Home Arts The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University Presents Rust Belt Biennial Aug. 27 to Oct. 6

The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University Presents Rust Belt Biennial Aug. 27 to Oct. 6

by Sarah Bedford

Photography celebrating the Rust Belt region is the focus of Rust Belt Biennial at the Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University from Aug. 27 to Oct. 6. The land, people and history of the Rust Belt inspired Niko J. Kallianiotis, contributing photographer for The New York Times and photography instructor at Drexel University and the University of Scranton, and Yoav Friedlander, photographer and co-founder and editor of Float Photo Magazine , to highlight photographic work from the region.

The exhibition features curated work of Rust Belt artists alongside prize winners and a top selection from the Biennial’s open call for work made in the region. It was juried by Andrew L. Moore, an internationally recognized fine art photographer based in New York City.

The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. In conjunction with the exhibition, a gallery talk given by the exhibition’s founders and select artists will take place at the Sordoni Art Gallery, 141 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre:

  • Panel Discussion: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 5 p.m.; Niko J. Kallianiotis, Yoav Friedlander, Ed Eckstein, founding member of Frame 37, and Jamie Longazel, co-founder of Anthracite Unite, will host a panel on photography and the Rust Belt region. The panel will be moderated by gallery director, Heather Sincavage.

  • Art Block: Friday, Sept. 20, 5 to 8 p.m.; Live glass-blowing demonstrations with the Keystone College Mobile Glass Studio, hands-on art activities, music and more will take place as part of downtown Wilkes-Barre’s Third Friday Art Block.

  • Undocumented Fears: Immigration and the Politic of Divide and Conquer in Hazelton, Pennsylvania: Friday, Sept. 20, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Jamie Longazel, associate professor in the department of political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, will discuss his case study on the Illegal Immigration ReliefAct passed in Hazleton in 2006. Using nostalgic imagery of “Small Town, America,” Longazel will reveal the story of immigration ordinances in a city beset by large-scale loss of manufacturing jobs.

  • Mining our History: What We Can Learn from Photos of the Past, Wednesday,  Oct. 2, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Aimee Newell, Executive Director of the Luzerne County Historical Society, shares mining-related photos and explores what they can teach about history, along with how they resonate with the photos in the Rust Belt Biennial.

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

The $3 million, 7,000-square-foot Sordoni Art Gallery 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 opened in 2017 and is outfitted for high-end national art exhibitions and includes versatile opportunities for teaching and learning. The gallery shares space with the Karambelas Media and Communication Center at 141 S. Main St. in Wilkes Barre.

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