April 7 – May 13, 2017 in the Tulip Building Gallery
Opening Reception: April 7, 2017 from 5 :00 – 6:30 PM
Go back in time to Johnstown’s days of steel domination with Bob Hovanec and Pat Kerr of Big City Signs and industrial artist Joe Hensel. This nostalgic pop-up exhibit features an array of hand-crafted signage representing businesses and landmarks ranging from our own Goenner’s Brewing Co. (former BOTTLE WORKS building) to many recognizable Johnstown haunts. Joe Hensel’s imagination and skill transform industrial machinery, fittings and parts from the mines and mills of Western PA into functional furniture and eclectic decor. Join us in celebrating the current talents of our local artists while honoring the strong heritage of our past.
Big City Signs –
Owned and operated by Bob Hovanec and Pat Kerr they began working together in 1984 at Marathon Poster Manufacturing Co. Marathon primarily produced paper for outdoor billboards, screen printing as well as
producing commercial signs and vehicle lettering. In 1991 Marathon Poster closed and BigCitySigns was formed. In 1992 Pat and Bob bought the business and moved it to its current location at 115 Atlee Street, Johnstown PA.
Pat and Bob have been airbrushing, pin striping and hand lettering vehicles and signs. They offer a winning combination of skills to meet and exceed customer needs. From logo’s to letter heads, BigCitySigns works hard to helps their clients develop an image for their business that defines that business and allows for memorable brand recognition. Enhancing our primary background in business signs, we offer unique dimensional sign work that features 23k gold leaf, something that makes us unique. We also have been working to bring the latest innovations in glass work, adding to our portfolio of offerings as we are able to etch, glue chip, acid etch, silver, gold leaf signs and mirrors. Learn more about their work at www.bigcitysigns.net/
Joe Hensel –
Joe Hensel is a self-taught outside assemblage artist who uses industrial artifacts to create functional art with provenance. His interest in industrial heritage especially that of the steel and mining industry of southwest Pennsylvania, is reflected in his artwork. Learn more about Joe and his work here, www.ironwoodartifacts.com/
Joe’s artwork are assemblages, industrial artifacts, equipment, and hardware I use to create 3D mixed-media works. They celebrate America’s fading industrial greatness. They are one-of-a-kind pieces of art and are not mass-produced.
The central components used are wooden foundry patterns, hand-carved & machined in the historic Cambria Iron Works where, according to historian/author David McCollough, the age of American steel began.Joe embellishes these salvaged patterns while maintaining their original integrity so the artifact remains intact while rendering HISTORICAL FUNCTIONAL ARTWORKS WITH PROVENANCE.His research into Cambria Iron Works/Bethlehem Steel, Johnstown, PA, uncovered drawings, photos, and most importantly, the logbook, which documents the origins, age, and use of each pattern. Each wood pattern got a “birth certificate” when it was carved. And the log was still intact after 100 years