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Studio B Creates Virtual Exhibit: Because Art is Life Sustaining

by Heather Adams, BCTV

Studio B Creates Virtual Exhibit: Because Art is Life Sustaining

The ‘About’ section of Studio B Art Gallery’s ‘Virtual Exhibit’ Facebook page says it all: “Because Art is Life Sustaining”. Gallery Director and creator of this crisis-themed virtual exhibit, Sue Biebuyck, launched the concept to keep the gallery going and continue to exhibit artists’ work in a free virtual gallery.

Biebuyck said, “Upon hearing of the shutdowns, our first retort was that “Art is Life Sustaining!” Especially now, if you’re alone or want to be alone, an artist’s ‘go to’ behavior is to steep their mind into their work.  I am pretty sure when we come out of this thing, there will be a few more babies, a few divorces, a new way of doing things and a whole lot of new art.”

Since March 23, the Studio B Virtual Exhibit Group has gathered more than two hundred followers. The project is hosted online by Studio B, a community run arts center and gallery in Boyertown, PA. Since the physical gallery has been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic and nonessential business closures, the regular gallery traffic, workshops, and classes that have become so popular, have been forced to take a hiatus.

Jane Stahl, Community Relations Director for Studio B, noted that “Artists are posting images of their work and offering encouragement to one another. Also, several artists have either become new members or renewed their membership in Studio B via our PayPal link on the website and serves as a sign of hope for us once the world re-opens.”

Local artist Matthew Mazurkiewicz is following the group online, and has shared images of his work, as well as feedback on pieces by other participating artists. “I don’t get out in public too much as it is, but I will stand behind any collective who creates on a local level and adds grist to the Berks County bloodstream. Studio B is a very important asset to the greater community of Berks and is run with passion and a determination to give a platform for artists of all disciplines. They are good folk.”

The exhibit has even inspired the sale of at least one piece, so far. “Since the COVID-19 hit us during the time when I usually stage our membership drive, it seemed vitally important to me to keep our community of artists involved with us,” added Biebuyck

“In this case social media is such a blessing. It’s an instant place to show your work and be active within the community. We are so proud of our members and new friends that we’ve made from near and far during this time.”

The group is available for the public to join and peruse, and for artists to post and share their work. The virtual exhibit features an incredible variety of mediums and styles, an ever-changing feast for the eyes, with new posts appearing regularly as the virtual community grows.