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Baum exhibition features juxtaposition of two artists inspired by nature


The Baum School of Art’s January exhibition, “Nature Imagined/Observed,” is the juxtaposition of two artists inspired by similar themes in nature who express them through vastly different techniques.

Contemporary artist Kristen Egan and Mid-Century artist Conrad Roland (1900-1957) are Berks County natives from different eras of time. However, inspiration strikes through common themes such as the environment, biology and observations of the natural world.

“Nature Imagined/Observed” creates an interesting conversation about nature as inspiration, whether imagined or observed.

The exhibition runs through Jan. 28 in the The David E. Rodale and Rodale Family Galleries, with a Third Thursday event from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 16, at The Baum School of Art, 510 Linden St., Allentown. The museum is closed Sundays.

At age 17, Roland joined the Delaware Valley Ornithology Club and was on the Academy of Natural Science’s orbit. Although he loved learning about and observing birds and nature, Roland went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Throughout the rest of Roland’s life and career, he managed to combine his love and talent for art with his passion for ornithology. He created realistic two-dimensional pieces of art with traditional mediums such as watercolor and ink.

Similarly admiring the natural world while having a passion for art, Egan had a goal of becoming a professional wildlife artist. She studied and received her BFA in art and design from the SUNY College of Ceramics.

Egan currently creates with unexpected mediums, merging new items into her work such as gourds, antlers, bone and horsehair to create imaginative, folk inspired, three-dimensional sculptures. She has shown her work regionally, nationally and internationally.

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