Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Hot Summer Night And Some Wood Was Burning

I arrived at The Sherman Theater's Living Room Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday August 15th about a half hour before the Artists' Reception for their themed Hot Summer Nights Exhibition was scheduled to begin. So, since I have learned a number of murals by St'Art Stroudsburg were being worked on that day, I decided to walk around the town to visit the sites and, hopefully, chat with the artists who were working on them. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the sites, the artists were done for the day and no one were there. Yet, the magnificence of the work that had been done was a wonder for the eyes and heart. I then walked back to the Living Room and it was nearly time for the Reception to begin.

I went inside and relaxed upon one of the soft, comfortable chairs that populated the venue. A smattering of people came in to view the work which was created by Matthew Shayka and Emily Mariana Murphy along with local artists who provided their interpretations of the exhibit's theme. It was a quiet time until about two hours into the reception when the gallery's curator, Joy Taney, welcomed those who were there and announced that artist, Matthew Shayka, was about to give an incredible demonstration on how he creates his pieces through the force of electricity.

Like magic, a crowd appeared within the venue and gathered about Mr. Shayka as he hooked electrodes that were wired to an automobile battery to a small blank of wood. He then painted some specified areas of the board with a liquid that was a mixture of water and baking soda. The current was turned on and vein like lines began to etch themselves into the wood producing flames and an unpleasant smell. The smell was a bit daunting but the hypnotic sight of watching art being created in this unique matter known as Electro Burning overrode the olfactory senses of those who stared as the process in amazement. It was after Mr. Shayka's spellbinding demonstration did Ms. Taney echoed the gathering's appreciation for the experience and announced future exhibits to be held at the gallery. She also announced that the bands King Dead and Cascavel would be playing later that evening. In addition to this, she mentioned an art raffle was to take place and invited all to purchase a ticket so they may win a piece of art donated by a local artist.

The excitement of the art and Mr. Shayka's demonstration along with the anticipation of what to expect during the remainder of the evening filled the room with quited a bit of energy. Conversations were shared as tasty s'mores were devoured between each word uttered. However, the evening hours past by and I felt a tiredness that bade me to rest. So, I went home without experiencing the bands or the much anticipated raffle. Still, I know from past experiences, that all that was about to transpire would be a wonder to those who stayed. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artists' Reception in A Hot Summer Night And Some Wood Was Burning Gallery at

The Sherman Theater's Living Room is located 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. The Hot Summer Night Exhibition continues to be on display until September 6th. Their next exhibition will be an Open Show which local artists will be given an opportunity to create anything their inspirations leads them. An Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday September 12th beginning at 6pm. The drop of date for artists who wish to place their work in the show is Monday September 7th from 2pm until 8pm. Please contact the gallery at 570-421-2808 for more information.

In addition to the art exhibitions, The Sherman Theater's Living Room holds a number of concerts and a weekly Open Mic Series that occurs every Sunday evening beginning at 6pm. The later event welcomes all who wish to explore their talents in a welcoming atmosphere. You can learn more about The Sherman Theater's Living Room and how it serves the community by exploring their Facebook Page at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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