Whirlwind Weekend of Arts
by Cate Murway
Arts are pretty BIG in this small town. Historic Bristol on the Delaware is vibrant and alive with something for everyone, a work of art in itself. Inspiration is everywhere!
The streets are slowly filling with inviting little shops and galleries, and art shows are no longer just a sometimes in the summertime thing here. Visual arts as well as the excellent theatrical and musical presentations are regular events in the professional Bristol Riverside Theatre.
Bristol is ART RICH and coming to epitomize cultural coolness, the sort of place where people can find a true sense of creative community. It is a home to artists of all persuasions - visual, performing, musical, literary, and culinary just to name a few. With its history as exceptional as the arts, who wouldn't want to visit this lively, open-minded town?
The new ‘kid on the block’, the Bristol Centre for the Arts located on Mill Street, is attracting excellent artists and craftspeople. The idea of having a permanent space is more important than one may think.
The ribbon was cut at the Grand Opening by Marc Joseph Pavone and Michelle [Pavone] Stricker.
Michelle beamed, “My father was the first inductee into the Hall of Fame”.
Last Thursday evening, the late renowned artist, Joseph E. Pavone was posthumously inducted into the CFA Hall of Fame. The Pavone family is honored that his contributions to Bristol are remembered and his artistic talents are recognized. “His family and Bristol meant most to him. This Centre is much like his Radcliffe Gallery, a place where artists can meet and exhibit. This carries that tradition on. My father was a painter, a sculptor and a great art teacher.”
Excitement filled the room along with the Artists of Bristol, local artisans and the stream of guests.
Rose Marie Strippoli is known to express her passion for art with verve. “The building is beautiful and the opportunity for the artists is beautiful. I brought mostly my abstracts and my new items, alcohol inks that I’m really excited about.” [Alcohol ink is an acid-free permanent ink that is used to make a shiny, metallic background.]
Janice Rhodes represented her works with Cuban photographs from her recent trip, printed on translucent mulberry paper. Gail Bracegirdle showcased her creative watercolor images. Marty Shively’s contributions were ‘still life’ and plein air oil paintings [oil painting outdoors, on-site], created at Silver Lake Nature Center. “This building is awesome. The timing is right!”
Rodney Miller is a fine art photographer and digital artist. “I push my photography to the extreme.” He crafts out of various materials for the sole purpose of photographing.
Oil/ realist painter, Jennifer Elizabeth Renshaw, who’s painting, "Portrait of Sean, Winter Solstice" is shown in the National Portrait Gallery in London, presented figuratives/portraitures. “It’s fantastic to have this Centre in the Borough.”
Thomas Philip “Tom” Furey, III, Fine Arts Artist is very happy to be there exhibiting his “summer-y, Spring, Bucks County- feel paintings”. His daughter Lisa loved it. “I had tears. I’m very excited.”
Renowned artist and true Bristolian, Joseph Sagolla brought “watercolors from the town that I like.” Bristol is rich with his artistic expressions, from historic monuments to colored concrete tiles along the Delaware.
Eugene J. “Gene” Williams, Executive Director of The Grundy Foundation is impressed. “Sipping wine, looking at art in Bristol. This is fantastic!”
Construction Manager Richard Schneyder remodeled the entire first floor of Ballow’s Shoes. “They wanted to make it modern looking. It was challenging with a lot of nooks and crannies. I couldn’t have done it without all the guys who came together to make it all happen.” His wife, RTB VP, JoAnna is so delighted that everyone came out to support.
“The people that put this whole thing together just did such a fantastic job”, President of Bristol Borough Council, Ralph DiGuiseppe added. Ronald and Veronica Walker provided the financing.
Police Chief Arnold Porter smiled and said he really likes “Strippoli art. This is finally something the Borough needed and wanted and it has come to fruition.”
Julia Grilli admired the exhibits. Employed in the Borough, she remembered when the building was Ballow’s Shoes. “It’s beautiful!”
Steve Bielecki came to admire the shore art. “Just an art lover!”
“This is a top rate art show. It’s just great!” shared Ellen Doak Winslow.
Gina Antonelli King nodded, “I think this is awesome. Art is important.”
Co-owner of the King George II Inn, Robert Strasser expressed, “The arts displayed and the building are amazing. We made a small donation to support the community. This really builds on what Bristol offers.”
Design and Project Manager, Mycle James Gorman and Ronald Vincent McGuckin, Esq., the co-proprietors of Spice & Co., were “overwhelmed with the turnout and really impressed with the resurrection of a great building that has been repurposed. The diversity and talent of the artists was the original impetus for this. The whole positive thing about Raising the Bar is that everyone always says ok! This is very emotional.”
Former President of the Bristol Borough Business Association/ proprietor of Another Time Antiques, Richard P. “Rich” Vallejo believes “this will be fantastic for the Borough, for the Street and for the town.”
Raising the Bar President/ Author Bill Pezza is ecstatic. “We have exceeded expectations with the quality of the building and the quality of the artwork. This is a perfect venue to honor Joe Pavone.”
