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Jim Thorpe exhibits will be 'All About Color'

  • "Annunciation to a Young Women" by the late Japanese-born artist, Shozo Nagano.
    "Annunciation to a Young Women" by the late Japanese-born artist, Shozo Nagano.
Published June 14. 2010 05:00PM

A celebration of color will fill galleries around Jim Thorpe next weekend, with exhibits by a variety of artists. A map will be available for visitors at designated sites.

Three Mountains Gallery, 29 Race St., Jim Thorpe, will host an exhibit of recent etchings by artist David Price beginning Friday, June 18, from 6-10 p.m., and continuing Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20 from noon until 6 p.m. An opening reception will be held on Friday from 6-10 p.m.

In addition to Price's work, the gallery will feature an exhibit entitled "All About Color" featuring works of Pate-de-verre glass by Jayne Persico and Dody Ottaviani; as well as 22 works by the late Shozo Nagano, which were chosen from Price's private collection.

One of the most prolific artists of the last century, Nagano inspired much of the creative energy the town became known for during the past quarter century. Avoiding linear perspective with his shaped canvases, Nagano endowed his compositions with energy, using strong diagonals into which he floated "color."

Like the mountains around his Stone Row home, his work is about the architecture of the spectral anomaly. In his works, surface shine is renounced in favor of internal glow.

Creative artists have been drawn to the Jim Thorpe area long before the arrival of Nagano in 1979, says Edward Moran, administrator of the artist's estate.

The noted abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline grew up in nearby Lehighton, and social-realist photographer Walker Evans documented local Depression-era scenes during the 1930s.

In 1911, the British author Richard Le Gallienne published a memoir entitled October Vagabonds, in which he describes his fascination with Mauch Chunk, whence he had sojourned with a painter friend. In this century-old work, Le Gallienne writes:

"One place that seemed particularly to haunt him was Mauch Chunk. He had been there before, and as we had walked along, had often talked enthusiastically about it. 'Wait till we get to Mauch Chunk,' he said; 'then the real fun will begin.' And now, over and over again, he kept making pictures of Mauch Chunk, till I could have cried."

Le Gallienne and his friend would have undoubtedly been captivated by the pate-de-verre glass of Persico and Ottaviani. Their works are also about color that shines from within. Their organic forms seem poised between the real and the unreal.

Avoiding linear perspective has been the goal of another artist in Jim Thorpe's labyrinth of rivers, mountains, and underground streams. Stephanie Verme will show paintings at Moya, 24 Race St.

In her large canvases, whirlpools of rivers reflecting night sky colors distill something of the essence of this place and the mystery of a tiny valley.

The show at Sellers Books, 101 Broadway, is called the "Color of the Fin De Siècle."

On the surface, artists Randel Sellers and Dan Becker project childlike naïveté, but there is no innocence here.

Whether an abduction by aliens or esoteric rituals of the black arts brought two brothers from the realms of darkness together is not clear.

As the audience peers into the miniature world of Sellers' drawings and paintings, tiny idyllic islands wait to be swallowed up by the melancholy waste of the deep ocean.

Grizzly accoutrements of a brain surgeon of yesteryear, whose efforts despite good intentions are destined to fail, come to life in the work of Becker.

This collection of objet trouvés is not for the faint of heart. But if you remember liking wax museums as a child or wish to take a walk on the dark side, this is the place to visit.

The following galleries will also be participating in the weekend celebration of color:

• Artefino Gallery (570) 732-4444

• Black Diamond Gallery, The Color Of Ron Chupp's Black Diamonds, (570) 249-0814

• Dakota Ridge Gallery (570) 325-2082

• The Hazard House Gallery (570) 325-8778

• The Josiah White Exhibition Center (570) 325-5815

• Country Cottage, 37 Race St., will exhibit"Colors of Nature," photos by Patty Ruff (570) 325-3795 and (570) 325-3836

• Moya (570) 325-8530

• Rosemary Remembrances II, 10 Hill Rd., "Color me Love," a collection of cigar treasure boxes/assemblages by Marj. Reppert; (570) 325-4452

• Sellers Books & Fine Art (215) 514-6443

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