The Arts are alive and well in Shohola

| 28 May 2015 | 02:33

    Word has gotten around, according to Nick Roes, who rented a building in December and has watched a dream for an artists market and community center in Shohola unfold.

    The retired executive director of the New Hope Manor, an all female substance abuse rehabilitation center said that he learned a lot from the women there. When he retired, he saw a need for something that would draw creative people together in the area.

    Born in Bergen County, N.J. but a resident of this area since the 1980's, Nick who is also an artist saw an opportunity when he went to check out the building at 114 Richardson Ave.

    It used to be a fire department, then a town hall, then a health food store.

    Now, he says, “The whole community can come here and share something.”

    Every month the venues change. Artists take turns exhibiting, teaching classes, and performing. There are discussion groups, creative conversation. An example of one of the discussion groups was the subject of beauty, whether it really is in the eye of the beholder or subjective.

    The first thing Nick did to get started was to reach out to the Barryville Area Arts Association. He then created a Facebook page and invited people to share the word that this was to be a community oriented center for creative people to both participate in and enjoy.

    Artists responded by offering to teach classes and wanting to exhibit there. There are classes in many different mediums and range between $45 and $75 with materials included. There are writing workshops and poetry in addition to the art classes. Many of the classes sell out quickly because they try to limit capacity between eight to 10 people for a more quality experience.

    “We prefer smaller more intimate gatherings,” said Nick, who also teaches an eight-week class entitled “How to Be Happy” for $45.

    He believes that the reason for such a spontaneous positive response to the center has been that “people are motivated by love, not money.”

    Some of the people who came to perform music at the center for their grand opening have played with famous people, for example, there were people who played jazz with Herbie Hancock. It is easy to hear the enthusiasm in Nick's voice as he describes the activities that have taken place there in such a short time.

    Nick says that he has made more friends through starting this venture than he has in his 25 years of living in the area.

    The Center is open on weekends and for events or by classes scheduled during the week. Every month the classes, exhibits and performance schedules change. The best thing to do to keep up with events and classes being offered there is to do a search for the Artists Market Community Center page on Facebook and like the page. There is no charge to become a member to the Artists Market Community Center.

    It is Nick's hope that it continues to grow. The fact that so many people have become a part of it so quickly is encouraging, even if it is because it is something new to come to the area.

    Some of the local artists besides Nick Roes, who have become a part of the community include: Bill Bakalis, Anthony Biancoviso, Daria Dorosh, Rebecca Esposito, Laura Gagliardi, Mef Gannon, Kate and Karli Kozel, Alexis-Briana Kramer, Claudine Luchsinger, Joseph Petrosi, Kelly Ryan, Anna Van Gaasbeek, and Brad Walrod.

    “We have fish made from fence posts, decorative tie flies, jewelry, ceramics, photography, and sculpture, as well as artwork done in oil, acrylic, colored pencil, pen and ink, pastels, watercolor, and art markers,” said Nick.

    A monthly discussion group, “Artistic Differences”, is forming to debate topics of interest to the art community. It’s scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. on the last Sunday of the month, at the Artists’ Market Community Center, 114 Richardson Avenue, Shohola.

    Each month, local artists or other interested parties take turns acting as moderator or panelists. It’s free and open to the public, who are welcome to put their two cents in, or just listen. Complimentary refreshments provided by The Artists’ Market Community Center, 114 Richardson Avenue, Shohola.

    To attend, serve as a moderator, or be a panelist, or have an idea for a topic, contact