Monday, February 20, 2017

Festing with Winter on a Summerish Day

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

As the temperatures soared into the high 60s to low 70s, the borough of Stroudsburg, PA held its Annual Winterfest on Saturday February 18th. The day was filled with sights and sounds celebrating the winter season while the unseasonably warm weather made the exploring of all that occurred a great deal more comfortable than if the wintry conditions indicative of this time of year existed. Ice sculptures lined the sidewalks of the town whose artistry were admired by the many who paused to examine their intricacies. A number of events filled the festival which included a concert given by The Trinity Centennial Band and The Pocono Vocal Local at The Stroudsburg United Methodist Church as well as an Artists’ Reception held at The JUIC'D Smoothie and Juice Bar that premiered The Origins on the Go Series.

By the time I arrived in town during the late afternoon hours of the day, many of the ice sculptures were in the process of melting due to the unexpected heat. However, their beauty and the craftsmanship of their creators stood in their majestic glory as passerbys paused to take photos of one another beside the frozen monuments. I then entered The Stroudsburg United Methodist Church who presented The Trinity Centennial Band and The Pocono Vocal Locals Concert.

The concert was sponsored by the Stroudsburg, PA branch of The First Keystone Community Bank with the proceeds gathered at the event benefiting the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe (A. W. S. O. M.) Monetary donations along with much needed supplies such as kitty litter, bleach, paper towels, 45 gallon trash bags, Fancy Feast and Friskies wet kitten and cat food, Wellness wet and dry cat and kitten food, Wellness grain free cat food, and wet and dry dog food were accepted at the door. However, these and other items are always in need of replenishment and they can be made anytime by contacting the organization.

The concert began with a rousing rendition of the US National Anthem, “Star Spangled Banner,” performed by The Trinity Centennial Band under the direction of Karl McDannell. The orchestra continued entertaining the large audience that attended with a number of pieces which filled their hearts and memories. Greg Graham, who shared his talents within the band as a Clarinetist, spoke between each selection which gave some amusing insights to the compositions that were played.

It was after a time did The Pocono Vocal Locals lend their extraordinary talents to the afternoon under the direction of Bob Riley. Their beautiful blending of voices flowed with the music provided by the orchestra to create a complete sensation of joy throughout their performance. The selections included a piece titled, “Valentine” composed by Jack Kugell and Jim Brickman. It featured a solo performance given by Diane Taitt whose voice brought out the beauty of the composition and placed it in the heart of each listener. The concert concluded with The Trinity Centennial Band’s rendition of John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” which was followed by an opportunity to meet the afternoon’s performers and share in some good conversation while munching on some tasty goodies which included a cake that expressed appreciation to The Trinity Centennial Band and The Pocono Vocal Locals for their performance.

It was after chatting and enjoying the company of who I met did I venture out toward The JUIC'D Smoothie and Juice Bar where The Origins Gallery held an Open Art Exhibition as the premier of their Origins on the Go Series. The series is designed to place one day only exhibits in a variety of businesses throughout the Stroudsburg area providing local artists more places to share their talents and more opportunities for art lovers to explore their work. The beauty of the work presented along with the excitement generated by the many who attended the exhibition was complimented by the welcoming atmosphere of the establishment.

The work presented showcased a variety of styles and creative approaches of the artists who participated in the display. Joyous conversations abound as deliciously healthy juices of every imaginable concoction and excellent sandwiches were being purchased and consumed. It was during this event did Robbin K and his guitar take the microphone in order to sing a number of well interpreted songs that proved to be pleasant harmonies to the ears of all who heard them. The Origins Gallery’s famous Art Raffle was held in which those who purchased raffle tickets eyed them with great anticipation as Jody Singer, Director of Origins, read the numbers while the illustrious Marty Carr enhanced each item by showing it to the gathering.

