The Art Gallery at United Zion Retirement Community
Gallery Hours: Open Daily from 8AM to 8PM
July’s Artist – Emily Smucker-Beidler
Fraktur art exhibit featuring work by Emily Smucker-Beidler will start July 9th. Fraktur is the decorative manuscript found in Pennsylvania German, showcasing calligraphic texts and related designs, figures, and symbols. It is a classic American folk art dating back to the mid-1700s. It is created with ink and watercolor. There are several forms of fraktur – Vorschriften (writing samples), Taufscheine (birth and baptismal certificates), marriage and house blessings, book plates, and floral and figurative scenes. Initially, they were all hand drawn but slowly printed text became more common.
Smucker-Beidler has been creating fraktur artwork for many years, driven by the interaction between old and new images. Recently, she started to experiment with the paper she uses. This was started as she was curious how her creation with 21st century materials differed from the earlier artist of the 1700s. In the 1800s, artist would have used ledger paper that is less smooth then today’s paper and absorbs ink and watercolor very differently. The roughness in the paper was due to being pressed with closely packed wires instead of flat plates, which left small indentations in the paper. As she states “Watercolors and ink take differently to this paper – and not always consistently. There are always surprises.” She believes this has given her a new perspective on her fraktur work.
Smucker-Beidler’s Be Still, My Soul work shows the common motifs of birds and tulips drawn over a sheet of music. The colors and drawing style look similar to 18th century fraktur. Many other types of fraktur art will be on display.
Come to United Zion Retirement Community to see this classic Lancaster County folk art daily from 8AM to 8PM during July.