Monday, December 19, 2016

A Black Tie Bye Bye at Origins

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Origins Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists' Reception for their Black Canvas Exhibition II on Saturday December 17th. The evening served as a black tie fund raiser for the gallery as they prepare their move from their present location on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA to their new home which will be announced at a later time. A sizable gathering inhabited the space in order to share conversations relating to the incredible art on display while reminiscing over the wonderful events presented by the gallery throughout the years. The evening also included their famous art raffle, a silent auction, a charitable endeavor by Krystal, Photos with Santa, and music provided by guitarist Douglas Kaetz

The gentle classical guitar compositions rendered by Mr. Kaetz enhanced the enjoyment of the evening as each measure created an inner balance for all who meandered throughout the room. A variety of delicious treats donated by the artists added their flavors to the event along with the culinary delights concocted by Bonnie O' Fee during the reception. In addition to the stunning work that was on display for the exhibition, a number of pieces equal to the exhibit's aesthetic caliber were offered as items to bid upon in the gallery's first silent auction. The eyes of those present spent a great deal of time to oogle each item before placing their bids to make the coveted piece their own. An excitement was felt throughout the venue as participants in the auction sought to out bid one another.

It was after some time after the beginning of the evening did the Origins Gallery Director, Jody Singer, stand before the gathering to share his welcoming words. He also expressed his appreciation to the company for their love and support over the years. Mr. Singer also provided a glimpse of the future of the gallery which included a number of projects to enhance the presence of artistic endeavors throughout the town and beyond. It was also announced the gallery's new home is still under negotiation and its location will be shared with the public by the end of January 2017. The gallery will close at its present location on Tuesday December 27th, 2016.

As Mr. Singer concluded his sentiments, the music, conversations, and ogling resumed. Opportunities to have one's picture taken with Santa were offered as was an opportunity to help those artists who suffered in the recent challenges they encountered in California were made available by purchasing tree ornaments created by a woman named, “Krystal” and signing a card sharing one's compassion for the victims. The music presented by guitarist Douglas Kaetz evolved from classical renditions to more modern pieces. These later songs inspired a number of attendees to tap dance the night away with joy and abandonment. It was after a while did Mr. Singer return to the stage in order to conduct the gallery's famous Art Raffle.

The many individuals who purchased raffle tickets throughout the evening eagerly eyed the pieces of paper between their fingers as the winning numbers were called out by Origin's Gallery Director, Jody Singer. The much coveted pieces donated for the event were held aloft by Marty Carr which made each item all the more desirable. A joy filled the room as the numbers signifying the winner were revealed and congratulatory sentiments were shared. It was after the final item was distributed did Mr. Singer prepare the gathering for the announcement of those whose high bids would receive the items offered in the silent auction. After a moment or two of going over the paperwork involved, the numbers corresponding with the name of the highest bidders were shared leading to arrangements being made to complete the purchases.

It was after all this did Mr. Singer bid his farewell to the gathering while expressing his thanks to all those who helped Origins Gallery to become a blessing to the creative community. An extensive list of names were shared and each one was met by the gathering with a thoughtful applause. It was soon after this did the company begin to disperse taking each departing step with the memories the gallery has inspired throughout the years. Yet, a new hope descended upon them regarding the possible future of the venue as they were met by the fresh, brisk air of a December night. You can view photographs taken during the Artists' Reception of the exhibit in The A Black Tie Bye Bye at Origins Gallery at

The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery who also offers classes and special events to the community. The Black Canvas Exhibition II will be on display until Monday December 26th . The next exhibition to be on display in their new location is yet to be announced. But, it will most likely take place during the late Winter or early Spring Months of 2017. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery including updates referring to the future of Origins and other news by exploring their Facebook Page at

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Holiday Castle

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

As the gentle chill announcing the Winter Holiday Season filled the air of the little town of Delaware Water Gap, PA, the borough's Historic Castle Inn celebrated the holidays on Saturday December 10th. This was done through special sales in their many fine shops, an Artists' Reception at The Castle Inn Gallery, and a Tree Lighting Ceremony held outdoors. A large number of people attended the events and partook of all the Inn offered in the spirit of love.

