Friday, March 30, 2012

The Spring 2012 Student Art Exhibition

The East Stroudsburg University of PA (ESU) Art Association held an Artists’ Reception on Wednesday March 28th for their Annual Student Juried Art Exhibition in the Madelon Powers Gallery which is located within the campus’ Fine and Performing Arts Building. The Reception was well attended as family, friends, and art lovers filled the space in order to explore the exhibit’s offerings congratulating their creators. There was much cause to express the numerous congratulatory sentiments as the overall consistent quality of the pieces displayed were quite impressive and enhanced the joy of attending the exhibit.

The work consisted of a variety of creative approaches and themes which allowed the viewer to (sometimes simultaneously) move their awareness in many different directions both inward and out. There were pieces which touched the eye through their shear beauty summoning a recollection of a gentle memory that may or may not have occurred while others sheared through familiar thoughts and perceptions with an answer devised to bring into question everything humanity once believed to be its everlasting and eternal truth. In other words, there was something for everyone. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The ESU 2012 Gallery at

The exhibit was open to students of all majors attending East Stroudsburg University. Among those who presented their work for the exhibition were Erin Raught, Abby Oxford, Amber T. Soto, Rick Orengo, Sam Popple, Drew Lingle, Kelsey Caballero, Heather De Meglio, Elisabeth Brennan, Gina Rodriguez, Tiffani Pyzik, Samantha Peterson, Jill Nobles, Caitlyn Foley, Nara Strete, Kayla Littrell, Trevor Nash, Gina Castrianni, Maria Wyler, Nicholas Sullivan, McKenziey Andrew, Celeste Hylton-James, Kelly Smith, Jeremy Soto, Rebecca Kuntzman, Chris Hodge, and Kylie A Silvestri. All displayed a considerable amount of talent and skill in the creation of their individual piece as experiencing their work in the present creates an anticipation as we wonder what will the tempering years that lie ahead will manifest.

As mentioned, the exhibition was a juried one with scholarships and other displays of appreciation presented to those artists who proved to have talents considered to be even more exceptional than their peers. Several award categories were devised and they are of the following. The Award for Third Place went to Alma Barrantes for her piece titled, “Jared Leto,” The Award for Second Place went to Bethany Wert for her piece titled, “Morning Sun,” and the Award for First Place went to Charlotte Hiriart for her piece titled, “Occupy Love” while the award for the best in three dimensional work went to Benjamin Koch for his piece titled, “Distorted Equanimity.” Those included in the Honorable Mentioned Category were Dominick Frabizio for his work titled, “Handmade Knife,” Chad Jacobson for his work titled, “Game Over,” Melody Rivera for her work titled, “Lessons in Reverie,” Amber Trunfio for her work titled, “The Street,” and Lauriel Gingrich for her work titled, “Hidden.” The jurors for the exhibit were Nancy Bohm and Paul Adam Smeltz (yep, that’s me).

When I received a facebook message asking me to serve as a juror for the exhibition, I experienced simultaneous sensations of shock, appreciation, and humility. It was an honored to be considered and I immediately began hoping I was (and I realize this sounds very archaically chivalric) worthy of the task. I knew it would be challenging as I easily recalled the statements of jurors I met during previous ESU exhibitions relating how difficult it was to differentiate between the work to determine which will receive awards and which won’t.

Upon entering the Gallery to begin the selection process, I was soon greeted by my fellow juror, Nancy Bohm. We have known each other for several years and were both enamored by the fact we were born during the same month and date being only separated by a decade. As this would make us Geminians, I mused there were actually four people serving as jurors and not the two the ESU Art Association had asked for. However, this musing was quickly placed aside as we began looking over the body of work.

Although a cooperative atmosphere surrounded us, we began to differ on several of the offerings. However, it soon became apparent this varied approach to our task created the framework in which the pieces we would later agree upon would prove to be the best of the best and honor the awards their creators received. This is not to suggest our selections were perfect and not subject to valid dispute, but our contrasting approaches to the endeavor resulted in decisions which honestly reflected a love we had in common for the arts and embodied the sum of our experiences and understanding of what the essence of truly remarkable art is. In other word, I think we did ok as jurors.

