Tag Archives: Bottle Works Arts on Third

Bottle Works organizing bus trip

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third will offer a bus trip April 7 to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh, with a stop at The Church Brew Works for dinner.

The Lodestar bus will leave Bottle Works, located along Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood, at 9:30 a.m. The first stop, arriving at approximately 11 a.m., will be Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where participants can spend a few hours enjoying the Spring Flower Show.

This year’s show, titled “Masterpieces in Bloom,” opens to the public March 12.

Designed by Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, the flower show offers viewers an opportunity to celebrate not only spring, but also a variety of influential artists. Botanical renderings of famous paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Edmund Leighton are part of the experience.

Flowers in the show include pink and red snapdragons, white orchids, delphiniums, forget-me-nots, primula, tulips and more. Hundreds of flowers will be on display, and Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo said it is sure to be impressive.

“Phipps is breathtaking any time of year,” Rizzo said. “But, ironically, the spring show is combining the arts and flowers — a very exciting concept that ties into our mission. The exhibit will feature vibrant colors and flowers blooming, which can’t help but get you excited for spring and summer.

“Phipps is breathtaking just seeing the exhibits, but they are a leader in green buildings and sustainability. That is a hot topic right now. Even if you aren’t big into horticulture or plants, it is still an inspiring place.”

At 2 p.m., bus trip participants will travel to the Frick Art and Historical Center, where they can view the center’s current exhibit, “Fast Cars and Femmes Fatales: The Photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue.”

Lartigue, who grew up as part of a wealthy family in France, was born in 1894. He was given a camera at the age of 6 and began to document life in the Belle-Époque, a time period in western Europe characterized by innovations, optimism and prosperity. 

Lartigue’s photographs, which are described as eccentric and experimental, document his and his family’s unique adventures from 1907 to 1958.

“He seems like an interesting photographer who really had a lot of fun with his camera,” Rizzo said. “Just reading the description and seeing some images on the website, the show sounds extremely fascinating and entertaining, plus fun, eccentric and playful.”

The bus will depart Frick Art and Historical Center around 4:15 p.m. for its final destination, The Church Brew Works. Much like Johnstown’s own Venue of Merging Arts (VOMA), a church-turned-arts-venue, The Church Brew Works is a church-turned-restaurant located in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.

“Again, it is a unique stop, a place a lot of people always talk about,” Rizzo said. “This is another stop showing the cultural side of Pittsburgh. Church Brew Works shows an out-of-the-box idea of what these wonderful architectural buildings could be if no longer being used for their traditional purpose.”

Previously St. John’s the Baptist Church, The Church Brew Works was renovated into a restaurant that offers a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to entrees featuring chicken, beef and fish. The restaurant highlights and utilizes many of the church’s former fixtures, including pews that serve as seating for diners. 

In addition to the stained glass windows, one of the restaurant’s most unique attractions is the large steel and copper tanks full of home-brewed beer that have totally transformed the former altar space.

The bus is scheduled to return to Bottle Works by 8 p.m. that same day. There is a cost to participate, and Bottle Works members receive a discount.

The price for the bus trip includes the transportation fee, admission to all locations, cost of dinner and a tip for the bus driver.

“Get out of the house, experience places you may have never been before, and let us do all the planning and coordinating,” Rizzo said. “It is going to be a very fun day.”

For more information about the bus trip or to reserve a seat, call a Bottle Works staff member at 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399.

Windber native to show off metalsmithing skills

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Windber native Alyssa Feather is offering a weekend workshop titled “Messing With Metals — Jewelry Making” at Bottle Works Arts on Third.

Feather, who earned her master’s in metalsmithing and jewelry design from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, has already offered a few jewelry-making workshops at the nonprofit arts center in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

“They went great,” Feather said of the previous workshops. “I met a lot of great people and everyone was really excited about trying their hand at something new. I think they enjoyed learning new techniques, as well as having the satisfaction of creating something with their own hands.”

Feather said that making things by hand is what makes making jewelry so much fun.

“I love working with saws, torches and hammers,” she said. “I like being able to take a flat sheet of metal and turn it into something beautiful. It’s also great feeling when someone says, ‘Hey, that’s a great necklace! Where did you get it?’ and you can say, ‘Oh, thanks! I made it!’”

Feather, who currently resides in Lancaster with her husband and 3-year-old daughter and serves as an adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College, became interested in metalsmithing while in college.

“I took my first metals class at Edinboro University where I completed my undergraduate degree,” she said. “After my first class, I was hooked. I just loved the medium.”

