Arts and Community

Zoe Pedro, watercolor, “Rehoboth”: 2021 Choice of Show Award

2021 Hills and Valleys

The latest edition of our annual literary magazine can be browsed or downloaded here. As we always say when we give the dog a plate to lick, “There’s really good stuff here!” As noted below, Kyler Burke has ended her Sullivan County High School career be taking the top literary prize for the fifth time in six years. But she’s only one of the many talents can can uncover in Hills and Valleys. As always, we’re deeply proud of the talent that Sullivan County continually releases into the world.

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Helping out in the local world of art

The Arts Council has time, energy and (even) money to support the arts in and around Sullivan County, but this has been a tough year to find functioning outlets to receive our support. We’re glad to report that we can do a bit to help out both the Friends of the Sullivan County Library and (indirectly) the Winding River Players in Towanda, Bradford County. 

Winding River is putting on a production of “Carol Burnett’s Back” (a collection of skits from the old Carol Burnett Show that she has released for free use), to be acted primarily in their own Black Box Theater in September. But the Friends of the Library have asked to host one performance at the Eagles Mere Country Club as a dinner-theater piece on October 1 – a fund-raising event for the library. Winding River charges $300 to bring the performance to the country club, to cover costume and equipment costs and part of their monthly mortgage. The Arts Council has agreed to cover this cost for the Friends, thereby supporting two organizations at once. Ain’t that the cat’s PJs?

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2021 Choice of Show Award to Zoe Pedro

As we have every year since 1998, the SCCA picked a single outstanding artwork from the spring Sullivan County High School art show (held virtually this year). This 2021 prize went to Zoe Pedro for her watercolor painting, “Rehoboth” (seen above). The Arts Council purchased the piece for $250, will have it framed and added to the permanent Choice collection in the school’s main corridor. Our judges this year – Dan Curry, Karen Black, and Joan Werner – said they had an incredibly difficult time because of the eclectic variety and quality of the students’ work. 

The Arts Council also provided three exhibit judges – Linda White, Helen Day, and Camelia Peguero – to choose 1st-10th place awards for students’ individual art displays, each comprising three artworks that the student felt were their strongest artistic creations throughout the school year. The cash prizes, as in previous years, were provided through the continued generosity of the PA Bowhunter’s Festival Association. Zoe Pedro made it a clean sweep by taking the top award in this category as well.

1st place – $125 prize: Zoe Pedro

2nd place – $100 prize: Colton Pretti

3rd place – $75 prize: Emily Geist

4th place – $50 prize: Paige Burke

5th place – $25 prize: Kyler Burke

6th place – $25 prize: Colby Heaton

7th place – $25 prize: Chris Hill

8th place – $25 prize: Karlee Wettlaufer

9th place – $25 prize: Kailee Vest

10th place – $25 prize: Lyndsay Smith

SCHS art teacher (and SCCA board member) Dylan Wiesner thanks everyone who helped make this virtual show possible and congratulates all of the winners and participants. 

The exhibition is available for public viewing on the Sullivan County High School website, https://www.sulcosd.k12.pa.us/Domain/53. Simply click on the link titled “2020-2021 SCHS Virtual Art Show.

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Theater Award goes to Benjamin Fry

The SCCA annual Theater Award, presented to a graduating senior on the basis of their work on and behind the stage throughout their student career, was presented to Benjamin Fry.

Melissa Mabus, head of the Sullivan County High School drama club, had this to say about his work throughout high school:

“Ben Fry was the star of The Importance of Being Earnest, live-streamed online and recorded last fall. He performed just brilliantly with the British accent work, and has been involved with the Drama Club since he was a 7th grader.  He’s also president of the club.  I hands-down nominate him for the theatre award.”

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Kyler Burke Takes Literary Contest Top Prize

The Sullivan County Council on the Arts has announced the winners of its 11th annual Literary Contest, with first prize going to Kyler Burke for her short story, “The Sandpaper House.”

Kyler, a Sullivan County High School senior, is no stranger to literary awards, having taken the Contest’s top prize five of the last six years. Her story, a tale of the strange disappearance of two teenagers’ parents, is a shortened version of a more extensive piece she is working on, which was too long to fit within the contest’s length restrictions.

Second prize is awarded to the pseudonymous “Rue,” for a collection of riveting poems: “I Meet Life,” “Solidarity,” and “Lost in the Leaves.” (At this point, Rue’s identity resides under a bushel.)

The third prize winner is Abigail Ciufo, whose poem “Autumn” personifies that blustery season.

The fourth prize goes to Jenna Eberlin, who poetically compares a companion to an “Autumn Evening.”

All four winners will receive a cash award and be published in the Arts Council’s annual magazine, Hills and Valleys, which will be available for free in both print and online editions. Also included will be “runners-up” Amber Kelly, Jordan Laroe,and Toni Marotti.

All published entires this year come from the Sullivan County High School, though the contest is open to all students living or studying in Sullivan County: public or private schooled, home-schoolers, and those attending the Red Rock Job Corps Center.

In normal years, Hills and Valleys also honors the winners of the Youth Art visual awards, but the Youth Art exhibit has been cancelled the last two years due to the pandemic.

This year’s judges were Sullivan County native and muralist Cat Badger, now living in Wyoming County, artist and Arts Council president Helen Day, and musician and activist Karen Meyers from Wellesboro.

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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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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