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Austintown photographer featured at Firebean Espresso
May 8, 2019

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Austintown photographer Elise McKeown Skolnick is the featured artist for May and June at Firebean Espresso in Sharon, Pennsylvania. She will have a number of her original works on display and for sale.

Skolnick's work has been accepted in national and local shows, including the Butler Museum of Art's Annual Area Artists Juried Show, the Hoyt Center for the Art's Regional Juried Show, and the YWCA's Annual Women's Artists: A Celebration, juried show.

Skolnick is originally from New York. She graduated from G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, New York, then went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies and theater from the State University of New York in Oswego. She moved to Austintown 24 years ago. As to her photography, she is self-taught.

"It's not my current career, though in the past I have taken photos to go with newspaper articles I have written as a freelance reporter," she said. "Currently, I am the director of communications for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation."

Skolnick said she chooses her subjects from anything that catches her eye. She has one piece in the present display in Sharon called "Solitude" which was done inside, but most of her works come from outdoors.

"I make photos of things that catch my eye and intrigue me," she said. "I often find inspiration in nature and geometric shapes. For example, one photo in this show called 'Circles' is concentric circles of water on a sidewalk with a leaf in the middle. I also frequently use photo editing software to manipulate my images, bringing out what drew me to make the photo in the first place."

The photos in the exhibit at Firebean Espresso are photos Skolnick made in the last couple of years. None of them have been exhibited in a solo show previously, though most have been accepted in juried shows. She has been entering juried shows since 2007.

"I have had photos accepted in quite a few every year," she said. "I have not won a lot of first place awards, but have earned quite a few others."

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