Rich Johnson creates three-dimensional art on materials like wood and slate.
Rich Johnson creates three-dimensional art on materials like wood and slate. (Submitted)

During the month of July, Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery will feature the work of local artists Steve Keefer, Rich Johnson and Denise Lehman.

Visitors can meet and greet the artists at an opening reception to be held Friday, July 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. The reception will coincide with the First Friday Art Walk to be held in Lebanon and Mt. Gretna on July 11, so as to not interfere with Fourth of July festivities.

Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery is located at 45 S. Eighth St., Lebanon.

Keefer is a photographer, born and raised in Lebanon County. He will show a collection of recent photographs of everyday objects presented in dramatic ways.

"With this series of works, I wanted to take ordinary objects and turn them into unique works of art by focusing on the colors, shapes and light that combine to make everything around it a work of art on its own," Keefer said in a news release. "I want the viewer to appreciate the little details that otherwise go overlooked."

Keefer has been fortunate to have traveled to and photographed many locations around the country, but with this series, he wanted to prove that you don't have to travel to exotic or remote destinations to create interesting images. Most of the pieces in the exhibit were created in his studio, back yard, and even at his kitchen table.


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Keefer has worked as a professional commercial photographer in the area for over 20 years, serving clients in the U.S. and overseas. Since 2008, he has also been pursuing his love of fine-art photography.

Meanwhile, Johnson will present a group of recent works which explore human perception and the artist's personal philosophical contemplations. Most of Johnson's work, with the exception of a few acrylic paintings, are three-dimensional assemblage constructions made from reclaimed wood, slate, canvas board and various other materials. The pieces in this series address facets of thought encountered on the artist's philosophical journey, influenced primarily by traditional Buddhist concepts, according to the release.

Steve Keefer is showing a collection of recent photographs during July.
Steve Keefer is showing a collection of recent photographs during July. (Submitted)

Describing what creativity means to him, Johnson said, "I see art as the result of growing the sensitivity of your perception and sharpening your mind. The record, whether it be art, music, poetry or design, is the record or artifact of that process."

Johnson graduated from Millersville University with a degree in art education and works locally in the arts arena. In addition to creating visual art, he is an accomplished musician and big thinker, according to the release. He lives in Lebanon with his wife, Erica, and their two children.

Lehman will share a group of hand-painted and airbrushed peacock feathers. Utilizing a most unique painting surface, Lehman carefully, and with incredible skill for realism, works back and forth between an airbrush and a hand brush until she is satisfied with the level of detail she has achieved, according to the release.

Lehman was born and raised in Myerstown. As a child, she was inspired by her father's drawings and would study and trace them, attending to his great detail. He recognized her interest and was a source of encouragement which led Lehman to win numerous art awards in school, including a scholarship to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After attending art school, she found herself immersed into the world of airbrushing and is best known for her business, State-of-the-Art Design, where she creates custom airbrushed designs for motorcycles, cars and trucks.

Lehman was introduced to the art of feather painting some time ago, and being a peacock owner herself, decided she would give this opportunity a try.

"I found working on such a small scale to be a form of relaxation, and I enjoy the challenge of creating the most lifelike art form on such a delicate canvas," she said of painting on a feather.

A few of Lehman's pieces feature nature scenes, but the majority of them highlight the cars and motorcycles she works with daily. She finds this juxtaposition exciting.

"There are many great artists painting on feathers, but I have not seen any represent cars or bikes," she said in the release. "Though unique in its subject matter, the harshness of metal and the delicateness of the feather support a creative challenge. I still enjoy the nature and wildlife subjects, but the 'full metal feather' seems to be where the rewards lie."

For more information about the gallery, visit www.lebanonpictureframe.com or call 717-279-7725.

LV Arts Council

The Lebanon Valley Council on the Arts galleries at 734 Willow St. will celebrate the contributions of servicemen and servicewomen in July with an exhibition of work by five veterans who work as artists.

The most current of these veterans is National Guard member Candice Heismann, who will be showing paintings and photographic compositions. Also, Steve Wetzel will show landscape paintings created at the scene depicted in the painting. Barry Leader will show whimsical and colorful cat paintings. Jim Davis will show framed canvas prints of scenes from Great Britain. Shawn Lauer will show wildlife images.

A reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. The public is invited.

The Timbers

The Timbers restaurant in Mt. Gretna will celebrate art and music from 6 to 9 p.m. July 11.

Jennifer Von Stein will show her paintings, and jewelry designers Ruth Loose of Harrisburg and Kate Dolan of Mt. Gretna will show a colorful display of their handmade jewelry.

Back by popular demand will be Mt. Gretna native Bobby Licata, who will join other musicians in an evening of classic acoustic rock and folk music.

Licata will play bass and sing. Joining him will be Jim Hemperly on guitar, Bart Briody on vocals and harmonica, Timbers' musical director Andy Roberts on keyboards, and his daughter, Nicole Roberts, on vocals.

Seating is limited. For dinner reservations, call 717-964-3601.