Past Exhibitions

2021

L’Esprit : Exploring Wit and Beauty in French Prints

Curated by Nancy Sojka

Celebrate the joys and foibles of French society and culture between 1830 and 1930, when Paris was the world capital of artistic creativity, innovation and opportunity. The daily life of people “from the city and country, rich and poor, famous and anonymous “grew to become a most popular subject. The exhibition is organized according to several major themes that dominate the museum’s holdings. These include depictions that glorify or ridicule the ever-present French State, landscapes of the monuments and street life found in big towns and cities, bucolic renditions of farm life, the adoration of beautiful women, the love of children and the fruitful relationship that arose between printmaking and literature. This exhibition of spectacular images in the KIA collection is assembled by guest curator Nancy Sojka, retired from the Detroit Institute of Arts as curator of prints and drawings. Among the artists on view are Honoré Daumier, Charles Méryon, Edgar Degas and Paul Gauguin.

Carbon by Ray Klimek

Wilkes graduate, Ray Klimek's Carbon work focuses on the industrial landscapes of Pennsylvania and employs shifts of scale to suggest landscape imagery buried within everyday objects. Inspired by the dark enchantment of mining-scapes in NEPA and abroad, Ray Klimek highlights the mysterious beauty of the dark topography. Part of the exhibition is CC, which is a series of scans of Carbon Paper blown up magnified and cropped to suggest landscapes in their own right.  

Brutal Beauty: The Transformation of Women through Mythology

Work by Martha Posner | Curated by Heather Sincavage


Brutal Beauty: The Transformation of Women in Mythology at the Sordoni Art Gallery is a midcareer retrospective of the interdisciplinary artist, Martha Posner. Martha Posner is a mixed media artist living and working in Martins Creek, PA. Examining themes of trauma and recovery through the lens of classic mythology, Posner’s large scale paintings and sculptures haunt the viewer with an unparalleled perspective on familiar folklore.

2020

Drawn to Abstraction: Prints from the 1960s and 70s

Organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

The mid- to late-20th century in america was a time of boundary testing and social critique. Artists, too, challenged accepted techniques and subject matter while critically examining the role of art in society. Abstract Expressionism--America's first home-grown, avant-garde movement--attempted to heal the traumas of post-war society, emerging from a sense that American society was losing touch with a spiritual core. Meanwhile, other artists, identified as "Minimalist," reacted by returning to push the boundaries of a reductive impulse initiated earlier in the century. Experimentation with placing the emphasis on the experience of the viewer led to Op Art. And Pop Artists spurned the earnest emotionality and phsychology alienation at the core of Abstract Expressionism.  

Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints

Curated by Nancy Crow

Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints, an exhibition focused on the art of quilt-making, presents seventeen works by seven fiber artists representing the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Curated by internationally renowned artist and teacher Nancy Crow, Material Pulses contributes to the dialogue of contemporary textile arts. Says Crow, “Material Pulses is the culmination of my mission to bring back the majesty, strength, and energy of textile works, particularly large quilts.” Crow has seen trends in the medium follow a track of smaller quilts in more neutral colors, and asked, why? The pull of quilting lies in its large, forceful presence and the freedom to use color joyously. Making a quilt is a physical activity, involving piecing parts on working spaces that can span entire walls. Material Pulses features quilts, mixed media, and installation works. Quilts as large as 101 inches high will be featured—a truly dramatic scale for an art form that is often relegated to its
functional qualities. The artists investigate color, pattern, and size through traditional and experimental quilt-making applications. The curator balances a focus on shapes with oversized works, exploring excellence in machine quilting and surface design.

2019

Two Presidents, One Photographer

The iconic photographs of Pete Souza are well known from his tenure as Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama. What most people don’t remember is that Souza, who was trained as a photojournalist, was also an Official White House Photographer for President Reagan. Souza was in his late 20’s, at the beginning of his career, when he joined the Reagan White House in 1983. More than 30 years later, Souza returned to the White House to join the Obama administration.

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Rust Belt Biennial

We are thrilled to host the first Rust Belt Biennial, a celebration of photography with work realized throughout the Rust Belt Region in all its manifestations. For our inaugural Biennial we are grateful to have Andrew L. Moore as competition juror.

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Lit by Lyn Godley

Artist Lyn Godley explores the relationship between art and technology in her exhibition, Lit. Inspired by the interaction of light with differing materials, Godley combines LEDs and fiber optics with photography to study the therapeutic applications of light, as well as both the emotional and physical impact light plays on viewers and consumers.

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Simply Picasso

The pop-up exhibition features a ceramic piece created by Pablo Picasso at the Madoura pottery studio in Vallauris, France. The piece will be on display and open to the public from 12 noon to 4 p.m. during the three-day exhibition.

