New Kensington art gallery in July features two local artists

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. -- Wood inlays and blended colors accentuate the July art exhibit at Penn State New Kensington.

More than 75 pieces by local artists Ted Scanga and Patti Torok Giordano will be featured July 1 through 31 in the art gallery. Scanga, a longtime East Suburban Artist League (ESAL) member, works with intarsia (wood inlays), woodwork, multi-colored turned vases and paint. Giordano, also an ESAL member, works primarily in watercolor with earlier forays into pottery, acrylic painting and stained glass.

“I believe that science makes life better and that art makes life more enjoyable,” said Scanga, who retired in 1992 from Alcoa as a technical marketing manager. “My wish is that this show brings some enjoyment.”

Painting is a hobby for Scanga, who worked for Alcoa for 32 years. He uses photographs and his imagination as a basis for most of his paintings. In between painting periods, he indulges other art forms, especially woodwork.

“You will see oil paintings from the 1960's, acrylic paintings from the 1990's, intarsia from 2000, and acrylic and intarsia that are more recent,” Scanga said. “I make most of my frames which adds to the art forms.”

Scanga started painting in 1964 to get a break from the science aspect of his job. He added woodworking to his repertoire in the '80s and intarsia at the start of the millennium. Intarsia is his favorite medium. According to the artist, intarsia is using different woods to "paint" a picture that uses the wood colors to enhance the shapes.

“I have abstract intarsia, picture intarsia, full-form intarsia,” Scanga said. “Hopefully, the public will view my art and get some enjoyment out of seeing all the art forms displayed.”

As a bonus, Scanga’s exhibit will include art work by his granddaughter Molly Scanga, a junior at the University of North Carolina Ashville and his grandniece Carrie Scanga, an art professor at Bowdoin College in Maine. Carrie has exhibited in the United States and Europe.

Scanga displayed his work at the campus at ESAL’s annual show in December. He previously shared top-billing at the campus in 2003 and 2008, with his brother-in-law, John Pastorek.

“This show is a chance to display one of my favorite things to do,” said Scanga, who coordinated the ESAL exhibit. “Creating art and having fun in the process is one of the blessings that enhances my life.”

Giordano is a retired register nurse who lives in Lower Burrell, Pa. While raising a family, she took evening classes on various art media. In the early 1980s she became infatuated with watercolor and immersed herself in the art form, learning a variety of techniques during the ensuing years.

“I find that in art, aside from the physical part of actually using one's medium, there is a real spiritual feeling that accompanies one's work when immersed in a piece of art,” said Giordano, who was raised in New Kensington.

“My enjoyment of watercolor comes from the blending and intermingling of the color on the paper, many times giving you that 'ahh' feeling, and, of course, sometimes the 'oops' feeling," she added.

Giordano is active in the art community. She is a member of Monday Morning Artists, Pittsburgh Water Color Society, and past president of ESAL, where she is the program and workshop coordinator. She also serves as volunteer art coordinator for exhibits at the Peoples Library in New Kensington where artists exhibit throughout the year.

The exhibit is free to the public. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. weekends. The art gallery and the campus will be closed on Independence Day, Friday, July 4.

For more information, call 724-334-6032.

For photos of the exhibit (available beginning July 3), visit

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Last Updated June 25, 2014