Mary Jane Arner of Brodheadsville, has been painting oils and watercolors and snapping pictures for over 45 years.
"I believe in fulfilling your dreams and not just sit and think about them," says this active 82-year-old artist, tennis player, bowler and art teacher.
Her work has received numerous awards and she has participated in exhibitions in Monroe, Northampton and Carbon counties as well as having several one-person shows throughout Pennsylvania.
"Participating in shows gives artists the incentive to do better," says Arner.
Her work reflects her love of nature, people and places-local and international. She has traveled extensively over the years, in America and abroad.
Mary Jane has studied with Phoebe Conrad, Bob Ritter, Fred Beaver, Dave Miller, Joe DeThomas, Arne Lindmark, Bernard Guerstner, Michael Stoffa, Lisa Buck, Howard Watson, Roland Roycroft, Sally Millspaugh and Craig Srebnik.
She offers classes in oil and acrylic painting in her bright and cheery home studio. She asks her students what do they want to say in their art.
She also tells them, "When you paint, you want the viewer to finish the painting. Don't let the road end, because you want the viewer to look beyond."
Joining several other local West End artists, this group is working hard to bring awareness of the wide-range of talent that resides in the community by having their work on display in many area businesses.
"I think it's important to support our artists. Many of us give back to our local charities, which is very gratifying," says Arner.
This month of March, Mary Jane and her daughter, Michelle Arner, a talented photographer, have beautiful samples of their artwork hanging on display at the Jonas Hotel in Jonas.
Michelle, a sewage enforcement officer for Jackson Township, says her camera is always with her.
She believes the best time to take photos are what she calls "the golden hours of mornings and at sunset when it does wonderful things to nature," she says.
When out and about in the businesses of the West End, be sure to look for Mary Jane and Michelle's works as well as other artists of the community on display.