Thursday, November 10, 2016

86. A Tribute to Ana Touchstone

West Rim Trail -by Bob Bickers; 18 x 24; oil/canvas; 1990.
A long time ago, I was befriended by a gracious and generous art collector who purchased a number of my paintings in Memphis.  I never had a chance to photograph some of those paintings, and when I lost touch with Mrs. Touchstone, I thought those paintings were pretty much lost.

I was recently contacted by Inga Hanks of Idesign Associates, LLC, who told me that Ana Touchstone had moved to Colorado some years ago and had passed away in 2008.   She said Ana's son was a friend of hers and had asked her to sell Ana's art collection with proceeds going to benefit the charities that Ana was passionate about supporting during her life; substance abuse programs, and women's shelters.

It saddened me to hear of Ana's passing and I passed my condolences to her son and family.

Courthouse Wash -by Bob Bickers; 24 x 36; oil/canvas; 1992
Ms. Hanks included several photographs of my artwork that she would sell, and I have included those images here.  West Rim Trail is from a scene I saw in 1976 at Zion National Park, Utah.  Courthouse Wash is a view in Arches National Park, Utah.   Also being sold is a matted and framed print, Eagle's Nest.

I like the idea that paintings I created so long ago are still being enjoyed by others across the country and I also like the idea that my art will benefit the charities Ana Touchstone thought were important.  I share Ana's passion to help others and will try to follow her example.
Eagle's Nest; 10 x 12.5; 1991

My thanks to Inga Hanks, and to Ana Touchstone, a special thank you and farewell.  I wish I could have known you better. May your soul rest easy.

NOTE: If any of my supporters are interested in these pieces and would like more information, please contact Inga Hanks at idesignassoc@gmail.com.

Friday, September 23, 2016

85. Space is Limited for a Free One-Time Acrylic Art Class

Bob and a few of his friends. Photo by Nancy Dalverny.
UPDATE October 29, 2016:  The free acrylic art class described below was a complete success and a pleasure to teach.  We had a roomful of both aspiring and experienced artists willing to try a new medium.  From what I saw, talent was in abundance!  My many thanks to Nancy Dalverny, Marilyn Wempa, the Monroeville Arts Council and UMPS East for making this event possible.  The MAC sponsors a free art workshop each spring and autumn with rotating artists sharing their skills and talents. Follow monroevilleartscouncil.org for information on future events!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

84. Youngest Elected Official - No More!

In my previous post of August 19, 2009 (8. Youngest Elected Official in the History of the State of Tennessee) I wrote about my experience in August, 1974, when I was elected as Shelby County Constable while at the age of 18 years, 6 months.  I felt fairly secure about my title because the voting age was only changed from 21 to 18 by the 26th Amendment in 1971.  Before that, those younger than 21 could not even vote, much less run for public office.  I also knew that under the state statutes, all positions at the state and county level required you to be at least 21 years of age.  The only exceptions were the position for constable and for county ranger.  Shortly after my election, the 1977 Tennessee Constitutional Convention (on which my father served) changed the state constitution to eliminate these two positions (although I later learned that the constable position was somehow reinstated in some counties). So, only in the last 45 years could anyone younger than 21 run for public office.  Since then I have not found on the internet anyone in Tennessee who was elected to public office at a younger age.  That is, until now.

Apparently, this summer, Mr. Bailey Hufstetler, at the age of 18 years, 4 months, was elected to a seat on the Spring City Commission in Rhea County, Tennessee. Here is a newspaper article about his election.

Based on what I know right now, I am forced to pass the mantle of "Youngest Elected Official in the History of the State of Tennessee" on to Mr. Hufstetler.  It is a title I have carried these past 42 years and I am more than happy to bestow it upon a new generation.  It is also fitting that I do so now as I just recently retired from the practice of law after over three decades of service to the people of Tennessee, West Virginia and Pennsylvania (more on that at http://bickerslaw.blogspot.com).  

Mr. Hufstetler, congratulations on your election to the Spring City Commission.  I hope you enjoy your tenure there and that you will be a positive influence on the commission for the people of your community.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

83. Summer Photos

I haven't had time to do much traveling this summer, so I thought I'd post some photos from prior travels for now.  These were taken at Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, in January, 2010.

 
 

One thing I like about kicking around in the desert in January is that the snakes are all hibernating, the insects are gone, and the temperature is really comfortable.  Can't wait to get back there in the winter again!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

82. Wings Over the Band

WINGS OVER THE BAND - FRHS Band in the Murrysville 50th Annual Halloween Parade in 2015.
My photograph, Wings Over the Band, came in Second Place for People and Pets in the 2015 Murrysville Photo Contest held by the Murrysville Parks & Recreation Commission.  I had hoped that my other photograph,Winter Sojourn, would have won, but the contest rules state that each contestant can win only one prize and I must assume they had enough photos of that bridge from previous years. At the risk of jinxing myself, I have at least won something each year that I have entered this contest in 2011, 2014 and 2015, and for that I am very grateful.

I am also pleased I got a good photo of the Franklin Regional High School Band during the Murrysville 50th Annual Halloween Parade last year.  They are a top notch band that performed a few weeks later at the Tournament of Roses Parade in California.  I thought the butterfly banners were especially eye-catching too!

