“These are beautiful images,” said a young couple from Philadelphia during a recent visit to the Dakota Ridge Gallery in Jim Thorpe. “Is the gallery accepting any new work?” The walls of the gallery, filled with the work of 16 different fine art photographers from Pennsylvania to as far away as Madagascar are an example of a great deal of inspiring – and affordable – new work available at several galleries in Jim Thorpe’s lively arts scene.
Dakota Ridge proprietor Dan Hugos responds that the gallery isn’t currently accepting new submissions as it is displaying a great deal of new work by his current artists, ranging from silver gelatin (almost an alternative process these days) to hand-colored prints, to large digitally produced images. He’ll be looking at new work next summer.
The Artefino Gallery directly across from Dakota Ridge specializes mostly in contemporary paintings, while also featuring a diverse collection of photography, sculpture and various small pottery. Owner Mike Kubas is also active in the auction market as well as image mounting, framing and restoration. His gallery is located in the former Marion Hose Building (adjacent to the Opera House) and represents an ambitious remodeling of the space.
A few doors up Broadway is painter Joel LeBow’s Hazard House Gallery. The house, formerly occupied by one of the founders of Jim Thorpe, Philadelphia businessman Erskine Hazard, is now home to Mr. LeBow’s abstract paintings, which are collected and shown all over the world. A Jim Thorpe resident since 1983, Mr. LeBow’s work was recently the subject of a sixty-year retrospective at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA.
Painter David Price first came to Jim Thorpe in the early 80’s, working on a project documentating many of the historic buildings in the region. Like many artists from that period, he stayed. His Three Mountains Gallery on Race Street contains decades’ worth of his eclectic watercolors and oils, and features the large press with which he produces his many ink-and -watercolor etchings.
Further up Broadway is the Flow Gallery and Restaurant which is located in a former wire factory, having been totally refurbished by painter Victor Stabin and his wife Joan. Stabin’s illustrations have been used by the US Post Office on several different postage stamps, and his adjacent gallery is part of the reason that Flow is well-known as a destination restaurant.
Potential art buyers in art don’t necessarily think of Jim Thorpe as an art destination, but there have been accomplished artists here since the late seventies, when the re-birth of interest in historic structures first began. Galleries were among the first businesses to reclaim the many spaces in Jim Thorpe that were falling into disrepair back then and they have done so in imaginative and beautiful ways .
It’s always a good policy to call ahead to any of these and other art locations in Jim Thorpe to make sure that they are open. Prices are typically quite moderate when compared to more urban galleries. Visit the Art Galleries section of the town’s official website, http://www.JimThorpe.org for more information.