Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A night of Life at TLR

On a crisp autumnal evening, The Sherman Theater’s Living Room (TLR) in Stroudsburg, PA opened their weekly Open Mic Nite event on Sunday November 9th to a room filled with musicians, poets, and numerous individuals who shared a loving desire to partake of the creativity the evening had to offer. I arrived just prior to the sign in ritual which has become an event in and of itself as those wishing to perform affixed their signatures or mom de plume to the sacred list determining the order of appearances for the evening eagerly endeavor to do so. A number of newcomers to the event were among the signatories which enhanced the anticipatory excitement of those who awaited their gifts to be revealed.

As the 7pm hour approached, the evening’s co hosts, Andrew Paul (aka A. P.) and Jesse Morales, took the stage to share their welcoming sentiments along with the house rule regarding the performance content of which profanity was allowed but a warning that it will be prevalent throughout the set should be given. These remarks were followed by a performance given by Jesse and his guitar with a slow thoughtful song that brought the souls of those who listened to its melodies and lyrics to a place of rest. He was followed by guitarist Sunny Shading who, with Jesse accompanying him, sang a number of songs whose effervescent qualities elicited joyous clapping and uplifted hearts from the audience.

Sunny Shading was followed by poetry rendered in succession by newcomers Drew and Moonbeam whose words moved the dreams shared by gathering of listeners to a new home within their poetic imagery. They were followed with more poetic explorations shared by a favorite among the venue’s denizens known as The Carlton. His powerful words grabbed the thoughts of all who felt the depths their impact as they delve into their own existence revealed through the silent contemplation of what their souls had heard.

The Carlton was followed by another favorite of The Living Room Crowd who were the duet known as Woodrow www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow which consists of Theresa Ratcliff on vocals and Brian Brancamp on vocals and guitar. They began their set with the Beatles classic “Across the Universe” whose spiritually attuned qualities were enhanced by their interpretation of the work from which they moved the audience to become a community of friends who shared their One (Uni) Song (Verse) with one another. Woodrow followed this song with a sing along which created an air of excitement among the gathering as they eagerly partook of the opportunity to participate in their performance.

Woodrow was followed by Ann Matthews who presented a captivating performance piece titled, “You Need Me” which spoke its truth to every experience in which the dichotomy of encouraging support comes into conflict with the need to grow through one’s meeting life’s challenges alone with the potential one would fail an ever present possibility embedded in the endeavor. Ann was followed by Kevin Tails whose lyrical qualities gave  the a cappella renderings of each song the gift of inspiration that led to the rhythmic moving of heads while the emotions embodied in his voice reached further than the words. It was after Kevin’s performance that a break ensued which provided those in attendance an opportunity to share their words of appreciation to the performers who took the stage thus far and to enrich the experience through the conversations which were inspired by their communal experience.

As the break came to its conclusion, a newcomer to the stage known as Momo verbalized her nervousness as she waited for the music that would accompany her to be played upon the venue’s sound system. Her voice moved the room as she sang with a rawness of emotion that transcended the qualities of the music that shared her audio space. She was followed by another newcomer to the venue known as The Beka who, with guitar in hand, sang with a soul that echoed the depths of the compositions she rendered which were written upon the hearts of life’s experiences. She was followed by Brad M who began his set accompanied by co host Andrew Paul (aka A. P.) on vocal percussion as he offered his rendering of the song “Royal” to an appreciative audience. A. P. then left the stage at the song’s conclusion leaving Brad to share a number of pieces whose eclectic nature infused the audience with their overlapping qualities.

As Brad M completed his performance, The Carlton took the stage to introduce a guest host named Julian Chiaro who shared some introductory words about the next performers who were Rich and Angel from the band Buffalo 66. Their hard core renderings pierced the consciousness of all who felt the raspy voice and heavy guitar chords that epitomized the weight of each song. As Rich and Angel completed their performance, Julian Chiaro retook the stage to share her humorous observations of life with the audience. The topics she explored included dating in the Facebook age in which the seriousness of a relationship (which could consist of a slice pizza with an engagement ring inside of it) is determined on whether or not a profile’s relationship status is changed. Her remarks struck a chord with the gathering as evident in the plentiful laughter they shared. Ms. Chiaro was followed by Wilbium whose electronic renderings created dancing dreams among the crowd as demonstrated by the infectious joy eluding from the lively movements emanating from dancers Satilla Rose and Emillie Day.

It was with the conclusion of Wilbium’s musical journeys did the completion of the main list of performances come into being. However, the allotted time given to the event had not yet expired which meant those who placed their names on the waiting list were now able to add their talents to the evening. They included Gabbie whose poetry mesmerized the gathering with their enlightened qualities as they emotions and situations they relayed were revealed, Cee Rock whose acoustic renderings upon his guitar moved the audience through geometric journeys leading the algorithms of imagination to expand itself into the full emptiness of the conscious reckonings the lyrics of his songs demanded, and Andrew Paul (aka A. P. Box) who ended the evening by sprinkling his vocal percussions with humor until he accompanied Cee Rock who returned to the stage to share a hip hop stream of words that flowed like a flooding river of concepts that saturated the mind with their abundance.

As the final ephemeral utterance of A. P. and Cee Rock left the indelible mark upon the human psyche, A. P. ended the evening with some vocal manipulations which were enjoyed by those who were present. It was at their conclusion did he bid the gathering a fare thee well and invited all to return to the next session of the weekly Open Mic Nite event. Those who remained reluctantly gathered their belongings to venture home with reflections of the evening and all it provided their dreams accompanying them through the door. An eagerness followed them as they anticipated the offerings their experiences promised them for the following week bringing a smile to their hearts. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Sunday November 9th Open Mic Nite Session in The Living Room 2014 Gallery Part 4 at www.facebook.com/forwardian.dude/media_set?set=a.10152489839930421.1073741902.636000420&type=3.

The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday November 16th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series by Exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom.

In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents their current exhibition titled, “Day of the Dead” featuring the work of artists from around the area and will be on display until December 28th. Their next exhibit will take place in January with a theme yet to be announced. Please contact the gallery’s Director and Curators, Keyaira and Drew Ozkenel, at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, exhibitions, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Making It in the SVPA Art Market

The School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) in Stroudsburg, PA held their first Maker’s Market on the weekend of November 8th and 9th. The two day event filled the school with eye catching art, delicately crafted pieces, alluring jewelry to adorn the physical form, beautification products designed to assure a healthier texture to the body and soul of those who purchased them, and some really good samplings of cookies. All of the items presented were created and/or sold by artists and other individuals who made a home in the area.

