Winners At Art Expo
The annual Art Expo at the Fall Festival brought together some of the finest artworks seen over the Expo's long history. Winners were chosen in three broad categories: painting/drawing, photography, and 3-D. The contest is sponsored by the Sullivan County Council on the Arts.
Rusti Shaff of New Albany took first place for "Blue VW," an engaging, playful acrylic tribute to the iconic Volkswagen Bug. Curtis Salonick from Wilkes-Barre captured the top prize in photography with his aptly titled "The Foreboding," showing a dark, silhouetted figure on a hill. The top award in 3-D went to Berwick's Rita Millard for her small, colorful collage/tapestry, "My Iris Garden."
Shaff double-dipped, taking second prize for her intense, unsettling "Hand of God." Second-place in 3-D went to Helen Day of Eagles Mere for her feather-festooned buffalo skull, "Medicine Wheel."
Another double-winner, Sheila Hagemeyer of Montoursville, was awarded second and third place in photography for her crystalline black and white of a derelict farmhouse, "Comforting Spirits," and her evocative color landscape, "Misty Winter Morning."
Third prize in 3-D went to Linda Roman of Eagles Mere for her ceramic wall-mounted "Mountain Owl." "Sty-mied," a restful watercolor of a snoozing piglet, earned Wilkes-Barre's Diana Novosel a third in drawing/painting.
Hagemeyer and Novosel were both winners last year, and the Arts Council was delighted to see their return.
The coveted Peoples Choice Award, determined by the votes of those attending the exhibit, went to Jason Sitcosky of Ulster. His watercolor of very attentive cats "Nosing Where the Mice Have Been" received the most votes among the record 498 who entered their choice this year.Total prizes given out, including the Peoples Choice, came to $1300. The SCCA wants to extend special thanks to its three judges, Cat Badger (from Dallas), Karen Black (Dushore), and Amy Evans (Rome).
Literary Award WinnersThese awards honor a high school-level student's "body of work" - the total effect of all pieces entered, whether they be a single entry or a collection that can include a combination of prose and poetry.
Of this year's four winners, three submitted both prose and poetry, and three chose a foreign setting for their short story.
First place went to Megan Kiner, who is home schooled and who was also the top winner of the award the year it was first given. Her entries included "Perspective," a poem about the shift in outlook on winter that can come with age; "Seasons," a short study of fire, ash, life and death; and "Changeling," a mesmerizing story of sorrow, trauma and redemption at an English boarding school for girls during World War II.
Second Prize winner Kelly Kramer, a Sullivan County High School student, entered a short story with the intriguing title, "To be or not to be a fish," a tale of a Greek teenager caught between the pulls of tradition and college education in America; and "World History: a Timepiece," a clever poetic look at knowledge through the ages.
Third Prize went to home schooled Amy Brian McGee, last year's top winner, for "The Promise of Better Days Soak Through My Socks on Starry Nights," a stirring tale of a father's dealing with family tragedy; and a poem on sadness at the edge of sleep, "I woke amidst a mist of dreariness."
Libby Schreffler, from Sullivan County High School, took Fourth Prize with "The Window in Nonna's Attic," a charming story of a grandmother's diary detailing her trip to Venice where she met the great love of her life.
The prize winners, along with the cream of the other entries who made it through the first round of judging, will appear in the fourth annual copy of "Hills and Valleys," the annual Arts Council magazine, which will also feature the high school-level winners of the Youth Arts Awards.
Looking Forward to New
Local Arts in 2015
The Sullivan County Council on the Arts (SCCA) is an umbrella organization working to foster and preserve the artistic and cultural lives of the residents of Sullivan County, a rural community of small towns, hemlock forests and serenity in the heart of the Endless Mountains.
For a pdf copy of our 2015 brochure, click here.
For an SCCA membership form, click here.
For an audition form for the 2015 Roving Hysterical Theater Vaudeville Revival and Old-Time Nonsense Review, click here.
Our Archives page holds links to all our theater scripts and prize winners.
Look for the the Sullivan County Council on the Arts on Facebook!
Literary Competition Running Through March
The fifth annual Sullivan County Council on the Arts student writing competition has begun and will run through March 31. The contest is open to all high school-level students in Sullivan County - public, home schooled and residents of the Red Rock Job Corps Center.
Prose and poetry are both welcome, fiction as well as non-fiction. Work turned in for school projects or for the Sullivan County High School student paper are eligible. The Arts Council is looking for creativity and humanity in the writing, not simply "what's expected." The work should reflect the author - as much as or more than the subject.
