News Column

Art Seen Gallery

June 19, 2014

By Kristen Gaydos, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.



June 19--Hand-painted Russian nesting dolls, decorated wooden chests and bright, bold portraits are just a few of the diverse artistic offerings at The Art Seen Gallery on the Square.

An artist collective runs the gallery at 21 Public Square, which gives local artists a place to display and sell their handcrafted hard work. It's also a welcome place for writers, musicians, and pretty much anyone with an artistic interest or temperament.

Kim Kulagina and Patty Cleasby worked to create the collective in 2013 after the gallery's previous owner moved away.

"It was either close or get the artists together," Kulagina said.

Artists pay a monthly fee to exhibit their work, and they and other volunteers take turns manning the gallery during open hours. They have more than 30 artists on the roster.

"It's been six months, and it's really become a center for all the artists in Wilkes-Barre and beyond," Cleasby said.

The mediums on display in the former bank range from paintings to photography, cartoons to collages, "and everything in between," she added. "There's a lot of different genres and styles."

Kulagina said when she creates the window displays, she want to show passersby a little of everything they have in the gallery.

"I try to have every artist represented in the window," she said.

Artists pay $25 a month for a space to display their wares. The gallery gets a small commission from sales, as does the person who sells the item, Cleasby said.

Art Seen Gallery also participates each month in the Third Friday Art Walk, and June's installment takes place on Friday. Carlton Farbaugh, the gallery's resident poet, will run a gathering of "The Spoken Word," an open mic night that welcomes any and all subjects. It starts at 8 p.m.

Farnbaugh said the night has grown since it started about a year ago. He doesn't believe writers should be censored, so it's pretty much anything goes, he said.

"I believe the room will control what's over the line," he said. "It's 100-percent independent and 100-percent uncensored."

A few musicians also teach out of Art Seen Gallery, like guitar instructor Joe Ward and violin instructor Mary Ann Saylor. Ward, who teaches acoustic and electric guitar and lives nearby, also helps out around the gallery.

"I'm turning out to be handy," he said.

Art Seen Gallery space is also available for private parties, receptions and gatherings. Kulagina and Cleasby said the space is perfect for a unique party, and they have catering contacts who can help patrons party plan.

What : Third Friday Wilkes-Barre

When : Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where : Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Online : thirdfridaywb.com, facebook.com/thirdfridaywb

June's Theme : Water

June's featured artist : Elaine Walton

See her work : Bart and Urby's Downtown Bar and Bistro, 119 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, from Friday through July 18.

"Being an artist isn't a career I chose; It chose me. I love the physical act of creation and consider myself a "omni­media" artist: I write poetry, create assemblages, make my own jewelry, paint, and just finished binding my own illustrated book of poetry. Currently, I am creating a series of watercolor and mixed media florals on paper." Walton, in her artist statement

Online : www.elainewalton.net

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(c)2014 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

Visit The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) at citizensvoice.com

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Source: Citizens' Voice, The (Wilkes-Barre, PA)