BEDFORD, Pa. – Realism and mystery have come together for this exhibition.
“From Conservator to Artist,” an exhibition by Michael Mosorjak, will be on display through July 17 at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Bedford, located in the Anderson House, 137 E. Pitt St.
Mosorjak, a Johnstown resident, is a contemporary artist, practicing in oil and gouache painting techniques.
His realistic renderings have gained him a following among art collectors.
He also is an instructor of art history and basic drawing, as well as a lecturer on painting conservation.
In addition to his painting and teaching, Mosorjak is an art conservator for private collectors and public museums.
“He’s such an amazing artist, and the quality and level of his expertise and presence in the art community is huge,” said Christi Draves, site director at SAMA-Bedford.
“Most people know him as a conservator, so if you have a problem with your art or it needs to be repaired or cleaned, he would be the person that artists would be lucky to get their art in front of. But he also has this amazing talent of producing art.”
She said that looking at Mosorjak’s work, you would think you’re looking at a photograph.
“It is some of the most realistic, vivid, intricate and precise pieces that you’ll ever see,” Draves said.
“His work and process makes it seem like you could walk right into it.
“He focuses on two paintings a year, and he’ll work from large brushes to small, getting more and more intricate.”
Draves said Mosorjak’s paintings, which are predominantly landscapes, almost always contain an anomaly.
“It’s not just the phenomenal artwork – he adds this whole side of mystery and magic, and there’s fun in his paintings,” Draves said.
“The autumn paintings show the drama, golden light and rich colors of the landscapes, capturing the beauty of Pennsylvania.”
The exhibit features 31 pieces, including one unfinished work.
“You can see his style and technique along with his method, because he has a grid and he works his way up and you can see the mystery he’s adding,” Draves said.
She said Mosorjak will work on the painting throughout the exhibition and will hold a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. July 8, where the public is invited to observe his oil-painting method and process and ask questions.
“This offers that educational piece on how he does his work and furthers the experience,” Draves said.
The cost is $10 and registration is required at www.sama-art.org/event-list.
Mosorjak received a bachelor’s degree in painting and printmaking from Boston University and a master’s degree in painting conservation.
He is the author of “Why Do? … A Book of Answers,” and an autobiography, “Fifty Years a Conservator of Paintings.”
“I hope people see that just because we’re in rural Bedford County does not mean that we can’t have some world-class artists, not only show- ing their art, but living here,” Draves said.
“We hope when people come in, they learn something new and they’ll want to come back.”
In conjunction with the exhibit, an all-ages leaf and flower rubbing with crayon and watercolor workshop will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. June 18.
“We’re going out in the yard and picking fun things to work with and we’ll be making our own little flower garden,” Draves said.
“They will take parts of nature and then make it into art.”
The workshop is free, but registration is required at www.sama-art.org/event-list.
Museum hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Admission to the exhibit is free.
For more information, call 814-589-3020 or visit www.sama-art.org.