The Castle Inn Gallery held an Artists' Reception for their Winter Holiday Exhibition. The artists included Tricia Lowery Lippert, Taylor Amoroso, and Jill Swersie who reside in the Monroe County, PA Area along the work of Lisa Hannick, Lori Gearhart, and Lauren De Leeuw who live beyond the county's borders. The work of those artists from the immediate area provided a familiar gentleness to the souls who peered within their frames while the work of those artists from other areas enticed the gathering of viewers through their previously unseen renderings reflecting their considerable talents. Together, the entire body of work portrayed a beauty that travels not only across the divides of geographical boundaries but those pertaining to the spiritual and intellectual ones as well.

In addition to exploring the wonders held within the Castle Inn Gallery, the shops that align the Inn's halls were filled with seasonal items and shoppers who sought to take advantage of the discounts that were offered. Reasonably priced merchandise ranging from toys to clothing were available and will be until the holiday shopping period ends. The unique nature of many of the items are well worth a visit to the shopping complex as the best gift one can receive may be found there.

For those who braved the cold in order to venture outside the warmth of the Castle Inn, a tree lighting ceremony took place in front of the Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Festival's Rick Chamberlain stage. The silence of a tree being lit to summon the gentle spirits of the upcoming holiday were met by the loving voices of the gathering who were led by a chorus of singers from the town's Presbyterian Church of the Mountain The ceremony concluded as Frank Paccione (co owner of the Castle Inn) invited the gathering into the Inn's Zoe's Ice Cream Emporium to partake of some complimentary Hot Chocolate. The beverage proved to be as delicious as it was warming to the body.

The evening continued as those present gathered with well acquainted friends as well as those they met that night. Cookies and other holiday treats were on hand to enhance the flavor of the conversations that ensued. The event proved to be a fun and relaxed way to partake of the often frazzled holiday shopping experience with refreshingly little emphasis on obtaining funds from those who visited the Castle Inn. This was nice. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Castle Inn's Holiday Celebration in The A Holiday Castle Gallery at

The Castle Inn Gallery in Delaware Water Gap, PA is curated by Jose and Maggie Santamaria who seeks to showcase local artists in an intimate setting conducive to allowing individuals who visit the venue to explore the work in a relaxed manner. The artists featured in the gallery’s next exhibit are yet to be announced. Please Explore The Castle Inn Gallery Facebook Page for more information at

The Castle Inn Gallery is found within The Castle Inn located in Delaware Water Gap, PA. It was built in 1906 and was the last of the great hotels to be built in area. This all came to an abrupt end when fire touched the Inn during the 1970s and it laid dormant until 2005 when it was purchased by Theresa Veltri and Frank Paccione. The Inn now houses several business which include JS Advanced Skincare and Spa, JS Boutique and Scarlet Ice Jewels, DM Studios, Fancy Pants, The Auction House, Orion's Toyworks, The Castle Cafe', Angels of Light, Memory Lane, Sherri's Bags and Baubles, Jewels of the Heart, Eileen Noelle Photography, and The Live Inspired Gallery You’ll be able to learn more about The Shoppes at The Castle Inn and all they have to offer by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

The Days of Wine and Soho Returns

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

A joyous cry rang throughout the artistic community of Stroudsburg, PA as news of the reopening of The Soho in the Burg Gallery was first shared. This enraptured response to the news culminated with an Artists' Reception for their exhibition titled, “A Pairing” which took place on Saturday December 10th within the Renegade Winery where the gallery is now housed. The whole building (known as the J. J. Newberry Building) was previously rented by The Soho in the Burg Gallery but it changed hands during the July of 2016. Please feel free to read our Article about their farewell exhibit titled, “So Long Soho” at

