Reading Eagle Article:
Art review: The harsh, rustic beauty of Jonathan Bond

Walk In Art Center launches initial invitational presentation

BY AMY MARCHIANO- Republican Herald
Published: March 2, 2015

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — An artist from Kempton whose work is on display at the Walk In Art Center wants people to realize how enriching art can be.
Jonathan Bond, 59, who was invited to display his art at the center, 110 W. Columbia St., said sometimes people do not grasp the essence of life around them. -- READ FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE


Reading Eagle Article:
From his perch in Albany Township, Jon Bond has the mountains as his muse


Bond Art wins “BEST IN SHOW” at Audubon Center

Jonathan Bond's original oil painting titled “Scattered” was recently awarded top honors at the John James Audubon Center at Millgrove. Bond was recognized with the Terry Lipton Best in Show Award at the 8th Annual Drawn From Nature Show held at the Audubon home site in Lower Providence Township near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Bond’s oil on wood panel featured a striking view of scattered pine cones and leaves, symbolizing many of the people Bond has known in his life. The horizontal format of the art also lent itself to the theme of a timeline and the transience of life and nature. Bond will be exhibiting the painting with more than 35 new works at the upcoming Hawk Mountain Arts Tour on June 1 and Berks County’s Best Kept Secrets Tour from June 14 – June 29. The painting will then travel with other Bond originals for an upcoming exhibition at Utopic Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.

Tour goers can visit Bond’s gallery at 59 Kempton Rd., Kempton during both local tours or by appointment. Mr. Bond can also be contacted via email at or by phone at 610-756-4490. Additional information is available at Visit and for more details about the respective tours.




ABRAHAM LINCOLN Subject of Kempton Artist's Exhibit-

Love him or hate him, one cannot dismiss Abraham Lincoln.

With all of the hoopla surrounding the former president, including the Steven Spielberg film and this year’s 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and Emancipation Proclamation, Kempton artist Jonathan Bond is likewise drawing attention to Honest Abe with an exhibit of more than 30 original oil paintings honoring Lincoln.

Bond’s exhibit will run from Feb. 16-17 at his Kempton gallery to coincide with Presidents Day weekend.

as seen in the Hamburg Item - READ MORE
as seen in the Reading Eagle- READ MORE


2011 Hawk Mountain Arts Tour - New Works Unveiled!

Kempton artist Jonathan Bond will open his gallery to the public with a brand new collection
of original works of art. Bond’s exhibition will coincide with the 6th Annual Hawk Mountain Arts Tour and Sale on Saturday, June 4 from 10am until 4pm. - READ MORE


Jonathan Bond selected as winner in the Fast Lane Art Competition


Reading Eagle
Published: 8/15/2010
By Ron Schira
Reading Eagle Correspondent

VIEW LOCATIONS of all FastLane Winners Here:

Reading, PA -

Now in its third year, "Fast Lane Art" is a public art project in which six 40-foot billboards conveying artistic reproductions from the work of local artists are prominently displayed alongside our county roadways. Sponsored by the Berks Arts Council and made possible with materials, space and labor generously donated by Land Displays Advertising, the project is up and running and will at various times be relocated to different billboards over the next 12 months.

This is a juried exhibit. The council accepted submissions for consideration in a pre-designated format of 7 by 20 inches to match the larger scale when reproduced. A fee of $25 for the first entry and $10 for the second was required. Nonmembers paid $50, which also included the council's membership fee. The single juror for the event was Will Dexter, a talented, well-known glass sculptor and the owner of Taylor-Backes Studio in Boyertown.

All of the artworks were revealed at an Aug. 5 reception in the Yocum Institute for Arts Education and will be on display there through Friday. Comprising the work of five adults and one student, the chosen pieces occupy a wall of their own with numerous additional pieces by them and the other applicants scattered throughout the gallery.

The student winner was Blue Mountain Academy senior Kelsey Landa for "Life Is a Fantasy." Landa is a two-time recipient of this honor, showing her bug's eye view of a field of flowers rained upon by anime critters.

"Sold His Soul for a Cool Ride" by Tim Davies presents us with an apocalyptic view of a flaming skeletal hot rodder driving past a mound of skulls, while Jonathan C. Bond approaches us more quietly with "The Road to Kempton." In this image, a foreshortened view of a rabbit leaps its way down a country road.