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Member's Only Spotlight Lecture

The Sordoni Art Gallery will host a lecture for gallery members at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30. This members-only event will feature Garth Johnson, curator of ceramics at Everson Museum.  The lecture is preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. 

Individuals interested in becoming a member of the gallery may join in advance to attend the lecture. RSVP is required.

Contact Nicole Lewis at nicole.lewis1@wilkes.edu or (570) 408-5815 for membership information and reservations.

Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga

Japanese Woodcuts from the Syracuse University Art Collection

This exhibition draws from Syracuse University's collection of over 300 examples from this influential art movement. Masters of this medium are represented; this includes the work of Utamaro, Hokusai, Hiroshida, and Yoshida Hiroshi. The prints exemplify the soft painterly style that is synonymous with the Japanese woodcut, and they illustrate the wide range of subjects from courtesans to Kabuki theater and the Japanese landscape.

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Peasant War by Käthe Kollwitz

on loan from Dickinson College Trout Gallery

From 1903 to 1908, Käthe Kollwitz worked on the metal plates for Baurenkrieg / Peasant War, a series of etchings that represent the brutal treatment of peasants in sixteenth-century Germany, their rise to revolution and battle, and their subsequent humiliation and death.

Sacred Sisters by Holly Trostle Brigham 

Sacred Sisters is a collaboration between visual artist Holly Trostle Brigham and award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson. Brigham is a figurative painter whose work explores feminist narratives through paintings that are enriched by her research into the art, symbolism, and history of her subjects.

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2018

Loud Silence: Expressions of Activism

Curated by: Heather Sincavage

October 23 - December 16

Those who have been denied a voice are forced to scream the loudest. Loud Silence: Expressions of Activism calls on the viewer to examine their own blind-spots and understand perspectives they may have never considered, through art. The works featured demonstrate the unique perils of living while a woman, while of color, while indigenous, while LGBTQIA+, and while an immigrant. For centuries, artists have used the image of the body as an exploration of their humanity and that of their subjects. This exhibition explores artists who use the human figure or body as a means for activism.

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A Stirring Song Sung Heroic: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom

William Earle Williams

August 21 - October 7, 2018

A Stirring Song Sung Heroic is an exhibition of contemporary photographic works by William Earle Williams presented alongside related historic objects. Together, they depict the often invisible journey from slavery to freedom in the United States. The exhibition focuses on sites and historic events in the New World from 1619 to 1865 where Americans, black and white, determined the meaning of freedom.

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Solid Gone

Curated by Ben Woodeson

June 1 - July 1, 2018

"Life and energy; objects, concepts, narratives, things on the cusp of being or not-being... A vase placed too close to an edge, a delicate eco-system, an idea whose time has almost come. Things that burst with a literal or metaphorical energy, light of touch, or maybe things just waiting to die transience... Clinging on by your fingernails." -Ben Woodeson

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Selections from the Sordoni Collection of American Illustration and Comic Art

Norman Rockwell, J.C. Leyendecker, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Frank Schoonover, George Herriman, Milton Caniff, Charles Schulz, and more.

April 7 - May 20, 2018

From Disney to Playboy and billions of Sunday morning papers in between, the art of illustration is tightly ingrained in the American zeitgeist. Narrative illustration is unique in its ability to be harrowing, hilarious, or politically motivating, at times simultaneously. Though often used as advertisement, these works also stand alone as art in their own right.

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Angela Fraleigh

The Bones of Us Hunger for Nothing.

January 16 - March 2, 2018

In this exhibition, Angela Fraleigh reimagines the role of women as they have been depicted in art history, literature, and media. She reaches through the depths of centuries-old and often patriarchal tradition to breathe new agency into her female subjects. The grade scale works feature luxurious depth that makes them sometimes Edenic, sometimes mystical, but always breathtaking.

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2017

Andy Warhol

15 Minutes: From Image To Icon

October 6 - December 20

Pennsylvania artist, Andy Warhol, changed how we view art. Inspired by pop culture, Warhol’s imagery defined the new age of fine art and influenced society, to in turn, be a creator of pop culture. This exhibition examines the artist’s inspiration, process, and wide influence to both fine and commercial art.

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Mirandah Akeley & Corbett Fogue

This Too Shall Pass: Emerging Artist Biennial

MARCH 23 – MAY 21

This Too Shall Pass  focuses on artists whose body is an intrinsic part of their studio process.  Mirandah Akeley and Corbett Fogue consider the emotional significance of body function- a breath, a swallow, a spit.  As each artist performs their emotional self, the subtext explores absence, grief, and loss.  

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Lyndon Barrois Jr.

