Hot spots- Iron pours, exhibits and more planned around gathering

Hot spots- Iron pours, exhibits and more planned around gathering

Strike while the iron’s hot over five days in Northeast Pennsylvania.
International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art, or ICCCIA, makes itself at home at various sites throughout the region for Fire at the Furnace Week from Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 2. Dozens of activities, exhibitions, demonstrations and more will take place around the region that focus on the historical, cultural and technical influence of cast iron. Most events are free.
Weekend Times ironed out the details about the places and events of ICCCIA.
The conference
ICCCIA provides a chance for professionals, amateurs and enthusiasts to meet, learn and work with other iron artists and workers through panels, conferences, networking events and demonstrations. Keynote speaker Carolyn Ottmers, a nationally recognized artist and educator, will address the crowd Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. at Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave. For a full list of conference events or to register, visit icccia.com.

Art
Outdoor exhibits
 “Digital Iron,” features student and faculty works produced among Alfred University, National Casting Center and East Stroudsburg University; opening reception, Tuesday, May 29, 3 to 4 p.m., Dansbury Depot, 5 S. Kistler St., East Stroudsburg.
 “Confluence” outdoor sculpture exhibition, large iron sculptures installed at several sites along Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, Tuesday, May 29, through May 30, 2019; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 12:30 to 2 p.m., Love Road at West Olive Street, Scranton
Participating art galleries
A gallery tour coinciding with the opening receptions will take place Thursday, May 31, beginning at Linder Gallery, Keystone College, La Plume, at 4 p.m.
 “Data Dreams and Improbable Objects,” exhibit transforms conceptual data forms into tangible sculptures; through July 6, Linder Gallery, Keystone College, 1 La Plume Road, La Plume; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 4 to 5 p.m.
 “New Frontiers,” juried exhibition emphasizes the idea of time, travel, movement, place, space and connections; Monday, May 28, through Monday, Sept. 3, Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 5:15 to 6 p.m.
 “Intent: A Tool Show,” highlights tools and materials used to create sculptures such as jigs, patterns, ideas, software and tools; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Suraci Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
 “Transformed: Digital to Corporeal,” features works created with digital fabrication techniques such as 3-D scanning, 3-D printing, CNC Milling and robotics; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Kresge Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
 “Ferrous Wheel,” features works by ICCCIA steering committee; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Mahady Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
 “Partners in Process,” curated works from the Maslow Collection that reflect conference theme; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Maslow Study Gallery for Contemporary Art at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
 “Liquid Earth,” Hope Horn Gallery at Hyland Hall, University of Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 7 to 8 p.m.
Luzerne County galleries
A morning gallery trip to Avoca and Wilkes-Barre exhibits begins Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m.
 “Iron Maidens II: Made in Wales,” works by female iron sculptors, through June 3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, 100 Terminal Road, Avoca
 “Solid Gone,” works by 42 international artists whose work addresses impermanence, through Aug. 4, Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, 141 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre; opening reception, Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to noon
Travel events
 Ferrous Flyer train tour, Tuesday, May 29; departs at noon from Scranton; stops in Gouldsboro, Cresco and East Stroudsburg before arriving back in Scranton at 7:30 p.m.; features cast iron performances, food and beverages.
 Bethlehem day trip, Friday, June 1; departs at 9 a.m. from Radission at Lackawanna Station hotel; arrives between 10:30 and 11 a.m. at National Museum of Industrial History and includes tours of industrial sites around city and lunch; returns to Radisson at 4 p.m.
For tickets or more information, visit icccia.com.
First Friday
These events will take place Friday, June 1, as part of Scranton’s First Friday Art Walk, which starts at 5 p.m.
 “Burst Mode: Photography and Iron,” second floor, AFA Galley, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
 “That’s What She Said,” first floor, AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
 “Traces of Beauty: Mark Making with Iron,” Marquis Art and Frame, 515 Center St.
 “The Days of Ore,” Camerawork Gallery, 515 Center St.
 “Size Matters,” conference headquarters, Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
 “Ef (Fe) ct,” conference headquarters, Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
 “The Railroad Exhibition,” Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St.
 “On Track,” Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St.
 “Temple of the Heart & River of Iron” film screening, Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St.
 “Behind the Conference,” exhibition of previous and current ICCCIA conference chairs, Bogart Court, 518 Lackawanna Ave.
Live iron pours
 Dansbury Depot, 5 E. Kistler St., East Stroudsburg, Tuesday, May 29, 3 p.m.
 Gouldsboro Train Station, 543 Main St., Tuesday, May 29, 5:30 p.m.
 Bogart Court, 518 Lackawanna Ave., Friday, June 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
 Scranton Iron Furnaces, 159 Cedar Ave., Tuesday, May 29, 8 p.m.; Wednesday, May 30, 9:30 p.m.; Friday, June 1, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 2, 8 to 10 p.m.

A new day Scranton Tomorrow celebrating 25th anniversary with party

A new day Scranton Tomorrow celebrating 25th anniversary with party

If Scranton looks different than it did 25 years ago, Scranton Tomorrow has something to do with that.
The nonprofit group — which partners with organizations, businesses and volunteers throughout the city to work as a catalyst for change — celebrates its silver anniversary this year.
To mark the occasion, a cocktail party and celebration will take place tonight, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave. Tickets are $50 and are for sale in advance online at scrantontomorrow.org and at the door.
“It’s a way to come out for everything that’s grown and changed in the city in the past 25 years,” said Laurie Cadden, who co-chairs the event with Randy Williams. “It’s going to be a fabulous night.”
The night will include a short program and honor past volunteers. Cocktail hour runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and then gourmet dinner stations will open from 7 to 9. Guests can enjoy an open bar and entertainment by Picture Perfect Singers and DJ Edwin.
The organization has a lot to celebrate, noted board member and past president Andrea Mulrine. Scranton Tomorrow started in 1992 to implement and develop initiatives to make the city a better place to live, work and enjoy, she said. For more than 20 years, the organization acted as a liaison between downtown businesses and the city.
The creation of public access channel ECTV continues to be a paramount moment in Scranton Tomorrow’s history, Mulrine said, as it made local government proceedings available to everyone. 
The group also is responsible for implementing dozens of initiatives, such as facade grants to local business Horizon Dental, the annual CityPride cleanup, maintenance of planters and street islands, and relighting the Electric City sign atop Electric Building (with the help of UNICO Scranton, which supplied the bulbs).
Scranton Tomorrow’s events include the Downtown Drive-In Movie Series on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, the Holiday Window Showcase, Winter in the City cocktail parties, Small Business Saturday, Scranton’s 150th Birthday Celebration and the original First Night, a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.
Incoming president and city business owner Joshua Mast said Scranton Tomorrow’s role in driving people downtown for events and activities makes up part of its mission.
“We want people to come into downtown and know there’s always something going on, that it’s safe and that they can have a great, fun night in Scranton,” said Mast, a longtime board member. “Downtown should be a destination for everyone, and Scranton Tomorrow, along with its partnerships, have continued to do that.”
While the night looks back on the past 25 years, it also celebrates the future, with Scranton Tomorrow taking on a new role as the city’s downtown economic development partner.
The first initiative in its goal of creating a Business Improvement District is transforming a vacant lot at Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street into a pocket park. Scranton Tomorrow will partner with local organizations and government on the project.
“This organization has evolved — and continues to evolve — due to this community’s support and our great partnerships with businesses and organizations,” executive director Leslie Collins said. “Now, as (Scranton Tomorrow) assumes our new role, we’re all working toward the same goal. … It’s like we have a new energy. This is an exciting time for us.”