Karen Wolf's "Greater Self" displays a male figure standing in silhouette against a mostly orange background with a much larger head-and-shoulders shadow of the same figure looming to the left. "Approaching Storm/Provo" by Daniel Gorman is a realistic rendition of a tropical beach scene, sailboats gently bobbing in the water, dark clouds menacing in the distance.

"The objective was not to pick work that was easy to digest, but to pick work that would be diverse and challenging to the average person who will drive by and see it," said Dexter. "This show is intended to educate and broaden the community that will support the arts."

I have to wonder, though, upon looking at these works on this scale, how they would appear at 14 feet tall and 40 feet wide, and whether a driver can see it all in a drive-by. Taking a real good, not to mention safe look for details at highway speeds may also take multiple viewings.

And with that in mind, I really enjoyed Peggy Blei Hracho's "Three Friends," a colorful image of three women smiling outward as they kidded around with each other and smirked comically at passers-by. Originally done as a quilt, the piece was simple and complete in one viewing. It has a great thready texture, and I had to smile just looking at it for the first time.

Aside from promoting the local art scene, the billboards have a secondary function. That is to bring pleasantry to driving that may at times be frustrating - while adding yet another reason why art is necessary in our lives.



Kempton inspired art exhibited at Hawk Mt. Art Tour

Berks Mont News
Published: Wednesday, June 03, 2009
By Lisa Mitchell; Item Staff

Kempton artist Jonathan Bond, 53, of Bond Customart, will be among the artists participating in the 2009 Hawk Mountain Art Tour & Sale, June 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Born in the Kempton area, Bond has resided since 2001 at 59 Kempton Road where he also operates his studio, Bond Customart.

Since his 1974 graduation from Kutztown Area High School, he began to pursue his artistic endeavors by forming his sign and art business, Bond Customart.

Throughout the years, Bond has worked in all aspects of the graphics business including sign painting, commercial design, computer graphics and all aspects of the fine arts including silk screening, painting, printing, lettering, mural painting and more.
"My art has served businesses, residences, religious institutions, and both public and private clients," he said.

His art is also in private collections all across the United States. He has participated in numerous juried art shows. In 1999, he self-published a hard-bound limited edition book "The Pinnacle Landscapes" which focused on a series of rural images created around the Kempton area with a focus on the Pinnacle, the most prominent geographical aspect of Berks County.

Bond only exhibits at a few select venues during the year, including the upcoming Kutztown Folk Festival.

"I am constantly inspired by the wonderful agrarian landscape of northern Berks County, the undulated hills and vales of Albany Township, the iconic farmsteads, sunsets, thunder-heads and entrancing views of the Kitattinny Ridge," said Bond. "I'm also inspired by artists as varied as Van Gogh, George Inness and Monet, but I reserve a special fondness for John Constable, the great English landscape artist of the 18th century."

Bond works predominantly in oils on canvas and wood panels.

For his latest collection of images, Bond sought inspiration from the simple and everyday parts of the local Pennsylvania landscape: stone walls and farm buildings, old wagons, outbuildings, decaying wood, wildlife, birdhouses and more; hence the Stone and Wood tagline for this exhibit to be held in conjunction with the 2009 Hawk Mountain Arts Tour.

"The exhibition can be construed as melancholy and wistful - indeed some of the images are downright sublime in their perceived simplicity," he said. "Many of the paintings have much deeper personal meanings for me including memories of kin, growing older and having children grow up and leave home. Several of the new paintings are my tip of the hat to artists Andrew Wyeth and John Constable, the writer John Updike and poet Robert Frost."

The 70 new works have been the product of his studio since October 2008.

Bond included a few landscapes of the Pinnacle in this show as well as some chick paintings in tribute to Berks County artist Ben Austrian. Many of the paintings are framed with unique one-of-a-kind frames he created in collaboration with Bailey Wood Products of Kempton.

"My goal is for the viewer to appreciate the common and ordinary - and in some cases to have a chuckle! I'm certain the paintings will evoke a variety of responses and feelings," he said.

This will be his third year participating in the Hawk Mountain Tour.

"I am proud to be surrounded by other outstanding artists and craftsmen who call Kempton home," said Bond. "This tour continues to grow in popularity, as visitors enjoy both the beauty of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the creativity of the artisans who inhabit this area."

