Gallery Exhibit Explores Influential Work from Pennsylvania Artist Retreat

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“Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat,” a photograph from the “Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat: The First Ten Years” exhibit. The exhibit will be on display in The Hope Horn Gallery from Feb. 1 to March 15.

Twenty-nine years ago, a farmhouse in Laceyville was transformed into an art retreat and studio. To this day, Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat continues to flourish as a place for artists, writers and composers.

An exhibit of The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery will highlight works of artists who received residencies at Soaring Gardens during the past 10 years. “Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat: The First Ten Years” will be on display from Feb. 1 through March 15.

Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., director of The Hope Horn Gallery, said the works displayed in the exhibit are not connected by an overlying theme, but rather the retreat experience at Soaring Gardens.

Dr. Miller-Lanning will give a gallery lecture of the exhibit Friday, Feb. 1, at 5 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall. A public reception will take place at The Hope Horn Gallery following the lecture. The event is part of downtown Scranton’s First Friday.

On Saturday, March 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. the gallery will host “Soaring Gardens Live,” which will feature residency artists and their work. The event will include musical performances by Pamplemousse, literary readings by Helen Limon, and artist’s talk by Kip Deeds, and a gallery tour by Dr. Miller-Lanning.

Soaring Gardens was created in 1973 when Ora Lerman, an artist based in New York City, bought a four-bedroom farmhouse, adjoining building and 23 acres of land. The buildings were converted into a retreat including two studios, flower gardens and a pond. Lerman lived and painted there every summer until her death in 1998.

Today, Soaring Gardens is maintained by the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust, which offers residencies to visual artists, writers and composers between May and Sept. A nearby converted church, which now includes studios and living quarters, was donated to the trust in 2000 and added to Soaring Gardens.

“Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat: The First Ten Years” is part of the Hope Horn Gallery’s “Landmarks and Milestones” 2012-2013 series, which celebrates the region’s significant anniversaries and architecture.

The Hope Horn Gallery exhibits and lectures are offered free of charge and are open to the public. The gallery, located on the fourth floor of Hyland Hall, is open Sunday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m., and Wednesdays, from 6 to 8 p.m.

For additional information, contact The Hope Horn Gallery at 941-4214.

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