Reviews and Press

 

I’m honored to be one of six artists chosen for this award provided by the Berks Arts Coucil and LAND Displays. The billboard will remain up somewhere in Reading, PA for one year! NOTE LATEST BILLBOARD LOCATION HWY 61 NORTH about 1/2 mile north of the Fairgrounds Farmers Market.

And the next year, I won another billboard for the below image.


 
3/18/2007


Biebuyck just wants to have fun                                                                                                       


The artist, whose show “PEARaphernalia” is on

exhibit at the Jewish Community Center of Reading,

pays homage to the work of 20th-century artists, not    

to mention a certain sensual fruit. It’s a blast.


By Ron Schira

Reading Eagle Correspondent                                                          




Berks County, PA -  You’ve got to just love it when somebody takes a good idea and runs with it. That’s the way I feel looking at Susan Biebuyck’s “PEARaphernalia” exhibit, on view at the Jewish Community Center of Reading through March 31. Aside from the fact that the JCC has of late been kicking out one show after another, this exhibit is probably one of the most lyrical and humorous displays I have seen in a long while.


Biebuyck is a skilled realist painter with 15 years of professional graphic design behind her and a degree from Kutztown University. Yet she left all of that in the past tense to follow the fine arts, which she has loved since childhood. So when the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts opened two years ago, she took up shop on the second floor and is now selling her work. She has not once regretted her decision to forego the commercial end of somebody else’s idea.


The idea of this show pertains to the adaptation of a simple shape, namely a pear fruit, and how it corresponds to the various movements of modern art. To add, the paintings in the exhibit often showcase her representational skills but also display her more-than-adequate knowledge and comprehension of art within the last century. The paintings plainly appropriate the styles of a few great artists and very cleverly mimic their appearance to a fault.


“Before,” she said, “I had painted a couple of very tasteful nudes, but some people thought they were lewd and complained about them. So I chose the pear as my subject matter because it is only a fruit and somewhat innocuous. It is responsive and pliant and not stuck in negativity or political commentary.


“It has a pleasant, round, even sensual shape and can mold itself to anything I ask of it, including my adaptation and homage to my heroes of contemporary art. In this way I am responding to art of the 20th century.”


Obvious impersonations of style by Jasper Johns, Joan Miro, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollack, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and others hang on the walls in a makeshift procession of cultural personae. She adroitly copies the mannerisms and techniques of Surrealism, Art-Deco, Abstract Expression, Pop, etc., with perfect aplomb.


I had to chuckle at a few of these. I especially fancied the Magritte look-alike with the woman as artist and a pear instead of the famous apple obscuring her head. The Haring, Miro and Mondrian pieces were quite enjoyable as well.


“For the painting I did on Klimt,” she said, “I taught myself how to use gold leaf.”


Appropriation, as such, was popular in the 1980s during the New York East Village craze with artists David Wojnarowicz, who stole images from the media and Mike Bidlo, especially, who directly copied artworks by Picasso and Duchamp in a way that skirted the fringes of plagiarism.


Serious artists, they felt that picking and revising from the culture re-contextualized the content of their work and added new meaning to the term originality within an oversaturated, information-based society. To simplify, they recycled a familiar image outside of its field of recognition to mean something new.


Biebuyck’s images are not per se copies since she has not taken from a particular artwork and her paintings only mimic the stylistic appearance. They contain very little subtext. They are a tip-of-the-hat to her artistic inspirations and predecessors more so than any kind of political repartee or art-world rhetoric while merely using the pear fruit as a compositional device. These humorous, almost campy artworks have a great deal to do with the pure enjoyment of art before the theories and queries messed it up.


But of course, that is exactly what she wanted: to bypass all that stuff and just have fun.


•Contact Ron Schira at entertainment@readingeagle.com.

Biebuyck just wants to have fun - Reading Eagle Newspaper

 




Exhibit showcases talent of GoggleWorks artists

The annual exhibition is on view through Jan. 8 in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts’ Cohen Gallery.

By Ron Schira Reading Eagle Correspondent


    Call 610-374-4600, ext. 113, or visit www.goggleworks.com for hours and general information. Parking is free and accessible on Second Street.



    The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington St., now in its second year of operation, has managed to stay afloat reasonably well amid traffic and construction.

    Attendance at the Goggle-Works is holding steady, and Second Sunday events are normally crowded.

    As would be expected, the Goggle-Works artists are holding a group exhibition of their work, somewhat in the same vein as the Berks Art Alliance’s Annual Membership Show.

    One might also expect that the work exhibited in the show — the GoggleWorks Annual Artist Exhibition, on view through Jan. 8 — in the Cohen Gallery would be of high quality, assuming that the tenants are professional enough to apply for, afford and maintain a studio.

