by Jennifer Sheehan
Myron Barnstone, arguably one of the Lehigh Valley’s most influential artists and educators, believed that artists should not acquire their skills through replication of other artists’ pieces. His philosophy was that artists should undergo years of rigorous training, mastering the structured, geometric systems used by artists such as Picasso, Michelangelo and Da Vinci known as the Golden Section.
Barnstone held this belief so firmly that none of his own pieces, many of which were shown in major art galleries around the world, hung in his Coplay art school, where he taught for nearly 30 years.
To mark the one-year anniversary of Barnstone’s death, three never-before-displayed paintings by Barnstone will be on display during two events Oct. 20 and 21 at the former Barnstone Studios, 52 N. Second St. in Coplay.
Barnstone, who died Oct. 29, 2016 of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 83, had a profound impact on the Valley art scene and helped launch the careers of many in both fine and commercial arts.
The three pieces that will be displayed are oils on canvas, with one being a favorite of Barnstone’s that he painted in 1972 and hung in his home in England. The pieces are untitled.
On Oct. 20, Bartnstone’s daughter, Catherine Barnstone Szafran, will unveil the pieces. Also, Lehigh Valley photographer Bill Stank will display 68 photos of additional Barnstone paintings in the third floor walk-up studio.
Barnstone’s pieces as well as those from some of his many students will be on display noon-4 p.m. Oct. 21. At 2 p.m., Roger Brinker, a student of Barnstone’s, will discuss Barnstone’s artistic lineage. Brinker teaches foundation and figure drawing, sculpture and contracted study at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts in Bethlehem.
Over three decades of his school, Barnstone taught about 70 students a semester, ranging from preteens to adults. He closed his studio in 2014 and he moved from Whitehall to Maryland, where he lived until his death.
Barnstone recorded his lectures, and they continue to be available online at BarnstoneStudios.com.
Art Highlights is a blog about what's going on with me, my photography, and the art world in general.