My goal is to let my paintings transport the viewer to a peaceful, lush hideaway. I want you to accompany me into each piece and hope you feel enveloped in the scene.” Trained in pastels, watercolors and oils, my first love is oils. Born in Templeton Allentown, Pa., I started private art lessons Dorothy Templeton at age six. Then subsequently attended fifteen years of classes at the Baum School of Art and West Chester University. After years of teaching, I opened Bach & Co., a prominent art gallery. Throughout my art life I have participated myself and also juried many shows. The gallery was nominated for the national “NICHE” award. This award is given to the top 100 galleries in the nation. Since 1990 I have represented over 200 local and national artist and 280 fine craft companies. Throughout my life I have traveled world wide to beautiful gardens while working with my husband in the horticultural industry. The love of flowers in their natural habitat and the joy they bring to people are the inspirations of many of my work. After each trip I return to my studio armed with exciting new memories to transpose to canvas. After 25 years, in September of 2015 I closed my gallery and frame studio to
devote more time to my painting career. I now exhibit in art shows and paint in my Emmaus and Stone Harbor art studios. I describe my style as “Realistic Impressionism”, merging forms of light and color with realistic details and shapes. While this seems to be a contradiction in style, that’s how I create the dreamy effects which are unique in every paintings. Following the European schools my method of painting consists of many layers and sometime months to achieve the depth I hope you experience. I have been the featured artist at the Allentown Art Museum Gala and have been invited to exhibit and sell by work both there and The Baum School of Art in Allentown, PA. My pieces are sought after by corporate and private collectors including actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor. Please view and enjoy the illuminist journey I hope my paintings provide.
“I hope with each view my work brings a smile”
Cheryl J. Peters
Cheryl Peters' Art
Lehigh Valley Arts Council Voices
INSIDE THE ARTS COUNCIL MAGAZINE Guest writer May 2012
Why I do what I do by Cheryl J. Peters
When Randall called and said he had a favor to ask of me, I immediately thought, “How much is this going to cost?” As many of you may know, a favor in the business world usually translates into a donation of some sort. But as he continued, I realized this was not the typical favor. He explained that he would like me to write an essay for Inside the Arts and tell the arts readers why I do what I do. Two quick thoughts followed. First, “I wished he asked for money.” Second, “WHY ME?”
I agreed to this because it took me out of my safety zone, and I guess pulled at something I always told my students: “To grow—reach beyond the familiar!” That being said, sharing with you in writing my travel and growth through the art world is a path I wouldn’t have chosen.
I am a Lehigh Valley native who started art lessons at age six. I was first mentored by a wonderful neighborhood art teacher who taught students in her attic dormer. Summers were extremely hot, and the frigid winter temperatures never allowed the oils to dry. But I was so proud of each piece. I have four lovely 5” by 7” works that were saved by my proud mother, and I still use the art box that I carried to those lessons. After much persistence, at age nine I convinced her to allow me, along with a friend, to travel by bus from Whitehall to Fifth and Hamilton streets in Allentown to take lessons at the Baum School of Art, then located on Walnut Street. Our journey was completed by walking back to Leh’s department store, where with $1.00 we bought a hot dog, coke, and ice cream for our bus ride home. Where have those days gone?
Now, let’s get back to “Why I do what I do.” As you can already tell, I have loved to paint since childhood. I love the freedom that creativity brings. After earning a degree in education, I began teaching in the Philadelphia area. But upon moving back to Allentown and starting a family, I decided to shift my focus from education to my original love: creating art. I started volunteering within the art community by participating in charitable fundraisers, which included co-chairing the Channel 39 art and antique auction. After many years of working with artists, I began sharing their frustration with finding a venue to show and sell their pieces. I came from a background of entrepreneurs and married into another. Therefore, it was natural for me to find my niche. In 1990, I established Bach & Co. Music and Art Gallery. It originally was housed in a three-story Victorian mansion and had the goal to represents all the arts. This adventure soon became greatly satisfying for me. It gave me the opportunity to showcase art for local artists and foster my strong belief in community mentoring. I loved guiding the artist through the process and seeing the excitement of both the artist and the art lovers enjoying the events. I was honored when my efforts were nationally recognized with the nomination for the Niche Award in 1997. The award is in recognition of those who mentor and are respectful of fellow artists, and being nominated made me feel as though I had truly met my goal.
It is said, “Necessity brings change.” Through this process I often became frustrated when pieces didn’t sell because of their presentation. The artists couldn’t afford expensive framing, so to reduce costs, I enrolled in a national framing school in Philadelphia and learned how to frame. I began to enjoy the challenge of being able to complement and complete the artist’s creation. Being an artist myself, I understand how important it is not to compete with the art piece but to enhance it. Through framing I feel as though I nish what the artist created. So even if I didn’t paint the piece, I feel I was part of the experience. It might not change the world but it sure makes me happy.
Five years ago things came full circle. I downsized my gallery to concentrate on my own painting and framing. Now I feel I am even closer to my fellow artists. Being the painter allows me to enjoy the excitement when a collector falls in love with what the artist created. And in the hopes of passing my love of art along to my grandchildren, I built a studio loft to teach them in. Now, Randall, please next time just ask for money!