Wilkes Rededicates Sordoni Art Gallery with Iconic Andy Warhol Exhibition

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“15 Minutes: From Image to Icon” includes renowned Warhol works featuring Marilyn Monroe, the Flowers and Campbell’s Soup

Wilkes University officially rededicates the Sordoni Art Gallery with a show featuring the works of famed Pennsylvania artist, Andy Warhol. “15 Minutes: From Image to Icon” is the first show in the gallery’s new location at 141 South Main Street. More than 80 pieces of Warhol’s work are included in the exhibition, which runs through Dec. 20.

The $3 million, 7,000-square-foot facility is a culmination of a gallery revitalization plan to enrich the arts for students, faculty and staff while contributing to cultural life in the local community. More than double the size of the former gallery, the new space is outfitted for high-end national art exhibits and includes versatile opportunities for teaching and learning. Moveable walls allow the space to be uniquely configured for each exhibition. Convenient on-site parking means improved accessibility for art enthusiasts and community members.

“This investment in the Sordoni Art Gallery is just another example of Wilkes University’s enduring commitment to the arts,” said University President Patrick F. Leahy. “The new, highly visible location in downtown Wilkes-Barre makes the gallery a premier asset and educational resource not just for Wilkes, but for the local community. We are thrilled to host the work of Andy Warhol and look forward to more incredible shows.”

Andy Warhol and his work defines the term “pop art.” At the same time, pop culture was the major influence on his work. He is credited for elevating average objects to pop status, as he did with Campbell’s Soup cans and Brillo products, both featured in the exhibition. Other works include the Marilyn Monroe series as well “Flowers,” both which have only been displayed once prior to Wilkes.

Warhol’s fascination with old Hollywood manifested in over 500 filmed screen tests. Thirteen are in the exhibition, courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum, including those of Lou Reed and Dennis Hopper. Polaroid photos that would later inspire original portraits in the pop-art vein are also displayed, allowing for a unique behind-the-scenes look at Warhol’s creative process.

“Thinking about the work of Andy Warhol, one can’t dispute that he was an harbinger of change in the art world,” said Heather Sincavage, director of the Sordoni Art Gallery. “What a great way to launch a new chapter for the visual arts at Wilkes University.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery is hosting “Warhol Wednesdays,” a lecture series that addresses various aspects of Warhol’s life and interests. Lectures begin at 4:30 p.m. in room 135 of 141 South Main Street. They are free and open to the public.

Scheduled events include:

  • Oct. 11, “Curator’s Tour” with gallery director and exhibit curator, Heather Sincavage
  • Oct. 25, “Andy Warhol is a V: Philosophical Bachelorhood & the Celibate Factory” by Benjamin Kahan, Ph.D., Louisiana State University
  • Nov. 15, “Andy and the Rusyns” by Elaine Rusinko, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The Sordoni Art Gallery shares space with the Karambelas Media and Communication Center, which opened in August. Upcoming shows include “The Bones of Us Hunger for Nothing” featuring the works of Angela Fraleigh, and selections from the Sordoni Collection of American Illustration and Comic Arts, featuring the works of NC Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Chris Payne and Alberto Vargas.

For more information, visit www.wilkes.edu/sordoniartgallery.

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