Mahady Gallery features Scranton artist Chala Jan


Photo credit/ Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Chala Jan’s “Flight of Fancy” exhibit showcased in the Mahady Gallery in the Shields Center for Visual Arts.

Juliette Meyers and Erin Yeager

The Mahady Gallery at Marywood University hosted the Flight of Fancy exhibition reception on Oct. 18 at 6:00 p.m. The exhibit will run through Nov. 23.

The Flight of Fancy exhibit showcases a body of photographic works by Scranton-based artist Chala Janpraphasakul’s (commonly known as Chala Jan).

Jan is a fine art photographer and software developer. She is originally from Thailand but has lived in the United States since 1998. Jan graduated from Hunter College in 2004 and has a degree in computer software. She now works in Scranton as a software developer.

Jan’s art ties into her work, as several of her photographs are edited using digital processing tools to generate elements of surrealism.

“It’s almost like a journal. If I make an image, representing my feelings at the time, then that is kind of like my own journal. I can go back and look at it and remember how I felt during that time,” said Jan.

A number of Jan’s pieces feature naturalistic photographs with models digitally imposed to create somewhat of a story in the portrait. According to Jan, her creative process for these works of art involve finding beautiful locations and then making things up in the setting to bring the locations’ beauty to life.

Many guests throughout the evening were quick to favor one of Jan’s larger pieces, which depicts numerous photos of Jan’s photoshopped into a photograph of her apartment.

Carlos Martin, a regular exhibit attendee, liked its three-dimensional aspect. “It just kind of pops out at you,” said Martin.

Many of Jan’s works showcased in the exhibit are self-portraits; however, a select few feature models. Valerie Kiser, Jan’s friend and model, can be seen in two of the photographs in the Flight of Fancy exhibit.

“The best part about working with Chala is that she already has the vision in her head, and so for me working as her model was amazing,” said Kiser.

Along with friends and family in attendance, the show also gathered a large art following. Rob Lettieri, a local photographer, was pleased with the turn out of the opening.

“This is the first show for an artist of this magnitude in Scranton,” said Lettieri.
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