The ESU Art Association is collegiate club designed to create an opportunity for students to explore the myriad aspects of the visual arts with their peers. As with all such clubs, this is sometimes done with great degree of diligence while other times the approach contains the appropriate amount of silliness found when friends get together. In either case, the ESU Art Association provides students with a love for the arts to share the heart of one another. It’s president is Jessica Van Orden, it’s Vice President is Brittany Anderson, and it’s Treasurer is Matthew Copeland. Prof. David Mazure serves as their faculty advisor. You can learn more about the ESU Art Association from their facebook group at

The ESU Art Association Student Juried Art Exhibit  continues at Madelon Powers Gallery which is located in The Fine and Performing Arts Building on the ESU Campus until April 13th. Funding was provided in part by The Pocono Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. Future exhibitions presented by The East Stroudsburg University of PA Art Department will include The Senior Seminar and Portfolio in Art Student Exhibition April 19th - May 8th. Please contact The East Stroudsburg University Art Department at 570-422-3695 for more information.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Theatrical Review: “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew”

Theatrical Review: “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew”
Written by: Robert Bolt
Directed by: Jan Julia
Theatrical Review by: Paul Adam Smeltz

The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on the Delaware, PA presented The Kaleidoscope Players’ production of “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” written by Robert Bolt. The Kaleidoscope Players has gained a well earned reputation of presenting some of the most compelling theatre of the highest qualities associated with the art form in the area. Yet, while leaving the theater after viewing this production, I began contemplating writing a very short review. After all, there are just so many ways one can say, “I didn’t like it.”

However, when I arrived home, I decided to look deeper into the play by researching it and its author. I did this because I could not reconcile the theatrical experiences I’ve enjoyed during previous Kaleidoscope Players’ productions with this one. This is what I discovered.

The Royal Shakespeare Company commissioned Robert Bolt to write “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” to be performed during the 1964 Christmas season as a children’s play. Robert Bolt inserted many of the themes found in his overall work such as integrity and honor into the play but he also employed many theatrical techniques which originated from Bertolt Brecht who is well known for creating plays which remind his audience the play they’re watching was a representation of reality and not reality itself and their reality was as equally susceptible to change as the one they were witnessing on stage. It was presented on the BBC and featured Leo McKern in the title role. The play was to become a perennial seasonal presentation into the 70s.

While this information didn’t cause me to fall in love with the production I saw, it did lend some insight which allowed me to appreciate the work and its place in the theatrical arts. Still, this appreciation is somewhat hind sighted and didn’t come without going outside the live theatrical experience to obtain. It’s unfortunate it couldn’t have been gained while I was watching it in the theater.

Part of this may have been due to the play being advertised as a Featured Show and not as Children’s theater as it was created to be. True, the production was widely promoted as “Family Friendly” but there is (in this reviewer’s opinion) a difference between a play in which the whole family can enjoy and a play specifically written for children. In the later, the theatrical experience for an adult can be enhanced by the sound of children laughing but it can become rather dull when a childless silence is present.

In this reviewer’s opinion, if “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” would have been placed on The Shawnee Playhouse’s Children’s Theater Schedule, parents would have brought their children and the experience would have been a much more enjoyable one. Instead, much of the childlike simplicity embodied in the characters couldn’t make the transition it needed to make in order for an adult audience to find it adequately amusing enough to offer a genuine laugh. It might have worked if the production was a parody of fairy tale themes presented through a “Yeah Right” point of view, but there was very little of this in the production.

“The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” by Robert Bolt takes place in a “Magical Fairy Tale Place” and begins in the castle owned by a Duchess as portrayed by Nicole Dietze (who also portrays a Magical Bird). She summons her knights as portrayed by Brian Bollinger (who also portrays a corporal, Man-At-Arms, and a Magical Bird), Kevin Hillman (who also portrays a peasant), Jeff Aiello (who also served to help provide props and costumes for the production), Chayton Meeks-Owen (who also portrays a Chef, a Peasant, and a Magical Bird), and Angelo Revilla III (who also portrays the Lord Mayor and the Royal Captain while also serving to help provide props for the production) to share the spoils of their victories over the local dragons. The last and (by some accounts among the company) the least of the knights named “Sir Oblong Fitz Oblong” as portrayed by Robin Kessler (who also served to help provide publicity for the production) enters the court to offer his meager signs of his accompishments.

As the company begins to wonder what they should do next, Sir Oblong suggests they move to other areas searching for new adventures. This displeases the company and they all vote against the idea. However, Sir Oblong reminds them all votes must be unanimous and his suggestion must be taken up by a higher court to be decided upon. The Duchess sends him out of the room for an errand and, while gone, the company decides to send him to the Bolligrew Islands so he’ll be out of the way.

Upon arriving at the Bolligrew Islands, Sir Oblong encounters Jasper - The 15th Baron of Bolligrew as portrayed by Renard Cohen and his henchman Squire Blackhart as portrayed by Mark Pender. He soon discovers corruption and mistreatment of the peasants is abundant and resolves to  make things right. The first task he endeavors upon is to rebuild the church which is in ruins. He does this with the help of Maggie Magpie as portrayed by Taylor Austin, Obidiah Bobblenob as portrayed by Marissa Phillips and the peasants who include Nicole Taylor (who also portrays a trumpet, a secretary, and a Magical Bird).

To thwart Sir Oblong’s plans and to rid the island of him, Baron of Bolligrew sends Squire Blackhart to provoke a dual with him. This initially fails but a fight does ensue with Sir Oblong being the victor. This calls for more direct measures and Dr. Beelzebub Morlock as portrayed by Ryan Moore (who also portrays a peasant and an Old Man along with serving to help provide publicity for the production) is hired. In the meantime, the dragon of the island whose voice is supplied by Don Slepian (who also provided sound and music for the production) sends a dire message saying he’s hungry. Other cast members include Olivia Cohen as Mazeppa Magpie and Captain Asquith and Holly Newcomb as the storyteller (who also served to help provide costumes for the production).

The Kaleidoscope Players is a local theatrical group led by Jan Julia. In addition to presenting plays at a variety of venues including schools, they offer opportunities for those interested in the theater to develop these interests into tangible skills. Their next production at The Shawnee Playhouse will be “Laugh Lines” to be presented from October 25th until November 3rd. Please Explore The Kaleidoscope Players’ Website at for more information.

The Shawnee Playhouse presentation of The Kaleidoscope Players’ production of “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” by Robert Bolt was Directed by Jan Julia and was Stage Managed by Lindsay Markus. The lighting and technical director was David Schappert. Amy Jo Shaefer helped to provide publicity while Jasmine Abrams helped to provide props for the production. Alex Heesemann served the production as part of its crew. The Kaleidoscope Players expressed special thanks to Amy Jo Shaefer, Midge McClosky, Missy Benefield, The Shawnee Playhouse Staff, Rev. Barry Howard and the All Souls Christian Center, Richard Rose, Mark Hamza and Sheila Stratton, Lisa Bollinger, Thomasina Meeks-Owens, Lori and Michael Austin, and Karin Diestler.

The producers of the productions presented at The Shawnee Playhouse are Ginny and Charlie Kirkwood while the group sales manager is Mary Horn. The Box Office Staff includes Chrissy McMannus while Becky Haskell serves as the playhouse’s Sales and Marketing Director. The Executive Director of The Shawnee Playhouse is Midge McClosky.

The Kaleidoscope Players production of “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” by Robert Bolt will conclude its run at The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on the Delaware, PA on April 1st. The work was meant to be a children’s play and it may be worth the $10 the theater charges for their Children’s Theater Show. Is it worth the $18 the theatre charges for their feature shows? Well…

Future shows to take place during The Shawnee Playhouse 2012 Season include The Prestige Productions presentation of “Love, Sex, and The I. R. S.” taking place April 6th - 15th, and The Center Stage Players production of “An Evening in Comedy” taking place April 20th - 29th, and “The Lion in Winter” taking place May 4th - 13th. In addition to these presentations, The Shawnee Playhouse continues to present the Shawnee Original Playwright Series (SOPS) Staged Readings featuring works of the finalist of their playwright competition in which audience members are able to select which plays presented will become full productions. The final Staged Readings will take place Friday March 30th.

Those who enjoy the Passionate Art Lover level of membership in The Forwardian Arts Society are offered a $3.00 discount off the admission fee of The Shawnee Playhouse Productions listed as Feature and Headline Shows. Please contact The Shawnee Playhouse at 570-421-5093 or Explore their website at for more information and to reserve your ticket.

Photograph provided by The Kaleidoscope Players.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Student Art Show of 2012

The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Sunday March 11th for their 19th Annual Juried Student Art Show featuring the works of students who are enrolled in the school systems scattered around the Monroe County, PA area. These schools included East Stroudsburg High School-South, Pleasant Valley High School, Pocono Mountain High School-East (Senior and Junior) and West, Stroudsburg High School, and (for the first time) The Pocono Elementary Center. The exhibition at The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center also included a small gallery for Art Educators and a wall of writing which features literary and poetic works.