Makeup the difference – You don’t have to be Irish to wear these Parade Day looks

Makeup the difference – You don’t have to be Irish to wear these Parade Day looks

On Scranton’s most festive occasion, it’s all about the wearing o’ the green from head to toe.
Weekend Times focuses on the former with Parade Day makeup looks.
Keiera Kisel, makeup artist and owner of KeieraLanay MUA in Archbald, gave tips on how to stand out in a sea of green on Parade Day.
Find inspiration
From clover green and the colors of the Irish flag to shimmering gold or a bright rainbow, possibilities for Parade Day makeup looks are endless.
To find ideas, look no further than social media. Use hashtags on Instagram or keywords on YouTube to search for tutorials from all over the globe. Also, a trial-run beforehand is a must.
Delicate or dramatic
Whether going big or going small with your makeup, you don’t have to be blah when expressing “Erin Go Bragh.”
Keep it simple by focusing on a single area to go all out, Kisel suggested. Whether it be a dramatic eye or a bright lip, keep the rest of the face basic.
If you don’t want to go too far with your look, Kisel suggested subtle looks to celebrate Parade Day. A simple pop of color or glitter along the crease of your eye or a bright green lip can go a long way. 
Whatever you choose, let your imagination take over.
Live in color
Whether serious or subtle, color is everything for Parade Day makeup looks.
Kisel suggested using highly pigmented eyeshadows to create looks. Makeup Geek eyeshadows in shades of green such as Fuji, Shimmermint, Limelight, Voodoo and Jester can be worn on the eyelid for full color, or smudged under the lash line for a subtle pop of color.
Liquid lipsticks — cropping up in beauty shops and drugstores alike in funkier colors — also make for long-lasting, waterproof pigments to use on skin.
Besides pigments, gems, glitter, stickers and stencils are your best tools for taking your look to the next level, Kisel said.
Can’t find the right shade of green lipstick for a Parade Day pout? Create your own. Mix green eyeshadow with petroleum jelly for a custom shade.
Make it last
A good base and a good finish make all the difference. For the best results, use makeup primer to fill in pores, lines and creases and help makeup or paint go on smoother.
On the eyes, start with a primer before you lay down your pigment, Kisel said.
“This ensures colors won’t crease, blend effortlessly and remain vibrant throughout the day,” she said, suggesting a soft, long-wear primer such as MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot to keep shadow in place.
To ensure your look stays put, set anything liquid- or cream-based with a translucent powder or, for more vibrancy, use eyeshadow.
Take it off
After a day of shamrocks and shenanigans, it’s important to safely and correctly remove the makeup just as carefully as you applied it.
“Removing your makeup at the end of the night is just as important if not more than the actual final look you want to achieve,” Kisel said.
The makeup artist suggested Estée Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover to take away powder eyeshadow and other eye makeup without oily residue. For a handheld option, try Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes to erase any trace of eye and face makeup.

SNOW DATE  ALT 92.1’s show storms into F.M. Kirby Center with homegrown talent

SNOW DATE ALT 92.1’s show storms into F.M. Kirby Center with homegrown talent

In her teens, Brianna Collins sang along to Dashboard Confessional’s impassioned lyrics and felt moved by the band’s stirring melodies.
This weekend, Collins, along with fellow Tigers Jaw band member Ben Walsh, will share a stage with Dashboard Confessional during the inaugural ALT 92.1 Snow Show.
The show takes place Sunday, Jan. 28, at 6:15 p.m. at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Tickets to the Times-Shamrock Communications radio station’s concert are $20 to $35 general admission or $92.10 for VIP and Meet and Greet. Tickets can be purchased at kirbycenter.org.
In addition to Dashboard Confessional and Scranton-borne Tigers Jaw, acts on the show also include indie pop band AJR and one-man project SYML.
Dashboard Confessional’s music became synonymous with young love and heartbreak in the 2000s, thanks to its songs — including “Hands Down” and “Vindicated” — appearing on teen TV dramas and movie soundtracks of the time. Walsh became friends with Dashboard’s Chris Carrabba some years ago, Collins said, but this is Tiger Jaw’s first time performing on the same bill as the band.
“It’s just very cool to play with a band you grew up listening to that still makes great music,” Collins said during a recent phone interview from her home in Kingston. “To do it in Wilkes-Barre and have that be a hometown show, that makes it even better.” 
Though Tigers Jaw is based out of the region, the band tours throughout the country and parts of the world. Aside from the annual NEPA Holiday Show with fellow natives the Menzingers, Collins said she and Walsh don’t get the chance to play to their hometown crowd often.
“I’m just excited to play the Kirby Center,” she said. “It’s nice to play at a venue that’s literally across the bridge from where I live.”
Tigers Jaw released their fifth studio album “Spin” last spring, which Collins said, after lineup changes, is the first that only included she and Walsh. They’re eager to play songs from their new album, she said, but the band also doesn’t want to disappoint those who enjoy their earlier music. Fans can expect a good mix of both old and new at the Kirby Center stop.
“We’re overall just ecstatic to have new music out and play shows and play the news songs,” Collins said, adding “Spin” also marks the first album she wrote for. “That’s always fun and special to get to do.”
After their hometown gig, Tigers Jaw will get ready to embark on a European tour. When not touring, Collins said she and Walsh (who lives in Philadelphia) are typically working on things to promote the band, which doesn’t allow for much downtime.
Their hard work pays off, however, as fans all over the world who enjoy the band’s melodic indie punk. Collins also recalled her brother, a local high school teacher, told her he notices his students wearing Tigers Jaw merchandise, which makes her happy.
“This is or full time job,” she said. “We’re living our dreams.”
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If you go
What: ALT 92.1 Snow Show featuring Dashboard Confessional, Tigers Jaw, AJR and SYML
When: Sunday, Jan. 28, 5 p.m. doors open, 6:15 p.m. show starts
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
Details: Tickets are $20 to $35 general admission or $92.10 for VIP and Meet and Greet. Tickets can be purchased at kirbycenter.org.

