Watercolors Highlight Of A Memorial For Plumstead Artist, Gallery Owner

Posted: June 16, 1994

For nearly 20 years Anita Gronendahl showcased the work of regional

artists, helping many get their start. This month her husband is filling the gallery with her paintings, a memorial to her life and talents.

Gronendahl, who died in January of cancer, had presented four shows a year since 1976, when she opened the Barn Studio Gallery in Plumstead Township. Her husband, Dutch Gronendahl, has been working the last few months putting together the memorial exhibition.

"This is going to be a very different show," Dutch Gronendahl said. ''Many people didn't know she was a very accomplished watercolorist because she specialized in her serigraphs over the years."

Gronendahl said he expected to show at least 100 of his wife's watercolors. In addition, the show will feature her serigraphs, oils, pastels and woodcuts.

Dutch Gronendahl, a retired pilot, said he had promised his wife that he would keep the gallery open as an arts center. He also plans to offer workshops at the gallery, located in a converted barn.

Surrounding the gallery are four acres of English gardens that will be open for self-guided tours during the exhibition. A free opening reception is planned from 6 to 10 p.m. tomorrow at the gallery, 4783 Landisville Rd. The memorial exhibition will continue from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and June 24-26. It also will be open by appointment. For information, call 215-348-8943.

"OUT OF WORK." The Upstairs Gallery of Peddler's Village in Lahaska is exhibiting the work of artist Kass Morin Freeman, who recently completed a series of watercolors titled, "Out of Work."

"Out of Work," started in the late 1980s, is a series of paintings of farm machinery abandoned in the fields, depicting the loss of farmland in the area. Three of the four pieces in the series are on exhibit at the Upstairs Gallery.

"I like to paint metal objects. I like the spatial relationships and the angles. I like the sculptural elements of metal," said the Lansdale artist, a member of the American Watercolor Society.

Freeman, a teacher at Oreland Art Center, is working on a series depicting war. Boys in the Band, the first painting in the series, is on display at the gallery. This watercolor of three men marching in a parade was painted predominantly in red, white and blue, to convey patriotism.

"There will be a progression from the patriotic colors, ending with all blacks and browns. The loss of color will symbolize death," said Freeman, who

plans on completing 40 paintings for the series.

Her exhibit of 10 watercolors can be seen at the gallery through July 8

from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Saturdays. For information, call 215-794-8486.

"PIZZA MAN." When two women decide they need to be more aggressive in a male-dominated world, it's the hapless pizza delivery man they turn on in Pizza Man, an adult comedy presented this weekend by the Actors Workshop.

"It's about two women whose lives are not going anywhere. They become frustrated and decide they want to take control of their lives the way men do," said co-producer and actress Charlene Chapman of Buckingham. "It's a broad, nonsense comedy."

Chapman said all three characters are forced to take an honest look at their lives as the play progresses. Because of the language and content, parental discretion is advised.

The play, written by Darlene Craviotto, opened on the West Coast in 1982. Chapman said she selected the piece because it had not been performed locally.

Co-producer Anna Marie Barry of Feasterville and Bob Schmidt of Bensalem also star in this production, which will be performed at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at the Tyro Grange Hall, Routes 413 and 202 in Buckingham.

The three cast members belong to the Actors Workshop, which meets Monday evenings at Poco's restaurant in Doylestown Borough. David Ancker of Point Pleasant, an instructor at the workshop, is directing the play.

Tickets for Pizza Man are $10. For information, call 215-297-8553.

POETRY COMPETITION. The stakes are high at the invitational poetry competition scheduled for Tuesday at Karla's restaurant in Doylestown Borough. The four highest scorers will earn the opportunity to represent the New Hope and Philadelphia poetry teams at the national competition in North Carolina in August.

To qualify for the invitational tournament, poets had to win two poetry competitions, or slams, this year in New Hope or Philadelphia. About 15 poets are expected to compete Tuesday. They will be judged on the basis of performance and the quality of original work. The winners will face poets from 27 other cities at the national competition, scheduled for Aug. 17 to 20.

Admission to the invitational tournament, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., is $10. Also featured that evening is an appearance by Philadelphia poet c.a. conrad, whose book of poems, Frank, was published last year.

During the summer, Karla's, at 5 W. Mechanic St., will be hosting poetry slams at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is $5.

For information, call 215-862-2612 or 215-862-3358.

FIDDLE BAND CONTEST. The Bucks County Historical Society and the Amoroso Foundation for the Arts are sponsoring the county's first fiddle band contest at the July 4 celebration at Fonthill Museum in Doylestown Borough.

Musicians interested in competing should call 215-230-9339 for registration forms, which must be returned with a $10 fee. The first 30 bands to respond will be in the contest.

There are no restrictions on the number of people in the band or the type of instruments played. Cash prizes will be awarded in three categories: old- time music, New England music and bluegrass music. Judges will hear two songs from each group.

The Amoroso Foundation, which was established this year, is awarding $300 in cash prizes. Nick and Cindy Amoroso of Doylestown Borough set up the foundation to host performers from other countries and to produce musical festivals across the United States so that foreign artists can demonstrate their musical skills.

Neighbors welcomes news about art and entertainment in Bucks County. Please send all information, including a telephone number for verification, to Valerie Reed, Bucks County Neighbors, 830 Town Center Dr., Langhorne, Pa. 19047.

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