Saturday, January 17, 2015

Enjoying Nahabedian between a Rock and Funn Place

The always hospitable residence of Eric Funn, located in Stroudsburg, PA, opened its doors on Wednesday January 14th to a modest number of music lovers who filled the living and other rooms with their enthusiasm as they chatted and nibbled upon the variety of snacks that were offered while waiting for the music to begin. This music would come from the evening's host Eric Funn along with Greg Nahabedian, Cee Rock, and Special guest Steve Stenersen. The concert would prove to be a satisfying combination of musical qualities with performances flowing seamlessly among the commonality of their styles while maintaining each musician's unique interpretive approach the their songs and the life experiences they convey.

Eric Funn began the evening's performances as he took his guitar in hand to share a number of compositions whose effects upon the audience ranged from serious contemplation of the thoughtful imagery they created to smiles and laughter with those songs that deftly contained some amusing attributes. The series of songs Mr. Funn selected established a mood that would permeate the entire concert. This mood would be echoed throughout the evening as the eyes of the audience shared their joyous and perceptive reflections.

Eric was followed by Greg Nahabedian after a break to give the musician time to set up his keyboard ensued. From the very first notes that were touched upon his keyboard to the final chords of his concluding song, Mr. Nahabedian captivated the wonderment of the audience through his harmonies and lyrics that traveled upon the inward roads built by the experiences of each listener. Mr. Nahabedian also shared an amusing story relating to losing his hair as a young man and trying to obtain sex after unwittingly drinking a concoction his father made which combined beer and a powdered substance he was prescribed in preparation of a colonoscopy he was scheduled for that had very effective laxative qualities with music serving as an intricate component of the narrative. A population of smiles and giggles filled the room as the unique details of the tale transcended themselves to create an universal understanding among the gathering.

As Mr. Nahabedian's performance reached it's conclusion, a brief break ensued before the musician known as Cee Rock took the stage with his guitar. The acoustic aura of his music began to manifest into its familiar forms as his first selection lyrically sailed its introspective meaning into the estuaries of our dreams. The songs that followed shared a profound poetic sense that reached beyond the boundaries of their detonated essences and touched the imagination with the connotative images they constructed. It was during his set did Cee Rock invite guitarist Steve Stenersen to the stage as a special guest to play a number of his songs. Mr. Stenersen amused the gathering with the universal truths contained in his compositions which were appreciated by all during his brief performance. Cee Rock returned to the stage after Mr. Stenersen's set in which he concluded his performance with a number of songs familiar to members of the crowd inspiring many to quietly sing along.

It was after Cee Rock's performance did a elongated break ensued which provided the company of friends who attended the event an opportunity to learn more about and from the music they heard through conversations with those who originated the works. Some concepts were shared through the conventional method of conversing with one another utilizing auditory stimulation while others utilized the chalkboard that was available in the dining room area of the home to convey their interpretations of the music and life in general through a piece of chalk. Regardless of the mode that was used, the content and subtext of the conveyances shared enhanced the evening as the absorbent nature of their intercoursal depth seeped into the consciousness of all who received their utterances.

It was after this time did Eric Funn retake the stage to bring the evening to its conclusion. He shared a folksy blend of tunes that combined the joy of the evening while creating a yearning among the gathering to return to the abode when the next concert is scheduled. It was during this time did a poet, known simply as The Carlton, was reading some of his new poetic works in the kitchen to those who chose to congregate there. The subtle complexity embodied in his profound words gave further impetus to those who would leave the premises to return so they could experience more of his words. The music, poetry, and good company provided everyone with good reasons to return. You'll be able to view the photographs taken during the concert at The January 14th Funn House Concert You'll also be able to view concerts presented at other homes throughout the year in our House Music 2015 Archives at as well as events related to the performing arts throughout 2015 in our Archives at

Eric Funn is from Aberdeen, SD and currently lives in Stroudsburg, PA where he holds concerts to entertain and enhance music lovers and musicians alike in his home. His musical talents are not only well known throughout the community but the country as well through the numerous concert tours he either participates in or organizes. Mr. Funn has recorded several CDs with the most recent one titled, “No More Blue Tomorrows.” You can learn more about Eric Funn and his music by exploring his Facebook Page at

Greg Nahabedian lives in Northampton, MA and performed at the home of Eric Funn in conjunction with a solo concert tour he is currently undertaking. His most recent CD is titled, “If The Lord Should So Incline My Heart.” In addition to sharing his keyboard, song writing, and story telling skills with audiences around the country, Mr. Nahabedian teaches the art of music as found through the playing of a piano to pianist enthusiasts and performs in a band known as “Dérive.” In addition to this, he publishes a zine titled, “Dérive Speaks” containing Literature, Poetry, and Images. You can learn more about Greg Nahabedian and his many endeavors by exploring his website at

Cee Rock is well known throughout Monroe County, PA as he is a frequent performer at The Sherman Theater's Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA during their Sunday Open Mic Nite Series. He has also performed in various venues throughout the region and beyond bringing the poetic nature of his work to many. Cee Rock has recently recorded a CD titled, “Common Cents” which was recorded at his recording studios known as “Suisyde System Records.” You'll be able to learn more about Cee Rock and his endeavors by exploring his Facebook Page at

Steve Stenersen lives in East Stroudsburg, PA and is a member of the band known as Gutsack who consists of a trio of musicians who performs a musical sub-genre of grindcore and death metal known as “Goregrind.” The musical form is recognized for its highly distorted, "watery" sounding vocals and abrasive musicianship. Gutsack is presently in the process of recording their debut CD. You can learn more about Steve Stenersen and the band by exploring their Facebook Page at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

Monday, January 12, 2015

Finding an Amazonian Faith in The Mantras of Humanity

“Remember what you wanted to be
And still have faith in humanity”
Elizabeth Starship

The Gallery at The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg, PA held the first of their Artists’ Receptions for 2015 on Saturday January 10th. The work of Martelle Fine Art and Design in an exhibit titled, “Finding Faith in Humanity” was presented in the venue's front gallery while the work of Jennifer Amazon in an exhibit titled, “Mantra of the Amazons” was placed in their hallway gallery. I arrived early to the theater and was able to enter before the gathering of the many art lovers who would come to share heir marvel and conversations that were enlightened by the exhibit. This afforded me time to intimately commune with the work as I stood alone before it.

Although the pieces were not extraordinarily large in their physical dimensions, I was immediately struck by the overwhelming enormity that was contained in the scope and depth of each image. The photographic work of Martelle Fine Art and Design pushes beyond the boundaries of the camera to which his approach and proficiency in the medium is able to include pieces whose surreal depictions and atmosphere intrigues and challenges the perceptions of the viewer while his abstract images entreats the observer to create their own unique interpretation of what they were experiencing at the viewing moment as well as throughout the moments that compose their life's journeys. The work of Jennifer Amazon celebrated the strength and viracity of womanhood igniting the passions of those who explored the images while the signposts filled with thoughtful and reassuring words allowed those who delve into their deeper meaning to manifest the power of their human-hood (especially those among the female gender) into the wakening experiences of their lives. Together, the body of work presented by these two outstanding artists creates an all encompassing image drawn by the hand of life and etched into the soul so it would be remembered in our dreams and essential realities as we continue through our living with a deeper understanding of why.

As the time I spent with the work past, people who came to partake of the exhibit began entering the theater. Their numbers grew until the venue was filled to capacity with their presence as well as their conversations which enhanced the work even further than the already impressive qualities they possessed. A culinary setting of light snacks, home made dips, and beverages brought in by the artists and their friends made the afternoon even more enjoyable. The reception was a thoroughly satisfying one filled with meaningful art and photography along with good company that was plentiful. I recommend exploring the pieces during the exhibit's continuation while waiting to view a film. It will certainly give more value to the ticket you purchased. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the afternoon in The January 10th Artists' Reception at The January 10th Pocono Community Theater Artists' Reception Gallery at along with other events taking place at the venue in The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center 2015 Archives at as well as art related events occurring at various locations in the Creative Arts 2015 Archive at

