Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Living Room Showers Art in April

The Sherman Theater’s The Living Room Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Saturday April 5th for their April Exhibition featuring the work of Leonard Boone, Ashley Fontones, Eric Goins, and Ben Schwartz. Along with the incredible work ranging from photographs to color pencil drawings, the event presented the music of Kes Lyman and Olivia Zinn who enhanced the gathering through their individual performances. A “Perspective Objective!” Photo Contest, an opportunity to make a donation to their Community Tree with proceeds benefiting the gallery, and their ever popular Art Raffle were also featured attractions during the reception which was a very well attended event. A large assortment of a deli styled cuisine which thoroughly satisfied the gastronomic yearnings of those who attended the event was donated by The Shawnee General Store located in Shawnee on Delaware, PA.

The array of images and colors that greeted those who entered the gallery immediately touched upon the soul’s imagination as the highly defined images whose ever present realities were amplified by their depictions blended with those whose subtle softness spoke quietly to the dreams that are yet to be manifested. This blending was reflected in the conversations of those who attended the reception as a tapestry of calm excitement was weaved by the words and mannerisms sewn together with the thread of love. It was in this welcoming atmosphere did the evening’s co hosts and gallery curators, Keyaira Lynn Von Dred and Andrew Ozkenel, take the stage in order to greet those who have come to explore the evening, to share their appreciation to the artists whose work appeared upon the gallery’s walls, and to raise a glass to Shane Izykowski who was instrumental in bringing the gallery into existence and will be leaving the area in the coming months to pursue a passionately creative life in San Francisco, CA.

After these sentiments were expressed, the first of the musical performers was invited to share his talents upon the stage. Guitarist Kes Lyman has become a well known icon among those who have attended The Living Room’s Open Mic Nite events that are held every Sunday evening at the venue. He has recently appeared as a featured performer during a recent Open Mic All Star event. His performances never fails to bring a thoughtful smiles to the audience through some of the selections he presents while others inspires a great deal of demonstrated frivolity and foot stomping laughter. The sensations felt among those who attended the Artists’ Reception reflected those embraced by the denizens of the Open Mic events as each song moved among the gathering. This was made especially evident when a little boy came forth and captured the essence of Kes’ performance and the mood it created through his dancing abilities. You can learn more about Kes Lyman (commonly referred to as Kes) and his music by exploring his Website at

The enjoyment of the performance given by Kes Lyman lingered among the gathering for some time after it had concluded. This encouraged a great deal of conversations and explorations of the art throughout the Living Room’s environs. A community tree was on display which invited attendees to purchase a leaf or create a critter to be hung upon it. A table was set and filled with recycled materials from which children regardless of their chronological age were entreated to bring their creativity to the fore and make something decorative and fun. The funds raised through this activity were used to benefit the gallery and to assure its continued existence.

It was while these explorations of the art and opportunities to participate in the adornment of the community tree were partaken of, did the next performer come to the stage. The very first notes Olivia Zinn strummed upon her guitar moved the gathering to a profound silence as they prepared for a power they sensed would be coming from this 11 year old songstress. This power touched them as a voice filled with an overwhelming clarity and insights into the deeper meaning of each song echoed throughout the room. Many who believe in such phenomena agreed that an old soul inhabited this young woman who knew of the effects a wily woman who can get a mad just because she can may have upon a fragile relationship and what it’s like to be a denizen in a house in New Orleans. You can learn more about Olivia Zinn and her music by exploring her Facebook at

As Olivia Zinn concluded her performance, the evening’s co hosts and gallery curators Keyaira Lynn Von Dred and Andrew Ozkenel retook the stage to share their appreciation to the performers and announcements relating to the current and future exhibitions. These included the availability of tickets to be purchased for the upcoming Art Raffle of which pieces created by the featured artists could be won and the evening’s “Perspective Objective!” contest. The later invited those with cell phones that have photographic and internet abilities to capture images of occurrences taking place throughout the event and posting them on the wall of The Sherman Theater’s Living Room’s Facebook Page. Those who received the most “Likes” would be declared the winner of the competition and receive three prints created and signed by Shane Izykowski.

A great deal of excitement filled the air with the prospects of obtaining some outstanding art through these means coming to the forefront of the art lovers who populated the space. However, there was a certain amount to time to traverse before the contest and the raffle was to begin so many sought to explore more deeply while they waited. These excursions included peering into the depths of the works of the featured artists placed along the gallery’s walls whose properties instilled a great awe and fascination with the talents they possessed.