American dream  Tony winner, Hamilton’s Odom brings smooth, crisp sound to Wyoming Seminary stage

American dream Tony winner, Hamilton’s Odom brings smooth, crisp sound to Wyoming Seminary stage

Leslie Odom Jr. follows his passion. The man is non-stop.
The Tony Award-winning performer has been on a whirlwind since he rose to fame as Aaron Burr in hip-hop Broadway musical juggernaut “Hamilton.” Odom earned critical acclaim and several accolades including a Tony Award, for his portrayal of the charismatic, vulnerable and complicated founding father.
When he left the show in 2016, Odom kept pushing further, pursuing a solo career and touring to spread his love of performing to fans around the country.
He brings his multifaceted solo show to the area on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. when he performs at Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston.
“I’m kind of lucky I get to bring as much of myself in able to into the work,” Odom said during a recent phone interview, enroute to travel from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. “It’s all deeply personal to me, touring and connecting with fans in a more open way. … I’m up there telling the stories about my life and singing songs I love.”
Since 2016, Odom put out two albums: a self-titled work of jazz standards, showtunes and originals he released just before his exit from Broadway and “Simply Christmas,” which is full the performer’s crisp, smooth take on seasonal classics.
These works can be expected during his stop in Kingston, but Odom promised fans that’s not all. He doesn’t believe in people leaving disappointed after a concert and will perform some songs from “Hamilton” plus selections from other work he’s known for, including NBC’s musical television show “Smash.”
Many of these songs take on different meanings for Odom during his concerts. When performing “Hamilton” songs, like “Dear Theodosia,” a ballad Burr and Hamilton sing about their children, or “Wait For It,” on Burr’s undying determination, he’s singing these as himself, which transports the music into a different realm.
“Songs from the show are really nice to perform out of context,” he explained. “Bringing it in to a concert, you get to color outside the lines. Some songs take on new meaning when it’s not Aaron Burr singing it.”
In between making music and touring, Odom’s kept busy acting, like appearing in last year’s “Murder on the Orient Express” alongside Daisy Ridley, and continues to pursue different avenues. His book, “Failing Up” is due out in March and is written in the style of a commencement speech. The narrative details how Odom’s greatest successes came from his greatest risks and how he allowed himself to be open to defeat.
“The better part of it is the story of how everything in my life turned around the first time I gave myself permission to fail,” he said. 
Odom worked as an actor on stage and television before landing his big break but admits it was a challenge. He kept working toward his goal and what made him feel alive but success didn’t happen immediately.
“That can be the biggest eye roll, ‘Yeah, but you had ‘Hamilton,’ but I didn’t know that seven or eight years ago, struggling, trying to get jobs,” Odom said with a laugh. “I didn’t know that the role of a lifetime would come to me. I was just following my passion and my heart. … and eventually found my way to ‘Hamilton.’”
Odom’s advice to young people finding their path echoes his own life. He encourages anyone to surround themselves with what makes them happiest. Whether it be a career in performing arts, math or medicine, keep moving toward it and be open to where it takes you.
“Read about, talk about it, learn as much as you can about it. Follow your passion and those things will love you back,” he said. “Keep walking toward those things that light you up. … I didn’t know take this step, then take this step. I just loved it, you know? I loved it and found a way to dream myself into the world I loved so much.”
Odom took the holidays to unplug and clear his mind and is coming into the new year feeling refreshed, focused and balanced. He’s ready to continue to challenge himself and to reach as many people as he can through his passion.
“(It’s) the fact that I got to express myself in such a way that felt total and complete and now get to sort of be the architect of the rest of my journey and go where my inspiration leads,” he said. “It’s that I get to go around the country and meet fans and people who didn’t have a chance to see the show and some that may never get to go to New York (City) to see the show. We get to bring it to them.”

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If you go
What: Sem Presents! featuring Leslie Odom Jr.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston
Details: Tickets are $35-$70 and can be purchased online at wyomingseminary.org/arts/sempresents.

Tunkhannock native shoots for stars on  ‘Vanderpump Rules’

Tunkhannock native shoots for stars on ‘Vanderpump Rules’

Like many 20-somethings, Adam Spott works several jobs.
The Tunkhannock native living in Santa Monica, California, acts and models, appearing in short films and print campaigns. And with Circle 8 Productions, Spott also works on the production side of things, including lifestyle TV shows in the Los Angeles area.
Though, TV viewers might know him from his side gig as a bartender at West Hollywood hot spot SUR restaurant and lounge, the setting for Bravo reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”
Named for SUR owner and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast member Lisa Vanderpump, the show, now in its sixth season, follows the lives of the staff members as they build their futures. Spott said many service industry workers in Los Angeles are aspiring actors, models, singers, writers and directors, and “Vanderpump Rules” follows cast members outside of work as well. There, relationships between employees and staff members often come to a head.
“They definitely picked a good (main) crew to follow if they wanted drama,” Spott said, laughing, during a recent phone interview. “It’s always entertaining, that’s for sure.” 
Spott’s first foray in the service industry came far away from the cameras and lights. As a teenager in Wyoming County, Spott worked at StoneHedge Golf Course in Factoryville and went on to nab jobs and internships at other country clubs, including Glen Oak County Club in Clarks Summit.
A 2007 graduate of Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School, Spott headed to Florida State University to pursue a degree in hospitality management. In Florida, Spott waited tables, bartended and worked other jobs throughout college. He also interned at The Club at Las Camapnas in New Mexico in supervisor positions.
“I always wanted to work in the service industry (and) wanted to do that kind of work,” Spott said.
After college, Spott bounced around the southeast, from Jacksonville, Florida, to Orlando and, finally, Atlanta, where he worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative. When a regional magazine picked him as one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors, an Atlanta-based modeling agency approached him about signing a contract, and he started to book print and commercial work.
Soon after, Spott signed with modeling agency Wilhelmina Models nationally and knew he wanted to make the leap to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
“I figured I always wanted to be out here, and if there was ever a time to go after what I wanted to do, might as well strike while the iron was hot,” he said. “That’s more or less what sent me 3,000 miles across the country.”
Los Angeles’ schedule was a shock to Spott. For someone aiming for a career in the entertainment industry, no work is guaranteed, and Spott quickly had to find a different way to make money with the flexibility to pursue his dream.
“I was so set in a 9-to-5 (schedule), being on salary; that career path was what I was used to,” he said. “I learned pretty quick how expensive (the cost of living is), how people have so many different avenues of income. I needed a part-time job, with the ups and downs of modeling and acting.”
Spott said he didn’t know what “Vanderpump Rules” was initially, but he was aware of SUR and was confident in his service experience to apply to be a bartender. He was selected and sent to bartending classes in the city to hone his skills. He began as a barback and worked his way up to bartender after a few months.
His position at SUR placed him in good company to further his entertainment career, too. Spott’s good friend and fellow employee (and original cast member of “Vanderpump Rules”), Scheana Marie, introduced Spott to his gig with the production company. Restaurant staff know Vanderpump encourages her employees to pursue careers outside of SUR. 
“She’s always looking out for you, and she knows how difficult it can be to move to a city like L.A. with no connections,” Spott said. “She always has her employees’ best interests in mind. She’s very intimidating, and she will tell you to button up your shirt and stand up straight, but she is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met.”

