Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nature Working at the Stroudsmoor

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

On what began as a sunny day, The Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, PA held their 1st Annual Outdoor Art Show titled, “Nature at Work: Walking with the Arts” on Sunday August 21st. Although the meteorological conditions would change enough to shorten my visit to the event, there were a great number of activities and wonders to experience which inspired many attendees to brave the rains. But, since I was experiencing the onset of a cold, I only partook of a small sampling of what the day had to offer. Yet, that sampling was quite a healthy one which left me to imagine what delights could have been mine if I would have stayed.

My day began when I arrived as the Inn's Parking lot. A shuttle awaited the many car drivers and riders who were parked to eagerly drive us to the festival. We were driven to the area in which the car show was taking place. The beauty of the vehicles that populated roads during a bygone era attracted my eye and I yearned to get closer to their designs but I decided to enter the Inn's The Woodsgate Pavilion which offered works created by the East Stroudsburg University of PA Art Department featuring those of Professors Darlene Farris Labar, Joni Oye, Jocelyn Kolb, and students. Live snakes, spiders, and turtles were also on display. In other areas of the building, I encountered Artists Susan Lebel, Tyler Bostic of Color of Life painting Darlene Hyde, Linda Stockman, Maria N. Filosa of Starchaser Designs, and many more. I've met vendors such as Azuzu Dayo of Soap Muffin, Ana's Parrots, Mrs. C who creates flavorful dressings and dipping oils, and more. It was after my visit the the building did I venture outside as the rain predicted for the day abated for the time being.

I walked along a pathway leading to Stroudsmoor's 1-Mile Loop which is a trail that overlooks the Cherry Valley Wildlife Refuge. I heard the sounds of music and, before I knew it, I reached the top of a hill whereupon The Woodland Chapel served as a bandstand. The Lost Ramblers were playing the Bluegrass compositions that were well known and loved by those who were present. The chapel was surrounded by a number of vendors including Bonnie O' Fee who displayed a plethora of creams and herbal products that were concocted with love. It was during my visit did the prelude of a rain storm arrive. So, I reluctantly left the chapel in order to venture down to where the car was parked. Even though my day was interrupted by the weather, it proved to be an enjoyable one. I look forward to attending their 2nd festival with the hopes of a conducive climate so I may explore all its wonders. In the meantime, you'll be able to view the photographs I took during the 1st Nature at Work - Walking with the Arts Festival in The Nature Working It at the Stroudsmoor Gallery at

The Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, PA is well known as being “a place where you can wake up your soul and put your cares to bed.” The Inn is set atop its own 300 acre mountain overlooking the scenic vistas of the area which includes the 30,000 acre Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The Nature at Work - Walking with the Arts Festival was established to focus on the symbiotic relationship between the art of nature and the nature of art. It was inspired by the growing concerns for the reduction in untouched landscape and the angsts of keeping art as a lesson learned for future generations. The show’s mission is to capture the environment, as seen through the artists’ eyes, to document a moment in time, and preserving it for years to come in the hopes that its footprint will change only through the natural processes of the earth; not the influences of an industrious mankind. You can learn more about The Stroudsmoor Country Inn and all they have to offer by exploring their Website at or their Facebook Page at

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Origins Ha Ha

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

A small gathering of art lovers descended the stairs from the streets of Stroudsburg, PA to occupy The Origins Gallery for their Artists' Reception that was held on Saturday August 20th. The pieces populating their Just for Laughs Exhibition brought smiles to those who viewed them along with a smattering of near uproarious laughter which was heard on occasion. The evening included music performed by Michael Kessler and the venue's famous Art Raffle.

After spending some time being amused by the images presented, the Gallery's director, Jody Singer, greeted the intimate gathering and proceeded to share news of upcoming events at the gallery as well as those occurring throughout the town of Stroudsburg itself. Mr. Singer's words were followed by the appearance of Mr. Kessler whose renditions of light hearted compositions brought a smile to some, laughter to others, and raised eyebrows to all.