I will probably continue to compete in this contest, but I am wondering if it isn't time for a Murrysville Art Contest to allow paintings of the sights of Murrysville and its parks.  Even a plein air contest (paintings that are made outdoors at the scene) would be something different and exciting!  I know other areas in and around Pittsburgh have plein air art festivals, and we do have many wonderful art museums in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. We have plenty of fine and talented artists here. Do we in Murrysville have the sights and the scenery for such a contest?  Is there any interest in such an event?  If you have an opinion, I'd like to hear it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

81. Close to Home Exhibition a Success

The February 6th opening reception to my Close to Home photography exhibition at the Elaine Biondi Gallery Space in Monroeville, Pennsylvania was a pleasure and by all measures a success.  I thought the exhibit made a wonderful presentation and the opening was well attended by many friends, family and the merely curious. There was plenty of food, refreshments and even a cake celebrating the exhibition and my 60th birthday!  I even received several birthday cards, which I did not expect, and for which I am extremely grateful.  My thanks to everyone who attended for their time and consideration and also many thanks to all the complements and encouraging words given me in appreciation of my photographs.

For those who are unable to view my exhibition in person in Monroeville, I have created an on-line virtual exhibition. Click on this link (http://www.bobbickers.net/closetohome.html) and it will take you to my website and the virtual art show. 

I want to especially thank Sally Wightkin, the curator at the Gallery Space, and all the volunteers who did such a wonderful job in hanging this show and whose efforts support all the artists in our community who are given this wonderful opportunity to showcase their artwork in such a beautiful setting.  I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

80. Close to Home

Announcing an exhibition of fine photographs of the Western Pennsylvania area by Murrysville, Pennsylvania artist and photographer, Bob Bickers, during the month of February, 2016 at the Elaine Biondi Gallery Space in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. 

The show, entitled "Close to Home" will take place February 2nd - 29th, 2016 at the Monroeville Public Library, 4000 Gateway Campus Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146, by the Gateway School.  A portion of the proceeds from sale of artwork benefits the volunteer group, Friends of the Monroeville Public Library.

Gallery hours during the exhibition are: 9:00am-9:00pm Monday-Thursday; 9:00am-5:00pm Friday & Saturday; and 12:00pm-3:00pm Sunday. Directions to the Monroeville Public Library: Take Parkway Exit 84A or Turnpike Exit 57 or Route 22 to Monroeville, go south on Route 48 (Mosside Boulevard). Turn right at the 4th light onto Gateway Campus Boulevard. Then turn left at stop sign to library.

Bob Bickers is an artist living and working from his hoe and studio in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.  Although he has created art in oils and acrylics for many years, his interest in photography extends even further into his past when he was once a camera salesman and a professional wedding photographer. Bob has captured images all across North America, but this exhibition concentrates on photographs taken largely in Western Pennsylvania, hence the show's title, "Close to Home".

More about Bob Bickers can be found at his website, http://www.bobbickers.net and his blog, http://fineartbybobbickers.blogsspot.com.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

79. 2015 Murrysville Photo Contest

I again submitted three of my photographs to the Murrysville Photo Contest, but this year I decided to submit one photo each in three different categories instead of just sending in three landscapes.  The first image was one of my favorite landscapes taken in January, 2015 that showed my wife, Diane, approaching a snow-covered bridge in Duff Park, Murrysville, PA.  
Winter Sojourn (2015)
Bridge Over Still Waters (2014)


You might remember that this is the same bridge (taken in Autumn) that won Honorable Mention last year in this contest.



The second photo submitted this year fell under the category of Plant Life and it shows three flower pods that were in a neighbor's yard in August, 2015.
Three Pods (2015)

Finally, I chose to enter a photograph in the People category taken during Murrysville's Halloween Parade on October 31, 2015 while the Franklin Regional Band marched by waiving butterfly wing banners overhead.
Wings Over the Band (2015)



I will know in a few months whether any of these were good enough to place among the 2015 winners.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

78. Pennsylvania Sky and Pennsylvania Snow

Pennsylvania Sky; oil on board; 11 x 14
Pennsylvania Snow; oil on board; 11 x 14

Two of my more recent works that will be on display at the East Suburban Artists League (ESAL) Show at Penn State New Kensington during December, 2015. More on the show can be found at: http://www.esalart.org/shows--exhibitions.html

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

77. Photo Included in Article in the Murrysville Trail News

Murrysville Farmer  |  Bob Bickers  |  2014
I was asked to write a short article about one of my photographs that was entered in the 2014 Murrysville Photo Contest for the October 2015 issue of the Murrysville Trail News.  This is the article that was just published:

Murrysville Farmer
I love autumns in Murrysville. The backdrop of colorful leaves always changes the landscape in exciting and unexpected ways. Each day that I can, I set off on exploratory expeditions through our parks and neighborhoods seeking to capture with my camera new sights and compositions I have never seen before. I am not disappointed and at dark I return home, my camera filled with treasures.

I usually use my best camera and lens, but I have learned to keep a small, handy camera in my shirt pocket for those sudden and unexpected photo opportunities. For this photo, I drove up to a stop sign with my window down and saw the tractor crossing the road. Almost by reflex, I pulled out my camera, took the picture, and then the farmer was gone. I smiled. It’s harvest season, after all, and I had just brought in my own fine crop.    - Bob Bickers

My thanks to the Murrysville Trail Alliance for publishing my photograph and allowing me to express myself in their fine publication.  Hope we can do it again sometime!