Breathtaking.

Awe-inspiring.

Captivating.

Those expressions have been used to describe the work of local artist Mary Kocher.

It's no wonder then, that family, friends and fans flocked to her most recent art show and book signing held recently in the lobby of the First Northern Bank & Trust in Palmerton.

Kocher's paintings can be found in many local homes and collections, with various paintings on display at the First Northern Bank & Trust in Palmerton and the Mauch Chunk Trust in Jim Thorpe.

In honor of the 2012 centennial of the founding of Palmerton, Kocher painted a montage of buildings and landmarks in Palmerton.

The history of Carbon County is revealed in Kocher's paintings, and for the first time, about 140 of her historic scenes have been collected and published in her book, titled "A Mary Kocher Retrospective 2012".

Anastasia Hinkle, of Palmerton, was all giddy after she obtained her copy, and remarked "it's once in a lifetime."

Kocher's daughter, Julie Kabay, of Center Valley, said she was proud to attend the function on her mother's behalf.

"I'm very proud of her accomplishments," Kabay said. "We always grew up with art, so I have a definite appreciation for art in my home and family."

Kabay added that it's nice for her mother to be able to enjoy the notoriety and fruits of her labor, and added "I couldn't be prouder."

Once she was able to find a spare moment, Kocher explained her works are a labor of love.

"I try to do my best," said Kocher, 91. "I always say if I wouldn't hang it on my wall, I wouldn't sell it."

Kocher explained the rationale for her decision to conduct the event at First Northern Bank & Trust.

"I'm indebted to this bank because they had the foresight of preserving history," she said. "Right here is where it all started."

To those who came out to support her, Kocher had nothing but heady praise to offer.

"I think so much of this town," she said. "I'm eternally grateful to these people; I do thank each and every one of them."