Take a walk down memory lane at Arts & Education at the Hoyt’s newest exhibit, Catalyst – 50 Mile Radius, at The Confluence, October 22, 2019 -January 2, 2020. This collection of paintings by Paige Hemke Kleinfelder features many New Castle’s most iconic buildings, as well as other recognized landmarks in the surrounding region. The common theme is memories triggered by viewing everyday places we’ve become attached to for one reason or another. Perhaps it was a popular gathering place in our youth, an establishment one frequented with friends, or a building that stood for something important to you or the community.
Kleinfelder explained that memory is selective and never as exact as the actual event. However, it is still present and embraced by our personal connections to them. Thus most of the buildings she paints are may no longer be pristine or still functioning the way we remember them, and yet they remain present in our consciousness and are a part of the urban landscape.
Kleinfelder, who signs her work Hemke, has been painting abandoned structures in America’s Rust Belt for a number of years. These intricate oils have been exhibited at St. Johns College in Annapolis, MD; Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, NY; and Elmira College in Elmira, NY, among others. She received her BA in studio art from Elmira College, winning the Elizabeth Anne Graham Prize. Formerly of Butler, PA, Kleinfelder moved to New Castle in 2017 after being hired at the Hoyt’s Assistant Education Coordinator. She found that preparing for the exhibition, which consists of more than 80 paintings, acted as a catalyst for exploring the region she now calls home.
“The exhibit is my way of paying homage to both those who lived here and those who still proudly call it home today. It is a snapshot of the memories that are held, and those that are yet to be made,” Kleinfelder said.
A public reception for Catalyst – 50 Mile Radius will be held at The Confluence, 214 East Washington Street, on Thursday, November 7, 5-7 pm. The exhibition will continue through January 2, 2020.