THE BAUM SCHOOL OF ART
Every Wednesday, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., artists gather for a painting workshop taught by Dana Van Horn at The Baum School of Art, Allentown.
And some of the artists have been coming for a quite some time.
Cindy Wilson, for example, jokes she’s been a student of Van Horn’s for 102 years.
“I’ve learned so much from him,” Wilson says. “As soon as my kids went to school, I started art lessons.”
“My whole week is scheduled around Wednesday,” Ned Bowne, of Bethlehem, said. By his own estimate, Bowne has created 60 to 70 paintings over the years. He’s given his paintings as gifts, donated his work and sold some of his paintings.
“It’s an interesting past-time. It really is.”
Barbara Mizdail, formerly of Emmaus, travels from Lancaster County each week to paint. A former engineering professor at Penn State’s Berks County campus, Mizdail moved to Lancaster several years ago but did not find a painting teacher she liked as much as she did Van Horn. She joined his class about 12 years ago when she lived in Emmaus, she said.
“I was always the one doodling in the margins in class,” Mizdail said of her early interest in art.
Shelley Feeley, of Lower Macungie Township, had a career in the banking industry. Her first painting class was a few years ago at Parkland High School.
“I marvel at what I can do,” Feeley said. “I was very apprehensive when I started.”
Janet McIlhenney studied art, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in art education and fine arts, but her professional life was in banking. A traumatic brain injury brought her back to painting in 2014. She’s since endured four strokes and four brain aneurysms.
“I’m finally getting back to my art life,” McIlhenney said. McIlhenney’s works are statement pieces with many of her canvases measured in feet rather than inches.
Jan Crooker trained as a ceramic artist and teaches drawing at Northampton Community College. She joined Van Horn’s class in 2001 when her son joined the Air Force just before 9/11. He had just finished basic training.
“I was a mess,” she said.
Van Horn’s class offered respite for Crooker who painted as an undergraduate, She now finds herself incorporating some of what she learns in Van Horn’s classes into her own teaching. Crooker describes Van Horn as her art coach. Van Horn, Crooker said, does not tell a student how to paint what he wants. Van Horn helps you to achieve the work you want, Crooker said.
“It makes me a better teacher,” Crooker said of her time in class.”I always learn something.”