Adam Spott, with SUR owner Lisa Vanderpump, called his boss one of the most “intimidating yet kindhearted” people he’s ever met.

As a popular Los Angeles hotspot, SUR is a hub for power players in the entertainment industry. This atmosphere offers employees the chance to make connections and advance their careers.
“You meet so many people in the entertainment industry,” Spott said. “That’s what so cool about here. You can shake the right hand, and the next thing you know, you’re working your dream job.”
Pursuing a career in acting or another sector of the entertainment industry can be draining, but Spott attributes his drive to his parents, Sandra Spott and Matthew Spott, and his hometown.
“I love where I was born and raised. That will always be home to me,” he said. “It’s rare to have a blue-collar work ethic in a place like L.A. I am very grateful for that.”
Spott acknowledged that sometimes those who live in small towns find it hard to leave to pursue their dreams. While Spott, who loves to be in front of the camera and hopes to make it to the movie screen someday, set his sights on big dreams in big cities, he knows his small-town roots imparted in him the determination to get there.
“There was a quote I saw, and it always resonated with me: ‘I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,’” he said. “If you want something so bad and you love it, you can’t be afraid of failure. You can always go home, in my opinion. There’s nothing to be scared of.”

 

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Meet Adam Spott 
Residence: Originally from Tunkhannock, Spott lives in Santa Monica, California.
Family: Parents, Sandra Spott, Factoryville, and Matthew Spott, Tunkhannock; brother, Matthew and wife, DeAnna, Philadelphia
Education: Graduate of Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School and Florida State University
Claim to fame: An actor and model, Spott also works in the service industry and is featured on this season of Bravo reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”

If you watch
What: “Vanderpump Rules,” featuring Tunkhannock native Adam Spott
When and where: Mondays, 9 p.m., on Bravo

Year Ahead

Year Ahead

Festivals
Whether for food or fun, a number of festivals take place around the region each year. Enjoy the wonders of the Lackawanna River during Shiverfest on Saturday, Jan. 13, then head to Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, for two film festivals featuring foreign, independent and art films. Winter Fest runs Friday, Feb. 16, through Thursday, March 8, and the Spring Film Festival then takes place Friday, April 13, through Thursday, May 3, with special activities on each opening night. There will be special previews on Thursday, Feb. 1, and Thursday, March 29, and free post-festival discussions Friday, March 9, and Friday, May 4.
Join one of the biggest events in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the annual Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square, in May. Celebrate a Midvalley tradition, St. Ubaldo Day and Race of the Saints, in Jessup over Memorial Day weekend.
The region celebrates its love of food with the annual Edwardsville Pierogi Festival, June 8 and 9, Plymouth’s annual Kielbasa Festival, held the second weekend of August, while the Pittston Tomato Festival takes place the third weekend in August.
Labor Day weekend offers the chance to commemorate the area’s rich locomotive history during Railfest at Steamtown National Historic Site and its Italian heritage at La Festa Italiana on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square.

Kids and family
Children can learn through a series of free stage shows geared toward grades three to eight at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: “Four Score and Seven Years Ago” on Wednesday, Feb. 21; “Harriet Tubman & the Underground Railroad” on Friday, March 16; and “Huck & Tom and the Mighty Mississippi” on Tuesday, April 24. The Kirby Center also will host family-friendly fare such as “Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour” on Friday, April 27; animal expert Jack Hanna on Saturday, April 28; “Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig’s Surprise” on Tuesday, May 15; and the free “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told” on Saturday, May 19.
At Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp., families can catch “Disney On Ice presents Dream Big” from Thursday, Jan. 11, through Monday, Jan. 15; AMSOIL Arenacross Series on Saturday, Jan. 20, and Sunday, Jan. 21; “WWE Live” on Friday, Jan. 26; Monster Jam Triple Threat Series from Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11; the Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday, Feb. 24; and “Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes” from Thursday, May 3, through Sunday, May 6.
In Scranton, families can get into the Irish spirit with the city’s 57th annual St. Patrick’s Parade, set for Saturday, March 10, while Wilkes-Barre sees green with its parade on Sunday, March 11.

Theater
Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania has five more shows coming to Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., in the new year: “A Chorus Line,” Friday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 25; “The Illusionists Present Adam Trent,” Friday, March 2; “Kinky Boots,” Friday, March 16, through Sunday, March 18; “Chicago,” Friday, April 13, through Sunday, April 15; and “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical,” Tuesday, May 8, through Sunday, May 13. Ticket costs vary. 
Five Broadway vocalists — Jeanna De Waal, Jennifer DiNoia, Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey and Jon Peterson — will perform hits from throughout the Great White Way’s history on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton. “Broadway Spotlight,” also includes behind-the-scenes stories and a question-and-answer session.
At F.M. Kirby Center, theater fans will find “Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage” on Wednesday, Jan. 31 and Thursday, Feb. 1; “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” on Wednesday, Feb. 7; “The Wizard of Oz” on Friday, April 13; and “Cabaret” on Thursday, May 17.
The region’s numerous amateur and student theatrical troupes will present shows throughout the year as well.

Comedy
Laugh throughout the year with comedy events all over the region.
Residents have the chance to see Jim Breuer at Gypsies Lounge inside Mount Airy Casino, 312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono, Saturday, Jan. 13. Gypsies also hosts Bob Saget on Saturday, Feb. 3; Tracy Morgan Saturday, March 3; and Vic Dibitetto, Friday, April 6.
Breuer makes another stop in the area Wednesday, Feb. 28, at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, which then hosts “Blue Collar Comedy” star Ron White on Thursday, March 8. Jerry Seinfeld will deliver two performances there Friday, April 6.
Kevin Hart brings his Irresponsible Tour to the region Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp. Crowds also can catch live comedy shows weekends at Wisecrackers Comedy Club inside Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Highway 315, Plains Twp.

