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Tamaqua teacher and student to share spotlight

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

The Gallery at the Tamaqua Art Center will host an unusual exhibit beginning this Friday, showcasing the work of a Tamaqua Area High School Art teacher and one of her former students.

Lori Remmel, who has taught photography and design at TAHS for the past seven years will share the spotlight with former student Gabrielle "Gabby" Smarr, who is currently attending the Tyler School of Arts in Philadelphia. The student and teacher created a bond and both women's exhibits will feature art work which has its base in what some may consider to be trash.

Remmel earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in Communication Design and a master's degree from Kutztown University. Throughout her teaching career, she has found beauty and spontaneity in the impressive array of abandoned, light exposed, chemical spattered scraps of photo paper left behind by her students. She has incorporated these scraps into her newest body of work, entitled "Call For Action." The art focuses on "the current state of the planet and the need for our throw away society to make some major changes," she explained.

Smarr's collection of work, entitled "Wasted," is a self challenge to turn the useless into something attractive or useful to someone. Receiving plenty of encouragement from her family and teachers, she discovered her love of art in high school. "My photography class is where I discovered that I wanted to seriously pursue art as a career," she noted. "Much of my free time was spent in Mrs. Remmel's classroom, using the dark room to experiment with new materials and processes which pointed me towards my intended career." As for her current work, "As I dig further into the concept, I find myself thinking of more and more directions that I can take. Everything has a history that comes before my time, which gives the concept a twist that makes it more than just re-using someone's old trash," she explained.

The exciting exhibit will open this Friday with a free reception, from 6 to 8 p.m. It will then be available for viewing through Oct. 16. The Gallery at the Tamaqua Art Center is located at 114 W. Broad St., Tamaqua. The public is welcome to attend.

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