With an enhanced d├ęcor conducive to the tasting and consumption of a variety of delicious wines offered by the Renegade Winery, the sampling and purchasing area of the establishment flowed gently into the gallery. The space where the gallery inhabited provided enough room for the large number of art lovers who came to the event to move around so they could explore the beautiful works created by Andrea Robbins-Rimberg (the gallery's curator), James Chesnick, Jill Swersie, Andrei Protsouk, Anna Kaszupski, Susan Washington, and Jack Swersie while being small enough to inspire some intimate and meaningful conversations. A variety of foods were provided by the artists which added to the flavor of the wine and the atmosphere of the afternoon.

The reception proved to be a wonderful time as it touched upon the blessings often associated with the Winter Holiday Season. It was a joy to be among one of the attendees and the news that was shared in regards to future exhibitions at the gallery was welcomed with a loving embrace by all who received it. The SOHO in the BURG Gallery will present their exhibition titled, “A Pairing” until January 30th. Their next exhibition is scheduled to open Saturday February 11th and it's theme will be in keeping with the St. Valentine's Holiday. In the meantime, you'll find more photographs taken during Artists' Reception for their current exhibit in The Days of Wine and Soho Returns Gallery at .

The SOHO in the BURG Gallery first opened in the April of 2012 and is presently located within The Renegade Winery in Stroudsburg, PA whose vineyards are located in East Stroudsburg, PA. Andrea Robbins Rimberg serves as the gallery's curator and her now famous effervescent personality and exuberant energies continues to enhanced the art that is on display. You can learn more about The SOHO in the BURG Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

The Renegade Winery is located in the J. J. Newberry Building on the corner of 6th and Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. Their vineyards are located in East Stroudsburg, PA and is considered the first urban concept winery in the Pocono Mountains, PA Region. In addition to their Stroudsburg location, tasting of the wines they offer can be currently made at The Milford, PA Farmers' Market and other locations. You'll find more information The Renegade Winery and all they have to offer by exploring their Website at or their Facebook Page at

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Night to Showcase Some Talent

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

It's been quite a while since I ventured into The Sherman Showcase in Stroudsburg, PA for their weekly Open Mic Nite Sessions. But, I was fortunate enough to do so on Sunday December 4th and I was reminded how much I miss the energy and the extraordinary qualities of the performances that take place each week. The evening began with the signing in ritual of which those who wish to perform would make their intentions known. Excited conversations among the musicians, poets, and comedians who signed up mingled with the large gathering that attended the event. Among these attendees was Santa aka Danny Ferron.

The proceedings began as the evening's co host, Theresa Ratliff, took the stage to welcome the gathering to the event. She then proceeded to share the rules of conduct with the crowd along with news she will no longer co host the event after the end of 2016 as other responsibilities beckons her attentions. It was at this time did Ms. Ratliff introduce the first performer for the evening.

Stephan Tsapatoris shared poetry whose words were strung together with a sense of mythology as the language he employed reflected the phrasings of antiquity. He was followed by a duet known as David and Jack which consisted of David Christopher Mirams on vocals and Jack Shaffer on guitar and vocals. Together, they performed songs in a manner that penetrated the souls of all who listened to them. They were followed by Guitarist Dee Allen whose gentle songs were underlined with a substance that embraced the profound meanings of life while allowing the audience to share a hand clapping joy with one another.

Ms. Allen was followed by a duet consisting of Vibez on vocals and Nicholas Desouza on guitar. The musical qualities found in Mr. Desouza's gentle hand proved to be a wondrous counterpoint to the power found in Ms. Vibez's vibrant voice. They were followed by Guitarist Jesse Morales who brought a joyous energy to the gathering that was tempered with some thoughtful insights that are found upon the journey of life. He was followed by Kevin Tails Moucha who sang with the intensity that only the art of a Capella can render.

It was after Mr. Moucha performance was the evening's raffle held with the prize being tickets to the upcoming Patent Pending concert scheduled to take place at The Sherman Theater on Friday December 23rd. The winning ticket was selected and read by co hosts Theresa Ratliff and Bobby Jo Moran. Co host Cassidy Darlington won the prize. This was followed by a performance given by the duet known as Woodrow who consists of Theresa Ratliff on vocals and Brian Bramkamp on Guitar. A psychedelic journey that was led by the duo was better than good enough for those who traveled with them beyond the rabbit hole.

They were followed by John Fotiou who sang a number of songs from animated classics with a loving heart. This included the song titled, “Hallelujah” written by the recently deceased Leonard Cohen which appeared on his 1984 album “Various Positions.” I was surprised to learn it was part of the soundtrack to the 2001 film “Shrek.” He was followed by a band named, “Sympotico” who consists of Aaron Sheradin on Vocals and Guitar and Josh Shutt on Drums. Their songs held a quiet spirit against a decimalic burst of sound that accentuated to profound qualities of each well crafted composition. They were followed by comedian Tommy Stone who coupled his political observations with the fear of restrooms while discovering amusements found in the composition of the audience. He was followed by Mikey Palomino whose poetry spoke the language of the soul. Mr. Palomino was the final performer whose name appeared on the primary sign in list. However, there was time left to the evening and those names appearing on the waiting list were invited to share their talents as well.

The first of these to perform was Guitarist Taylor Miller who enhanced the quality of each song she sang with her melodious voice. She was followed by Guitarist Mike Parrotta who sang a number of popular songs that delighted the gathering. It was at the conclusion of his performance did the evening come to an end. It was a wonderful night to enjoy some great music, poetry, and comedy while chatting with past acquaintances and making new friends. The next Open Mic Nite at The Sherman Showcase in Stroudsburg, PA is scheduled for Sunday December 11th beginning at 7pm. The featured performer for the evening will be Mike Parrotta. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. Sign ins begin at 6:30pm. In the meantime, you'll be able to view the photographs taken during the Sunday December 4th event in The A Night to Showcase Some Talent Gallery at

The Sherman Showcase is located at 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. You'll be able to view additional photographs taken during installments of their Open Mic Nites Series by their staff along with videos taken of interviews with the featured artists and the performances of some who attended the event on their Facebook Page at In addition to their Open Mic Nites Series, the venue also holds a number of concerts and special events. Please Explore The Sherman Showcase's Facebook Page at, The Sherman Theater's Website at, or call 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Origins of Holiday Shopping

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Origins Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held their Holiday Makers’ Market III event on December 3rd and 4th. The weekend offered a variety of art, photography, crafts, and other items to those who sought something special to give their loved ones for the holiday season. Music was presented by Guitarist Jeff Gibbons on Saturday December 3rd and by Guitarist Stephan Tsapatoris on Sunday December 4th. I arrived at the venue on Sunday December 4th just as the gallery's curator, Jody Singer, was introducing Mr. Tsapatoris to the gathering.

The music Mr. Tsapatoris presented had a deep soulful quality to it that served the event well. His songs added a thoughtfulness to the shopping experience that echoed the meaningfulness of the holiday. The numbers of shoppers ebbed and flowed throughout the day and his music reflected this movement upon the waterways of our souls. You can learn more about Stephan Tsapatoris and his music by at

The individuals who presented their well crafted wares included Photographers Tara Arbogast of Eye Pixelz and Laurinda Faye Rubin, Artists Maria Ferrieris Marty Carr, and Sean Turell, Jewelers of Spirits of Passage who also offered Pixel depicting characters from video games and Michael Kessler who also offered crystals and other geological wonderments, Victoriana furnishings by Christian Kropp of Lux in Tenebris, items from Danny Ferron's Steam Punk Collection, herbs and ointments from Bonnie O' Fee's Kitchen, and comic books from The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store An opportunity to have one's photograph taken with a backdrop to be added digitally was offered by Photographer Jonathan A. MacHale. In addition to this, a great deal of conversation and good will was shared throughout the day.