With help from her husband, father and father-in-law, Feather installed a metals studio at Bottle Works and has been sharing her love for the medium with her community ever since.

“I’m so excited that I can share my passion with my hometown,” she said. “I’ve had a great experience working with the crew at Bottle Works. I love the current arts initiatives happening in Johnstown and I am proud to be contributing to it. I hope that we can continue this momentum and really make Johnstown a destination for art and artists.

“I (also) enjoy that I can share my knowledge of metalworking and current trends in art and jewelry making. I feel like I’m doing my part to preserve the history and tradition of the craft. While we do embrace technology, it’s fun to know that you are carrying on a tradition that dates back to the Neolithic period.”

Feather’s upcoming workshop is scheduled for March 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to make either a pair of earrings or a cuff bracelet (students may choose their preference).

There is a cost to attend the workshop. For more information or to register, call a Bottle Works staff member at 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399.

“(The workshop) is a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and learn something new,” Feather said, “as well as getting to make a great piece of jewelry that will have all your friends talking!”

Bus trip offered to Philly flower show

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third, in conjunction with Lodestar, is offering a bus trip March 7 to the Philadelphia Flower Show. 

According to Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo, those who are interested can begin to register at this time.

“People can expect to be blown away at this show,” she said. “The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show. Whether you are an avid gardener or not, there will be something for everyone. There are over-the-top creations, lectures, workshops . . . something for everyone.”

Rizzo said that the trip should give participants the opportunity to not only get away, but also be inspired.

“After Bottle Works hosted the Johnstown Garden Club and the Allied Artists’ collaborative show, ‘A Masterpiece in Bloom,’ we realized gardening, horticulture and floral design are so very similar to the rest of the arts,” Rizzo said. “The flower show will be absolutely beautiful and inspiring, definitely a refreshing trip during these cold, gray months.”

The theme for this year’s flower show is “Explore America.” Participants will have the opportunity to experience this 33-acre indoor flower show from approximately 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dinner is scheduled to take place at Shady Maple Smorgasbord, while lunch will be on participants’ own.

The bus for this trip is scheduled to depart at 6 a.m. and return to Johnstown around midnight. There is a price to participate in this bus trip. The price includes the cost of transportation, admission, dinner, a snack on the bus and a tip for the driver.

For more information or to register for the trip, call a Bottle Works staff member at 814-536-5399 or 814-535-2020. Payment must be paid in full prior to each trip.
Rizzo invited members of the community to register for the trip.

“Winter can be so long and drawn out,” she said. “Our bus trips are an opportunity to get out of your house and enjoy so many gems we have surrounding us. The bus trips are for people to enjoy themselves but also to experience something new. We try to make them extra unique.”

New exhibit opening at Bottle Works Arts

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

“Clay, Paint, Metal: Inspired by Nature,” a collaborative exhibit between local artists Scott Steberger and Bridget Mayak, is opening at Bottle Works Arts on Third Nov. 21.

Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo described Steberger’s and Mayak’s work as “very complimentary of each other.”

“(Their) different mediums really work well together,” Rizzo said.

Steberger, a Penn State graduate, can recall developing an interest in art at an early age.

“I can remember wanting to make things since I was a small child,” Steberger said. “While the other kids were playing, I can remember wanting to draw.”

He has been creating art since 1989. That’s also the year when he opened The Mountain Top Art Gallery in Cresson in order to exhibit artwork created by local and regional artists. Since then, he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Associated Artists of Pittsburgh exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

Steberger is dedicating this show to his wife Jackie and children Emily and Anthony.

“All of Scott’s pieces are inspired from views throughout the Alleghenies,” Rizzo said. “They are sketches and paintings of our beautifully simple surroundings. They help you appreciate the beauty around us.”

Rizzo said that Mayak’s artistic intentions seem to match Steberger’s.

“Bridget’s work is also beautifully simple, using mediums that come from the earth,” Rizzo said. “Both artists use a lot of earth tone colors and re-create the world around us.”

Mayak recently retired from Somerset Area School District after teaching art there for 40 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is where she first developed her love of pottery and sculpture.

“My journey with clay started in college with required classes, but quickly developed into a passion to create with this seemingly humble substance,” Mayak said.

Her clay work consists predominantly of functional pottery and whimsical clay sculptures. She also enjoys creating metal sculptures from scrap steel and found objects.

Although retired, she continues to teach children and adults at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington and Laurel Arts in Somerset.

