Tag Archives: Malcolm Crittenden

Crittenden creates ‘lights-out’ exhibit

Submitted photo

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Community Arts Center of Cambria County’s first exhibit of 2017 is titled “Art in the Dark.” The exhibit, which opens to the public Jan. 28, features work by local artist Malcolm Crittenden, whose artwork focuses on black light pictures.

“My study and observation of the heavens has inspired me to become an artist by means of black light pictures,” Crittenden said. 
“I have chosen black light pencils as a medium to capture the details of the night sky. It is my desire to recreate the awe and wonder that falls upon those who stand out under the night sky.”

Crittenden signs each piece of his work with “Psalm 19:1.”

“The setting of David’s Psalm is familiar to my artwork: a nightscape, with both the earthly landscape of the Judean hills and the vastness of a starry night sky,” he said.

Crittenden, who served as a Pennsylvania state mine inspector, spent much of his career in the outdoors appreciating the vast landscapes. 

He has always been interested in astrology, too.

When the comet Hale Bopp appeared in the late 1990s, for instance, he purchased a large telescope and, several years later, painted his first black light poster titled “In the Beginning.” The poster was used as a teaching tool for a high school astronomy class.
Over the years, Crittenden developed an artistic approach that involved the use of fluorescent paints and pencils to capture nightscape-visions.

Angela Godin, the arts center’s executive director, said she admires Crittenden’s art, and is thrilled to display his paintings in the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center gallery.

“The opportunity for the community arts center to hold a uniquely diverse exhibition is a true honor,” Godin said. “We are excited to constantly offer new experiences and mediums for our members and the general public.”

Godin described the exhibit as being true to its name: The art will be experienced in the dark, as each piece will be displayed inside its own individually lit shadowbox.

“This exhibit is going to be a total experience,” she said. “The room will be, for the most part, completely black, and there are so many pieces that it will illuminate the room. This is something that hasn’t even been done in the area before.”

An opening reception for “Art in the Dark” is scheduled for Feb. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. inside the arts center’s historic Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center. 

During the reception, Crittenden is to present a gallery talk, which will give him the opportunity to discuss his creative process. Crittenden is also sharing a finished piece plus a work-in-progress.

Local musician Dan Becker is set to perform during the opening reception.

“Art in the Dark” is scheduled to continue through Feb. 28. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

“We’re trying to do more diverse and unique things and offer all different forms of art to really capture the essence of every type of medium,” Godin said. “There’s no doubt that this exhibit provides a great start to 2017.”

In addition to viewing the exhibit, people are also invited to vote on their favorite paintings. Those who do will receive a free raffle chance, and the winner of the raffle will receive a black light piece of his or her choice. 

The raffle drawing is scheduled to take place Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased from a staff member of the arts center.

Crittenden said he hopes that his work will inspire others to take a longer look at the night sky.

“The Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center has a unique gallery in that the grounds surrounding the arts center lend a scenic quality to the normally plain gallery room,” he said. “Viewers, upon seeing my black light nightscapes exhibit, will likely want to step outside and peer at the night sky.”

‘All Folked Up’ in Cambria City

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

This month’s SongWorks dinner at The Grand Halle on Broad Street will feature regional musicians Sam Coco, Malcolm Crittenden and Barry Poglein.

On July 14, these three are to present a concert titled “All Folked Up,” which features a setlist full of songs from the 1960s. Think Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, The Kingston Trio and John Denver.

“We’re hoping to bring a flood of great memories to the audience, as well as having them sing along with familiar folk songs and enjoying our original folk songs with the stories we are telling in the music,” Coco said. “If you remember the TV shows ‘Hootenanny’ and ‘The Smothers Brothers,’ you can once again sing along and tap your feet to favorite folk songs. I feel that music should be fun for the performer and audience.”

Coco and Poglein are no strangers to the SongWorks Series; they have performed together every year since the series began in 2012. Crittenden, meanwhile, joined SongWorks more recently.

“I’m proud to have performed yearly trying to do different shows so the audience will see new material every time,” said Coco, a Johnstown resident. “We are trying very hard to give the people who attend our shows a lot of diversity so they will tell their friends and the next show gets new people to attend.”

Grand Halle Manager Dave Hurst sang the trio’s praises.

