‘Monsters Under the Head’

Visitor's Bureau becomes gallery

Anyone stopping by the Williamsport Lycoming County Visitors Bureau by the end of December will get to view artwork by two local artists.

“Monsters Under the Head is the title of our joint exhibition,” Chasety Starr Orner said. “… It’s a mix of the beautiful and grotesque.”

Starr Orner’s pieces usually have a foundation in sociology, while the other artist, Kendra Billman, creates art often based in aspects of psychology, she said.

“The art that Chasety and I chose to display in this show consists of a common thread of dealing with both the personal monsters within and the monsters one battles on a daily basis,” Billman said.

Starr Orner wanted to use the visitors bureau as a gallery because it supports local activities.

“I hope it’s something that can continue so people know it as a place to stop in (to see artwork),” she said. “It’s a beautiful space. There’s a lot of potential to be had.”

Many places downtown have stopped having displays inside their businesses, so artists have to show outside in the summer months during First Friday. By continuing to use the visitors bureau, it could be a place for local artists to establish themselves, Starr Orner said.

“Williamsport is full of wonderful local artists and we should have places to display our works of art,” Billman said. “Every artist has a voice that they express through their chosen medium. For me, art is an expression of my soul. Creating allows me to capture reality, mixing it with how I feel and how I view the world around me. Supporting local artists cultivates a stronger connection with our community.”

That connection is possible because viewing art is like getting to know someone, she said.

“If you walk by you get a glimpse of the surface,” Billman said. “But if you care to come closer you start to see that simple creature is more complex. I hope that this show makes others feel a connection in a way that they can know they aren’t alone. We all battle monsters in some form, so I believe that many people can relate.”

The artists used a variety of mediums to convey their messages to the viewers.

Starr Orner used black and white graphite, charcoals and ink. She branched out into mixed media with water colors and colored pencils to get effects.

“In my pieces watercolors are so free flowing and expressing you can’t control them just like you can’t control the emotions behind the pieces.” Starr Orner said. “For the graphite and ink there’s something really interesting to me to have black and white artwork and the grayscales. It sounds simple, but it allows the viewer to get more insight without distraction. We tend to think of things as emotions and black and white or grayscale. I really enjoy the effects it made.”

Billman experimented painting with watercolor, coffee, wine and ash for the show.

“I added in elements of gold leaf and even burned the paper,” she said. “I chose these particular mediums because it expressed the raw emotions pertaining to my series.”

The show will be on display till the end of December at the Williamsport Visitor’s Bureau, 102 W. Fourth St.