Concerts
Music fills Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, through the summer, with Camp Bisco gliding into the venue Thursday, July 12, through Saturday, July 14, and Peach Music Festival hitting the mountain, Thursday, July 19, through Sunday, July 22. Vans Warped Tour plays Scranton for the final time on Thursday, July 26, according to its website, although a venue was not announced. 
Mohegan Sun Arena also will host a couple big-name concerts, with country act Little Big Town, joined by Kacey Musgraves and Midland, coming Thursday, Feb. 22, and Judas Priest playing Tuesday, March 13.
Wyoming Seminary will host “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. for a concert Wednesday, Jan. 17, in its Kirby Center for the Creative Arts, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston.
At F.M. Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre, concert highlights include the inaugural Snow Show featuring Dashboard Confessional, presented by Alt 92.1 on Sunday, Jan. 28; Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thursday, Feb. 8; “American Idol” star Scotty McCreery, Saturday, Feb. 10; America, Thursday, Feb. 15; Blues Traveler, Wednesday, Feb. 28; Alice Cooper, Saturday, March 10; the Beach Boys, Saturday, March 24; Christopher Cross, Wednesday, April 4; the Drifters, Saturday, April 14; and Yanni, July 31.

By Gia Mazur and Caitlin Haney West

Annual Festival of Trees embraces 1920s theme

Annual Festival of Trees embraces 1920s theme

Branch out into the holidays with an exhibit that promises to be the bee’s knees.
The annual Festival of Trees exhibit kicks off this weekend with a Roaring ’20s theme, and people and groups from across the region decorated or created from scratch Christmas trees befitting of the Jazz Era.
This year’s exhibit runs from Friday, Dec. 8, through Friday, Jan. 12, in the former Abercrombie & Fitch store in the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton.
Exhibit admission is free except during the Dec. 8 opening reception, which runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and costs $20. Guests can nibble on hors d’oeuvres and listen to music from Gypsy Jazz Quintet. Proceeds from the show and reception benefit the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
“It’s great that organizations, big and small, can come together for such a good cause and celebrate the season,” said Alysia Scazafabo, volunteer chairwoman of the festival. “Everyone gets the chance to come to the (marketplace) and see their creativity, too. This is a great event.”
Headed by Lackawanna County’s Office of Arts and Culture and its event-planning committee, lots of local organizations, volunteers and more all get together to brainstorm ideas and pull off this annual event, Scazafabo said. She described the 1920s as an important era of both social and political change and said organizers encouraged festival participants to use jazz, flappers, dance halls and speakeasies, Prohibition, airplanes, automobiles, film and more as inspiration from the pioneering decade.  
“The theme works out. Feedback has been great, and the trees so far has been pretty interesting,” Scazafabo said, adding that participants range from local schools to Leadership Lackawanna to women inmates of Lackawanna County Prison. “We crossed paths with some amazing people, and they’re very excited about the opportunity to show off their creativity.”
This year, guests can don their feathers, fringe, pinstripes and other pieces of ’20s fashion during the opening reception’s fancy dress contest. The winner will receive bragging rights as well as a $100 gift certificate for the Marketplace at Steamtown.
“It’s a fun excuse to get together and dress up,” Scazafabo said. “It will be exciting to see everyone dressed in that time period and embracing that style.”
Changing the theme each year adds a unique twist to keep an annual event like Festival of Trees fresh. Though, it’s participants’ imaginations that make the event a regional mainstay.
“The exhibit is about ‘Christmas trees,’ but some people are just so creative with how they interpret that along with the theme,” Scazafabo said. “You never know what you’re going to get.”
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If you go
What: Annual Festival of Trees
When: Friday, Dec. 8, through Friday, Jan. 12; opening reception and 1920s dress contest, Dec. 8, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
Details: Tickets for the opening reception are $20; admission for remaining dates is free. Proceeds benefit the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. A Toys for Tots drop-off box will be inside Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff St., Scranton, during its hours of operation.

Take home a local masterpiece  from Holiday Art Auction

Take home a local masterpiece from Holiday Art Auction

The community can bid on 32 pieces from regional artists in a variety of mediums at the annual Holiday Art Auction at AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
Set for Saturday, Nov. 18, with cocktails at 6 p.m. and the auction at 7, it serves as the gallery’s largest fundraiser.
Tickets are $25 and include refreshments, light fare from local restaurants and acoustic music by Rich Jenkins.
Artists donate each piece up for grabs. Committee chair Nikki Moser said this year features two surprise pieces that will be wrapped in brown paper and not revealed until after someone wins each. There also will be pieces from young artists and lower price points so new bidders can be brave and take a shot at winning.
Moser insisted that one of the most fun parts of the night is the bidding.
“It’s always fun when people come with a full table,” she said. “To see that dynamic and people encouraging each other to bid, it’s a great time.” 
Chances for this year’s featured raffle item, “Flower Child #8,” a hand-cut paper collage created by Paul Plumadore, are $2 each or three for $5 and are available at the gallery. Guests do not need to be at the event to win the raffle piece.
Moser said all of Plumadore’s pieces are more than meets the eye.
“He has such a delicate sort of touch in terms of putting images together,” Moser said. “They seem like one thing on the surface, and once you really investigate, you understand the intricacies of how they’re almost stitched together in this way.”
Guests also can bid on experiences, such as a print-making workshop with Mark Ciocca, a letterpress outing with the Workshop owner Chris Medley or special services from local nonprofits, the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society and American Wine Society. Moser said the experiences were popular among bidders last year, and the committee expanded on options this time around.
“It’s a way to bring people into the arts in a different way than choosing an object,” she said. “With these experiences, you can get out and see and do what lots of area arts have to offer.”
Each element of the holiday auction combines to offer something for all interests and tastes, which serves the true mission of the event: engagement between artists and guests.
“It’s great fun. This fundraiser keeps doors open for the year,” Moser said. “And we really do everything we can to ensure everyone — artists and guests — have a lovely evening.”

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If you go
What: Annual Holiday Art Auction
When: Saturday, Nov. 18; cocktails, 6 p.m.; auction, 7
Where: AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton
Details: Event tickets are $25 and include refreshments, light fare and entertainment. Reservations are strongly suggested; call 570-969-1040. Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5 and may be purchased up to the time the winner is announced. Proceeds benefit the gallery.

