Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Night to Showcase Some Talent

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

It's been quite a while since I ventured into The Sherman Showcase in Stroudsburg, PA for their weekly Open Mic Nite Sessions. But, I was fortunate enough to do so on Sunday December 4th and I was reminded how much I miss the energy and the extraordinary qualities of the performances that take place each week. The evening began with the signing in ritual of which those who wish to perform would make their intentions known. Excited conversations among the musicians, poets, and comedians who signed up mingled with the large gathering that attended the event. Among these attendees was Santa aka Danny Ferron.

The proceedings began as the evening's co host, Theresa Ratliff, took the stage to welcome the gathering to the event. She then proceeded to share the rules of conduct with the crowd along with news she will no longer co host the event after the end of 2016 as other responsibilities beckons her attentions. It was at this time did Ms. Ratliff introduce the first performer for the evening.

Stephan Tsapatoris www.soundcloud.com/stephan-tsapatoris shared poetry whose words were strung together with a sense of mythology as the language he employed reflected the phrasings of antiquity. He was followed by a duet known as David and Jack which consisted of David Christopher Mirams on vocals and Jack Shaffer on guitar and vocals. Together, they performed songs in a manner that penetrated the souls of all who listened to them. They were followed by Guitarist Dee Allen whose gentle songs were underlined with a substance that embraced the profound meanings of life while allowing the audience to share a hand clapping joy with one another.

Ms. Allen was followed by a duet consisting of Vibez on vocals and Nicholas Desouza www.facebook.com/jazzmaster000 on guitar. The musical qualities found in Mr. Desouza's gentle hand proved to be a wondrous counterpoint to the power found in Ms. Vibez's vibrant voice. They were followed by Guitarist Jesse Morales who brought a joyous energy to the gathering that was tempered with some thoughtful insights that are found upon the journey of life. He was followed by Kevin Tails Moucha who sang with the intensity that only the art of a Capella can render.

It was after Mr. Moucha performance was the evening's raffle held with the prize being tickets to the upcoming Patent Pending www.patentpendingmusic.com concert scheduled to take place at The Sherman Theater on Friday December 23rd. The winning ticket was selected and read by co hosts Theresa Ratliff and Bobby Jo Moran. Co host Cassidy Darlington won the prize. This was followed by a performance given by the duet known as Woodrow www.reverbnation.com/thebandwoodrow who consists of Theresa Ratliff on vocals and Brian Bramkamp on Guitar. A psychedelic journey that was led by the duo was better than good enough for those who traveled with them beyond the rabbit hole.

They were followed by John Fotiou who sang a number of songs from animated classics with a loving heart. This included the song titled, “Hallelujah” written by the recently deceased Leonard Cohen which appeared on his 1984 album “Various Positions.” I was surprised to learn it was part of the soundtrack to the 2001 film “Shrek.” He was followed by a band named, “Sympotico” www.facebook.com/sympotico who consists of Aaron Sheradin on Vocals and Guitar and Josh Shutt on Drums. Their songs held a quiet spirit against a decimalic burst of sound that accentuated to profound qualities of each well crafted composition. They were followed by comedian Tommy Stone www.tommystone.net who coupled his political observations with the fear of restrooms while discovering amusements found in the composition of the audience. He was followed by Mikey Palomino whose poetry spoke the language of the soul. Mr. Palomino was the final performer whose name appeared on the primary sign in list. However, there was time left to the evening and those names appearing on the waiting list were invited to share their talents as well.

The first of these to perform was Guitarist Taylor Miller who enhanced the quality of each song she sang with her melodious voice. She was followed by Guitarist Mike Parrotta who sang a number of popular songs that delighted the gathering. It was at the conclusion of his performance did the evening come to an end. It was a wonderful night to enjoy some great music, poetry, and comedy while chatting with past acquaintances and making new friends. The next Open Mic Nite at The Sherman Showcase in Stroudsburg, PA is scheduled for Sunday December 11th beginning at 7pm. The featured performer for the evening will be Mike Parrotta. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. Sign ins begin at 6:30pm. In the meantime, you'll be able to view the photographs taken during the Sunday December 4th event in The A Night to Showcase Some Talent Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155537843733761.1073742041.91146283760&type=3.

