Have you been enjoying the monthly art exhibits in the children’s wing? We hope so. We’re thankful to the Lehigh Art Alliance and its talented members for bringing their art to the library for all to experience.

Stop in this month to see beautiful paintings by local artist Deborah Haaf, who is currently president of the Parkland Art League.

Deb will be teaching a pastel workshop on Saturday, Sept. 25, in the library’s back yard. While the event is currently full, you can still get on the waiting list in case of cancellations.

We asked Deb how she got started with art and developed her skills …

My interest in art began as an elementary student when I loved making maps for school projects using flour, water, salt and food coloring.

I had an art class in high school, and after college, I took an art class at community college for physical therapy. Then, between work and raising a family, art was limited to birthday party crafting.

When my children went off to college, I decided to get more serious about art and took a drawing class and painted with my friend Lucienne Rappaport. She was an expressive watercolor artist who painted glorious colorful florals. However, despite my appreciation of her work, it was not what I was drawn to create and I found my inspiration in the work of Jacqueline Meyerson. I took classes with her at a local art store. Since then, I have taken several workshops and classes with various pastel artists.

What’s your biggest challenge, and what achievements are you most proud of?

My hardest challenge is getting started, followed by finishing a piece of work. I work best under the pressure of a deadline.

Successes that I am most proud of are that I have received recognition for some of my work in local art club’s exhibitions, and that makes me more comfortable identifying as an “artist.”

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?

Join a local art club! The dues are usually very reasonable; about $25-30 for a year’s worth of activities.

We have three great clubs locally, — the Lehigh Art Alliance, The Bethlehem Palette Club and The Parkland Art League. Currently I am president of the Parkland Art League and also belong to both BPC and LAA.

Check out their activities and amenities on their websites, attend their meetings, virtually or in person as current conditions permit. Most all artists are friendly and willing to share their skills, their time and friendship; you won’t be sorry, and you’ll enjoy the journey of making what pleases you!


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.