SCRANTON — Artists, art collectors and people looking for unique holiday gift items will gather in a festive party-like atmosphere with hors d’oeuvres, desserts, open bar and live music at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 at The AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
The gallery’s annual fundraiser, the Holiday Art Auction, has a theme this year of “Developing a Collection.” It features a vast selection of original works by regional artists, including media such as oil, watercolor, sculpture, pottery, batik, photography, wood, acrylic and mono prints.
One artist who donated a piece for the auction is Nannette Burti, of Fleetville.
The ceramics artist said she mostly builds pieces by hand, as opposed to on a wheel. She makes both functional and decorative art, and much of her work is a combination of both. Her auction piece is a semi-functional gas-fired stoneware bowl.
Burti sees the AFA Gallery as a worthy cause and an important asset to the local arts community.
“The AFA Gallery is a wonderful entry-level gallery for people that are just starting out in art,” she said. “Anyone who wants to participate can apply for a show, and they’re either excepted or they’re not, but there’s not a lot of places out there that are like that, where you can just write a proposal and have a show. That’s pretty impressive that we have that in our area.”
Kathryn LeSoine, another participating artist, said she doesn’t like to imagine the community without it.
“An organization like AFA is to me, like the heartbeat of the artists’ ability to navigate creation and putting it out there in the marketplace for other people to enjoy or purchase,” she said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing. I’m very proud to be part of it.”
LeSoine resides in Montrose and works out of a studio in North Abington Township to create encaustic art.
“Encaustic,” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “a paint made from pigment mixed with melted beeswax and resin and after application fixed by heat,” or “the method involving the use of encaustic or a work produced by this method.”
LeSoine explained she uses photography as a base for her artwork, adding beeswax and dammar resin from a tree in India, which hardens the wax.
“When I create a piece, it lives for a while, it breathes…and then as time goes on, it illuminates the image,” she said. “The wax has a relationship to the image.”
Her auction piece is a photograph of a bicycle leaning against a window in Ireland.
“It began with an infrared digital image that…first I printed in on a fiber-based paper,” she said. “Then I painted little areas, just very delicate muted colors, around the window, a little bit around the bike — very subtle — and there are about six layers of wax on top of that, so it has a very smooth surface.”
This year’s featured artist for the event is Chala Janpraphasakul, a Scranton-based fine art photographer and computer programmer.
According to her artist bio, she was born and lived in Thailand until 1998. She received a computer science degree from Hunter College in New York, in 2004.
It was during her teenage years when she was introduced to photography, with a “Pentax, rolls of black and white film, a darkroom, chemical and prints,” reads the bio. “But it was the digital era that inspired her to apply photography as a medium to express herself. As she explored various styles of photography, she signed up at the International Center of Photography for a well-grounded understanding in digital photography techniques and lighting. She was drawn to a surrealist style of photography and found it satisfied her need to transform her imagination, thoughts, feelings or dreams into a story in an image.”
Her donated piece, titled “Reach,” a framed archival print, will be raffle of at the cost of $5 for three tickets.
Ken Rivenburg will serve as auctioneer for the event. Tickets will be available at the door for $40. To make reservations or for more information, call the gallery at 570-969-1040.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal