Tamaqua native explores the intricacies of design art – Times News Online
Published on March 12, 2022 at 07:08
For Morrell “Mo” Devlin, visual art is a study of the elements that make it amazing.
For over 50 years, the Tamaqua native has been pushing the boundaries of design, using photography and videography to discover more about the world around him.
He has explored countless subjects and has been published and exhibited around the world. His work has been seen in National Geographic, on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship and at the Berlin Opera.
For the month of March, locals can view and even purchase some of his work, particularly his experimentation with imagery of frozen flowers, from Jim Thorpe.
Devlin’s photographs are on display at Wild Elder Wine & Cider Co., 76 Broadway.
Devlin was introduced to photography in high school. He was one of approximately 13 students selected to start a communication arts program in 1972-73, his senior year at Tamaqua Area High School.
He expanded his reach over the next 10 years while serving in the United States Army and working in United States Forces Radio and Television.
Perhaps his defining artistic moment came many years ago when he started experimenting with frozen flowers.
“Through trial and error…and lots of ice and flowers…I was able to develop my freezing method to achieve a variety of effects.”
It sounds simple. But it’s not.
Devlin, of Dallas, near Wilkes-Barre, uses distilled or sometimes reverse osmosis type water. He studies how flowers react when they freeze, how bubbles and trails form, and documents it all through the lens. He is also experimenting with infrared photography and high dynamic range.
He then uses computer software, such as computer-generated fractals, to achieve a certain goal with the images.
“I like to push the limits,” he says.
Today, he has over 2,500 dazzling works produced through countless hours of innovation and exploration.
For Devlin, art is as much about discovery as it is about creativity.
“As with most things with nature and science, beauty often comes unexpectedly. So I take the shot I want first, the shot I need next, and finally I take the shot at which I wasn’t expecting. The latter is usually the best.
His ultimate goal, he says, is to have an impact on the viewer.
“I hope my art takes you inside. I hope everyone sees something different…feels something different.
For the observer, art is generally an aesthetic experience that evokes emotions – joy, pleasure, sadness, even fear.
Devlin’s works inspire a sense of wonder, not just in the finished piece, but in the creative process.
“His work is just beautiful,” said Scranton fan Carl Abrahamson, retired WNEP-TV news director. “I wouldn’t even think of doing something like that.”
Another said the setting was perfect.
“It’s really something and it’s a perfect setting to do it,” said Joan Tracy Jones of Schuylkill Haven.
Amber Breiner of Wild Elder Wine & Cider Co. said Devlin’s unique ice and flower work is the perfect choice for a spring show at her business, which opened in December 2020.
“We are going into spring right now. It’s charming, beautiful and energetic.
Breiner said other artists have the opportunity to showcase and sell their work.
“We encourage artists who are prolific. Doing this event helps celebrate the artist.
She can be contacted at [email protected] for more information on Devlin’s work or other upcoming shows.
The unique artistry of Tamaqua native Morrell “Mo” Devlin is available to view and purchase during March at Wild Elder Wine & Cider Co., 76 Broadway, Jim Thorpe. DONALD R. SERFASS/SPECIAL AT THE TIMES NEWS
Discussing the work of photographer Mo Devlin are, left to right, Jim Thomas of South Abington Township, Joan Tracy Jones of Schuylkill Haven and Carl Abrahamson of Scranton. DONALD R. SERFASS/SPECIAL AT THE TIMES NEWS