August 21, 2019 — The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will host an exhibit this fall that has a special meaning to some members of the school’s faculty. “Myron Barnstone: Master Student, Teacher and Artist,” running September 6 through October 19, is an immersive journey inside the work of a complicated, many-faceted man who surrendered a promising career as a distinguished painter to devote his life to teaching the next generation of artists. The opening reception is Friday, September 6, from 6-8 p.m. in the school’s Corpora Gallery, located at 321 E 3rd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015.
During the 35 years Myron Barnstone taught at Barnstone Studios in Coplay, both Charter Arts’ Director of Visual Arts, Lorie Reinhard, and faculty member, Roger Brinker were exceptional students.
“Myron taught us true respect for the artistic tradition,” Reinhard said. She and Brinker traveled to Barnstone Studios’ new location in Thurmont, Maryland recently to select the original works for the Charter Arts exhibit. “It’s an opportunity for our students to see our influence; somebody who’s made an impact on our experience, and also an opportunity for students to see how Myron went about his work.”
In 1967, the late Myron Barnstone was the toast of Paris. “The Survivors” exhibit, with his passionate and haunting anti-war paintings and drawings, was extended several weeks at the Catacombs of the American Church in Paris. A classically trained artist himself, Barnstone first studied at the Boston School of Art and then the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Cambridge in England. He was growing increasingly frustrated that contemporary art schools abandoned the disciplined instruction of geometric design dubbed The Golden Section in favor of “what felt good.”
Despite his early acclaim, Barnstone made the decision to stop painting, and teach others the tools and techniques that were the foundation of his own success. Because he never wanted his work to unduly influence his students’ artistic vision, Barnstone burned hundreds of his own pieces, and locked away another 500. His work would remain hidden, packed in crates until after his death in 2016 at the age of 83.
For the two months the exhibit will be on display in the schools’ gallery, Brinker plans to have classes spend time sketching Barnstone’s work, and analyzing his use of the Fletcher color control system and the Golden Section, the precise geometric discipline used in fine art and architecture since ancient Egyptian times.
“Very often students think they have to come up with a brand new idea to make an image that is useful,” Brinker said. “What we can show students with Myron’s exhibit is it’s not about coming up with a better idea — it’s about seeing an idea and examining it in many different ways.”
For several of the 38 original Barnstone works on display, Brinker, who curated the exhibit, posts preliminary sketches in various stages of detail next to the completed painting to effectively illustrate the evolution of great art.
Brinker even did exhaustive research to trace Barnstone’s art lineage directly back to such classical masters as da Vinci, Raphael and Botticelli. He organized the information on a detailed chart that spans a four-foot poster and includes hundreds of artistic luminaries. Charter Arts students are thrilled, Brinker said, to realize the chart represents their artistic heritage, too.
“Myron Barnstone: Master Student, Teacher and Artist” includes some paintings, drawings and sketches that have never before been publicly viewed.
Many Barnstone pieces to be displayed will be available for sale through Charter Arts. Charter Arts will receive 40% commission of sales.
Barnstone Studios at 202 A East Main Street, Thurmont, Maryland, is dedicated to fostering an appreciation of fine art, and helping to make art education accessible to all who desire to develop their talent and enrich their lives. Additional information about Barnstone Method classes, private coaching from Barnstone Master Guides, original works or limited edition prints and other related products are available online at BarnstoneStudios.com, or by calling 301.788.6241.
ABOUT THE LEHIGH VALLEY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS (Charter Arts):
Charter Arts, opened in 2003, is an audition-based public charter school that provides a comprehensive curriculum for high school students, grades 9-12, who have a passion for the arts. Students major in one of seven artistic areas: dance, instrumental music, literary arts, production arts, theatre, visual art, or vocal music.
Charter Arts’ rigorous curriculum fosters both academic and artistic excellence for its students. The school’s impressive Future Ready PA Index ranking, Advanced Placement (AP) exam statistics, Keystone Exam statistics, SAT scores, prestigious artistic accolades, and graduation rate, are testaments to the outstanding education that Charter Arts provides.
Charter Arts is proud to celebrate its sixteenth year as one of the most respected high schools for the arts in the nation. Charter Arts was one of only 349 schools in the nation to be named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education and earned a Silver Award for its impressive ranking on U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools in America list. Recently, Charter Arts was listed as #1 Best Charter High School in Pennsylvania and #4 Best Public High School Teachers in Pennsylvania by Niche.
Charter Arts is located at 321 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem PA 18015. For more information, visit www.CharterArts.org.
Information & Image Provided By:
Manager of Public Relations and Media
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
321 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015