SHAMOKIN - Putting his work on display is old hat for Mount Carmel artist Mark Sassani, but that doesn't mean he doesn't get excited about it.

"Every time I do an exhibition, I'm always looking for something new to show," Sassani said. "I'm always on the lookout for some new medium or subject."

His one-man art show, which opened Friday at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts Gallery, features a mix of mediums and styles, showing off scenes of nature along with views of his hometown.

"I love to just go out in nature and paint, creating art live in the scene I'm painting. A lot of the work you see here is usually from either Bear Gap or the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon," the artist said.

The show features a number of watercolors by the artist, many of which are landscapes created in the past two years. They are a small snapshot of Sassani's work.

He also does murals, easel paintings, drawing, photography and restoration work on statues, paintings and stained glass, mostly for churches.

'Such a great setting'

The show features a few of another of Sassani's trademarks, religious icons, including one piece called "The Savior" that holds great sentimental value for him.

"This piece was sold to a lady from Atlas. Her home was later destroyed in a fire, but a Bible and that artwork were the only things that survived the blaze," he said.

Black soot marks are still visible on the back of the piece.

"After the fire, she gave the painting back to me. I've cherished it ever since," Sassani said.

Sassani holds a Bachelor of Science in art education from Mansfield University and taught art in the Mount Carmel Area School District for 32 years, while continuing his education at Kutztown University, Bloomsburg University, Clarion University and Wilkes University.

Over the years, his works have been featured in many solo art exhibits, including at Mansfield Alumni Gallery; Turner Gallery; NCCAH Gallery in Shamokin; Mount Carmel Area Public Library and The Studio in Mount Carmel; Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts in Southbridge, Mass.; Sinclair Gallery in Millersburg, and Full Spectrum Gallery in Lewisburg.

He has participated in a long list of group and juried exhibits and holds many awards. He was also featured in the March 1992 issue of "The Artist Magazine."

This show marks his second exhibit at the Shamokin gallery; the first one was in 2005.

"It's so wonderful that there is a place like this in the area where artists can display their work in such a great setting," he said.

Sassani resides in Mount Carmel with his wife, Donna Rose, and daughter, Elizabeth Ann. A daughter, Lori Ann, lives out of town.

The exhibit is free and will run through March 28. The gallery is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On the Web: www.marksassani.biz or email him at artbymark@verizon.net.