Photo of the artist, Louise Hutchings, in traditional dress at a local folk art exhibit.
Upcoming Exhibitions & Classes
Reading Berks Guild of Craftsman, Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival, Kutztown University, November 4-5th, 2017.
Mennonite Heritage Center Holiday Show, Opening Weekend, December 4-5th, continuing exhibition Dec. 3-30th.
About the Artist
Louise Hutchings is a Pennsylvania German fraktur artist based in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. She is a juried member of the Reading Berks Guild of Craftsman and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsman. Being of German ancestry, Louise grew up listening to her father banter back-and-forth with her aunts, uncles, grandparents and family friends in "Pennsylvania Dutch." Louise first began learning about fraktur after attending the Heemet Fescht at Kutztown University many years ago. Her father had seen fraktur as a boy and encouraged her to learn more about the artform.
Her fraktur is created using dip pens, brush and ink. It is brightly colored and contemporary. For her text, she chooses verses from the 18th and 19th century fraktur tradition that speak to her and express the passion, humor and deep religious convictions of the people at that time. Her text, written in "high German", is not a barrier to the viewer but a delightful design element that stands alone. Louise strives to preserve the cultural history of the Pennsylvania Germans by using the language of their time in her artwork. She uses religious symbolism (iconography) and verse in her work as a visual way to convey the strong values of the Pennsylvania Germans to a new generation unfamiliar with this art form.
Louise graduated from Kutztown University in 1992 with a BFA in communication design. As an art student she was introduced to calligraphy, decorative writing and the history of Pennsylvania Germans.