Arts and Community

Just Driving By

Theresa Spitler took home first prize in 2-D art at the Fall Art Expo for the second year running,  for her pastel, “Just Driving by.”

Music, the ultimate aphrodisiac

OK, that’s a cheat, but it got your attention, didn’t it? We’re really talking about this year’s Ultimate Music Weekend

Fans of the Celtic Martins know what to expect because they’ve never been disappointed: nine (or more) of the Martin family rolling through a wide range of tunes from Ireland and Scotland, with guitars, drums, bagpipes, penny whistles and up to 5 fiddles in the mix. Then there’s the step-dancing, which adds visual beauty and the clatter of shoes to the sweep of musical sound. As if that wouldn’t be enough, the whole shebang ends up with the three daughters playing fiddle and step-dancing at the same time.

What really sets the Martins off is how they pull the audience directly into their enthusiasm. Come and dance in the aisles.

Bob Milne has been here before and left his audience in awe (“awe, that’s just not possible, nobody can do that with a piano”). The world’s leading proponent of the ragtime and boogie keyboard, Bob has travelled the world and been recorded by the Library of Congress, as well as being the subject of neurological experiments to uncover how his unique brain functions – Bob’s mind can envision, and listen to, four symphony orchestras simultaneously, a feat so far not recorded by another human being, musician or otherwise. 

But that’s not the reason to attend a Milne concert. It’s to hear crystal-clear piano playing, from slow to rampaging speed, delivered along with some marvelously painless musical education, as Bob demonstrates how a tune starts and is constructed on the keyboard. To top it off, he’s a charming guy with a sneaky wit.

As noted last week, a two-hour-plus sing-along and potluck will take place between the two concerts. Bring food, bring your voice, bring you instrument, bring your appetite, bring your grandma and grandkids. 

The Ultimate Music Weekend –November 3 at St. Basil’s Hall, Dushore – begins  with the Celtic Martins at 2 pm, followed by the sing-along at 4 pm and Bob Milne at 7. The potluck and sing-along are free. Tickets for each concert are $10 for adults, $1 for students through high school, pre-school free. A day pass is available for $15.

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Art Expo winners

The pleasant (and unexpected) appearance of the sun during the Fall Festival led to happy faces and high attendance at the annual Art Expo in the fairgrounds Blue Building. Visitors studied the artwork carefully and appreciatively and voted for the People’s Choice Award in near record numbers.

The attempt to bring in high school work from outside the Sullivan County district did not, this time, have high response, probably because the decision to include them was made too late in the season. Next year, the call will go out earlier. However, the local student work in competition brought out much positive comment and heavy voting.

Among the official adult winners, chosen by judges Dan Curry, Ron Lent and Linda Roman, Theresa Spitler once again took first prize in 2-D art for her pastel, “Just Driving By.” Second prize went to Frank Rump’s “Reflection,” an oil painting of a woodland stream. Diana Novosel‘s watercolor, “Guiness,” was granted third prize.

Kathy Görg swept all three 3-D prizes for her beautiful and delicate ceramic vases and tea cup. In photography, Curtis Salonick‘s “Untitled,” a pastiche of birds in flight and architectural elements, took first prize in photography. Donna Sherwood’s serene “Autumn Covered Bridge” was the second-prize judges’ choice. Third prize also went to Salonick for “Flight.”

Among the high school entries, judged separately, Leah Beinlich was first-prize 2-D winner for her watercolor portrait “Susan,” a girl viewed from behind with bows in her hair. Second prize went to Jodie Stockage for her acrylic, “Castiel.” For third prize, the judges chose Alexis Randall‘s “Full Moon.”

Donald Miley received the top award in student 3-D work for “Car Part Lamp,” a tall desk-lamp construction made from gears and eccentric cams of a car engine. Pilar Pastusic took second with “Cinderella Pumpkin.” Third prize was award to Sam Skoranski for “Kuzco: Guardian of the Aztecs. In student photography, Leona Hatch garnered all three awards, with first prize given for “Falling for You,” a lovely snap of a feathered seed in flight.

The always coveted People’s Choice Award honored Donna Sherwood for “Autumn Bridge.” This prize tells the artist that their work appeals to the broad public as well as to the assigned judges. The Arts Council has found that the voting process also intensifies the visitors’ interest in and careful scrutiny of the artwork.

We will put up the photos of all first-prize winners next week in our archives

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Looking for board members

The SCCA is looking for two new board members to serve starting Feb. 2019. Anyone with a true interest in the arts (of whatever kind) and a desire to put time into volunteer work to make those arts happen is more than welcome to apply. The board meets once a month (except Jan. — really, who would want to meet in Jan.?) at the library in Dushore. Meetings are generally fairly short, spirited in the best sense and collegial. It’s a damned good organization to be part of. If you’re interested or know someone else who might be, send a note to or call 570-928-8927.

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Countywide Calendar

Our Countywide Calendar is set up to list all kinds of public events (except church services and sports) in Sullivan County. So if your organization is sending an event listing to the Sullivan Review and/or Connie Hatch’s S.C.A.N email newsletter, add to you “To:” header. And feel free to put the calendar URL on your organization’s (or even personal) website: We update the Calendar weekly. 

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







Heading photo by Donna Sherwood