The vivid definition found in the photographic work of Eric Goins captivates the eye as the vibrancy of the images flirts with the visual senses as the viewer is enticed into the scene that is being depicted. A wide variety of subjects are explored in Mr. Goins’ ranging from cityscapes to natural settings all of which creates a connection between its essentials elements and the individual who is viewing the image. Eric Goins is a graduate of The New York Institute of Photography and currently serves as president of The Pocono Photo Club

Utilizing a variety of mediums but centering around that of watercolors to present the imaginative images embodied in each frame, Ben Schwartz’s work captures the spirit of all that is fanciful in the human genome. A number of the pieces he creates has an ethereal quality about them which invites the viewer to come closer to its other worldly essence in order to peer into the deeper void that inhabits their own secrets. The soft subtleties of the work allows those mirroring qualities within the individual viewer to reveal what is hidden within and therefore the clarity that often eludes one is touched by our peripheral awareness. You can learn more about Ben Schwartz and his work by exploring his Facebook Page at

The color pencil work of Leonard Boone proved to be quite enchanting as many of the images presented in the love inspired collection depicts familiar faces and forms especially those relating to the Star Trek franchise, the original Twilight Zone series, and other film and television personalities. A deep sense of nostalgia encompasses the viewer as memories of episodes and/or films featuring the person or persons depicted are brought to the fore. The detail of the work is impressive as the portraits seem to be peering into the soul of those who are viewing them while asking questions on how they look. You’ll be able to learn more about Leonard Boone and his work by exploring his Facebook Page at

The subjects depicted in the illustrations created by Ashley Fontones becomes so alive that one could almost swear movement occurs upon the flat pieces of paper they inhabit within their framed surroundings. The fanciful imagination of the artist is reflected in each piece she creates by a delicacy that magnifies its beauty. The fanciful images range from hybrids of differing philosophical or religious concepts to those originating in a dream. Either way, the unique manifestation of the image emanates from the artist’s exquisite hand allows its form and substance to encircle the viewer of the work until he or she is cocooned in its nurturing surroundings. You can learn more about Ashley Fontones and her work by exploring her Facebook Page at

As contemplation upon the work permeated the gallery, the time to begin the Perspective Objective contest had arrived. A monitor was placed above the door within The Living Room upon which those who had photos to post on its Facebook Page and those who wished to cast their “Likes” viewed with anticipation. Some met with frustration as they had difficulty finding a signal with their particular mobile device. But, eventually all the images captured by a variety of perspectives and photographic approaches were posted and the process of tallying the number of “Likes” had begun and whose results would be announced after the evening’s raffle came to a completion.

It was at this point that the Raffle did begin and those who had purchased a ticket eyed their numbers with keen anticipation as they were being called out by Keyaira Lynn Von Dred. The fevered pitch that was built upon as the name of each number touched the air was pricked as the person holding the coveted ticket pierced the sound waves with their jubilant exclamations. It was when the final items were claimed and distributed to its new owner was the winner of the Perspective Objective contest announced. Leonard Boone (who was one of the featured artists) thus received the three prints created and signed by Shane Izykowski.

It was at this time did Keyaira Lynn Von Dred and Andrew Ozkenel share some final sentiments of appreciations and farewells while inviting those who were still present to come to the next Artists’ Reception in which the 2nd Anniversary of the Gallery will be celebrated. Farewells among the gathering began to be shared which were coupled with the anticipation of next month’s event dominating their pleasantries. You’ll be able to find more photograph taken during the April Artists’ Reception in The Living Room 2014 Gallery Part 2 at and Part 3 at

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Gallery February exhibition featuring the work of Leonard Boone, Ashley Fontones, Eric Goins, and Ben Schwartz will be on display at until April 30th. Their next exhibit which will be a group show celebrating the gallery’s 2nd Anniversary inviting local artists to utilize the theme of “ARTstrology” in any medium and/or style they wish to explore and present. The Artists’ Reception will be held on Saturday May 3rd beginning at 6pm featuring a fashion contest with a SPACE and SCI-FI theme and nude models to be painted like Aliens. The exhibition will continue to be on display until May 30th. Submissions of work will be accepted on Thursday May 1st from 6 until 9pm. Please contact the gallery’s Director and Curators, Keyaira Lynn Von Dred and Andrew Ozkenel, at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Art Gallery is curated by Keyaira Lynn Von Dred and Andrew Ozkenel. The Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, performance, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

In addition to their exhibitions, The Living Room presents a weekly Open Mic Nite which occurs every Sunday Evening beginning at 7pm. Musicians, Poets, Writers, and anyone who would like to share their talents with an eagerly accepting audience are welcomed to participate. There is occasionally a featured band or performer scheduled that enhances the enjoyment of the event. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series on it’s Facebook Page at

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