This self-guided driving tour guarantees that all roads lead to the discovery of local artists and their art, including photography, carved totem poles, hand-crafted redware, folk art birds, quilts, landscape and wildlife paintings, cherrywood utensils, metalwork, woodcuts, and woven baskets and seats. Meet artists in their home or studio, or at their participating host location, which this year includes Kindred Spirits Farm, Hawk Mountain Bed & Breakfast and the Hawk Mountain Visitor Center.

Also visit Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop, one of the largest shops in the country to service the needs of the muzzle loading enthusiast. Owner Chuck Dixon is one of the few who still specializes in the making and repair of old guns.

The Albany Township Historical Society, which will be holding a bake sale, houses a museum and gift shop. For sale will be a copy of "Folk Art and Foodways of the Pennsylvania Dutch," a bound collection of paintings, food lore and seasonal recipes from Northern Berks County.

View a map of the Hawk Mountain Art Tour & Sale, held June 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., online at For more information, visit






Meet your neighbor: Jonathan Bond

Berks Mont News
Published: Thursday, August 04, 2005
By: Penny Hummel

Even as a youngster, Kempton resident Jonathan Bond showed artistic promise. He began drawing and painting when he was 3 or 4 years old.

On his first day of kindergarten, Bond drew on the chalk board without permission.
"It was either a pheasant or a horse," Bond said.

Many years later, Bond was talking with this former teacher who told him she knew from that day, Bond would grow up to be an artist.
And he has.

Bond went into business 32 years ago immediately after graduating from Kutztown Area High School, working in commercial art to pay the bills, and practicing his fine art for the pleasure of it.

"I just plugged away at the school of hard knocks," Bond said.

While he still does commercial art, he's been able to emphasize his fine art in this past decade.

Bond paints with oil on canvas, and specializes in landscapes and rural scenes. His art studio is filled with images of farm life and Kempton area scenery.

He works in his studio, but really looks forward to painting on location. He doesn't mind the elements, and can often be found painting out in the rain.

"I'll park under a tree," Bond said.

He likes painting outside because it helps him capture the mood of the setting.

"I think maybe there's a spirituality in the paintings," Bond said, explaining that he prefers calm and serene subjects, often with a solitary figure or animal. Many of his works show a pathway, which Bond believes symbolizes the journey we're all on.
He plans on being outside a lot more in the upcoming months, preparing for a show the weekend after Thanksgiving in his Kempton studio.

His studio could be considered a work of art itself.

"I had the idea for many many years and it finally came to fruition," Bond said.

The artist converted an old tobacco barn from Gap, Lancaster County, into his studio in 2003. The barn beams are evident through out the building, the floors were recycled from an old school, and the building features a second-story loft surrounded by a railing with leaves and vines intertwining the lower rails, crafted by local blacksmith David Fisher.

From the loft, visitors can view not only Bond's artwork, but also the landscape and Pinnacle that so often serves as Bond's inspiration.
Bond opens his studio twice a year for shows. He prefers showing his artwork there rather than travelling, because of the hassle and risk of damage involved with transporting his wares.

He does, however, show at the Kutztown Festival, and can often be found at work at his tent. This year, Bond sold 31 pieces at the festival.

"I'm happy when people take my work home and enjoy it," said the artist.

One way to enjoy Bond's work is through the book he published in 1999, The Pinnacle Landscapes, which features his paintings of the area. He used it as a form of promotion, but also as a snapshot in time of the Kempton area.

The book contains a map that shows exactly where Bond was when he painted the picture.
"It will be great many years from now when people can look at the book and see what has changed and what has remained the same," Bond said.

But Bond hopes that not many things change.

"Tourism can be really good for us, but we want to keep the area a secret," the artist said.

For now, Bond will keep on painting.

"I'll probably be painting until I can't anymore," he said.

First choice on Bond's paintings go to his wife, Kelly, and two sons Sam, 14 and Noel, 10.

When he's not painting, Bond is active in the New Bethel Union Church, Scouting, and the Albany Historical Society.




The Pinnacle of Natural Beauty

Reading Eagle Times, Lifestyle Section
Published: Saturday, October 02, 1999
By Bruce R. Posten