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Glen Campbell man’s talent leads to presidency of national artists’ group

February 21, 2012

This is AAPL President Larry Mallory’s “Hook Roller Included” watercolor painting of a rusted crane, which is part of his rusted equipment collection. (Photo by Dan Long/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

GLEN CAMPBELL — While this town of just over 300 people may not be listed among those sites for famous artists, Glen Campbell is the home of one local artist and retired teacher serving as president of a nationwide organization dedicated to advancing the cause of fine arts in America.

“I was reluctant to take the position,” said Larry Mallory, of Glen Campbell, who added that his biggest issue has always been the distance from Glen Campbell to New York City. But he realized being president of a prestigious art association is not something that happens every day, so he accepted.

Since 2009, Mallory has been president of the New York-based American Artists Professional League (AAPL), an organization that promotes traditional American art and protects artists’ interests.

The AAPL was formed in 1928, when a meeting was called by 15 members of the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Since its creation, the AAPL has made numerous improvements to the art scene in the United States, including seeing that all portraits paid for with taxpayers’ dollars are painted by American Artists; improving the chemical and physical purity of artists’ pigments; and establishing the U.S. Bureau of Standards original set of government-sponsored standards for artists’ colors.

The AAPL has also held a Grand National Exhibition for more than 70 years that attracts artists from all over the world to showcase their talents in oil, watermedia, sculpture, and pastel and graphics.

Mallory, a graduate of PAHS, has been drawing since a very young age.
“As a child, I always liked to draw animals, horses and things of that nature, but when I was in college, I learned that I liked everything: Drawing, watercolor, oils, graphics, print making and jewelry,” he said.
An IUP graduate who earned a degree in art education, Mallory admired many of his instructors at IUP, as he gives them credit for much of his artistic talent.

After graduation, Mallory worked as an art teacher at Moshannon Valley in grades K-6 until 2006, retiring after 34 years of teaching.

Mallory said it’s a challenge to describe what exactly inspires him as an artist.

“When you get into the aspect of aesthetics, how do you put into words what motivates a person?” he said. “How does one describe beauty, that which is striking, eye catching?”

Sometimes, Mallory sees an image in nature or on a street that catches his eye. He’ll then sketch the location, as he prefers not to draw from photographs.

“A lot of times, when I would go hunting, I would see places that I liked and enjoyed,” he said. “Then I would go back maybe on a Sunday afternoon and sketch it and draw it. So inspiration is always very personal.”

Mallory does cite inspiration from other artists works as well, most notably from shows he has judged.

He has judged six shows in Pennsylvania and three in New York, as well as fair shows in Ebensburg and Johnstown. In New York, he was a member of the the judges’ panel for a Salmagundi non-members show, as well as judging two AAPL shows.

Over the years, Mallory has competed in many shows and received numerous awards for his paintings.

His watercolor painting of a rusted steam shovel, titled “Retired Marion,” won him four awards from different shows, including the Terri & Bernice Seth Award at the Allied Artists’ show in Johnstown. And his “Hidden Away” oil painting of ducks swimming has won him six awards from various shows.

Arguably, Mallory’s finest work, “Times Past,” a drawing of a Bellefonte antique shop, has won him his most coveted award: The Newington Award in 2001.

“This sort of opened doors for me,” he said.

The Newington Award is the best painting in show of any medium at the AAPL Grand National Exhibition.

“Times Past,” stood out because it is a dry brush drawing, which made it black and white. Dry brush is a technique infrequently used by artists, as it is very time consuming.

“Times Past” took Mallory more than 1,000 hours to complete.

Mallory became a member of the AAPL in 1970 and became a board member after the attention he received from “Times Past.”

Having been a dedicated board member for many years and having gained some clout in the art community, Mallory was an ideal candidate for the AAPL presidency position when it opened up in 2009.

Serving as AAPL president is no easy task, as Mallory is in charge of establishing contracts for shows; finding locations; setting dates and times; conducting all aspects of board meetings; securing contracts with different organizations; general overview of finances; getting perspectives put together to advertise for shows; selecting judges for shows; and many other tasks.

Mallory gives credit to God for all he has accomplished.

“What talents and skills I posess, I’m really pretty much demanded to give that to God,” he said. “I don’t think anything can exist without him, be it tangible, palpable, thought or concept.”

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