Gallery Exhibit: Thomas John Shillea, View Camera 1977-2016

Public reception will unveil gallery featuring local photographer
Photo of a woman

One example of camera work by artist Thomas John Shillea, who will be featured in the Ronald K. De Long Gallery from Oct. 24 to Dec. 9.

Credit: Thomas Shillea

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The Ronald K. De Long Gallery at Penn State Lehigh Valley will present “Thomas John Shillea, View Camera 1977-2016” from Oct. 24 to Dec. 9.

An artist reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Penn State Lehigh Valley, and a gallery talk by the artist will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 14. Both the events and the exhibit are free and open to the public.

In the halcyon days of photography (1839 to 1888), cameras were beautiful hand-built objects, made of rare woods and brass. Lenses were hand ground and mounted on wood boards to fit these “view cameras.” Film came in the form of individual glass plates or plastic sheets coated with light sensitive salts that matched the standard view camera sizes, typically 4x5 inches, 5x7 inches, 8x10 inches, 11x14 inches, and larger. Each exposed plate or sheet of film required individual hand development in a darkroom. These large developed bxw negatives were printed in contact with light sensitive photo papers. This was before the days of roll film (invented by the Eastman Kodak company in 1888), “blow-up” enlargements made in a darkroom, and digital photography that no longer requires film, processing chemistry or darkrooms.

“All the photographs in my exhibition were made using one of the above format view cameras, and printed in a 19th century printing process call the Platinotype, invented in 1873. The 8x10 inch and 11x14 inch cameras on exhibit are examples of the classic view cameras used during the golden era of photography,” said Shillea.

This exhibition is being held in partnership with ArtsQuest’s 2016 Olympus InVision Photo Festival.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is closed on Sundays. For more information, contact Ann Lalik, gallery director, at [email protected] or 610-285-5261, or visit the Art Exhibition website.