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:  www.lincolnintoart.com