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‘Assemblages’ pop-up exhibit closes with art show reception

By Staff | Aug 2, 2019

Jim Swope, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, looks at art in the "Assemblages" pop-up art exhibit in Evolve on Friday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Although California-based artist Karen LeCocq couldn’t make it to her first art showing in Shepherdstown, about 30 of her friends and art admirers joined in an art show reception at Evolve on Friday night. The event also made sure to include LeCocq, by capturing photos and video footage of the event for her.

When Evolve was founded in the spring, its co-owners knew they wanted to bring in both local and national talent to set up pop-up shops in their store. And so co-owner Elise Baach contacted her friend, LeCocq, asking if she’d be interested in doing an exhibit at Evolve.

“It’s a good partnership,” Baach said of the 29-piece exhibit. “It’s time-consuming to fly out here, so we’re sending plenty of photos to Karen.”

Baach’s fellow co-owner, Jan Hafer, stood by the door welcoming guests and mingling in conversations about the artist.

“She’s pretty famous. Back in the ’70s, she was one of the first people chosen to create art with Absolute Vodka bottles,” Hafer said, mentioning the marketing campaign’s first artist was Andy Warhol. “People who were in marketing in New York City have come in here, because they’ve seen her sign of the Absolute Vodka in the window, and remembered it.”

From left, Shepherdstown residents Ellen Hoffman, Deb Tucker and Sue Kennedy enjoy wine and refreshments at the "Assemblages" art show reception at Evolve on Friday evening. Tabitha Johnston

Some attendees of the event had already viewed the exhibit during the month, but chose to return for the celebration.

“I like her work and bought a sculpture of hers. She’s got all these found objects and has then put them together in a fun way,” said Deb Tucker, of Shepherdstown. “This is a different type of exhibit than I’ve seen before. I came in when they first opened up — I looked at it and found a piece that spoke to me, which was one of the sculpture pebbles.”

According to Sue Kennedy, of Shepherdstown, the exhibit is one of a series that have impressed her.

“This is a treasure — they keep on changing out the art, and I love it,” Kennedy said, agreeing with Tucker that the changing exhibits may encourage more art appreciators to come to town. “My favorite piece is ‘David’s Poppies’ — it’s just so unusual.”

While LeCocq’s mixed media sculptures didn’t appeal to all attendees, the sculptures’ originality impressed party goers with her ability to express her emotions through her art.

“This lady certainly has a lot of imagination and energy,” said photographer Mark Muse, of Shepherdstown. “This stuff is very nice.”