Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Next to the Last Time We Meet

The Celebration of the Arts (COTA) held a General Meeting on Monday August 24th to continue placing the final preparations for their 38th Annual Jazz and Arts Festival which is scheduled to be held September 11th - 13th throughout the town of Delaware Water Gap, PA. The meeting was held at the town's The Deer Head Inn where the festival founders, Phil Woods, Rick Chamberlain, and Ed Joubert, had a couple of beers and thought it would be nice to perform in the off season when the many venues they and their friends played were closed for the season. The conversation led to a small gathering of musicians who perfromed in front of a number of family and friends. This small show grew into the gigantic jazz festival that entertains thousands of people that is it nearly 40 years later.

It was against this backdrop did a large gathering of festival lovers come together to explore some of the remaining issues and task needing attention before the festival begins. After a while, the meeting came to an adjournment and those who were in attendance bade each other adieu while catching up on what each other had been doing since the last time they met. The final General Meeting of 2015 to plan for The Celebration of the Arts 38th Annual Festival will take place on Tuesday September 8th beginning at 6:30pm at The Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA. All are invited to attend, share their views, and learn how to become a part of the festival. I hope to see you there. In the meantime, you’ll find more photographs taken during the August 24th meeting in The Next to the Last Time We Meet Gallery at

The mission of The Celebration of the Arts (COTA) is to present and to support the art of jazz in all its forms and historical breadth through youth education, performing arts presentations, scholarship opportunities, and community outreach throughout the Pocono area. Please Explore The Celebration of the Arts Facebook Page at, their Website at, or by calling 570-424-2210 to learn how you can become a volunteer and to learn for more information all about COTA has to offer.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Swinging at The PCT

The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg, PA brought the essence of Las Vegas to the local community through a concert presented by Brad Roccanova and friends on Sunday August 16th. The musical lexicon as sung by esteemed crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, and others was echoed throughout the magnificent performance given by Mr. Roccanova. The show was further enhanced by the appearance of Mr. Roccanova's friends who lent their considerable talents to the concert.

After being seated for a period of time, the large audience who were in attendance were treated to a short action film featuring Steve Cooney and Mr. Roccanova himself. It was a well made piece of cinema filmed at the Quality Inn in Stroudsburg, PA. The ending of the film served as a segue to the appearance of Mr. Roccanova who entered the theater while singing and greeting those who were present.

Much of the remainder of the show offered Mr. Roccanova's faithful interpretations of his extensive repertoire through a voice that gave new life and meaning to every lyric he uttered. His rapport with his crew which included Tristan and Taylor Flanagan, Chase Bartholomew, and Stuart Yaden provided the audience with an insight on the infrastructure of the show while their amusing banter brought a smile to many. Members of Mr. Roccanova's crew often joined him in a number of songs and short skits involving playful infighting throughout the evening. There were also moments the audience were enchanted by the appearance of Brigette Scott who shared a duet with Mr. Roccanova along with presenting a solo performance and one with the entire company to the delight of those who were fortunate enough to experience her marvelous voice.

In addition to the songs, there were many moments that helped to endear the concert to the everlasting memories of the audience. These included a conga line, a singing and a trivia contest with a glittered top hat as a prize, and candy. These extras made the show even more satisfying and delicious while making the evening a joyous experience for those who love music from the swing era as well as those who welcomed the genre into their lives thanks to Mr. Roccanova's endeavors. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the concert in The Swinging at The PCT Gallery at

Brad Roccanova is a crooner in the most classical and beloved sense of the term. The term itself is used to describe male singers of jazz standards who utilizes their voice and singing style to emphasize the emotional nuances of their songs. The impact Mr. Roccanova has on each rendition of the songs he performs brings their truths to the ear and heart of each listener. You can learn more about Brad Roccanova by exploring his Facebook Page at or his Website at