It was soon after this did the gathering disperse and the artists took their unsold pieces home. Although there were several more events held throughout the day, I was unable to attend many of them. However, if the caliber of the Winterfest could be echoed by the events I did attend, it would be accurate to assume the whole festival was a wondrous one to experience. The events I wasn’t able to attend included The First Keystone Community Bank’s Artists' Reception for The Stroudsburg Student Art Exhibit featuring the work of Art Students Grades K-12 and The Renegade Winery concert featuring The Kings of Queen Street You’ll be able to see more of the photographs I took during the day in The Festing with Winter on a Summerish Day Gallery at

Stroudsburg is a borough in Monroe County, PA that serves as the county seat. It is located at the confluence of the Brodhead, McMichaels, and Pocono Creeks. The town is part of the East Stroudsburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area which in turn is part of the New York metropolitan area. Stroudsburg is the only traditional downtown in the area with more than 24 restaurants, 9 art galleries, 3 women’s clothing stores, numerous antique stores, several general merchandisers, many specialty shops, 2 hotels, the local YMCA, 11 financial institutions, and the core of the legal profession in Monroe County. Downtown Stroudsburg also features a wide tree lined Main Street with historically rich architecture. You can learn more about Stroudsburg, PA by exploring their Facebook Page at of their Website at

The Emergence of Artists at NCC

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

A sensation of joy that accompanies the act of discovering something wonderful filled the hearts and souls of those who entered the Dunning Art Gallery on Thursday February 16th. The venue is located on the Monroe Campus of Northampton Community College in Tannersville PA's Keystone Hall and their Emerging Artists Exhibition showcased the work of individuals who are beginning to gain a degree of prominence in the local artistic community. These individuals hail from the six recognized art organizations operating in the Pocono Region of Northeast PA. They are The Pocono Arts Council, the Pocono Mountain Arts Council, the Pocono Mountain Arts Group, the Pocono Painters, the Pocono Photography Club, and the Pocono Watercolor Associates.

It was after a while spent in delightful conversations with the featured artists and one another did Dean Matthew J. Connell informally addressed the room to welcome all who attended the event as well as expressing his appreciation to the artists and the groups they belonged to for sharing their talents with the campus. As he concluded his words, Jack Swersie of the PoconoArts Council took the microphone to express his welcoming sentiments before passing the instrument to each of the featured artists in succession so they may speak about their work. The artists who spoke were Karen Schaffer, Marlene Fudge, Amy Joann Magish, Jason Scott Williamson, and Jessica Larsen. Artists who were part of the exhibit but who were not present were Sterling Strauser, Peter Heiden, Linda Krackle, Joan Sayer, Christine Saggaddu, and Joy Taney.

It was after the sharings from artists concluded did Dean Connell share his final thoughts about the show, the artists, and the groups they represented. His final words for the evening were followed by a great number of conversations as each artists were approached by those who wished to learn more about their work as well as their aesthetic approach to it. The event wound down as those who attended the reception began to leave in order to go home. Yet, an anticipatory yearning could be felt among the gathering as their spirits were fixed upon the next exhibition that would adorn the gallery. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artists' Reception in The Emergence of Artists at NCC Gallery at

The Northampton Community College (NCC) was established in 1967 with its main campus located in the Lehigh Valley region of PA. According to their Website, NCC is committed to quality, affordable higher education while striving for accessibility with courses scheduled at multiple campuses and locations during the day, evening, weekends, and on line. The college currently serves more than 35,000 students a year in credit and non-credit programs. The Emerging Artists Exhibition is scheduled to be on display in the Dunning Gallery which is located in The Monroe Campus of Northampton Community College in Tannersville PA's Keystone Hall until until May 25th. Their next exhibition will be their 3rd Annual Pocono Tapestry Show scheduled to open in Mid June featuring artists from the 6 local art organizations. You can learn more about The Northampton Community College by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

Monday, February 13, 2017

Loving like a Soho Renegade

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

A night of enchantments indicative of the blessings of love touched the many souls who entered The Renegade Urban Winery in Stroudsburg, PA as The Soho in the Burg Gallery held an Artists' Reception within the winery for their Love, Love, Love Exhibition on Saturday February 11th. The work of Andrea Robbins-Rimberg (the gallery's curator), James Chesnick, Jill Swersie, Andrei Protsouk, Anna Kaszupski, Susan Washington, Jack Swersie, and several others adorned the walls of the establishment while its elegantly, rustic atmosphere enhanced the flavor of the art. Fine wines and beer enhanced the conversations of the large number of people who explored the work while a variety of foods reflecting the St. Valentine's holiday were lovingly consumed.