As one could imagine, the reception was well attended as many of the artists’ friends and family members came to support their endeavors. While this may be wonderful news on the face of it, it is somewhat unfortunate more members of the general public weren’t in attendance. The exhibition not only provided an opportunity for the young artists to present their creative endeavors in a gallery setting, but it also provided an opportunity for art lovers to capture a glimpse of what will shape the foundations of the local creative community in the years to come.

It may be that many decided not to attend the reception based upon an assumption the work created by teens and younger children would not be favorably comparable to what a more experience artists with the age associated with his or her identity may create. While this assumption proved to be true for a small minority of the pieces, the vast majority of the work transcended such preconceived expectations as this exhibition was much more than a group of pictures placed upon the wall of a school’s hallway. There was a great deal of quality and originality in which one did not have to be a parent, a sibling, or a BFF of the artist to appreciate his or her endeavors.

Those student artists participating in The PoconoArts 19th Annual Juried Student Art Show included Brittney Allivato, Myicia Altman, Malia Balas, Danielle DeLeone, Erin Flaherty, Ricardo Garcia, Kimberly Gomez, Chelsey Hamill, Sabryna Hunt, Dulvanese Innecco, Hugh Lucas, Thomas Marzella, Taylor Sebring, Kristina Selinski, MeKenna Siclels, Emily Thaler, Kynea Rubin, Melissa Velardi, and Hope Wicks. The faculty who were presented in Art Educator Gallery included Mark Ciocca, Denise Thomas, Paul Steinruck, Shelly Grillo, and Nancy Bohm. The poet presented on the Center’s Wall of Writings is C. J. Coic who has been referred to as the Jack Kerouac of the Poconos and bored this association out as he read his work during the awards ceremony.

As indicated earlier, the exhibition is a juried one with John Kopp and Richard Spezzano serving as jurors. The Award Sponsors were The Monroe County Bar Association, The Pocono Chapter, PA Guild of Craftsmen, and The Pocono Arts Council. The Awards recipients were Amy Setzer who received second place and Dylan Rarick who received first place in the Junior Category, Matt McFadden who received first place in the Photography Category, Skyla Rose Wuebber who received an award for her 3-D work, Skye Relosa who received second place, Gina Dispensa who received first place, and Joseph Pennino who received honorable mention in the Fine Crafts Category, Chelsea Caceres who received second place, Kourtney Lark who received first place, and Nicole Keiser who received honorable mention in the 2-D Category. The Best of Show Award was presented to Dominick for his work titled, “Pragmatic Opposition.”

The Pocono Arts Council’s 19th Annual Juried Student Art Show at The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center in Stroudsburg, PA continues until March 25th. The next exhibits to be presented in the Center’s ArtSpace and Studio Galleries will be “The Art of the Store II” which will run from April 1st through the 24th and The PoconoArts Members Exhibition running from May 6th until the 29th with an Artists’ Reception scheduled for Saturday May 19th. You’ll find more photographs taken during the “Student Art Show” Artists’ Reception in The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center 2012 Gallery at

The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center is part of The PoconoArts Council which is an organization 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 center 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, The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center, and all they offer the creative community at

Of Cabbages and Kings

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings."

From the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter"
which appears in the book “Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll

On Saturday March 10th, Art Lovers Gathered at The Starbucks in Stroudsburg, PA to share ideas, hopes, and aspirations of what a fellowship for people who love the arts can seek to bring about during 2012. The Forwardian Arts Society invited members of the artistic community to dream with them as they sought to manifest its mission to encourage, support, and love the arts through the creation and continuation of many projects, programs, and events accessible to all who would like to partake of them. These included festivals, concerts, workshops, publications, exhibitions, and helping other art related groups bring their love for the arts into fruition.

The gathering itself may have seem a small one to those who entered the coffeehouse especially when compared to the excited conversations inspired by the enormous topics that were discussed. But, if anyone decided to intently overhear the voices of the five who participated in the gathering, they would have been reminded of the words of Lao-Tzu who wrote in the Tao Te Ching, “A tree that fills a man’s embrace grows from a seedling.” A marvelous seedling was planted in the hearts of all who shared the conversation. It now waits to begin it’s journey to become a tree to fulfill others with its embrace.