In addition to the concerts they offer the community, The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg, PA holds exhibitions throughout the establishments featuring the works of local artists. The center also presents a variety of films both popularly current as well revivals of those films released in the past. In addition to this, they 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 or their Website at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Hot Summer Night And Some Wood Was Burning

I arrived at The Sherman Theater's Living Room Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday August 15th about a half hour before the Artists' Reception for their themed Hot Summer Nights Exhibition was scheduled to begin. So, since I have learned a number of murals by St'Art Stroudsburg were being worked on that day, I decided to walk around the town to visit the sites and, hopefully, chat with the artists who were working on them. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the sites, the artists were done for the day and no one were there. Yet, the magnificence of the work that had been done was a wonder for the eyes and heart. I then walked back to the Living Room and it was nearly time for the Reception to begin.

I went inside and relaxed upon one of the soft, comfortable chairs that populated the venue. A smattering of people came in to view the work which was created by Matthew Shayka and Emily Mariana Murphy along with local artists who provided their interpretations of the exhibit's theme. It was a quiet time until about two hours into the reception when the gallery's curator, Joy Taney, welcomed those who were there and announced that artist, Matthew Shayka, was about to give an incredible demonstration on how he creates his pieces through the force of electricity.

Like magic, a crowd appeared within the venue and gathered about Mr. Shayka as he hooked electrodes that were wired to an automobile battery to a small blank of wood. He then painted some specified areas of the board with a liquid that was a mixture of water and baking soda. The current was turned on and vein like lines began to etch themselves into the wood producing flames and an unpleasant smell. The smell was a bit daunting but the hypnotic sight of watching art being created in this unique matter known as Electro Burning overrode the olfactory senses of those who stared as the process in amazement. It was after Mr. Shayka's spellbinding demonstration did Ms. Taney echoed the gathering's appreciation for the experience and announced future exhibits to be held at the gallery. She also announced that the bands King Dead and Cascavel would be playing later that evening. In addition to this, she mentioned an art raffle was to take place and invited all to purchase a ticket so they may win a piece of art donated by a local artist.

The excitement of the art and Mr. Shayka's demonstration along with the anticipation of what to expect during the remainder of the evening filled the room with quited a bit of energy. Conversations were shared as tasty s'mores were devoured between each word uttered. However, the evening hours past by and I felt a tiredness that bade me to rest. So, I went home without experiencing the bands or the much anticipated raffle. Still, I know from past experiences, that all that was about to transpire would be a wonder to those who stayed. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artists' Reception in A Hot Summer Night And Some Wood Was Burning Gallery at

The Sherman Theater's Living Room is located 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. The Hot Summer Night Exhibition continues to be on display until September 6th. Their next exhibition will be an Open Show which local artists will be given an opportunity to create anything their inspirations leads them. An Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday September 12th beginning at 6pm. The drop of date for artists who wish to place their work in the show is Monday September 7th from 2pm until 8pm. Please contact the gallery at 570-421-2808 for more information.

In addition to the art exhibitions, The Sherman Theater's Living Room holds a number of concerts and a weekly Open Mic Series that occurs every Sunday evening beginning at 6pm. The later event welcomes all who wish to explore their talents in a welcoming atmosphere. You can learn more about The Sherman Theater's Living Room and how it serves the community by exploring their Facebook Page at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's a Family Dutot. It's a Family ….

Besides providing topics of conversations between individuals and their therapists, being a part of a family often creates shared experiences in which its members can look back upon and discover the source of their behaviors and outlook on living. Yet, while this influence becomes deeply rooted in the psyche, individual family members often seek to express themselves in ways beyond the norms of the group. The influence of family life and the desire to express individualism was wonderfully illustrated at The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery in Delaware Water Gap, PA who held an Artist's Reception on Friday August 14th for their One Family - Three Visions exhibition which featured the work of Rita Baragona (mother), St. Clair Sullivan (father), and Tim Fite (son).

