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Long forgotten Pennsylvania town becomes artist enclave

Wilkes Barre, PA, February 28, 2014 --( In 2008, Ken Marquis, a Pennsylvania-based picture framer, had an epiphany while milling around an automobile show: “I started scurrying up and down vendor aisles buying old hub caps. I bought 41 rusted old hub caps that day. My friend thought I was crazy. I said ‘I have an idea’.”

Marquis’ idea led to one of the largest non-profit international artist’s effort, The Landfillart Project. To date, over 1000 artists encompassing every state in the United States and 52 countries have re-claimed and transformed a piece of rusted metal garbage into works of art.

Now Marquis has embraced another mission: To transform the long-forgotten hamlet of Glen Lyon, Newport Township, Pennsylvania into a thriving artist community.

For more information about this artist community, contact Ken Marquis: 570-823-0518 or

In 2013, and for many decades, Glen Lyon in Northeastern Pennsylvania was a quiet, some say near dormant shell of its former self. Glen Lyon was once a thriving and quaint coal community – the classic book, “Miracle of the Bells” was based on this community and the major 1948 movie, “The Miracle of the Bells,” was in part filmed there.

Glen Lyon industry departed when King Coal was dethroned and for over 50 years the community has languished.

Many would admit the charm has never left Glen Lyon. There is only one road into Glen Lyon and one Main Street – making this a quiet community nestled between forest, hills and major cliff outcroppings.

There was the “Miracles of the Bells.” Now there appears to be a new miracle afoot. In 2013 Ken Marquis acquired long-closed store-fronts, warehouses, apartments and homes and is transforming this space into subsidized artist housing and work space. Once, Glen Lyon’s coal helped fuel homes and industry throughout the eastern United States. Now, argues Marquis, Glen Lyon will fuel artists’ creative enterprises.

Just two hours from major metros like Manhattan and Philadelphia, Marquis is advancing this art collective in a big way by offering artists in high cost of living areas like Philadelphia and New York City subsidized living and work space.

Enter a striking pillared 100 year old bank on Main Street and you’ll see why artists seem to favor this community. Inside this bank is a thriving living workshop of painters creating world-class paintings, sketches and murals in a workshop setting lined with art covering every square inch of its 25 foot high bank ceilings. The bank is owned by world renowned billiard table craftsman, Harry Grozio, II.

“I have been around artists all my professional life as an art gallery owner and art framer,” says Marquis. Why should an artist struggle just to pay 700 dollars a month to park their car in Manhattan? As my friend Harry Grozio II has shown, Glen Lyon is a quintessential community for an artist and their family to create and thrive.

Published February 4, 2014

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