Sullivan County Council on the Arts - Supporting the arts, culture and heritage of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
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 Winners

These 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.

Welcome to the Sullivan County Council on the Arts

Looking Forward to New
Local Arts in 2014

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.

Check out our activities page to see what we're up to. And our members page to help support the arts in Sullivan County.

For a pdf copy of our 2014 brochure, click here.

Our Archives page holds links to all our theater scripts and prize winners.

2014 Artisans Sale vendor application available here.

Look for the the Sullivan County Council on the Arts on Facebook!

Looking Ahead

Weather Won't Stop The Artisans Holiday Sale

he 8th annual Artisans Holiday Sales comes with a non-cancellation (almost) guarantee. At its new location in the Galleria (former JMB supply) on Rt. 220,December 13,  it is (almost) immune to weather interference, short of a Buffalo Blast snowstorm. On a major road, it's situated on one of three known flat spots in Sullivan County and surrounded by (almost) acres of parking.

This is good news for the art and craft vendors who will be displaying their wares, for the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, which is sponsoring the Sale, but especially for the small army of shoppers expected to descend on the Galleria to buy last minute gifts or just gawk at the amazing display of handmade crafts, homemade food and heartmade joy.

OK, enough of the hype. As in previous years, the Artisans Sale will draw vendors from a wide area of Northeastern PA bringing jewelry, painting, pottery, quilt work, food, wreaths, flannel blankets and wood art (among other goodies). There will be names you recognize from past years, as well as many new faces and new, unique items.

For its part, the SCCA will provide children's games, hot dogs, sloppy joes, soup, drinks and (if Santa agrees to lend) an elf.

So come early and stay awhile in the colorful setting of Karen Black's Galleria. A fine place to enjoy the season and escape any (fingers crossed) uninvited snow.

Artisans Holiday Sale: At the Galleria, a mile and a half north of Dushore on Rt. 220, December 13, 10 am to 4 pm.

Northern Tier Symphony Orchestra

What, you’ve never heard of it? Neither had we, until we got a notice and Linda and I decided to attend, at the Tunkhannock Middle School. We picked up on it in large part because they were going to play one of my favorite symphonies, Schubert’s 9th (the Great C Major). Now that was chancy—if a bunch of clunky musicians had murdered a piece of music I loved, that would be the evening from hell.

Fact is, this was one of the best orchestral concerts we’ve been to – so far above our expectations that I still hardly believe what we heard. Under the direction of conductor Robert Helmacy, the players had the kind of precision and crystalline clarity of Toscanini in the good old days. The tempos felt perfect, the players not just competent but letter-perfect and filled with spirit. The Schubert, frankly, nestled right up to my recorded version (George Szell and the Cleveland Symphony). It felt like musical home.

Equally surprising, the Northern Tier played Mozart’s 4th horn concerto. The French horn is a noted bear to play, and Mozart put the pedal to the brass metal in this one. As a choice, it was chancier than the Schubert. Brilliant. Horn soloist Sara Petokas illuminated the auditorium. Nothing more needed to say.

The Tunk. Middle School, by the way, has superb acoustics, far better than anything (alas) I’ve heard locally, and the perfect partner to Helmacy’s clarity.

If you care about classical music and have the chance, drop in to one of their concerts.. The most amazing part, maybe, is that the orchestra is only four years old and the cost of tickets (subsidized by an amazing list of sponsors, corporate and personal) is $10 ($5 for kids).

Mike Pennella to keep Gallery going next year

Although it is unfortunate that the SCCA is no longer unable to run the Covered Bridge Gallery... the Gallery Will NOT be closing permanently. I will be opening the Gallery for the Summer/Fall of 2015. If there are any persons interested in being a part of it please call me personally @ 570 924 3015. As I never intended to make a profit from the Gallery I plan on the following:  70% of a sold item goes to the artist.  20% goes the person sitting in the gallery that makes the sale and 10% goes to the Gallery  to help cover operating costs. I want this space to be a place for area artists to share their work with the public and possibly make a sale as a result of that.
Thank you to all that have given their time over the past 2 seasons. 
--Mike Pennella

And the SCCA gives its most sincere thanks to Mike for providing the space to the Arts Council for the last two years, and for his generous, selfless support throughout. We only hope that we can partner with others who will give so greatly to the arts in Sullivan County.


"Home Front" DVDs On Sale

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 is available at the Covered Bridge Gallery in Forksville, which is open Saturdays 11-6:30 and Sundays 11-3, or 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.

--Derek Davis







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Sullivan County Council on the Arts · PO Box 243 · Dushore, PA 18614
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