Last updated: February 16. 2013 7:38PM - 419 Views

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He loves bridges, Civil War battlefields and black-and-white photos. Visit his new fine art gallery, One Thousand Words on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston, and you'll soon realize all that about Paul Funke of Nuangola.

As he shows you around, you'll also likely hear about the adventures he's had with his camera.

"Stand out in a storm long enough, dodge enough lightning and you'll get a good shot," he said as a visitor admired pictures of misty rivers, railroad bridges – and a few unexpected details.

"You never know what you're going to find," Funke said, pointing to what appeared to be the rib cage of an animal, photographed near a remote building that had fallen into disrepair.

A history buff at heart, Funke can't resist sharing tidbits he's gleaned.

"This bridge at Harpers Ferry was burned nine times and rebuilt nine times," he said, indicating a photo on the wall in the gallery's restroom. He calls that room the "Loo - vre," by the way, in honor of both the famous French museum and the British word for lavatory.

Why does he work in black-and-white, with film?

"I like the depth of it," said Funke, who began to devote himself to photography three or four years ago. Before that he was in the business world, he added with the air of someone glad to leave that all behind.

Funke's gallery is a showcase for other artists as well.

Among the many works on display are millinery from Marsha "Mona the Mad Hatter" Drummond of Devon, cider paintings by Sandy Leonard of Pikes Creek, animation design by Gerry Stankiewicz of Wilkes-Barre and pottery by Ellen Mulvenna of Harleysville.

"It's decorative as well as functional," Funke said of Mulvenna's bowls and tea pots. "It's dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe. You just can't put it over an open flame."

"I know, I sound like a commercial," he said, chuckling at his own enthusiasm.

Other artists return the compliments.

"I love the gallery. I think it's a great addition to Kingston," said Erin Jordan, 30, of West Wyoming, whose brilliantly colored oils can be seen there.

"It's a great location, with a lot of traffic on a busy street," said Stankiewicz, 29, who recently sold one of his drawings at A Thousand Words.

Stankiewicz's work is a celebration of pop culture, with purple dragons, Pee-wee Herman and a sword-wielding Conan the Barbarian of video game fame.

Jordan's oil paintings, in contrast, are much more abstract.

"For me, the art is like a meditation," she said. "I have to get to a place where I'm not thinking about anything. I pick out all the colors first and then let myself go free and see what comes out."


What: A Thousand Words fine art gallery

Where: 253 Wyoming Ave., Kingston

When: Usually open noon to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

Next gallery reception: Tentative date Oct. 12

Info: 899-5578

Artists whose work is on display: Kathy Connelly, Marsha "Mona the Mad Hatter" Drummond, Jennifer Fedorick, Paul Funke, Erin Jordan, Jeanne Kenney, Sandy Leonard, Robin Antolic Manjone, Ellen Mulvenna, Gerry Stankiewicz.

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