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Scranton Hall Celebrating the Work of Local Artists


Gary Kresge

Scranton Hall and the Scranton Family The migration of the Scranton family to northeastern Pennsylvania began in the late 1830s. Their vision touched the life of this region to such an extent that this city and this University bear their name. From captains of industry to public service in Washington, Harrisburg, and the United Nations and, of course, in Scranton itself, this family has influenced the nation. Scranton Hall, as it is known today, was originally constructed in 1871 as a carriage house and stable. A floor was added in 1928 and served as the offices of Mr. and Mrs. Worthington Scranton and later for Mr. William W. Scranton. The building became the office of President of the University of Scranton in 1958 and the building was named for the Scranton family in 1984.

Gary Kresge has been painting the Pennsylvania landscape for many years, showing his work along the East Coast and in the U.K. He communicates these natural surroundings in a fresh and spontaneous manner reminiscent of the Northern Romantic Tradition. His colorful and natural approach to painting illustrates the extraodinary in a landscape often taken for granted, portraying it in a new light. Kresge paints large vistas of eastern Pennsylvania landscape. Water is a common element in his work, inviting the viewer to follow a path or stream, or skate across a lake to explore the mysteries beyond the painted branches. In his own words he is, “attempting to create visual images that are initially engaging to the viewer and invite further contemplation. My hope is that viewing my paintings might encourage the audience to pay closer attention a world that is an amazing interplay of relationships woven together by light. Nature is always near at hand, sometimes on a grand scale but more often revealing itself in subtle but now less beautiful ways.

Taking time to observe our surroundings and developing an ability to see the complexity and wonder that is always there can reveal, to quote the artist Fairfield Porter, ‘the extraordinary in the ordinary’. There is a Celtic word that describes the ‘thin places’, and the thin places are locations where you are close to spirit. I like to think there are places in the landscape that are thin places where you are really close to deeper meanings, meanings that may be conveyed visually through the act of painting.” Kresge counts among his influences: Wolf Kahn, Fairfield Porter, Wayne Thiebauld, Paul Resika, Richard Diebenkorn, Claude Monet, Edward Hopper, George Inness, John Gundelfinger, Casper David Freidrich and painters of the Northern Romantic Tradition. Perhaps most importantly though, he credits his father, Lloyd Victor Kresge, a gardender who loved to spend time in the woods, for promoting in him his interest in looking at the light, and into the streams. “To put myself in a quiet place—to center my life and calm myself, brings me in touch with spirit. I am conscious of that when I am painting.


October Creek

Oil on linen, 42" x 30", 2009 Midday sun illuminates the high colors of October while the opposite creek bank is deep in shadow, simultaneously depicting the brilliance of autumn and the darker months to come.

Late Autumn Sunrise

Oil on linen, 18" x 18", 2009 Just rising over the mountain, the sun creates a glow between the white pines that changes within moments. I’m grateful I was there to see it.

Swamp

Oil on linen, 28" x 20", 2007 A scene captured off the path, pushing through brush and resulting in wet feet, but worth the effort.

Misty Cove Early Morning, November

Oil on linen, 28" x 28", 2009 November has special colors all its own. The muted tones of this season lead to thoughts of fires in the wood-stove and a good book, a turning inward.

Oil on linen, 16" x 36", 2007 A long trail leads to a narrow body of water along a lake. The rising sun will soon burn off the mist. Wild roses bloom along the banks. I am close to home, but seemingly in another world.


Winter’s Evening Oil on board 18" x 24"

Thomas Wise

“After the snow stops and the winter winds begin to blow from the west, my dog and I explore the hills near my studio, where we discover the warm light from my neighbor’s kitchen—a refuge from the approaching cold winter night.”

Nationally acclaimed and award-winning artist Thomas Wise is a life long resident of Pennsylvania. Raised along the Susquehanna River, he resides today in Halifax, Pennsylvania. From childhood Wise has been inspired by this landscape with its changing seasons, atmosphere, and weather conditions. Thomas Wise has been characterized as a realist; although over the years, his work has evolved and now reflects a more painterly approach. But his core philosophy, that which anchors the paintings, remains a constant. It is a philosophy influenced by his teacher Walter Stuempfig, from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, who taught him that, “You have to be in love with the subject to paint it”. Wise paints the landscape, the objects and the people who are part of his world. “The essence of life and art is found in simple, everyday things”, he says, “What I paint of the external world is a reflection of what I have identified within myself. I paint not only to capture the illusion of an object, but more importantly, to express its symbolic relationship to my life.”

River Hills Oil on board 12" x 18"

“The river hills ebb and flow with the changes of time of day and season granting me a sense of peace.”


O ffice of the P resident


Scranton Hall - Celebrating the Work of Local Artists