Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

4 local writers plan “Author’s Spotlight”

The CNY Arts Center of Fulton has announced its next Author’s Spotlight, an ongoing program where community members can meet local writers who have recently published a book.

The event will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Art Center’s Arts in the HeART Gallery. Four authors will share the stage: Jo Ann Butler, Lisa Davis, John Mercer and Susan Peterson Gateley.

“The evening promises to be a diverse one,” said Jim Farfaglia, writing arts coordinator for the Center.

“Jo Ann Butler writes historical novels, weaving real-life characters into creative stories. Her latest book is Rebel Puritan. Lisa Davis’s book, Fairies in My Flowerbeds, is a magical combination of her poetry and artwork, which she creates using flowers from her garden and a computer software program.

“John Mercer used his experience as a sixth-grade teacher to create a young adult novel entitled They Call Me Zombie, a story about a boy who dies and comes back to life. Susan Peterson Gateley has written several books about life in the Lake Ontario area. Her most recent book, Legends and Lore of Lake Ontario, immerses the reader in long-ago stories of our area’s great lake.”

During the Spotlight program, each author will explain how they wrote their book, read excerpts from it and take questions from the audience.

Afterwards, attendants can meet the authors and purchase a signed copy of their books. Refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend the program.

For more information about the event, call the CNY Arts Center at 592-3373 or visit its website at http://www.cnyartscenter.com.

What’s happening at the CNY Arts Center?

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is less than a month away.

Our Gingerbread House contest kicks off the holiday season for us. Gingerbread creations made by teams or individuals are now on display at the Arts in the HeARTS gallery, 47 S. First St., Fulton. Stop in from now until Dec. 14 to vote for your favorite gingerbread creation.

The winners will be announced at our Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.

Following our Dec. 14 open house, that evening we are planning a lovely dinner – Gifts of the Season Dinner Cabaret. This is a capital fundraising event. We will be serving roast beef and chicken, mashed potatoes, a vegetable and dessert. Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening. Tickets are $25/person; $45/couple. Tickets are available at the gallery or online.

Managers, why not buy a table of eight for your hard-working employees. This is a great way to have your Christmas party with no work on your part!

Have someone on your list who is hard to buy for? Consider giving a piece of art or an art class. A membership in CNY Arts Center is a thoughtful gift that also benefits your community.

Saturday, Dec. 7 will be a full day of art fun. Take part in holiday goodies from 9 a.m. to noon; holiday crafts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and watercolors from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

All classes require pre-registration. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.

Visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com  for all the latest details and updates or call 592-3373. All classes are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton unless otherwise noted.

Remember we bring all arts to all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theatre, and Arty Camp, are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton. Use the Park Street entrance.

Arts in the HeART Gallery is located at 47 S. First St., in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry. Monthly artists’ meet-ups and TH3 Happy Hour also takes place at the gallery. Artists can apply for gallery space online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

CNY Arts Center explore new facility

By Debra J. Groom

CNY Arts Center has an opportunity to put all of its locations under one roof and expand its space to provide more arts events to the city.

But, it needs money.

Executive Director Nancy Fox said a building has been donated to the center, but directors need about $35,000 to gain title to the building and probably another $170,000 to make needed renovations.

Arts center officials  put out a call for donations last week when it mailed its membership renewals for 2014.

Fox said it’s also the end of the year when many individuals and organizations made donations.

“We want to take title and we want to be sure we can afford this building,” Fox said. “Now with people making end-of-the-year giving, we thought it wa a good time to get this news out.”

The former Rite Aid pharmacy located at 503 S. Second St., Fulton has been vacant for nearly two years and the owner has offered to donate it to CNY Arts Center. The building has 14,000 square feet of space.

A notice on the CNY Arts Center website states “just think — 150-seat theatre, 1,250 square foot art gallery, classrooms, coffee bar, dance studio, movie screen, conference room, graphics lab and more!”

“We couldn’t be more excited about the potential of this location, right at the southern entrance to the city on Route 481 with great visibility, parking and access,” Fox said.

“It offers us room to bring all our services together under one roof including theater, an art gallery, a coffee bar, classrooms. a dance studio and more.”

“Of course, it comes with a hefty price tag for renovations and updating so we’re  investigating our options and resources,” Fox said.

Right now, the center’s main site is in the basement of the State St. Methodist Church. She said this site has parking challenges along with accessibility difficulties because it is down stairs.

“The State St. Methodist Church has been wonderfully patient and supportive while we took our first baby steps as an organization,” Fox said. “We’ve grown and learned and we now know what our real needs are.

“The possibility of putting down roots for the arts center all on one level where everyone can easily find us and with ample parking is worth exploring,” she said.

