The whirlwind of movement can be captured in a matter of minutes for artist Karen Deutsch .
The Schlow Centre Region Library’s most recent art exhibit, “Line Dance: An Exhibit of Pen and Ink Drawings,” features Deutsch’s series of sketches, which portray the movement of dance through simple lines and strokes.
Deutsch said she draws simultaneously while she watches dancers in live performances and videos, only taking a few minutes on each piece, a technique known as gesture drawing.
“I like seeing how much movement that I can capture with the fewest amount of lines,” Deutsch said. “I started going to dance groups and rehearsals with my dance teacher, and I started drawing what I observed. I did it just for fun then.”
What was once just “for fun” is now its own gallery exhibit in the Schlow Library, 211 S. Allen St.
Gallery Coordinator Maria Burchill has been working at the library for 20 years and wrote in an email that the goal of the monthly exhibits is to “spur our patrons to pursue their own creative outlet.”
Burchill said the gallery sees about 398,000 visitors a year for a variety of shows.
“The art we show is similar to the books on our shelves,” Burchill wrote. “There will be something for everyone.”
The gallery displays the art in a simple and clean fashion, Deutsch said, which allows the art to speak for itself.
“It is nice to have [the drawings] all together,” she said. “You can walk around and have a quiet, meditative moment with them. It’s a nice setting.”
Along with the movement of the dancers, Deutsch also gets artistic inspiration from the music accompanying the performance.
“I’ve done hundreds, but not every time can you have one that has an impact,” she said. “Sometimes [the drawings] look like scribbles, which means I was immersed in the music and what I felt in that moment.”
A large portion of the drawings portrays modern dance, and sometimes solo dancers throughout different positions in their movement.
“It captures the movement and emotion of time –– this spontaneity can be lost when the artist spends hours composing and planning,” Burchill added. “Karen’s work succeeds in conveying the fluidity and emotion of the different dance styles she observed.”
In a press release from the library, Deutsch’s work is described as “suggestive in form…the lines travel across the page in various rhythms, criss-crossing and circling one another.”
Duetsch has a master’s degree in art education from Penn State, and her artwork has been displayed at the Schlow Library two times prior to the Line Dance exhibit.
The free exhibit is currently showing in the library’s Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery until Oct. 31.