Martelle Jones of Martelle Fine Art and Design began his journeys in photography several years ago as a means to get back to the arts after a very tumultuous period in his life in order to rejoin the human race. Mr. Jones endeavors is known to explore ways to go beyond the simple image of a camera and to convey a deeper meaning through the subject he captures. His searching approach to the medium is demonstrated by the pieces presented in the exhibit at The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center indicating a new direction in his recent works including those encased in custom salvaged barn wood frames created by Christian Menses of the band The Current

Mr. Jones enjoys meeting with other artists around the community whose advice and inspiration continues to sustain him. They include Vinzon Lee, Nova Chan, Sean Turrell, and Elizabeth Starship who wrote a poem to accompany the “Finding Faith in Humanity” exhibit which is posted upon the gallery's wall and can be read alongside it. In addition to his photographic work, Mr. Jones has created a local, community based empowerment movement called, “Come As You Are” in which everyone who would like to be involved would have an opportunity to become the model for a day to create art with a shared humanity at it's core. You can learn more about Martelle Jones, Martelle Fine Art and Design, Come As You Are, and more by exploring his website at

Jennifer Amazon is the Director and Educator at The Amazon Art Studio located in Pocono Pines, PA. The studio offers art classes for all ages, paint parties, gallery shows, and private art parties. They also offer Photography services in the studio shots to include glamor shots, acting/modeling head shots, family portraits, photo booth services, Save The Dates shots, and Engagement Photos as well as those taken on locations such as birthday's, weddings, bar/bat mitzvah's, holiday parties, company photos, and more.

The work Ms. Amazon presents in the exhibit at The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center is said to run the gamut of the artist's Amazon journey from her first painting which sparked the series to the last painting she created to date. Ms. Amazon has stated that this current exhibit will probably be her last show for a while as she is stepping away from it all. It is hope this period will not be of a long duration as the new discoveries she records upon her canvases never fail to enhance all who view them. You can learn more about Jennifer Amazon, her work, The Amazon Art Studio with all it has to offer by exploring her Facebook Page at

The Gallery at The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg, PA will continue to display their “Finding Faith in Humanity” and “Mantra of the Amazons” exhibitions featuring the works of Martelle Fine Art and Design and Jennifer Amazon until March 1st. The artists featured in their next exhibition are yet to be announced. In addition to hosting art exhibits, The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center 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 Book Club which explore novels that have been adapted to the screen and are currently being shown in the theater. Please Explore The Pocono Community Theater Facebook Page at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Kwanzaa de la SOHO

On Saturday January 3rd, The SOHO in the BURG Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA and (as yet) the unofficial candidate for Commissioner of Monroe County, PA, Andre Reames, ushered in 2015 with a Kwanzaa Celebration for the community. The afternoon and early evening festival included dance, music, learning opportunities, and great food. A huge number of people attended the event in spite of the inclement weather that raged throughout the area but the warmth of the gallery's welcoming atmosphere and the congeniality of those who partook of the celebration created a beautiful day.

I arrive early to the event as it's organizer, Alicia LaRaine Jenkins Middleton of A New Life Ministry, Inc. and Co Host of Sistah Chat 90.3 WESS FM, was generous enough to provide me with a ride to the celebration. I helped to set up for the gathering by bringing in tables and other items that would be needed and shared throughout the day. This activity provided me with an intimate perspective of the event's infrastructure as I learned more about and from those who were involved in its manifestation.

It was during this time did individuals from the Monroe County NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women along with  Althea Aikens who facilitated craft activities for the many children who would come to the event arrive to set up their tables. A wide variety of food arrived at this time as well that intrigued my taste buds. It took a great deal of fortitude and will power not to enthusiastically sample any of the culinary delights until the event was opened to the public. Luckily, I didn't have to wait very long as people began to arrive in slow trickles which eventually increased to a steady flow of community members and leaders.

