“Molten Beauty” Photo Exhibit Opens May 15 at Bottle Works in Johnstown, PA; Pays Tribute to American Industry & Its Workers

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Stunning Art Exhibit in Johnstown: A Tribute to American Industry and the Man Who Believed


“…A dynamic statement about a larger story of the important heritage of metal working in the Johnstown community, and the vital contribution of manufacturing in America, now resurgent after years of decline.” – Korns’ President, Kathleen Ortel

In July 2013, artist and nationally known photographer, Celia Pearson, was invited into the facilities of Korns Galvanizing, a venerable family-owned company in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Her experience led to the photographic exhibit Molten Beauty, opening on Friday, May 15, 2015 with a public reception from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the factory-turned-gallery space at Bottle Works, a non-profit arts organization on 3rd Avenue in the Cambria City cultural arts district of Johnstown. The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Korns’ longtime owner and Johnstown native, John E. “Jack” Sheehan, and to Sheehan’s legacy of public service and business leadership.

On display through Saturday, July 11, the art of Molten Beauty joins more traditional prints with photo montages and large scale works on silk hanging freely in space. It tells a layered story about an artist touched by the vital energy inside a century-old industrial workplace; about the presence of beauty in unexpected places; about the art of work.

Korns’ President and Sheehan’s daughter, Kathleen Ortel, says, “When Celia approached us about her desire to turn her experience into large-scale artwork and an exhibit, we were inspired to support this effort. Impressed with the obvious high quality of this artist’s work, we saw that it would make a dynamic and imaginative statement about a larger story of the important heritage of metal working in the Johnstown community, and the vital contribution of manufacturing in America, now resurgent after years of decline.”

Sheehan served as Korns’ chairman for the better part of two decades. A noted businessman, Fortune 500 executive, and entrepreneur, Sheehan was a Navy fighter pilot and later served as a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Always drawn back to his hometown and the industry that helped put Johnstown on the map, Sheehan’s vision, entrepreneurship, and investments brought business and job opportunities back to distressed communities when they were struggling to survive. In the art of Molten Beauty, there is a striking sense of the grit, the perseverance, and the vision that were qualities of Sheehan himself, and of his commitment to work and family sustaining jobs.

Pearson says, “In those raw and cavernous buildings, I experienced such vitality that first day, electrifying as though I were inside one giant spark. My photographer’s eye was mesmerized by the beauty and visual patterns of molten zinc-covered objects being raised from the kettles and by the 125-year-old architecture. I was transported by the energy of men intent upon their work, requiring both brains and muscle; by the intensity of the presence of 840-degree molten zinc; by the sounds of constant activity – the clanking of metal, fork lift motors and buzzers, trucks arriving and departing.” She vowed to return and did.

Pearson has held a camera in her hands for 40 years. Her work as an artist has been exhibited in galleries and is in corporate, private, and museum collections. Formerly a longtime independent assignment photographer, she earned a national reputation, and her work appeared regularly in numerous national professional and lifestyle publications. She is widely known as the photographer for the book Pure Sea Glass. Pearson will give a gallery talk at Bottle Works on Saturday, May 30, at 3:30 p.m.

Galvanizing is an industrial process that provides long lasting corrosion protection for steel and cast iron parts. The galvanizing process creates a permanently bonded coating that endures, maintenance free, for many decades in use and is fully recyclable. Korns Galvanizing is a specialty independent hot-dip galvanizer of small and difficult parts, highly regarded for its niche expertise.


Digital files © Celia Pearson. Permission granted for use in promotion of Bottle Works exhibit.
All other rights reserved.

Additional Resources for Media:

Visit The Molten Beauty Media Page at http://clients.herrmann.com/kgc/14/molten-beauty-press-info/index.html to download the original press release and images for use in news features.

Bottle Works: http://bottleworks.org/ and “Molten Beauty” exhibit: http://bottleworks.org/molten-beauty/

Celia Pearson: http://www.celiapearson.com

Korns Galvanizing: http://www.kornsgalvanizing.com/

Jack Sheehan: http://www.tribdem.com/news/business-executive-jack-sheehan-wanted-to-help-his-hometown/article_231d6702-663c-11e4-a0f8-bbe430ed9313.html

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Angela Rizzo
Bottle Works
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