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'Capturing Realism' exhibit features local and international artists
Posted 06/12/2017 01:51PM

Phil Kidd of Bear Creek, Sharon Hourigan of Mountain Top, and Helen Crispino of Dalton will be among 50 international artists featured when the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery at Misericordia University presents, "Capturing Realism 2017," from July 8 through Aug. 26.

The biennial exhibit presents works by instructors, alumni and apprentices of the internationally renowned Ani Art Academies and acclaimed modern master Anthony J. Waichulis. The Ani Art Academies trains artists that are responsible for some of the most breathtaking realist drawings and paintings of today.

The installation opens with a Meet-the-Artists Reception on Saturday, July 8 from 5-7 p.m. The Pauly Friedman Art Gallery is closed Mondays and for all university holidays. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please log on to or contact Dona Posatko, gallery director, at (570) 674-6250.

The juried show features selected art from the Ani Art Academies Waichulis, Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County; Ani Art Academies Anguilla (on the Caribbean island of Anguilla); Ani Art Academies Dominicana (on the north coast of the island of the Dominican Republic); Ani Art Academy America (on the banks of the Navesink River in Red Bank, New Jersey), and Ani Art Academy Thailand (on the Koh Yoi Noi island off the Andaman peninsula).

The biennial exhibition began in 1998. It returns to Misericordia every two years to offer a select expose of realist endeavors, including still life, Trompe - L'oeil, landscape, portrait, and figure renderings in graphite, charcoal and oil. The pieces are often so realistic they are erroneously mistaken for photographs.

The Nanticoke native established Waichulis Studio in 1998. In 2010, he was approached by Tim Reynolds, a passionate artist, and co-founder of a Wall Street trading firm and founder of The Tim Reynolds Foundation, to establish a training program to give aspiring artists around the world artistic direction. The name 'Ani' was chosen to represent the undertaking, as it is a play on the Swahili word "Andjani," meaning the road or path ahead. Inspired by Reynold's vision, The Waichulis Studio merged with The Ani Art Academies project to create the new entity, The Ani Art Academy Waichulis – the first of six academy sites.

The Ani Art Academies has expanded within the U.S. and to Asia and the Caribbean. It trains artists that are responsible for some of the most breathtaking realist drawings and paintings of today. Works by apprentices at Ani Art Academies have been on exhibit at galleries around the world, appear regularly in top national publications, and regularly receive accolades and awards.

In addition to Waichulis, Kidd, Hourigan and Crispino, the apprentices from Pennsylvania whose works will be on display include Jason Brady, Dallas; Omar Rodriguez, Jr., Scranton; Terese Rogers, Wilkes-Barre; Leah Waichulis, Pringle; Victoria Steel, Ashley; Chelsea Herron, Wyoming; Edward Dillon, Nanticoke; Joseph Dillon, Nanticoke; Deborah Lloyd, Kingston, and Jason Davenport, Jim Thorpe.

Apprentices from across the United States include Timothy W. Jahn, Piscataway, New Jersey; Rodney O'Dell Davis, Orlando, Florida; Dan Christian, Casper, Wyoming; Andrea Bills and Rachael Bills, Millioke, Wisconsin; Charles King, Franklin, Ohio; Alex Jove, St. Louis, Missouri; Ricardo Martinez, Jersey City, New Jersey, and Kevin A. Moore, Bridgewater, New Jersey.

The artists from the Academies Dominicana include Ana Luisa de la Cruz, Berlyn Reyes Gonzales, Domingo Antonio Rosario, Doris Figueroa, Felix Esteban Rosario, Fraelo Lantigua Garcia, Gina M. Candelario, Melvin Alcequiez Morales, Patricia-Alonzo Diaz, Roneidy Caraballo Bonilla, Saul Martinez Rodriguez, Victor Manuel Peña Chavez and Welinton Medina Lopez.

From Ani Art Academies Anguilla, the artists include Carmel Gumbs, Dexter Welcome, Elizardo Mojica and Gineece Gumbs will be represented, as will Alejandro Queris Calderon, Jettana Yamter and Nakorn Sriphet from Ani Art Academy Thailand.

In addition, Ani Art Academies Long Distance Apprentices and Affiliates that will be participating at the show are Bonnie Evans, Kingston; Bailey Piechota, Dupont; Damon Davis, Frackville; Barbara Fox, Little Valley, New York; Deborah Kommalan, Pasadena, Maryland; Beverly Bunker, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, and Alicia Andrea Mino Gonzalez, Santiago, Chile.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit For more information regarding the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery and upcoming exhibits, please log on to or call (570) 674-6250.