The art raffle followed the performance. Eyes were affixed to the tickets purchased earlier as the winning numbers were being called out. Joyous exclamations were sounded as the coveted items were acquired by the lucky participants. It was soon after this did the company begin to share their farewells to one another as they set their sights upon the next exhibit to greet them. You can view photographs taken during the Artists' Reception of the exhibit in The Origins Ha Ha Gallery at

The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery who also offers classes and special events to the community. They're located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Just for Laughs Exhibition will be on display at the venue until August 31st. Their next show will be their Art Is In Everything Exhibition. The Artists' Reception is scheduled for Saturday September 3rd beginning at 6pm and will continue to be on display until September 17th. All artists are invited to participate. The drop off dates are August 31st and September 1st. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at

Monday, August 29, 2016

VisiSpeak at The Dutot

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The wondrous effects of a gentle evening filled The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery in Delaware Water Gap, PA as the Artist's Reception for their Visually Speaking Exhibition on Friday August 19th shared the thoughtful talents of Andrea Levergood-Flaherty. The sizable gathering who came to experience the work were touched by not only the expressive character of each piece but by the techniques employed to manifest their concepts. These techniques enhanced the abstract qualities of a number of compositions which entreated the viewer to explore their imaginations more deeply in order to build upon the representation in their minds.

The work on display ranged from depictions of natural settings and decorative pieces to those who spoke to a myriad of issues that confronts the conscious of our times. The quiet whispering of the images captured through the aesthetic eye of Ms. Levergood echoed within the hearts and minds of each viewer until their profound messages resonated throughout their essence. A power was found in each image that lingered long after the reception reached it's conclusion as evident in the numerous conversations that transpired throughout the evening. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artist's Reception in The VisiSpeak at The Dutot Gallery at

Andrea Levergood-Flaherty has taught and continues to teach art to a variety of ages in numerous settings. She had co-founded the Artspace co-operative gallery and served as its Curator and Director from 1991 to 1996. The gallery is now part of The PoconoArts Community Cultural Center located in Stroudsburg, PA. The techniques Ms. Levergood-Flaherty employs in her creations are Encaustic painting, aka hot wax painting, which involves using heated beeswax in the painting process and the use of Sumi Ink which is known for it pure black properties. These techniques enhanced the texture and depth of the works in which they were utilized thus creating a more profound substance to the images she presented. You can learn more about Andrea Levergood-Flaherty and her work by exploring her Facebook Page 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. The Visually Speaking Exhibition featuring the work of Andrea Levergood-Flaherty will be on display until September 4th. The Dutot's next Exhibition will be their Music Motif Show featuring the work of local artists. An Artist's Reception is scheduled to be held on Friday September 9th beginning at 6pm. The exhibit will continue to be on display until until September 18th. The Artists' Reception and the exhibition will be a part of the 39th Annual Celebration of the Arts Festival. Please Explore The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery Facebook Page at or their Website at for more information.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Freaky Circus of Dreams

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The refreshing coolness of The Sherman Showcase in Stroudsburg, PA enabled me to leave the heat of a Hot and Sticky day upon the sidewalks on Sunday August 14th as I partook of their weekly Open Mic Nite. The sight of the evening's featured performers, Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers, rehearsing and performing sound checks greeted my eyes and ears encouraging me to feel at home in a place I haven't been to for a while. It was a good feeling which was enhanced by being greeted by the friends I've met during my previous visits to the venue. A hoagie ring created by The Bagel Experience which is located in Brodheadsville, PA and donated to the venue by Melissa Goleski caught my eye with its deliciousness. It tasted as good as it looked.

After a time, the band completed its preparations and it was time for those wishing to share their talents to sign in so the order in which performances would take place be established. Musicians, comedians, poets, and dancers eagerly placed their names or nom de plume on the list. It was soon after this ritual did the evening's co host, Satilia Rose (aka Tilly), stepped upon the stage to welcome the large gathering and to introduce the first performer.

