Knox Artist: ‘I Always Like to Put a Smile on Someone’s Face’

| February 11, 2018

KNOX, Pa. (EYT) – Paul LaPierre, Sr. enjoys art and creates his artwork combining woodwork and photography, mostly for his own pleasure.

(Photo: LaPierre and State Representative R. Lee James.)

He also recently won a People’s Choice Award for it at the Third Annual Nature Art Showcase held in the main lobby of the Barrow-Civic Theatre in downtown Franklin during the Franklin On Ice Festival.

“My wife Barbara passed away a few years ago, and I’ve had a little more time to do that kind of work,” La Pierre said.  “I’ve always had an interest in it all of my life, but I was always working or raising children or dealing with the family, and I didn’t have time to pursue that kind of art.  After my wife passed away, I started with some photography and progressed into the woodcarving and wood sculpturing.”

The Council on Greenways and Trails said that the top vote-getter as a multi-media art entry entitled “Into The Woods” was by LaPierre.  He utilized raw timber as a very tall frame to contain a clear-glass covered photograph he had taken of a summer woods scene at Camp Coffman. He received a pottery vase in a lily design provided courtesy of Campbell’s Pottery Store in Cambridge Springs.

“I mostly do it for my pleasure.  Occasionally someone will buy a piece here and there. A lot of times its for sale at the art shows to help raise money for the art organization. Most of the time, I just give it away. I have a piece on loan to the Barrow Civic Theater in Franklin.  I got second place for it last summer in Brookville at the Laurel Festival.”

“Into the Woods” is now on display in the office of State Representative R. Lee James. His intention is to leave that piece in different locations for about a month or so. He plans to approach State Representative Donna Oberlander and see if she would also like to have it.  Anyone can contact LaPierre if they would also like to display it.

“It’s a conversation piece at the very least.”

“That is my photo, and it was taken at Camp Coffman by the spring there. I varnished the tree and the piece is called ‘Into the Woods’ and that’s the framework itself; therefore I can change the picture with any season and still be with the same theme of ‘Into the Woods.’”

He lives in a small apartment in Knox and works on most of his pieces there.  Since it is small, that is one reason he likes to lend out his artwork.  He also has a workshop where he keeps his tools and is able to tinker. Weather permitting he likes to work outside.

In terms of photography, he has a General Electric camera, one of the first of his kind that he bought at a yard auction.

“Years later a person told me I was very lucky to find a General Electric camera, and it was one of the very good cameras that came out in the beginning of the digital age. It was small and compact and easy to use.”

He generally goes to Walmart to print to print the digital photos.

“Photography compositions are so hard, and I’m not a professional. A lot of times I found I was competing with professional photographers.  I’m just an amateur that enjoys it. I’ve had to learn the hard way.”

He enters a few of his pieces in shows through the area but avoids ones with registration fees.

“I have has some serious heart and health issues in the past and was kind of forced to take an early retirement, and this is one way of keeping occupied.  I don’t have to do it fulltime as a job, and I do it to keep my mind occupied and my skills up to par.  I was a welder and fabricator at my last job and worked on heavy trucks and making them into a working snowplow.”

He is content and satisfied with his work and that reflects his general philosophy.

“I try to live a good life and do right to people.  There are too many injustices in this world.  People get upset but cause more problems. I always like to put a smile on someone’s face.”

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