“Both (Steberger and Mayak) are artists but also teachers sharing their talent and enthusiasm,” Rizzo said. “I encourage people to slow down and come appreciate the art and space. We are fortunate to have such amazing art venues and artists. The audience is crucial to the arts.”

Community members are invited to attend the exhibit’s opening reception on Nov. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m.

For more information, call 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399 or visit www.bottleworks.org online.

“Clay, Paint, Metal: Inspired by Nature” will continue through Jan. 11, 2016.

Local instructor to offer piano class for novices

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Local piano teacher Laura Williamson will offer beginning piano classes for adults starting in mid-October at Bottle Works Arts on Third.

The nine-week sessions are scheduled to take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Oct. 12 through Dec. 16. No classes will be held during the week of Thanksgiving.

“Beginning Piano for Adults” is designed for those who will be playing the piano for the first time, or those who have dabbled with the instrument and would like to try again. Students enrolled in this class will learn how to read music, play chords and pick out familiar tunes by ear. No experience is necessary or assumed.

“The perception that playing the piano is only for the talented has robbed many people of the joy that can be found in making music,” Williamson said. “It’s sad that so many people consider themselves to be non-musical and void of talent. Why should participating in music for one’s own pleasure carry any prerequisites or time limits?”

The emphasis of Williamson’s class is on personal enjoyment.

“Here’s what I frequently share as a way of explaining the philosophy behind Recreational Music Making, and it’s also my measuring stick for how I want my adult students to feel about their piano classes: When I sign up for a cake-decorating class or take cello lessons, I will do so with no preconceived expectations about becoming an expert,” she said. 

“For me it will be about the experience, not the outcome, and I will be having fun while I learn something I’ve always wanted to do. There will be weeks I won’t have time to bake, and I might not be able to pick up the cello for days at a time, but I’ll go to class anyway because it’s time in my life I will have carved out that’s just for me, I will enjoy myself while I’m there, and I’ll still end up learning something.”

Williamson said “Beginning Piano for Adults” also offers an opportunity for participants to make new friends.

“I would encourage people to register because they’re going to have a lot of fun; they will learn to play piano in a supportive, non-threatening atmosphere, alongside people who share a similar dream,” she said.

“During class, playing in front of the group is voluntary, and most of the class is taught through headphones, with each keyboard connected to the teacher’s console. We play along with pre-recorded accompaniments for many activities; even the simplest beginning tune sounds impressive when you’re playing with a jazz band. We also have fun creating our own keyboard orchestra by choosing from the many instrument sounds on the digital pianos.”

There is a fee to enroll in the classes. Registrations will also be taken by phone or on the Internet.

Williamson offers a number of other piano classes as well, including classes for those with previous piano experience. She said she’s looking forward to teaching piano classes this fall.

“I really enjoy the social aspect of working with adults,” she said. 

“When a new class forms, we may not know each other at first, but we all share at least one or two life experiences: raising children, caring for an ailing family member, pursuing hobbies or charitable work, and so on. I also really enjoy being a part of each student’s musical journey and watching them experience — some of them for the first time in their lives — the sheer joy that comes from participating in music.”

Bottle Works Arts fundraiser returns to Johnstown

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third’s popular Tombola fundraiser is returning to town July 17.

Angela Rizzo, Bottle Works executive director, said that the fundraiser is one of the non-profit arts center’s most successful because of its unique nature.

“This fundraiser has received rave reviews from previous attendees,” Rizzo said. “It is quite an exciting night. We try to host fundraisers that tie in with our mission by providing artists and the public opportunities to experience the arts. This is definitely not your typical dinner fundraiser.”

Attendees will each be given a ticket stub upon arriving at the door. They’ll have approximately 30 to 45 minutes to view all the artwork on display. All ticket stubs will then be placed in a large revolving drum (also known as a tombola) and drawn at random, giving each and every ticket holder an opportunity to choose a piece of art from the gallery walls to take home as a souvenir.

Tickets will be pulled until every piece of art is gone. Each piece of art is valued at approximately $100.

“It’s such an exciting thing, wondering when your number is going to get pulled,” Rizzo said. “This event is so exciting and interactive . . . it allows Bottle Works to set ourselves apart by introducing people to different art and providing artists with an opportunity to offer their work.”