Curiosity Shoppers: Roller derby team welcomes community for oddities market and match

Curiosity Shoppers: Roller derby team welcomes community for oddities market and match

It’s not your average flea market.
Roller derby league the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Roller Radicals presents Halloween Fest Oddities and Alternative Flea Market on Saturday, Oct. 28, giving guests a chance to shop for strange and unusual items.
The event takes place at the league’s headquarters at 4949 Birney Ave., Moosic. Doors open for the flea market at 10 a.m. with 60 vendors offering art, photography, horror crafts, pet items, bath and body products, taxidermy, jewelry, wreaths, vegan goods, tarot readings, sessions with a medium and more.
The event came from the Radicals’ collective love of all things creepy and horror, and it offers a way to showcase local artists and get to know the community, league president Brandy Ralston said.
“We love Halloween, and we wanted to incorporate that into whatever we did,” the Plains Twp. resident added. “This is a fun way to celebrate and meet our neighbors.”
Guests can listen to live music or grab a bite to eat at a regional food truck or from one of the food vendors. Costume contests start at noon with adult participants vying for the titles of scariest, funniest and most radical. Kids can get in on the fun, too, with a trunk-or-treat, face painting and a costume contest of their own. Pets can show off their best costumes as well. 
At night, 40 skaters from all over, including the Radicals, will compete in a roller derby scrimmage with a chilling twist: Jason versus the Campers, inspired by classic horror flick “Friday the 13th.”
“We have skaters coming from New York, New Jersey, Maryland,” Ralston said, adding space is limited for the scrimmage. “We threw out some other ideas, but ‘Friday the 13th’ seemed like it would be the most fun.”
The event will work as a networking event for prospective skaters. For anyone looking to join the league, open tryouts are set for January. Ralston encourages those interested to talk to league members on Saturday. 
Flea market entry is $2 at the door. If attending the scrimmage, the total cost is $5. All proceeds benefit the self-funded Radicals.
Halloween Fest also gives the Radicals a chance to meet residents and make their presence known. The league has been in the area for several years, but people are surprised to hear a roller derby league exists. A day out with food, unique art, goods and services, combined with spooky fun is exactly what the Roller Radicals are all about, Ralston said.
“We want people to come out and meet us and have a fun day,” she said. “It’s the perfect opportunity to welcome the community. Come over to our house.”

 

Red-hot heritage: Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces celebrates fall through cultural lens

Red-hot heritage: Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces celebrates fall through cultural lens

By: Meryl Paine and Gia Mazur

An annual autumn event will light up the dark with a towering flame to celebrate Scranton’s history, culture and more.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., the seventh annual Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces festival will feature food, live music and activities as it raises money for Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, which oversees the Scranton Iron Furnaces, 159 Cedar Ave. Leading up to and during the annual bonfire lighting at 8:15 p.m., the Double “R” Twirlettes and Scranton Black Diamond Pipe Band will present a fire-twirling show.
“It’s a wonderful event, and through the years I’ve noticed such a growth,” said Kathleen Mercatelli, Twirlettes director. “It’s a really different event since we don’t get many opportunities to twirl fire.”
The Gaelic festival Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter, inspired the event’s creation. But in addition to honoring the area’s industrial heritage, the bonfire over the years “has grown into an all-encompassing cultural event,” committee chairman Brian Murphy said. It incorporated elements of traditional autumn and harvest festivals, such as Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, and the Indian festival Diwali, which people celebrate in part by launching fire lanterns.
“We always want to reflect those different cultures and how those different cultures engage and celebrate that,” said Bode Morin, museum and iron furnaces site administrator. “As the program evolves, we want to have a bigger reach and look more at who we are as a community, be more inclusive and celebrate our community as well.” 
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and free for children 12 and younger. Organizers encourage guests to buy their passes early at scrantonbonfire.com; the museum in McDade Park, 1 Bald Mountain Road, Scranton; and Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff St., Scranton.
Admission includes $5 in Bonfire Bucks, which guests can use for food, beverages and activities. And they will have plenty to choose from. Guests can celebrate the season with fall and regional favorite drinks, such as spiced cider, hot chocolate, beer and wine, and then chow down on food from Coney Island of Scranton, Terra Preta, Sweet Lush Cupcakery and more.
The festival also will feature performances across two stages by Irish Balladeers, cover band Light Weight and Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA as well as fire hoopers and spinners. Guests can check out balloon artists, a jack-o’-lantern carving competition, tarot card readings, an arts and crafts tent, a bonfire sculpture by Brian Murray of Reclamation Industrial Furnishings and a large-scale art installation that highlights the standing stone blast furnaces.
Each year, the festival explores a different culture in its educational component, Morin said, and this time visitors can head to the cultural tent to learn more about the Irish and Welsh immigrants and the culture they brought to Northeast Pennsylvania.
In seven years, the bonfire has turned into a place where arts, culture, heritage and history meet, and Morin believes it will continue to grow with the community’s support.
“We’re really looking forward to (the festival),” he said. “To get to do this festival for the last seven years straight and always have such a great response from the community … it’s just a great, fun night.”

Fringe benefits – Annual festival spreads arts across Scranton

Fringe benefits – Annual festival spreads arts across Scranton

For a weekend, experience life on the fringe.
Scranton Fringe Festival takes to stages across the downtown now through Sunday, Oct. 1. The performing arts festival co-founded by Elizabeth Bohan and Conor O’Brien takes after the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which began in 1947 and whose model spread across the world.
In its third year, the Scranton festival contains more than 35 performances featuring artists from near and far across a variety of artforms, from dramas and comedies to experimental revivals to dance- and movement-based art. With so many things to do, see and experience, Weekend Times put together a guide to help navigate the sights and sounds of Scranton Fringe Festival. 

Must-see shows
Fringe co-founder Elizabeth Bohan suggested the shows you shouldn’t miss this weekend.
“White Rabbit Red Rabbit” is an unrehearsed piece written by Nassim Soleimanpour that requires no set and no direction. As a conscientious objector who refused to take part in mandatory military service, Soleimanpour was forbidden to leave his home country of Iran and used this isolation in writing the piece. The actors will receive the show’s script as they walk on stage, giving audiences a once-in-a-lifetime performance. Shows: Thursday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 30, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m., AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
“What You Want,” a dance and movement piece presented by Alyssa Noble and Allie Pfeffer, follows two young people learning to work through their lives in spite of the other’s expectations and advice. Each choreographer created overlapping solos for the other but left enough room for the dancer to make her own decisions on stage. Shows: Saturday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 1, 1 p.m., Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St.
“Chris and Gavin’s Campaign for Broadway Spectacular” is a musical comedy about two out-of-work musical theater actors who campaign to get themselves “elected” to Broadway. Through musical numbers and sketches, the actors explore (and poke fun at) what it takes to be an actor. Shows: Friday, Sept. 29, 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 3 p.m., Shopland Hall at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.

