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"Still Life Paintings of Paulette Nikel" and "Fine Woodworking of Paul Sirofchuck"


The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley will hold exhibitions of two Ligonier area artists this fall. Works by accomplished local artists Paulette Nikel and Paul Sirofchuck will be on display at the Museum from September 12 through November 16, 2003.

Still Life Paintings of Paulette Nikel features 16 oil works by the artist. Born and raised in Bainbridge, Ohio, Nikel first was exposed to art when she worked at a toy store owned by her parents. Her interest in art led her to study under several talented artists at the Scottsdale Artist School in Arizona for the last six years. She also has been mentored by James Sulkowski of Huston, Penn., for three years. Sulkowski introduced her to a style of painting called 'chiaroscuro,' which literally means 'light/dark.' The technique, which Nikel uses throughout her work, refers to light and shading in a painting and produces an illusion of depth or dramatic effect. Nikel is a juried member of the Sonoran Arts League and the Greensburg Art Club, and is represented by Black Mountain Gallery in Carefree, Ariz. Still Life Paintings of Paulette Nikel marks her first solo exhibition.

"When I compose a still life, I try to create a sense of mystery, beauty and drama," Nikel said. "There is so much chaos in the world that I'm trying to create someplace where the viewer finds peace and comfort - a place to explore with the eye and relax a little."

Ligonier woodworker Paul Sirofchuck will have custom-designed, hand­built chairs, mirrors, a clock, jewelry box and dresser on display in Fine Woodworking of Paul Sirofchuck . He constructed his first bench at the age of five, and since that time has built a successful career as a master woodworker and artist. He owns his own gallery, Main Exhibit Gallery, in Ligonier, and in 1999 was named the recipient of SAMA's Lee Atkyns Memorial Award for Artistic Distinction. He recently was awarded Best of Show at the 34th annual A Fair in the Park. (right: Paul Sirofchuck, Olbum Chair)

His furniture, more than merely a functional object or decoration, shows an exploratory sensibility of design and construction. Sirofchuck primarily works with cherry, figured maple and walnut, and uses traditional joinery techniques, such as dovetailed drawers, mortise-and-tenoned joints, and tongue-and-grooved panels. When complete, each piece is finished with a specifically formulated, hand-rubbed oil. "I craft each piece myself," said Sirofchuck, a licensed, practicing architect. "I handle every board of rough lumber, selecting it, planing it, shaping it, joining it until it becomes the object of my imagination, or the collaboration between my client and myself."

The Museum also will have on display, Cabinets of Curiosities. The exhibition, co-organized by the Furniture Society and the Wood Turning Center, is a nationally touring exhibition featuring 14 cabinets of extraordinary diversity and intrigue, created by 50 interdisciplinary artists from across the world.

The Museum will hold a Lunch a l'Art at noon, Wednesday, September 17. Artists Paul Sirofchuck and Paulette Nikel will discuss their work on view, and SAMA Education Coordinator Nicole McHugh will discuss the Cabinets of Curiosities exhibition. The Museum also will hold an evening program and reception on October 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Sirofchuck and Nikel will be on hand to give a brief tour and discussion of their works.

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