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August Artist of the Month: Catherine Bodnyk

This August we’ve had the privilege of bringing to you the work of Catherine Bodnyk. We’ve enjoyed displaying a different medium, woodcutting & printmaking, than we’re used to seeing. In her artist’s statement posted at the shop here, she describes her process: “The struggles and compromises I go through with a wood block are a reflection of the way I relate to the people around me. My plywood is layered like a personality, and discoveries are made while I carve away. Layers of color build up, while I explore deeper. Out of mistakes arise interesting moments, and new understandings. And in the end, after all the cuts and concessions, I have something beautiful, yet flawed, but always solidly real.”

We asked Catherine if she’d be willing to share a little more about herself and her art and she graciously agreed to our monthly artist interview; we hope you enjoy!

Tell us about your background and how you got started in your medium.

I’m 24, and I was born and raised in the Harrisburg area. I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BFA in Printmaking, and I am currently in the process of relocating to Philadelphia.

I discovered printmaking while taking Sean Williams’ class at Harrisburg Area Community College in the spring of 2009. I instantly fell in love with everything about it. Printmaking requires a great deal of physical labor and technical knowledge. Rather than sitting in front of a painting for hours, agonizing over the next brush stroke, as I had been doing for years, I had to be up and about — turning presses, cutting wood, measuring acids. These breaks in the studio allowed the time I spent drawing and carving — the “artistic” decisions — to be focused, concentrated, fresh, and sharp.

I transferred to Edinboro University of PA in the fall of 2010 to study under John Lysak, who had taught my HACC instructor about ten years before. The team of printmaking professors there — including Bill Mathie and Franz Spohn — provided me with an ocean of knowledge and expertise to draw from. I spent most of my time in the studio, surrounded by presses, inks, and students, and for two years I lived printmaking.

Who has been your artistic inspirations?

My artistic inspirations come from all over. I was heavily influenced by the students at Edinboro, both from seeing how they created their work, and their varying responses to my own. I think my most successful work has been my portraits, and the work of Alice Neel has helped shape my approach to those pieces. In high school I always admired the work of Edouard Manet, specifically his simple, but beautifully painted still-lifes, which I would unsuccessfully attempt to imitate.

As I become more exposed to the current art world, I find inspiration everyday. The figure paintings of Nathan Oliveira are hypnotizing, and Peter Doig’s excellent use of color and shape is near perfect. In my current work, I’m drawing inspiration from my Ukrainian background, more specifically from Pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs, which I learned from my father, who was taught by his grandfather. When entering the world of patterns and symbols, inspiration is nearly endless, and almost constant, and I am excited to see where I go with it.

What is your favorite piece in your portfolio?

Ukranian SweaterMy favorite piece in my portfolio so far is also my most recent piece, Ukrainian Sweater, in which I have begun to experiment with both patterning and intaglio methods. Out of my woodcuts, This is Where and Troup are definitely crowd pleasers, and possibly my favorites. I like it all.

One artistic goal for 2012?

My artistic goal for 2012 is to find a way to use my art to help support myself and enable me to settle down somewhere to gain access to printmaking facilities — so I can continue to create and continue to learn.

Catherine’s work will be on display through the end of this week, August 31. Make sure to stop before Friday to take a look at her unique pieces in person! And if you can’t make it, you can find her online at CatherineBodnyk.com

I Scream, You Scream

Confession time.

In the wee hours of the morning, as the sun is just starting to blink open its sleepy eyes, the openers at Cornerstone are contemplating breakfast. Some of us grab some cereal before we get here, some of us pour some fruit and granola over yogurt. However, it’s not uncommon for one of us to spring for something else instead: a spoon of ice cream.

And while we realize our parents would be disappointed in us, you must understand: our ice cream is too delicious to resist. And while we have our ice cream available all year round, during the summer you can find some of our constant favorites that you can’t say no to. Delicious strawberry, complete with pieces of berry. Sweet & Salty Caramel Pretzel. Mint Chocolate Chip. And creamy, wonderful black raspberry. Nothing tastes like summer like a fresh black raspberry milkshake!

Ice Cream at the Cornerstone

You can choose from a never-ending repertoire of flavors, along with your favorite kind of cone: standard cake, sugar, and if you’re feeling ambitious, the super waffle cone.
So before vacation ends and school is back in session, make sure you’ve had your fill of summer ice cream. Ask our openers what they recommend, or try any of our flavors in a perfect milkshake!

Ice Cream at the Cornerstone

Just make sure to ask for sprinkles.

Local Artist Highlight: Pam Cummings

Pottery is a craft as old as time. Yet local resident and potter Pam Cummings finds a way to make her pieces modern and elegant, as well as timeless. Her unique work is versatile, and currently at Cornerstone you’ll be able to find two pieces of hers: beautiful coffee mugs and melitta filters.

Pam Cummings pottery art

From Pam’s website:

I came to pottery about the same time I started growing flowers and enjoying cooking. Each day I enter my studio in the woods and make pots that speak of my surroundings– quietly elegant, functional pots that hint at the leaves whispering outside, or egrets winging along the nearby Susquehanna. These pots are objects I love to make, over and over again. I work to make the good individual pot that only comes from working in a series of related forms over time. The clay brings challenges and is always teaching me something new, if not about form or technique, then about patience and acceptance.”

Pam Cummings pottery art

And what a great way to brew a cup of coffee – her filter pots are the perfect size for a personal brew. You simply put a cone filter inside, add a couple of tablespoons of finely ground coffee, pour boiling water over the grounds, and let it drip into your cup! Can’t get any fresher than that.
We’re a big fan of her style, and proud to be selling her work here at Cornerstone. Stop by and see for yourself, and head over to her website to see even more designs!

Artist website: PamCummings.com
Artist email: pam@PamCummings.com

Hit the Deck

A couple of Thursdays ago, here at the Cornerstone Culinary Kitchen we kicked off our summer cooking class series with “Grilling on the Deck”, taught by Chef Chuck LaPorta. This is one of our most popular classes of the year – so much so we had to add a second night! Contrary to most of our classes, which are held in our lovely private back room, these two grilling sessions were held on our spacious front deck, in the open air. As guests arrived and appetites stirred, Chef fired up the grill and started turning the heads of everyone passing by on the street.

Cooking Class on the Deck

The night started off with some grilled diavolo chicken accompanied by grilled italian potato salad, followed by scrumptious other entree samplings, such as grilled salmon with lavender butter and mangoes, stuffed flank steak with mushroom sauce, and this kicker: chipotle & bourbon rubbed sirloin, served on garlic & herb ciabatta with blue cheese cole slaw. YUM. Take a look:

Cooking Class on the Deck

This evening event was just beginning of our wonderful cooking classes yet to come. Starting in July are some delicious options for a summer night out – Bahama Breezes, Under the Tuscan Sun, Mediterranean Masterpieces, and last but not least, an encore of our grilling class, available on two nights!
So if your appetite has been ignited, call us here at the shop or stop by and ask one of our friendly faces for more information on how to sign up!

Cornerstone Culinary logo

Upcoming Classes with Availability
Fri, December 7th, 6:30pm
Holiday Party Appetizers

Sun, December 30th, 6:00pm
New Year's Eve Eve

All Scheduled Classes


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