Front Page Image

Art exhibit at Etown College

Aug 27th, 2015 | By | Category: Features, Front Page

Originally published in E-Town NOW.

Some artists are all about the finished product, about stepping back and taking in their creation. Others, like Elaina Posey, revel in the process of creating.

They find a nugget of inspiration, put in their time in front of the canvas and, then, they move on to their next piece of work with little reflection on the past. “That’s why I like to work in acrylic,” the artist said in a phone interview from her home in Lancaster. “It’s about mark making. There’s an immediate response. I don’t spend a lot of time reflecting. … It’s more about the moment.”

Posey, primarily an acrylic and oils artist – she also works in chalk, photography and mixed media — exhibits her work at Elizabethtown College beginning Thursday, Sept. 10. The pieces, inspired by landscapes, are about the primal raw process of creating, she said. The intention of the pieces are to evoke a sense of memory and past experience. “We all have different takes on that,” she said. “I’m capturing a fleeting moment, a sense of nostalgia.” Living in Lancaster and Philadelphia, Posey said the landscapes have a decidedly urban feel. “They are more cityscapes, I guess.

“I want (exhibit visitors) to have their own personal experience.” she said. “I don’t want to impress my own feelings on the exhibit. I hope they have some recognition. Have their own moment.”

I’m capturing a fleeting moment, a sense of nostalgia.”

Posey’s exhibit opens in the College’s Hess Gallery with an artist reception at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, and continues from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 30. The exhibit is free.

Since Posey was in high school at Lancaster Catholic, she said she has felt a need to create. By the time she completed her undergraduate degree in fine art at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design and her graduate work in the same at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia she knew she wanted to pursue art as a career. “My mom has always been a writer and my sister, too, so there is a creative gene in our family,” she said. And her family wanted her to do what made her happy. “I have always had support.”

Her first solo show was held in 2012 in downtown Lancaster at Tellus 360 on a night of a tornado warning. It was nerve wracking enough to provide paintings for the entire gallery, let alone have Mother Nature toss a curve ball, she said. Opening night was not great but she felt that the exhibit was successful.

Posey, 30, also serves as a part-time server at Iron Hill Brewery in Lancaster where she expresses another side of her creative self. “They are always promoting specials and events and I’m the one who does their chalkboards,” she said of the vibrant graphics that show a different turn than her abstracts. Posey also works on commission. Those are mostly portraits and landscapes. The commissioned work makes the money, she said; the other art is more for personal growth. “If I sell a piece, great.”

Her exhibitions have been featured in Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, New York, Selinsgrove and Millersville, and she’s won awards for her work at several of those shows.

“I selected Elaina because she is an area emerging artist and part of my mission as a curator is to give young artists opportunity,” said Milt Friedly, professor of art, in the College’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts. “College and University galleries are a good place to have a one-person exhibition.”

She is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and can share her experiences there with our students. This can be most helpful when our graduating art majors are looking at graduate programs.

She is working locally, so this also helps our students to network if they are staying in the region after graduation – most do.

For her style, she credits the inspiration of artists Josef Albers, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Stanley Whitney. “None of my paintings end up as intended,” Posey said. “That can be good and bad. They kind of go off and do their own thing.”

Posey is now busy with her 2-month-old son Ben, but still paints at least twice a week. “I’m on a little bit of a hiatus right now,” she said, but noted that studio time is therapeutic. “I lose track of time.”

Leave Comment