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June 2018

Fred Rodger/ Mark Dennis Collaboration

“Saints You Might Need Someday, Some You Know, Some You Don’t”

Artist Statement

This body of work grew from my interest in art history, particularly the religious art of the Medieval and Renaissance time periods.  Essentially all art produced for public consumption focused on the characters and scenes from religious stories.  Many of the people living during that time were not literate, so the altarpieces and paintings served as educational tools to spread the word of God and stories associated with the important people who had a role in the Christian belief system.

After gathering books telling and depicting the stories of saints (and there were hundreds, if not thousands of them), I decided to re-visit the ‘Altarpiece Series’ that I done years ago.  But, this time with a new twist …………. “Saints You Might Need Someday, Some You Know, Some You Don’t”.  Of course, the figures in these works are born from my rather quirky imagination, but the stories that accompany the paintings are real.

Finally, it was my good fortune to meet artist/ sculptor Mark Dennis.  Mark is a very talented artist, and as you can see, shared my vision of what I was doing.  This series began 8 months ago.  I would research a saint, paint the picture, and pass it off to Mark for him to add his talent and imagination to create a frame for each piece.  So, what you see here is really the fusion of 2 artists’ off-beat imaginations and skill sets coming together as one. I hope you enjoy the exhibit and maybe learn something about some saints you may have never known.

Fred Rodger/ Biography

Fred, born in Aliquippa, PA, Fred grew up in Lititz and continued his education at West Chester University and graduated in 1970 with a degree in biology.  Teaching biology for a number of years, as well as coaching wrestling at Lampeter-Strasburg High, he decided to change his career following the death of his good friend, artist David Brumbach in 1992.  He enrolled at Millersville University as an art student where he received an art degree.  While at Millersville, Fred became quite interested in art history and now retired, he has been hosting trips to Florence, Italy since 2000.  He currently lives and works in his Strasburg studio along with his wife, artist Gina Martin and their cat, Bazzle.

Mark Dennis/ Biography

A Native of York County, now residing in Lancaster County, Mark has a Technical Theatre BA from Mansfield State College. He has worked for years as a sculptor in various mediums including stone, bronze, wood, and polymer clay which is the medium used in his book, the Human Figure in Clay. In addition, he continues to work in stage design, landscape design, and putter about in the wood shop or where ever his clients ask him to work.

   “Creating an effective sculpture is a combination of many elements. My passion is the study of classical art, anatomy, and movement in space; developing the use of tools and materials and practicing the process of sculpting which enables me to better convey my ideas. I strive to tell a story in each piece. Some pieces are for beauty, some are retelling of social history, some tell of my own metamorphosis, and some are just plain fun and quirky. These pieces with Fred fall into the ‘fun and quirky’ category.”