Naïf Artist Unveils New Work

Naïf Artist Unveils New Work

Naïf artist Juan Espino has been painting a portrait of the historic Hawley Silk Mill. For months, he has worked on the evolving piece just inside the massive bluestone building’s main entrance.

As a result, passersby observed the meticulous work-in-progress. Daily, they interacted with Espino as he painted. Finally, the public will have the opportunity to view Espino’s completed painting.

Its unveiling will occur on Friday, August 5, from 5 to 8 pm, at a wine and cheese reception at the Hawley Silk Mill.

Following its unveiling, the painting will be on display on the first floor of the Hawley Silk Mill. Prints of the work will be available through The Looking Glass Art Gallery and Studio, Ltd.

The Hawley Silk Mill

The towering structure formerly known as the Bellemonte Silk Mill was built in 1880. Notably, it is the largest bluestone construction in the United States.

The Mill has been an important part of the industrial development of Northeast Pennsylvania. Over the years, its many incarnations have included a silk factory, a textile factory and an antique center.

Today, the Hawley Silk Mill plays a leading role in regional economic and community development. It serves as a lifestyle center with a collection of businesses, retail shops, a local food market, fitness center, musical performance space and a branch of Lackawanna College all located within the beautifully renovated facility.

Photo of Naïf Artist Juan and Millie Espino at the Hawley Silk Mill.

Millie and Juan Espino

Naïf Artist Juan Espino

A primitive or folk art style characterizes Naïf artist Espino’s paintings. He focuses on capturing the uniqueness of communities in the Upper Delaware River region.

Espino has painted collections focused on Milford and Honesdale, Pennsylvania. His lively depictions of Hawley have long adorned posters and collectible ornaments associated with the town’s annual Winterfest.

Espino is a self-taught artist. There is a child-like innocence to his work, which features consistent use of pure intense colors and a single-plane perspective.

Espino researches his subjects in order to depict an appropriate scene for each painting. His work was exhibited at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, among other honors.

Juan and his wife, Millie own The Looking Glass Art Gallery and Studio, Ltd., located within the Hawley Silk Mill. The unique gallery features the work of regional artists such as William Amptman, JJ Jackson, and Howard D. Becker. It also specializes in Naïf art.

Espino paints a miniature image of himself into his paintings as his signature. For him, the work and the life of the artist are intertwined. “I believe that the artist has to reflect his life and his surroundings and to let the viewer see part of the life of the artist through the painting,” he says.

I want to leave a record of my life in this area. At the same time, if people find some beauty in my paintings, it is because of the beauty of the historic buildings. If people see that, maybe it will lead to their preservation.”

Leave a Reply

What We Do

What’s New