One could call them the lost DeBonis Scrolls.
Much as the Dead Sea Scrolls shed new light on biblical history, the DeBonis pictures are the work of Daniel E. DeBonis in the 1950s and 1960s when the locally noted artist was in his 30s.
Sandee Stottlemyer and Jill Cattron Mihocko were sorting through the usual donations in the basement of First United Methodist Church in Sharpsville recently in preparation for next week’s “treasure sale” at the church.
There are tables full of bric-a-brac, knick-knacks and other assorted gew-gaws. Items that are trash for some, but treasures for the people who attend rummage and yard sales and flea markets in search of something special.
Perhaps the most special something are the DeBonis pictures and it’s a find they’re looking to somehow preserve or display somewhere in the Shenango Valley.
The poster-sized pictures are brittle now, but are mostly well-preserved color drawings that showcase DeBonis’ talent as a portrait artist.
DeBonis died in 2009 at 87.
According to obituary information, DeBonis, a 1941 Farrell High grad, was employed as a fulltime artist at The Sharon Store, where he was known for his window displays for the downtown Sharon department store. The scroll artwork appears to be from some of those sales displays.
“He created hundreds of extraordinary portraits of Hollywood celebrities, political figures and sports heroes, but was known to create portraits of ordinary people here locally,” his obituary said.
His portrait artwork was on display for years in Hermitage at the former Cookery restaurant, Morgan’s Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and the former Cinema World in the old Hickory Plaza. His black-and-white pencil sketches of each of Farrell’s former mayors line the lobby at the Farrell city building.
The trove of more than 30 pictures that Stottlemyer and Mihocko found had been stored in the crawl space of a Sharpsville home.
Its contents were donated by the owner for the “treasure sale,” which is scheduled for next Wednesday.
The ladies don’t plan to sell the DeBonis pictures.
Instead, “we’d like to donate it” to an organization or business with the space to display and preserve the work.
The pictures are rolled up and look like large scrolls and they include portraits of baseball players, New York City scenes, and men’s fashion drawings.
“We have a lot of treasures, but none quite like this one,” Stottlemyer said.
Work of local artist found stashed in house
One could call them the lost DeBonis Scrolls.
- Local News
Tear it down? Fix it up?
In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.
- News briefs from April 19, 2014
Man admits having child porn
A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.
Police getting new tool to fight crime
Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.
Soap box derby finds new home
The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.
News briefs from April 18, 2014
‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation
Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal
Lung Association offering free radon test kits
Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped
A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.
Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple
A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.
Tech waste eyed for new contact
The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.
WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.
News briefs from April 17, 2014
Man arrested for running from accident scene
UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital
Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic
Court supports prison term in chase case
Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer
Officials pledge support to sewer project
Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.
Neighbors tried to save victim
As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.
Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault
Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.
Despite good deeds, man going back to prison
Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.
- More Local News Headlines
- Tear it down? Fix it up?