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 2014-15

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.

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

Looking Ahead

Artisans Holiday Sale Hit New Heights At New Location

A steady stream of customers confirmed the decision by the Sullivan County Council on the Arts to relocate its annual Artisans Holiday Sale to Karen Black's Art Resource Center on Rt. 220. Ample parking, easy access and an intimate setting all combined to create a friendly, festive atmosphere.

A second change that caught visitors' fancy was the switch from a Chinese auction to free door prizes provided by the vendors: Each adult visitor, whether buying or just looking, filled in one free ticket and dropped it in the paper box next to the item they'd most like to win (see list of donors and winners below). Something for free? Unheard of! So novel an approach that the Arts Council plans to keep it for next year's Artisans Sale.

Seventeen vendors occupied over 20 tables (plus Annette and Nellie Pennella's teeth-chattering outside display). Gifts on sale included (in part) jewelry, painting, pottery, crochet work, alpaca knitware, baby quilts, stained glass, honey, handmade wreaths, tree ornaments, jams and jellies, pies, cookies, scrimshaw, beeswax candles, oil lamps, flannel blankets, tooth-fairy pillows, embroidery and wood art.

The SCCA kitchen staff - Connie Hatch, Carol Jacques and Richard Houck - served up hot dogs, sloppy joes, vegetable and mulligatawny (East Indian chicken) soups, pies, chips, cider, coffee and tea. Michaela Brown and Anastasia Miller oversaw the kids' game and drawing table.

Hers Elf (aka Colleen Engler), Santa's special envoy, toured the tables and took the naughty-and-nice readings of vendors, Arts Council volunteers and random guests.

This year's sale had the spirit of high good cheer that makes the holidays ring like a steeple bell. Look for the same next year. 

Arts Council Elects New Officers

At its November meeting, the Sullivan County Council on the Arts elected a new slate of officers, who will assume their duties January 1, 2015, for a two-year term

Helen Day will serve as president. A multi-talented artist - painter, jewelry designer, potter and furniture maker, to name a few of her talents - managed the Covered Bridge Gallery in Forksville for its all-too-short tenure under Arts Council direction (the gallery will continue its existence with Mike Pennella). Her endless good cheer and booming laugh did not - fortunately - disguise her incisive management talents.

Vice-president-to-be Barb Murray is well known for her long-time stint as a mainstay of the Dushore Music Club, and for her present position as Pennsylvania state president of the National Federation of Music Clubs. As chair of the Arts Council music committee, she has been largely responsible for assembling the talent for next year's Ultimate Music Weekend in November.

Linda White, artistic director of the Roving Historical Theater for eight years and queen bee of the Artisans Holiday Sale, will serve as secretary. Linda's background includes managing the Repertory Company theater group in Philadelphia and over half a century as a potter and ceramic artist (and projection of another booming laugh).

Incoming treasurer Richard Houck, a recently retired auditor, has put those talents to use auditing the Arts Council's books for the past two years. He has also trod the boards for the Roving Historical Theater in multiple roles.

Besides the new officers, the 2015  board, serving staggered two year terms, will include Cat Badger, Derek Davis, Connie Hatch, Bonnie Houck, Vivian McCarty, Amy Brian-McGee, Brenda Miller, Linda Roman and Florence Suarez.

Despite the change of management team, the Arts Council remains an entirely volunteer organization. All officers and board members serve without pay, and the organization has no central office: Work emanates from members' homes, and much of the history and information of the SCCA lives on desktop computers and laptops, or floats quietly in cyberspace.

Where will the Arts Council be headed under its new executive team? That's anybody's guess. As outgoing president Davis notes: "It's good for an organization to get an infusion of new blood. An unchanged leadership can easily grow stale, arrogant, lazy or timid. I think we've avoided that so far. Time to pass the reins to a new charioteer."

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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