The day I spent at The Origins Gallery was a delightful one as I not only got to experience the beauty of the work offered for purchase but I also was able to learn more about the artists who created the pieces. The environment of the Holiday Makers’ Market was a relaxed and congenial one which served as a pleasant contrast to the hurried and maddening shopping experiences usually associated with the winter holiday season. I look forward to attending Holiday Makers’ Market IV and I hope to see you there. In the meantime, you'll find more photographs taken during the event in The Origins of Holiday Shopping Gallery at

The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery who also offers classes and special events to the community. They're currently located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Gallery is presently showing their Open Arts Exhibition which will be on display until December 14th. The next and final show to be on display in their current location will be their Black Canvas Exhibition II with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday December 17th beginning at 6pm. All artists are invited to participate. The drop off dates are December 14th and 15th. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery including updates referring to their plans for the future and other news by exploring their Facebook Page at

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Giving Arts the Business

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Pocono Arts Council held their Annual Business Meeting for 2016 on Thursday December 1st at The PoconoArts Cultural Center in Stroudsburg, PA. Excited conversations abound prior to the meeting as long time friends and new acquaintances shared their love for the arts while munching on the delicious goodies that were available to enhance the evening. A sizable number of art lovers attended the meeting and their eagerness to learn what the Pocono Arts Council has been doing during the course of the year and the adventures it will embark upon in the coming year made it an informative and enjoyable one.

The time for the Annual Business Meeting to begin arrived and the assembly was brought to order by Board of Directors' President, Jeffrey Kash, after some welcoming remarks. A number of reports regarding the group's financial, out reach, and membership situation were given by the Pocono Arts Council's Executive Director, Laura Goss. This was followed by a recognition given by President Kash to Board Members and Volunteers to honor their service to the group. These included John Bednar, Lisa Cardwell, and Jacquelyn Mathiesen who left the board of directors during 2016. Elections were held in order to re-elect Dulic Ridder to continue her service in the Pocono Arts Council's Board of Directors. After the elections were held, it was noted that The Pocono Arts Council's Board of Directors is presently composed of eight members but is designed to accommodate twenty. So, an invitation was issued for those who would like to join the Board to make their desires known. This was followed by some sentiments relating to the arts and the work of the group shared by President Kash and the Pocono Arts Council's Executive Director, Laura Goss.

It was soon after this that the meeting was adjourned. This provided an opportunity for those who attended to renew their conversations which included topics relating to those that transpired during the meeting. The opportunity to explore the Pocono Arts Council's Annual Holiday Store which presented a wide variety of arts and crafts items available for purchase was also embraced after the meeting. The quality and beauty of the work proved to be stunning and will be available for purchase until January 2017. You'll find more images taken during the Pocono Arts Council's Annual Meeting and Holiday Store in the Giving Arts the Business Gallery at

The PoconoArts Council is an organization designed to build the communities of Monroe, Pike, Wayne, Lackawanna, and Luzerne Counties, PA artistically and culturally by providing leadership, service, and education. It does so by offering avenues for artists to display their work through The PoconoArts Cultural 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. The Pocono Arts Council's Board of Directors consists of Jeffrey Kash who serves the Board as its President, Betsy Buzelli-Clarke who serves the Board as its Vice - President, and Jody Singer who serves the Board as its Secretary. The position of Treasurer is presently vacant. Other members of the Board are Dulic Ridder, Jeff Baracafer, Amanda Reiche, Jack Swersie, and Eileen Noelle.

