Supporting the arts is bedrock to our culture at York Traditions Bank. Local artists are small business owners and the arts create far-reaching economic impact throughout our community. We also feel privileged that these artists are our neighbors and friends.
When we built Traditions Center — our Administrative Headquarters — in 2013, we felt it was paramount to highlight and support unique artists who showcase what makes York a truly wonderful and unique place to live, work, and play.
In 2016, the Bank sponsored My York City Art Show and Sale where we discovered Rita Whitney’s “York YMCA.” We felt the piece was a perfect addition to our collection. This is her description of that work:
“I wanted to create a painting that highlights the beauty of a building in terms of its impact on the immediate community. The YMCA is a long-standing institution that is alive with purpose and general goodwill for the people of its community; a safety net for so many. I drive by this building every day on my commute home; it reminds me to stay grounded as I consider it to be one of the true cornerstones of our community.”
Whitney is a Fine Arts graduate of York College of Pennsylvania and was awarded the first Appell Arts Fellowship in 2012. She has attended intensive artist residencies including The Chautauqua Institute and the Vermont Studio Center. Through her work at Prime Art Supply, she has had the opportunity to teach art at the local Salvation Army, the York JCC, York Academy, and DreamWrights summer program.
Originally from Maryland, Whitney chose to stay in York because of the opportunities that were available for her in the fine arts field.
“No matter what your experience level or your goals as an artist, there are opportunities for you here in York,” said Whitney. “There are people who want you to succeed, and instead of a cut-throat competitive culture, we have a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ type of mentality.”
She’s worked at arts organizations such as Creative York (formerly York Arts), the Parliament Arts Organization, and is now the owner of Prime Art Supply located at 128 East King Street in downtown York, PA.
“Artists and arts organizations need the support of local businesses to help spread awareness of the importance of the arts,” said Whitney. “Artists will continue making their work no matter what, but a strong community with support from those outside of the arts can help bring creative ideas forward that can really help to bring change.”
We’re proud to support the creative community of local artists in York. You can explore Whitney’s newest works at her upcoming show at Marketview Arts, “Rita Whitney: Life Cycle — a journey of new works,” which opens Friday, January 5 and runs through the end of the month. More information is available via the Facebook event.