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2014 National Road Festival

Juried Art Exhibition

May 17 - July 13, 2014

The 2014 National Road Festival Juried Art Exhibition opening reception set a new record for attendance; over two hundred attendees. The museum was packed for the awards ceremony officiated by Frank R. Melega and director Patrick Daugherty. Six awards were presented: two Jurors Awards, three Museum Awards and the Best of Show honor. Artworks in the exhibition include a wide range of styles from Abstract to Realism, plus many different media were represented. This great variety reflects the artworks in the permanent collection by Frank L. Melega.


The Jurors Awards went to Carol Randolph for her assemblage titled “Five Woods” and Daniel Salitrik for his photograph “Chincoteaque 2013” .


The Museum Awards went to Rochel Schiffrin for her cut paper “Flying High”, “Terrance Hayes for his oil painting “Prince Lookalike” and Colleen Nelson for her acrylic painting “Are You Experienced?”.


Best of Show was awarded to Laurie Longenecker for her painting “Mother and Child with Angels”.


Peoples Choice Award, announced at the closing reception on July 13, went to Diane Kiproff for her oil painting “Wednesday Girl”.


The artworks in the show are original, solely the work of the artist. In keeping with museum policy, the artworks are appropriate for all ages. Good news for art collectors, all of the artworks are for sale with a portion of the sale going to support the museum. 


Frank R. Melega, retired art educator, son of Frank L. Melega, and Laura DeFazio, Professor of Art, California University of Pennsylvania, juried the entries this year. Artists living and working in Fayette, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland, and Allegheny counties were eligible. Categories are painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. Artworks were submitted in a digital format. The jurying was on May 3rd and artists were contacted within 24 hours. Plans for the 2016 juried exhibition include expanding the area for eligible artists to those living and working within a 150 mile radius from the museum. The categories will remain the same.


The number of entries were dramatically increased from our first year, 2012. Of the 71 submissions, 42 artworks were accepted into the show. Also increased were the number of awards to seven.

Spherical Glass Tree - Rembrandt Coyle

Oil Pencil - 12 x 9 inches

Extraction of the Monster- Mandy Chesney

Mixed Media - 48 x 36 inches

Angel 2- Leslie Robbins

Oil/Acrylic - 36 x 36 inches

Valley Fog- David Lesako

Pastel - 24 x 31 inches

Liberty - Carol Cohen

Oil Paint - 20 x 30 inches

Jammin’ to the Moon - Susan Boyle

Oil Paint - 30 x 24 inches

Green Chilies, Wasabi Oil - Christie Biber

Oil Paint - 30 x 40 inches

Sparrow - Beverly DeMotte

Solar Etching -  5 x 7 inches
























Prince Lookalike - Terrance Hayes

Oil Painting - 24 x 16 inches

Museum Award

Five Woods - Carol Randolph

Assemblage - 23 x 24 inches

Juror Award

"I'm beyond thrilled to have my painting named 'Best of Show’. Especially surprised and deeply honored as the other artists in the show are so brilliant!". 


              - Laurie Longenecker


Laurie Longenecker with her Best of Show award winning acrylic painting “Mother and Child with Angels”.

Are You Experienced? Colleen Nelson

Acrylic Painting - 24 x 30 inches

Museum Award

Chincoteaque 2013 - Daniel Salitrik

Photograph - 16 x 20 inches

Juror Award

Flying High - Rochel Schiffrin

Cut Paper - 25 x 31 inches

Museum Award

Leslie Robbins is having a banner day! She is the winner of the drawing for the exhibition banner. Behind her on the left is her painting  Angel 2.

Coincidentally color coordinated!

Wednesday Girl - Diane Kiproff

Oil Painting - 14 x 10 inches

2014 National Road Festival Juried Exhibition Peoples Choice Award

Past Exhibitions

There are many types of art and many types of artists. It is very rare for one artist to have the talent and ability to be a master of such a wide range of styles and media as Jon C. Crawford (1952-2012).


The Frank L. Melega Art Museum is proud to be the location for first solo exhibit of Mr. Crawford’s impressive art. The curator for this exhibition is art collector and connoisseur Patrick A. Wick. “Jon Crawford was the only Renaissance man I’ve ever met,” said Wick. Having collected Crawford’s artworks for decades, Mr. Wick is very familiar with Crawford’s unique talents. “One of the most extraordinary things about Jon’s work is that every time you look at one of his paintings, you see something in it that you didn’t see before.  So you might want to tour the exhibit 2 or 3 times.  That’s why his artwork is truly scintillating – hence the name of the exhibit.” Wick stated.


Crawford’s range of painting styles included Classical Realism, Surrealism, Abstract, Geometric Abstract, Impressionism, Cubism, Folk Art and Primitive Art, all of which are represented in the Melega Art Museum show. Mr. Crawford’s original artworks and limited editions will be available for purchase.


In addition to painting on canvass, the artist did murals and watercolors.  He was a master of fine art restoration. Crawford attended Carnegie Mellon University and Ivy School of Professional Art, both in Pittsburgh, PA.  He taught graphic design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. On May 19, 2012, Mr. Crawford died of natural causes, at the age of 60. The art community lost an invaluable talent with his passing.


“Folks attending the show might at first think this a group show because of the variety of styles and subjects in Mr. Crawford’s artworks. This is a reaction we often get to Mr. Melega’s work on display at the museum. The two artists connect. Mr. Melega also did a wide range of styles and media,” said Patrick Daugherty, museum director.