Of Color

MARCH 23 – MAY 21

A SIGNAL FOR PLAY (Francine J. Harris)
Afterward, you may remember the figures in Lyndon Barrois, Jr.’s “Of Color” emanating more color than they actually do. In their cutout, halftone resonance, the figures positioned in teams atop a gallery-installed asphalt basketball court, pulse a sunniness, a rosiness, a billowing blue. Partial adornments outfit those figures built of toner boxes in neat, asymmetric columns, and the ensembles vibrate diaphanously as modern totems, while the pale, white gallery walls recede into a wash of light.

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Lydia Panas

After Sargent

JANUARY 20 – MARCH 3

Award-winning photographer Lydia Panas explores vulnerability, tension and emotion within the classic but non-traditional portrait. Panas captures a revealing and compelling honesty through body language, facial expression and the model's relationship with space.

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2016

Ying Li

Geographies

October 25 – December 18

Geographies, an exhibition of paintings by Chinese-born Ying Li is more than images of landscapes and city scenes. This exhibition depicts the physical and metaphysical act of painting resulting in a thick and tactile surface vibrating with expression.

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Persistence: The Continuing Influence of Classical Myths

Classical Mythology

August 30 – October 12

Artists have found inspiration in Classical Mythology for hundreds of years. In Persistence: The Continuing Influence of Classical Myth, artists have tackled the universal tales- some using traditional imagery and others with a modern twist- but all find inspiration in the Classical narratives. Curator Stanley I Grand includes contemporary works that are easily timeless.

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Upstream & Down: The Susquehanna

Susquehanna River

JUNE 13 – AUGUST 13

A group exhibition of contemporary artists who have painted the Susquehanna River in all its many moods and seasons. The exhibition celebrates the river and reminds us of its fragility and the need to be wise stewards of this great resource. Artists include: Michael Allen, Ruth Bernard, Tom Dougherty, Rob Evans, Brian Keeler, William Kocher, Earl Lehman, Raoul Middleman, Peter Paone, Thomas Paquette, E. M. Saniga, George Sorrels, Robert Stark, Joseph Sweeney, John David Wissler, Mark Workman, and Scott Wright. Several of the artists have created works specifically for this exhibition.

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Jack Troy, Archie Johnson & Ruth Cohen

Feats of Six Hands

MARCH 29 –MAY 15

Jack Troy is a potter, teacher, and writer, from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where he taught at Juniata College for 39 years. His work has been exhibited widely and is included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery, Auckland (NZ) Museum of Art, Kalamazoo (Michigan) Institute of Art, and Alfred University. He received the 2012 National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Excellence in Teaching Award. He is the author of  Salt Glazed Ceramics  and  Woodfired Stoneware and Porcelain  and over 90 articles in ceramics publications. In addition he has published a book of poems,  Calling the Planet Home .

Archie Johnson is a retired architect who operates  Mud and Fire Potters  with his wife Ruth Cohen.  He describes his work as “architecturally influenced with an emphasis of pure form, and the creative fusion of traditional and contemporary forms...” Combining wheel-thrown with pure sculptural forms, he creates objects evidencing a dynamic tension between the functional and the formal. He is the recipient of two “best in show” awards at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

An educator and ceramicist,  Ruth Cohen  is now based in Little Meadows, PA, where she and her husband Archie Johnson run  Mud and Fire Potters , a studio and gallery. Her work reflects her philosophy that “art should surround us and be enmeshed in every day routines. Casual rituals, as sipping tea from a handcrafted bowl or mug, should promote self-reflection and feelings of peace and tranquility.” Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries in Northeastern Pennsylvania and New York.

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Baron Wolman

Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone

January 28 – March 16

Immortalized by writers, filmmakers, and musicians from Stephen King to Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, the cover of  Rolling Stone  magazine has embodied generations of popular culture. For artists, the cover is a coveted career achievement, and for many readers, it represents a fantasy realm of the rock-n-roll lifestyle. The exhibition  Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone explores how the lens of one artist’s camera captured and helped define one of the most important eras in rock-n-roll history.

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2015

David Mazure

New Mythologists: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse & The Little Mermaid

October 27 – December 12

New Mythologists: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a site-specific installation and performance that moves beyond memory, beyond recollection, to strive for new possibilities. What happens to this end-of-the-world myth when it fails to deliver what it has promised? Can we rearrange and repurpose it to suit the needs of the new millennium?  

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Blair Seitz

Aerial Perspectives    

September 10 - November 11  

Blair Seitz is the photographer of 22 books. His publications are numerous including "National Geographic Traveler," "Nation's Business," "New York Times Magazine" and "Endless Vacations." Book titles include Tapestry, PA from the Air, Philadelphia and its Countryside, Pittsburgh, Amish Ways, Gardens of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Yesterday and Today. He has also written a memoir of his years in Africa and Asia as a photojournalist.

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