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 2015

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 2015 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

Arts Council Begins A Wide-Ranging Year

The new year brings new programs, new ideas and a whole new slate of officers to the Sullivan County Council on the Arts. It also marks the winding up of two of the Council's mainstays of recent years, the eight-play cycle of the Roving Historical Theater and the Covered Bridge Gallery (though the gallery will continue independently under Mike Pennella).

The biggest news comes late in the year with the scheduling of the Ultimate Musical Theater Weekend in November. The second major new project will be a series of temporary visual art exhibits, still in the planning stage.

Another "addition" is actually a temporal relocation: The programs that the Council has been doing annually for the Highlands and Darway care centers will be changed from welcoming the spring equinox to celebrating the summer solstice.

As for the rest, the SCCA will continue its broad array of art awards for youth, some going back close to two decades.

Clothesline Art: The Arts Council will extend its long tradition of prizes for artwork created by children on the first day of the Kiwanis Winterfest, February 14. All the work will be pinned up on clotheslines for public display.

Youth Art Awards: Each April, the SCCA honors visual arts students from the Sullivan County School District, home schoolers and the Red Rock Job Corps Center. In 2014, students entered over 200 art works and the Council distributed roughly $300 in prizes. All entries are exhibited for two weeks at the Sullivan County Library in Dushore.

Theater and Literary Awards: The Theater Award goes to a senior-level student (home or public school) who has done the most for theater over his or her high school career.  The Literary Awards are shared by four winners from throughout the upper grades (home or public school and the Red Rock Job Corps Center). Their work is featured in the annual Hills and Valleys magazine, along with winners of the Youth Art Awards

Choice of Show: At the Sullivan County High School art show in May, SCCA judges pick a single work by a student artist which is purchased from the artist, framed and placed on permanent display in the school hallway.

Roving Historical Theater:For 2015, the Theater is taking a change in direction to become (temporarily?) the Roving Hysterical Theater, introducing the Ultimate Musical Theater Weekend - not a Broadway review, but something quite different and decidedly diverse.

November 6-8, the SCCA will present three diverse performances. First, perennial favorites the Celtic Martins return for their fourth year, bringing a following that appears at virtually every concert the Martins hold in Pennsylvania and nearby states.

Next comes Bob Milne, the greatest living virtuoso of ragtime and boogie piano. Bob has toured the world for the past two decades with his nuanced yet accessible piano playing, his engaging personality and his phenomenal mind. There's no one else, anywhere, like Bob Milne.

Last, and far from least, the series winds up with the Roving Hysterical Theater Vaudeville Revival and Old-Time Nonsense Review. A work in neverending progress, it will mix music, history and humor, with nods to Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Laurel and Hardy, Jimmy Durante and later performers who carried on the traditions that made vaudeville and the American music hall world famous. And it won't just be rehash: There will be plenty of all-new routines, topical jokes and satire, featuring the Undrews Sisters, the Can't-Can't Dancers and the Master of All Known Ceremonies.

Much of the cost of Arts Council programs (especially the youth awards) is covered by those of you who become SCCA members. The Council welcomes people of all ages and also encourages businesses to become members to help support both the arts and the county's tourist economy.

The membership drive is starting, with letters and decals going out to past and potential members. Stated benefits include a 10% discount on SCCA events and a weekly email update. But the real benefit: Your membership offers a gift that gives back, continually, through the talents displayed by Sullivan County kids and adult artists.

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.

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.

"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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