The Sherman Showcase is located at 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. You'll be able to view additional photographs taken during installments of their Open Mic Nites Series by their staff along with videos taken of interviews with the featured artists and the performances of some who attended the event on their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom. In addition to their Open Mic Nites Series, the venue also holds a number of concerts and special events. Please Explore The Sherman Showcase's Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/shermanshowcase/?fref=ts, The Sherman Theater's Website at www.shermantheater.com, or call 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Origins of Holiday Shopping

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Origins Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held their Holiday Makers’ Market III event on December 3rd and 4th. The weekend offered a variety of art, photography, crafts, and other items to those who sought something special to give their loved ones for the holiday season. Music was presented by Guitarist Jeff Gibbons on Saturday December 3rd and by Guitarist Stephan Tsapatoris on Sunday December 4th. I arrived at the venue on Sunday December 4th just as the gallery's curator, Jody Singer, was introducing Mr. Tsapatoris to the gathering.

The music Mr. Tsapatoris presented had a deep soulful quality to it that served the event well. His songs added a thoughtfulness to the shopping experience that echoed the meaningfulness of the holiday. The numbers of shoppers ebbed and flowed throughout the day and his music reflected this movement upon the waterways of our souls. You can learn more about Stephan Tsapatoris and his music by at www.soundcloud.com/stephan-tsapatoris.

The individuals who presented their well crafted wares included Photographers Tara Arbogast of Eye Pixelz www.EyePixelz.com and Laurinda Faye Rubin www.laurindafayephotography.com, Artists Maria Ferrieris www.findartsamerica.com Marty Carr www.etsy.com/shop/watercoloredwindows, and Sean Turell www.seanturrell.com, Jewelers of Spirits of Passage who also offered Pixel depicting characters from video games www.spiritsofpassage.com and Michael Kessler who also offered crystals and other geological wonderments, Victoriana furnishings by Christian Kropp of Lux in Tenebris cgk0713@gmail.com, items from Danny Ferron's Steam Punk Collection, herbs and ointments from Bonnie O' Fee's Kitchen www.frombonnieskitchen.com, and comic books from The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store www.thegamersedgecomics.com. An opportunity to have one's photograph taken with a backdrop to be added digitally was offered by Photographer Jonathan A. MacHale. In addition to this, a great deal of conversation and good will was shared throughout the day.

The day I spent at The Origins Gallery was a delightful one as I not only got to experience the beauty of the work offered for purchase but I also was able to learn more about the artists who created the pieces. The environment of the Holiday Makers’ Market was a relaxed and congenial one which served as a pleasant contrast to the hurried and maddening shopping experiences usually associated with the winter holiday season. I look forward to attending Holiday Makers’ Market IV and I hope to see you there. In the meantime, you'll find more photographs taken during the event in The Origins of Holiday Shopping Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155537770043761.1073742040.91146283760&type=3.

The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery who also offers classes and special events to the community. They're currently located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Gallery is presently showing their Open Arts Exhibition which will be on display until December 14th. The next and final show to be on display in their current location will be their Black Canvas Exhibition II with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday December 17th beginning at 6pm. All artists are invited to participate. The drop off dates are December 14th and 15th. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery including updates referring to their plans for the future and other news by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OriginsGalleryStroudsburg.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Giving Arts the Business

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Pocono Arts Council held their Annual Business Meeting for 2016 on Thursday December 1st at The PoconoArts Cultural Center in Stroudsburg, PA. Excited conversations abound prior to the meeting as long time friends and new acquaintances shared their love for the arts while munching on the delicious goodies that were available to enhance the evening. A sizable number of art lovers attended the meeting and their eagerness to learn what the Pocono Arts Council has been doing during the course of the year and the adventures it will embark upon in the coming year made it an informative and enjoyable one.

The time for the Annual Business Meeting to begin arrived and the assembly was brought to order by Board of Directors' President, Jeffrey Kash, after some welcoming remarks. A number of reports regarding the group's financial, out reach, and membership situation were given by the Pocono Arts Council's Executive Director, Laura Goss. This was followed by a recognition given by President Kash to Board Members and Volunteers to honor their service to the group. These included John Bednar, Lisa Cardwell, and Jacquelyn Mathiesen who left the board of directors during 2016. Elections were held in order to re-elect Dulic Ridder to continue her service in the Pocono Arts Council's Board of Directors. After the elections were held, it was noted that The Pocono Arts Council's Board of Directors is presently composed of eight members but is designed to accommodate twenty. So, an invitation was issued for those who would like to join the Board to make their desires known. This was followed by some sentiments relating to the arts and the work of the group shared by President Kash and the Pocono Arts Council's Executive Director, Laura Goss.

