On the Hill Gallery

Published 3:10 pm Monday, November 4, 2019

Yorktown Arts Foundation serves local artists

By Cathy Welch


The Yorktown Arts Foundation’s On the Hill Gallery at 402 Main St. is true to its mission of promoting and supporting the arts through programs and other endeavors for the benefit of the York County area citizens.

Decorative artist and past president, Kathy Wahl, met artist Mike Kravchak, at the Foundation’s first Yorktown Art Stroll. He offered to help find and renovate a new gallery. With his background in construction, he joined friend Danny Pennington of DAP Construction to complete renovations on their current concessionaire leased from the National Park Service. The gallery opened in May 2014.

“Being here helped YAF and the gallery put our face forward,” Kravchak said. “I feel that local artists need a place to show their work.”

Kravchak shows his watercolor, acrylic and oils work including historical subjects, watermen’s boats and scenes from his travels at the gallery.

In addition to featuring local artists in a variety of mediums, On the Hill Gallery offers art instruction in their second-floor space.

“In early December we have one-day classes planned,” Wahl said. “We also have a watercolor series, mosaics and I teach some funky stuff.”

Former art teacher, Tenley Raithel, is working on a variety of children’s classes.

“One of our new classes was led by artist member, Debra Stipe, who taught 3- to 5-year-olds basic color wheel concepts,” Trichel-Beavers said. “They had a blast.”

The gallery’s summer camp of free art classes for children 3 to 15 starts in July and August.

The gallery holds a Veterans Show for active-duty military or veterans to show their work from Nov. 2 through 15. This year includes cash prizes in 2D, 3D and photography work.

Foundation members are eligible to display their artwork in the gallery’s themed, member show held in May and its Holiday Show from mid-November through Dec. 24. A show for York County student art runs from February through the end of March.

The weekend before Valentine’s Day, the gallery hosts its annual Jewelry Trunk Show followed by a solo art show featuring local artist, James Warwick Jones.

The Foundation’s current president, Lisa Trichel-Beavers, creates hand-built pottery using antique lace as texture — especially architectural tiles.

“I’d like to have the traffic that’s here, but real estate is limited,” she said of a future venue once their concessionaire lease ends in three years. “Where could we go that we as a nonprofit can afford?”

Why do these leaders in the local art community volunteer to promote local talent?

“I like the work,” Kravchak said. “It’s also the education part, especially for children. It’s important to stimulate their minds toward the arts and become more creative.”

When Kravchak travels, he sees beautiful, functional galleries and the activity going on with students.

“It helps the community as everybody comes together in this space and takes advantage of it,” he said.

He also appreciates fellow YAF members who work with the same intention to promote their mission. Concerning the gallery’s limitations in its current venue, he would like to see sponsors help them grow. YAF is unable to receive grants, as they are not ADA-compliant with their second-floor education space.

“Corporate sponsors could help us expand and develop what we’ve started,” he said.

“My motivation is education,” Trichel-Beavers said. “Educating the public is important so they can appreciate the work that goes into each piece.”

“What motivates me is supporting artists so they can make money doing their work,” Wahl said. “I want artists to be successful as we present their work in a pleasant setting where people can learn about it.”

For more information on On the Hill Gallery, call 369-1108 or visit www.onthehillgallery.com.