Tickets for “Tombola 2015: Third Time’s a Charm!” cost $80 per person or $150 per couple. The admission price includes a Tuscan style dinner by Joey Del’s 2001 Caterers, hors d’oeuvres and live musical entertainment by Ferguson and Friends, a band from Indiana that Rizzo said has performed during previous Tombola fundraisers at Bottle Works.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call a Bottle Works staff member at 814-536-5399 or 814-535-2020.

All proceeds from “Tombola 2015: Third Time’s a Charm!” benefit Bottle Works Arts on Third.

“Supporting this event helps support the Bottle Works,” Rizzo said. “When people step back and take a look, we really try to improve the quality of life here (in Johnstown) and we’re such an important part of the community. This will definitely be a fun, different night out for those who plan to attend.” 

Summer camps offered in Cambria City

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third will once again this summer host a variety of camps designed for children of all ages.

This year’s first summer camp is Joanne Mekis’ “Recycle-Reuse-Create-Grow,” which will give children the opportunity to create art and grow gardens using recycled and reused items. Several of the students’ projects will be submitted for display in Johnstown Garden Club’s “A Masterpiece in Bloom” July 24 and July 25. The camp is suitable for ages 7 through 12, and will take place from June 22 through June 26.

“B-Altered: Boards, Books, Blocks, Boxes, and Bottles,” is scheduled July 13 through July 17. During this summer camp, children between the ages of 11 and 15 will learn how to create their own sculptures using everyday objects. The camp will be instructed by Marianne Mekis Murphy.

Mekis will return Aug. 3 through Aug. 7 to offer “Mini Masters,” a camp that focuses on various art styles that were popular during different time periods.

Back by popular demand, this camp will feature all new artists and projects in case those who have attended before would like to attend again. “Mini Masters” is for children between the ages of 7 and 12.

Children who love music have the option to enroll in “African Drum, Dance and Celebration” Aug. 10 through Aug. 13 with instructors Holly Lees, Gwen Triplin and Johnny Bayush. Campers between the ages of 7 and 18 will learn the rich history of drum, dance and song native to Guinea, West Africa. Lees, Triplin and Bayush are members of Johnstown-based Kulani Dance Troupe, who traveled to West Africa last January to deepen their appreciation and knowledge of West African music and dance.

Camps are scheduled to take place from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours available if needed. Campers are asked to bring their own lunch and drinks.
In addition to the aforementioned camps, Bottle Works resident artist Laura Williamson will offer two piano camps this summer.

“Piano Fun for Beginners” will take place June 15 through June 19 from 9:30 a.m. to noon for first- and second-graders, and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. for third- and fourth-graders. A third session for second-, third- and fourth-graders will be offered July 13 through July 17 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The cost to attend covers materials.

“Way Cool Keyboarding” will be offered from July 13 to July 17, with this class taking place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. “Way Cool Keyboarding” is suitable for students in grades five through nine. The cost to attend covers a book and a CD.
Early registration for all summer camps is recommended.

Renowned authors attending Children’s Book Festival

Learning Lamp

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

The Learning Lamp, in conjunction with Bottle Works Arts on Third, will host the seventh annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown from April 10 through April 12. The three-day festival is free and designed for children in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

This year’s featured authors include Zachariah Ohora, Greg Pizzoli, Dave Roman and Mark Weakland.

Ohora is an award-winning author and illustrator of numerous children’s books. His debut book, “Stop Snoring, Bernard!,” won the 2011 Founders Award of the Society of Illustrators, a Merit Award from the New York Bookbinders Guild and was chosen as the PA One Book for 2012.

Pizzoli is author and illustrator of the 2015 PA One Book “Number One Sam.” His first picture book, “The Watermelon Seed,” won the 2014 ALA Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. He also won two Portfolio Honor Awards from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Roman is the author and illustrator of the popular graphic novel series “Astronaut Academy” and co-author of two New York Times bestselling graphic novels, “X-Men: Misfits” and “The Last Airbender: Zuko’s Story.” Roman previously worked as a comics editor for “Nickelodeon Magazine.”

Weakland is an award-winning author, educator and musician who incorporates science into books about everything from sports to simple machines.

His most popular books are “Zombies and Forces” and “Motion.” Weakland is currently working on sets of “Scooby Doo” books.

“Children love to hear from authors about how they started to write and illustrate books when they were their age,” Lisa Stofko of The Learning Lamp said. “Some authors have showed kids pictures that they drew and saved from when they were in elementary school. Others tell the stories of their books while they draw a favorite character right before children’s eyes. I think these presentations really inspire kids to put their own creativity to the test.”