It was soon after this that the meeting was adjourned. This provided an opportunity for those who attended to renew their conversations which included topics relating to those that transpired during the meeting. The opportunity to explore the Pocono Arts Council's Annual Holiday Store which presented a wide variety of arts and crafts items available for purchase was also embraced after the meeting. The quality and beauty of the work proved to be stunning and will be available for purchase until January 2017. You'll find more images taken during the Pocono Arts Council's Annual Meeting and Holiday Store in the Giving Arts the Business Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155525960958761.1073742039.91146283760&type=3.

The PoconoArts Council is an organization designed to build the communities of Monroe, Pike, Wayne, Lackawanna, and Luzerne Counties, PA artistically and culturally by providing leadership, service, and education. It does so by offering avenues for artists to display their work through The PoconoArts Cultural Center and other galleries, educational opportunities for those who would like to explore and/or enhance their creative natures, and encouragement to those who seek to express and/or support the arts. The Pocono Arts Council's Board of Directors consists of Jeffrey Kash who serves the Board as its President, Betsy Buzelli-Clarke who serves the Board as its Vice - President, and Jody Singer who serves the Board as its Secretary. The position of Treasurer is presently vacant. Other members of the Board are Dulic Ridder, Jeff Baracafer, Amanda Reiche, Jack Swersie, and Eileen Noelle.

The next exhibition to take place in The PoconoArts Community Center's ARTSPACE Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA will be their Art as Spirituality Exhibition. The exhibit will be on display from January 14th to February 18th with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday January 21st beginning at 2pm. The exhibit is an open one and welcomes all artists to participate. The Drop Off Date is Monday January 9th. This exhibition will be followed by their Earth Speaks III Exhibition in April 2017 with the drop off date scheduled for Tuesday January 31st. You’ll be able to learn more about The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center and all it has to offer the creative community by exploring The PoconoArts Council Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/poconoartscouncil or their Website at www.poconoarts.org.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Contactos Mujeres Latina (Networking with Latin Women)

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

The Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg, PA hosted The Association of Latin American Women's Social Networking event on Tuesday November 22nd. The gathering was held in the library's Edinger Community Room which proved to be a fitting place to hold it as a number of individuals from the local Latin American community provided a sense of camaraderie throughout the evening which was extended to those attending who were not of Hispanic decent. Conversations nurturing established acquaintances mingled with those planting new seed of friendships filled the room as Sylvia Torres - Piserchio took her place behind the podium to share her welcoming remarks along with information about the association.

Ms. Torres - Piserchio then introduced Christina Piserchio RN who provided blood pressure and blood sugar screenings throughout the evening and invited the company to partake of them in order to maintain their health. She was followed by Ms. Iris Martinez MS who is the Director of Hogar CREA International www.hogar-crea.org which is an 18 month treatment program designed to help individuals over the age of 18 to overcome drug addiction. She was followed to the podium by Tony Cox of Cruise Planners www.cruiseplanners.com who spoke on the opportunities found in traveling abroad. Ms. Cox was followed by Alexa Sanchez of ERA One Source Realty www.era1.com who shared information on what her company had to offer the community. She was followed by Luis A. Echevarria of The Property Max Reality Group www.propertymaxrealitygroup.com who helps individuals obtain mortgages and other needed items in order to purchase a home.

The conclusion of Mr. Echevarria's words led to the entrance of artist Froilan Kali Ramirez who offered his services to those in need of it. He was followed by David Good of The Good Project www.jointhegoodproject.com who seeks to preserve the life of South American Jungles and the indigenous people who inhabit them. He was followed by Margaret Rincon of Rincon Express www.facebook.com/Rincon-Express-PA-Tags-Title-322253147901499 who offers a Tags and Title Service for automobiles as well as assistance in those beginning a business. During Ms. Rincon's talk, she introduced two gentlemen who spoke in turn about the homeless individuals populating the area and her company's donate a book bag to help children living in poverty to cope better in school. They were followed by Alexa Bridgeman of Pocono Family Insurance www.poconoagency.com who spoke on the many services her company provided through a variety of insurance policies.

It was soon after Ms. Bridgeman spoke did Ms. Torres - Piserchio come to the podium to introduce a woman who would tell her story relating to her experiences taking residence in the area. The woman could not speak English very well so her words were translated Ms. Torres - Piserchio. However, the substance of what she had to say wasn't found so much in the words she employed but in the expression, vocal tone, and her countenance. All of these combined to bring about a thoughtful listening to her story. It was after she spoke did Ms. Torres - Piserchio express her appreciation to those who were present and shared information about future events the association were planning to present.

