Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Touching the Top of the Sky with Some Festive Art

A variety of artists and artisans filled the Executive Conference Center located within the Skytop Lodge in Mountainhome, PA as The Pocono Mountain Arts Council's 11th Annual Holiday Arts Festival took place on November 28th and 29th. Displays and lights that simultaneous stimulated and soothed extruded the upcoming holiday season through their loving properties. Although I was only able to attend the festival during its final day, there was a joyful feeling that permeated my explorations as I wandered through the facilities and visited the many artists and artisans who were present.

These included Jay and Mary Ann Paulukonis of Paulukonis Studios who produces custom designed stained glass, Richard A. Sommers Sr. and Mary Redfern of Sommers Workbench who creates Fine Handcrafted Furniture from Native Hardwoods, Franklin R. Rehm of Northeastern Custom Woodcrafts, Karen and Al Laposh of Hope Floats Studios 570-646-0618 who creates an item to aide in the sharing of food known as “Turnabouts,” Valerie Sagheddu, ASP of Apostle Art, Don Sack of Photo Wizard who not only photographs events but also digitally restores older images, Susan Bankey Yoder of Meadowland Studios who produces fine art and graphic designs, HVQ Byrd who creates three dimensional pieces that are as functional as they are beautiful, David Lawrence of the Art on the Avenue Gallery, Donna Kallesser of Kallesser Studios, Photographer Randy Wilkerson of the Art of Design, Jeff and Maryann Warner of The Village Crafter's Gallery, Michele Foster Lucas of Artist in Motion, Artist Jill Swersie who never fails mesmerize art lovers with her astounding depictions, and artist Rocco Negri who presented his Fantasy within Reality collection. As impressive as this list appears, it is merely a sampling of the 50 plus participants who shared their talents in the festival. One could be easily overwhelmed by the population if it were not for the magnetic luring effects the work had on the venue's visitors.

During my visit with the festival denizens, a great feeling of love for their creative endeavors were reflected in every word they shared while talking about their work. As beautiful as the majority of the pieces were, this love allowed a deeper beauty to emerge from not only the work but from the artist him/herself. This is what art is truly about and why it is known for its trans-formative qualities that makes us better people. It was a great time and I look forward to attending the festival next year. You’ll find more photographs I took during my time at the festival in The Touching the Top of the Sky with Some Festive Art Gallery at

The Pocono Mountain Arts Council supports the work of artists and promotes the arts in the community through education and by providing avenues of creative expression encouraging working relationships among the area's artistic groups, providing financial support toward the education of aspiring artists, and working toward the establishment of a permanent gallery space in which to host workshops and exhibitions. The Pocono Mountain Arts Council’s Annual Holiday Arts Festival is held every year during the weekend following Thanksgiving. Please Explore The Pocono Mountain Arts Council Facebook Page at or their Website at to learn more about them, what they offer to the community, and how to become a member.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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