Arts and Community

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

Fall Art Expo Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

The SCCA Fall Art Expo will put on its 30th annual show, October 8-9, 2021, in the Blue Building at the Forksville Fairgrounds.

Actually, it will take place during the 31st year of the Art Expo’s existence. Why this temporal disturbance? Because like almost everything else, the Expo was cancelled last year while we all stayed home safely watching more distant entertainment. But for this Official 30th, the Arts Council is pulling out all the stops to get all of you to visit – live!

One of the highlights of the annual Sullivan County Fall Festival, the Art Expo invites artists from across north central Pennsylvania and southern New York to compete for prizes totaling $1200. What’s different this tine around?

For one thing, the already generous prizes for winning artists have each been increased by $30 – across the board.

Second, the Clothesline Art Exhibit for grade-school kids, normally held during the Kiwanis WinterFest, has been moved to the Expo for this year only, to make up for the WinterFest’s necessary but unfortunate cancellation last February.

Over the last few years, the Expo has been opened to Sullivan County-based high school students – public, private, home schooled and the Red Rock Job Corps Center. This year, the Arts Council is extending the invitation to high school-level students in surrounding counties as well. Cash prizes will be awarded in the student categories, just as they are for the adult work. Funding for prizes is providing by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Claire Aldona Gallagher Trust for the Arts.

Invitations and application forms, both email and postal mail, have been sent out to hundreds of artists throughout the region. Many of these notices reach galleries where, in turn, they can be passed along to the artists they represent. All official winners, adult and student, will be selected by three judges provided by the Arts Council.

For many visitors to the exhibit in the Blue Building, the chief draw is the People’s Choice Award: Visitors get to vote for their personal favorite piece in the show; votes for People’s Choice usually run to 400-500 entries (despite the strictly imposed limit of “one-person, one-vote”). This award is a vindication for the winning artist that their work is not only appreciated by the artistic cognoscenti, but genuinely enjoyed by those who might like the see it gracing their living room. The People’s Choice winning artist receives $200 ($230 in this gala year).

The Art Expo will be open in the Blue Building in the Forksville Fairgrounds, October 8-9, 10 am to 4 pm (or 5 pm, if visitors are still streaming through – we don’t chase people away).

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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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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