NEPA Scene Staff

Explore ‘Graffiti Scapes’ of Mid-Atlantic ghost towns at Penn College exhibit in Williamsport through Oct. 6

Explore ‘Graffiti Scapes’ of Mid-Atlantic ghost towns at Penn College exhibit in Williamsport through Oct. 6
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From a press release:

A fascination with abandoned buildings and landscapes inspired Enola resident Michael Hower to begin working in digital photography seven years ago. His current body of work that focuses on ghost towns of the Mid-Atlantic, “Graffiti Scapes,” is on display now at The Gallery at Penn College in Williamsport through Sunday, Oct. 6.

A public reception is set for Thursday, Sept. 12 from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Hower’s quest to find landscapes and spaces consumed by graffiti began in Centralia, the Pennsylvania ghost town that sits atop a burning mine fire. The main road leading into town was buckled by the fire underneath and, decades later, visitors started to leave their mark. The infamous “Graffiti Highway” is covered with colorful tags and philosophical tidbits for three-quarters of a mile.

Researching more locations covered in Jackson Pollock-like webs of graffiti, he has gone on place-seeking journeys throughout the Mid-Atlantic, trekking through train graveyards, skate parks, city alleys, and wherever graffiti dominates the landscape.

Hower’s art career began with formal training in painting, design, and ceramics. He picked up a digital camera for the first time in 2012 and fell in love with the medium. His photography skills are self-taught and reflect his broader artistic training.

In addition to his long-term project of documenting ghost towns of the Mid-Atlantic region, Hower is devoted to capturing images of Pennsylvania’s extensive canal system. The majority of this photography focuses on historical themes and showcases his personal journey of learning about local history and heritage.

Hower’s work has garnered numerous awards and has been featured in over 150 exhibitions and publications around the country. He currently resides in the greater Harrisburg area with his wife and two sons.

“Graffiti Scapes” kicks off The Gallery at Penn College’s 2019-2020 season – its 14th year serving as an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community. Located on the third floor of the Madigan Library, the gallery is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art.

The Gallery at Penn College (1 College Ave., Williamsport) is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and Saturdays. During “Graffiti Scapes,” the gallery will be closed Sept. 1 and will offer special visitation hours during Penn College’s Homecoming Oct. 4-6.

For information about the gallery and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, a national leader in applied technology education, visit

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Can't believe this day is here, "Graffiti Scapes" opens today at 11 am @pctgallery @penncollege. Explore thirteen graffitied sites across three states in a over forty photographs and installations. . . "Lady Sings the Blues II" (2018) 32X52" – printed by @brilliant_graphics . . More info at . . #williamsportpa #williamsport #pennsylvania #penncollege #pctgallery #lycomingcounty #lycoming #photography #graffiti

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