GETTYSBURG – The glories of Mother Nature and her creatures painted by Roger Parsels and the beautiful clay works of Jack Handshaw are featured in the gallery hallway and Learning Commons/Library through Dec. 20 at HACC-Gettysburg Campus.
The public is invited to join students, faculty and staff to meet the artists at a reception from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Parsels will greet visitors in the gallery hallway, where his acrylics on canvas and paper can be found. Handshaw will greet visitors in the Learning Commons, where his pottery is displayed. Light refreshments will be served.
The artists’ reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public. Exhibit hours are during campus hours: 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Both artists present views of nature, albeit in different mediums.
Parsels’ work is from his extensive photographic file of birds and mammals, trips to Denali and Kemali national parks in Alaska, the Gettysburg National Military Park and numerous other national parks and wilderness areas. His works are based on his own sketches and photo reference file.
He tied for second place in the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp competition, and in 2007 had two works adjudicated into the Paint America show collection. Exhibits include shows locally in Gettysburg, a one-man show and lecture at Shippensburg University and a one-man show Cornell University in New York, where his work also has been displayed at the Laboratory of Ornithology. His work also has been displayed at the Easton (Md.) Waterfowl Festival. For some 10 years Parsels produced artwork for Cape Shore Paper Products in Yarmouth, Maine, a company that specializes in note and Christmas cards, gift wrapping and other types of paper products. He is a member of the Hanover Art Guild.
A native of Ithaca, N.Y., Parsels is director of The Village Brass at Cross Keys Village in New Oxford, where he also has his studio. A retired public school instrumental music teacher, Parsels also was choral and instrumental music director at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Gettysburg until his retirement in 2008. He was a member of the Harrisburg Singers and a founding member of the choral ensemble Jubilate!
Parsels has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Ithaca College. He also has studied theology and sacred music at Nyack (N.Y.) College and music in the electronic media at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.
The pottery pieces being shown by Handshaw are one-of-a-kind works that he has been storing away for a special occasion. He produces porcelains using traditional celadon and oxblood glazes, which he has been making for more than 30 years as Hobbit House Pottery in a circa 1790 farmhouse in Fairfield.
Handshaw had an early interest in clay in junior and senior high school in Chambersburg. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Army with recreational services and eventually became an instructor in the Army Craft Shop at Fort Dix, N.J.
“I feel my work reflects the natural beauty that surrounds me. Clay has always helped me through issues of daily living and I feel my life would not be complete without clay as an outlet for my creativity,” said Handshaw, who is a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and a member of the Adams County Arts Council. As a self-taught potter, he has worked with many regional potters learning many techniques of firing pottery, pit-firing, wood-firing, low-fire earthenware, raku and high fired gas reduction. He teaches privately at his studio and conducts workshops and classes for many local non-profit organizations.
Visitors are also invited to a studio tour at Hobbit House Pottery Studio, 1575 Mt. Hope Road, Fairfield. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Nov. 20-21. Parking is located at Strawberry Hill Nature Center.
HACC’s Gettysburg Campus is at 731 Old Harrisburg Road, near Weis Markets and Adams County National Bank. For more information, call 337-3855.