After some preparations in music, Bradley B. took the stage to perform his high energy dance routine which ignited the audience with its fire. He was followed by the appearance of co-host, Bobby Jo Moran, who introduced comedian Joey Tepedino as the next performer who tried out some new jokes of which he was unsure of their qualities. A great deal of laughter emanating from the gathering proved to be reassuring. Mr. Tepedio was followed by another comedian named, Erich Drexler, whose topics ran from Tampon commercials to ancient ruins found in Gentleman's Clubs. He was followed by another comedian known as Chris Jones who examined the possibility of taking a shower without music and radio commercials for the deaf. Mr. Jones was followed by People More Responsible than Jack Shaffer which consisted of Jack Shaffer on guitar sharing renditions of songs that flowed upon the audience like a stream of fresh concepts. It was after Mr. Shaffer's performance did co host, Dayanara Howard, take the stage to introduce the featured band.

Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers consists of Max Maztrex on Lead Vocals/Keyboard, Evan Sevillano on Back-up Vocals/Rhythm Guitar, Lorenzo Masterson on Unclean Vocals/Lead Guitar), Soulcatcher on Bass, and Tatiana Alexia on Drums. Together, their mesmerizing music led the gathering upon a journey which traveled upon a road of asphalt dreams. Members of the audience joined the band both instrumentally and in spirit during the course of the extraordinary performance. It was very cool. Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers is an Alternative Orchestral Rock band which began in 2013. Their debut album titled, “Call To Arms,” is scheduled for release in December 2016. Please explore The Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers Facebook Page at for more information.

At the conclusion of The Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers set, Joe Craig took the stage to bring a coolness to the gathering that allowed the heart to dance. He was followed Comedian George Litz who was off his meds and shared the joys of masturbating with dead hooker hands. George was followed by Kasper Glitterpuff whose poetic comedy dealt with the concepts of controversy. He was followed by Nick Fuckit who told paper plate jokes about life in a strip club, animals eating kids, and the KKK. Nick was followed by Guitarist Mark Ferraro who guided the company upon the gentleness of his instrumentals toward a quiet place within their essence. Mr. Ferraro was followed by Wilbium who brought the evening to a conclusion through his mesmeric skills which entranced the room through his music.

It was as Wilbium's performance resonated among the souls who were touched by it, did Bobby Jo Moran bid everyone a fond farewell and invited them back for the next Open Mic Nite which is scheduled to take place Sunday August 28th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. The featured performer for the evening will be K OZ. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. In the meantime, you'll be able to view the photographs taken during the Sunday August 14th event in The A Freaky Circus of Dreams 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 by calling 570-421-2808 for more information.

Black Bears and Dark Arts in Milford

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

On an extremely hot summer day, I traveled to the town of Milford, PA on Saturday August 13th. An Artful Bears Community Picnic was being held at the Milford Community House and the monthly Art After Dark event presented the work of local artists in several galleries throughout the town. The oppressive heat was enough to sap the energy of any ordinary mortals. However, the overwhelming desire to kindle the passion of the day's offerings provided each participant with super human abilities to transform the thermodynamic challenges into experiences that were very cool.

My day in Milford began at the town's Community House whose front lawn was the site of the Artful Bears Community Picnic. The event offered free food and music while serving to initiate the 17th Annual Black Bear Film Festival. The afternoon also provided opportunities to chat with those who are intimately involved in the endeavor. My arrival was met with the sight of the festival's Executive Director, Will Voelkel, being interviewed by Wendy Stuart for an on line broadcast to appear on the Festival's Facebook Page. Laughter filled the conversation which would prove to be contagious among the huge number of attendees as the day progressed.

The grounds were strewed with objects under black sheets of which many eyed with anticipation. This anticipation was instilled by the knowledge that artists throughout the community have created special sculptures of Bears to be revealed later that day. The local media was present and eagerly sought out the artists who created the three-dimensional figures along with those who served the festival in administrative capacities in order to share their comments and insights with their audience. These individuals were also sought out by the many attendees as well as their desire to learn more about the festival and the art that was to be revealed ignited their curiosity.