The essentials
Scranton Fringe Festival takes place across 10 venues downtown through Sunday, Oct. 1, closing with a free, all-ages wrap party from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave. Performances start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, and Friday, Sept. 29, and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1. Tickets are $10 for each show at the door. With a Fringe Button, that price drops to $7.
Fringe Buttons are $5, cash only, and can be purchased at Scranton Fringe headquarters at AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., and participating partners. Proceeds from button sales benefit the festival, and button-holders also receive discounts and deals at participating local businesses through the end of 2017.

Button partnersAdezzo, 515 Center St.
Analog Culture, 349 N. Washington Ave.
Bar Pazzo, 131 N. Washington Ave.
Cafe Sevda, 323 N. Washington Ave.
Comics on the Green, 307 N. Washington Ave.
Coney Island Lunch, 515 Lackawanna Ave.
Daisy Collective, 328 Penn Ave.
DaVinci Pizza, 515 Linden St.
Duffy Accessories, 218 Linden St.
Embassy Vinyl, 352 Adams Ave.
The Keys, 244 Penn Ave.
Northern Light Espresso Bar, 536 Spruce St.
Note Fragrances, 401 Spruce St.
On&On, 1138 Capouse Ave.
RD Blow Dry Bar and Salon, 324 Penn Ave.
Steamtown Hot Yoga, 121 N. Washington Ave.
Terra Preta, 222 Wyoming Ave.
Whiskey Dick’s, 308 N. Washington Ave.

Singer brings Irish music to Scranton on first American tour

Singer brings Irish music to Scranton on first American tour

Nathan Carter wants to spread his music across the globe.
Raised in an Irish family in Liverpool, England, the country singer already has a large fanbase in Ireland and now is on his first tour of the United States and Canada, which includes a stop in Scranton. Carter will take the stage Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
“I’m just going to be introducing myself and my music to anyone who have never seen me before,” he said during a recent phone interview from Ireland.
Tickets are $45 to $75 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 570-344-1111 or online at scrantonculturalcenter.org. With Carter’s six-piece band — including fiddles, whistles, accordion, drums, bass and guitar — music fans can expect to hear old Irish songs, folk songs and traditional Irish music. The set also includes ballads and some popular music, such as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and a tribute to the late Glen Campbell.
“It’s a mix of Irish songs and current songs that people can sing along to,” Carter said.
Joining him on tour is Chloë Agnew, who became one of the original members of Irish music group Celtic Woman at age 14 and launched a solo career in 2013. She will perform big ballads and classics as well.
“She’s been doing her own thing for a while, and we’re excited to have her on the tour,” Carter said, adding he and Agnew will perform some duets.
Carter started his journey to the stage young, learning to play the accordion and sing as a child. After many performances for family, friends and anyone who would listen, Carter began to compete. By 12, he had won All Ireland medals for singing and playing the accordion. Soon after, he joined the Liverpool Ceili band, playing accordion and piano. Solo performances soon followed in Liverpool and Ireland.
Carter became the first country act to hit No. 1 on the Irish charts after Garth Brooks — several of Carter’s singles reached that spot — and his videos garnered more than 1 million hits on YouTube. He’s appeared on Irish television shows and hosts his own talk show, “The Nathan Carter Show.”
While he’s busy overseas, his tour serves as a way to gain a following with new fans in a new place. Starting over can be daunting, but Carter is just doing what he loves.
“I’m just looking forward to giving the audience a great show and entertaining them,” he said. “I don’t call what I do a ‘job,’ because it’s not a job to me. I love what I do, and I’m really blessed.”

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If you go
What: Singer Nathan Carter
When: Thursday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $45 to $75 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 570-344-1111 or online at scrantonculturalcenter.org.

Body of Work: Radiologist captures imagination with X-ray art

Body of Work: Radiologist captures imagination with X-ray art

Dr. Susan Summerton is an expert at reading the language of the human body.
It had much more to say than she realized.
As a radiologist, Summerton diagnoses and treats diseases and injuries through medical-imaging techniques such as ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI, X-rays and more. But along with fractures, sprains and masses, Summerton saw other shapes in the images outside of a medical context — like the letter “Y,” a sheepdog, the word “odd” and even the head of Homer Simpson.
“Certain things would just jump out at me,” Summerton said during a recent afternoon in her office at Delta Medix Breast Care Center in downtown Scranton. “Some people don’t see that stuff, but I would catch letters and shapes. It’s like seeing pictures in the clouds in the sky.”
Science becomes art
Summerton’s unique perspective culminated in the business Xray Artistry, through which she creates pieces of art using letters and shapes she saw in medical images. A life-long Philadelphia resident who moved to Scranton to work at Delta Medix in March, she will show her works during her debut First Friday show, “Body Language,” on Friday, Sept. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
“I’ve always been very visual, but I’ve never considered myself an artist,” she said. “Now, I’ll get invited to art events and I’m doing First Friday. It’s been neat.”
As an educator at teaching hospital Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and an associate professor at Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College), Summerton kept the images of the letters and shapes in her teaching files. When she began saving them more than 20 years ago, she never set out to become an artist or businesswoman but rather to fulfill a personal goal. A print in her living room depicted the alphabet spelled out in the shapes and colors of butterfly wings, and she wanted to hang something similar in her office using letters she saw in medical images.
It wasn’t until she planned to attend the Radiological Society of North America’s 100th anniversary and conference in Chicago that she realized she had the whole alphabet. The society encouraged those attending to share the most interesting or unusual cases they had seen or examples of radiological art.
This sparked an idea for Summerton to spell out “RSNA 100: A Century of Transforming Medicine” in medical images, which earned her an honorable mention. The society also displayed the piece.
“I called it ‘Letters to the RSNA,’” she said, adding that today she has at least five examples of each letter. “It was pretty amazing just to see it up there.”
Soon after, word traveled that Summerton created these works, and requests flooded in from coworkers, friends, family, students and more for birthday and holiday gifts, signs to hang in physicians’ and surgeons’ offices, and graduation and retirement keepsakes.
“People started to just ask me, ‘Can you make my name?’ (and) ‘Can you make this for my kid’s teacher?’ They were really excited about it,” she said. “That’s what motivates me to do what I do. It brings joy to people.”
With urging from friends and family, Summerton then began to think about her hobby as a business. She enrolled in a six-week course at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where she learned the ins and outs of creating a business plan. She hired a graphic artist who also is a radiologist to recreate the original images since patients’ consent forms only allowed her to use the images for educational and research purposes — not for art or for profit. The recreated images are sharper and have a higher resolution than the originals, and Summerton assured that the letters and shapes always are based on her own findings.
Anatomy as inspiration
“They’re inspired by these images,” she said. “They’re just graphic representations of things that I’ve seen. And I’ve seen some interesting stuff.”
Summerton’s prints can be found around the world, and not just in medical offices. Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum — known for medical oddities, specimens and models — carries two of her works in its gift shop: a print of the Liberty Bell (actually an ultrasound of a bladder where an enlarged prostate gland looms in the background) with letters that spell “Philadelphia,” and a print that spells “Love” similar to the iconic statue and photo spot in the city’s Love Park (aka John F. Kennedy Plaza). She has sent her pieces as far away as Australia, and anyone can peruse her work or request a commission on her website, xrayartistry.com.
Summerton, who “can’t stop being a teacher,” plans to teach anatomy and radiology to third-year medical school students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine this fall. She hopes to use her art pieces to educate by compiling a children’s book or taking them to children’s hospitals one day. While having scans and X-rays done can be nerve wracking, she wants to show people the lightheartedness of the images and the universal truth of it all.
“It appeals to all people because we all have the same bodies,” Summerton said. “When you look at us on the inside, we all look the same. We are all the same.”
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Meet Dr. Susan Summerton

