Delaware Valley Arts Alliance is proud to present “Betty and Me,” featuring abstract paintings by Elizabeth Harms and wood sculpture by Kevin Gref.
Elizabeth Harms received her MFA and BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been exhibiting her paintings and pastels for more than 70 years in various solo and group exhibitions. Solo exhibitions include New York’s Paul McCarron Gallery; Condeso/Lawler Gallery; 55 Mercer; Jersey City Museum; Jupiter Gallery; Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute; Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA; and here at DVAA in Narrowsburg, NY.
Of her work, Harms says, “All of my work is truly, purely abstract, or non-objective and non-representational. Many times I have been stimulated by the colors or shapes in nature. The environment is always a constant source of inspiration and can be something as simple as the light and shapes of snow on the hills in winter.”
A wood sculptor working as a carpenter, Kevin Gref was renovating a room in Elizabeth Harms and her late husband Doug Craft’s home. “Doug, who was greatly supportive – I suspect it was the teacher in him – offered to me the use of his studio.” The new studio space and mentorship provided by Harms and Craft “opened up a new direction for me that emphasized color as much as shape and form,” Gref says. “Color is critical to the shapes and forms of the steam bent wood that gives each piece its character.” A book on steam bending of wood given to Gref by friend and neighbor Barbara Winfield added fuel to his new artistic direction.
Gref received his BFA from University of Buffalo, specializing in sculpting. After retiring from a career as a carpenter, he returned to his artwork with the opening of his studio Jeffersonville Steamworks in 2013. There he began to experiment with steam-bent white oak, cherry, and other hardwoods. Sculpting with wood is his preferred medium and prior work was predominantly a carving as opposed to an assembly process. His work has appeared in the Broadway production of Harold and Maude and also is part of the private collection of actor Mark Ruffalo.
After working in side by side studios for the past four years, Gref and Harms decided to exhibit their work together, first at the Domesticities Gallery in Youngsville, NY, in 2018, and then with a show in 2019 at Left Bank Gallery in Liberty, NY. This exhibit is their third show together.
The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.