Visual artist, photographer share exhibit at King’s College’s Widmann Gallery
WILKES-BARRE — Jeremy Petrachonis and Michael Delmonico’s personal journeys into art mirror each other.
The pair, who recently opened an exhibit at the Widmann Gallery at King’s College, featuring Petrachonis’ abstract art and Delmonico’s surrealist photography, have known each other for eight years, and both began honing their crafts around that time.
“Perpetual” will be on display in the gallery, located in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, until Feb. 16.
Petrachonis, of Hazleton, said he was always attracted to abstract work, but it wasn’t until 2010 that he started pursuing art.
“I was always a fan of abstract art,” he said. “And I always wanted to make my impact on it.”
Petrachonis said he was never short on ideas for pieces but wasn’t sure of how to execute them. From there, he enrolled at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, where his “intro to drawing” course laid the foundation for his artwork.
“Ever since then, it kind of went from the ground up,” he said.
Petrachonis said he started painting in early 2014, and has created a catalog to showcase different techniques, with line work and black and white pieces to free-flowing colorful works. With this show, he said he wanted to have a catalog of past and present, and to bridge the gap between the two periods.
His favorite thing about abstraction, Petrachonis said, is the ability to escape everyday reality.
“It’s anything that isn’t reality, or subjective reality,” he said. “It’s something very different.”
Delmonico, who has known Petrachonis since 2010, said he started in photography in 2012. The Drums resident went to school for photography, and said in his studies, he took basic photography classes that actually turned him away from the craft.
“I detested being in the studio,” he said. “It literally made me hate photography.”
Delmonico said he was researching different photographers one day and stumbled upon surrealist photography, which peaked his interest in the medium.
“You don’t have to do anything safe,” he said.
From that point, he said he and his friends would start challenging themselves to get creative with lighting, locations and everything else. Delmonico’s first foray into surrealism was levitation photography.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” he said.
Through levitation photography, Delmonico said he was able to experiment with exposures, editing photos, and how he could create effects himself versus what would need to be done through editing.
During this time, Delmonico said a lot of his work focused on double exposures, and props, and after a while, he wanted to push himself again in terms of working with physical effects.
“I wanted the challenge of physically making the environment we were shooting in,” he said.
Some of his portraits feature clouds and other objects such a radios.
One of his most recent pieces, “Zephyr,” Delmonico said, was the most challenging because it was done over one exposure to capture movement throughout the piece.
“Everything I wanted to do, I wanted to challenge myself,” Delmonico said. “And do something different and evolve.”
Delmonico said he still does portraits and regular photography, but enjoys surrealism more.
“This is more fun,” he said. “This is more rewarding.”
Petrachonis said he started seeing Delmonico’s vision grow, and thought the two should do a show.
“It just really interested me,” Petrachonis said.
The two said their styles have evolved over the years and continue to do so, which ties into their show.
“It’s never ending, the evolution pattern,” Petrachonis said.
“And it shouldn’t ever stop,” Delmonico said.
Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds.
IF YOU GO
Where: Widmann Gallery at King’s College, inside the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, 105 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre
When: Through Feb. 16. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday. Weekend hours posted at the gallery.
Additional Information: Free and open to the public