Artists who presented their work included Josue Guardia www.facebook.com/josue.guardia, Cara Parmagiani of Near Enemy Comics www.facebook.com/nearenemy, Ashley Fontones of BeastyFeast www.facebook.com/AshleyFontones, Shane Izykowski www.facebook.com/shaneizykowskiartist, and Marty Carr www.facebook.com/marty.carr.313 with her daughter Emma Wirth serving at her business manager. The high caliber of quality embodied in the work presented among the varied artists represented the zenith of the creativity that has come to the fore throughout the area in recent years. Some images presented brought a heartwarming smile to the soul while others inspired insightful contemplations of the meaningful messages they conveyed through their visions. Yet, there were also some images that shocked the senses through their horrific depictions while deftly maintaining a great degree of beauty and awe which was reflected in the countenance of all who experienced them.

Crafters who presented their work included Bonnie O’Fee of Bonnies Salves and Ointments www.frombonnieskitchen.com who has been making great smelling and healing salves, ointments, natural healing remedies, and aromatherapies for many years, Mary Elizabeth Ranieri-Fontones of Once Upon a Fairy www.facebook.com/onceuponafairy who offered glamorous Fairy houses and their furnishings that lights up every room with sparkle and magic, Melissa Benzinger of Dancing Vulture Designs www.facebook.com/dancingvulturedesigns who harnesses the natural spirit of playfulness and the joy of wildlife through her meticulous needle felt, sculpture, jewelry, and more, Carol Petrucci of Metaphysically Speaking www.facebook.com/pages/Metaphysically-Speaking who offered an assortment of holistically inspired jewelry containing energies designed to heal the soul, and Camille Theresa who, along with her daughter, offered a delightful assortment of palm trees and other delicately made items that brought a smile to all who visited their table. A delicious assortment of cookie samplings were provided by Flying Merswine www.facebook.com/flyingmerswine whose creative menus and tasty dishes from a family run catering company truly compliments any event.

It is often a challenge among artists whose creative nature seldom embraces the intricate complexities of marketing their endeavors to partake of any initiative to do so. It can almost be said there is something in the genome of the artistic temperament that prohibits this metaphysical mergence from taking place. However, the combination of the items and the manner in which they were presented throughout the day at the School of Visual and Performing Arts proved to be a wonderful mixture of creativity and marketing combined to create a satisfying cuisine that gently bridged the dichotomic gap between the two concepts for all who participated along with the modest number of art lovers who came to explore the offerings. You’ll find more photographs taken during the Makers’ Market of  November 8th and 9th in The SVPA 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152519973960421.1073741905.636000420&type=1.

The Maker’s Market presented at the School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) in Stroudsburg, PA continued it’s weekend of opportunities for its participants to offer their endeavors for purchase until Sunday November 9th. The event proved to be a wonderful respite where one can casually view some wonderful work and engage in some thoughtful conversations with the vendors who are present. In other words, it was a great place to do some early Christmas Shopping for the unordinary items that would make the holiday an unique one.

In addition to the Maker’s Market, the School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) in Stroudsburg, PA presently houses its exhibition titled, “Beyond The Harvest” which will be on display until December 15th. Their next exhibit is titled, “Winter’s Wishes” with an Artists’ Reception scheduled for Saturday December 20th beginning at 6pm. The date upon which the exhibit will continue to be on display is yet to be announced. All area artists are welcomed to participate by placing their work related to the theme in the exhibit. The drop off dates are December 18th and 19th. Please contact Jody Singer at mountainsidearts@hotmail.com for more information.

Also, a full performance of “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be presented at The Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg, PA December 6th and 7th as performed by The Northeast Ballet Ensemble. In addition to preparing for “The Nutcracker” performance, Ms. Verdi shares her extensive knowledge of the art form of dance through the classes she conducts at the school. You can learn more information about them, how to reserve your place by registering for them, and learn how to obtain tickets to attend the performance of “The Nutcracker” by calling 570-619-4113 or by emailing her at D1108@ptd.net.

The School of Visual and Performing Arts is located in Stroudsburg, PA and has been instrumental in the creative development of its students for over 20 years. The facility holds classes in dance, ballet, and movement led by Diane Verdi, Paula Heeschen, and Kathy Kroll as well as classes in the theater arts led by Jazmin Ospa and Shellie Bransford. The school also offers a number of workshops with each focusing on a variety of creative disciplines. You can learn more about The School of Visual and Performing Arts by exploring their Website at www.schoolofvisualandperformingarts.org or their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/schoolofvisualandperformingarts.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Art at The Station, Early in the Evening

The Historic Dansbury Depot in East Stroudsburg, PA hosted an Artists’ Reception on Friday November 7th for the Eastburg Community Alliance exhibition titled, “The Outsider Perspective: The Grey Carter Objects of Art” which featured the works within the Grey Carter Collection. A variety of artists and artistic approaches adorned the walls of the new art space to the area which also houses a studio for classes and numerous functions, such as weddings, for the local community. A sizable gathering filled the room as conversations exploring the potentialities a relationship between the business and artistic community could have on the municipality in which the depot is located.

The images embodied in the exhibit ranged from those whose quiet colors whispered their presence to the viewer to those whose vibrant hues and exuberant depictions demanded one’s attention through their deafening visions. Yet, the entirety of the exhibit had a gentle flow about it that pleased the crowd while they shared words flavored by the wine, cheese, and crackers provided by Brian Stone CPA. You’ll find more photographs taken during the Artists’ Reception for The Outsider Perspective: The Grey Carter Objects of Art exhibition held on Friday November 7th at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152230295395421.1073741876.636000420&type=1.

The Outsider Perspective: The Grey Carter Objects of Art exhibition will continue to be on display at The Historic Dansbury Depot in East Stroudsburg, PA until November 16th and is worthwhile visiting during its visit to the depot. Artists whose work are in the exhibit are represented by Grey Carter who has been collecting the images created by self-taught, visionary, and artists who are considered “outsider” for over 50 years. Mr. Carter has a gallery in McLean, VA in which he has compiled a collection of works ranging from those created by well established and highly regarded masters to new artists more recently discovered along with works that defy categorization. You can learn more about Grey Carter, his collection, and all he offers to art enthusiasts by exploring his website at www.greyart.com.