Grants through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) and the federal government are available, but Fox said the center must take title to the building first. That’s why the first $35,000 for the taxes and the architect rendering and feasibility study is needed.

“This is scary but very exciting,” Fox said. “Even though we’re aware of the longevity a project like this can take, we’re launching several events and fundraisers to meet the first costs for engineering assessment and architectural renderings.”

Once the initial $35,000 for the taxes and study are obtained, center officials will apply for government grants and appeal to local governments and businesses for donations.

“This arts center will have an economic impact on the community with potential jobs and countless opportunities for art entrepreneurs,” Fox said. “Once we are in one location, they’ll get in the habit of coming out.”

One of the first fundraisers is the Gifts of the Season Dinner Cabaret,  set for 6 p.m. Dec. 14 in the current Arts Center at 357 State St. Methodist Church in Fulton.

An elegant dinner serenaded by harpist Marcella begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by an evening of musical entertainment from a variety of local performers.

Tickets are limited and available online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com. No tickets will be available at the door.

The CNY Arts Center is just three years old, having been founded in early 2011  by Fox. She had written a letter to the editor of The Valley News discussing her love for the arts and wondering if anyone else in the Fulton area shared her love.

“Fourteen people showed up for the first meeting,” she said. “I think people want the arts and they are really passionate about having it here.”

To contribute to a building fund or for more information visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or  call 592-3373.

There’s still time to view art of Michael Lynne

There is still time to see this month’s featured artist Michael Lynne at the CNY Arts Center Arts in the heART Gallery at 47 S. First St., Fulton.

Lynne has many accomplishments in his career as an artist:

** Featured in the CNY Arts Center Arts in the heART gallery

** Several juried exhibitions including 2013 “Ordinary Everyday Objects,” Still Point Art Gallery Brunswick, Maine, national online exhibit, 2012 International Society of Acrylic Painters Fourth annual online exhibition

** Participated in the 2010 “Oklahoma Friendly” a national juried exhibition

Lynne retired as a high school art instructor in 2006 and since has been working on his paintings and entering his work in art exhibitions.

For the past few years, he has been exploring the world of color and seeking a looser style of applying paint to canvas.

He works in both acrylic and oil and with an occasional work in watercolors.  He teaches a workshop for beginning and intermediate artists called Painting Fundamentals, which explores the “how” of beginning a painting and enriching color.  His classes have been offered at the CNY Arts Center in Fulton.

SUNY Oswego alum returns to campus to perform all roles in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Actor and SUNY Oswego alumnus Carl Whidden will present “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens — performing all of the characters himself — at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego.

While versions of the holiday classic fill many stages this season, Whidden’s evening in Oswego offers a fresh approach to the story.

The veteran artist and 1975 Oswego graduate brings Dickens’ characters to life, from nocturnal spirits to the boy who fetches a turkey on Christmas morning.

For Whidden, his challenging one-actor presentation is also a theatrical homecoming.

Forty years ago this month, he was tapped as a college junior to play Scrooge in the memorable staging conceived, scripted and directed by the late Rosemary S. Nesbitt, then a member of the theatre faculty.

“Having seen Carl’s portrayal of Scrooge in that production, I look forward to experiencing the complete story through his gifts for storytelling,” said Mark Cole, professor of theatre specializing in acting and directing.

“He brings a perfect combination of empathy and humor to comic vignettes like the party given by Mr. Fezziwig and the touching moments with the Cratchit family,” Cole said. “Dickens’ wit and generosity of spirit will come alive in Carl’s performance.”

For the notable 1973 production, Nesbitt re-fashioned the stage to resemble a 19th century Oswego theatre known as Doolittle Hall — complete with a painted Victorian act curtain.

That setting allowed her to add dramatic embellishments to the production like a cameo appearance by Dickens himself. Her research showed the British author could well have visited Oswego during his American tour of 1867.

“Dickens himself often went on the road performing excerpts from his novels, so Carl follows in a time honored tradition,” adds Cole.

Memories of ‘73

More than 150 participants, both college students and children of the community were recruited for six performances in December 1973.

Nesbitt added engaging elements like snowball fights and audience sing-alongs to Dickens’ basic storyline.

Carl Whidden hopes many who remember that ambitious production will attend his performance as a 40th anniversary celebration. His characterizations will be based on Nesbitt’s original script.

Artwork from the 1973 production, loaned by Ellen Stengel Wahl, will be on view following the program. Wahl, who served as a student scene designer that year, now directs the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Oswego County in the college’s Office of Business and Community Relations. Her husband, Mark Wahl, designed the original lighting.

When John Shaffer, Artswego coordinator for the college, called Ellen Wahl this spring, she knew right where to find the renderings she’d done for the Nesbitt production.

