BY TOM LAVIS
Whether it’s playing the piano, styling hair or painting, Mark Ed seems to be good with his hands.
The 55-year-old artist, who owns Studio, a beauty salon in the 8th Ward section of Johnstown, is mounting an exhibition at Art Works in Johnstown!
The exhibit, titled “Retrospective,” will debut with a free, opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the gallery, 413 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
The exhibition runs through Nov. 3.
“Art Works plays host to artists from all over the country, but we always enjoy featuring talented local artists, like Mark Ed,” said Theresa Gay Rohall, Art Works’ executive director. “His talents, from singing to painting, are loved within this community.”
“Retrospective” is an exhibition of 30 years of work featuring more than 200 pieces, including oil paintings, mixed media paintings, sculptures and more.
Ed said that it is the largest show ever of his work.
“This is something I have never done before and may never do it again,” he said.
Ed’s painting of the famed Russian composer Rachmaninoff’s “Moments Musicaux” will be the exhibit’s centerpiece.
The painting, which was used on the invitation for the show, has been an inspiration to the Johnstown artist.
Ed is a fan of Rachmaninoff, describing the Russian composer’s music as haunting and filled with impending doom.
“Rachmaninoff‘s classical music has an air of darkness and is extremely difficult to play,” Ed said.
Although an accomplished artist, Ed is probably best known as the music director at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, 1127 McKinley Ave. in the 8th Ward section of Johnstown.
“He truly is a multitalented artist,” Rohall said.
Ed particularly enjoys painting people because he is intrigued by the variety of figures and faces. But he also likes to take chances and explore other mediums.
“I have one piece made from a pair of old leather pants,” he said. “I disassembled them and used wire to sew them onto a sturdy backing.”
Ed is a graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School and the Philadelphia College of the Arts.
He returned to Johnstown in 1983 to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences.
Ed said he couldn’t be happier with the amount of exhibition space at Art Works.
“I love it,” Ed said. “There are galleries in New York City that would love to have this much room.”
Members of the Johnstown Concert Ballet will greet visitors to the reception dressed in costumes created by Ed.
“I would call them whimsical and controversial,” Ed said. “It’s like the pope meets the Native American Indian.”
Ed will attend the reception to discuss his work.
What: Artist Mark Ed’s “Retrospective.”
Where: Art Works in Johnstown! 413 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
When: Thursday through Nov. 3.
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