Olszewski "Art of Miniatures" Event Held at Home Town Museum
Robert "Bob" Olszewski made a one-hour "Art of Miniatures" presentation on Saturday, 27 July 2013 in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. The event was coordinated between Olszewski Studios and the Historical Museum located on East 7th Avenue, Tarentum, PA. Over 140 former classmates of Bob, relatives, friends, and collectors of his art were on hand to hear the presentation. Those who have collected his art work had them signed by the world renown master miniature artist.
During his time in California, Bob thought often of his childhood days growing up in Birdville (now Natrona Heights). In his presentation, the 67 year old artist introduced a number of paintings, sculptures, and miniature art that reflected on childhood memories. He started the presentation with a painting "Portrait of My Father" that pictured his Dad, William Vance Olszewski, sitting on the front porch of his new home located on Burtner Road in Natrona Heights. He then showed and talked about the family's move from the half acre lot on Burtner Road to "downtown" Birdville into an apartment. Shortly after the move, William died at the age of 43. Olszewski also captured the downtown Birdville scene in a painting he called "On The Corner" which depicts his brother Ray and his friends "Vic" and "Joe" hanging out near the bowling alley. From there he captured a few scenes on canvas of Indiana, PA where he went to IUP from 1963 to 1968. These paintings depicted the busy city's railroad activity in two paintings called "At The Crossing," and "Flat Car with Convertible."
His presentation then moved to several paintings that he did of various California scenes which illustrated his experiences with light. Olszewski told the audience that all of his paintings are listed in the 1962-1973 Art Listingfound on the artist's website which his brother, Ray, built and maintains. Other art he created was papier mache sculptures one of which he showed titled "Up to the House Top." His next slide was that of a miniature room and a Doll House he built himself at 1/12th scale.
At this point he told his story of how he entered a painting of his in an art show in Las Vegas, NV and that it was stolen along with a stereo. He had to re-create an image of what was on the painting so the Las Vegas Police Department could try to find it. To no avail, the painting was never recovered, but, it showed Olszewski that he could create a much smaller version of the scene in less the time. This launched him into the miniature doll house market where he created 14 various figurines at 1/12th scale. This period of Olszewski art is called Pre-Goebel and the listing can be found by clicking here. Olszewski told the story of how he was contracted by the Goebel Company of Germany to create in miniature various figurative art which he did until 1994. He talked about his first piece called "Lady with an Urn". He then expanded the presentation to include: "Working in Scale," "The Discovery of Porcelain," "Displays Expanded the Market," "Museums Influences," "Can Film Scenes be Captured?," "Can a Sculpture Look Like a Painting?", "Functional Art," "Gallery of Light art,", and, his commented on his thoughts about his future.
He took a number of questions from the audience after his presentation and met with friends, relatives, collectors, and classmates many of which brought his art that they had previously purchased for him to sign. He signed his art for about 25 collectors until 5:00 pm.
Afterwards he was given a tour of the museum by the Museum's Curator, Jamie Stoner and her associate, Shawn. Dolly Mistrik, President of the Historical Society and Museum had one of her Olszewski art pieces signed by the artist. Acting on an idea of Vicki Burns, also of Natrona Heights and a Har-Brack Class of 1958 graduate, the Museum and Ray Olszewski arranged to establish a permanent exhibit of Olszewski's art. Ray arranged with the museum and made the donation of his person collection that includes 100 hundred pieces of Olszewski's art to include a painting, sculptures, and various figurative art work that he created over the past 40 years. The museum's website is: http://www.akvhs.org/.
Shown below are some of the attendees at the event.
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