Coal Region: A Local Artist

We continue to collect and add voices to the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania project to help shape understanding of the history, culture, and media representations of the Greater Anthracite Region. Please make sure your town/area is represented. We invite you to share a picture/pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr. You may post them directly to our page at or use the hashtag #MyCoalRegion and your materials will be reposted to our blog and to our Facebook page.

What kind of picture(s) should you post? Well that’s up to you: We want to build a collection of images that tell residents’ stories—past and present of the Anthracite Region. Photos of family, streets, mining, factories, both past and present-day streetscapes, buildings, coal-operations (past and present), churches and synagogues, religious activity, mining equipment, co-generation zones and culm, everyday life, ethnic activities, industry, deindustrialization, and anything else that tells YOUR story of the region.

Our current post is from local artist Robert McCormick. He writes to us the following:

“Hello, out there! I am an artist living and working in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The first piece shown here – ‘Almost Touching’ – drew inspiration from Girardville-born poet, Harry Humes’ beautiful tribute, ‘My Mother at Evening.’ The second piece, ‘Rust,’ pays homage to the harsh beauty that once characterized our ‘hard-coal’ heritage. I’m currently working on a monograph of my paintings that depict growing up in the region during the 1950’s – 60’s. Look for a release date in the spring of 2017.” #MyCoalRegion

Robert shared the following images of his work:

  5 comments for “Coal Region: A Local Artist

  1. ub1226
    April 2, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Tonight at Bucknell University’s Weis Center for the Performing Arts, I experienced Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields.” From the first low, droning sound of the strings to the final lilting whistling, I was mesmerized by what I saw and heard. If this piece were a painting, I would describe it as Abstract Expressionism. I don’t know the words used in the music world for this oratorio – contemporary classical, jazz, rock? Is it theater? Is it opera? I don’t know, but as the grandson of a coal miner and a railway man, it rattled my bones and pulled at my heart. Julia Wolfe has elevated our ancestors travails to a universal height, reminding us how very real human suffering can be – has always been – and still IS. I will be honored to exhibit seven pieces of my art at the Rider University shows on April 21 and 22. Google her to get a feel for the music, and think about making the trip to Trenton to see this piece if you are able. Be well! B

  2. April 3, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I was happy to meet you there–the man behind the paintings. What a wonderful connection that you knew my grandmother and my father’s family. Julia Wolfe has honored our ancestors in this piece. I could not agree more. She put great work into understanding what we have gone through as a community which emerges in the sounds of the oratorio. All the best!

    • Bob (Robert J.) McCormick
      April 5, 2017 at 1:56 am

      Thanks, Melissa. I enjoyed meeting you and Dorothy, as well. Stay well and good luck with your dissertation!

      • Bob (Robert J.) McCormick
        April 6, 2017 at 1:22 pm

        By the way, to see more of my paintings, check out Bob McCormick Gallery on Facebook. Thank you! B

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: