LANCASTER, PA — A Lancaster County-based non-profit, United Disabilities Services (UDS), is celebrating the talents and abilities of its clients this spring with a unique gallery exhibition opening on April 29 and culminating with a fundraising gala on May 21. All events will be under the theme of “Celebrating the Artist Within.”
The unique gallery show, The Artist Within, features distinctive paintings and sculpture by five Lancaster-area artists who are gaining wide recognition for their work and who are also UDS clients. They include painters Kate Manners, Jonathan Whitlock, Mike Allgyer, Malcolm Corley, and sculptor Steven Georges.
The opening reception for the gallery will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 29 at UDS Corporate Offices, 2270 Erin Court, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Five primary areas in the building are being transformed into exhibit space for this show, which runs through May 27. Following the opening reception, the gallery will be open by appointment only during UDS business hours. To arrange a visit, contact Larry Aubrey at 717-682-5575.
While The Artist Within offers a range of artistic styles and media, these diverse artists share a passion for creativity and self-expression through their art. All of their work will be for sale during the gallery show, except for one piece designated by each artist for donation to the 2022 UDS Gala, Celebrating the Artist Within, set for the evening of May 21 at the Lancaster Country Club. These works will be sold during the silent auction at the event.
“Red Raven Art Company could not be more excited to support the efforts of UDS and its upcoming show, The Artist Within,” commented Lee Lovett, manager of Red Raven, a well-known gallery based in downtown Lancaster.
“Part of our mission has always been to encourage emerging artists, which is exactly what we did with artist Jonathan Whitlock almost a decade ago,” Lovett explained. “We have watched Jonathan grow as an artist into the talent he is today, and we look forward to seeing what is yet to come. Kate Manners has also been painting for years and has shown locally at First Presbyterian Church. Her abstract work is exciting and wonderful as she creates using acrylic pours. Mike Allgyer and Malcolm Corley have been painting and sketching their entire lives. They document the world around them. And sculptor Steven Georges works in welded metal, recycling metal in order to create.”
“We highly recommend that you check out this wonderfully diverse exhibit,” Lovett enthused. “And the 2022 UDS Gala is not one to miss either as each of these talented artists will be selling their work and also auctioning off one piece each to raise money for UDS. Red Raven supports both UDS and its artists. You won’t want to miss this show!”
Each artist featured is not only a client of UDS but has overcome a particular unique disability to create and inspire beyond any physical or mental limitation.
Kate Manners’ lifelong love of art flourished during the pandemic and her cerebral palsy has not hampered her ability to create beautiful one-of-a-kind paintings. She currently focuses on acrylic pours, with 50% of all sales donated to charities (including UDS). She has exhibited her work at First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster.
Jonathan Whitlock’s interest in art began in the second grade with drawing dinosaurs. During high school, he discovered oil painting, which quickly became his favorite medium. He majored in studio arts at Southern Virginia College. After a car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, Jonathan transformed his artistic style and methods and taught himself to paint with his right hand after his left hand was injured. Jonathan has exhibited his work at Red Raven Gallery, Mulberry Art Studios, Grand Central Bagel, and Gallery One. Most recently, his painting “U.S. 222 South” — a self-portrait – was shown and sold at Bryn Mawr Rehab’s 2021 Art Ability show.
Mike Allgyer has enjoyed art for as long as he can remember, drawing and painting the world around him. He has not let his diagnosis of cerebral palsy limit his artistic achievements. Mike fastens a paintbrush to a helmet on his head to create incredible life-like portraitists of famous individuals. Private lessons during high school helped him learn the basics of fine art. In college, he often drew his fellow classmates, which allowed him to develop an appreciation for the captivating details of faces. After graduation, he tried to find a balance between realism and the styles of the impressionists in his work. He tends to work in monochrome because that’s the pattern he developed at an early age.
Malcolm Corley, whose diagnosis is autism, has been sketching since the age of three. His sketches and paintings have received wide recognition. In February 2019, his sketch “Jazz Hands” was published in Hot Metal Bridge, and eight of his portraits were published in Up the Staircase. “Kiana” appeared on the Fusion Art website in March 2019; two months later, “Closet” was published in Penn Review. His art has been shown at the Ware Center in Lancaster and two juried international exhibits/sales: Art of Possibility at the Courage Kenny Rehab Center in Minneapolis as well as the 2019 and 2020 Art Ability Exhibitions at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital. In addition, he has had solo shows at the Winter Center and the Emerald Foundation, also in Lancaster. “Three Faces of Malcolm” was one of 104 paintings chosen for the 2021 Art of the State Exhibition at Harrisburg’s State Museum of Pennsylvania.
Steven Georges, whose diagnosis of cerebral palsy has not hindered his incredible talents, designs and sculpts metal art from recycled steel using a MIG welder in the specially-designed studio in his home that allows access for his wheelchair. His sculptures are primarily inspired by animal and plant life but also include unique wine bottle racks; classic car part lamps; furniture, such as coffee tables and end tables; replicas of heavy machinery, such as tractors and bulldozers; spacecraft replicas; and garden ornaments.
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