The Eastburg Community Alliance was established over 30 years ago by local leaders and business owners and is funded through a combination of local grants, direct fundraising, memberships, and local contributions. Besides their The Outsider Perspective: The Grey Carter Objects of Art exhibition which is presented at The Historic Dansbury Depot, The Eastburg Community Alliance holds a Winter Holiday Celebration which is scheduled for Saturday December 13th, an Annual Freedom Festival celebrating the 4th of July, a Fall Octoberfest, and many more events throughout the year. You’ll be able to learn more about The Eastburg Community Alliance and what they offer to the community by visiting their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/EastburgAlliance?fref=ts.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Honoring the Dead at The Living Room

In the time of year when twilight comes earlier to one’s day, The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception Saturday November 1st for their exhibition featuring the work of local artists titled, “Day of the Dead.” The coolness of the evening air followed me into the venue but it was soon replaced by the warmth of the modestly sized gathering who arrived to partake of the art as well as the evening’s activities and offerings. These included music by guitarist Durand Louis, handmade mask whose proceeds from their sale benefit the planning of future events at the venue, shadow boxes created by Daniel Ferron, spherical bread lovingly baked by Amanda-Jean Frisella, and an altar upon which individuals were invited to paint a skull or mask for their altar in honor of those loved ones who were recently deceased.

Although the 32 pieces on display numbered considerably less than those in previous group shows (which had been known to exceed 150 pieces), the scope of imaginative interpretations of the theme embodied in the work remained undiminished. The images ranged from the macabre to those that celebrated life as a honorarium to death. In either case, the creativity found throughout the venue touched upon the spirit of the viewer who partook of it and allowed one to embrace the essentials of life and death as they became one in the same.

As conversations abounded, the evening’s co host and co curator,  Andrew Ozkenel Von Dred, took the stage to share some welcoming words along with some announcements relating to the future of The Living Room Exhibits before introducing Durand Louis to the gathering. One of these announcements were there would be no exhibition presented in December as those who plan the events will take some time to explore the possibilities to be discovered through thoughtful reflection of what has transpired throughout the years and where the venue would like to go. No details were given as everything is still in the formulation stage, but a promise was given that news will be revealed when it’s ready to be so.

It was after these words was Durand Louis introduced to the audience. With guitar in hand, the musician placed a number of original songs in the sub conscious of those who heard them. The darkened hues of his folk compositions led each listener upon journeys of wonderments as their lyrics and music created nocturnal realities upon which their shadowy dreams could build foundations upon. The music had the ability to draw one deeper into its essence until Mr. Louis ended his set with a spell binding instrumental piece that captivated the mesmeric state of the soul.

It was soon after the final notes of Durand Louis’ guitar echoed throughout the room did co host and co curator, Keyaira Lynn Von Dred take the stage to share her words of appreciation to the musician and to those who attended the evening’s event. An invitation was extended to all to purchase raffle tickets for the evening’s raffle from which prizes consisting of work created by many of the local artists who presented their work in the exhibition could be won. However, it was soon after Ms. Von Dred did my ride for the evening indicate it was time for her to leave and I bade my farewells to many of the company who I knew and moved beyond the Living Room’s door and went home.

As I walked the streets of Stroudsburg, PA on route to the car, I reflected upon the work presented in the show and the creativity that went into each piece. Although the quality of the work varied from one rendering to another, the entirety of the exhibit is well worth stopping by the gallery to take a look at. I hope to do so at a later date as the exhibit felt there was something new to be seen when peering at the details embodied in some of pieces a second time. I hope I’ll see you during my visit so we can share our discoveries together. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Day of the Dead Artists’ Reception in The Living Room 2014 Gallery Part 4 at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152489839930421.1073741902.636000420&type=1.

Day of the Dead (aka Día de Muertos) is a holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures focusing on gatherings designed to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer but it was moved to the end of October to the beginning of November to coincide with the holidays instituted by The Roman Catholic Church. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars and honoring the deceased by bringing gifts to their grave.

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Gallery Day of the Dead exhibition featuring the work of local artists will be on display until December 28th. The Gallery’s next exhibit will take place in January with details yet to be revealed. Please contact the gallery’s Directors and Curators, Keyaira Lynn Von Dred and Andrew Ozkenel Von Dred, at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The venue is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, performances, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

In addition to their exhibitions, The Sherman Theater’s Living Room presents a weekly Open Mic Nite which occurs every Sunday Evening beginning at 7pm. Musicians, Poets, Writers, and anyone who would like to share their talents with an eagerly accepting audience are welcomed to participate. There is occasionally a featured band or performer scheduled that enhances the enjoyment of the event. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series on it’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom?ref=ts&fref=ts.

An Aesthetic Journey into Reality’s Dreams

As the seasonal hues of Autumn filled the air with its brisk presence, The SOHO in the BURG Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA reflected the dreamlike adventures the season portends through their “Dream/Reality” exhibition featuring the work of local Artists along with their “Journey Into The Aesthetics!” exhibition which presented the work of H. Lloyd Weston. The artists’ reception was held on Saturday November 1st and featured music performed by various musicians of great talent, tasty morsels of food provided by Flying Merswine Catering www.facebook.com/pages/Flying-Merswine/368792593272368?ref=br_tf, and a great amount of wine with tastings provided by Tolino Vineyards www.facebook.com/TolinoVino. A plentiful number of Art lovers flowed into the gallery to share in the festivities along with the gentle conversation found in the welcoming atmosphere the venue is deservedly reputed to inspire.

The Journey Into The Aesthetics exhibition featuring the work of H. Lloyd Weston was seen immediately as one entered the gallery as the work was hung in its main room. The magnificence of each piece captivated the eye through its intricate simplicity depicting the warming sensations found in the colors of the soul. The entirety of the exhibition embarked upon an exploration of the relationship between human kind and nature revealing the symmetric qualities found in each in spite of the apparent, illusionary segregation of the two. The beauty found in the images contained in their frames thoughtfully lingered with those who viewed them as they escaped their confinements and found a home within the boundless essence of the viewers’ imagination.

The remainder of the gallery presented a plethora of images and sculptures created by local artists exploring the essence of dreams and their intimate, multidimensional relationship to reality throughout the Dream/Reality exhibition. The work encompassed a vast array of interpretations of the display’s theme with each piece freely wandering into the estuaries of imagination through their psychotropic properties. The entirety of the exhibit created a mesmerizing sensation among the gathering which allowed the mind to come to a resting point from which one could freely realize the effects the of the art had on his/her being until the realization that all reality begins as a dream became a central truth to their conscious understanding.

The life enriching elements of the exhibitions were enhanced by the music performed throughout the evening by various musicians. The jazzy elements of the lively and soothing tunes cascaded upon the ears of the gathering inviting each and every person to become one with the conversational notes found in their measured communiqués. A dance of smiles and gentle sways accompanied each composition as the company of listeners allowed their forms to be guided by the rhythms both they and the intertwining music possessed.

The flavor of the exhibit was further enhanced by the culinary treats and libations that were present and lovingly consumed throughout the evening. Flying Merswine Catering provided an assortment of delightfully delicious appetizers which were readily picked up by those who gathered by their table. A chorus of Mmmmms accompanied each bite as harmonizing smiles communicated their satisfied sentiments to their fellow diners. The wine provided by Tolino Vineyards proved to be an excellent compliment to the victuals provided as the properties of the elixirs touching the tongue bought about an even more profound enjoyment of the food.

The combination of art, music, food, drink, and conversation helped make the evening spent at The SOHO in the BURG Gallery another delightful one. These aforementioned ingredients were lovingly mixed together by the gallery’s owner, Andrea Robbins Rimberg, who eagerly greets each visitor as they arrive with her effervescent smile and welcoming demeanor. The effect she has on those who enter the gallery never fails to be an infectious one and lingers in the heart for a lifetime of recollections. You’ll find more photographs taken during the Saturday November 1st Artists’ Reception for The SOHO in the BURG Gallery’s Picture Perfect exhibition in The Stroudsburg Art District 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152239353790421.1073741877.636000420&type=1.

H. Lloyd Weston was born in Jamaica and is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Besides being an accomplished painter, Mr. Weston the author of six poetry collections and one volume of short stories. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets and his visual work is featured in the International Contemporary Masters Art Book, VOL. IV. His work as presented at The SOHO in the BURG Gallery is well worthwhile visiting as is the work of the many local artists are also on display. You can learn more about H. Lloyd Weston and his work by exploring his Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/LloydWestonGroup.

The SOHO in the BURG Gallery is located on the corner of 6th and Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA which was the location of the J. J. Newberry’s store. The gallery opened its doors to the public in April of 2012 and is owned by Andrea Robbins Rimberg who has become well known for her exuberant energies and creativity as many of her pieces are on display in prestigious galleries throughout the United States. The title of the next exhibition to be presented at The SOHO in the BURG Gallery will be announced soon. You can learn more about The SOHO in the BURG Gallery, their future exhibits, and all the gallery has to offer the creative community by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/sohointheburg.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You Reap What You Art

In their continuing endeavor to bring the creativity found throughout the North Eastern PA area to fruit, The School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) in Stroudsburg, PA held a reception showcasing the work of local artists in their current exhibition titled, “Beyond the Harvest” on Saturday October 18th. The slight chill in the air reflecting the season was warmed by the hospitable atmosphere that greeted those who entered the school’s gallery and the glow found in the conversations that ensued brought a further coziness to the intercourse that was shared. In addition to the art that was on display, the evening provided a variety of entertainment as presented by The Diane Verdi Ballet Class and Guitarist Renard Cohen of Son of Blues www.facebook.com/pages/Son-of-the-Blues/412836085403255 along with delicious culinary fare provided by Flying Merswine Catering www.facebook.com/pages/Flying-Merswine/368792593272368?ref=br_tf and wine that was donated to the event by Burnt Toad Studios www.facebook.com/burnttoadstudios.

A majority of the pieces presented in the exhibition captured the flavor of the modern conceptions of the Halloween Season which encouraged the imagination of each viewer to flow into the macabre scenes the work depicted until the experience of delving into its horror sent a delightful chill down one’s eagerly awaiting spine. Yet, there were a number of works which embraced the colorful hues of the season that allowed the spirit of the viewer to blossom so its divine and ripened attributes could be gathered and feasted upon whenever one hungers for its sustaining essence. The combination of these and other approaches to the exhibition’s theme deftly implied a sense of an encapsulating unity between the natural and the supernatural worlds leading many to transcend the sepia landscapes of their ordinary existence and to view life more intuitively.

As the delightful din of conversations reflecting the artistic qualities of the display echoed around the school, attention was given to the gallery’s curator, Jody Singer, who shared his welcoming remarks with the gathering along with news of future endeavor the establishment and other art related entities were soon embarking upon. One of these endeavors were the school’s Marker’s Market which will be held on November 8th and 9th featuring a weekend filled with artisanal goods, crafts, art, and more. There was also the introduction of a new store that recently opened on the town’s main street called, “Puff’s Magic Shoppe” www.facebook.com/puffsmagicshoppe which is a “retail/hippie/head shop” offering a variety of pipes, hookahs, clothing, tapestries, groovey gifts, novelty items, and more to all who venture into their cheerful domain.

It was soon after Mr. Singer concluded his remarks did Ms. Diane Verdi take the stage to introduce the students from her Ballet Class. In a preview of the class’s participation in The Northeast Ballet Ensemble www.facebook.com/NortheastBalletEnsemble production of “The Nutcracker,” the dancers floated across the floor with each step touching upon the imagination of each viewer encouraging the childlike spirit within to join in the joyous movement. Ms. Verdi shared with the audience the history of ballet as the dancers retreated after each segment they performed in order to prepare themselves for the next.

In these historical tellings, Ms. Verdi revealed ballet began as a male dominated performance with women placed upon the stage as a primarily decorative function. Later, women became a more pronounced presence in ballets and chose to rid themselves of the restrictive garments and undergarments indicative of the time in order to move about more gracefully. This led to the hemline of skirts to move above the ankle which attracted many men to the performances. As the inches of the ballerinas’ hemlines moved higher in their numbers, so did the attendance numbers among the artistic form’s male patrons. However, the modern day audience, according to Ms. Verdi, has fewer men attending which is an unfortunate reality. So, the men who were present during the reception were called upon to bravely go against the trend and partake of the beauty found in the artistic form of ballet.

A full performance of #“The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be presented at The Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg, PA December 6th and 7th as performed by The Northeast Ballet Ensemble. In addition to preparing for #“The Nutcracker” performance, Ms. Verdi shares her extensive knowledge of the art form of dance through the classes she conducts at the school. You can learn more information about them, how to reserve your place by registering for them, and learn how to obtain tickets to attend the performance of “The Nutcracker” by calling 570-619-4113 or by emailing her at D1108@ptd.net.

It was as the delights embodied in the segmental performances of the work danced inside the heads of the denizens of the gallery did Renard Cohen and his guitar began to prepare for their performance. The music that flowed from Mr. Cohen and his instrument enhanced the mood of the room and all who inhabited it. The songs he played ranged from those that engaged the listener through their sweet and mellow tones to those whose raucous rhythms moved the body in synchronization to their gregarious beats. It was during his performance did the 9pm hour grew near indicating the time for the much awaited Art Raffle would soon be experienced.

Last minute purchases were made by those who vied for the winning tickets so they could obtain one of the many works of art that was donated for the occasion. Before the commencement of the proceedings was announced, Froilan Kali Ramirez shared news of his class titled, “An Introduction To Latin Rhythms” will soon begin at The School of Visual and Performing Arts and an invitation was extended to partake of the lessons that could be learned through the art. The conclusion of this sharing led to Mr. Singer officially announcing the beginning of the Art Raffle and the first of many items were introduced.

During their introductions, Ms. Ashley Fontones and Ms. Elizabeth Starship graciously held each item elegantly aloft and therefore enhanced the magnificence of the piece with their profound beauty. The tickets were read and the crescendo of excitement grew until the last digit revealed the winning ticket’s owner. A pang of disappointment filled the room until it was replaced by an enthusiastic congratulations to the person who obtained the coveted item. As the last of the items were presented to those who held the winning tickets, farewells were shared as the company of art lovers reluctantly made their way out of the gallery so they could take the memories of the evening home. You’ll find more photographs taken during the Artists’ Reception in The SVPA 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152519973960421.1073741905.636000420&type=1.

The School of Visual and Performing Arts is located in Stroudsburg, PA and has been instrumental in the creative development of its students for over 20 years. The facility holds classes in dance, ballet, and movement led by Diane Verdi, Paula Heeschen, and Kathy Kroll as well as classes in the theater arts led by Jazmin Ospa and Shellie Bransford. The school also offers a number of workshops with each focusing on a variety of creative disciplines. You can learn more about The School of Visual and Performing Arts by exploring their Website at www.schoolofvisualandperformingarts.org or their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/schoolofvisualandperformingarts.

The exhibition titled, “Beyond The Harvest” will be on display in The School of Visual and Performing Arts until December 15th. Although the attendance of the Artists’ Reception was more modest than usual, the energies shared through the viewing of the work, the performances that were enjoyed, and the conversation the event inspired made attending the gallery for the evening much more than a worthwhile endeavor. Their next exhibit is titled, “Winter’s Wishes” with an Artists’ Reception scheduled for Saturday December 20th beginning at 6pm. The date upon which the exhibit will continue to be on display is yet to be announced. All area artists are welcomed to participate by placing their work related to the theme in the exhibit. The drop off dates are December 18th and 19th. Please contact Jody Singer at mountainsidearts@hotmail.com for more information.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Partying in the Street of Art

On Saturday May 24th 2014, a group of artists stood before a large paneled wall running along the 600 block of the Main Street section in Stroudsburg, PA. Armed with brushes, paint, and imagination they began to adorn the street with murals paying homage to the businesses that were effected by a devastating fire that occurred on the site in 2006. This monumental endeavor became known as Project Street Art: Part I.

On Saturday September 27th 2014, another group of artists endeavored upon Project Street Art: Part II which consisted of creating murals of various designs and depictions upon structures located in 10 different sites in the Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, PA area. As with Project Street Art: Part I, the day of the painting event was filled with colors, imagination, creativity, and inspiring conversation. However, a great deal of music which was performed by a number of musicians who rotated from one site to another was added to the event which enhanced the experience greatly.

It was with Project Street Art: Part I and Part II as a backdrop did The SOHO in the Burg in Stroudsburg, PA www.facebook.com/sohointheburg host an After Party on Friday October 3rd which afforded art lovers throughout the community an opportunity to meet the artists who participated in the Projects and those who supported their endeavors. The large gallery was filled with conversations and excitement while the gathering of friends previously established and newly met munched upon the variety of tasty morsels provided by Flying Merswine Catering www.facebook.com/pages/Flying-Merswine/368792593272368?ref=br_tf which is located in East Stroudsburg, PA. Lines of chairs were set up so those who were present could experience a celebratory ceremony which was designed to honor those involved in Project Street Art.

I arrived at the gallery as Shane Izykowski (founder and driving force of Project Street Art) was concluding his welcoming remarks to the audience and was in the process of introducing Jeff Kash, ESQ who is the President of The Pocono Arts Council www.facebook.com/poconoartscouncil with whom Project Street Art has partnered with. His words added insight to the significance of the endeavor while inspiring those who heard his thoughts to explore their own creative natures and how they could be utilized for the betterment of the community. The conclusion of his sentiments were followed by a series of awards and plaques distributed in recognition of the tremendous talent and dedication the receiver gave to the endeavor.

The presentations began with those who assisted the artists who created the murals in their work. Each recipient has gained the reputation in the artistic community through their own creative endeavors and their skillful hands lovingly assured the high standards of quality the murals they assisted with would be established and maintained. The presentations continued as individuals such as Fran O’ Hagan who provided food for the artists during the days of the events, Andrew Oldfield who provided help wherever he happened upon while riding on his bicycle, Tassy Gilbert who acted as a liaison and melded the partnership of The Pocono Arts Council and Project Street Art so their level of cooperation could be at it’s most productive, Sean Soulo of Sean Soulo Photography www.facebook.com/soulostudios who served as the official photographer for the event, Flying Merswine Catering whose quality of their cuisine was evident in the emptiness of the trays they were contained in when I arrived at the gallery, and others humbly accepted their award as they reciprocated the love in which it was given.

Awards were also given to the musicians who participated in the Project Street Art II event as their presence added a dimension to the day they shared their talents with the visual artists and proved to be an inspiring backdrop to those who heard their songs. They included Juggernaut String Band www.facebook.com/JuggernautStringBand, Woodrow www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow, and Renard Cohen along with the many others who were not present during the ceremony. Awards were also given to the businesses who had given their permission to have their exterior was touched by the artists’ hands. They included Studio 8 which located on 6th Street, Lockwood Village which is located on Ann Street in Stroudsburg, PA, and many others.

Additional awards were presented to a number of individuals and groups before the artists who created the murals were called upon to accept their prestigious gifts. Those Artists who were present to do so included Jill Swersie, Rin Lack, Addam Rae Wolff www.facebook.com/addambombb?fref=ts, Sean Turrell, Nova Chan, Anna Kaszupinski, Joy Taney, and Adia Gibbs. Those who were not present due to creative commitments they endeavored to fulfill in other parts of the country included Illma Gore www.facebook.com/tomfoolery.art and The Chroma Dolls www.facebook.com/chromadolls. The loving arms of appreciation extended from the audience as their heartfelt applause filled the air with the soulful dreams the artists’ work had inspired.

