Sordoni Gallery reopens with Warhol to inspire community

Megan Stanley, Staff Writer

The Sordoni Art Gallery was officially rededicated Oct. 6. The first exhibit on display is “15 Minutes: From Image to Icon” which displays artwork from Pennsylvanian artist Andy Warhol.

Located in the Karambelas Media and Communication Center, the new gallery is set to enrich the arts for students, faculty and staff alike. The new space is more than double the old location and is fitted for high-end art exhibits and opportunities for teaching and learning.

The opening event was attended by Alumni, current students, faculty, staff and members of the local community.

Introducing the talk was Tom Mackinnon, Vice President for University Advancement. He told the crowd gathered: “This is a truly iconic moment and is the culmination of two years of work. What an incredibly way to kick off a new era.”

He paid homage to the fact for the past five years, a building has been dedicated to Homecoming.

Mackinnon moved on to recognize important people in attendance such as the board of trustees, former Wilkes presidents Breiseth and Michelini, Pa. state Sen. Lisa Baker and Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George.

Paul Riggs, the Dean of Arts at Wilkes University also took to the podium. He told the audience:

“I am excited, mostly because what this signifies for our university’s commitment to the arts and as a member of this community I am proud.”

The gallery Director, Heather Sincavage spoke about the reasons she came to Wilkes to work in the Sordoni Gallery: “People love Wilkes University and people care about what happens here.

“This gallery does not service our art department, it creates a community and gives us ways to creatively understand our world.

“Warhol changed how we view art, and Sordoni will change how Wilkes University and the community experience art.

“Tonight I would like to share this gallery with you. It’s not only my job, but a labor of love.”

Cody Morcom, the 2017/18 president of student government also made a speech in which he said: “Let me say a sincere thank you to all those involved.

“We have never been more proud of the past, amazed at the present, ecstatic for the future.”

Vice President of the Board of Trustees, Bill Miller, addressed the crowd: ‘It [the gallery] will not only benefit the students, but also the community.

“It brings another building block to the diamond city that is Wilkes-Barre.

“It is a huge source of pride and I cannot wait for you to see it.”

In his speech, President Leahy paid homage to former President John F. Kennedy’s speech outside Amherst College’s new library that was in honor of poet Robert Frost and in which he praised the importance of art within America.

“I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft.

Using Kennedy’s ideals, President Leahy applied them to Wilkes University stating he hoped it would continue to be “a private institution with a public purpose.

“It is a gift to the people of Wilkes-Barre and Pennsylvania, we hope the people of the community will love it.

“It is our duty as educators to ensure our students get exposure to science and arts. Our nurses and pharmacists should see Warhol.”

Representing the Sordoni family was Andrew Sordoni who said: “For generations it has been an honor and a privilege to be associated with the arts at Wilkes.”

“This vision is a resource for the community that will underpin and enhance our civilization.”

The ribbon was then cut by the six members who delivered speeches and attendees of the opening were invited to look around the new arts space.

The gallery is open to visitors Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m to 5 p.m, Thursday 10 a.m to 7 p.m, and Saturday  through Sunday noon to 5 p.m.