The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 12, 2013

Featuring fraktur

LEWISBURG — The featured artist for this year’s Lewisburg Celebration of the Arts festival (formerly called the Lewisburg Arts Festival) is Donna Selfridge Spangler, a fraktur artist from Sunbury. Fraktur is a traditional Pennsylvania German folk art that has been part of Union County life since the 18th century. With the Union County Bicentennial happening in 2013, the Arts Council felt it important to showcase an historical art form that has a place in county history.

Fraktur, a Pennsylvania German folk art from the 1750s, began as an artistic way for families to record special events, such as weddings and births. Inspirational verses were used in Pennsylvania German schools for instruction and given as graduation gifts to encourage students in their new life. Produced for more than a century, fraktur exemplifies one facet of early American culture that is unique to Pennsylvania.

Because of her appreciation for this vivid art form, Spangler has created her own line of traditional fraktur. Each print exhibits the qualities of an antique piece with paper stained and aged by the artist to achieve a patination typical of original frakturs.

Spangler has been a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen since 1989. She is listed in the 2011-2012 Artist Directory of Early American Crafts by the Early American Crafts Magazine. She was also recently juried into Early American Life for the 2012-2013 directory, a publication that showcases the premier craftsmen working in the traditional arts. The directory is a compilation of juried members who are selected by a panel of museum curators, scholars, and other experts, with juried status lasting two years. The directory is a companion to the magazine Early American Life, a bimonthly publication that showcases different aspects of early American traditions, decoration and style.

As featured artist during this year’s Celebration of the Arts, Spangler will have an exhibit of her work at Faustina Gallery, 229 Market St, from Saturday, April 13, through May 11 with an opening reception 1-4 p.m. April 13.

The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Spangler will also demonstrate her art in two sessions of a workshop on April 29 at the Public Library for Union County. To register for the workshop contact or call 523-3128.

The Celebration of The Arts, which includes the downtown Market Street Show April 27, runs April 26 to May 11.