Arts and Community

Gerhett Parrish, clay sculpture, “Big Cheese and Squeaker.” Choice of Show winner, 2020.

New Officers!

At the January meeting, a new slate of officers was approved by unanimous vote of the board. (All right, not all of them are new, but all except one are in new positions.)

Helen Day, from Eagles Mere, was elected president, a position she had previously held or two years. For the past four years she has served as vice-president (despite the singular lack of vice in the Arts Council).

Bob Gallagher, a “foreigner” from Montoursville and board member of several years standing, was named vice president.

Linda White, of Cherry Township, continues as secretary in recognition of her succinct and readable minutes.

Past president Barb Murray, a Dushore resident, has taken over as treasurer.

They were installed to cheers and the loud beating of gongs.

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Other News

Board member, former county resident, prize-winning artist and muralist Cat Badger will tour the county, especially along Rt. 220, to identify possible locations for a county mural to delight residents and entice tourists. 

The Council has purchased an Official Laptop which will reside with the president-of-the-moment to keep records and correspondence and facilitate smoother Zoom meetings.

It was suggested that future meetings be conducted as combination in-person and Zoom gatherings to ease travel requirements for those board members living outside the county.

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Membership drive

It’s hard to imagine a “drive” these days, when most things are “limp-alongs.” But yes, the SCCA is once again (as every January) looking to rope in members, new and old. We have already sent real, envelope-encrusted paper letters to everyone who was a member at any time over the last four years. 

2020 was a pain in the hind end. The school closings and event cancellations forced by the pandemic left our programs in tatters – no Youth Art exhibit and student prizes in the spring, no Art Expo at the Fairgrounds in the fall with its exhibit and adult prizes.

We were, fortunately, able to award the annual Choice of Show prize (to Gerhett Parrish), publish the Literary Contest winners in our Hills and Valleys magazine, and offer scholarships to students through the Dushore Music Club and Endless Arts in Eagles Mere, which can be applied to later years, if necessary. And, on a one-time basis, we gave funds for materials to the Sullivan County School District classes in art, music and tech ed.

Bob Milne promises to be with us the first week in October, as was scheduled for last year, and the Celtic Martins will be back, but moved to Founder’s Day in Dushore, the second weekend in August. This concert will be outdoors – and free!

To become a 2021 member, send a check for $25 (individual or family), $50 (Patron) or $100 (Benefactor) to  SCCA, PO Box 243, Dushore PA 18614, along with your check.

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2021 Literary Contest

All middle and high school-level students in the county should sharpen their pencils (or limber their keys) for the annual SCCA Literary Contest. As we did last year, we have opened up the entry period to give the students extra time to compose and polish their entries.

The “rules” are simple, straightforward, and unchanged from last year with one exception: We have introduced a limit of 3,000 words on prose entries. Why? Because last year we were swamped with excellent but lengthy submissions that made the assembling of our Hills & Valleys magazine a herculean task. We would love to think that every author is preparing a novel, but this, alas, is not the venue for it. Be concise! Sharpen that editorial knife!

• Deadline: March 15, 2021; however, the earlier the better.

• Submissions: through your teacher or electronically directly to the Arts Council Contest director, Linda White, Digital entries are preferred, since it makes copying, printing, etc. easier for all concerned.

All students at Sullivan County High School, and all Sullivan County resident home schoolers, private schoolers and Red Rock Job Corps students in grades 7-12 or equivalent can submit works of fiction, poetry and non-fiction for the Sullivan County Council on the Arts annual Literary Contest.

Cash prizes will be awarded based on a student’s body of work submitted.

The eleventh issue of Hills and Valleys magazine will be published in the spring of 2021, featuring the winners of both the Literary Contest and the Youth Art Awards.

Be creative! Express yourself!

Write what you would like to read, not “what’s expected.”

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High school art Display winners

The 2020 Sullivan County High School art winners were chosen online this year, since the annual art show (originally set for last May) could not be held at the school. SCCA-provided judges Karen Black, Cindi McCarty and Bob Miller picked ten Display winners, chosen for the total breadth of their artwork. Prize money, as in past years, was provided by the PA Bowhunters’ Association.

First prize, Jodie Stockage (who was also the 2019 Choice of Show winner)

Second, Emily Geist

Third, Gerhett Parrish (the 2020 Choice of Show winner)

Fourth, Lyndsay Smith

Fifth, Colton Pretti

Sixth, Sam Skoranski

Seventh, Naomi Brown

Eighth, Paige Burke

Ninth, Nate Betts

Tenth, Charlie Vandine

The whole virtual show is available for viewing on the high school website: go to, select “Sullivan County High School” at the top of the page, then click on “2019-20 SCHS Virtual Art Show” in the center of the screen. And send your fondest wishes to high school art teacher Dylan Wiesner, who set the whole thing up.

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For a list of all our major programs, look here.

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Local arts and other links:

Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum

Sullivan County Library

Sullivan County general page

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce

Heading photo by Donna Sherwood