"We Still Make Stuff Here" Exhibits Photography and Writings of Manufacturing Businesses in NEPA

Published on Fri, October 15, 2010

Marywood University presents We Still Make Stuff Here: Manufacturing in Northeastern Pennsylvania Today including photography by Michael Poster and writing by Melissa Whalen Haertsch from October 23-December 10 in the Mahady Gallery, Shields Center for Visual Arts. The opening reception will be held on October 23 from 3-5p.m. On November 1, at 7 p.m., the Gallery Talk will address the photographic and written materials of the exhibit, how the project started, and the nature of the collaborative process as it works for Michael and Melissa.

We Still Make Stuff Here is a documentary-style exhibition of photography by Michael Poster and writing by Melissa Whalen Haertsch that explores the work life of seven companies that, instead of outsourcing, continued to operate manufacturing businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The photographs capture people at work with the machinery they know so intimately, while the writings showcase both the things these companies have in common, and the small eccentricities that set them apart from others. The result is a nuanced celebration of the complexities and virtues of these enterprises and the people who work within them.

Artist Statement

In our works together, sometimes the pictures come first, and sometimes the writing. More often than not, we find that the other person's work or insight or off-hand remark distills for us our own muddy thinking on the topic in view, and opens the door to the next stage of our individual progress. Working together has helped us each to be more and more who we are.

Together we have created a variety of projects that include both images and writing, including accordion-style books and gallery exhibits like We Still Make Stuff Here.


About the Artists

Michael Poster was born October 9, 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1974, he and his wife, artist Rodrica Tilley, moved to Montrose, PA, where they raised their daughter, Zoë and a series of pets. He began photographing as a teenager, put it aside for nearly forty years, and began making pictures again around the year 2000. Since then most of his photographic efforts have focused on the people of Northeast Pennsylvania. His work has appeared at Camerawork Gallery and the Marquis Gallery, both in Scranton; Butternut Gallery, Montrose, PA; and the Sordoni Gallery at Wilkes University, where Sweetheart Like You, an examination of the sport of roller derby, was held over by popular acclaim. We Still Make Stuff Here is his first exhibit at Marywood University.

Melissa Whalen Haertsch lives on an old Quaker estate in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. She writes essays, poetry, fiction and stories for children. Her work has appeared in Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Café Review and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She served as the 2006-2007 Artist in Residence at Salt Springs State Park in Franklin Forks, PA, and has curated four collaborative exhibits of writers and artists at Butternut Gallery, Montrose, PA. We Still Make Stuff Here is her first exhibit at a university gallery.

The exhibit is free and open to the public seven days a week. Gallery hours include Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m.- to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1- 4 p.m. For further information or directions, contact Marywood University Art Galleries at (570) 348- 6211 ext. 2428 or www.marywood.edu/galleries.