Photos document artist's travels along infinitely open road

Published 09.13.2019

The Gallery at Penn College

The gallery’s glass doors open wide for exploration of “Graffiti Scapes.” Hower offers insights into his process, including capturing multiple frames for stitching, a homemade panoramic camera tripod (crafted with the assistance of his woodworking father) and high-dynamic-range imaging. Guests investigate the graffiti-covered landscapes. The audience listens to the artist describe his ode to “Concrete City,” a now-abandoned housing site constructed in 1911 for anthracite coal workers near Nanticoke.Photographs printed on bricks are part of Hower’s “Concrete City” installation. A Harrisburg area photographer who was inspired to apply for a solo exhibit at The Gallery at Penn College after winning the President’s Award at last year’s Regional Juried Exhibition shared his techniques and inspirations with a large audience gathered Thursday night for the reception honoring “Graffiti Scapes.” On display through Oct. 6, the exhibition showcases Michael Hower’s digital photography of 13 abandoned sites in three states. Initially inspired to pursue the craft seven years ago by a toddler son and a rural sign denoting “Distillery Road,” the self-taught photographer described his curiosity-infused journey of endless discovery as he explores deserted historical structures and nature’s attempts to reclaim man-made landscapes. The Gallery at Penn College is open 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The gallery, on the third floor of Madigan Library, is closed Mondays and Saturdays; however, special visitation hours will be offered 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, during Penn College’s Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend (Oct. 4-6).