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Tamaqua eyes new public art initiative

Published January 09. 2018 02:12PM

The Tamaqua Community Art Center is working on a new public art initiative in collaboration with the Arts Barn Educational Center in Schuylkill Haven.

“Raw Aspirations” is the official name of the project, designed to bring together two nonprofit art centers in Schuylkill County.

Billed as the perfect way to form a strong union between small communities, the art initiative will focus on the importance of cross-collaboration and supporting all artists’ efforts.

The Arts Barn Educational Center is located at 3 Berry Road in Schuylkill Haven. Artists/students from the center will create five large, interactive sculptures made with raw/natural materials.

Each will be approximately 10 feet wide by 9 feet tall. The creations will then be strategically placed along Pine and Railroad streets in Tamaqua, on display from April through August. There will be a public artist meet and greet on June 7.

Materials being used include wood, glass and metal. The public will be encouraged to leave their aspirations for Tamaqua on several of the artworks.

One of the pieces will find a permanent home in the borough, while the others will be available for purchase directly from the artists at the end of August. There are a few surprise elements being planned for the June event.

Sponsorship information for that part of the project will be available at a later date.

Artists include Mark Golomb of Bloomsburg, who works with aluminum, wire, steel and molten metal; Todd Gladfelter of New Ringgold, who creates life-size wood carvings; Deborah Powell Kramer of Kempton, who turns recycled metal and glass into works of art; Barry Middleton of Pottsville, who combines wood, steel and other metals; and Joanne Minnick of New Ringgold, who works with steel, copper and musical instruments.

In addition to the art center and arts barn, partners in the project will include Rural LISC and the Schuylkill Area Community Foundation.

Leona Rega, art center director, sees the new project as a follow-up to the center’s last two public art initiatives — Dear Tamaqua in 2015 and Tamaqua Has Heart in 2017.

“Dear Tamaqua fostered an increase in communitywide volunteerism and a renewed determination for the future. Tamaqua Has Heart built on the positive things within our community, celebrated our successes and gave us new hope for Tamaqua,” she said.

“A community which cannot verbalize its future has none. While this project is physically hosted in Tamaqua, it provides an opportunity to introduce the Arts Barn Educational Center, while showcasing how the two art venues, similar yet very different, can share their talent and resources.”

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