Sordoni Art Gallery to Showcase Alumni Work from June 18 to Aug. 11

by Kelly Clisham
Painting of a white house in winter

The Sordoni Art Gallery will wrap up its 50th anniversary season with a display of Colonels’ artistic talent. Wilkes University Alumni Exhibition: Celebrating the Blue and Gold runs from June 18, through Aug. 11.  

The exhibit caps the gallery’s season of celebration and honors the rich legacy of artistic excellence within the Wilkes alumni community. Celebrating the Blue and Gold includes over 30 artists who graduated as early as 1964 and as recently as 2023 “In this exhibition, what is apparent is how Wilkes University committed to fostering creativity within its students, which led the way for the Sordoni Art Gallery to find its place on our campus,” says Heather Sincavage, director of the gallery. 

Ryan Ward, curator of the Maslow Collection in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the owner/director of The Ruffed Grouse Gallery in Narrowsburg, New York, served as juror. He earned a master of fine arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and specializes in contemporary, folk and self-taught art. His paintings and sculptures explore myth-making, belief and historical record-keeping through the use of cowboy and circus references.

Ward received 94 submissions including drawings, paintings, photographs, prints and ceramics. More than 50 of those pieces will be on display in the gallery. He chose works that displayed proficiency in technical skill, design, composition-making, color and storytelling and drew viewers to an engaging visual experience.

Ward previously collaborated with the Sordoni when the Maslow Collection lent 11 Warhol pieces for the grand opening of the current space. “I believe the SAG is an incredible resource for artists, students, instructors, scholars and community members,” says Ward. “The SAG continues to deliver top-notch events and programs.”

“Coffee’s On,” a watercolor by Richard H. Hingston ’75, will appear in the exhibit. The sketches that would form the basis of Hingston’s personal and professional life began at Wilkes. He and his wife, Marjorie Czulewicz ’74, met at Wilkes. They married in 1976 and raised their family in southern New Jersey, where he taught visual art for 38 years before retiring in 2012.

The exhibit acts as a homecoming for Hingston, who used the same brushes he bought as an art student to create Coffee’s On. The Grumbacher natural hair brushes have spent countless hours in the classroom and traveled to the European Alps and the Apennine Mountains. They’ve been trusted colleagues in the creation of works for publications and juried shows. Now, they’re at hand whenever Hingston gives his four granddaughters painting lessons. “These brushes still hold a premier spot in my trove of art supplies,” says Hingston. “These brushes evoke a kind of reverential respect for all that they have done and all that they have yet to do.”

As Hingston reflects on the colors that have flowed through his brushes for 50 years, he credits Wilkes as the first step on a lovely artistic journey. “The entry of “Coffee’s On” to the Sordoni exhibition has, in a very special way, brought my memories and painting full circle — home again.”

Sordoni Art Gallery

  • Location: 141 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
  • Hours:
    Tuesdays-Fridays | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Saturdays-Sundays | 12 to 5 p.m.
    Closed Mondays and University holidays.

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