Although members of the same family, each artistic approach of its members could not be more distinctive from one another. Ms. Baragona's renderings captures the tranquility of a Summer's day through the soft effervescence found in her impressionistic watery hues. St. Clair Sullivan captures the essence of his subjects through the uncanny near photographic details deftly applied by his set of oil paints. The deceptively simple images of Tim Fite entreats the eye to explore each piece's singular lines until a deeper pattern emerges connecting them to our dreams.

Visiting the One Family - Three Visions exhibit at The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery gives the initial impression that one is experiencing three separate exhibitions. Yet, as one takes a step back and allow its more subtle effects to permeate the mind, a unifying substance begins its journey toward being discovered. The sensation this process of discovery gives is an inaudible one and can only be referred to as “Family.” It is family in the deepest sense of the concept which goes far beyond the relationships we have with those we are related to.

This deeper sense of family inspired a great deal of conversation among the numerous art lovers who attended the reception. It was during these chats did the participants explore the commonality the exhibit produced in them while celebrating their own individual interpretations of the works. Many shared a desire to revisit the gallery in order to delve further into the work and it's many thoughtful and technical properties. I, personally, hope to do so as well and I recommend visiting the gallery before the exhibit ends. In the meantime, you'll find more photographs taken during the Artists' Reception in the It's a Family Dutot. It's a Family …. Gallery at

Rita Baragona was born in New York, NY in 1945. She received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1967 and attended the New York Studio School from 1968 to 1970. Since that time, she has shown her work in various galleries throughout the United States. In addition to showing her work, Ms. Baragona has taught painting and drawing at Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ for 24 years and has served as its department chair. She also served as an adjunct professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. She now enjoys teaching private classes. You can learn more about Rita Baragona by exploring her Website at

St. Clair Sullivan was born in Baltimore, MD in 1938. He received an A.B. degree in English from Princeton in 1960 and attended the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture from 1967 to 1970. Since that time, he has shown his work in various galleries throughout the United States and has received The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship Grants in 1980 and 2002. Mr. Sullivan presently lives and works in Columbia, NJ with his wife Rita Baragona. You can learn more about St. Clair Sullivan by exploring his Website at

Tim Fite (born Tim Sullivan) has been called a “cultural gadfly” by the New York Times and “ferally original” by the New Yorker for producing a number of genre-bending pieces of art and music. His work has been on display in exhibitions held at Gallery Tom Blaess and The Beam Center of Brooklyn, NY. Mr. Fite has also toured the country and the world. You can learn more about Tim Fite by exploring his Facebook Page at or his Website at

The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery originated as a brick school house built c. 1850 by Antoine Dutot who founded the town of Dutotsville before it was renamed to Delaware Water Gap, PA. In addition to the exhibitions presented at the gallery, the museum offers tours and educational opportunities for those who would like to learn more about the area. T
he One Family - Three Visions exhibit featuring the work of Rita Baragona, St. Clair Sullivan, and Tim Fite will continue to be on display until August 30th. The Dutot's next exhibition will be their Music Motif Show featuring the work of a variety of local artists as part of The Celebration of the Arts (COTA) 38th Annual Jazz and Arts Festival. An Artists’ Reception is scheduled to be held on Friday September 11th beginning at 6pm and the exhibit will continue to be displayed until September 20th. Please Explore The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery Facebook Page at or their Website at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Tilly Tylering Around at the OMN

Although my late arrival to the venue denied me the opportunity to experience the wonders of the performances that appeared already, the Sunday August 9th installment of the Open Mic Nite weekly Series at The Sherman Theater’s Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA eagerly shared its blessings with me. My entry into the room was met by a number of announcements being given by the evening's co host, Emillie Day, who (adorned in a one piece pair of pajamas which seemed to be the customary attire for the evening as it was worn by several of its attendees) then proceeded to introduce the next performer who was known by the name of Jacob.

