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Gallery View: An artistic ‘Dialogue’ at Arthaus

The works of contemporary artists Pam Dent and Sue Biebuyck communicate with vibrant colors in “Dialogue of Common Objects,” through June 18, Arthaus, Allentown.

“I wanted a gallery full of creative energy that felt like spring just bursting,” says Deborah Rabinsky, who curated the exhibition.

She decided to pair the two unacquainted artists for the Arthaus exhibit.

“Pam and Sue’s work came together for me through their joy of exploring art within the everyday object, with color being each artist’s signature,” Rabinsky says.

Dent’s “Matryoshka Doll Tears” (2022; acrylic on canvas, 24 in. x 36 in.) is inspired by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The model for this series is a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls that Dent purchased in 2016 while visiting Ukraine with her husband Charlie, a Republican congressman for the then Lehigh Valley’s 15th District.

Dent’s other still life compositions in the exhibit are upbeat, colorful and depict confection-related subjects like “Macarons for the Win,” a stack of macaroons whimsically referring to the recent French presidential re-election win of France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

“My subject matter’s typically decadent and sweet;” says the Allentown-based artist. “As I have learned, especially through the harsh lens of the pandemic, life is just too short not to indulge in the sweet things of life.”

Dent began painting when her youngest child started high school. She began at Muhlenberg College as a theater arts major but received a degree in political science and economics.

Dent, a Baum School of Art board member, has taken courses with Rosemary Geseck, Dana Van Horn and Ronald K. De Long.

Biebuyck’s “Squash Blossom Boys” (2020; oil on aluminum, 28 in. x 48 in.) depicts grilled male squash blossoms. The painted surface is an aluminum building substrate she obtains from a contractor friend. The work is nailed to a wooden frame that the Boyertown-based artist built.

Biebuyck, an artist since childhood and “foodie,” states “her portfolio is nourished by food imagery inspired by the interconnection of energy and the natural environment.”

Another painting by Biebuyck, “Coffee,” is a dimensional painterly portrait of her daughter savoring a cup of java juxtaposed on flat, wallpaper-like patterns.

Biebuyck, a GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Reading, studio artist since its inception, is a community arts advocate, and director and curator of exhibits at Studio B, Boyertown. She attended Kutztown University to study graphic design.

Arthaus is a partnership between RE:find and the Allentown Arts Commission.

“Dialogue of Common Objects,” through June 18, Arthaus, 645 W. Hamilton St., Allentown. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday. Closed Sunday, Monday. www.allentownarts.com; 610-841-4866

“Gallery View” is a column about artists, exhibitions and galleries. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, pwillistein@tnonline.com

PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIER From left: Pam Dent with “Matryoshka Doll Tears” (2022; acrylic on canvas, 24 in. x 36 in.) and Sue Biebuyck with “Squash Blossom Boys” (2020; oil on aluminum, 28 in. x 48 in.) at their Arthaus exhibition.