TUNKHANNOCK — Paintings of many styles and subjects by three artists, along with an exhibit by the Tunkhannock Tree Association will be on display through May at the Dietrich Theater. Art lovers and friends are invited to a free reception to celebrate the exhibits, meet the artists, and enjoy light refreshments from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22.
Artists featured include Earl W. Lehman, of Jessup; Ben Jackson, a Lake Winola native; Morgan Simon, a native of Nicholson, and members of the Tunkhannock Tree Association.
Lehman’s paintings are “bi-lingual,” in that he creates both representational and non-objective work. His landscapes are collected widely, but his abstract imagery commands equal attention. His paintings reflect that he is at home with both abstraction and realism. His representational paintings and abstract paintings hang side by side, renderings of local landscapes, including local Tunkhannock Creek. He has an affinity for Tunkhannock, which is halfway between his studio in Jessup and his north studio in the woods above Lake Tuscarora.
From the time she can remember, art has been Simon’s forte. Art classes were always her top electives at Lackawanna Trail, where she graduated in 2008. After high school, she pursued her talents at Keystone College, studying fine art. She received her degree in 2013, with a concentration in painting. She loves to express herself with oil paint, and predominantly paints landscapes. She also accepts commissioned work, and aims to please any buyer with her vast array of skills.
At a very young age, Jackson developed a passion for drawing. Growing up, he would draw on anything and everything, jotting down quick little sketches on napkins, notebooks or whatever he could get his hands on. He graduated from Tunkhannock High School and in his time there made every effort to take every art class they had to offer. It was in high school that he discovered his passion for painting. After high school, he attended Keystone College for a brief period of time. He took a few drawing and composition classes, but after one year, he decided the structured assignments and schedule didn’t suit him. After his departure from Keystone, he decided to continue to refine his skills in painting, playing around with new styles and techniques and developing his craft. He has pieces hanging in private collections all over the country and hopes to one day own his own art gallery and continue to share his work.
The roots of today’s Tunkhannock Tree Association (TTA) were planted in the early 1970s by a group of concerned borough residents who understood the long-term impact of losing and not replacing the beautiful but aging maples that had lined the borough streets for decades. Using money from fundraising, the group was able to plant new trees to replace the dying maples.
The TTA teaches that Tunkhannock’s urban forest benefits its inhabitants by improving air and water quality, absorbing sound and noise, lessening psychological stress, increasing a sense of relaxation and ultimately, promoting personal and public health. In addition, benefits include reducing energy usage, increasing property values, and furthering economic stability. This aesthetically planned environment can be achieved by planting and maintaining trees along the Tunkhannock Borough streets and public rights-of-way and within municipal open spaces, as well as conducting an effective community forestry program through education and involvement.
The exhibit at the Dietrich tells their story, including all the work they do to teach children the value of trees.
For information about the exhibits and reception, call the theater at 570-996-1500.