Jon C. Crawford

Scintillation

Memorial Exhibition

July 26 - September 7, 2014

Thut-mose III (after Herget) - 32 x 50 inches

Deep In The Forest - 36 x 40 inches

Mystical Journey - 40 x 22 inches

Circle of Life - 34 x 54 inches

Crawford Family Portrait - 17.5 x 20.5 inches

“A free cartooning event “Don Simpson’s Portfolio Saturday” will be held at the Frank L. Melega Art Museum, Brownsville, Saturday, December 6, 1 - 4 PM.  The event marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of Simpson’s comic book classic Megaton Man #1. Aspiring cartoonists may bring a sketchbook and/or up to 6 pieces of art for review by the artist. Don will also demonstrate cartooning technique, including penciling, inking and lettering. This event is free but attendees are advised to pre-register with the museum by calling 724-785-9331 or by emailing director@melegaartmuseum.org, as time and number of portfolio reviews will be limited.

Cartoonist Don Simpson burst on the scene in the Orwellian year of 1984, at the height of Reagan’s arms race, neutron bombs, “Minute-Man” missiles, and “dense-pack” multiple-warheads packing twenty megatons (millions of tons of TNT) of explosive force each. Simpson’s hilarious satire was an immediate hit for underground publisher Kitchen Sink Press, and was at the forefront of an Independent Cartooning Renaissance that included the Hernandez Brothers’ Love and Rockets, Scott McCloud’s Zot!, and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. 

The current exhibition at the Melega, Donald Simpson - Megaton Man: Rebirth@Half-Life, ends December 14, 2014. Examples from Dr. Simpson’s 30 years of cartooning are on display, including rarely-seen early original art plus works-in-progress from his forthcoming graphic novel, Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis, slated for 2015. Preliminary sketches, figure studies, and more, will be included. Some of the artist’s personal collection of original comic book artwork by his influences, including Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, and John Romita Sr., are showcased.

Visitors of all ages will gain insight into how comics are created. Examples of the different stages an artwork goes through from the initial sketch to the finished inked drawing are part of the exhibition. The museum is free to the public, including free parking.  


Artwork Review - Cartooning Demonstrations

Don Simpson’s Portfolio Saturday

December 6, 1 - 4 PM

Free to aspiring cartoonists. Participants must pre-register.

Donald Simpson

Megaton Man: Rebirth@Half-Life

The Nuclear-Powered Hero of 1984

Repurposed for the 21st Century!

October 11 - December 14, 2014

Cartoonist Don Simpson burst on the scene in the Orwellian year of 1984, at the height of Reagan’s arms race, neutron bombs, “Minute-Man” missiles, and “dense-pack” multiple-warheads packing twenty megatons (millions of tons of TNT) of explosive force each. The American comic book was also in artistic decline, the superhero genre regurgitating tired clichés. Simpson’s Megaton Man, with a physique that made Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a 90-pound weakling, and a brain of limited functionality, became a good-natured vehicle to satirize both Cold-War culture and “Silver Age” comics.  Simpson’s hilarious satire was an immediate hit for underground publisher Kitchen Sink Press, and was at the forefront of an Independent Cartooning Renaissance that included the Hernandez Brothers’ Love and Rockets, Scott McCloud’s Zot!, and Art Spiegelman’s Maus

 Simpson’s megaheroic creation has appeared in over 35 comic books and graphic novels since then. Following a decade off from comics that included illustrating Al Franken’s bestseller Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, and earning his PhD in art and architectural history from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Simpson is ready to retool his best-loved creation for the 21st Century.

The post-9/11 “War on Terror” storyline sends America’s Nuclear Powered Hero on a more somber new chapter, complete with an African-American female version of himself: Ms. Megaton Man. The new adventures will still feature Simpson’s inimitable brand of humor, with old favorites like Yarn Man and X-Ray Boy, and new characters like The Doom Defiers. 

Examples from Dr. Simpson’s 30 years of cartooning will be on display, including rarely-seen early original art plus works-in-progress from his forthcoming graphic novel, Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis, slated for 2015. Preliminary sketches, figure studies, and more will be included. Some of the artist’s personal collection of original comic book artwork by his influences, including Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, and John Romita Sr., will be showcased. 

Visitors will get a glimpse into Simpson’s creative process from initial conception to finished comic book art. Some of the art that made Megaton Man a cult sensation in the 1980s and 1990s will be on display, along with previews of the new, darker storyline. As Simpson explains, his characters may not have physically aged, but they have grown more psychologically complex. “Megaton Man now has baggage. His once-air-headed girlfriend is now a very competent and powerful leader of a new megahero team, and their son is developing nuclear powers of his own. Even a former sidekick has grown estranged from The Man of Molecules. The new material will still have a sense of humor, but in other respects it will reflect a more mature sensibility. That was a mix that superheroes in the sixties achieved, but lost over the years.” 

Select publications, including vintage Megaton Man issues and other works by Don Simpson, will be available for purchase in limited quantities. The Oct 11 opening will feature the artist sketching upon request (available for purchase) and will autograph up to six items for free (bring your Don Simpson comics!).

 The Melega Art Museum premiered a signed and numbered limited edition for sale that the artist, upon request, will remarque (modify with hand-drawing) to create a one-of-a-kind work of art. 

Visitors of all ages will gain insight into how comics are created. Examples of the different stages an artwork goes through from the initial sketch to the finished inked drawing are part of the exhibition.

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