The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 17, 2012

Want to keep up with the arts? Better get busy!

Contributed Content

SHENANGO VALLEY — Editor's Note: This is the first in a regular series by local artist Alane Jewel that highlights the various art events and activities that are happening in the greater Shenango Valley area.

By Alane Jewel

It always feels good to sit down and write, it’s even better to take a moment out of my day to write about the arts. It’s a pretty exciting time for our region with the upstart of so many new art opportunities and events for artists and the community to take advantage of. Although I’ve been trying to take it easy and kick back to focus on my own painting, I’m surprised looking at my calendar to see how busy the next few weeks will be trying to keep up with our sprouting art scene. I’ve tried to include links to each events Facebook pages below to help you stay in the loop on the local arts.

With the warmer weather upon us, nothing beats some time spent outside in the sun. Artie Gras, a weekly outdoor artist bazaar, kicked off this week and will continue from 6 to 10 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 13 off the back patio of Quaker Steak & Lube in Sharon. There’s live music to enjoy and a variety of artists representing different mediums from jewelry to fine art oil paintings by artist Phil Meyers to visit with each week.

New this year, Rosewood Vintage Guitars in Sharon is hosting a Front Porch Acoustic Jam from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 27. Expect to see the yard covered in chairs and blankets enjoying the talents of area musicians. Bring your family and sprawl on the lawn too, sounds like the place to be!

Next weekend also make an effort to check out the New Castle Arts Fest. It began two years ago in downtown New Castle along the river but has a moved to a two-day event May 26 and 27 in Cascade Park. Walk the spacious grounds by the falls and enjoy art vendors including painters, sculptors, blown glass, photographers and handcrafted jewelry makers, live entertainment, food and there’s also a 5K this year.

Thinking about taking a class this summer? New to the area is the Bottle Tree Creative Arts House, owned by Anna Marie Rahuba, located next to Ferraras and the Nittany in Sharon. She begins piano lessons, acting, watercolor and knitting classes as well as a book club that meets in her multi-functional art space next week. I will be teaching “kiddo” art classes for ages 4 and up and “lil ones” classses with mom and toddlers ages 3 and under. I will also offer “cork and canvas” classes by appointment for groups of girlfriends, fun with wine and paint, at the Bottle Tree. I encourage folks to pop by and see what Anna Marie is up to in her new space.

The 29 Logan Art Gallery & Gift Shoppe on Logan Ave. on the west hill in Sharon also offers classes this summer and is hosting an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 3. There are plenty of new vendors and a wide ever-changing selection to shop from at 29 Logan. If you are looking for a gift, take the time to get up there, browse around and find something handmade and original to share with your loved one.

Would you love to learn or brush up on your pottery skills? Talk to Christian Kuharik of Circle K Pottery. He provides classes, consultation, pottery supplies, equipment, kiln building and about “everything else that goes with clay.” He will be working and offering classes of the out building at Whispering Pines Park, beside the Hermitage Historical Society on Rt. 62 near the Hermitage VFW. Classes start June 14 and are just about full but, don’t worry, Christian will be offering more classes throughout the summer.

The James E. Winner Arts & Cultural Center in downtown Sharon is offering a slew of classes this summer and has local fine art adorning its walls. They are planning an open house in June to spotlight the artists who have work hanging within the facility.

Have you checked out the Fresh Grounds Coffeehouse yet? It’s amazing and you’ll be pleased at the ambiance you’ll enjoy there. Ben Beck at Fresh Grounds in Greenville has proudly shared that they have received all the funds for their new elevator, which allows us access to their upstairs gallery and studio space. They will host an art auction July 5, as a kick-off for Greenville Heritage Days. Doors will open at 6 p.m. the auction will begin at 8 p.m. I am excited to donate a piece to this event. Tickets for the event can be bought by emailing or calling 724-588-8171 for reservations. Fresh Grounds Art Program is also offering three classes: May 28 (Graphic Design) May 29 (Experimental Art) and May 30 (Photography). More information and a registration form can be found at, click on the artists link!

Don’t forget about the Hermitage Arts Fest held July 14 and 15 on the grounds behind the Hermitage Municipal Building offering live music, great food and art, it’s always top notch. I’ve set up at the arts fest since 2004 and its one of my favorite area summer events to mingle with the community and fellow artisans while we share our work.

These are only a small sampling of the great many things developing in our immediate area on the arts front, I encourage everyone to step out and take in a few of these experiences to celebrate the summer season. Hope to see you at one of them soon!

Alane Jewel lives in Sharon with her husband Steve and two dogs, Maddie and Duke. She is a local painter who enjoys writing, celebrating great things to do in our region and social media marketing. Info: