Kara Ruth Snyder: Inward Morning

June 2 - August 26, 2012

Artist Kara Snyder next to her painting titled “”Ram” 

The Frank L. Melega Art Museum is an equal opportunity provider.

“Kara Ruth Snyder: Inward Morning”  received rave reviews, and set records at the Melega for opening day attendance and sales. The exhibition displayed dynamic and powerful abstracts.  A percentage of the sales from this exhibition were donated to the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh. 

An artist can face many challenges in their pursuit to share their unique way of interpreting the world. Easier for some than others, for example, creating a painting that looks like the world with which we are familiar.  Another path is through abstraction. Abstract painting is based on and inspired by something in the real world yet the image may not resemble it in any way. This is the path chosen by Kara Ruth Snyder as seen in the exhibition of her paintings and drawings titled "Inward Morning".

“Abstract in Primary Colors” Acrylic

Kara Ruth Snyder, an emerging artist, is the creator of powerful and exhilarating abstract paintings. Snyder paints large abstract works in acrylic paint on canvas. She adds a variety of materials such as pumice, fiber, and oil sticks. The artworks are created primarily with brushes and palette knives of many sizes, plus an inspired use of her fingers, hands and fingernails. “I frequently pour paint from the jar onto the canvas or ‘draw’ directly from the tube of paint, creating a variety of markings.” explained Snyder.

In 2006 she had a major loss of vision from diabetic retinopathy. The artist continues to paint despite the challenges of legal blindness. This loss in vision has profoundly re-shaped her art in recent years. The majority of the artworks in the exhibition were created in 2011 and 2012. As her physical vision changes, she stated, so does her world perspective. “This experience has driven me to investigate the energy inherent in objects, places and people in an even deeper way than before. As a result, my expression of the world through paint has taken quite a turn as well.” Museum Director, Patrick Daugherty has known the artist since 1995 when she was Studio Arts Program Manager at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. “Kara is the best new Abstract painter I have seen this century. Her work is fresh, dynamic, and in a style all her own” said Daugherty. “In addition to her amazing talent, I deeply admire Kara’s personal strength and positive determination.”

More of her work can be viewed at her website, http://www.inwardmorning.com. She is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Society of Artists, and Blind Artists Society. The artist, her husband, and son live in Pittsburgh.

2012 National Road Festival Juried Exhibition

April 21 - May 27, 2012

The 2012 National Road Festival Juried Exhibition was the first juried exhibition to be held at the Frank L. Melega Art Museum. Presented in cooperation with Market Street Arts, and funded in part by a Sprout Fund Seed Award, the juried exhibition was open to residents of Fayette, Westmoreland, Washington, and Greene counties. One Best of Show and three Jurors’ Awards were chosen by jurors Patrick Daugherty and Greg Harrison. The Best of Show award included an invitation to have a one-person show at the Melega in 2013. Ron Nigro was awarded Best of Show for his mixed media sculpture “Ship of Fools”. Colleen Nelson, Richard Stoner, and Suzanne Widmer received Jurors’ Awards. We look forward to Ron’s show next year. A 2013 Juried show is also planned.


Rembrandt Coyle * Alicia Darnell * Ellen Daugherty

John Hinderliter * Heleen Karpel * David Lesako

Allen Maloney * Joseph Materkowski * Colleen Nelson

Kenneth Nicholson * Ron Nigro * David Olson

Christopher Omiros * Jay Powell * Carol Randolph

Tanya Ruda * David Sparks * Susan Sparks

Richard Stoner * Randolph Widmer * Suzanne Widmer

Suzanne Widmer

“4th Act”


Colleen Nelson


Acrylic on Canvas

Richard Stoner

“Bank Lane, Latrobe, Pennsylvania”

Gelatin Silver Print

Best of Show: “Ship of Fools”  an imaginative and fanciful creation by  Ron Nigro.

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Exhibition Postcard

Art is a universal language, a point proven with a new art exhibition by Swedish artist, Henry Emilson. Mr. Emilson’s first one-person show in the United States will be opening Saturday, September 8, at the Frank L. Melega Art Museum. The exhibition titled “How Swede It Is!” features Non-Objective and Abstract drawings, paintings, and sculptures. The artist will be making the journey from his studio in Brolanda, Sweden to Brownsville, Pennsylvania to attend the opening reception of his show.

The exhibition’s lighthearted title reflects the artist’s keen sense of humor and is not intended to belie the seriousness of his artworks. Emilson has exhibited in Europe, Mexico, and the United States. He is represented in national and international publications. The show is a small portion of a career in art that spans over forty years.

In 2011, Melega Art Museum’s director, Patrick Daugherty arranged for Mr. Emilson to fulfill a long-time goal to see a painting by his uncle, Henry Mattson, which is a part of the Carnegie Museum of Art collection, currently in storage. The large oil painting titled “Black Reef” was one of two artworks purchased from the 1940 Carnegie International. The Carnegie International was established by Andrew Carnegie to bring the best artists from around the world to Pittsburgh and purchase from the show art for the museum’s collection. “The staff at the Carnegie is to be commended for being so helpful and gracious. They found where the painting was stored, set it up on an easel in one of their meeting rooms, plus provided Mr. Emilson with a print out of all the information they had on the painting and Mattson” said Daugherty. Regarding Emilson’s show Daugherty explained, “I have seen some of Mr. Emilson’s artworks and was very pleased that he accepted the invitation to have a show at the Melega. The visitor will experience masterful artworks which I would describe as lyrical and sublime”. Coincidently, Frank L. Melega was chosen to be in the 1952 Carnegie International, only one of two Pittsburgh area artists to receive the honor.

Henry Emilson: How Swede It Is!

September 8 - December 2

Henry Emilson outside his studio in Sweden .

Wood Scupture: A Study in Balance

Oil Painting: The Way of the Star

Oil Pastel: Earth and Beyond

Oil Pastel: Dream Machine

Past Exhibitions

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