Souls Shot Project 2020-2021

I had the privilege of participating in the 2020-21 Souls Shot project, which opened at the Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church on Friday night, November 5th.

Last April, when looking for some way I could volunteer as a portrait artist, I came across the Souls Shot website. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of the problem of gun violence, which has been devastating, especially in the Philadelphia area.

“To create these portraits the artists participating in this project were randomly paired with the families and friends of victims, or, in some cases, artists already had personal connections with the victims. The artists set out to illuminate the lives of these victims. The varied approaches and mediums used by the artists are a fitting testament to the unique qualities of each of the souls portrayed.

We seek to focus on the lives that were lived before that split-second, unacceptable decision was made by the shooter,” explains Laura Madeline, the curator and director of the project.

I found the work to be very challenging. My hope was to portray Ryan Dillon as a joyful person who loved fun and family and dreamed of being a comic chef. The background of the piece is collaged food, and implanted within those images are words that describe Ryan. The view has to search for these words, which were used by family members to describe Ryan.

The wooden canvas was a new material for me, and gave me the ability to wrap images around the side of the canvas also.

The work displayed on Friday was profound, thought-provoking, and had so much impact on the people who viewed it. The presence of family members, viewing these works, created an atmosphere that could not be described. It was an honor to have my work alongside these 30 artists.

The Best Part of Painting

Teaching always kept me busy as an artist. With the end of the Art Workshop program, a covid casualty, I was fortunate enough to keep teaching at Saint Basil Academy, the private girls’ high school where my daughter attended.

This year, SBA announced its closure in October and once again, my education career changes. This summer I will be teaching at an assisted living facility that embraces keeping their residents active. Each week is a new experience, with new participants, and continuity of instruction is really not a factor. Fun is more important.

My exploration of different mediums continues. Recently, I completed an oil painting of my granddaughter and her cousin, Victoria. Victoria lives in Mexico with her family, and as soon as the painting was complete, I knew it had to go to her family.

The best part of creating is giving it away!

Covid 19 ends the Art Workshop program

After twenty-three years, the Art Workshop program will no longer be offered to students who are interested in creating and learning about art after school.

The conditions and uncertainty around the Covid 19 situation led to the decision not to run the program any longer.

The Winter 2020 class was fortunate enough to complete their work in July and then to have a “by appointment” showing of their work.

Thank you to all the students who have been part of the program. It was so rewarding, watching you develop as an artists. Your creativity was inspiring to me and kept me learning. I will miss all of you. Please keep creating and keep in touch.

Keep art in your life, especially in stressful times like these! God bless!

This fall, I will continue teaching at Saint Basil Academy, which will help me get my “teaching fix.”

Winter 2020 Art Workshop Art Show: It’s Personal

Collage, paint, masking tape/foil on MDF/Megan M
Ball point pen on Bristol board/Spider man/Adelyn S
Colored pencil on drawing paper/shoes & hidden shoes/Catherine S

What do you know about a person when you look at their art? Any work of art reveals the artist, and this semester in “It’s Personal” twenty-three artists ages 10-17 have explored different mediums. These works are a little preview of the type of works that will be exhibited on Sunday, March 15 from 5:15-7:30 at 606 West Avenue.

Join us for a night of art and inspiration. For more information:

Spring Art Workshop and Young at Art Artists Display Work

On Sunday, May 5, 2019,  the students of the Spring Art Workshop program, will display their multi-medium 2D and 3D creation in their show “It’s a Small World.” Armed with an idea and photographs, the students spent the five weeks creating a single work of art featuring a background and foreground, while using a variety of materials. Some artists focused on the imaginary, while others chose real-life places. There were a variety of materials used to create the forms and images. Imagination and ingenuity played important roles in the program!

In the Young at Art program, the adult artists have focused on art elements: space, line, texture and color. Each of the five weeks of the program focused on a separate element. A variety of mediums were used from drawing pencils, charcoal, tooling metal and ink to pastel on Canson.

Come and join us Sunday May 5th from 5:15-7:30 for an evening of art and inspiration!


Winter 2019 Art Show and Reception: Art Through the Ages

On March 17, 2019, the twenty-two artists of the Winter Art Workshop program will display the work they created during the 10-week semester. Art Through the Ages brought the students techniques, tools, and inspiration from Master Artists: Picasso, Cezanne, van Gogh, Della Robbia, James John Audubon, and Roy Litchenstein.

Please join us for the show and reception. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Below are the invitations featuring the artists in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday sections.

Fall Art Workshop Artists “Ink It!”

On Sunday, November 18, twenty-five artists ages nine through nineteen will be featured in the Fall Art Workshop show, “Ink It!”. For 10 weeks, the artists have been studying different drawing techniques using ink. Their materials included India ink, alcohol ink, various ink markers, and ballpoint pens.

The artists drew, painted, collaged, and created with ink, rendering dynamic images which will be displayed in the classroom, and along the second floor corridor of Immaculate Conception School, where the afternoon classes are held. Master works of art were used to inspire the artists, who selected a work and created it using three different ink approaches.

Family and friends are welcome to join us for the show and reception starting at 5:30 until 7:30.

Martin Saints Artist Receives First Place Honors

img_6138Congratulations to Elizabeth Buentello, Martin Saints Classical High School student, who received a first place award at the Jenkintown Festival of the Arts on Sunday, September 16. Elizabeth’s work featured a statue from the Vatican rendered in charcoal, black colored pencil, and chalk on craft paper.

The show featured artists from Jenkintown Middle/High School, Abington Friends School, Martin Saints Classical High School students, and Art Workshop students.


Jenkintown Festival of the Arts 2018

img_6272Since 2011, Art Workshop artists have participated in the Jenkintown Festival of the Arts, which will be held this year on Sunday, September 16th from 1-6 pm.

Art Workshop artists from the 2017-18 program can select up to four of their works to submit to the Student Exhibit, which features work from Jenkintown High School and Middle School along with Abington Friends High School. This year, students from Martin Saints Classical High School, where Mrs. Cipolla teaches in the spring, have also submitted their work.

img_6271The work will line the scenic alley, Yorkway Place, which branches from Johnson Street near the center of Jenkintown. The beautiful Tutor buildings and trees lining the alley, make it a wonderful place to feature the work of young artists.

The show is juried and winners are announced at the grandstand near the gazebo on Leedom Street at 5 pm. Different merchants sponsor the prizes awarded to the students.

Please join us for a wonderful day of art, and a great way for the community to witness the creativity of our young artists!


Who is your muse?

Sometimes the hardest part of creating art is deciding the subject matter. The role of an art teacher is to inspire students to create art, even with unexpected subjects. That inspiration is a great motivator in the classroom.

My most favorite subject is family and faces. Recently, we celebrated my daughter’s 23rd birthday, and I thought about all the different works that I have done based on her face alone.

Drawing or painting what you love becomes reflected in the work! My most recent inspiration is my granddaughter Carmen. Babies are particularly hard to capture. The softness of their features is very challenging. More on Carmen later.