    Yet, I found the quality of the works displayed to be a bit uneven. If you visit the show, you will see for yourself.

    The exhibit includes paintings and blown glass such as Helen Tegeler’s elegant “Seep.”

    Marianna Burkard’s series of handmade aprons adds a nice touch to the well-lit show. The same applies to Karen Lesniak’s abstract folding screen and Roy Hershey’s ceramic plates, as well as Barbara Thun’s sculptural “Seedpod” and Susie Martin’s ceramic vases. All of these pieces are excellently done.

    I found “Jas-pear Johns: Flag,” a painting by Susan Biebuyck, to be quite humorous. In response to a comment made by a visitor that a painting she made of a pear was indecent, Biebuyck has painted or constructed a series of pears in the styles of Mondrian, Matisse, Van Gogh and others.

    This piece comprises the famous Jasper Johns flag image and a superimposed pear shape, with other pieces on view in a separate upstairs gallery.

    Matthew Mazurkiewicz’s oil painting “One Hundred Block” is interesting for its spontaneous gesture and 1980’s look of inner-city angst, while Mike Miller’s political collage “Armed” portrays a tongue-in-cheek, silhouetted puppeteer dangling 20 of his minions on a string from each finger.

    My favorite piece is Elizabeth Irwin’s “Pregnant Madonna,” which displays exactly that: a pregnant mother-to-be in the style of a Russian icon, with halo, robe, gold leaf and all. It is small, precious and beautiful.

    I would additionally like to mention some worthwhile artworks by Deb Schlouch, Georgette Veeder, Peter Stolvoort, Mary Stoudt, Shirley Newton, Sandi Defranco Giannini, Sharon McGinley, Raylene Devine, Alan Cernak and Richard Summons.

    I would have liked to include Robert Dale Williams, but for all of his ambitious scale, his understanding of form and his excellent mannerist technique, he repeatedly neglects to give his subjects a sense of place by working in a comparable background. His paintings unfortunately end up looking like mere exercises on the human figure.

    But by all means, see this show. I hope I am speaking for all of us when I say that I don’t want to only see the Goggle-Works stay afloat, I want it to take off and fly.


 

Click on Magazine to read from a .pdf.

My Interview on 
Cake Spy.comhttp://www.cakespy.com/blog/2011/2/10/batter-chatter-interview-with-susan-biebuyck-donut-painter-f.html

Arts & Entertainment

Art review: Glorious 'Food' both entertaining and thoughtful
10/30/2011

Avoiding almost all the obvious puns for an exhibit title such as "Food," viewing now at Studio B through Nov. 26, it is definitely a topic that everyone can sink their teeth into. Ouch!


And if the over-capacity crowd of 450 visitors to the opening reception is any indication, one would think that food holds more implications than the need to eat. Very successful in terms of attendance, this gathering was the largest ever for the gallery.


Included are four artists: Susan Biebuyck, Rhonda Counts, Suzanne Fellows and Loretta Mestishen. They commented, visually and conceptually, on the topic of food and eating. Some of the work expressed a lyrical or comedic tone, while others offered an academic or metaphoric context.


Of course, people like to celebrate when they go to openings, and for this event the gallery supplied not only the normal exhibit fare of wine and cheese with vegetables and such, but served extravagant desserts generously donated by Sweet Street Desserts Inc.


Biebuyck, a vegetarian, was the organizer of the show, and her numerous acrylics are pleasant, bright and colorful. All of the pieces are tabletop still lifes that depict various foodstuffs or a common kitchen item. One would see, for instance, a formally arranged stack of doughnuts, a sandwich, a pile of bananas or another of a half-opened can of fish titled "Sardines for a Cat Named Olive."


Two paintings, "Toaster" and "Bert's Pot," tested her skills at painting shiny stainless-steel surfaces. Each is intended to depict humorously what is inside of them, coffee or bread, just as much as the doughnuts imply jelly filling. There is always a reference toward consuming or being filled with something.


Interesting also is her use of stenciled patterning that activates her backgrounds and reflective metals.


Counts' roughened surfaces are mostly of green foliage and fruit, like pressed leaves with all the tributaries gently carved out and the fruits rendered smooth and ghostly. "Happy Hour Fruit," for example, shows three bunches of shadowy grapes cloaked by an awning of textured leaves. Another work, "Jack-O or Pie," envisions a crow perched atop a pumpkin, the amber light of an approaching autumn filling the night scenario.


Fellows installed a series of collagraphs, a type of printmaking technique that builds layers of paper and media onto a board and inversely prints them onto paper. Normally, the plate is destroyed to honor the integrity of the print, but the artist kept both plate and print to show the process. Reminiscent of Dutch-master etching and somewhat similar to Vermeer, the actual prints display the head and shoulder portraits of female royalty; hidden within the portrait somewhere is a vegetable or fruit.


