“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

— Pablo Picasso

If your everyday life is feeling a little ‘dusty’ lately, treat yourself to a stress-free moment away from your devices and to-do lists and lose yourself in the peaceful paintings of local artist Sylvia Roth.

Sylvia’s art is currently on display in the children’s wing as part of ART@EPL, our partnership with Lehigh Art Alliance and the Lehigh Valley Arts Council that’s now in its second year.

Read on to find out more about Sylvia and her journey to becoming an accomplished artist …

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always liked art. As a junior high school student, I won a poster contest, and that got me hooked. I had a few art classes in high school, but soon after that, raised a family while living in the Philippine Islands and Greece due to my husband working for the government, and never made time for art.

When did you decide to pursue it as a career? Where did you go for your training?
My father started taking lessons at the Y, and I figured if he could do it, I could too. My interest was renewed when I started taking classes in oils with Alan Hemnasdader. I have been painting for about 40 years. It’s a wonderful hobby.

Later, I became fascinated with the transparency and spontaneity of watercolors. I don’t have any formal training, but I studied with local artists — Jim Musselman, Fred Bees, and  Lee Everett. I have also done workshops with many well-known artists, such as Don Andrews, Mel Sabin, Skip Lawrence, Tom Lynch, Frank Webb and others. I like to paint all kinds of subjects. It’s always a new challenge.

What has been your hardest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is to find time to paint. For the past 30 or so years, I have been painting with a group of friends at St Ann’s Church in Trexlertown every Thursday afternoon. I belong to the Parkland Art  League, The Bethlehem  Palette Club, and the Lehigh Art Alliance. All of these organizations are a great influence in my life. At Parkland Art League, I served as Treasurer, Vice President and President.

What achievements are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of being accepted as a signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and the Philadelphia Watercolor Society. For both of these, you need to have paintings accepted into their shows.

I have also won numerous awards, and my paintings can be found in many private collections.

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?
For anyone thinking about getting into art, join one of the local art groups. They are a wealth of information and encouragement. The secret is just to paint, paint, paint!



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, exhibits, and workshops from local artists working in pastels, charcoal, sculpture, and watercolor among others.