West Reading Avenues Spring 2021 - 16

Arts & Culture in the Community

Painting the Town

Landscape Artist
Russell Slocum
Takes West Reading
to the Canvas

by Alicia Lee

14

Avenues Spring 2021

S

ince making a career shift to full-time artist in 2014, Russell Slocum
has painted some of the most scenic locations in the East, from the
coast of Maine to the mountains of North Carolina.

But in several respects, his most popular subject is West Reading's Penn
Avenue. The charm, character and activity of the small borough's business
district have been the subject of at least 15 of the artist's paintings, including
five of the Sixth and Penn intersection.
" I assumed the fourth time I painted that intersection would be the last,
that there was no other way to see it, " Russ recounts. " But then I looked
at it from a slightly different angle at a different time of day, and I got
pumped about doing it again. "
Sixth and Penn is also close to Russ's home away from home, Art Plus
Gallery, 604 Penn Avenue, where he has been co-director since 2015. As
a non-profit cooperative of two dozen local artists, the gallery stages a
number of art-related community events throughout the year, including
Plein Air West Reading. This annual art competition, which Russ and Art
Plus associate Karen Weber first organized in 2015, has grown to become
one of the region's most prominent art events, often attracting artists
from half a dozen other states.



West Reading Avenues Spring 2021

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