In addition to Ohora, Pizzoli, Roman and Weakland, other children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers will also participate in the festival.

Events scheduled for this year’s festival include hands-on arts and crafts, live theatrical and musical performances, a new and used book sale, author signings, a bookmark contest and a book giveaway. Each child who attends will be given a free age-appropriate book from First Book to take home.

Last year, the Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown was named one of four “Best of the Best” arts projects by the PA Council on the Arts. Since its inception, the festival has evolved into a premier literacy event, drawing 2,095 people from eight Pennsylvania counties.

“We hope that children and parents or guardians can enjoy reading together,” said Ingrid Kloss, director of development at The Learning Lamp.

The festival, which will take place inside the Bottle Works building on 411 Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood, is scheduled for Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Submissions sought for Pillar Park

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third is announcing a call for designs for Pillar Park art projects.

Painters, artists and designers are invited to submit proposals to paint the underpass pillars beneath Route 56 in Johnstown. A total of 36 pillars support that bypass. Pillar Park organizers chose this highly visible corridor as a way to engage both local citizens and visitors.

“This a very exciting project for Johnstown, and it has kind of become famous,” Bottle Works AmeriCorps volunteer Emma Noonan said. “I have had so many people ask about how they can get involved. It’s good to have the community want to be involved in something fun and creative.”

Artist submissions are due May 1 by 5 p.m. Digital renderings are preferred. Submissions may be sent to Emma Noonan at activitiesdirector@bottleworks.org. The new pillar artists will be chosen by a committee and notified on May 6. Artists whose designs get chosen can begin to paint their pillars as early as June.

Submission guidelines are available online by visiting www.bottleworks.org. For additional information, contact a Bottle Works staff member at 814-536-5399 or 814-535-2020.

3-D exhibition coming to Bottle Works

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third is hosting this year’s Indiana University of Pennsylvania DDD: Three Dimensional Form Studies and Spring Juried Exhibition. Both exhibits are scheduled to open March 27, with a reception scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. that evening.

IUP’s Spring Juried Exhibition features work from both graduate and undergraduate students. It was curated by Adam Welch, an artist, musician and curator who holds a master’s from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s from Stony Brook University.

Welch has exhibited his work both regionally and internationally, and is the recipient of the 2009 Individual Artists Fellowship in Installation/Sculpture from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the 2008 Emerging Artist of the Year award by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He serves as curator at Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

The DDD: Three Dimensional Form Studies exhibit also contains a hand-picked selection of IUP students’ work. The university’s 3-D design class helps students develop skills essential to success in the art department, as well as techniques which can be used in other fields of study. Instructor Steve Loar is interested in teaching his students perseverance, problem-solving abilities, brainstorming skills, conceptual insights, knowledge of materials and the ability to “get to the answer” in ways others might not consider.

Unorthodox materials, such as recycled plastics, are used in the class and can be seen in the exhibit. Loar said that the artwork serves as “striking examples of achievements in the 2014-15 school year.”

The opening reception on March 27 is free for members, while non-members will be asked to make a nominal donation at the door.

Both exhibits are to remain on display through May 2. In addition, Welch is to give a curator talk April 18 beginning at 4 p.m. The cost to attend covers light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.

Bottle Works gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The nonprofit arts center is located at 411 Third Ave. in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

Art Defines You event scheduled

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third is hosting its third annual Art Defines You exhibit, which is scheduled to open March 21. A reception is to be held at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

The exhibit, which also serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, is made possible by community members, who fill the galleries with their artwork. Anyone is invited to participate in the exhibit by dropping off artwork at Bottle Works. The artwork can be either a treasured piece of artwork in owners’ personal collections, or a piece of art made by the owners themselves.

Anyone who is interested in participating may drop off artwork at the Art Works building March 21 between 10 a.m. and noon. All pieces will be insured and installed by professionals.

“It’s so exciting every year to see what will be brought in and how the show develops,” Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo said. “(This is) probably our most diverse exhibit in regards to the art, but also the people. There is excitement behind the event because we basically have six hours from the deadline to pull it all together, but it always turns out amazing.”

The reception is open to the public. The cost to attend also covers an art entry. Adult beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served during the reception, and a cash bar will also be available.

Following the reception’s conclusion at 9:30 p.m., local band FlowerChild will perform until 11:30 p.m. The all-ages show will also feature a bar area for those with a valid ID.

“This is an event that is just plain fun and extremely affordable — a unique night out,” Rizzo said.

Bottle Works is located at 411 Third Ave. in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.