Exhibit showcases works by Indiana County mother-daughter | Features

This showcase is a family affair.

“Looking for the Light in Dark Times,” an exhibition by Jonelle Summerfield and her mother Jolene Joyner, is on display through July 31 in the entry and main galleries at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley, One Boucher Lane and Route 711 South, Ligonier.

“We’ve known Jonelle Summerfield for quite a while, and she’s just a wonderful oil painter, and her work is stunning,” said Kristin Miller, site and education coordinator for SAMA-Ligonier Valley.

“Her mother paints as well, so I just thought it would be so much fun to do a mother-daughter show.”

Oil paintings, pastels

The exhibit includes more than 60 oil paintings with a smattering of pastels.

“There’s many different subjects inspired by their interests,” Miller said.

Summerfield, a resident of Indiana, Indiana County, received a degree in interior design from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2001.

She began painting as a hobby while she worked as a full-time kitchen designer, taking lessons from her mother.

Like her mother, Summerfield, began her artistic career participating in the New Growth Arts Festival and the Indiana County Open Arts Studio Tour in the early 2000s.

After taking workshops with other artists she admired, she began to paint full time in 2012.

Aside from her mother, Summerfield has taken workshops with Qiang Huang, John Del Monte, Darren Kingsley, Kerry Dunn and Robert Liberace.

Her paintings are impressionistic, and her subjects include interiors, street scenes, animals and still lifes.

The goal of her work is to depict the good things in life and to provide relief from a chaotic world.

“Over the years, my mother and I have entered juried shows that SAMA holds once a year and we became acquainted with the museum that way,” Summerfield said.

“A couple of years ago, they approached us to see if we would be interested in having a show and we jumped at the chance and we’ve been working at it over the last year.”

Mom as teacher

She said exhibiting with her mother is fun because Joyner has been Summerfield’s teacher.

“She taught me how to paint with oils and she coached me with drawing throughout high school and college,” Summerfield said.

“She has been an inspiration for me, and being able to show together is something we never expected to be doing.”

Summerfield said many of her pieces are inspired by her travels.

“A lot of my work that I have is based on my trip to southern France two years ago with my husband and it revolves around places I saw,” she said.

Joyner, a resident of Clymer, Indiana County, has had an interest in art since childhood.

Though she went to nursing school after graduating from high school and established a 40-year career as a surgical nurse, she resumed her artistic pursuits in her mid-20s.

Since the mid-1980s, Joyner has been a member of the Indiana Art Association, where she met many friends, instructors and mentors, who encouraged her artistic growth.

She entered juried exhibits in the region and won many awards while she honed her skills.

Joyner later participated in the annual New Growth Arts Festival and the Indiana County Open Arts Studio tour as she gained a following.

Notable artists with whom she studied include James Sulkowski, Del Monte, Kingsley and Dunn.

Joyner said it’s nice to be able to exhibit with her daughter.

“She’s actually surpassed me, so this is wonderful,” she said.

Joyner said her work is all realism and done predominantly in oils.

“I like to paint everything, so I have a lot of horses and cows, a couple of buildings, boats, people and still lifes,” she said.

Joyner said for those seeing their work, the hope is viewers like the technique and subject matter.

“I feel like mine are kind of old-fashioned and what you’ll see in nature, while Jonelle’s work is more sightseeing and vacation,” she said.

Woven together

Miller said the exhibit is arranged in a way that weaves the women’s pieces together.

“You can see the influences of each other,” she said.

Miller said the title of the exhibition – “Looking for the Light in Dark Times” – is what the artists want the show to depict.

“They want it to be a calming and relaxing experience, and for it to bring some joy,” she said.

“We’ve all been in a time of chaos and I think for these artists they want to bring some light for everyone. This is a time to come in and enjoy the scenes and bring happiness in this very turbulent time.”

A luncheon-reception with Summerfield and Joyner to discuss the exhibition and work is being planned.

An accompanying exhibition, “Back to Woodstock,” features 1960s memorabilia and 15 posters from the collection of Mark Del Costello.

The featured posters represent the original 1969 Woodstock that was held on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York.

Authentic music posters from noted artists, including Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, are on display.

“These are amazing posters and I think they’ll really transport you back in time to that period,” Miller said.

The museum is open to the public free of charge.

Gallery hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

CDC health and COVID-19 social distancing guidelines are in place.

For more information, call 724-238-6015 or visit www.sama-art.org.

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