Today, Saturday, Saturday July 22, I spent the day in Pitman was a couple of friends. I had a mission - to see the work of a former student of mine from when I taught at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia
Brigitte O-Dowd was not only my student in the graduate education program, she was also my student teacher at M. E. Costello School, her senior year AND she was brilliant at both! She was always a wonderful artist with a unique vision and great technical mastery. Along with that, she was also a warm and engaging teacher. The students adored her!
We got connected again via Facebook and I was pleased to see she had work on view at The Studio 120 North, on Broadway in Pitman.
First. we had lunch at a corner pizzaria which was delicious, then we went to the wrong gallery - the Pitman Art Center, but though it was not the gallery where my friend's paintings were on view, it was a wonderful gallery and we all enjoyed the gorgeous wood carvings of Wolfgang Finger. These were of special interest to us because one friend, Barb Spector, is a bird-watcher, and many of Wolfgang Finger's pieces were of birds, in particular a monumental owl carving, and my personal favorite, a red-tailed hawk. Also, at one time, I had taken up wood carving, but soon had to let it go as I had arthritis in my fingers from years of teaching and typing, and joint problems with my right wrist, same causes.
Finally we found The Studio 120 North, and I was thrilled to see Brigitte O'Dowd's figure paintings and to find that she will offer a course on the figure in early autumn. More on that when the time comes near. Also I will let you know what other courses and works on display at The Studio 120 North. Art is such a great way for towns to adapt to their new world and save themselves.
By the way, you can rent space at the Pitman Gallery and Art Center for your event: (856)553-7757 and PitmanArtCenter.org
Two other events coming to that area are The Pitman Craft Show on September 16th and the Gloucester County Fair July 27 through 30. Events of interest to me at the Fair - Recycled Garden Art Contest and Flower and Vegetable Show, plus Clay Pot Decorating Contest!
Pitman has really experienced a renaissance. I remember the run-down Pitman Theater in the old days, (20 or 30 years ago) and it is wonderful and flourishing now - SAVED!!!! And Broadway is chock full of interesting vintage stores, places to eat, and galleries of various kinds.
Along with all that culture, a must see is the Pitman Grove for fans of domestic architecture. I almost bought a house there once myself, it was love at first sight, but reconsideration when my father took a look: "No insulation, ancient wiring - you don't have the skills or the money to renovate this place" The rest is history. I found my beloved bungalow right after that and have been blissful here ever since, but I still love the Grove! Go there and take a walk, but find a cooler day than we had. It was a sweltering 95, so we couldn't walk around as much as we wanted but we plan to return for that Arts and Crafts Fair in September when all the world is at its best (to those like me who love the fall).