Conversations filled the air as those who arrived congregated around the tables to learn more about the organizations that were represented and how to become involved with their endeavors while food and napkins were served by a number of young people whose smiles and positive attitudes flavored the treats they offered. Children who arrived with their parents and guardians eagerly partook of the youthful activities offered from Ms. Althea Aikens with laughing smiles. The festivities began as Andre Reames shared some welcoming words along with those of appreciation with those who were present. His remarks also included introductions of Cleo Jarvis (President of the African American Network, Sharone Glasco (President of the National Council of Negro Women), and Bobbie Purcell-Clark (President of the Monroe County NAACP). These remarks were followed by some welcoming sentiments expressed by Andrea Robbins Rimberg who is the owner of The SOHO in the BURG Gallery.

All this was followed by a presentation given by the children who were present on the meaning of the Kwanzaa holiday as led by Ms. Aikens. The presentation was followed some inspiring words shared by Cleo Jarvis which led to the gentle singing of a song. It was after the echo of Ms. Jarvis' voice permeated the gallery did Andre Reames introduce H. Lloyd Weston whose incredible visual work adorned the establishment's walls. He shared his sentiments which included some thoughtfully profound words that etched themselves upon the souls of all who heard them. The depth of Mr. Weston's words were still being felt as a young pianist by the name of Cerdigen Caines took his place at the gallery's instrument and deftly performed a number of pieces to the delight of all who were present.

The soul touching musical interlude was followed by a stunning performance given by The Elevé Dance Theater which is located in East Stroudsburg, PA. The movement of the dancers captivated the audience as the graceful characteristics of the choreography were epitomized by their considerable skills. As the performance reached its exuberant crescendo, those who witnessed the conclusion of the piece found themselves transformed by the experience. Some brief closing remarks by Mr. Reames ensued which were followed by those of Alicia LaRaine Jenkins Middleton who expanded upon the transformational qualities of The Elevé Dance Theater performance and entreated all who were present to participate in a line dance to which many did so.

As the line dance concluded, the denizens of the festival shared in conversations relating to all that had transpired throughout the day while Mr. Caines returned to the piano to share more of his musical renderings with the gathering. It was during this time did many shared their farewells with one another and begin their departure from the event. It was an enjoyable day filled with good company and entertainment mixed with opportunities to gain some meaningful information and to learn more about Andre Reames who will officially announce his candidacy for Monroe County Commissioner on Monday January 19th at the Monroe County Democratic Party Headquarters in Stroudsburg, PA You’ll find photographs taken during the festival in The Kwanzaa 2105 Celebration at The SOHO In the Burg Photo gallery at as well as other events that occurred at the gallery and neighboring galleries in The Stroudsburg Art District 2015 Archive at and events relating to the Performing Arts in 2015 in The Performing Arts 2015 Archive at

According to Wikipedia, Kwanzaa was created in 1965 by Maulana Karenga as an “oppositional alternative” to Christmas and derives from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” However, he later altered his his original intentions so that practicing Christians would not be alienated. The holiday has its roots in the black nationalist movements predominant during the 1960s and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage.

Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles which according to Mr. Karenga, is “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” These are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Various symbols are incorporated in the holiday to further convey the seven principles which include a decorative mat (Mkeka), corn (Muhindi) and other crops, a candle holder kinara with seven candles (Mishumaa Saba), a communal cup for pouring libation (Kikombe cha Umoja), gifts (Zawadi), a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. Many African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.

The SOHO in the BURG Gallery is located on the corner of 6th and Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA which was the location of the J. J. Newberry’s store. The gallery opened its doors to the public in April of 2012 and is owned by Andrea Robbins Rimberg who has become well known for her exuberant energies and creativity as many of her pieces are on display in prestigious galleries throughout the United States. The first exhibition to be presented at the Gallery in 2015 will open on Friday February 13th with an Artists' Reception featuring the works of Penny Ross, Jill Swersie, and Andrei Protsouk along with the work of local artists in a group show titled, “Black Valentine.” The exhibition will continue to be on display until the end of March. You can learn more about SOHO in the BURG, their future exhibits, and all the gallery has to offer the creative community by exploring their Facebook Page at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Omega and Alpha of Years at The SOHO