The evening continued as special words were shared by those intimately connected with Project Street Art and are instrumental to its enduring success. They were Jody Singer mountainsidearts@hotmail.com, Sonia Leticia www.facebook.com/SoniaLeticiaArt, Ashley Catherine Fontones www.isashleyfontonesapotato.com, and Shane Izykowski. Their collective and individual insights to the intricacies of Project Street Art provided an everlasting understanding and affection for the endeavor among the gathering which enhanced their desire to support it and its future manifestations. This support was expressed in a number of spontaneous sharings from members of the audience which included some rousing words given by noteworthy artist Shawn Queenan and the gallery’s owner, Andrea Robbins Rimberg, who took the stage to express her exuberant, heart felt support while reminding the gathering that the work Shane Izykowski and his Project Street Art compatriots have done has changed the face of Stroudsburg, PA forever.

It was after these thoughtful sentiments did Shane share the much anticipated news of what Project Street Art will do next. The first announcement was the establishment of an Application known as the Art Map App that could be downloaded and accessed through the technology found on Smart Phones and similar electronic devices. The Art Map App will contain information about the sites of the murals that were created as part of Project Street Art Part I and II as well as art related events and opportunities initiated by the entire local creative community. The second announcement related to a calendar that is currently being produced featuring images of the murals that were created during the Street Art Projects.  The final announcement related to an endeavor Project Street Art hopes to embark upon in the near future which would be to increase the number of art galleries throughout Monroe County so local artists and art lovers could experience more exposure to the vast creative estuaries of the imagination.

It was with these final enticing glimpse into the future did the ceremonial aspects of the evening come to a conclusion. Those who stayed after the removal of the chairs to share their person to person expressions of thanks and admiration to those involved in the evening’s festivities danced and laughed during the remainder of the night away while music played from the apparatus skillfully maneuvered by DJ AddamBombb (aka Addam Wolff). The remainder of the evening also included a Photo Op session which took placed in front of a setting resembling a wall with the Project Street Art insignias upon it. Attendees were encouraged to pose to have their photograph taken by the event’s official photographer. The mixture of dancing, laughing, and posing eventfully led to the party’s conclusion with those leaving the scene filled with the anticipatory thoughts of the future of Project Street Art and it’s life giving effects on the local creative community. You’ll find more photographs taken during the Project Street Art After Party in the Special Events 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152230295395421.1073741876.636000420&type=1.

Project Street Art was initiated by members of Stroudsburg’s creative community who are led by Shane Izykowski. As mentioned earlier, Project Street Art has created an Art Map App that can be downloaded and accessed by Smart Phones and other devices, will soon produce a calendar reflecting their achievements, and will be soon assisting those who would like to establish art galleries in their abodes. Project Street Art welcomes all art lovers to participate in the planning and execution of their endeavors. To learn more about Project Street Art along with how you can participate and support their future endeavors, please explore their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/projectstreetart?ref=br_tf.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Giganticus Open Micicus

Due to many circumstances, it’s been several months since I’ve been to The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Stroudsburg, PA to partake of their weekly Open Mic Nite event. But, on Sunday September 28th, I happened upon the opportunity to venture into the venue as the technicians were in the process of preparing for the evening’s event. I stepped outside in order chat with those who were sharing their anticipatory conversations about the potentials the evening held while enjoying the pleasant effects of the sun filled day. It was during this time it was announced the sign in list was available so those who wished to share their talents could place their signatures or nom de plumes upon it.

As the 7pm hour approached, the evening’s co host, Andrew Paul (aka A. P.) took the stage to share his welcoming sentiments before sharing a poem he wrote while he was angry. His words struck a familiar chord in many who heard them. A. P. then introduced the first listed performer of the evening who was a poet known as The Carlton. His well established presence in the area and reputed mastery of the spoken word took the attentive audience upon journeys that awaken their minds to the essential truths the poet conveyed. The Carlton was followed by Newcomers Misty and Mike of A. N. D. whose love filled words filled the room with their sympathetic nuances while those who not only heard their voices but felt them silently embraced their every utterances.

Misty and Mike were followed by co host Andrew Oldfield who shared some thought provoking words with the gathering. The conclusion of his words introduced another Newcomer to the event named Richie who lent his voice to several established songs that delighted the audience and gained their support through the technical difficulties that ensued. Richie was followed by the duo known as Woodrow www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow who consists of Brian Brancamp and Theresa Rattcliff. Their presence was a pleasant surprise to those who knew of the musically exhausting day they spent performing at various locations during the Project Street Art event the previous day.

They began their set with a spell binding rendition of the Police’s “Everything She Does Is Magic” and continued to woo the audience through the soulful interpretations of the songs they continued to share. They were followed by Jessie Roth (aka J. R.) who shared some information about a project The Sherman Theater is embarking on titled, “Community at The Sherman Theater” designed to enhance the betterment of the area and its population. It was with Ms. Roth’s final words did the evening’s feature performer take the stage.

The Saturday Giant (aka Phillip Cogley) took to the stage with his guitar, a keyboard, and a number of foot operated apparatuses from which he immediately began to mesmerize the audience with the echoing sounds of the music he extracted from the electronic denizens at his disposal as well as through his voice. The transfixing qualities of the performance led the audience upon journeys which led them from one isotropic horizon to another. The multi layered musicality of his performance spoke to dreams that has yet to be dreamt and allowed visions to be seen that remain invisible to those who have not heard him perform. Those who were fortunate to be present enough to experience the moments The Saturday Giant created are destined to relive their mind expanding qualities throughout all of their yet to be manifested life filled moments.

The Saturday Giant (aka Phillip Cogley) lives in Columbus, OH and enjoys traveling around the country performing Art Rock to those who come to hear him play. Each performance he presents is unique as he insist on rendering all the components of his songs with the potentials found in the state of spontaneity intact. He feels that “a show should be about what happens that day, in that room, between that audience and that performer. It shouldn't be a carbon copy of the same performance from the night before.”

According to his bio, Mr. Cogley also yearns for “the freedom to make mistakes…. As soon as art becomes perfect, it dies.” The flow that exuded among those who listened to The Saturday Giant during the September 28th Open Mic Nite made it difficult if not impossible to determine if there were any of the mistakes Mr. Cogley embraces. But, if they were any, the imperfections of his performance gave way to the perfect harmonies it created within each being that was present. You can learn more about The Saturday Giant (aka Phillip Cogley) and his music by exploring his Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/thesaturdaygiant.