In addition to the wonderful foods and the delightful conversations that populated the day, music was performed by guitarist Ernie Kara (570-269-4422). The soothing sounds emanating from his instrument and voice added a flavor to the afternoon which made it even more enjoyable. A wide variety of songs were played that incited the ear to listen while recalling the day it was first embraced as a life memory by the heart. It was after a time when the festival's Executive Director, Will Voelkel, took the stage in order to welcome the gathering and to share news of what was to come throughout the year leading up to the festival's screening and exploring of independent films in October. He then introduced the co Presidents of the festival, Amy Eisenberg and Amy Bridge. Ms. Eisenberg proceeded to extend a great deal of appreciation to all who made the day possible. These included the Artful Bear Artist Coordinator, Timothy Moreland, the Artful Bear Logistics Coordinator, Valerie Brairton, and Festival's social media specialist, Richard D’Ambrosia. It was at the conclusion of her heartfelt sentiments did she begin the process of unveiling the bears.

As Ms. Eisenberg called out the artist's name and the name of the piece, the artist pulled away the concealing sheet in order to reveal the creation. The pieces would then be moved to various locations throughout the town after the picnic concluded. Each revelation was met with a great deal of applause and the clicking of many cameras. The first of these sculptures was created by Lynn Rideout and is titled, “Go! Bearriett Go!” The piece was sponsored by The Litzenberger Foundation and is now placed at The Pike County Public Library. The next sculpture was created by Craig Smedley and is titled, “Bearings” and is now placed at Jorgenson's at the Dimmick. The next sculpture was created by Jesse Clemente and is titled, “Keith Bearing” The piece was sponsored by Milford Chrysler and is now placed at The JIVE Bar and Lounge. The next sculpture was created by Beau Gostomsky and is titled, “There.... Bearly” The piece was sponsored by The Hotel Fauchere and is now placed at The Pastisserie Fauchere. The next sculpture was created by Cera Alber and the UDGLBT P3 and is titled, “Finding Bearself” The piece is now placed at The Key Food Marketplace. The next sculpture was created by Laurie Benjamin and students of the Dingman-Delaware Middle School and is titled, “Go! Bearriett Go!” The piece is now placed at Citizen's Bank. The next sculpture was created by Nat Yingling and is titled, “Bar Bear-Ian!” The piece was sponsored by Kahr Arms and is now placed at Luhr's True Value Hardware. The next sculpture was created by Joe Petrosi and is titled, “Mirra Beara Bella” The piece is now placed at Davie R. Chant Real Estate. The next sculpture was created by Robin Lennon and is titled, “Lady Galactica” The piece is now placed at WAL-MART. The next sculpture was created by Richard D' Ambrosia and is titled, “Superbear” The piece is now placed at Progressive Health of PA. The final sculpture was created by Amy Row and is titled, “Bearve Heart” The piece is now placed at The Milford Diner.

After the final statue was revealed, the company of art lovers lingered with the bears to capture more images at variant perspectives and to commune with the piece's spirit. The afternoon progressed to the announcement of a raffle in which a bear created during the previous year was being offered as the prize. The tickets were selected and the numbers were called. Each ticket holder eyed the sequence of their numeric hopes until the corresponding digits were revealed. A thundering exclamation echoed from the crowd as the winner came forth to claim his prize. He was soon met with a chorus of congratulatory sentiments by the gathering as he verified his ticket to be the winning one. This included those given by Smokey the Bear who visited the event. It was soon after this did members of the gathering begin to leave the picnic. Farewells were shared as was the excitement of upcoming events associated with The Black Bear Film Festival throughout the Summer and Fall months. It was a great time filled with a lot of fun and wonderful conversations. It was good to make new friends.

The Black Bear Film Festival (BBFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading joy and building community through the art of film. They do this by presenting exceptional independent films to the public, hold various events to celebrate the art and craft of film making, and partner with schools to inspire students to become filmmakers and aficionados of film. BBFF is run by volunteers and is sustained by members, sponsors, advertisers, and donors. The climax of 17th Annual Black Bear Film Festival will be held October 14th to the 16th with screenings, workshops, and salons in various locations. You can learn more about The 17th Annual Black Bear Film Festival by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

As my farewells came to their conclusion, the quaint streets of the town summoned me as the monthly Art After Dark event began. The phenomenon provides visitors an opportunity to explore the creative aspects of the borough and it's citizenry. It has been several years since I've partook of the aesthetic adventure and I was glad to embark upon it again. The first venue I visited was The Golden Fish Gallery.

