By Amanda Schreck
SC Staff Writer
The PoconoArts Council was born in 1975 and has brought arts and culture to the Poconos ever since. It has 60 corporate and municipal sponsors and has grown from a small volunteer association to a full time non-profit.
Laura Goss, the executive director of the PoconoArts Council said, “I lived here 8 years before an actual position opened up because before that, the arts council was run by volunteers. So, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and through Pennsylvania Arts Council, I was able to get a paid full time position here.”
In 1999, the council moved to its current location in downtown Stroudsburg.
The PoconoArts Council’s Artspace gallery houses local artists work as well as classes, events, and community interaction.
“We offer classes in the space, run several festivals throughout the year, and have a lot of things that we do in the community. The gallery is really the front for the Arts Council, so we are an art service organization,” said Goss.
This month, the gallery features the works of 2014 PoconoArts Visual Arts Award recipient, Andrea Rimberg. Rimberg is primarily a sculptor, but she also does photographs, paintings, and recently sculpted a bust of jazz performer and composer of School House Rock, Bob Dorough.
“We try to pick someone who is outstanding in the community and she’s been very active in the community. The perks of being selected are you have a show and the arts council commissions a piece. (Dorough) was actually our first performing arts winner. So, it’s sort of neat that we will have both of them there,” said Goss.
Students can buy a membership with the gallery for $15 a year, which includes monthly newsletters, discounts on classes, workshops, and participation in the annual Members’ Exhibition, among other perks.
Anyone who joins between now and October 20 can submit their artwork for the Members’ Exhibition, which runs from November 1 to November 22.
Goss said that students can benefit from attending galleries because, “you never know if you will walk in and say, ‘That’s great. I would love to be able to paint like that. Sign me up for a class.’”
The gallery will be hosting workshops this October including oil painting, photography, floor cloth painting, watercolor, blues guitar, mandala workshops, and Japanese lantern making.
Goss said, “I like to always remind people that everything we enjoy in life is touched by arts. People don’t think about this, but the music you listen to on the radio, your house, your car—a car would run without an artist but it wouldn’t look very good.
So students need to realize that the arts are not a luxury. They are not a snooty thing. They are what we enjoy in our life. They are what make a community an interesting one in which to live.”
In saying that, make sure to pick up a membership today and let your creative juices flow!
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