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By Jennifer Spindler, Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Art History Major

Lincoln Into Art, 329 Baltimore Street, is a new gallery within one of Gettysburg’s vintage brick buildings. Although the facade is old, the inside looks brand new, with high ceilings and a fresh look. As soon as I walked in, bright colors from the paintings were jumping out at me. There are so many marvelous contemporary works, and ironically, all of them are of Abraham Lincoln by artist and gallery owner Wendy Allen. 

Lincoln 125 by Wendy Allen

The most interesting aspect to this gallery is not its roots in history and America but its clear modern contemporary style, with  influence from artists like Van Gogh and Warhol. When I asked Ms. Allen about her choice of Lincoln as subject matter, she explained that she loves contemporary artists like De Kooning and O’Keeffe but what she found missing in their work is that they ignore their history and their heritage. By choosing an individual she finds to be profound and powerful among American people, it takes her art to a different level. She has been painting Lincoln for thirty years now, and the question comes to mind, why Lincoln? Plain and simple, because she is in search of the exact location of America’s soul. And she says freedom is never finished.  I find her paintings to be expressionistic with deep rooted emotion. She plays with artistic elements of color and shape in order to create a new composition every time she paints Lincoln. I was even treated to a sneak peek into her studio, where she has been working on a breakthrough painting, one of Lincoln dead. The cools of the blues and purples are eerie and peaceful. It was awesome to be able to see an artist in the process of work.

Lincoln 106 by Wendy Allen

Lincoln into Art is a fine addition to the History Meets the Arts component to the upcoming Gettysburg Festival.  Wendy will be painting during the first weekend of the Festival, June 18-20, which should be exciting since she is very grainy when she paints and only uses her hands. She will be painting with another artist, a graffiti artist from Denver named Austin Matthews, for the weekend.

Lincoln into Art had its soft opening last weekend, making it now open to the public  for viewing, so check it out.  I like her work and her ideas; she is very original and I do not believe there is another artist like Wendy Allen in Gettyburg.  

Additionally, on April 10th the Lincoln into Art will be hosting speaker Jeremy Black, a British professor from the University of Exeter in U.K., as he gives a talk about the Civil War, from the British perspective. It all sounds very interesting and I am excited that this new hip gallery has decided to take its roots in Gettysburg!

For  more information:

By Rich Wiley, Coordinator, North American Gilbert & Sullivan Festival at Gettysburg Festival

I was doomed from the start. It was my destiny to be paired with the contralto at the end of two of the most beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operettas – HMS Pinafore and The Mikado. And, for fans of Gilbert & Sullivan, you know what that means – Buttercup and Katisha.

Little did I know that when I enthusiastically accepted the roles of Captain Corcoran and Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, in 7th and 8th grade, respectively, that I would end up being “married” to the “rather plain” girls at the Morris Plains Borough School in Morris Plains, NJ. I guess I should have learned the first time that the tenor always gets the pretty soprano.

As a second generation Wiley with fond Gilbert & Sullivan memories, I am proud to be a part of bringing the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival back to the U.S. for the first time in 13 years. And, I am thrilled at the partnership we have forged with the Gettysburg Festival to widen the scope of the potential audience for our Gilbert & Sullivan performing groups who are coming to Gettysburg.

My first exposure to the world of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas came early in life. I remember very well seeing a production of Trial By Jury performed at our church – the United Methodist Church – in Morristown, NJ. I didn’t quite get it at age six, but it is one of my earliest memories.

Next, my mother, Jackie Wiley, who was heavily involved in community theatre, brought my sister, Lynne, and I to see a performance of HMS Pinafore done by the Chatham Community Players in their small playhouse in Chatham, NJ. There she was all resplendent in her Pat Nixon-style gown (with the genuine Nehru collar) playing a sister or cousin or aunt to Sir Joseph Porter, admiral of the Queen’s Navy.

The Chatham Players performed The Mikado the following year. My mother didn’t tell us what part she had this time. Again, my sister and I dutifully went to the performance only to have the be-Jesus scared out of us when Mom appeared as the daughter-in-law elect, Katisha, launching herself toward the audience at the end of Act One. We were both familiar with what Mom looked like in the morning, but with make-up reminiscent of Darth Maul from Star Wars, this was too much for an eight-year-old to comprehend!

A third generation of Wiley has now become involved in Gilbert & Sullivan. My daughter, Elizabeth, performed in York Little Theatre’s production of The Pirates of Penzance in the fall of 2008 as a daughter of Major-General Stanley. She was only 13, but clearly had the chops to match the voices of women twice her age. What’s important to mention here is that through all the ballet, piano, guitar and drama lessons, it was her participation in a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta that really sparked and focused her interest in pursuing voice seriously and, perhaps some day, professionally.

