Art on the Trail, our celebration of artwork inspired by the LHT continues! We are thrilled to present inspiring contributions from local artists – professional and amateur, across various media, each creator taken with different scenes along our 22 miles of trail. Currently, we are accepting new pieces incorporating or inspired by Architecture along the trail. Keep creating, we can’t wait to see your work. And, be sure to check out previously featured artists in our gallery for inspiration.
Amy Kassler-Taub, courtesy of the artist
LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Amy: I’ve been creating since I was a toddler, when I covered a mirror with soapy handprints and declared it the “Museum for Children.” Through art, it’s possible for me to interpret and try to understand my surroundings, to really look at something and ask a bunch of questions. And it is an opportunity to be quietly expressive.
LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Amy: I have long loved and worked in watercolor. It is interesting to me how the choice of media can communicate the concept and sometimes take it to unexpected places. Materials are often chosen in context of their properties and the work itself, with multiple iterations until they both strike the tone I’m seeking. Besides watercolor, I use ink and pencil on paper, enjoy oils, and inappropriately use gesso in so many ways. Sometimes I’m bending wire, cutting wood, drilling stones, or fitting a single sheet of stainless steel into a bathroom floor. It’s the variations, reach, texture, light qualities, and feedback that appeal to me. And I am a nerd for how something is made or shaped.
LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Amy: Not all of my work, but nature is often a major influence and consideration, even when it’s not the subject.
LHT: What about the LHT inspires you? What are your favorite segments?
Amy: I love the diversity one can experience along any single trail. On an evening walk from Old Mill to Rosedale, I saw and felt creeks, meadows, forest, mist, and microclimates. The trails and farms are so alive as the seasons change: In the winter, I love to see the structure of the land. In the spring, the gradual layering of green tones and density is striking. My favorite spot is along Old Mill Road – it is always beautiful and surprising. There is a bit of elevation for a great vantage point, too. It is hard to choose one spot, though. As a family, we frequent the Watershed and Mercer Meadows, and “explore” smaller trails in between. These walks and wanderings have been a saving grace for three super energetic kids, and an incredible sensory experience for all of us. It also takes me home a bit to the land I loved as a child, so that’s special.
LHT: How did you discover the LHT?
Amy: Before we relocated from Philadelphia to Pennington, I had the pleasure of watching a meteor shower from a LHT trail. It was magical. I became totally enamored by the landscape of this region. I very much appreciate that the LHT is so comprehensive, accessible and connects communities. It is so apparent in the way the land is cared for, protected, managed, and valued by those who use it.
Meet Amy Kassler-Taub – a Pennington Borough architect and mother who has been creating since she was a toddler. Amy works across various media, with particular attention to texture, light, and construction, but she always comes back to watercolors.
LHT: Can you share a biography or Artist’s Statement?
Amy: I am a licensed architect and interior architect, wife and mother of three, living in Pennington Borough, and from the South where it’s all farms and flat. I typically work from the need to question, engage and discover. This has always been essential to my work, be it an architectural project, fabrication, installation, painting, or drawing. I often work through multiple processes and tangents, constantly revisiting and testing through material, texture, light, adding, removing, pausing. I have learned that this working process unlocks and fosters ideas, giving them form, place and specificity. And this can happen on the canvas, in a steel shop, in the field, or in a sketchbook.
“I often find the regional landscape moving, especially during the winter as the structure of the land is most exposed. This was inspired by walks and runs exploring Mercer Meadows-Rosedale, and the weighted clouds of winter,” courtesy of the artist
Old Mill Road, Late Fall, courtesy of the artist
Space by Landscape and Memory, courtesy of the artist
LHT: Do you have advice or messages for other artists (adults, kids, novices, pros) encouraging them to get outside and create art inspired by the LHT?
Amy: Someone taught me this, and I always shared it with my former students: Really look and try to use the drawing to sort it out. We had to draw a bicycle from memory, and then look at a photograph of one. My drawing was a total mess. However, it unlocked a whole world of information and inspiration for me, either to use, ignore, or reckon with. Maybe someone else will have some fun with it too. It can also be helpful to suspend notions of doing it right or wrong, good or bad, and just give things a try, feel it, and then try again.
Water and Sky, courtesy of the artist
People in the Woods, courtesy of the artist
Magnolia Grove, Greensboro, Al, Beaux Arts Watercolor, courtesy of the artist