Rachel Yoder, a PA Dutch folk artist with deep familial roots in the Oley Valley, will exhibit her work at Clay on Main’s gallery from January 27 to February 17. The opening, on Sunday, January 27 from 4-6pm, is free and open to the public. Viewers can expect to see brightly colored painting of abstracted figures and patterns derived from plants and animals in a bold graphic style, often painted on wood. Her work is focused on contemporary interpretations of fraktur style painting and portraits of der Belsnickel. She has exhibited at Tyler School of Art, Kutztown University and The Hex Factory gallery. Yoder explains, “Clay on Main is where I have always envisioned my work being able to shine; especially since my family is out of Oley, and it’s a very special and sacred place to me.”
Yoder earned a BS in Art Education from Tyler School of Art in 2011, then spent three years teaching art in Philadelphia before deciding to return to the Oley Valley where she has deep Pennsylvania Dutch roots in the Fisher and Deturk families. Besides being close to family, the area is also a rich source of inspiration for her artwork because of the palpable Pennsylvania Dutch culture and heritage of this area. This past spring, she also received her MFA in Communication Design from Kutztown University.
In addition to paintings and decorative objects, Yoder is also an author and illustrator; she has illustrated two bilingual children’s books. She both wrote and illustrated Penny Olive; Davey Applebutter was written by Douglas J. Madenford. Both books were written to engage young people and help preserve Pennsylvania Dutch culture. Yoder lives and works in Boyertown, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.