Jacob's powerful voice added a texture to the joyful tunes he presented to an appreciative audience. He was joined on stage briefly by a friend named Garret who shared in the performance. It was as Jacob concluded his set did Emillie Day return to the stage with co-host Satilia Rose to introduce the featured performer for the evening. Tilly Tyler Hawkins traveled to the Living Room from the great state of Texas along with his guitar. Together they shared a number of songs whose powerfully conversational lyrics where allowed to trail off toward each composition's completion so it could fade away to create a future memory. Tilly Tyler Hawkins was briefly joined by another musician during his set whose name I neglected to receive. Still, their collaboration added a depth to the music and a more perceptional understanding of its meaning. You can learn more about Tilly Tyler Hawkins by exploring his Facebook Page at

A break ensued as Tilly Tyler Hawkins concluded his performance which enabled everyone to share their impressions of the entire evening. Their stories allowed me to live the moments that occurred before my arrival and I remain appreciative in their tellings. It was after the break did the next performer come to the stage. It was Garret who shared the stage with Jacob earlier that evening. This time, comedy came from his lips as the company was amused by the stories of his life in the Pizza Party. He was followed by Christina whose A Capella renderings of songs were filled with melodies that quieted the most turbulent of thoughts. She was followed by Kevin “Tails” Moucha who led the gathering in a sing along which not only inspired many voices to join in with the song but many dancing feet as well.

Kevin was followed by Comedian Russell Austin who elicited a great deal of laughter from the audience through the revelations of being old and vainy in Jim Thorpe, PA. Russell was followed by a new comer to the series by the name of Chris. He blessed the gathering with a voice that touched the heart with its beautifully piercing depths which was soulfully reflected in the thoughtful contemplation easily found in the countenance of all. It was after his performance did another break ensue in order for Wilbium to prepare for his well loved contribution to the evening as provided through the sounds emanating from his voice, guitar, and computerized apparatus which never fails to move the crowd to dance.

Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for Wilbium's performance or those who would follow him. An upcoming Doctor's Appointment scheduled for the following morning bade me to go home to rest up for it. However, the delight of attending the parts of the event that I did led to a wonderful night filled with inspiring dreams that enhanced the healthy result of my visitation to the physician. You'll be able to view the photographs I took during throughout the evening in the Tilly Tylering Around at the OMN Gallery at

The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday August 23rd beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series by Exploring their Facebook Page at

In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Sherman Theater’s Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents their current Hot Summer Nights Exhibition which will be on display until September 6th. Their next exhibit will be an Open Exhibition featuring the work of local artists. An Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday September 12th beginning at 6pm. The drop of date for artists who wish to place their work in the show is Monday September 7th from 2pm until 8pm. Please contact the gallery at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, exhibitions, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Facebook Page at for more information on the venue, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Feeling All Right at The Gazebo

A large gathering of music lovers assembled upon the lawn of The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain in Delaware Water Gap, PA on Sunday August 9th. Their mood was a relaxed one filled with the congenial countenance the church's Summer Gazebo Concert Series is known to inspire. Yet, there was a hint of anticipatory excitement in the air as the company awaited for the music that would be played by The Erin McClelland Band that day. This gentle waiting grew until its crescendo peeked by the appearance of Jim Dellaria who took his place upon the stage to welcome the gathering and to introduce the band.

The Erin McClelland Band consists of Erin McClelland on Guitar, and vocals, Tony Marino on Bass, Ed Hudack on percussion, and Daniel Gonzalez on Drums. They began the afternoon by introducing a series of randomly place notes to the listeners' ears that led each person on a musical journey to the realms which are deeply embedded in the nether regions of the human psyche. The musical interludes they employed in this and other songs that followed allowed the imagination of the audience to collectively explore every aspect each instrumental and lyrical adventure offered until they felt all right.