This nurturing journey can be enhanced by those who would like to share their talents and insights as we endeavor to bring our tree of dreams into the forest of reality. Many of you will soon be learning more details of what was discussed during our gathering and discover a multitude of  opportunities to participate so your gifts can be opened and appreciated. I hope you’ll join us as I know everything we do will be something truly wonderful because of you. You’ll find more photographs taken of the gathering in The Forwardian Arts Society 2012 Gallery at

#The Forwardian Arts Society is a fellowship for people who love the arts seeking to enhance the creative community by encouraging those interested in the arts to go forward toward their dreams, by supporting those groups and individuals who are pursuing their talents, and by loving them and all they do along the way. Our past and current endeavors include presenting Festivals exploring a wide variety of themes, publishing an online Literary and Arts Magazine showcasing the words and images designed to enhance the lives of all who view it, and Exhibitions presenting the works of numerous creative individuals both within and outside the mainstream artistic community. The Forwardian Arts Society also shares information of individuals and non Forwardian Arts Society groups through it listings of art related events, opportunities, and workshops posted its website and presents reviews and articles along with photographs of art related endeavors they either attend or participate in. Please Explore The Forwardian Arts Society Website at to learn more information about all they have to offer the creative community.

Monday, March 05, 2012

An Alchemic Crowd at The PCT

The Pocono Community Theater in East Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Saturday March 3rd for their exhibitions presented in their front and back galleries. The images shown in the front gallery featured the work of John Kolbek in a show titled “The Alchemist Cookbook.” The images shown in the back gallery featured the work of Sherwood Samet in a show titled “Far From the Madding Crowd.” Both sets of work contrasted well with one another as their approaches and techniques sought to entreat the imagination as the very differing images were explored.

Those images created by Mr. Kolbek delved into the realm of the subconscious with it’s dreamlike depictions enhanced by the use of oil layered with a resin alloy which gave many of the images a darker countenance. This effect obscured a significant portion of the work which made it difficult to ascertain what was on the canvas. However, this obscuring effect led the viewer toward a more intimate relationship with the work as the act of determining its characteristics moved the viewer deeper and deeper into its domain.

Once there, the viewer could begin to not only experience the nether regions of the piece but begin to acknowledge those very aspects of his or her inner being. These nether regions are frightful and are areas we seldom have a desire to explore. However, failure to do so forbids us from partaking of the life enhancing opportunities to be discovered as we transcend our limiting perceptions of what constitutes the fabric of our lives when we embrace all of who we are including those aspects of ourselves we find strange and foreboding. These aspects are the ingredients found in The Alchemist Cookbook enabling all who partake of its recipes to gain a new understanding whose truths will eventually create concoctions that will turn our leaden lives into gold.

The photographic images created Sherwood Samet seems worlds away from those created by Mr. Kolbek. They are filled with light and depict scenes we experience during our waking lives. But, upon further examination, their ephemeral similarities become apparent.

Beyond their beauty and deftly constructed composition, what makes Mr. Samet’s work particularly interesting is one can find a series of photographic mistakes in each piece. Some of these mistakes are well pronounced while other defy detection with their subtlety. However, it isn’t long until one speculates these mistakes were intentional as the high quality of the work belies the possibility these errors were unnoticed by the photographer while processing the image through Photoshop or some other editing program.

It could be further speculated that the use of editing programs could be seen by the photographer as a deceptive device in which the viewer un initiated in the techniques of photography could assume what is shown in the displayed image is what was seen in the camera by the photographer when it was captured. It is unrealized the images they see were manipulated to not only correct or enhance it’s hues but to create a whole new world through the various editing tools available to the digital photographer. It is also true many photographer becomes ensnared by the tools available to him or her and finds themselves adding layer upon layer of doodads obscuring the image and why it moved the photographer to capture it in the first place.

The mistakes found in Mr. Samet’s work could be an attempt educate the viewing public to how the integrity of the images they view are manipulated by various editing techniques and to address how this constant tinkering of what the camera shoots creates a maddening effect on the photographers themselves. It could be best to accept the image for what it is, let it stand, and do as the title of his display suggests which is to “Far From the Madding Crowd.” And, in accepting the faults in what we do and who we are, we begin to discover an easier and saner perspective on life which makes us human.

Therefore, the common thematic thread found in both John Kolbek’s and Sherwood Samet’s work could be interpreted as the concept of acceptance. Mr. Kobek explores this concept by encouraging us to explore, accept, and embrace the darker traits of our subconscious nature. Mr. Samet encourages us to acknowledgement, sanity, and acceptance of all the mistakes we make which makes us human. Regardless of their theme or how one would interpret it, the work presented at The Pocono Community Theater were stunning and provided a great deal of opportunity to explore the imaginative and thought providing aspects of the work. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Pocono Community Theater (PCT) 2012 Gallery at

In addition to hosting art exhibits, The Pocono Community Theater presents a variety of films both popularly current as well revivals of those films released in the past. They also host special events such as their Pocono Got Talent competition and their Book Club which explore novels that have been adapted to the screen and are currently being shown. “The Alchemist Cookbook” and “Far From the Madding Crowd”  exhibitions will continue until April 22nd while the dates for their next exhibition is yet to be announced. Please Explore The Pocono Community Theater Website for more information.