The Gallery/ Visitors Center will be open 35 hours a week. Closed on Tuesdays. “We have volunteers who will staff the building for 3 hours a week.” Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12 to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 12 to 3 p.m.
AOB member, Jeanette Ann “Jan” Ruano will be one of the volunteers who keeps things going.
In collaboration with the Delaware Canal Festival last Friday, Raising the Bar of Bristol Borough was proud to bring a small, but filling, Food Truck Festival. The crowds came to celebrate, eat, get wet and listen to folk and Irish music. Three Award winning Food Trucks and two local vendors parked on the corner of Prospect Street and Jefferson Avenue providing mouth watering selections, including waffles, Surf and Turf, The Cow and The Curd, Cheese Dawgs and Palumbo's Mobil Brick Oven Pizza.
“I want to give a shout out to Julie D'Angelo who did so much to help Raising the Bar with the food truck festival. The result was a smash. Good job, Julie,” praised Raising the Bar President Bill Pezza.
“Fun night at the Lagoon! The kids loved the duck decorating, games, and boat parade. The food trucks were a really fun addition and quite the hit!”, his daughter, Leighann Pezza confirmed.
The River Drivers in Concert supplied the featured sound as canoes, kayaks, rafts, and decorated boats paraded around the lagoon. Much like a DUCT TAPES to water, the Bristol High School Science Summer Camp students created their rides for the Cardboard Boat Float Contest, making use of cardboard boxes, duct tape, glue, liquid nails and their best of INVENTIONS…..even setting bets on how long their craft would last. They were prepared to take a swim.
Patrick Mulhern’s Driftwood Water Adventure, LLC loaned kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards to Bristol Borough residents for free. Generous cash prizes were awarded for the most humorous, beautiful, and colorful, as well as Judge's Choice and Best of Parade.
Lynn Vogel is a Geologist/Environmental Specialist with the State of New Jersey [NJDEP] and a Board member of the Friends of the Delaware Canal. She was busy selling the yellow ducks for the decorating contest. “We promote its use and restore it and keep it a nice place, as well.” The beauty and charm of the canal drives recreation and also the economy in the community.
Bristol residents, BHS Science teacher/ wrestling coach, Scott Brown and his wife, Diane enjoyed catching up with their friends while Rita Lentz munched on her pizza and shared, “It’s a beautiful event to attend.”
On the eve of the Summer Solstice, last Saturday, June 20, trailblazers Jina Dierolf and Gina (Bristol artist Penelope Fox and filmmaker Gina Marie Andreoli) hosted their first annual signature soireé, Salon du Soleil, that lit up the courtyard of the Grundy Commons complex with the iconic clock tower.
The local distillery Dad's Hat Rye hosted a tasting, a Brazilian BBQ Food truck satiated hunger and Calm Waters Coffee Roasters churned up the fresh java jolts for the celebration.
The music, the art, the books, the posters, the sculptures…. so many selections made it most difficult to decide what to concentrate on first!
Penelope Fox was pleased. “The vibe of the night was so positive and upbeat. It was cool to bring people together and watch them meet each other for the first time.”
Gina gave a “special shout-out to Chuck Reece, a great guy who did such an amazing job lighting the event!” Chuck Reece responded, “You dreamt it up, I just came along for the awesome ride.”
Music pulsated within the confines of Gina’s studio. The night's entertainment included live music by Ondyne's Demise, Greg McGarvey, Mike Kiker, Evan Scheerer, Spoken word artists Root Murmur, and even fire dancers. Whimsy truly fueled their creativity.
“Incredible honor drumming for the incredible Aaron the Red last night. I love it when incredible things come together last minute. Very memorable night!” Joe Rakowski shared.
What a night! Gina and Jina agreed, “Today we rest, tomorrow we start planning the next celebration.”
Historic Bristol on the Delaware has captured the hearts of so many with its small-town charm, unexpected cultural abundance, and diverse, fun events. It packs a cultural punch!
Continue to join them in celebrating the arts, the culture, and all of the things that make Bristol Borough one of the best destinations.
It’s home, and it can be your’s too, even if just for the weekend!
Mark your calendar for “Jazz on the River” in Lion’s Park, behind the King George II Inn on Friday, June 26th from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Ticket sales, benefiting the Bristol Borough Learning Centers, limited to 200.
Tickets are $50.00 and food and drinks will be provided for ticketholders by KGII at their outdoor riverfront patio. Valet parking is available. Raindate: Sunday June 27th, 1:00pm- 4:00pm.
The Advisory and Oversight Committee, Bristol Borough Learning Centers, are thankful to the new owners of the King George II Inn, Robert Strasser and Bruce Lowe, for sponsoring this event and championing community support for Borough youth and their families.
Questions and information can be directed to Shea Cialella, AOC Administrator, by phone, 267-566-2300, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, event information can be obtained by visiting the King George II Inn website at www.kginn.com
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail email@example.com
By Jeff Werner
Published: Monday, June 22, 2015
Delaware Canal Festival drops anchor as giant octopus invades Bristol
nd kayaks hit the water in Morrisville.
Jerry Taylor of Yardley Borough has his arms full with his decorated octopus boat.
