September art gallery features Eloise Piper

Returning to her artistic roots in Pittsburgh, Eloise Piper provides a 50-year retrospective of her works for the September art exhibit at Penn State New Kensington. “Retrospective” is a multimedia exhibit that features original works, including those that have never been displayed to the public before, as well as digital and video presentations highlighting major themes and a series produced over the nearly six decades of her career as artist, author and educator.

As an artist, Piper has exhibited in solo and group shows across the country and has garnered numerous awards. The Carnegie Museum of Art, Baltimore's Contemporary (also known as the “museum without walls”), Yellow Door Gallery in New York and Los Angeles Art Association previously hosted Piper’s works. As an author, she has written and illustrated seven books, including “Sewing and Sculpting Dolls,” and “Batik for Artists and Quilters.” As an educator, Piper has taught art in public schools and developed and supervised the art curriculum for Pittsburgh’s pre-primary program. In addition to teaching at the grade-school level, she held adjunct positions at the University of San Diego and National (California) University.

“I utilize my formal training and a lifetime of experience to express my vision of the world around me,” said Piper, a San Diego resident who was raised in Pittsburgh. “I do not strive for a particular style, for I believe true style is the outcome of an artist’s inherent personality combined with the individual’s unique creative process and the materials on hand. I do aim for a keen observation and authentic response to the subjects I paint.”

Permanent collections of her works can be found in business and residential collections throughout the world. Companies such as Westinghouse, Alcoa and Pittsburgh Plate Glass, as well as the Library of Congress, are home for many of her pieces.

A product of Aspinwall High School, Piper earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in art education from the University of Pittsburgh. She was an active member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and exhibited in many shows in the western Pennsylvania.

While living in Pittsburgh through 1983, Piper developed an interest in batik painting, which is believed to have originated centuries ago in Java, Indonesia, and has since gained popularity in Europe and the United States. A highly accomplished art medium, batik painting is a combination of painting and dyeing. A batik is usually produced using the tjanting technique, which involves outlining the designs with a tjanting, a metal pen tool filled with hot wax. The cloth is submerged in a dye and the process of the waxing and dyeing continues until the desired result is obtained. Piper is known for her large, intricate batik paintings for which she received numerous awards, including first place at the National Crafts Council Exhibit and Best of Show Award at Carnegie Museum of Art.

The exhibit runs for four weeks, Sept. 2 to 28, with an artist’s reception slated from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in the campus art gallery, located at 3550 17th St. Road in Upper Burrell, Pa. The exhibit and reception are free to the public. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. weekends.

Monthly art exhibits
The monthly exhibits at the Penn State New Kensington Art Gallery have been finalized for 2013-14. After Eloise Piper in September, the fall series continues in October with “Mean Girls,” a traveling exhibition. November features the art works of Bill DeBernardi, and the 2013 series concludes in December with the annual display by the East Suburban Artists' Association.

The spring semester exhibits include Megan Cohen in January and Chuck Carr in February, Alle-Kiski Arts Consortium in March and Penn State students in April. The series concludes in May with "Paintings," the annual showing of selected works of Bud Gibbons, professor of visual arts at the New Kensington campus. All exhibits are free to the public.

The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. weekends. For more information, call 724-334-6032.

For information on the current monthly exhibit, call 724-334-6004 or visit

For more information about the artist, visit


Media Contacts: 

Bill Woodard

Work Phone: 
Home Phone: 
Cell Phone: 

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated August 28, 2013