Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Gathering of Pocono Artists

The Pocono Arts Council held an Art Town Meeting at The Artspace Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA on Wednesday January 20th to provide an opportunity for many art lovers to share their views and concerns about the arts in the area . The meeting well attended was led by Richard Spezzella who is president of The Pocono Arts Council. Executive Director Laura L. Goss and staff member Tassy Gilbert (who helps many with their grant applications) were also on hand to help facilitate the meeting. Those representing the many art related groups in the area included Pat Transue of The Pocono Mountain Arts Council, JoAnn Stratakos of Mudworks Pottery, Myke Maldonado and Sherley Escribano from The Dreamland Creations, Shane Izykowski and Steve Parker of The Stroudsburg Social Show on the Pocono Internet Broadcasting Company, Richard Berkowitz of The Sherman Theatre, Jazz musician Mark Hamza, Singer/Vocalist Sheila Stratton, Stephanie French of The East Stroudsburg University Theater Department, Amy Cramer of The Shawnee Playhouse, Ainslie Heilich of The Vintage Karma Tattoo Studio, Debbie Burke of Pocono Jazz and Poetry, Darlene Farris LaBar of The East Stroudsburg University Art Department, and Clavaertis Miller of The Miller Fine Arts Gallery.

Although the meeting provided ample opportunity for those attending to learn what The Pocono Arts Council has and will have to offer the creative community, there was much discussion on how the organization is perceived by those artists not associated with it. They mostly consist of the younger non conventional artists who seek to stretch the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable to the general public. It was expressed they feel unwelcome by the “established” artistic community the Arts Council often showcases in its endeavors.

There was much discussion on this topic and there seemed to be a consensus it bears further exploration as to how these individuals can participate in the larger artistic community the Pocono Arts Council represents. It was agreed that there will be another Art Town Meeting in the Spring to explore this and other topics more fully. Please contact The Pocono Arts Council at 570-476-4460 for more information. You’ll find more photographs at The Forwardian Arts Society Pocono Arts Council 2010 Gallery at

Websites of those mentioned in this article are The Pocono Arts Council at, The Artspace Gallery at, The Pocono Mountain Arts Council at, Mudworks Pottery at, Myke Maldonado at, Sherley Escribano at Dreamland Creations at, Shane Izykowski at, The Stroudsburg Social at, The Pocono Internet Broadcasting Company at, The Sherman Theatre at, Jazz musician Mark Hamza at, Singer/Vocalist Sheila Stratton at, Amy Cramer of The Shawnee Playhouse at, The Vintage Karma Tattoo Studio at, Pocono Jazz and Poetry at, The East Stroudsburg University Art and Theater Departments at, The Miller Fine Arts Gallery at

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