NEPA Scene Staff

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, AfA Gallery in Scranton holds annual Holiday Auction on Nov. 17

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, AfA Gallery in Scranton holds annual Holiday Auction on Nov. 17
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From a press release:

The AfA Gallery in downtown Scranton will continue celebrating its 30th anniversary with its annual Holiday Auction on Saturday, Nov. 17, a festive and artistic kickoff to the holiday season.

Eat, drink, and bid at the primary fundraiser for Artists for Art, which allows the gallery (514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton) to offer a variety of programming throughout the year. Original high-quality work by regional artists will be auctioned during a fabulous party held just in time for holiday gift giving. Pieces representing various mediums will be featured in an exciting and social atmosphere with live music, starting with a cocktail hour with refreshments and light fare and ending with a live auction where everything on the walls must go.

The preview and cocktails begin at 6 p.m., and the auction starts at 7 p.m. Tickets, which are $25 and include entry, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and beverages, are on sale now and can be purchased online via Ticketleap or at the door. RSVP by calling the gallery at 570-969-1040.

Ken Rivenburg will serve as the auctioneer. The featured artist will be James Penedos. His piece entitled “Digital” will be raffled at the auction. Raffle tickets are one for $3 or three for $5 and are available from members or at the gallery.

Oil painter James Penedos was born in 1951 in Caminha, Portugal on the northern coast, where his father ran the village café. In 1959, his father moved the family to Newark, New Jersey. His Portuguese childhood and early city influences reflect richly in his paintings. Since 1976, he has lived with his wife Sue in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where they raised their three children.

Self-taught, Penedos started early by studying the works and writings of great painters in-depth, doing countless reproductions to learn the masters’ techniques. Over the years, he has exhibited in galleries in New York City and Paris, as well as in various galleries in Colorado, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. His works are in many collections around the country.

“My work is fundamentally experimentation with form, composition, the harmonious interplay of color, and whatever is derived from within the process of painting, without preconceived thought. It is transforming paint through a visual exploration into a work that exercises these elements, to arrive at some form of content, although possibly perceived differently by you and me. This is fulfillment; it is often not political, ecological, or spiritual, but just is,” Penedos said.

Penedos and marble sculptor Charles Welles own and operate the Springville Schoolhouse Art Studios, originally a 1920s brick high school in the country village of Springville. They renovated the classrooms of the old schoolhouse into artists’ studio apartments and studios. The first and second floor hallways of the former school house unique and spacious galleries. Penedos has his painting studio there, as well as his photography studio and dark room.

Penedos was one of the founding members of the cooperative AfA Gallery in Scranton.

Artists for Art was founded in 1988 as a regional visual artists’ organization whose purpose is to promote the appreciation of the visual arts and to provide support for regional visual artists.

AfA is a venue for rotating monthly exhibits of artwork by regional artists. The works of artists from outside this region are also exhibited to broaden the community’s exposure to the arts. Other art-related events such as workshops, poetry readings, lectures, figure drawing sessions, and performance art also take place at the gallery.

On the second Saturday of every month, AfA hosts a series of educational programs. This includes workshops, artist talks, and demonstrations from exhibiting artists and artists in the community.

AfA’s Third Tuesday Life Drawing group provides self-guided sessions with a nude model for artist of all experience levels. These two-hour-long sessions provide opportunity for artists to improve their observational drawing skills as well as getting a better understanding of the human form at a nominal cost.

There are many activities and organizations associated with AfA, including First Friday Scranton, the Kadampa Meditation Center, the Scranton Fringe Festival, the Everhart Museum, the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department, improv comedy group Here We Are in Spain, the Northeastern Biennial, the #ScrantonLove Public Art Project, Second Saturday, Girls on Guard PA, and many more.

The funding for AfA comes from a variety of sources. Membership dues, proceeds from fundraising including the annual auction, and commissions from works sold in the gallery are all important sources of revenue. Additional funding comes through corporate sponsorship and grants from sources such as the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department.

Above all, AfA is supported through the donation of goods and services from members. All of AfA’s activities, from structural organization to routine maintenance of the building, are done on a volunteer basis. The time, expertise, and energy donated by AfA members are crucial to the survival of the organization.