This is a continuing column highlighting individuals, businesses and charities that work to better our community.
Edward Pluciennik is a self-taught artist best known for his depiction of local landscapes. After several years abroad, this lifelong resident, who works primarily out of his West Conshohocken studio, found inspiration in the beauty of his hometown and its residents. Select pieces are on display at ‘Feine (812 Fayette St) for a limited time. For more, check out @edwardpfineart on Instagram.
What motivated you to start painting? How long have you been an artist?
My Grandfather (also a lifelong resident) was a painter, and although he passed before I was born, I grew up admiring his work. One rainy winter day in the early 1990s, when I couldn’t do anything outside, I watched Bob Ross on PBS and had an epiphany moment. A few minutes later I was painting a landscape with paint for model airplanes; fortunately camouflage and landscapes use the same colors! The first few were rough, but inspiration persisted. Here I am, almost 25 years later, still going.
Why do you most often feature local landscapes in your work? Can you name some areas that you find most inspiring?
I love our region. After college and the military took me to far off places, I realized how fortunate we are to live among such varied backdrops. We are blessed with four distinct seasons, and with scenes such as cities, towns, mountains, forests, fields, or the sea all within an hour or two’s drive. Even our neighborhood is unique. We have a diverse landscape here just within the line of sight of our homes. Within a few minutes, I can be at a hilltop vista, watching wildlife and reflections on the river, or taking a stroll through the woods. Really, every little piece of open space, every stretch of water, every view that we have, makes a fitting muse.
How can local residents become more involved in the arts?
The first thing I tell people is that if you have a creative inkling, explore it! So many people don’t think they have the time or the talent. Many of our neighbors have fast-paced careers and social lives, but ones that may be devoid of the arts, which leads to a lack of confidence in creativity. The arts are a journey that can take you in directions you don’t expect. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t be shy about reaching out to other artists.
How can we bring more arts’ programming to the Conshohocken area?
The foundation is to have people that want to cultivate their creativity to build a community of arts among them. The next piece is to have institutions that celebrate creativity, with groups like the Conshohocken Art League, even local government and businesses. I think ‘Feine filled a gap in our community by being a pioneer business to showcase the arts and give us a place to hang out and build that network. With Conshohocken’s many restaurants, booming nightlife, and small businesses, we have tons of untapped potential to showcase the visual and performing arts.
Where can the community see your work?
I have some portfolio pieces on Instagram: @edwardpfineart, along with a collection of plein air landscapes at ‘Feine. You’d also be surprised how often you just might catch me out and about setting up my easel to paint. If you see me painting, you are more than welcome to join!