“Sam, Barry and Malcolm are always a lot of fun,” Hurst said. “They don’t take themselves too seriously, and they love to get the audience involved in their performance. Combining their relaxed approach with classic folk music of the ‘60s should make for a special evening of laughs and nostalgia.”

Hurst said that he admires “Sam’s versatility and musical experience, Barry’s off-beat sense of humor and Malcolm’s depth of feeling.”

In addition to performing traditional folk songs, the trio will also sing some originals. Coco said he’s excited to share with audiences the history and importance of the genre.

“Folk music has been a part of all world cultures, as it preserves the times and histories,” he said.

Though the deadline for dinner reservations has already passed, community members are invited to pay a nominal admission fee at the door in order to enjoy the 90-minute musical performance component of the evening. Performance-only tickets can be purchased at the door beginning as early as 5:45 p.m.
In addition, the performance is BYOB. B&L Wine Cellars, located just a few blocks away from The Grand Halle in Cambria City, offers a SongWorks Dinners special discount at its Broad Street location.

The SongWorks Dinner Series, which is held May through December, is in its fourth season. Each evening features a catered meal and live music. The live music is provided by members of SongWorks, a group of musicians who meet regularly in a workshop-type setting. The group meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at the Bottle Works in Cambria City and is open to anyone interested in writing and performing original music. The group’s official website is www.johnstownsongworks.org.

The Grand Halle on Broad Street (formerly Immaculate Conception church) is located at 306 Broad St., on the corner of Broad and Third Avenue, in the Cambria City Cultural District.

Hurst said that the former church will provide an ideal venue for this type of music.

“This concert should play to the acoustical strengths of The Grand Halle: It is an especially effective venue for acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies,” he said.

For more information about this performance, call 814-536-7986, and for more information about all of the upcoming concerts at The Grand Halle on Broad Street, visit www.grandhalle.com.

Hurst said that if this concert goes as well as the first one, which featured Beatles covers, audience members are bound to be in for a good time.

“Our premiere show of this SongWorks season featured the music of the Beatles and people loved it,” Hurst said. “They dressed in Beatles wear and sang along to all of the songs. We expect a similar response to this show. Perhaps a flower child or two will show up!”

SongWorks series underway at The Grand Halle

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Just as The Grand Halle’s Performance Series concluded for the season, so another series began.

SongWorks Dinner Series at The Grand Halle — formerly the Immaculate Conception Church — features live performances by local artists and a dinner.

“People will get a great meal and excellent music, performed by some of the Johnstown area’s most creative musicians,” said SongWorks organizer Teresa Fisher. “This is original music, being performed by the people who’ve written it, in a relaxed setting.”

This year’s SongWorks Dinner Series began last week with a performance by “Guytars.” The lineup for the remainder of the season includes Denise Baldwin and Roy Milstead on June 11; Sam Coco, Barry Poglein and Malcolm Crittenden on July 9; and Ray Flores, T Fisher and Carole Rively on Aug. 13. 

SongWorks Showcase, a performance featuring all SongWorks members, is scheduled for Sept. 10, followed by the SongWorks Songwriter Contest on Oct. 8. The series will culminate with a performance by Walt Churchey and Jackie Kopco on Dec. 10.

SongWorks is a monthly songwriters’ workshop that gives members an opportunity to encourage and critique each other. Their efforts are shared with the public via the SongWorks Dinner Series, where musicians try out new music and polish earlier works during performances before live audiences.

These performances are designed to be intimate in that audience members are able to sit close to and interact with the performers. Occasionally, other SongWorks members or audience members are asked to participate in a song or two.

This year’s SongWorks Dinner Series is once again sponsored by AmeriServ, and this year’s dinners will be provided by Flair of Country Catering.

Reservations are not mandatory.

“Tickets will be sold at the door as before,” said Kim Rauch, program director at The Grand Halle. “But by calling or posting that you plan to come, it will help us to ensure that enough food is available for everyone who wants dinner.”

The Grand Halle is located at 306 Broad Street on the corner of Broad Street and Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood. Proceeds from the SongWorks Dinner Series benefit The Steeples Project, the development campaign for three former Roman Catholic church buildings within the cultural district.