Travels with Sandy ‘Journeys’ a destination at Easton Hospital Gallery
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Easton Hospital Gallery at the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, provides ample room for Sandra Corpora to display examples of her artistic travels across time, space and genres.
“This retrospective exhibition of oil paintings explores a variety of motifs and evolution of style in landscape, figurative and still life. Throughout all the pieces, work is based on study from life and plein air painting on location.
“The paintings are inspired by the beauty of the natural world and the way light reveals form and color,” explains Corpora about her solo exhibit.
“Sandra Corpora: Journeys” continues through March 24 in the gallery at Fifth and Northampton streets, Easton.
From her freshly-sliced “Arrangement with Red Pears” and delicate “Antique Roses in Blue Glass” to her whimsical “Open Door Self Portrait,” where Corpora poses with paint brush in hand and an impish expression on her bright face, the still life and portraiture work is representative of her “painterly realism” style. The paintings are oil on linen, canvas or panels.
Corpora received a BFA in Painting from Kutztown University, receiving the prize for top fine arts graduate. She has studied in workshops with Nelson Shanks, John Osborne, T.M. Nicolas, Kenn Backhaus and Scott Jennings.
Corpora is a member of Oil Painters of America, where she won an Award of Excellence; American Impressionist Society, American Women Artists, and the Portrait Painters of America. Her work is in private and public collections in Italy, Canada, Norway and the United States. She is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia.
Corpora’s landscapes are stunning in size, detail and atmosphere. Her geographical journey begins with “Town of Steeples,” where church steeples poke up through the trees of South Bethlehem.
“Bright Winter at Burnside” offers a crisp view of this Lehigh Valley landmark and the Albertus L. Meyers Bridge occupies the “View from the Little Lehigh.”
Other highlights along this journey include “Spry Point, Late Afternoon” a lush green field between stands of pines on Cape Breton Island that measures 60 in. by 40 in.
Several paintings, created during and after multiple trips to Sicily, include intimate portraits of the people there, breathtaking scenery and even some Sicilian livestock.
Another of the 60 in. by 40 in. paintings is a coastal scene of the Sicilian town of Cefalù near where Corpora’s husband, Pat was born, as well as a favorite place to paint. “Fishing Boats at Day’s End” provides a sweeping vista of brightly colored boats in the foreground, then continues through the sun-drenched ancient buildings of the town and into the greens and blues of vegetation on the distant hills.
In creating these large works, Corpora says “… many of the big ones are based on smaller paintings I did outside on location … many places I’ve gone to numerous times and painted, so I know the places very well.”
“Fishing Boats at Day’s End” is an example of this. “The painting with the boats, I painted maybe five times … at different times of day, with or without boats, with bathers, with the sun setting, the sun rising … and I painted it all very small, eight inches by 10 inches.”
When asked whose works influenced her, Corpora says that, among many, “John Singer Sargent, of course, is one of everybody’s favorites. A contemporary artist that I really admire is Richard Schmid. He is a fabulous painter.”
Of her own work, she says, “Solid drawing is important to me. But, I want to have the brush strokes, the brushwork say something in itself. I want it to be beautiful to look at in itself … It’s more interesting and it also draws you in when you can see little things happening with the paint itself … So, it gives you another kind of perception as you look at the piece.”
As a talented master of landscapes, figurative, still life and portraiture, Corpora shares her skills with students at her Wall Street studio in Bethlehem.
The Easton Hospital Gallery at the State Theatre is open 90 prior to most State Theatre main stage productions. Information: statetheatre.org/gallery