If this outline seems somewhat nebulous, that's all for the good, because the contest is not about rules and regulations. The only real limitations are "community standards," which in this case means no gratuitous profanity or obscenity. Beyond that, your world, internal and external, is open for full exploration.
The organizers do ask that you limit yourself to four entries, either prose or poetry or a combination. The winners will be chosen on their body of work - the total effect and quality of everything entered. If only one piece is entered, that's fine; it will be looked at in the same way as though it were volumes.
Three judges will choose the winners, with cash prizes offered: $100 for first prize, $75 for second, $50 for third, $25 for fourth. The winners will be celebrated at the annual awards ceremony at the high school. All entries that receive the judges approval - winners and non-winners - will be featured in the fifth annual "Hills and Valleys" literary magazine, which will also include high-school-level winners of the visual-arts Youth Art awards.
Stories, in general, should not run over 2000 words, poetry over 25 lines. As noted, the deadline for submission is March 31. This year, because of school testing deadlines, the deadline will be strictly enforced.
Digital entries - which the Arts Council prefers, as they
simplify the judging process - can be submitted through your teacher or
directly to the Arts Council at email@example.com. Print entries can be sent to
SCCA, PO Box 243, Dushore, PA 18614. Please include your name and contact
information on your entries, though all work will be judged anonymously.
Youth Art Exhibit Coming To County Library
The annual Youth Art Exhibit and Awards, sponsored by the SCCA, will be held at the Sullivan County Library in Dushore, March 28-April 11.
Now in their 22nd year, the awards celebrate the artwork produced by students in the Sullivan County School District, kindergarten through grade 12, as well as home schoolers. Works by district students are chosen by long-time art instructors Karen Oliver Rider, in the elementary school, and Deb McDonald, in the high school.
The teachers choose up to three pieces by each student, which are presented for judging at the library. The Arts Council chooses the three judges. Home schoolers are also encouraged to enter their own works, again up to three per student.
Last year, and in most recent years, roughly 200 works have been presented and hung in the library, where they stay on display for two weeks. Just about every inch of display space - main walls, shelving ends, the front counters and spaces above the book shelves in the children's reading room - is covered with the vibrant, beautifully realized student work. Traditionally, all first-place winners are displayed in the library's front window.
All winners receive small cash prizes. Last year's awards came to over $300.
Artwork can be delivered at the library on Thursday, March 26, and will be cataloged the following day. Judging will take place March 28, and all artwork will be hung that day. The awards ceremony will take place at the library April 4, time to be announced, and the work will remain on display through April 11.
Roving Historical Theater:For 2015, the Theater is taking a change in direction to become (temporarily?) the Roving Hysterical Theater, introducing the Ultimate Musical Theater Weekend - not a Broadway review, but something quite different and decidedly diverse.
November 6-8, the SCCA will present three diverse performances. First, perennial favorites the Celtic Martins return for their fourth year, bringing a following that appears at virtually every concert the Martins hold in Pennsylvania and nearby states.
Next comes Bob Milne, the greatest living virtuoso of ragtime and boogie piano. Bob has toured the world for the past two decades with his nuanced yet accessible piano playing, his engaging personality and his phenomenal mind. There's no one else, anywhere, like Bob Milne.
Last, and far from least, the series winds up with the Roving Hysterical Theater Vaudeville Revival and Old-Time Nonsense Review. A work in neverending progress, it will mix music, history and humor, with nods to Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Laurel and Hardy, Jimmy Durante and later performers who carried on the traditions that made vaudeville and the American music hall world famous. And it won't just be rehash: There will be plenty of all-new routines, topical jokes and satire, featuring the Undrews Sisters, the Can't-Can't Dancers and the Master of All Known Ceremonies.
Much of the cost of Arts Council programs (especially the youth awards) is covered by those of you who become SCCA members. The Council welcomes people of all ages and also encourages businesses to become members to help support both the arts and the county's tourist economy.
Stated benefits include a 10% discount on SCCA events and a weekly email update. But the real benefit: Your membership offers a gift that gives back, continually, through the talents displayed by Sullivan County kids and adult artists.
The DVD of the final full-length Roving Historical Theater production, "The Home Front," is ready. As usual, the work was videoed and edited by local videographer Allen Williams.
Though the Roving Theater will remain as the theatrical arm of the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, its initial cycle of eight plays drew to a close this summer with a tribute to the history of, and wartime activities in the communities of Sonestown, Nordmont and Muncy Valley. It centered on the life of Little family of Nordmont during World War II, during the years when the husband, Michael, was off to war in the Pacific."The Home Front" DVD can be ordered by sending a check or money order to SCCA, PO Box 243, Dushore, PA 18614. The cost is $20, plus $2 shipping and handling if you would like it mailed to you.