Artmusic’s Grecian Home

The ArtMusic Coffeehouse in East Stroudsburg, PA presented Pianist and Composer Spiro Cardamis along with Soprano Julie Ziavras on Friday March 2nd. The home provided by Don and Jan Julia Slepian was filled to capacity in anticipation of the musical offerings of the duo. As this was not their first time at The ArtMusic Coffeehouse, there were many who arrived to relive the experiences they had in the past while others heard of the gifts they share with their audience and became eager to partake of them.

These gifts embodied Classical, Greek, and New Age elements as they were combined to create what Mr. Cardamis refers to as “Religious Music of the New Millennium.” In a time when many call for religious freedom in order to enslave others to their precepts and doctrines, it is reassuring to the soul to encounter musical compositions that frees us from all dogma which keep us from expressing a Divine love toward one another. The performance consisted of several songs sung in a foreign tongue, but their transcending life affirming litany reminded our hearts there is something to be experience in life that goes beyond our lives.

As with all concerts at The ArtMusic Coffeehouse, it was begun by the evening’s host, Don Slepian, who touched his keyboards to present a spontaneous melody which served to rid the mind of all thoughts infringing upon the aspects of our better nature. Many of these compositions were created in the moment while others allowed memories of days when more smiles touched our lips to dwell in our consciousness. We yearned to go somewhere over the rainbow in order to wish upon a star.

The atmosphere which Mr. Slepian germinated soon began to blossom as Spiro Cardamis took his place on stage. Sounds deriving from original compositions alongside lovingly arraigned pieces including those created by Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis filled the senses as notes and sound effects brought the full flavor of the Greek Islands to the fore of the imagination. A beauty was felt reminding us of the beauty found whenever we look clearly within ourselves. It is a beauty that can never truly be diminished but can always be enhanced.

The beauty of the music Mr. Cardamis shared was enhanced by the appearance of Julie Ziavras whose vocal blending created a new dimension to the music she accompanied. Poetry was shared as was a new work titled “Farewell.” The remainder of the performance did indeed fare well with those who experienced it not only through their ears but from within their spirits. The conversations engaged in after the concert reflected this and you’ll be able to see more photographs taken throughout the evening in The ArtMusic Coffeehouse 2012 Gallery at

According to his website, Spiro Cardamis was born in Athens, Greece to George and Olympia Cardamis. His father was a bandleader who introduced Jazz to the Greek public earning him the reputation of being the Benny Goodman of Greece. Spiro gained a strong sense of pride and inner strength from his mother who encouraged his musical interest through piano lessons. Along with the classical compositions he studied, Spiro was also introduced to the "cool" Jazz of Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond and came tpo emulate their classic improvisations. His love of music and the opportunity to explore its vast horizons led Spiro to embark upon adventures which can be shared with others. You’ll be able to partake of these adventures while learning more about Spiro Cardamis by exploring his website at

#According to her website, Soprano Julie Ziavras is well known for a diversity which is reflected in her varied repertory and styles. Her ability to infuse a classical technique with the popular and folk genre has won critical acclaim for her vocal beauty, musicianship, and dramatic stage presence. Julie  has performed Greek and Classical music in concert, on radio, and TV in the US, Greece, and Serbia which made her the first western artist to perform in that country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. She has appeared in many other countries as well. You’ll be able to learn more about Julie Ziavras by exploring her website at

The ArtMusic Coffeehouse is held in the home of Don Slepian and Jan Julia who reside in the borough of East Stroudsburg, PA as part of the Concerts In Your Home Series. A variety of musical forms are presented including folk, jazz, classical, and electronic music. Although the concerts welcomes all who wish to attend, seating is limited as they take place in a private home. The next concerts scheduled to be held at The ArtMusic Coffeehouse will feature Amy Black on Saturday April 21st, The Walking Willows on Saturday May 5th, and Miché Fambro on Friday May 18th. All of the concerts will begin at 8pm. Please Explore The ArtMusic Coffeehouse Website at or Call 570-476-6307 for more information and to reserve your seats.