Three Generation Art Show


OCEAN CITY — In the Upper Township home of painter Lance Balderson are cubist, abstract paintings with an architectural influence, black and white prints with a rock-like feel and a fiber arts sculpture made of chicken wire and ripped denim.

These different pieces were created by three generations: Balderson, his daughter, Jody Balderson Wiker, and her daughter, Maddelinde Wiker.

Their work will be exhibited together, for the first time, at the Ocean City Arts Center in January.

The exhibit is called “Layers — Three Generations,” and will run Jan. 5-31.

A public reception is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, at the Arts Center, located in the Community Center at 17th Street and Simpson Avenue.

Balderson is a painter, Balderson Wiker is a printmaker and Wiker is a sculptor.

Balderson grew up in Philadelphia, and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University’s school of architecture in 1966.

In 1964, Balderson was introduced to the art world on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

He entered the Ocean City Boardwalk Art Show that year and won best in show for his piece.

At that show, Jim Penland, the show’s founder, suggested Balderson quit his job as an architect to pursue art full time.

Today, Balderson has paintings in the Columbia University School of Law, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and a promised gift that will be part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

According to Balderson’s biography, his painting style includes layers of color and overlapping shapes and forms, although his more recent work is rooted in nature.

In the last year, his style has ranged from abstract work to incorporating more architectural influences, Balderson said.

The two younger generations grew up influenced by their predecessors’ art, but determined to find their own styles.

Balderson Wiker, of Medford Lakes, grew up surrounded with her father’s paintings.

“I just felt when I went to school I was not going to be a painter. I was not going to do what my dad does,” Balderson Wiker said.

She also attended Pennsylvania State University and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in printmaking and a minor in art history.

She also has a master’s degree in art education from Temple University. She has owned The Art Studio in Medford Lakes for 14 years and teaches children’s art classes.

As an undergraduate student, Balderson Wiker’s defiance led her to pursue interior design.

As a requirement for her major, she took a printmaking class.

“I was hooked,” she said. “I did lithography, printmaking, etching, the full gamut.”

When she discovered collagraphy, a printmaking process that uses a collage of materials on a printmaking plate, Balderson Wiker’s interest took off.

She said the technique combines a little bit of everything, including painting, drawing and collage.

Balderson Wiker works primarily in black and white prints.

“I love the challenge of coming up with a strong image, black, white, as well as the grays, the edge, positive, negative, even playing with the idea of space,” she said.

Today, her print images are based on nature photographs she has taken.

Some of her work just comes from the materials she has in front of her and what evolves on the printmaking plate.

In 1990, Balderson Wiker also won best in show at the Ocean City Boardwalk Art Show.

She and her father also exhibited together in a father/daughter show at the Ocean City Arts Center in 1990.

Today, Balderson Wiker lives in a log cabin in Medford Lakes, where art covers the walls.

“I always thought I’d live in a home with white walls with art everywhere, but just because we live in a log cabin — and my husband agrees — doesn’t mean we can’t have art everywhere,” Balderson Wiker said. “As tall as you can see, it’s everywhere.”

“My sister and I joke we’ll come home from school and there’ll be another painting in our room,” Wiker said.

Like her mother, Wiker said she wanted to find her own niche in the art world.

In high school, Wiker began doing sculpture and latched onto it.

She favors recycled materials and different textures in her work.

According to Wiker’s biography, her pieces often begin with a concept, but she allows the materials to shape the work.

Wiker’s awards include best in show at the 2013 Deborah Heart Art Challenge in Pemberton, an art excellence award at the Burlington County High School Art Exhibition in Marlton in 2012, and second place (2013, 2012, 2010) and third place (2011) at the Philadelphia Flower Show in the Youth Gardeners Pressed Flowers division.

For her sculpture pieces, Wiker has used fruits and vegetables to hand dye fabric, and cut about seven pairs of jeans into strips to feed the pieces through chicken wire.

“This is my first show, so I’m really excited for it,” Wiker said.

She said it was cool to be able to show her work with her family.

“Having shown with my dad, I’m getting back into it (exhibiting work). And now to have my daughter who’s just starting out, it’s very moving,” Balderson Wiker said.