Workers photograph / Marly Kosinski
Linda Vasconi of Hubbard, accompanied by her terriers, Iris (heart) and Vespers, sits in entrance of certainly one of her black-and-white pictures depicting the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Youngstown.

HUBBARD — Linda Vasconi has had quite a lot of jobs, however none of them have made her as blissful as her interest of taking images.

Vasconi, 52, a local of Hickory, Pa., and a 1986 graduate of Hickory Excessive College, talked about her colourful employment historical past from the Hubbard house she shares together with her husband, Invoice Hogg, and two feminine terriers, Iris and Vespers. She and Hogg (Vasconi nonetheless makes use of her maiden title) met 17 years in the past once they labored collectively at Sharon Tube. They’ve been married 4 years.

Vasconi now works at Nordson Xaloy Inc., a specialty machine store in Austintown, the place she has been for 3 1/2 years. She is the standard management inspector there, and the Victoria Street firm is the results of a merger and relocation of a number of firms from western Pennsylvania.

“It’s extremely technical. I’ve to know rather a lot in regards to the product to have the ability to inform if the components are good,” she mentioned, noting fairly a number of girls work within the workplace, however she is just one of a few handful who work on the ground.


Her journey to her present job began in highschool at Big Eagle in Hermitage, the place she labored for 13 years in varied positions, together with as a scan coordinator, which meant she was liable for pricing accuracy. On the age of 27, she went to Youngstown State College and earned an affiliate’s diploma in diet, however she mentioned she couldn’t discover a job within the subject that paid as a lot as she was making at Big Eagle. So, she took a job at Frito-Lay for one yr and began working at Sharon Tube in 1998.

“The cash was good, and I had nice advantages,” Vasconi mentioned of the troublesome work.

The manufacturing unit downsized, and she or he misplaced her job in 2010, so she went again to high school, incomes a two-year diploma in specialty enterprise at Erie Enterprise Faculty. After that, she went to a different machine store as assistant plant coordinator, however was downsized after simply six months.

Vasconi then took a job as a listing management / buying coordinator at Anderson-DuBose in Lordstown in 2013. Nonetheless, she was laid off from that job in 2014 — simply 10 days earlier than Christmas.

She had bother discovering a full-time job and labored for a brief company in two-week stints at varied firms earlier than studying that Resco Inc. in New Fort wanted a top quality management inspector. The corporate produced clay graphite merchandise, and she or he ended up with black residue throughout arms and coat throughout the interview.

“I advised my husband I didn’t need to work there, however I took the job anyway and after six months, I took over the job of the girl who employed me,” Vasconi mentioned.

The corporate was situated subsequent to an deserted Shenango China manufacturing unit, and Vasconi mentioned she and her buddy each had been employed and after work, they might go to the deserted manufacturing unit and take footage with their digital cameras of things left behind — containers of china bowls, mugs and dishes, in addition to outdated cabinets. The 17-acre manufacturing unit closed in 1992.

“My grandma labored at Shenango China for 10 years and my aunt labored there for 40 years, so I had a particular connection to it,” Vasconi mentioned.


These images led to her curiosity in what she referred to as “deserted pictures,” which is taking images inside outdated warehouses, factories and shops. Nonetheless, she broke her ankle whereas photographing an deserted fuel station on Indianola Avenue in Youngstown in March 2019.

“I tore three tendons and had two fractures. That ended my curiosity in deserted constructing pictures,” Vasconi mentioned.

Her curiosity in pictures started when she was 13.

“I might steal my dad’s Polaroid digicam. I took it to a celebration as soon as, and I confirmed my earth science instructor, Carol Mitchell, who additionally was into pictures. She advised me my footage had good composition, and she or he form of took me below her wing and taught me some abilities,” Vasconi mentioned.

She and Mitchell typically went to Buhl Park in Hermitage to take footage.

“She advised me as soon as that taking footage enabled you to freeze time, and I believed that was so cool,” Vasconi mentioned.

She took two pictures courses in highschool. Throughout her senior yr, she gained a blue ribbon in an industrial arts present for your complete northwest quadrant of Pennsylvania.

As of late, she is snapping away at just about something — bushes, animals, water. Her husband is a frequent mannequin for her footage.

Vasconi mentioned her monochrome footage, or black and white, get probably the most constructive responses on social media.

“That could be my new factor,” she mentioned.

Vasconi has gained six awards in three years, together with the Eileen D. Scragg Memorial Award on the thirty eighth annual Ladies Artists exhibit on the YWCA Mahoning Valley earlier this yr. She gained for a black-and-white {photograph} of fog taken at Harding Park in Hubbard.

She additionally gained the Individuals’s Alternative and Finest in Present on the Davis YMCA “However I Know What I Like” artwork competitors. She estimates she has taken shut to five,000 images previously a number of years as a result of she shoots “at the very least 100 footage” at each website. She attends one or two pictures workshops every year with Deserted America and Uncovering PA.


And since her full-time job and interest don’t hold her busy sufficient, Vasconi is also concerned at her church — St. John’s Episcopal Church on Wick Avenue in Youngstown. She has been a member for 10 years and helps out with neighborhood ministry, together with on the church’s meals pantry and soup kitchen. She additionally began a girls’s espresso group the third Saturday of every month the place the ladies who come to the soup kitchen get collectively for fellowship, breakfast and a raffle drawing for door prizes.

Vasconi mentioned the group began out with 15 girls and earlier than COVID-19 hit, the group was as much as 45. She mentioned the conferences have been halted till the pandemic is over.

The Rev. Gail Catinella has made area on the church for an artwork gallery, and Vasconi was the primary to point out her work there.

Her artwork additionally has led to her turning into a member of the SMARTS (College students Motivated by the Arts) Circle, which she joined about 18 months in the past. Vasconi defined that her firm does fundraising throughout the plant and Nordson doubles regardless of the staff increase and the cash goes to varied charities by way of grant purposes.

SMARTS board member Liz Testa obtained Vasconi concerned in donating artwork for the group’s giant fundraiser and Vasconi referred to as SMARTS director Becky Keck about making use of for certainly one of Nordson’s grants, which led to Vasconi ending up on the board.

Vasconi’s work may be discovered on Fb and Instagram below Linda Vasconi Studios.

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