BRISTOL BOROUGH >> It’s not every day that you see a giant octopus making its way across the Bristol Lagoon. But there he was – tentacles, suction cups and all - reaching out as if to say hello.
Luckily for everyone, this floating cephalopod was just part of the decorations as this year’s hugely popular boat parade took to the waters of the lagoon Friday evening as a two-day Delaware Canal Festival got underway in Bristol and continued Saturday afternoon in Morrisville.
More than 1,000 attended the first evening of the festival in Bristol, drawn to the banks of the lagoon by the unique parade of watercrafts which has grown in popularity over the past three years and the festival’s first ever food truck extravaganza organized by Bristol’s own Raising the Bar.
The event kicked off with the parade of boats, including the giant octopus created by Jerry Taylor. He used helium balloons for the head of the light blue creature and bendable plastic piping to form its colorful tentacles.
The friendly octopus was joined by nine other boats for this year’s parade, including a fishing vessel, Daniel Boone wearing his signature coon skin hat, Pocahontas and one scary-looking pirate, each of them paddling across the serene waters of the lagoon as canal shanties performed by the River Drivers filled the air.
But just as the parade was picking up speed, a sudden downpour sent people scurrying for cover beneath the tents set up along the banks of the lagoon. But the rain was short lived and soon the boats were again circling the lagoon and people were again watching from the shoreline.
Motoring by in a boat dubbed “Fish Bait” was Daniel Marshall and his best friend Clover. Marshall reeled the parade’s coveted “Best of the Parade” award for his fishing boat entry.
Riding in the wake of the fishing boat was Dawn Rumovitz of Bristol, who kept her balance on a floating board while doing a Hawaiian hula dance. She won Most Beautiful among the parade participants.
The Reid family paddled by next with a canoe decorated with a large picture frame on the front and the words “Picture the Canal.” Their entry won for most imaginative. Along for the ride were Jennifer, Andrew, Zoey and the Amazing Andrew Reid of Levittown.
Pocahontas and her Brave, Chrystal and Robert Voroscak of Croydon, were the next to paddle by. Riding in a canoe painted by seventh grade art student Sara Ciallela of Bristol, they won the judge’s choice award.
Then there was Kenneth Barrett of Bristol, who floated by in his homemade duck boat judged as the most humorous of the parade. He used a pair of patent-pending paddles to propel himself across the water. “I guess you’d call me a lucky duck,” he said afterwards.
And no festival would be complete without a pirate. Dave McGlynn of Bristol used the opportunity to plunder the festival as the “Pirate of the Lagoon.” The judges gave him an award for “Most Shiny.”
Watching from the shoreline as the boats paraded by was Landmark Towns’ coordinator Pam Coleman. The organization, which promotes the boroughs of Yardley, New Hope, Bristol and Morrisville, organized the two day festival to bring attention to the canal and two of its communities.
“I’m amazed at how creative these people are,” she said. “Some spend hours and days thinking about it and some dash them together at the last possible moment, but they are all amazing and really, really creative.
“This was a fabulous event,” Coleman continued. “I’m really impressed by the turnout and by the work of the volunteers. Kudos to the volunteers who put this together,” she said.
She later joined Susan Taylor, executive director of the Friends of the Delaware Canal, in doling out additional awards for this year’s decorated ducks, which included soccer, graduation day, Irish, royalty and numerous other themes.
Taking home “Best of Show” this year were Aly Komyanek and Kyle Cittadino of Bristol for their entry, “Lucky Duck,” which featured a duck sitting in the middle of a bowl filled with Lucky Charms.
Another winner at Friday evening’s event was Collin Brady, a rising ninth grader at Bristol High School. He won the first ever cardboard boat race by paddling his camouflage-themed vessel across the finish line in 1:48.
Brady and five of his classmates at BHS accepted a challenge from their teachers – Bobby Moyer and Doug Braun - to build their own vessels using just cardboard, paint and duct tape and race them across the lagoon without sinking. The boat with the fastest time would win.
Some of them used a pretty basic theme, like Justin Reardon’s motorboat, while others were fancier, like Jose Rosado’s shark, Jacob Frey’s duck and Ryan Bigio’s pirate ship.
“This far exceeded my expectations,” said Braun, an eighth grade social studies teacher who watched the race unfold from the banks of the lagoon. “I thought maybe they’d stay afloat 30 minutes - maybe a minute. I thought - it’s cardboard and it’s going to get wet and sink.
“But apparently they know more about boat building than I do,” he laughed. “They did a great job. They researched it on the internet and found out how to build them and were highly successful.”
Collin admitted he had some serious doubts going into the race.
“We all brought bathing suits. I went overkill on mine,” he said. “We also wore sandals and water shoes.”
“I had confidence, but I wore a bathing suit just in case I did sink,” added Frey.
Bigio had real reason to be concern. Just minutes before the race was to begin, parts of his boat fell apart while he was painting the vessel. “I had to tape it all up,” he said.
Fortunately for Bigio, duct tape does a pretty good job. He made it to the middle of the lagoon and back to shore without taking on water.