It was at this point were the talks given transformed to conversations that included more information learned about what was revealed by the speakers. Tasty treats were consumed as delightfully as the words that were shared. You'll find more photographs taken during the Social Networking event held by The Association of Latin American Women on Tuesday November 22nd in the Contactos Mujeres Latina (Networking with Latin Women) Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155497502393761.1073742038.91146283760&type=3.

The Association of Latin American Women (ALAW) was founded in 2016 in order to coordinate resources within the local communities to promote Latin American Culture. The association holds numerous events including workshops and seminars to assist in maneuvering through a predominately non Hispanic Culture (ie The United States). It was an informative and enjoyable evening which lent itself to broaden one's cultural horizons. You can learn more about The ALAW by exploring their Website at www.alatinawomen.com or their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/alatinawomen

The Eastern Monroe Public Library (aka The Hughes Library) is located on N. 9th Street (aka route 611) in Stroudsburg, PA. The Hughes Library is the main branch of the Monroe County, PA library system which includes their Pocono Township Branch in Tannersville, PA and their Smithfield’s Branch in Marshalls Creek, PA. The library offers access to numerous books, DVDs, Audio Recordings, and cultural programs free to the public. To learn more information about the library and all the institution has to offer the community, please explore their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/EasternMonroePublicLibrary?ref=ts&fref=ts or their Website at www.monroepl.org.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Opening the Art of Origins

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

On Saturday November 19th, The Origins Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA sought to enhance the creative nature of those residing in the local community by holding an Open Studio during the Artists' Reception they held for their Open Studio and Arts Exhibition. A great number of people sat along the tables where pencils, brushes, paper, and other art related materials where placed in order to explore the boundaries of their imagination and go beyond its borders. The work of local artists were placed and on display throughout the gallery which contributed to their inspired endeavors as it did the conversation among those who enjoyed experiencing the images they discovered through their eyes and hearts.

Fascination with the art on display and the doings of those seated at the tables filled the modestly sized gathering until the appearance of Origin's Gallery Director, Jody Singer, whose very presence elevated the level of appreciation of all that was occurring throughout the venue. It was during this time did Mr. Singer welcome the crowd and shared news of what will be happening in the arts including those events taking place at the galley for the remainder of the year. It was after these revelations did he introduce the evening's musical guest.

It was with great pleasure among the gathering to see the return of Guitarist TC Carpenter to the Origins' Stage. The memories of his previous performance were not only rekindled through the music he shared but heightened by the sensory experience he conveyed through his delivery and interpretation of each composition. Mr. Carpenter shared a number of original compositions whose outstanding degree of quality compared well with those songs he sang that were created by other more established artists. You can learn more about TC Carpenter and his music by exploring his Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/Tom-TC-Carpenter-1416086731960275.

It was during Mr. Carpenter's performance did I take up some paper and coloring tools in order to expand my artistic horizons. I managed to create three images which received some fairly positive responses from the established artists I showed them to. I continue to appreciate their kind words and feel encouraged to explore this avenue of expression further. My experience brought to mind the meaningful purpose of the Open Studio concept which encourages those who perceive themselves as having little or no artistic abilities to discover what is lurking inside alongside experienced artists who lend their encouragement to the novice. Anyways, I completed my drawings just as Mr. Carpenter's performance was coming to an end and the gallery's famous art raffle was about to begin.

The many individuals who purchased raffle tickets throughout the evening eagerly eyed the pieces of paper between their fingers as the winning numbers were called out by Origin's Gallery Director, Jody Singer. The much coveted pieces donated for the event were held aloft by Nora Goodwin which made each item all the more desirable. A joy filled the room as the numbers signifying the winner were revealed and congratulatory sentiments were shared. It was after the final item was distributed did Mr. Singer speak upon the changes that are being planed for Origins before biding the gathering a fond farewell.

It was at this point was the crowd reminded of the gallery moving to a new location early in 2017. Mr. Singer then invited those present to take home books they would like to own from their free library in order to ease the gallery's transition from its present location to its new home. Many gathered around the shelves to select book from the literary genres they enjoy and took them home to explore their passages. It was soon after this did the venue's denizens bid each other adieu while looking forward to when they would gather again for the next event. You can view photographs taken during the Artists' Reception of the exhibit in The Opening the Art of Origins Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155487345378761.1073742037.91146283760&type=3.

