Monday, May 16, 2011

Springing into The PoconoArts

The Pocono Arts Council and The Jacob Stroud Corporation co hosted their Annual Visual and Performing Art Celebration on Saturday May 14th to kick off their Art on Main Summer Season which features the work of visual artists, artisans, and performing artists throughout the region. Although this year’s festival was touched by the unseasonably cooler temperatures along with some drizzling precipitation that dampened some spirits, the effects of the climatic conditions began to diminish for me when I encountered my first smile. This was followed by more smiles, embraces, and delightful conversations as the community of art lovers joined together to share their mutual affections toward the work and each other. It was a long winter for many with little to do in regards to the arts and it was good to anticipate the promise of a resurgence of more activity in this regard which this festival has come to represent.

Throughout the town, there were numerous artists and artisans filling the sidewalks and local businesses. One such business was Josephine’s Fleur de lis who presented The Karen Laposh Trunk Show featuring functional art work created by Karen Laposh. Beyond their intrinsic beauty, they served as an aid to diners who choose not to reach for the items placed upon their tables to enhance their meals. I admit to forgetting what she named the work, but I do remember her pointing out they were not “Lazy Susans” as she knows a Susan and she is far from being lazy. You’ll be able to learn more about Karen LaPosh and all Josephine’s Fleur de lis has to offer by exploring their website at

Another local business who share the talent of a local artist was D. R.’s Framing and Art Gallery who held an Artist’s Reception featuring the work of Nancy Pitcher. Her work had a striking quality to it as the depicted scenes increasingly came alive with each glance. Many of the images seems simplistic in their nature, but I’ve often found when one gives a thing extraordinary attention, it becomes extraordinary. My experience with her work severed to prove the assertion. You’ll be able to learn more about the work of Nancy Picture, the other artists presented in the gallery, and all D. R.’s Framing and Art Gallery has to offer by exploring their website at for more information.

Outside the stores and along the streets, the results of The 5th Annual "Fine Art" Parking Meter Competition was seen as the town’s parking meters were adorned with bags depicting a bevy of creative images to enhance the downtown area. There were also a number of Artisans and artists who participated in The PoconoArts Squared components of the event also shared their talents and wares. These PoconoArts Squared events are monthly gatherings held around the Monroe County Courthouse Square and affords a wonderful opportunity to view, purchase, and learn about the art and all the care and skill that goes into its creation by the artists and artisans themselves.

Among those participating in this PoconoArts Squared initiating event were Margaret Benson who presented her Functional Pottery, Rita Heim-Robinson of Morning Glory Studio who presented her Acrylic Paintings, Nikol Kallinteris who presented her Jewelry, Crafts, and Clothing, Ken McGoy who presented his Paintings, Cassandra S. Ferrari of Cassandra’s Beads who presented her work, Christa Nebbia who presented her Wind Chimes, Mariana Russo who presented her Mixed Media works, Mandala Design Works who shared their collective creativity, Kitty Cat Ears and Tails were presented by Starving Otaku Productions, Chainmail Jewelry was presented by Tristan Buckley, and Arielle Sekula presented her Paintings and Polymer Clay Figures (very cool Ninjas) while healing services were presented by Gorman Chiropractic. Please Explore The Pocono Arts Council website (listed below) to learn more about these artists and artisans and how you can share your creative endeavors in future PoconoArts Squared events.

The theatrical arts were represented through a production of “Voyage of the Forgotten Immigrants” written by Kathy Kroll was presented at The School of Visual and Performing Arts with performances by Ann Matthews, Janice Brightman, Noel Nelson, Tiffani Thompson, Drew Zafiropoulos, Josephe Carnevale, Jenny Aniano, Barbara Kavelines, Aliza Zafiropoulos, Laurel Aniano, Gavin Bauman, and Elexa Bauman. The production was directed by Shellie Bransford and Stage Managed by Mary Louise Vavelines. The Sets, Lights, and Sound for the production was done by Steve Henderson-Grady while the make up was applied by Cheryl Klinle. The Graphic design was done by Minnie Ospa while Susie Forrester served the production as it’s photographer. I did ot experience the presentation, but there were many approving smiles leaving the School with many saying it was a good show. You can learn more about this and other presentations held at The School of Visual and Performing Arts along with their educational offerings by exploring their website at

There was music throughout the town which included a performance by Robert Young of The Alabaster Box who served as lead singer for a band who shared songs of faith outside their newly established place of worship. #The Alabaster Box seeks to utilize music, passion, and all types of creativity and art to express worship in accord to the precepts of the Christian faith. You’ll be able to learn more about The Alabaster Box and all they have to offer by exploring their website at for more information.

