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Local painter, educator featured at Pennswood Art Gallery

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An exhibition featuring paintings by local artist and educator James Bongartz opens Sunday, Jan. 19, in the Pennswood Art Gallery, 1382 Newtown Langhorne Road, Newtown.

An Artist Talk will take place in Penn Hall at 2 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception in the gallery at 3 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Early in his career Bongartz painted realistic Spanish landscapes. Eventually his subject became the city of Philadelphia. The man-made and natural light of dusk and evening intrigued him. Inspired by his photos of Philadelphia streets, he painted acrylic impressions of the images — loosely interpreted in boldly enhanced color.

Recently experimenting with the process of pouring acrylics, he has been creating vividly colored abstract paintings, again referencing his city photographs, this time computer-manipulated — enlarged and cropped.

Bongartz earned a B.S. degree in Art Education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. In 1989, he began a 22-year career as a full-time art teacher for a private, special education, K-12 school in Fort Washington. While teaching, he kept a working studio.

Bongartz is the director of education for Artists of Yardley (AOY), coordinating adult and youth classes and workshops. He also teaches painting classes and youth summer classes. A resident of Morrisville, Bongartz is an active member of ART+10, a Princeton, N.J.-based artist collaborative and a member of ArtsBridge, Stockton, N.J.

For information, call 215-968-9110.


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