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‘Embrace Open Space’ artwork at Montgomery County Community College

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STORY WRITTEN BY BOB KEELER 
bkeeler@montgomerynews.com
@bybobkeeler on Twitter

WHITPAIN >> One of the goals of the Natural Lands Trust’s “Embrace Open Space” art exhibit is to have people take a little closer look at the places they pass through as they travel throughout the region, according to Dulcie Flaherty, Natural Lands Trust’s vice president of community partnerships.
“Artists take the time to look at these spaces and bring them once more to our attention,” Flaherty said.
More than 50 artists are featured in this year’s exhibit, running Wednesday, Sept. 9 through Friday, Sept. 25 in Montgomery County Community College’s Fine Arts Gallery at 340 DeKalb Pike in Whitpain Township.

"Winds of Change" by Madelene Varalli. Submitted photo

“Winds of Change” by Madelene Varalli.
Submitted photo

The artwork reminds people of places they have been, Flaherty said.
“Sometimes they’re just beautiful space and you can’t link them to a specific place and sometimes they’re very specific,” she said.
“The original artwork featured in the exhibit showcases the natural features found in the region’s preserved areas, connecting visitors to nature and emphasizing the importance of keeping these open spaces,” a release about the exhibit says.
The artists choose the locales shown, Flaherty said.
“We don’t specify what sort of natural area we like to have the artist render,” she said. “That is up to their own inspiration.”
This is the third year the exhibit is being held at the college, she said.
“It started with a program that Montgomery County Lands Trust did with them,” Flaherty said.

"Trail Blazing Along the Perkiomen," watercolor by Lori Quinque-Quinn. Submitted photo

“Trail Blazing Along the Perkiomen,” watercolor by Lori Quinque-Quinn.
Submitted photo

Montgomery County Lands Trust has since become an affiliate of Natural Lands Trust, which owns and manages 42 nature preserves covering almost 22,000 acres in 13 Pennsylvania or New Jersey counties, according to the release.
The art show brings together the creative world and the natural world, Flaherty said.
Types of artwork on display in previous years have included photographs, sculpture and watercolors, she said.
“I know we have someone this year who does paper art,” Flaherty said. “People are moved in different ways to create their work.”
The non-profit NLT wouldn’t have a place to put on an exhibit such as this on its own, she said, and it’s only because of MCCC’s generosity in providing the gallery space that art show can happen.

"Night Bursting Sky," watercolor by Susannah Hart Thomer. Submitted photo

“Night Bursting Sky,” watercolor by Susannah Hart Thomer.
Submitted photo

“It’s a beautiful space and they’re a great team to work with,” Flaherty said.
Univest Corporation, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar and Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board are the sponsors.
Works on display in the exhibit will be available for purchase.
Admission is free. There is also free parking. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Information about Natural Lands Trust is available at www.natlands.org. Information on Montgomery County Community is at www.mc3.edu.

"Apple Tree," watercolor BY Michael Adams. Submitted photo

“Apple Tree,” watercolor BY Michael Adams.
Submitted photo

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