Painting brings mom to tears


First Posted: 8/18/2014

When Kimberly Stack entered Sue Hand’s art studio this past Monday evening, she expected to view her daughter Victoria’s painting of New York City.

Instead, what she saw brought her to tears.

Victoria had surprised her mother with a huge portrait of her parents’ 1997 wedding, creating the portrait from six individual pictures.

Kimberly and Gary Stack, of Wyoming, were married in Newport, Rhode Island, at Astor’s Mansion Beachwood, complete with an elaborate chandelier, which Victoria beautifully captured. The building has since been demolished. A 16-year-old student at Scranton Prep, Victoria said the idea for the portrait came after seeing a picture of her parents’ wedding.

Victoria has been going to Hand’s Imagery studio in Dallas for the past 12 years and participated in a celebration exhibition of summer work done by Hand’s students. Victoria’s 14-year-old sister, Natasha, also had a work on display, having created a watercolor portrait featuring, crayons, marbles and jacks. Natasha has attended the studio for the past nine years and is also a student at Scranton Prep. Another Stack sister, Annabella, 12, has been a student of Hand’s for the past five years and entered a watercolor painting named “Veggie Table” in the exhibit. The table was a replica of a pool table, substituting pool balls for vegetables. The Wyoming Area Catholic student also displayed an acrylic reflection of the sun off of the ocean interpretation.

Caroline Majeski, of Plains, said the studio is a “great place to come” and that “Sue is a great example; she lets us come as we are.” When asked what she likes best about the studio, she said, “Sue is my favorite thing.” Majeski will become an assistant teacher at the studio this fall.

The 16-year-old has been going to the studio for the past eight years. She presented a watercolor rosebush painting and a colored pencil rosebush work. Majeski has been home-schooled since the fourth grade, along with her sisters, Katherine and Abigail. The girls’ mother, Sherry Majeski, teaches the siblings. Katherine, 10, has also studied with Hand for the past four years and 14-year-old Abigail will attend the studio in the fall.

Claire Sheen, 17, of Mountaintop, painted a portrait of her 19-year-old brother, Justin, using a dog cafe in Korea as the setting. Claire has attended the studio for the past six years and Justin is a former student, having studied for five years before leaving to pursue his studies in medicine.

Students Kelsey Monahan, of Wyoming, and Samantha Packer, of Pringle, also served as instructors for the younger children.

Hand and her husband, Joe, opened the studio in 1976. “Joe does the framing and I do the teaching,” Sue said. The summer studio was started in the 70s, she added. “It’s for the elite group of students who really love art and want to spend a lot of time on it. They take four or more courses with the summer session.”

Mike Hiscox, of Dallas, is Hand’s assistant teacher. He holds a Master’s degree in Art Education and started as Sue’s student when he was in middle school. Hiscox said the best thing about teaching at the studio is the “connections, the students themselves. I love working with them and seeing them grow.”

Nicole Delevan, of Forty Fort, also teaches at the studio and had her work on display.

Also participating in the exhibit were Emily Andrews, Bear Creek Township; Carolyn Kerkowski, Dallas; Rosemary Luksha, Larksville; Erica Thomas, Plymouth; Kira Zack, Dupont; Morgan Collura, Swoyersville; and Miranda Nardone, Johanna Kiska, and Allison Stallard, Shavertown.

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