Clearly, anyone planning to attend the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival at Gettysburg Festival has a deep affection toward the lyrics, music and sartorial wit of these two Victorian geniuses. They’ve had a major impact on the lives of millions of people around the world – including my own across three generations and for 40 years.

By: Jennifer Spindler, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Art History Major/Business Minor

As an intern working closely with the Festival’s History Meets the Arts component, I have the pleasure of visiting downtown galleries, meeting the owners and looking at the various art pieces that will be on display during the Festival. I hope to share some of my insights and impressions through this blog as I visit the galleries.

Artist Dale Gallon

The gallery I am writing about today is Gallon Historical Art Gallery. This gallery is in a lovely brick building on the right of Steinwehr Ave heading south, where Steinwehr splits off Baltimore Street towards the battlefields. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised with the inside of the gallery. There are gorgeous arched wooden ceilings, with great lighting for the paintings, and an open, fresh atmosphere. I was extremely impressed with the layout, which includes a backroom for originals and a second floor. As I looked around the gallery, Anne Gallon explained to me that for every battle scene Dale paints, he has a historian describe exactly what happened at that moment to be entirely accurate. Every painting bought comes with an essay, describing each icon in the composition and the objects in the background. It is common for the paintings to have recognizable historical buildings that still exist. I thought it was awesome to see a painting with the ABC Brewery in it, showing how the Civil War battle at Gettysburg literally was all over the town. One of the most distinctive characteristics that I observed about Dale Gallon’s paintings is his use of atmospheric perspective, playing with colors and texture that evokes a feeling of wonderment and significance about the battle scene. It is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, whether the knowledge of the battle scene is known or not. (And believe me, I do not know about the battle scenes.) I am drawn to the delightful execution of color and gradation of tones that sets a mood specific to each painting.

Fight'n Irish by Dale Gallon

One of my favorite paintings is not done justice by a photo. It is the painting of the Irish brigade, called the “Fight’n Irish.” It is full of greens and gives distinct Irish pride. Even the mist has a sea-green color to it, integrating the figures into the background and overall making it very dramatic. Makes me want to be Irish… too bad I am completely Italian and German. Also… very conveniently in time for St. Patty’s Day!

When I receive an update of the events that the Gallon Gallery will be holding, it will be displayed on the Gettysburg Festival website, under visual arts. 

Click on this link for an overview of the History Meets the Arts events, including a list of participating galleries:

For more information about the Gallon Historical Art Gallery:

So far, I am very impressed. Next  blog entry will be for the American Civil War Museum/Gettysburg Gift Center! See ya then.

By Alice Estrada, Executive Director

Everywhere I go lately, I run into people who ask, “Who’s coming to the Festival this June?” or “When will the Festival announce its lineup?”  Prolific snowfall, frigid temperatures and cabin fever have all contributed to “the winter blues” for most of us.

The Gettysburg Festival Main Stage area, Gettysburg College, under a blanket of snow, February 2010

I think people are truly looking forward to spring and summer, more so than in years past.  And so I am thrilled that the Festival announced its headline acts last week.  Hopefully we can provide a glimpse into summer schedules and offer some hope that it’s not that far off, after all.

From jazz guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli to the world-famous Boston Brass… from the magical Cashore Marionettes to the fun Caribbean beat of Afro Bop Alliance… from the prestigious NPR show “From the Top” to the popular downtown “History Meets the Arts” events at local galleries… the 2010 Festival lineup is strong.  It’s another great mix of free versus premium, ticketed events.  We are so happy to share excellence in the arts with our visitors for free.  Outstanding concerts such as the Boston Brass and Afro Bop Alliance will be free and open to the public—what a great value in today’s economy.  I’m not only referring to money:  I am a strong believer in the power of the arts to uplift and transform people’s lives.

Boston Brass: Doesn't this photo say "summer" with its blue skies?

And we’re not done yet!  In the coming weeks, we will announce exciting plans to bring a popular artist to the Festival—a first for us.  And the Festival’s Culinary Committee is cooking up another extraordinary lineup under former White House Chef Walter Scheib’s leadership.  We’ll reveal plans for picnics, formal dinners, cookouts, and our Edible Art Tour through downtown galleries.

So don’t despair–spring is on its way and the Gettysburg Festival will usher in the first days of summer.  I invite you to spend these last few weeks of winter exploring the Festival website often, checking back for more and more fabulous events as they’re added to the lineup.  Take the time to subscribe to Festival e-newsletters, sign up for Facebook and become a fan of the Festival, or follow us on Twitter.  We can’t wait to share more details with you – see you this summer!


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