SHAPE Gallery: A Mindful View opens Friday

“A Mindful View: An exploration of the objective and non-objective” is the title of a new exhibit at SHAPE Gallery opening Friday, featuring artists Nicholas Soroka and Tami Bitner. The exhibit runs through Oct. 29.

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The art of Nicholas Soroka

Soroka is from Richmond, VA.  An incessant curiosity of the natural world, the human world, and where he fits in has always been a driving focus for his work. 

His contribution to A Mindful View features the insects in his backyard that continually captures his imagination. 

“They are at once both beautiful and terrifying,” he said. “Without them, it would be detrimental to the delicate balance of our ecosystems and our survival.”

In appearance, insects seem so far removed from the human form; yet they are strikingly familiar to the environment they inhabit. 

“No doubt their curios designs are what make them incredibly efficient and resilient,” he observes.

In his art work, he tries to transport the viewer’s perspective to a one-to-one scale with the stylized world from his backyard. 

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The art of Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner is from Central Pennsylvania. Her artistic style is primarily non-objective and abstract. Her contribution to A Mindful View includes encaustic paintings featuring pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay.

“I enjoy creating works on canvas, board, and paper using a variety of water media, textural, and collage techniques,” she said of her work. “I am also passionate about working with cold wax and encaustic on both wood and paper.” 

Encaustic involves laying beeswax infused with oil paint and damar resin. It incorporates unique textures and shapes to create a two-dimensional piece that is impossible to duplicate. 

“Whether I’m using paint or wax, my goal is to develop a rich surface that suggests a mysterious interplay between transparency, opacity, layering, and subtle textures,” she said. “When creating art, I try to establish a creative use of composition, rhythm, line, and color.”

She wants the finished piece to stir the thoughts, feelings and visual excitement in the minds of viewers. 

Bitner’s is strongly influenced by nature, music, texture, shapes, and spirituality. She strives to create pieces that remove the objective walls around her audience, revealing the excitement from within the work itself. 

In viewing her work, she asks her audience to open their minds and experience the emotion, energy, and movement she has tried to capture.

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About SHAPE Gallery

Shippensburg Arts Programming and Education (SHAPE) is a non-profit, all volunteer organization. It brings the arts, art classes and workshops, and cultural events to the Shippensburg community and surrounding area.

SHAPE Gallery is located at 19 E. King St. in Shippensburg. Its hours are Wednesdays through Fridays 5-8 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gallery’s openings and exhibits are always free and open to the public.