BY ANN SIOCK
With Northeast Pennsylvania counties in the green phase for over two months now, local art exhibits are beginning to pick up where they left off before the coronavirus pandemic prompted them to shut their doors.
From symbols of America to counterculture artists of the ’60s and ’70s to local modern artists of today, here’s a look at four local exhibits you can check out and the guidelines to help you enjoy them safely.
‘Eyes on America’
The Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton, has reopened after nearly six months with a new exhibit, “Eyes on America,” now on display. Museum staff chose this exhibit because it played to the strengths of the Everhart’s permanent collection and permitted a timely look at American culture.
“We knew that this year was going to be an election year, so we wanted to do something that was kind of political,” said Francesca Saldan, Everhart curator. “We have a lot of pieces of folk art as well as some more contemporary pieces that really lean into the American identity, as well as symbols of America and patriotism, and so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to include those.”
“Eyes on America” looks at American cultural images throughout history and lets visitors evaluate what it means to be American in the 21st century.
“I think some key takeaways would be that people get to learn about why certain symbols might be associated with American culture, as well as thinking about how American self-perception has changed over time,” Saldan said. “What are the things we’ve used to identify ourselves or have been identified with, and how has that changed over the course of two centuries?”
The exhibit contains more than 40 pieces by artists such as Jacob Lawrence, William Keeler, Hunt Slonem, Alex Katz, Kenn Schmidt and Fritz Scholderd, plus artifacts from NEPA history. It focuses on four major themes of American symbols: the Working Class, Native Americans, Famous Figures and Abstract Symbols of American Culture, divided among four rooms.
Know before you go: All visitors must wear an appropriate face covering in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Staff also placed social distancing reminders around the museum. For patrons interested in the exhibit who do not feel comfortable visiting the museum, the Everhart has photographed the exhibit and will permit virtual tours on its website.
Hours: Exhibit on display through Thursday, Dec. 31; museum open Saturdays, 10 to 11 a.m., for patrons considered at-risk if exposed to COVID-19; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., for the general public; and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
Details: 570-346-7186 or everhart-museum.org
‘Art in Nature’
The Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, will display the work of long-time open studio and portfolio preparation students and instructors for its first exhibit since closing six months ago. Opening Sunday, Sept. 20, the exhibit will feature more than 100 pieces of art from students Eric Buffington, Barry Everson and Colleen Germain and instructors Stephen and Amy Colley. Stephen Hendrickson curated the show, which will contain a variety of mediums chosen to showcase the unique style and skill of each artist. Reservations are recommended for the opening reception because space is limited.
Know before you go: Visitors must wear masks and observe social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Hours: Meet-the-artists opening reception, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2 to 5 p.m.; exhibit then is open during movie times and by appointment through Sunday, Nov. 15.
Details: For reservations, call 570-836-1022, ext. 3.
‘Drawn to Abstraction’
The Sordoni Gallery at Wilkes University, 141 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, will start its 2020-21 season with “Drawn to Abstraction,” showcasing work from artists of the ’60s and ’70s. Examples of the popular movements emerging at that time — such as abstract expressionism, minimalism, op art and pop art — will serve as testaments to the social critique and boundary testing that defined those decades. The collection, from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, features the work of Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Stella, among others.
Know before you go: The Sordoni Gallery follows the guidelines from Wilkes’ reopening plan. Masks that cover the nose and mouth are required at all times while on campus, including in the gallery. Social distancing is mandatory while in the gallery, and staff have set up hand sanitizing stations throughout the space.
Hours: Exhibit runs through Sunday, Nov. 1; tours available Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
Details: 570-408-4325 or wilkes.edu/arts/sordoni-art-gallery
‘Off the Wall’ Art Show
The Wayne County Arts Alliance will host its second “Off the Wall” art show featuring selected works from the 2020 Great Wall of Honesdale artists at the alliance’s new Main Street Gallery, 959 Main St., Honesdale. The show will have pieces from artists such as Jennifer Case, Eva Drizhal, Sue Stephan Foster, Jeff Hiller, Claudine Luchsinger, Patrick McLane, Trix Render, Mark Charles Rooney and Tanner Simon.
Know before you go: Social distancing and masks are required in accordance with CDC Guidelines.
Hours: Exhibit runs through Monday, Sept. 26; gallery open Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-348-9127