Northern Tier Cultural Alliance Exhibits Works by Four Local Artists at Weigh Station

paintings biscuit

Story by Rick Hiduk

Paintings by Barbara Sowinski (top) are on display at the Weigh Station Café in Towanda, as are pieces by Janice McConnell (above, left) and Lora Wiggins, whose offerings include the watercolor, “Biscuit” (above, right).

A new exhibit featuring paintings by four local artists open this past week at the Weigh Station Café in Towanda. The works highlight the talents of Lora Wiggins, Ruth Donnocker, Barbara Sowinski and Janice McConnell. The exhibit was coordinated by the Northern Tier Cultural Alliance (NTCA).

McConnell of Towanda is a graduate of Mansfield Universitymastered her technique of hand-tinting tissue paper with acrylic paint after and has attending classes with well-known watercolor instructors. The paper is torn apart then reassembled in unique mosaics.

In addition to participating in shows as far away as New Smyrna Beach, FL., McConnell most recently garnered Best of Show at the 2014 Canton Apple & Cheese Festival for “Lilacs,” a watercolor that is featured in the current Weigh Station exhibit. Other offerings by McConnell that can be seen in Towanda include “Old Homestead,” “Canning Jars,” and “Rhododendrons.”

LeRaysville resident Wiggins attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Mohawk Valley College. Employed by the Bradford County Regional Arts Council as Program Director and Graphic Designer, her acrylic portrait titled “Biscuit” is already bringing rave reviews.

Biscuit” is based on a Jersey cow who is currently a retired “pasture pet” on a farm near Montrose. The mother of two calves has also been a favorite subject of author Sonji Lee, who commissioned the painting.

Lee wrote, “When first spotted on a hillside as a young heifer, it was instant love.” Biscuit has many farm friends and enjoys her own spacious stall. Her soft curious eyes seem to stare at you from Wiggins’ rendering.

Lora’s watercolors add a sort of vintage feel to our historic building,” Weigh Station manager Karen Parkhurst related. “Old country lanes, beautiful groves of trees, a large commissioned piece (Biscuit), all add a nice touch to your dining room experience at the Weigh Station.”

Donnocker was born in England and moved to Towanda by way of the Bronx. She attended Hunter College Columbia Teachers College and has taught art in a number of cities in New York and California and the nation’s capitol, as well as in Germany and England. Donnocker started with oil paintings but eventually dabbled in water colors and fell in love with the medium.

Having traveled the US and Europe extensively, it’s not surprising that her subject matter ranges from England and Poland to Oak Street in Towanda. Of the latter, Donnocker explained, “It had such wonderful autumn colors, it called to be painted.”

Sowinski lives in Standing Stone and has exhibited at the Weigh Station as recently as August. She was a late bloomer, diving into art after retirement from her first career in 1986. After attending the Art Students League of New York, The Vermont Studio School and the New York Studio School, Siwinski received her Master of Arts degree from Marywood University in 2000.

Sowinski’s submissions for this exhibit include a vivid watercolor titled “Green Baskets” and “Parrot Talk” and “Marketplace,” both of which she painted while in Mexico.

All paintings on display at the Weigh Station, with the exception of “Biscuit,” are for sale. Organizers of the exhibit, which is coordinated by the NTCA, suggest that local art makes a particularly unique and wonderful holiday gift.

The NTCA is a folk and traditional arts support center with offices in the second floor of the Weigh Station, itself a piece of art as a restored train station on the Merrill Parkway in Towanda.

(Photos of paintings submitted by the Northern Tier Cultural Alliance.)

paintings donnocker

Paintings by Ruth Donnocker currently exhibited at the Weigh Station in Towanda include England (left) and of Krakow, Poland.

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