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Artists and photographers are invited to tour five Pittston churches, exploring the beauty of the stained glass, architecture and craftsmanship.

Area artist Jan Lokuta will host the 2018 Artists Tour of Landmark Churches starting at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 20. The event is free of charge, but registration is required.

Each stop will last about an hour, Lokuta said.

“It gives enough time to explore the churches for what they are,” Lokuta explained.

The first stop on the tour is St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7 Wood St., Pittston, which Lokuta explained has a unique diagonal configuration of the sanctuary.

Then the tour will move to Second Presbyterian Church of Pittston, 143 Parsonage St., which represents a simple New England style interior, according to Lokuta.

Then the group will visit St. Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William St. This church’s distinctive Romanesque architecture reflects the Italian heritage of the founders of the church, Lokuta noted.

Next the group will travel to Our Lady of the Eucharist, 535 N Main, which reflects a simple design and is known for its German stained glass windows, Lokuta explained.

Finally, to conclude the tour, participants will stop at Italian Christian Church, 40 E. Oak St. Originated from the Welsh Baptist church, this building is very simple, having an almost starke style, according to Lokuta.

Lokuta wants amateur and professional creators to be inspired by their surroundings and take a second to look around and either take photos or draw what they see from what inspires them.

This special artists tour is in addition to Lokuta’s annual Tour of Historical Churches. The 13th installment of that original tour will visit five churches in Kingston on June 24.

“I decided to create a second tour designed specifically for artists and photographers so that they could spend more time inside churches experiencing it for themselves,” said Lokuta, describing this artists tour as more “hands-on.”

Lokuta has done church tours for more than a decade, staring his first tour in 2006 in the Pittston area, inspiring artists to depict the inside and outside of local churches.

Lokuta said he started the tours because he was fascinated by the beauty of the various architectural styles in the area.

“I would drive River Street all the way into Pittston and when I got to the corner of South Main Street and what was then known as Rail Road Street, I would look ahead and see seven steeples jutting out of this rather mundane urban landscape, each one having a different architectural style,” Lokuta explained.

“Those styles included Gothic and baroque and the thought that this one spot would have this much church architecture made me appreciate not just these churches and their architecture, but the culture,” he said.

The group will meet at the Pittston Library, 47 Broad St. To reserve a spot on the artists tour, contact Lokuta at 570-296-6471 during regular business hours, at 570-296-2181 in the evening or email lokuta@wskllawfirm.com. While Lokuta said he is trying to cap the size of the group at 20, if there are more interested in joining, he will try to accommodate them.

Lokuta advises those attending should dress appropriately to enter a house of worship.

Anyone interested in attending the 13th annual Tour of Historical Churches in Kingston also can contact Lokuta at the above numbers and email address.