"Ekstasis" by Freiman Stolzfus Lancaster County artist shows sculptured works
Jan. 13, 2011
LANCASTER – “Ekstasis,” is an exhibit of small sculptures in clay and plaster by Lancaster County native Freiman Stoltzfus. The works can be seen at the Art Space Jan. 31-Feb. 24 in the East Building on the Lancaster Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike.
An artist’s reception will be held 5-7 p.m. on opening day.
Stoltzfus’ collection came about when the artist first saw Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Baroque-style “Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” while visiting Rome. “The visceral experience of seeing the sculpture and making sketches in the quiet church was a seminal moment for me,” Stoltzfus said.
“I began to envision a contemporary expression of ecstasy, by sketching people I encountered on the New York City subway. This led to the idea of sculpting torsos in clay. The concept of ecstasy is rich with narrative possibilities. In a materialistic world, my vision of ecstasy is expressed in individual raised faces, arrested in private and collective transcendence.”
 Stoltzfus, who now resides in New York, is the youngest of six children in an Amish-Mennonite family. From an early age, his artistic ability was recognized and encouraged, and he began depicting the people and landscapes of the Amish community.
Gloria Mast, an art history instructor at HACC-Lancaster Campus, met Stoltzfus through their common Amish-Mennonite background. “Freiman’s art now comes as a response to moving to New York,” Mast said. “It is a reaction to the diversity and difference between urban and rural life.”
Stoltzfus has illustrated and published four books, and has designed posters for the Sylvan Opera Company of Philadelphia and for the Oratorio Society of New York. His work is in private and corporate collections in the United States and abroad.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Art Space hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday.
For more information contact Judith Johnson, art show coordinator and humanities instructor, at 358-2201 or e-mail jcjohnso@hacc.edu.
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