It was during the wonderful explorations of the art, food, and beverages did guitarist Zac Lawless step upon the Renegade Stage. His well rendered songs added a loving texture to evening as his thoughtful interpretations of the compositions he performed flowed among the gathering until their essence filled the pools of the heart. The spirit of love and delight inspired by the art, the music, and the winery was prevalent throughout the evening. It was a pleasure to be there and many ended their evening looking forward to The SOHO in the BURG Gallery's next exhibition. I hope to see you there. In the meantime, you'll find more photographs taken during Artists' Reception for their current exhibit in The Loving like a Soho Renegade Gallery at

The SOHO in the BURG Gallery first opened in the April of 2012 and is presently located within The Renegade Winery in Stroudsburg, PA whose vineyards are located in East Stroudsburg, PA. Andrea Robbins Rimberg serves as the gallery's curator and her now famous effervescent personality and exuberant energies continues to enhance the art that is on display. Their Love Love Love Exhibition will continue to be on display until April 30th. Their next exhibition is tentatively scheduled to open Saturday May 13th. You can learn more about The SOHO in the BURG Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

The Renegade Urban Winery is located in the J. J. Newberry Building on the corner of 6th and Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. Their vineyards are located in East Stroudsburg, PA and they are considered the first urban concept winery in the Pocono Mountains, PA Region. In addition to hosting The SOHO in the BURG Gallery's Exhibitions, the venue presents a variety of events to be enjoyed. These include a performance by The Kings of Queen Street on Saturday February 18th and Swamp Guard on Saturday February 25th along with a Paint and Sip Party: Love Under a Tree hosted by Anna Kaszupski on Wednesday February 22nd. The venue also holds an Open Mic Nite hosted by Andrew Moses every Thursday evening beginning at 9pm. You'll find more information about The Renegade Urban Winery and all they have to offer by exploring their Website at or their Facebook Page at

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Origins Reborn

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

A delight filled the early evening hours as a small multitude of art lovers found the side door of The PoconoArts Community Center in Stroudsburg, PA in order to enter the newly established quaint abode of The Origins Gallery on Friday February 10th. The gallery's housewarming celebration coincided with an Artists' Reception for their Little Night II Exhibition. Also, in keeping with their reputation of giving back to the community, The Origins Gallery presented The He’ART Show as a Fundraising Event which consisted of hearts created by local artists that were sold through a silent auction with the proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association/Lehigh Valley Chapter which includes Monroe County, PA. The evening also included the gallery's famous ArtRaffle and delicious treats with wine provided by The R. A. W. Urban Winery and Hard Cidery located in Stroudsburg, PA

Conversations shared among the venue's denizens filled the room with their electrifying properties as explorations of the work presented created a sense of marvel. The cozy size of the gallery space added an intimacy to the words that were spoken as their meaningfulness found a home in the listener's heart. It was some time during the social intercourse did the gallery's director, Jody Singer, greet the gathering in order to welcome them with his appreciative words. He then proceeded to share news of the changes the venue has made to meld into its new abode as well as what the gallery plans are for the remainder of the year. Mr. Singer also included news relating to other artistic endeavors including those of The Pocono Arts Council and The Forwardian Arts Society. It was shortly after this did the ArtRaffle begin.

Tickets with numbers printed on them shook as the anticipatory hands that held them vibrated with their owner's eagerness to hear his/her digits being sounded. It was Mr. Singer who selected the winning tickets and who called out their numbers while Ms. Marty Carr held each item aloft enhancing its beauty with her own. An exclamation of excitement was sounded as the final numbers of the winning ticket were called for each item which led to the happy owners claiming their prize. It was after the ArtRaffle did more conversations ensue before the time to bid one another adieus arrived. Each goodbye was filled with a yearning to return to the venue for its next opportunity to partake of the art and wonderfully satisfying environment that fills the aesthetic caverns of the soul. You can view photographs taken during the event in The Origins Reborn Gallery at