The Erin McClelland Band is best known for its ability to offer songs established by other artists in a new and refreshing way. However, the band has also created a number of original compositions that match and surpasses the qualities of the other songs they perform. You can learn more about The Erin McClelland Band by exploring their Facebook Page at

The Summer Gazebo Concert Series at The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain began in 1990 and is presented every Sunday evening throughout the Summer months until the end of August in order to support the local musicians and provide a venue where all ages could learn to appreciate Jazz and acoustic music. In reflection of Delaware Water Gap, PA being considered a Mecca for the Jazz community, the concerts has a great number of Jazz performances in their schedule. However, all musical styles are showcased during the summer which includes Blue Grass and Classical Music. The next installment in The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain Summer Gazebo Concert Series for 2015 is scheduled for Sunday August 23
rd and will present The Marty Wilson Trio. The concert is free to the public and begins at 6pm. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during The Erin McClelland Band concert in the Feeling All Right at The Gazebo Gallery at

According to their website, The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain is “… a community of disciples illuminated by God’s love who care for others spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially as we explore new avenues of grace and grow in faith through worship and service.” In an endeavor to manifest the goals of this statement, they hold weekly services every Sunday beginning at 10am and provide a hostel for those hikers who travel along the Appalachian Trail as well as holding a Hikers’ Dinner every Thursday evening throughout the Summer Months to replenish their energies. They also support the Kenyan village of Amilo by providing a school feeding program for 15 orphans, a well, housing, and simple medical care and information to the villagers and the church shares a partnership with the Reformed Church located in Cardenaz, Cuba. In addition to all this, they support the local Fire Company and Women’s Resources Center as well as provide community aid funds for residents who are suffering economic burdens. The size of the congregation is approximately 200 people. Please Explore The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain Facebook Page at or their Website at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Origins of Some Surreally Good Art

The Origins Gallery held an Artists' Reception for their Surreal Estate of Mind – Abstracts and Apertures exhibition on Saturday August 8th. The exhibit showcased a variety of mind bending interpretations of the theme which challenged the perceptions of the many who attended the event. Music performed by Robin Kae on electric guitar and their now famous art raffle enhanced the evening.

The display of images presented throughout the gallery created a flow within the human psyche that defied the “normal” interpretation of every day realities. The overall tidal effects of the work moved each viewer from the calm, gentle waters of their existence toward the torrential currents of imagination which presented a new reality to be reckoned with. This was demonstrated by the depths embodied in the conversations that ensued which allowed individuals to explore their ability to explore their new paradigms with others. The sounds of Robin Kae and his electric guitar provided (those who were in need of it) a stabilizing place for their thoughts to rest as the melodies of familiar folk and tunes from other similar genres brought their peaceful effects to their restless minds.

It was after some time did the gallery's Directors, Jody Singer and Ashley C. Fontones, take the stage to share their words of appreciation to Robin Kae along with their welcoming remarks with the gathering. Information about the exhibit and news of upcoming events within the gallery as well as those taking place at other art related venues in the area was also shared. It was at the conclusion of their talk did the art raffle begin. An overwhelming excitement grew throughout the gallery as each digit of a raffle ticket was called until the person holding the matching ticket exclaimed that it was in their possession and immediately took hold of the object they coveted. It was after the last number was shared and the final item to be won was given to the winner did the company begin to share their congratulatory sentiments while bidding one another adieu to which many expressed a longing to return to the gallery to partake of their future endeavors.

The Surreal Estate of Mind – Abstracts and Apertures exhibition will continue to be on display at The Origins Gallery until August 23rd. The next exhibition to be presented is their BAMBIENT Exhibition featuring the work of Bradley Allen McCool Bartholomew. The Artist's Reception is scheduled for Saturday August 29th beginning at 6pm. Special musical guest to perform during the Reception will be Cagan and Brad himself. The exhibit will remain on display until September 6th. You can view photographs taken during the Artists' Reception of the current exhibit at The Origins of Some Surreally Good Art Gallery at

The Origins Gallery is located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store which can be found at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery within the newly formed Pocono Art District having one of the highest and fastest sales records in the Stroudsburg area, provides a space to those who teach the arts to those who would like to learn from them, and continues to do everything with the local community in mind. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their website at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.