In what has become an annual tradition among the artistically minded people in and around Monroe County, PA, The SOHO in the BURG Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held it's 3rd New Year’s Eve Party on Wednesday December 31st, 2014 since the establishment opened its doors in 2012. As incredible as it seemed, this year's celebration transcended the one welcoming 2014 as the culinary treats created by Chef G (aka Guarino Cortese C. W. C.) and served throughout the evening by male and female butlers whose grace enhanced the flavor of the morsels delighting the pallid while the music provided by DJ Jose Santamaria who also curates the Castle Inn Gallery in Delaware Water Gap, PA filled the air and dance floor with happy spirits. The night was a memorable one made even more so through the conversations shared among a wide variety of party goers whose number were even more plentiful than those attending last year's gathering.

I arrived at the venue a bit early which provided me with an opportunity to witness to the great amount of the care given in the making of preparations for the evening. Every glass to be filled with seasonal elixirs, every hors d'oeuvre conjured to be eagerly consumed, and holiday adornment placed to beautify the visions of the eye that touched it were done with a love that would later permeate the soul that partook of it. It wasn't long before the first of many celebrants entered the large gallery with many following them soon afterward. The expression of their eyes and countenance as they crossed the gallery's threshold displayed a deep love for it and it's owner which created an atmosphere of profound intimacy that would linger in the heart throughout the coming year.

Those who were invited to the event were asked to bring a bottle of whatever they would like to drink throughout the evening. This allowed for a variety of liquors and liqueurs to be shared among the denizens ranging from the smooth flowing flavors found in PA Dutch Eggnog as well as the potency found in a bottle of extra dry gin that was so dry one would swear it was powered. However, a plentiful assortment of wines were the popular choice of beverage and while many were opened and joyfully served by Kevin, the evening's bar tender, a number of bottles were opened with the aide of an eroticized electronic bottle opener by two wily women whose cork popping antics delighted the spectators who witnessed them.

In addition to the wine and other liquids, the music flowed through the room inspiring conversations as their minuets of words moved eloquently between trivial and meaningful topics to the rapid rhythms and beats provided by the sounds of the variety of musicians and singers who were set free of the electronic bonds they found themselves captured within by the evening's DJ who opened the doors that held the music back within its computerized confines so it can freely roam among those whose social intercourses would lead to dancing. It was in the midst of the abundant dancing and the plentiful conversations did the midnight hour approach. A quiet excitement filled the room as glasses of champagne were handed out while the televised countdown displayed upon a computer monitor commenced toward the zero digit. Cheers, hugs, and kisses exploded among the gathering as the appointed time arrived and each glass was raised to welcome the new year and to express a profound appreciation to the gallery's owner and others who made the evening a celebration of the heart.

Thank you Andrea Robbins Rimberg (owner of The SOHO in the BURG Gallery), Kathleen Lockwood (Community leader and Andrea's Landlord), and everyone who made the evening great and Happy New Year. I experienced a few midnight kisses so you know where I'll be spending New Years Eve next year. Smiles. You’ll find more photographs taken during The SOHO in the BURG Gallery New Year’s Eve party in The New Years Eve 2014 at The SOHO Gallery at as well as other events that occurred at the gallery and neighboring galleries in The Stroudsburg Art District 2014 Archive at While the majority of the photographs were taken by Paparazzi Paul (that's me), a number of them were taken by photographers who borrowed my camera to take some shots of their own. They are Charles de Burbon of and Alisa Tongg

The SOHO in the BURG Gallery is located on the corner of 6th and Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA which was the location of the J. J. Newberry’s store. The gallery opened its doors to the public in April of 2012 and is owned by Andrea Robbins Rimberg who has become well known for her exuberant energies and creativity as many of her pieces are on display in prestigious galleries throughout the United States. The first exhibition to be presented at the Gallery in 2015 will open on Friday February 13th with an Artists' Reception featuring the works of Penny Ross, Jill Swersie, and Andrei Protsouk along with the work of local artists in a group show titled, “Black Valentine.” The exhibition will continue to be on display until the end of March. You can learn more about SOHO in the BURG, their future exhibits, and all the gallery has to offer the creative community by exploring their Facebook Page at

Photograph by Paparazzi Paul