As the final musical footsteps of The Saturday Giant echoed throughout the venue, a break ensued. It was during this time did The Living Room’s denizens seek to learn more about the featured guest and about themselves through the words he relayed to them. The break ended as Benjamin Ordonez took the stage and shared his poetic words which spoke of what parenting could be along with the joys of love experienced beyond that relationship until someone almost runs off with all of one’s stuff. Benjamin was followed by a Newcomer to the event named Joe Shayka who shared his poetry with the gathering. He was followed by Guitarist Dee Allen whose familiar riffs and voice moved the audience to the home they found in her songs.

Dee was followed by a Newcomer to the event named Jillian whose poetry moved to the meter of life giving all who heard her a deeper sense of the beauty that awaited them if they opened their heart to see it. She was followed on stage by Kevin Tails Moucha who sought the essence of the soul through his a cappella renderings. Kevin was followed by the final performance of the evening who were a duet known as Mimi D www.facebook.com/FissionandMDPsMimiD?fref=ts and A. P. Biznatch (in Derby) who shared a sultry cabaret version of the song, “Fever” whose  climatic effect on me was so compulsory that it compelled me to get a flu shot the very next day. It was when the final notes of the performance came to a completion did the gathering being to share their farewells as they collectively anticipated their return to the following week’s event. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Sunday September 28th Open Mic Nite Session in The Living Room 2014 Gallery Part 4 at www.facebook.com/forwardian.dude/media_set?set=a.10152489839930421.1073741902.636000420&type=3.

The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday October 5th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series by Exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom.

In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents their current exhibition titled, “Art I Activism” featuring the work of artists from around the area. Their next exhibit will take place in October and will be titled, “Night of the Living Room” featuring the works of RenDi Young www.facebook.com/TheAltarStudios, Timothy Nebel, Kayla O’Connor www.facebook.com/kaylaoconnorart, and Will Mgrath. The Artists’ Reception will take place Saturday June October 4th beginning at 6pm and will include a Costume Contest. The exhibition will continues to be on display until October 27th. Please contact the gallery’s Director and Curators, Keyaira and Drew Ozkenel, at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, exhibitions, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room/123978921059378 for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

The Muracle of Art

In a continuing endeavor to beautify the local area while paying homage to members of it’s creative community, Project Street Art II held a live painting event at 10 locations in the Stroudsburg, PA and East Stroudsburg, PA area on Saturday September 27th. The unseasonably warm autumn day encouraged those who love the arts to journey among the various locations while marveling at the formation of the images created to adorn the selected sites. The act of experiencing the process of creating murals on the exterior walls of the 10 designated locations throughout the area proved to be a deeply profound one as the intricacies inherent in the varying approaches each artist employed as they gave their visions form were revealed throughout the day. This experience was further enhanced by the musicians who performed at each site which added a joy to the thoughtful reflections on the work many who attended the event shared in their verbal and non verbal conversations.

The sites which were located in Stroudsburg, PA included Studio 8 with a mural created by Jill Swersie, the inside facing wall at 609 Main Street with a mural created by Rin Lack, the wall behind Marita’s Cantina www.facebook.com/pages/Maritas-Cantina/149708431742568 with a mural created by Addam Rae Wolff www.facebook.com/addambombb?fref=ts, the Central Building at 727 Main Street with a mural created by Sean Turrell, the bridge by the Wawa Mini Market with a mural created by Nova Chan, Lockwood Village with a mural created by Illma Gore www.facebook.com/tomfoolery.art, and Friedman Electric with a mural created by Chroma Dolls www.facebook.com/chromadolls. The sites which were located in East Stroudsburg, PA included the Dansbury Terrace with a mural created by Anna Kaszupinski, the Unfinished Mural Wall on Crystal Street with a mural created by Joy Taney, and the Dansbury Park Bathroom House with a mural created by Adia Gibbs. The artists were assisted by numerous students, artists, and community members. The musicians who performed in rotation at each site throughout the day included The Juggernaut String Band www.facebook.com/JuggernautStringBand, Woodrow www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow, Eric Funn www.facebook.com/EricFunn, Zeke Cats, Theomar Chakey Francois www.facebook.com/SunnyShading, Jesse Morales, Renard Cohen, Randy Bigness, and Julie Rubino.

Project Street Art II is the second of endeavors designed to enhance the aesthetic qualities of the region. The first was known as Project Street Art I which took place on Saturday May 24th, 2014. This event consisted of painting murals on a large paneled wall running along the 600 block of the Main Street section in Stroudsburg, PA which is the site of a devastating fire that occurred in 2006. Project Street Art was initiated by members of Stroudsburg’s creative community who are led by Shane Izykowski. Their next endeavor is yet to be announced but an after party of which the public is invited to is scheduled to take place on Friday October 3rd beginning at 6pm at The SOHO in the Burg in Stroudsburg, PA www.facebook.com/sohointheburg. The party will serve as an opportunity to meet the artists who participated in the endeavor as well as their supporters. To learn more about Project Street Art along with how you can participate and support their future endeavors, please explore their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/projectstreetart?ref=br_tf.

Although the Project Street Art mural painting event dominated the day, another event occurred that was indicative of the creative energies that has blessed the town in recent years. This event was the ALIVE Concert and Open Jam which was held on the front lawn of Moe'st Everything Muse which is located on Ann Street in Stroudsburg, PA near the Ribbon Factory Outlet. I visited the event while roaming around the town partaking of the day’s primary endeavor and was fortunate enough to hear a band known as Jettison who sang a number of established songs leading many who listened to sing joyfully along. Other bands scheduled to play were Aragon, H 2 O, Sheep in Wolf’s Clothes, Blind Men Driving, and more. However, I could not stay to listen as the echoes of Project Street Art summoned me away.

Moe'st Everything Muse holds an Open Jam Nite the last Saturday of every month with the next event scheduled to place on Saturday October 26th beginning at 8pm. All are welcomed to come and share their musical talents or to partake of the event as a member of the audience. In addition to the Open Jam Nites, Moe'st Everything Muse offers a variety of musical instruments to be purchased or traded. They also buy musical instruments from those who wish to sell them along with lessons, a rehearsal space, and repairs to broken instruments. Moe'st Everything Muse recently opened their new creative musings and gift shop which includes an eclectic selection of T - Shirts, Jewelry, Books, and Art created by local artists. You’ll be able to learn more about Moe'st Everything Muse and every thing they offer by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/moesteverything?ref=ts&fref=ts.