“I had made Christmas presents of them to my parents,” Wahl said. She retrieved, from her mother’s former home on Long Island, the 15- by 30-inch sketches that had been enlarged to 15 by 30 feet, loaning them to Artswego’s present-day performance by that long-ago “Scrooge.”

“What a great idea” of Whidden’s, Wahl said. “Forty years — I think it’s so cool. “

Tickets for “A Christmas Carol” with Carl Whidden cost $18 ($5 for students and children).

For more information, an artist video and a link for ticket purchases, visit oswego.edu/arts. Tickets also may be purchased at any SUNY Oswego box office location, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.

Patrons with disabilities needing assistance should call 312-2141 prior to the performance. Parking is included in the cost of the ticket, and is available in the employee and commuter lots in front of and to the east of Culkin Hall. Hewitt Union may be entered from the east or west sides.

Palermo woman chosen to have artwork displayed in senator’s office

A budding watercolor painter from Palermo was selected to have her artwork grace the office of state Sen. Patricia Ritchie through her “Senator Patty Ritchie Celebrates Local Artists” program, an initiative organized to highlight local talent from Central and Northern New York.

Nearly two dozen artists have been featured through the program, which showcases local artists from the region with free public displays of artwork in the senator’s district offices in Oswego, Watertown and Ogdensburg.

“From painters to photographers, our region is home to so many individuals with a broad range of talents,” Ritchie said. “I’m so pleased to be able to celebrate their creativity and draw attention to those who are creating works of art right here in our backyard.”

Phyllis DiSalvo of Palermo, who began watercolor painting in 2008, has her work exhibited now in Ritchie’s office at 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego. DiSalvo continues to grow as an artist by learning new techniques using different types of media. 

Great holiday gift giving at CNY Arts Center

perfect holiday gift for anyone artistic, who likes to express themselves or who just likes the arts.

During the month of December, the Center is offering gift certificates called “Artist Monthly Membership” that will provide aspiring artists their choice of a month of classes at the Center beginning in January .

“The idea of this unique gift is to give someone who wants to explore their art a little nudge,” said Alice Lamb, Program Coordinator for the Art Center.

“We hear of many people who say they’d just love to learn how to paint, write their memoir or bake delicious desserts, but don’t ever do it. This gift is a way to open that creative door for them,” Lamb said.

The gift certificate can be redeemed at the Arts Center, located at 357 State St., Fulton in the State St. Methodist Church, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 for the soon-to-be artists’ first two-hour session.

There they will meet Culinary Arts Instructor Diane Sokolowski, Studio Arts Instructor Kendra Matott and Writing Arts Instructor Jim Farfaglia who will provide participants with a short demo on what they will be exploring in their art genre in the coming weeks.

Students can “dabble” in each of the three genres to see which they want to take.

The remaining three sessions (all will run from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays) will allow students to choose the genre they want to work in — or to try all three throughout the month.

Topics will range from creating yummy appetizers to learning how to creating artwork using Photoshop to capturing your favorite school memories in a short story form.

Gift givers can purchase certificates for the month of January or for the two-month period of January and February.

Certificates are available at the CNY Arts Center or at the Arts in the HeART Gallery, located at 47 S. First St., Fulton.

For more information about this program contact the Arts Center at 592-3373 or visit their website at www.cnyartscenter.com

Famed trumpeter to play at SUNY Oswego

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Gifted trumpeter Brian Shaw will appear Dec. 5 and 6 in free SUNY Oswego concerts featuring college ensembles.

Shaw, a member of Louisiana State University’s music faculty, will perform with the college’s Big Band in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

That show will feature works by Duke Ellington, Kenny Wheeler, Pat Metheny and arrangements made famous by Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band. The Latin Jazz Ensemble also will perform.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Waterman Theatre, Shaw will perform with the college Wind Ensemble in Fisher Tull’s “Rhapsody.”

“Brian Shaw is a fantastic trumpet player and highly accomplished performer in classical and jazz music,” said his host, percussionist Eric Schmitz of the SUNY Oswego music faculty.

“We went to school together at Eastman in the early 2000s, so this will be a ‘reunion’ of sorts,” Schmitz said.

An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, Shaw plays Baroque as well as prize-winning modern trumpet, and has performed throughout North America, including Trinity Church on Wall Street, Music City Baroque in Nashville and Boston Early Music Festival.

His CD, “Virtuoso Concerts for Clarino,” includes what are considered some of the most difficult pieces written for trumpet.

Parking for those without a current campus parking sticker is $1. Visit oswego.edu/administration/parking for information on obtaining a day-use permit.

For more information about these and other end-of-year concerts, visit oswego.edu/arts or contact the SUNY Oswego music department at 312-2130.