, as well as the mosaics, evidence a love of rich and varied surfaces. I admit to being a bit of a scrounger. If I can't find a glass or clay color, pattern, or shape that I want, I will use earthenware clay and underglaze to achieve that effect. Recent subject matter has included landscapes with plants and animals, many of which are framed as windows. My artwork has often been described as fanciful or whimsical.
Venue InformationBanko Gallery
25 W Third Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
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