Mestishen's acrylics and one interactive sculpture are blatantly satirical. For these, she painted comical scenes of people eating. One in particular depicted a ghoulish woman titled "The Tongue Is Delicious but I Cannot Eat It." Her face was a half skull, the jawbone dangling between her fingers, her tongue in a plate like a grisly hors d'oeuvre.


The sculpture, titled "Wheel of Bulimia," is composed of a freestanding wheel of fortune with the words purge and binge interspersed among images of assorted junk foods. The most serious artwork in the show, regardless of its funhouse appearance, the piece remarked on how food can become an illness and a gamble for an affluent society such as our own.


Pleasant though worthy, the exhibit gets more than a few good points across without getting either pedantic or morose in the telling, which I found a relief considering the topic.


A good show, go see it, if you haven't already been there!


Contact Ron Schira: life@readingeagle.com.


(Image by: Courtesy of Ron Schira)

Arts & Entertainment

Art review: Glorious 'Food' both entertaining and thoughtful
10/30/2011
Avoiding almost all the obvious puns for an exhibit title such as "Food," viewing now at Studio B through Nov. 26, it is definitely a topic that everyone can sink their teeth into. Ouch!

And if the over-capacity crowd of 450 visitors to the opening reception is any indication, one would think that food holds more implications than the need to eat. Very successful in terms of attendance, this gathering was the largest ever for the gallery.


Included are four artists: Susan Biebuyck, Rhonda Counts, Suzanne Fellows and Loretta Mestishen. They commented, visually and conceptually, on the topic of food and eating. Some of the work expressed a lyrical or comedic tone, while others offered an academic or metaphoric context.


Of course, people like to celebrate when they go to openings, and for this event the gallery supplied not only the normal exhibit fare of wine and cheese with vegetables and such, but served extravagant desserts generously donated by Sweet Street Desserts Inc.


Biebuyck, a vegetarian, was the organizer of the show, and her numerous acrylics are pleasant, bright and colorful. All of the pieces are tabletop still lifes that depict various foodstuffs or a common kitchen item. One would see, for instance, a formally arranged stack of doughnuts, a sandwich, a pile of bananas or another of a half-opened can of fish titled "Sardines for a Cat Named Olive."


Two paintings, "Toaster" and "Bert's Pot," tested her skills at painting shiny stainless-steel surfaces. Each is intended to depict humorously what is inside of them, coffee or bread, just as much as the doughnuts imply jelly filling. There is always a reference toward consuming or being filled with something. Interesting also is her use of stenciled patterning that activates her backgrounds and reflective metals.


Counts' roughened surfaces are mostly of green foliage and fruit, like pressed leaves with all the tributaries gently carved out and the fruits rendered smooth and ghostly. "Happy Hour Fruit," for example, shows three bunches of shadowy grapes cloaked by an awning of textured leaves. Another work, "Jack-O or Pie," envisions a crow perched atop a pumpkin, the amber light of an approaching autumn filling the night scenario.


Fellows installed a series of collagraphs, a type of printmaking technique that builds layers of paper and media onto a board and inversely prints them onto paper. Normally, the plate is destroyed to honor the integrity of the print, but the artist kept both plate and print to show the process. Reminiscent of Dutch-master etching and somewhat similar to Vermeer, the actual prints display the head and shoulder portraits of female royalty; hidden within the portrait somewhere is a vegetable or fruit.


Mestishen's acrylics and one interactive sculpture are blatantly satirical. For these, she painted comical scenes of people eating. One in particular depicted a ghoulish woman titled "The Tongue Is Delicious but I Cannot Eat It." Her face was a half skull, the jawbone dangling between her fingers, her tongue in a plate like a grisly hors d'oeuvre.


The sculpture, titled "Wheel of Bulimia," is composed of a freestanding wheel of fortune with the words purge and binge interspersed among images of assorted junk foods. The most serious artwork in the show, regardless of its funhouse appearance, the piece remarked on how food can become an illness and a gamble for an affluent society such as our own.


Pleasant though worthy, the exhibit gets more than a few good points across without getting either pedantic or morose in the telling, which I found a relief considering the topic.


A good show, go see it, if you haven't already been there!

Contact Ron Schira: life@readingeagle.com.

(Image by: Courtesy of Ron Schira)

Originally Published: 3/25/2012

Art review: 'Roy G. Biv' at Studio B: colorful but curious

By Ron Schira

Reading Eagle Correspondent


Roy G. Biv does not exist, unless one was to think of him as other than a living person and instead as an acronym for the colors of the rainbow. The letters, in order, represent red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, of course, and have been used by entertainers and educators as a mnemonic device for years. But seven artists adopted the name as a pseudonym for a colorful character of their own creation, an artist of diversity and eccentricity, brilliant although somewhat elitist.