The day proved to be a wonderful one filled with art, music, and good conversation. Several of the murals were left unfinished at the end of the day due to the extensiveness of the work involved in creating them. However, they are scheduled to be completed by the artist and their assistants within a few weeks. In the meantime, all of the murals are available to be viewed by the public as they walk around the towns of Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, PA. You’ll find more photographs taken during the Project Street Art mural painting event and the Moe'st Everything Muse ALIVE Concert and Open Jam in the Special Events 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152230295395421.1073741876.636000420&type=1.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Changeable Qualities of Art

The School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Saturday September 20th for their exhibition titled, “Changing Seasons, Changing Scenes” featuring the work of local artists. With the hues indicative of the Autumnal season already touching the local vegetation, the school’s exhibition arrived at an opportune time as the foliaged beauty many of the attendees have come to admire were reflected in the work presented. The array of colors and images echoed the enormous talent of the artists who participated in the exhibit as their unique approaches to the theme blended well together while maintaining the creative voice of each distinctive artists.

The many art lovers who attended the Reception soon found themselves swept away by the qualities of the work as the individual intricacies if each piece began to produce a seasonal change within the viewer. Yet, as one moved through the gallery, the enchantments embodied in the art of Aerial Acrobatics enticed the gathering as Alexandra “Sashka” Apjarova of Fly With Sashka www.facebook.com/flywithsashka encased herself in a silken hammock while her flowing movements were being photographed by the renowned photographic artists who came to capture her maneuverings in their cameras. It was a delight to watch Ms. Apjarova share her considerable skills as the beauty of the discipline went beyond the physical attributes of the art form and allowed the soul of each person who experienced the performance to become entwined within the claming cocoon of its aesthetic qualities. She was joined by her son during several routines which made them all the more enjoyable to watch.

As the mesmerizing effects of Ms. Apjarova’s exhibition encompassed the gathering, the gallery’s curator, Jody Singer, publicly shared the school’s welcoming words with the crowd along with several announcements relating to the establishment’s future endeavors as well as those of other groups and individuals such as Project Street Art www.facebook.com/projectstreetart that will enhance the local community through the arts. It was soon after Mr. Singer concluded his remarks did students from The Diane Verdi Ballet Class take the stage to perform the neo-classical ballet titled, “Rhapsody” with the music of Rachmaninoff. The gentle touching of the floor by the dancers brought a sensation of lightness to the audience who soon felt like leaves softly falling collectively to the ground. It was at the conclusion of the performance did Ms. Verdi take the stage in order to enhance the appreciation of the art of Ballet by sharing many of its technical intricacies with the audience. Lessons in dance are taught by Ms. Verdi at the school and you can learn more information about them as well as how to register by calling 570-619-4113 or by emailing her at D1108@ptd.net.

It was after Ms. Verdi shared the art of dance with the crowd did their attention return to Ms. Apjarova who presented a more expansive demonstration of her skill in Aerial Acrobatics. The beauty of her movements cast further enchantments on the gathering and touched the hearts of many. Ms. Alexandra “Sashka” Apjarova was born and raised in east Slovakia and immigrated to the United States in 1994 to pursue her dreams relating to the art of dance. While in the US, she developed a career as a professional dancer, aerialist, model, actor, singer, and coach upon she became internationally recognized for her outstanding talents. She Along collaborated with Michael Jackson in the “This is it” project until his untimely passing and Cirque du Soleil’s “Delirium” tour. Ms. Apjarova will be teaching courses in Aerial Acrobatics and other related subjects at The School of Visual and Performing Arts in October. Please contact her at Apjarova@gmail.com or by calling 646-732-8054 for more information and to register.

As the performance given by Ms. Apjarova concluded, Rick Delgado of the duo known as “Public Displays of Rejection” www.facebook.com/PublicDisplaysOfRejection took the stage. With the use of a great deal of technology, Mr. Delgado strummed his guitar and shared his voice in a series of sounds which inundated the senses through their echoing harmonies. Many of his renditions of the works he performed had a haunting effect upon the crowd as the spirits embodied in each note moved within and without them until their presence materialized in the rooms of their souls. Mr. Delgado is usually joined by fellow musician Shane Reimer but he was not present during the event.

The soothingly haunting sounds of Mr. Delgado were heard throughout most of the evening until the 9pm hour arrived and the much anticipated announcement that the Art Raffle was about to begin was shared. Many of those present eagerly engaged in making last minute purchases of Raffle Tickets in hopes this would be their lucky night. Many of the artists who participated in the exhibition donated their work to be utilized as Raffle Items and their inherent qualities made them all the more desirable to obtain through the Raffle process. The work was further enhanced by Ms. Ashley Fontones who elegantly held each piece so it could be viewed by the gathering.

Soon, the numbers began to be read and each digit became a source of excitement that built to a fevered pitch until the ecstatic peals of the winners were heard. The disappointment those who didn’t hold the winning tickets were slighted by their own desire to share their congratulations with those who did and to celebrate in their victories. It was after the last item was given to the final ticket holder did the gathering of friends begin to share their farewells with one another and sought to go home so they could reflect upon the wonders of the evening while anticipating the arrival of the next event to be held at The School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA). You’ll find more photographs taken during the Artists’ Reception in The SVPA 2014 Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152519973960421.1073741905.636000420&type=1.

The School of Visual and Performing Arts is located in Stroudsburg, PA and has been instrumental in the creative development of its students for over 20 years. The facility holds classes in dance, ballet, and movement led by Diane Verdi, Paula Heeschen, and Kathy Kroll as well as classes in the theater arts led by Jazmin Ospa and Shellie Bransford. The school also offers a number of workshops with each focusing on a variety of creative disciplines. You can learn more about The School of Visual and Performing Arts by exploring their Website at www.schoolofvisualandperformingarts.org or their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/schoolofvisualandperformingarts.

The exhibition titled, “Changing Seasons, Changing Scenes” will be on display in The School of Visual and Performing Arts until October 13th. The entirety of the work in extremely well done and explores the theme in various ways with every piece presented holding something wonderful for each individual who views it. Their next exhibit is titled, “Beyond the Harvest” with an Artists’ Reception scheduled for Saturday October 18th beginning at 6pm. The exhibit will continue to be on display until December 15th. All area artists are welcomed to participate by placing their work related to the theme in the exhibit. The drop off dates are October 16th and 17th. Please contact Jody Singer at mountainsidearts@hotmail.com for more information.