Eight local women put art on display in Verona

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For a group of self-annointed "beach ladies" who have vacationed together since 1998, imagination never takes a holiday.

The women, all artists, are Linda Galati of Penn Township, Sarah Milligan of Aspinwall and Marita Maloney of Bethel Park.

This past summer, Ms. Milligan said she spent a lot of time sky-gazing from the porch of an oceanfront condominium.

"She pointed out things we may not have noticed before," Mrs. Galati noted.

"After a while you begin to look at skies totally differently, such as what colors to put together to make it look a certain way," she said. "Once you start you can really get lost in it."

The three are among eight local women of a certain age, whose work will be featured in the monthlong "Artistic Reflections," at the Boulevard Gallery, 736 Allegheny River Blvd., Verona.

The other artists are Marygrace Antkowski of Lawrenceville, Roberta Collins of Mt. Lebanon, Ann Heckel of Brighton Heights, Marie Long of Pittsburgh and Evelyn Turocy of Wilkinsburg.

The show runs Oct. 6-27 and includes some 60 pieces of artwork: watercolor and acrylic paintings, illustrations, photography and jewelry.

A free opening reception is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6. Gallery hours for the show will be noon to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The gallery, which is sponsoring the show, is owned by Rhoda and Don Worf of Verona.

Mrs. Worf, who is also a borough councilwoman, opened the gallery two years ago about the same time she started the nonprofit Verona Arts Council.

"We're trying to introduce culture, and I thought we needed a seed to find local artists," she said of the borough's only gallery. "I thought we could be the pioneers."

Among the works will be images of Pittsburgh and the California Beach, both taken with a digital camera by Ms. Collins, who is a retired high school registrar.

"I like being able to capture the moment, and what made me want to capture it in the first place," she said of the appeal of photography.

"Then someone who wasn't there now catches a glimpse of what I saw," she said.

Mrs. Antkowski will have 13 watercolor paintings and linocuts -- carvings on linoleum -- in the show.

Mrs. Antkowski, who is an administrative assistant and Art Institute of Pittsburgh graduate, said one of her own favorite paintings is entitled "Cherry-blossom flower girl," in which a girl with a head fashioned like a cherry, and a body made of a cherry leaf, carries a cherry blossom.

"I've always liked nature and leaves," she explained.

Most of her paintings depict children, or what she calls a "comfort image" reminiscent of the wall pictures in a child's bedroom that are their last visions before falling asleep.

Mrs. Galati, who is retired from an advertising and public relations career, said her watercolors are her "creative outlet." Her dozen show pieces will feature images of flowers, Pittsburgh at night, sunsets and more.

"My teacher always said to paint five minutes every day, but once you start you can't stop," she said.

Details: www.boulevardgallery.com.


Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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