Upon my arrival to the venue, I was immediately greeted by it's owner, John Longendorfer, who opened the establishment in 1997 with his son Edwin. We chatted about many things including the Milford art scene which I was eager to learn more about. The gallery hosted a number of works created by a multitude of artists ranging from fantastical sculpted pieces to pen and ink drawings. The quality of the creative endeavors provided a source of pleasure to the eye while allowing a meaningfulness to touch the heart of the viewer. You can learn more about The Golden Fish Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

After an enjoyable visit, I ventured outside the gallery where some individuals from a group known as Pride and Purpose had several items on display for sale. These included African wild animals sculpted from Soda Cans. I then continued to travel the sidewalks of Milford until I came across The Artisan Exchange who housed a variety of sculpted and two dimensional items. Their huge inventory was impressive and it took quite some time to partake of the enjoyment these pieces embodied both individually and collectively. However, I did eventually exit the establishment and continued across the street to my next destination.

The ARTery Gallery held an Artists' Reception for their August Exhibition featuring the work of June Ponte and Rosealind Hodgkins. The work of these two extraordinary artists proved to be a stark contrast to one another while being simultaneously complimentary. The darkened shadows found in Ms. Ponte's portraits, which included those of Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, and John Lennon, created a mood within the frame that moved the viewer toward a deeper fascination of the subject. Ms. Hodgkins' work revealed the bright hues inherent in the subjects she uniquely capture on her canvas allowing them to move beyond the frame to become reflections of the eternal joys that dwell within the heart and soul. Together, their approaches to the art of making art exhibited the vastness of the human experience.

The work of other artists populated the gallery alongside those created by Ms. Ponte and Hodgkins. They included Liza J. Smith-Simpson, Debbie Gioello, and the gallery's curator, Marie Liu Their work (and those of others) further enhanced the flow of the gallery as each individual of the large number of attendees explored the groupings of images that were placed within the maze like interiors upon which each turn down the corridors became an intrigue as the wonders of entire exhibition were discovered. You'll find more photographs of my adventures in the arts in The Black Bears and Dark Arts in Milford Gallery at

Rosealind Hodgkins received her BFA Degree from The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1965. She also studied at the Art Students League in New York, NY and at The Hull College of Art in England. Ms. Hodgkins also studied philosophy at the New School in New York, NY. After living and developing an art career in New York City for over 40 years, she currently lives and paints in Port Jervis, NY. Ms. Hodgkins utilizes unusual scale, invented perspective, shadows, and reflections as well as symbols and metaphors to construct a narrative picture of images of nature seen from an imagined vantage point originating from common frames of reference such as the cycle of seasons and other phenomena of nature. You can learn more about Rosealind Hodgkins and her work by exploring her Website at

June Ponte is a self-taught artist who lives in Stillwater, NJ and creates portraits of creative historic figures along with paintings laced with mystic symbolism which evolves from her work as a spiritual medium. Ms. Ponte is also the author and crafts designer of “Fun and Simple State Crafts” which is a series of nine children’s crafts books published by Enslow Publishers. Ms. Ponte's abilities as a mediumistic empath enables her to connect sitters with their loved ones on the other side while assisting her clients in realizing that life does go on even after “death.” You can learn more about June Ponte, her art, and her psychic abilities by calling 973-864-4480, emailing, or by exploring her Website at

The ARTery Gallery in Milford, PA is located in the town's historic Forest Hall and began in the summer of 1999. The Artery is a cooperative owned and operated by over 15 successful and emerging artists and artisans from the Tri-State (NY, NJ, PA) area who has shown their work throughout the world. The gallery's exhibitions are well known for their eclectic character as each artist in the collective have their own definitive style and approach toward their medium. The current exhibition for August featuring the work of June Ponte and Rosealind Hodgkins will continue to be on display until September 5th. The next exhibition will be their September show featuring the works of John Capanna, Al Rosser, and Carol Margreither. The Artists' Reception is scheduled for Saturday September 10th beginning at 6pm during the town's Art After Dark event and will continue to be on display until October 3rd. You can learn more information about The ARTery Gallery, their upcoming exhibits, their members, and how to become a member by exploring their Facebook Page at and their Website at