For an exhibit titled "Roy G. Biv" at Studio B in Boyertown, the artists created works that elicited what an artist of this composure would create, each employing the appropriate color to the cause. The artists are Rich Houck, Birdie Zoltan, Judy Lupas, Lauralynn White, Cynthia Thomasset, Suzanne Fellows and Susan Biebuyck. All of the artists are well-acquainted friends who either met at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts or maintain studios there.


The exhibit runs through April 15 and reads like a book, from left to right. Shown in segments, the display starts with red and completes with violet on the opposite side by the entrance. Each color section is deliberately arranged with seven or more pieces that were "done by Roy" and fill a large section of wall. Basically composed of paintings, drawings and hanging sculptures, the groupings give off a bright glow of reflected color even before you encounter the individual pieces.


According to Biebuyck, who is the gallery proprietor, the premise was inspired by Isaac Newton's analysis of light through a prism. Symbolically, the show also is intended to prompt a spectrum of human experience by showing how seven artists interpret seven colors.


Throughout each section, though, it was the works of White, especially her small, disturbing ink drawings, that held my interest. One, for instance, portrays a young man in a robe consoling an aged, naked beggar in the woods. Another depicts a blindfolded young girl in front of a mirror with a huge spider in the reflection. Next to her stands a second woman holding a pair of scissors at her head like a knife. Simple but potent.


The kitschy, stenciled patterns of color by Biebuyck make for appealing, small, semiprecious objects, and the expressive painterly salutations of Lupas spoke purely of color and beauty within art and nature. The same could be said of Houck's painted meanderings of foliage, sky and his signature push-pull interplay of vision. Zoltan, a phenomenon in herself, has a number of engrossing objects made of fabrics, ceramic masks and other eclectic materials. These artists are strongly themselves.


Each of them works within his or her own sensibilities with the color sometimes as their only correlation. The pieces are well done, yet relay little sense of any character they were aiming for beyond the color sensate. If spread out, there could have been seven small exhibits of cohesive work.


Overall, the show is intriguing for how each section interacts with its way of using color in a group, regardless of the Roy G. Biv connection, which I think is a stretch. The opening reception, as usual, was well attended, and works sold, but as they say, "Read Out Your Good Book in Verse" or "Rinse Out Your Granny's Boots in Vinegar": good, but curious indeed.

Delighted to recieve an honorable mention from juror Dick Boak of Martin Guitar for this watercolor of Thelonious Monk.

Click this link, if you’d like to read the whole article:

County artist moves on, from pears to doughnuts

Jason Brudereck 


Susan Biebuyck a Boyertown artist with a studio at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts.

Berks County artist Susan Biebuyck was known for her paintings of pears for quite some time and, even now, some local art lovers bring up pears at the mention of her name.


But she's moved on to doughnuts these days.


"Every 18 months or so, I get a new theme," Biebuyck said recently in her studio at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. "I don't pre-plan them or anything. They just take over."

First, she started painting any shiny, round thing she could, such as marbles or Christmas balls.

Then she started painting organic subjects, like bell peppers, in 2004.

And then she moved on to pears, often doing "pear-odies" of other artists (a Keith PEARing, a JasPear Johns, a Jackson Pearlock.)

"Then I was tired of being told I was the pear lady," Biebuyck said.

The doughnuts came about after she sold a portrait of her daughter, Edie, 11, that Biebuyck had in her studio.

"But I missed having her here," she said.

So in an attempt to replace the portrait, Biebuyck took a photo of Edie (since the girl wouldn't sit still for a portrait) while Edie was eating a doughnut.

As she began to paint the portrait from the photo, Biebuyck had so much fun painting the doughnut that she decided to do more. Many more.

In some paintings, she incorporates a 3-D effect (using wax for crystallized sugar or wood shavings for toasted coconut).

Her doughnut parodies are not of how a famous artist would have painted a doughnut but how he or she would have decorated a doughnut.

The doughnuts are selling like hotcakes, often to those who have young children.

She's also created a soft sculpture of a doughnut-like bean bag chair. It consists of a soft ring, an "icing" blanket and is topped with stuffed "jimmies," or sprinkles.

Kids are drawn to that sculpture for some reason.

As one man told her, "Well, we all like doughnuts."


One of her doughnut creations has been selected to be exhibited this summer at The State Museum of Pennsylvania for "Art Of the State: Pennsylvania," the official statewide, juried competition for Pennsylvania artists.

Of 2,076 artists who entered, 150 were chosen.

"It's yet another level for the doughnuts," Biebuyck said with a laugh.


But now Biebuyck is also painting cupcakes and candies.

"Anything I can't eat because I'm on a diet," she explains.

So there's no telling how long the doughnut phase will last.

Get them while they're hot.