The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery who also offers classes and special events to the community. The Little Night II Exhibition will be on display until Monday February 27th. The Origins Gallery On the Go will be their next event to be held at Juic'd in Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday February 18th. The event is a part of a series of art exhibitions to take place at various local establishments. The next exhibition at The PoconoArts Community Center in Stroudsburg, PA will be their Open Studios 3rd Anniversary Art Exhibition with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday March 4th beginning at 6pm. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery and all they have to offer by exploring their Facebook Page at

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. The next exhibition to take place in The PoconoArts Community Center's ARTSPACE Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA will be their Emerging Artists Showcase. The exhibit will be on display from March 3rd to March 25th with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday March 18th beginning at 4pm. This exhibition will be followed by their Earth Speaks III Exhibition in April 2017. 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 or their Website at

Saturday, February 04, 2017

The Deconstruction of X-Scapes at ESU

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The mesmeric effects of abstract art filled the senses of those who entered The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of PA's Madelon Powers Gallery on Thursday February 2nd. The mind and senses were immediately captivated by the stunning work created by Susan Molina Washington and Stephen Washington whose X-Scapes: Deconstructing the Urban and Pastoral Landscape Exhibition populated the walls of the gallery. A large number of art lovers from the University's surrounding community dwelled among the pieces to explore their conceptual intricacies.

Although the abstract nature of the work served as a connecting thread throughout the exhibit, a distinctive approach between the two artists to their creations could not be more stark in contrast. Ms. Washington's cubistically drawn patterns reflects the artist's affinity to fashion allowing its association to the urban landscape to adorn the imagination. The imagination of the Reception's attendees were also touched by the colors and impressionistic aspects of Mr. Washington's abstract pieces as seemingly random brush strokes and drippings reflected the wild, untamed beauty found in the natural world which we often yearn to rediscover within ourselves. The loving flow found throughout the exhibit unified the pieces just as two individuals become as one when they dedicate living and building a life with one another. This unity created a kinship between the entirety of the exhibition and those among the attendees who found its wonderments within themselves.

It was during the Artists' Reception did Mr. Washington share his unique insights into the work and the process from which it was made through a gallery talk. He also spoke on his wife's, Susan Molina Washington, images sharing their profound essence with the deeply attentive gathering. His talk gave a deeper understanding and appreciation of the aesthetic nature of not only the work but the artists themselves. This, in turn, allowed each individual who heard his words to lovingly recognize such elements within oneself. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artist's Reception in The Deconstruction of X-Scapes at ESU Gallery at

Susan Molina Washington is from New York, NY who spent her teens deconstructing dressmaking as a punk fashionista and while later working in the NYC fashion industry for 15 years. Ms. Washington comes from a family of artists from which she was tutored in the art of origami and sumi ink drawing by her Japanese Godmother. Her work has been exhibited internationally. She currently lives and works in the Poconos Region of NEPA while sharing a studio space with her husband, Stephen. You can learn more about Susan Molina Washington by exploring her Website at

Stephen Washington is from the United Kingdom who was trained as a painter at The Southport College of Art and Hull College of Art. He then worked as a graphic designer and commercial photographer between 1982 and 1999 before relocating to the United States. Mr. Washington now paints local landscapes in oils and creates large photographic abstractions. He currently lives and works in the Poconos Region of NEPA while sharing a studio space with his wife, Susan. You can learn more about Stephen Washington by exploring his Facebook Page at

The X-Scapes: Deconstructing the Urban and Pastoral Landscape Exhibition featuring the Works of Susan Molina Washington and Stephen Washington will continue to be on display in The Madelon Powers Gallery which is located within the campus' Fine and Performing Arts Center until March 10th. The next exhibition scheduled to take place in the gallery will be their Student Association All University Student Art Exhibit with an Artists' Reception scheduled to be held on Thursday March 23rd beginning at 4pm featuring an award ceremony. The exhibit will continue to be on display in The Madelon Powers Gallery until April 7th. Please explore The Madelon Powers Gallery Facebook Page at for more information.