The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 9, 2013

One-woman exhibit going up on the walls of Cherry Alley


— LEWISBURG — A one-woman painting exhibit titled “Native Sons and other Stories,” featuring the artwork of Danville artist Mary Lapos, will be on display at Cherry Alley Café, Lewisburg, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily Nov. 16 through Dec. 31.

Meet the artist between noon and 2 p.m. Thursdays during the run of the show.

Lapos, who has been drawing and painting for 60 years,  said her “painting goal has always been to represent the human condition and the shared commonalities of our collective journey. That similarity is pushing me artistically  into an exploration of the veiled realm of the internal life, which I feel is the only true story to be told.  It involves bridging the gap between our knowing and the capacity for expression, demystifying the subtle world and inviting people to inquire into their own experiences of consciousness through the alchemy of art.”

Her studio is in a small barn in Montour County where she works in all media: oils, pastels, watercolor, charcoal, pencil and textiles. Her work has been shown at the Art Association of Harrisburg’s International Juried Show, has been featured in Central Pennsylvania publications and is held in private collections throughout the U.S., Europe, India and Ireland. 

One of her pieces in the exhibit is a portrait of Sudharman (Joseph Fenton), the New Berlin yoga master murdered in 2010. He “was a modern Renaissance man. Brilliant, larger than life, and a visionary, he was many things to many people and left this life way too soon,” Lapos said. “After weeks of attempting a sitting with him — he invariably dropped into a meditative state or fell asleep; neither condition producing satisfactory results — a young Bucknell student stopped by the studio on a sitting day and started asking Sudharman questions about life, ethics, values, etc. and the two of them proceeded to have an engaging three-hour conversation which is how this portrait happened to come into being.

“Sudharman’s greatest personal quality was his ability to listen. His greatest gift to others was, simply and always, himself:  his time, energy, knowledge, and love.” 

Another piece, “The Visitor,” encourages interaction. Lapos see it as “an experiment to involve viewers in contemplating what exactly is happening in the painting .. . it will be different for each viewer.” She has provided some beginning comments that will be available to viewers who can then add to or create their own story on paper that will be provided. “Add a story of your own or continue following the threads already generated,” urges the artist. “Maybe Heather (the manager of Cherry Alley, who is a writer) will write her big novel with the raw material.”