The next exhibition to take place in The PoconoArts Community Center's ARTSPACE Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA will be their Art as Spirituality Exhibition. The exhibit will be on display from January 14th to February 18th with an Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday January 21st beginning at 2pm. The exhibit is an open one and welcomes all artists to participate. The Drop Off Date is Monday January 9th. This exhibition will be followed by their Earth Speaks III Exhibition in April 2017 with the drop off date scheduled for Tuesday January 31st. You’ll be able to learn more about The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center and all it has to offer the creative community by exploring The PoconoArts Council Facebook Page at or their Website at

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Contactos Mujeres Latina (Networking with Latin Women)

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

The Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg, PA hosted The Association of Latin American Women's Social Networking event on Tuesday November 22nd. The gathering was held in the library's Edinger Community Room which proved to be a fitting place to hold it as a number of individuals from the local Latin American community provided a sense of camaraderie throughout the evening which was extended to those attending who were not of Hispanic decent. Conversations nurturing established acquaintances mingled with those planting new seed of friendships filled the room as Sylvia Torres - Piserchio took her place behind the podium to share her welcoming remarks along with information about the association.

Ms. Torres - Piserchio then introduced Christina Piserchio RN who provided blood pressure and blood sugar screenings throughout the evening and invited the company to partake of them in order to maintain their health. She was followed by Ms. Iris Martinez MS who is the Director of Hogar CREA International which is an 18 month treatment program designed to help individuals over the age of 18 to overcome drug addiction. She was followed to the podium by Tony Cox of Cruise Planners who spoke on the opportunities found in traveling abroad. Ms. Cox was followed by Alexa Sanchez of ERA One Source Realty who shared information on what her company had to offer the community. She was followed by Luis A. Echevarria of The Property Max Reality Group who helps individuals obtain mortgages and other needed items in order to purchase a home.

The conclusion of Mr. Echevarria's words led to the entrance of artist Froilan Kali Ramirez who offered his services to those in need of it. He was followed by David Good of The Good Project who seeks to preserve the life of South American Jungles and the indigenous people who inhabit them. He was followed by Margaret Rincon of Rincon Express who offers a Tags and Title Service for automobiles as well as assistance in those beginning a business. During Ms. Rincon's talk, she introduced two gentlemen who spoke in turn about the homeless individuals populating the area and her company's donate a book bag to help children living in poverty to cope better in school. They were followed by Alexa Bridgeman of Pocono Family Insurance who spoke on the many services her company provided through a variety of insurance policies.

It was soon after Ms. Bridgeman spoke did Ms. Torres - Piserchio come to the podium to introduce a woman who would tell her story relating to her experiences taking residence in the area. The woman could not speak English very well so her words were translated Ms. Torres - Piserchio. However, the substance of what she had to say wasn't found so much in the words she employed but in the expression, vocal tone, and her countenance. All of these combined to bring about a thoughtful listening to her story. It was after she spoke did Ms. Torres - Piserchio express her appreciation to those who were present and shared information about future events the association were planning to present.

It was at this point were the talks given transformed to conversations that included more information learned about what was revealed by the speakers. Tasty treats were consumed as delightfully as the words that were shared. You'll find more photographs taken during the Social Networking event held by The Association of Latin American Women on Tuesday November 22nd in the Contactos Mujeres Latina (Networking with Latin Women) Gallery at

The Association of Latin American Women (ALAW) was founded in 2016 in order to coordinate resources within the local communities to promote Latin American Culture. The association holds numerous events including workshops and seminars to assist in maneuvering through a predominately non Hispanic Culture (ie The United States). It was an informative and enjoyable evening which lent itself to broaden one's cultural horizons. You can learn more about The ALAW by exploring their Website at or their Facebook Page at

The Eastern Monroe Public Library (aka The Hughes Library) is located on N. 9th Street (aka route 611) in Stroudsburg, PA. The Hughes Library is the main branch of the Monroe County, PA library system which includes their Pocono Township Branch in Tannersville, PA and their Smithfield’s Branch in Marshalls Creek, PA. The library offers access to numerous books, DVDs, Audio Recordings, and cultural programs free to the public. To learn more information about the library and all the institution has to offer the community, please explore their Facebook Page at or their Website at