The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery who also offers classes and special events to the community. They're currently located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Open Arts Exhibition will be on display until December 14th. Their next events will be an acrylic painting workshop led by Maria Ferreris on Sunday November 27th and their Holiday Makers’ Market III scheduled for December 3rd and 4th. The next show to be on display will be their Black Canvas Exhibition II which will be their final one at their current venue. An Artists' Reception is scheduled for Saturday December 17th beginning at 6pm and all artists are invited to participate. The drop off dates are December 14th and 15th. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery including updates referring to the future of Origins and other news by exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OriginsGalleryStroudsburg.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Singing in The Library

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Music Study Club of the Stroudsburgs brought together a sizable gathering of music lovers for their Come Sing with Us Program. The event was held at The Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg, PA on Sunday November 13th and offered those who attended an opportunity to experience some songs written around 1916 in Celebration of the PA Federation of Music Club (PMFC) Centennial of which the Club of the Stroudsburgs is a part of. Song books were handed out so the gathering could lend their voices to the songs that were to be presented throughout the afternoon.

The afternoon began with some opening statements which expressed a number of welcoming and appreciative sentiments to those who were present. These words were followed by an invitation to join in the singing of the US National Anthem titled, “The Star-Spangled Banner” whose lyrics come from a poem titled, “Defence of Fort M'Henry” written by Francis Scott Key with music from a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith titled, “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”) and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3rd, 1931. This was followed by the singing of the song titled, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” which was written during the American Civil War by the Irish-American band-leader Patrick Gilmore in 1863 under the pseudonym Louis Lambert for his sister Annie as she prayed for the safe return of her fiancĂ©, Union Light Artillery Captain John O'Rourke, whom she married until 1875.

The event continued with some opening statements given by Linda Baumgardner whose voice students would perform a number of selections later in the program. This was followed by pianist Susan Stillo (who serves the club as its Recording Secretary) who issued an invitation to members of the audience to gather around the piano to sing. A number of the gathering did so and a number of songs from a bygone era found a new voice through those belonging to the participating audience members. Ms. Baumgardner returned after the singing in order to introduce Rafael Fernandez to the crowd who received a trophy in recognition of his musical talents.

It was after this ceremony did the remainder of Ms. Baumgardner's Voice Students share their talents in singing songs written by George M. Cohan, Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, and others. The students were Brianna Merduri, Mary Wilke, Tabatha Berger, and Susan Stangland who were accompanied by pianist Priscilla Day (who serves the club as its Co-President and Federation Secretary). The delightful singing was followed by a talk given by Past President of the club, Susan Jordan, on her experience and the insights she gained through directing over 80 musical theater productions. The fascinating lecture was followed by some concluding words along with some cake and conversation in celebration of the PMFC) Centennial. It was a delicious way to end a wonderful afternoon of song. You’ll find more photographs taken during the concert in The Singing in The Library Gallery at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155464061488761.1073742036.91146283760&type=3.

Susan Moore Jordan moved from Oak Ridge, TN to the Pocono Mountains in PA in 1971 and soon began a career in music. In 1977, Ms. Jordan help established The Pocono Lively Arts who presented a number of family orientated concert series and musical theater productions. She has written several Novels relating to her experiences in music and theater including those in her Carousel Trilogy titled, “How I Grew Up,” “Eli’s Heart,” and “You Are My Song.” Ms. Jordan has recently published a novel titled, “More Fog, Please” which recounts her 31 years of directing Community and High School Musicals. You can learn more about Susan Moore Jordan by exploring her Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/sjordanauthor or her Website at www.susanmoorejordan.com.

The Music Study Club of the Stroudsburgs was established in 1912 as an organization seeking to perform music and to serve musicians throughout the community. In addition to the offers already mention, Ruth Ann Rumbold serves as the club's Co-President and Vice President while Brenda Rundle serves as the club's Treasurer. The club holds monthly programs October through May with the exception of January with most being free to the public. The programs include The Annual NFMC Festival and competitions as well as events presented in schools, churches, and community related venues. You can learn more about The Music Study Club of the Stroudsburgs, it’s programs, all it has to offer the community, and how to participate by exploring their Website at www.pfmc-music.org/clubStroudsburgs.html.

The Eastern Monroe Public Library (aka The Hughes Library) is located on N. 9th Street (aka route 611) in Stroudsburg, PA. The Music Study Club of the Stroudsburgs' Come Sing with Us Program took place in the Library's Edinger Community Room. The Hughes Library is the main branch of the Monroe County, PA library system which includes their Pocono Township Branch in Tannersville, PA and their Smithfield’s Branch in Marshalls Creek, PA. The library offers access to numerous books, DVDs, Audio Recordings, and cultural programs free to the public. To learn more information about the library and all the institution has to offer the community, please explore their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/EasternMonroePublicLibrary?ref=ts&fref=ts or their Website at www.monroepl.org.