Wilkes University


Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University Features the Photography Exhibition Carbon from May 4 to July 16

"Carbon" features the work of Wilkes alumnus and Exeter native, Ray Klimek.

The role of carbon as a source of life and a form of waste is the focus of the exhibition "Carbon" at the Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University from May 4 to July 16. Shuttling between analog and digital images, "Carbon" traces the transformation of carbon as a ubiquitous elemental substance, evoking its ultimate origins and its more mundane uses.

The exhibition features the work of photographer and artist, Ray Klimek. Klimek is a 1978 graduate of Wilkes University earned his M.F.A. in photography from Rutgers University. Klimek is a native of Exeter, Pa., now living in New Jersey.

His images employ diverse mediums, including digital scans and unique carbon prints, to suggest a variety of forms and materials from landscapes to stars and abstractions. As the images move from macro to microcosm, they unsettle the viewers perceptions of depth and create an ambiguous sense of scale. Sections of the exhibition include:

  • carbon negatives exposed directly to sunlight;
  • images of the sun digitally enlarged as transparencies;
  • maps of Wyoming Valley culm banks next to images appropriated from Google Earth;
  • and scanned images of carbon paper that have been cropped to magnify the various folds and flaws of the paper, resembling stark landscapes or clouds depending on the brand and quality of the paper.

An online event celebrating the exhibition will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5. Klimek will discuss "Carbon" and his early work focusing on the industrial landscapes of Pennsylvania and South Wales. Advance registration is required by emailing Karley Stasko, gallery outreach coordinator, at karley.stasko@wilkes.edu.

Additional events in support of the exhibition will be at the gallery. All are free and open to the public.

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 13: Franz Kline Day pop-up event: On the birthday of renowned abstract expressionist painter and Wilkes-Barre native, Franz Kline, gallery staff will offer a free activity that combines Kline's painting style with Klimek's photography process. This is an outdoor event.
  • 12 noon on Tuesday, June 8: Art in Context film screening: "Remote Viewing:" Join Klimek for the Pennsylvania debut of his 32-minute video filmed in Mont Ventoux, France about the first mountain ever climbed for the sake of the view. The film was previously accepted into the Athens International Film and Video Festival in Ohio. Seats are limited and advance registration is required by emailing karley.stasko@wilkes.edu.
  • 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 26: Art in Your Hands Workshop: Carbon Zen Garden: Inspired by the dark enchantment of mining-scapes in northeast Pennsylvania and abroad, Klimek highlights the mysterious beauty of dark topography. Join gallery staff to create a carbon zen garden inspired by his work. Space is limited and advance registration is required by emailing karley.stasko@wilkes.edu to reserve a kit.
  • 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 16: Closing Reception: Refreshments will be served during a celebratory evening of Klimek's exhibition. This is an outdoor event.

The gallery will offer extended hours during the Fine Arts Fiesta held in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Visit www.wilkes.edu/sordoniartgallery for more information.

About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation's finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Brookings Institution ranked Wilkes 14th in the nation for middle-class mobility. In addition to 45 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master's degrees programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing.