Wilkes University’s Sordoni Gallery welcomes new director Heather Sincavage
WILKES-BARRE — Wilkes University has hired Heather Sincavage as the new full-time director of the Sordoni Art Gallery on South River Street.
Sincavage assumed the position of gallery director and assistant professor of art on July 18, and she accepts the role in the midst of an ongoing university movement to develop a more vibrant and progressive exhibit space and relocate the gallery to South Main Street.
Sincavage comes to the Sordoni after a tenure as an assistant professor of fine art at the University of Maine in Presque Isle, where she also acted as director of the Reed Art Gallery.
The new director said she’s always seen facilitating a gallery as an extension of her teaching and her department.
“It’s a way to play off of a wider dialogue but to also be in it,” Sincavage said. “You can get into a space and look at work and talk about what an artist is doing rather than just show a slide.”
At the University of Maine, Sincavage found that her work at the Reed Gallery could resonate to the whole community, reaching out to businesses and individuals beyond the university walls.
Her sense of community outreach is shared by interim director Stanley Grand, with whom she’ll be working closely until next spring. Grand has expressed the need for the gallery to be cognizant of the relevance of exhibits in the greater community.
“I love starting to engage a community, and I see it as something I can do at the Sordoni,” Sincavage said. “I’m looking forward to engaging students but also people who don’t think they know anything about art.”
Sincavage, a mixed-media artist who combines sculpture, drawing and performance, said she refused to be defined by one medium, and she brings that philosophy into her role as director.
“The best part of the job is talking to artists and learning about what they’re doing,” Sincavage said. “I want to work with artists to help them realize their vision.”
Sincavage is excited to take over in the transition period of moving the gallery to South Main Street, a move expected to be finished by fall of 2017. She and Grand will work together throughout the fall of 2016 as Grand has planned the exhibits for the season.
Sincavage then assumes full responsibility in the spring of 2017 followed by a summer during which the gallery will be closed to accomplish the move.
“I see it as an opportunity to take on a project,” Sincavage said. “The gallery is a piece of art itself. I’m looking forward to helping mold it and creating the next chapter in its legacy.”
For the spring of 2017, Sincavage has already booked renowned analogue photographer Lydia Panas, who Sincavage said has interesting takes on real life in portrait.
“I’m looking for a contemporary dialogue,” Sincavage said. “I want to think outside the white box, experiment with the space of the gallery and deal with current events and issues.”
Grand said he is looking forward to seeing Sincavage’s new vision and energy take the reins in growing the gallery and serving the students, faculty and community.
“Each generation has its own formative experiences, which brings new art, experimentation and technology,” Grand said. “Each new generation is more in touch with younger artists and concerns.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts