If April has you looking forward to Easter, or simply enjoying the first signs of spring, then you’ll enjoy Pam’s paintings of her ‘backyard bunnies.’ Now retired and able to indulge in her passion for art, Pam’s background includes working in advertising at the legendary Hess’s department store.
Her paintings are on exhibit in the children’s wing through May 3, along with works by her cousin, Kristine Miller-Siple. Recently, we asked Pam to tell us more about background and her art…
When did you know you were an artist? Tell us a little about your early path and what drew you to art.
I am a native of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. When I was growing up my mentor was my grandfather, Garrett B. Conover, who had a one-man show of his watercolor paintings in the heart of NYC art center, 161 West 57th Street opposite Carnegie Hall. Leading art critics recognized him and his work were selected by prestigious jurors to exhibit his work in Philadelphia and New York. He influenced and encouraged me as a teenager to continue painting, which led me to NYU School of Visual Arts.
When and why did you decide to pursue art as a career?
I began my career in the advertising department at Hess Brothers in Allentown. When Hess Brothers closed; I became Visual Manager at Strawbridge at the Lehigh Valley Mall. After Macy’s bought Strawbridge’s, I finished my career in the visual department at Macy’s. Now I am retired and free to devote more time for my passion for art. I am concentrating on using acrylic paint as my medium.
We have bunnies in our backyard, as do many people. I found that they make wonderful subjects to paint and draw. This is how my original artwork became known as the backyard bunnies.
What successes or achievements are you most proud of?
My painting titled “Contemplation” took second place at the LAA Flora and Fauna exhibit. My paintings have also been selected in these juried shows: Annual International Salon of Small Works, Kutztown; Art Plus Gallery, Reading; Allied Artists of Schuylkill County; Lehigh Valley Art Alliance; and currently the New Hope Art Gallery, New Hope.
What’s your advice for anyone who wants to explore art, but can’t seem to find the time or feels intimidated by a blank canvas?
My advice to anyone interested in the arts, to find what speaks to them and put it on canvas. During the pandemic it gave me the time to reflect and paint and most importantly do not give up. I hope you enjoy my bunnies in their natural habitat.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Rabbits are associated with good luck for over 2,000 years. Saying “Rabbit Rabbit” as your first words each month will bring you good luck!
ART@EPL is the library’s exciting partnership with the Lehigh Art Alliance and the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. The series is funded through a grant from PA Partners in the Arts, making it possible for area residents to enjoy free art lectures and workshops from local artists working in pastels, charcoal, sculpture, and watercolor among others.
Visit the ART@EPL page to see all the artists who have led workshops and exhibited work at the library as part of ART@EPL.