At home: Splits her time between Scranton and Philadelphia and has three children, Lauren, Jon and David

At work: Radiologist at Delta Medix Breast Care Center and will teach anatomy and radiology to third-year students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine this fall

Claim to fame: Founder of Xray Artistry, which creates artwork using letters and shapes seen in medical images such as MRIs, ultrasounds, CT scans and X-rays

Online: Visit xrayartistry.com to see more of Summerton’s work.

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If you go

What: “Body Language: Xray Artistry by Dr. Susan Summerton”

When: Friday, Sept. 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.

Details: For more information or a complete list of events, visit first fridayscranton.com.

 

Peach Music Festival returns to Montage with bounty of acts

Peach Music Festival returns to Montage with bounty of acts

In August on Montage Mountain, life’s a peach. Take a bite.

Peach Music Festival rocks its sixth year at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain Thursday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 13. Started by the Allman Brothers Band and pavilion concert promoter Live Nation, the festival was modeled after the Wanee Festival in Live Oak, Florida, according to a Times-Tribune story in 2012. Due to its scenic mountain setting paired with proximity to restaurants, shops, hotels and more, the Pavilion at Montage Mountain seemed an ideal venue for the festival.
The event continues to grow with thousands of music lovers descending on the mountain each year to dance, sing, make new friends, reacquaint with old and share in a love of live music. Electric City put together a handy guide to the sights, sounds and tastes of Peach Fest.

Fuel up
Dancing to live music works up an appetite, and Peach Fest fans can grab food and drink at dozens of concession and vendor stands across the festival grounds. There will be typical concert food like hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers and pizza plus some festival favorites such as wraps and sandwiches, barbecue, tacos, burritos and gyros. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options will be on hand as well. Guests also can cool off with a variety of beverages from mixed drinks or craft, imported and domestic beers, to soda, water, fresh-squeezed lemonade and more.

The music
More than 50 bands will perform across three stages — Peach Stage, Mushroom Stage and Grove Stage — throughout the weekend. Acts will perform throughout the day and into the night, some after midnight. Thursday night kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with acts that include Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and Cabinet.
On Friday, catch music starting at noon with bands including Steve Kimock & Friends, the Magpie Salute, God Street Wine, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Dark Star Orchestra, My Morning Jacket, Pink Talking Fish and Lettuce featuring Chaka Khan.
Saturday performances start at noon, too, and include sets from acts such as Umphrey’s McGee, Fruition, Rusted Root, Gov’t Mule & Friends, Widespread Panic, Papadosio and a Peach Tribute to Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks.
On Sunday, the music starts at noon and rocks until 10 p.m. with acts the Soul Rebels, Mike Gordon, Hayley Jane & the Primates, Ghost of Paul Revere, Joe Bonamassa and more throughout the day.
Schedule, set times and lineup are subject to change. For updated set times, fans can download the Peach Music Festival mobile app for Apple and Android.

Rusted Root

Gregg Allman

For Gregg
Peach Fest founder and Allman Brothers lead singer Gregg Allman canceled his appearance at last year’s festival due to hospitalization, and died in May from complications of liver cancer. Peach Fest will honor the late rocker with an exclusive screening of the documentary “Back to the Swamp: The Making of Southern Blood,” centered on the creation of Allman’s final album. All ticket holders have automatically been entered for a chance to win access. Winners will be contacted the week of the festival with specific screening details.

Off-site parking shuttles
If you’re not camping on the mountain but still want to experience Peach Fest, shuttles transport guests from off-site parking to Montage Mountain during the festival. Shuttles from PNC Field and the Gold lot, both on Montage Mountain Road, run throughout the length of the festival during specific times: Thursday, Aug. 10, 2 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 11, and Saturday, Aug. 12: 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, August 13: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Monday, Aug. 14, 6 a.m. to noon. Outside of these times, shuttles run less frequently.

Couple to tie the knot  at the Peach

Ross Mendoker and Remi Rodriguez

Peace, music and love make up the Peach Fest experience, and the latter rings especially true this year.
Remi Rodriguez and Ross Mendoker of Jamesburg, New Jersey, will exchange vows on Friday, Aug. 11, during the festival at 6:30 p.m. next to the Mushroom Stage. Bob Mulkerin, mayor of Old Forge, will officiate the ceremony. After they attended Peach Fest last year on a whim, the music-lovers knew the festival would be the perfect place to tie the knot.
“There’s really nothing like Peach. We had the most amazing time and I said, ‘This is where we need to get married,’” Rodriguez said during a recent phone interview, adding that the couple got engaged at a different music festival in 2015. “We’re lucky to have something like this being in this part of the country. It’s a beautiful experience.”
The couple’s family and friends as well as Rodriguez and Mendoker’s four children (Ross, 12; Jade, 11; Myles, 4, and Maizy, 3) will be in tow as they say, “I do.” While the venue may be non-traditional, Rodriguez said it will still be the couple’s dream wedding.
“I have a gown, I’m going to look like a bride with bridesmaids and dresses and flowers,” she said with a laugh, adding that she’s seen dozens of posts on social media eager to see the “Peach bride and groom.” “But, getting married at Peach, being surrounded by our friends and family and all of these people who love the music and the atmosphere … this is by far the best decision.”

— gia mazur