Winkler Gallery Octoberfest

“East meets West” as the Winkler Gallery features its newest members’ works. The background photograph is by professional photographer Jeff London, the Elk original painting is by accomplished artist John Pirnack and the Bonsai tree is by newcomer Kevin Straub.

DuBOIS — The Winkler Gallery and Art Education Center in downtown DuBois is excited to announce its inaugural Octoberfest, featuring a Straub Brewery tasting, to be held from 5-8 p.m. Saturday.

“We had our Halloween events in the past, but we decided we were going to have an Octoberfest this year,” said Brian Musser, president of the board of directors for the Winkler Gallery Art and Education Center. “If it goes well, we are hoping it will turn into an annual event at the gallery.”

In addition, the gallery has three new artists — Kevin Straub, John Pirnak and Jeff London — and they are being featured as the Artists of the Month.

“We thought it would be a great blend to have the event and introduce the three new artists,” said Musser.

There will also be special entertainment featuring Denny Skraba on the trumpet and Frank Oravec on the accordion.

“I think it’ll be a lot of fun, with the music and art and Straub Brewery being the sponsor,” said Musser. “It’s a terrific way to welcome fall and really celebrate the gallery.”

Jeff London

London, of Rockton, said he knew he loved photography when he received his first 110 camera in the third grade. At that point, he knew photography inspired him and was a great passion in his life. He learned film and processing when he was 15 and he studied at the Art Institute in 1981. He started photographing weddings in 1983. Wildlife and landscapes were his passion. Loss in London’s life inspired him the most to pick up his camera to become the professional photographer he is today. He said his favorite place to be is behind a camera.

“I feel blessed to see the world the way I do and I love sharing what I’m blessed to see,” said London.

His work has been on four magazine covers including Welcome PA Great Outdoors.

John Pirnak

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Pirnak, from DuBois, is an oil painter but also dabbles in watercolors and has been painting in oil and watercolor for many years. He said his work is mostly landscapes, but he also incorporates still life, domestic animals, pets, wildlife, sky scapes and abstract paintings.

Pirnak’s work has been exhibited in many galleries and art shows. He has sold many works over the years and continues to paint in DuBois.

“I love painting realism and nature in all her beauty, no romanticism or sentimental depictions, but abstract work has a beauty of its own,” said Pirnak. “All art has beauty. And God gave me chances to show it. I’ve been lucky and very grateful. Art is beauty, and beautiful art brings joy.”

Kevin Straub

Bonsai artist Kevin Straub, of St. Marys, is a master gardener and has been gardening for more than 40 years. Over the past 15 years, he has grown flowers, fruit and vegetables from seed and has grown Bonsai including juniper, elm, ficus, olive, Chinese elm, maple, and 10 other varieties. Virtually all trees can be a Bonsai, he said.

Straub is currently growing more than 15 variety of trees from seed for Bonsai. He built his own greenhouse and has successfully grafted apple trees and grown pear, nectarine and cherry trees.

He is a member of the Botanical Society of America whose mission is: To promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, development, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere.

“This is sort of an east meets west sort of show for these three artists in conjunction with the Octoberfest because the art of Bonsai, being of Eastern culture, but the other two artists do sort of an Americano-style of artwork and photography,” said Perry Winkler, gallery co-founder and director. “If I were to give their show a name, it would be ‘East meets West.’”

“The nice thing about it is, the Bonsai trees, placed in front of the Americano-style photographs ... the artwork over the paintings and photographs is kind of a three-dimensional look because the little miniature trees paired up with the paintings just are really kind of a nice compliment,” said Winkler. “I like the idea of taking things that are opposites and pairing them up together. We noticed when we started putting the trees around the gallery, it really had a nice impact on the artwork, it sort of complimented them beautifully. So, I think people will enjoy seeing how we are pairing things up.”

Musser noted that there will be eight different Straub beers, including the newest sangria for a tasting event and plenty of snacks. The event is free to the public. Persons must be over 21 to enjoy the tasting event. Water and soda will be provided for non-samplers.

The Winkler Gallery and Art Education Center is located at 36 N. Brady St. (second floor). The Winkler Gallery is a nonprofit gallery and education center that represents the artwork of the very best artists of the area. The hours of operation are Wednesday and Thursday from 12-6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. COVID-19 safety measures will be followed during all open hours.

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