With all the wonders of the day, it’s a challenge to point out one outstanding aspect of the entire experience. However, if there was one, it would be the Artists’ Reception of the Members’ Exhibition held at The Artspace Gallery which houses the offices of The Pocono Arts Council. This annual show provided an opportunity for local artists who are members of the Council and the Gallery to strut their stuff. And, the stuff they were strutting proved to be a grand and glorious colorful array of images and flowing hues. The sheer magnitude of the number and essence of the pieces presented nearly overwhelmed the senses but, in doing so, those who attended the reception experienced it later as a cleansing allowing them to enter the world outside the gallery afresh. It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could judge the work presented in order to award the prizes the Arts Council utilizes to recognize those artists with talents that stands above their peers, but the gallery did find such individuals whose jobs must have proved very daunting.

The award recipients in each category were Sharon Cosgrove who received the award for 1st place, Carol Pooley who received the award for 2nd place, and Carlo Salvo who received the award for 3rd place while Jill Swersie was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The Oils Category. Ka-son Reeves received the award for 1st place, Derek Cameron received the award for 2nd place, and Jessica Yusko received the award for 3rd place while Jean Perry was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The Acrylics Category. Jan Swift received the award for 1st place, Will Daskal received the award for 2nd place, Bev Abel received the award for 3rd place while Joan Sayer was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The Watercolors Category. Alice Prall was received the award for 1st place, Brandon Durand received the award for 2nd place, and Tom Augusta received the award for 3rd place while Paula George was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The Works on Paper Category. Pam Mading received the award for 1st place, Iraina Caramelli received the award for 2nd place, Nancy Bohm was chosen to be 3rd place while Barb Robinson was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The Mixed Media Category. Bill Maile received the award for 1st place, Don Sack received the award for 2nd place, and Mary Jane Arner received the award for 3rd place while Don Manza was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The Photography Category. Jorge Cruz received the award for 1st place, Lois Kirkwood received the award for 2nd place, and Andrea Rimberg received the award for 3rd place, while Pat Bruck was awarded Honorable Mentioned in The 3D Works Non Functional Category. April Field received the award for 1st place in The Fine Crafts - Functional Category and Christine Medley received the award for Best of Show for her work in Photography. The Jurors who judged the incredible work were Edwin Havas and Lenore Fiore Mills.

Other work featured during the Artists’ Reception were creations by Eino Antilla, Joyce Bambach, Stephanie Bockhorn, James Chesnick, Mark Ciocca, Arlene Conklin, M. J. Cramer, George Debronsky, Stephanie DiPasquale, Shirley Epstein, Sherley Escribano, Susan Field, Marcia Flammonde, Constance Fowlkes, Debra Frantz, Shelly Grillo, Judith Hankins, Charles Hanson, Julian Harr, Marlana Holsten, Jill Howell, Dee Huxster, Grace Ikai, Kent Johnson, Jaclyn Keller, Linda Kreckel, Karen Laposh, Bud LaRosa, Reva B. Levy, Jordon Lewis, Tricia Lowery Lippert, Patricia Mack, Myke Maldonado, Clair Marcus, John McAllister, Clavertis Miller, Carlisle Nostrame, Diane Paulhamus, Gordon Perry, Jill Perry, Matthew Pierce, Joan Polishook, Joan Raushi, Bob Reilly, Laurinda Faye Rubin, Marianna Russo, June Schott, Jim Smeltz, Chris Sparling Richard Spezzano, Alicia Turner, Jan Ward, Susanne Werfelman, Linford Werkheiser, Polly Werkheiser, and Sally Weiner Grotta. This was an incredible display which left a lingering impression upon those who experienced it. The Exhibition continues until May 29th.

Outside The ArtSpace Gallery, The Lost Ramblers performed outside just prior to the awards ceremonies while The SheilaMark Duo performed during them. As incredible as it seemed, their sounds lured attendees out of the gallery with their siren’s song. While The Lost Ramblers inspired people to kick up their heels with some down home bluegrass renditions, the sultry sounds of The SheilaMark Duo wooed the senses creating an internal environment transcending all others.

As I was leaving the festival, I saw Stan Stewart performing on the corner of 7th and Main Streets. I’ve heard him play in the past and would have liked to return to experience it again. Alas, this was not a possibility as I wasn’t the driver of the vehicle. However, the memory inspired by the open passenger’s door window sustained me as the notes he created echoed throughout my mind bringing it to a much welcomed state. You’ll find more photographs taken throughout the day in The Evening on Main 2011 Gallery at

The PoconoArts Council is designed to build the communities in which it serves artistically and culturally by providing leadership, service, and education. It does so by offering avenues for artists to display their work through the ArtSpace 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. You’ll be able to learn more about The PoconoArts Council and all they offer at for more information.

The Jacob Stroud Corporation seeks to honor the rich and diverse culture of the Pocono Mountains of PA which Stroudsburg, PA serves as its focal point. They do so through their support of area businesses, tourist attractions, and artistic endeavors of their citizens. You’ll be able to learn more about The PoconoArts Council and all they offer at for more information.

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