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Art Takes Many Forms in Jim Thorpe

Special Feature by Yvonne Wright, Artist & Owner
Studio YNW | 100 W Broadway Jim Thorpe

Upon arrival in Jim Thorpe, regardless of the seasons’ atmospheric framework, one is almost immediately struck by the town’s undeniably ubiquitous artistic atmosphere. Permeating in a plethora of physical and intuitive manifestations, Jim Thorpe’s relevance to the concept of art taking many inescapable. The most noticeable and visually pleasing forms of artistic expression Jim Thorpe has to offer is in a large number of historically relevant buildings, painstakingly restored to their original architectural styles.

While some gems are still hiding underneath aluminum siding, only hinting at the architectural detail beneath - the overwhelmingly successful attempts at blending Victorian historicism (richly represented here in a variety of revival-styles), with a contemporary idea of the picturesque, works seamlessly. However, it is the subtle and intuitively perceptive forms of art that inspires me most about this town, making it worthy of pointing out. Look around and draw in the beauty of textures, colors, and patterns. Observe the endless rows of painted windows, wooden doors and iron gates.

There are rusty old hinges, brass door knobs, and stone masonry. Note the majestic trees and playful plants weaving their way through architectural assemblies, while shimmering sun bounces off the hanging baskets, mansard roofs, and deep red facade bricks. 

The complexity and richness of the natural environment stretched across the folds of Mauch Chunk ridges provides additional artistic experience through panoramic vistas best encountered on a leisurely walk. But then, there is of course genuine fine art, fine dining and fine music to suit discerning tastes - all intensifying their allure periodically, and most noticeably in the summer and fall months. 

Many visual artists have made their turf here, producing works in varieties of mediums and styles. Therefore, when in town, a visit to a local gallery is in order, followed by fine dining in a sublime atmosphere of gloriously presented foods, served in the creatively restored vintage homes. Finally, there would not be a Jim Thorpe visit without taking in a performance at the Opera House - the grande dame of classically inspired Victorian architecture, with a contemporary facelift worthy of Manhattan.

Art takes many forms in this little Victorian gem sheltered by the mighty surroundings of the Pocono Mountains, within which Jim Thorpe’s atmospheric set-up becomes ever more enchanting, painterly, and expressive. With the spring-color framework of pinks, yellows and pale greens upon us, perceptibly enhanced by morning mists and now much longer days, this town is truly inspiring, comforting and communicating with its visitors in ways that is otherwise rather uncommon for small, post-industrial towns. It offers a kind of life-is-good nostalgia that may easily overtake you when visiting... and brings out artistic sensitivities in everyone that arrives here.

Photos Courtesy of Yvonne Wright

Originally published in the Jim Thorpe Current

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