HARLEYSVILLE PA – Spring-time fraktur art tulips may be just the medicine to dispel the cold of winter, the Mennonite Heritage Center suggests.
The center, which “tells the story of Mennonite faith and life in eastern Pennsylvania,” will host a “Tulips in Winter” fraktur workshop on Saturday (Jan. 13, 2024). The class, taught by Emily Smucker-Beidler, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon in the center’s facility at 565 Yoder Rd., Th session costs $65, and students may bring their own watercolors or buy a fraktur watercolor set on site for $20.
Seating in the workshop is limited. Advance registration, available online, is requested.
Created by the Pennsylvania Germans
Fraktur “was created by Pennsylvania Germans during the 18th through the mid-19th centuries,” the center website explains. It features calligraphic text decorated with colorful birds, hearts and flowers. The tradition has its roots in the illuminated manuscripts of medieval Europe, but evolved into a distinctive part of the local Pennsylvania German culture.
Those who appreciate this colorful folk art enjoy drawing their own fraktur designs, based on the work of the early fraktur artists. Workshop participants will start with their choice of a tulip template. Smucker-Beidler will then demonstrate how Fraktur artists used pattern and color, so the learners can create a small, finished piece in their own individual styles.
Smucker-Beidler welcomes artists of all ages and ability levels to the workshop. She has been creating fraktur since age 16, after learning from Roma Ruth, a well-respected fraktur artist from Montgomery County.
Smucker-Beidler earned her degrees, including a master’s, in art education and has pursued a 31-year career in teaching art with passion while also continuing to create custom fraktur for hundreds of clients. “She brings experience and enthusiasm for teaching to her Fraktur workshops,” the center added.
Fraktur art example provided to Travels With The Post by the Mennonite Heritage Center