Seasons Archives: Summer 2017

Inspired Expressions: Brush, Lens & Clay

Donna EdmondsWatercolorist
Glenn ThompsonPhotographer
Cheri Lee Anderton-YarnellPotter

God’s Creation Enthralls Red Brick Gallery Artists

Whether watching the sunrise come up over a glistening field, marveling at the intricacies of nature on a woodland walk, or floating down the river charmed by the waterfowl and mesmerized by the water’s swirling patterns, we are blessed to live in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley Region. Worlds of wonder surround us.   Some of us reach for our cell phones to capture the moment in a photo. Fortunately, artists among us engage and interact with that inspiration to explore its beauty more deeply and share their discoveries with us in their artwork.

In the Red Brick Gallery’s next exhibit running from Friday, July 14 to August 20, 2017, local artists Donna Edmonds, Glenn Thompson and Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell reveal their awe of the beauty of God’s creation and their journey as artists in three different media: “Inspired Expressions: Brush, Lens & Clay”. Revel in their inspired watercolors, photography and pottery and meet them personally at an Exhibit Opening on Sunday, July 16 from 4 to 6 PM, after Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts’ 2 PM Lincoln Hall concert by International Competition winner, pianist Sean Kennard.


Donna Edmonds, Watercolorist

Donna Edmonds, Cheri Lee Yarnell-Anderton

After retirement from a career as a corporate executive, watercolorist Donna Edmonds studied Botanical Art and Illustration at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden and has been an instructor there, teaching classes for the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program. Her work has been exhibited at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens as well as the Phipps Garden Center in Shadyside and other Pittsburgh venues. She is a member of the Allegheny Highlands Botanical Art Society and The American Society of Botanical Artists. Donna is the founder and Artistic Director of ARCA’s Red Brick Gallery and currently resides with her husband in Parker, PA.

“It’s a gift to share my creative wanderings with others at the Red Brick Gallery and a privilege to participate in an exhibit with other artists whom I respect,”  Edmonds said. ”I’m delighted to be part of this trio of artists. My fellow exhibitors are indeed gifted artists in their fields and it will, I’m sure, be a most interesting show.   For my part, I spent numerous happy hours on my new watercolours!   I do hope many guests will visit the Red Brick and enjoy this exhibit.”


Wake Robin Trillium


“Although I can be considered an artist, I think I am really an explorer. I am attracted, not so much to the act of painting, as to the subjects that I illustrate. God’s creation enthralls, captivates, awes me by its diversity, complexity and beauty. Painting is my way of engaging and interacting with that breathtaking, fascinating, endlessly complex beauty and in so doing, seeking the face of the Creator.

Indigo Bunting

My training originated at Phipps Conservatory in the Botanical Art and Illustration Program and lead me to membership in the Allegheny Highlands Botanical Art Society and the American Society of Botanical Artists. A collaboration between Phipps and the Allegheny Highlands Botanical Art Society called the Flora Project, launched my interest in Western Pennsylvania native plants. That interest has since expanded to the local birds and the architecture of their wonderfully and amazingly built nests which are very specifically constructed and vary by each bird species.

I am inspired by the life I see around me – the plants and creatures that I share space with every day – because I can witness them, touch them, get up close to them. My training as a botanical artist serves me well since the goals of botanical art are detail and accuracy. To accomplish this, one must examine closely, dissect, and research the subject. And so, that has become my habit. I’m curious to understand the details – the colors, the structures, the life cycle, and the habitat – of the things I paint. This process causes me to gain incredible bits of knowledge about my subjects. And it causes me to grow in appreciation for the power and intellect of the great and holy God who created it all.

Eastern Meadow Lark

Also, because of this, my process is lengthy. Once I have chosen, examined, and researched, I draw, as often as possible, from live plant specimens or inactive bird nests. However in the case of birds, I work mostly from photos. I try to capture details and experiment with various aspects and positions ultimately resulting in a final composition. This drawing is then transferred (traced onto) to a new, fresh sheet of 300 lb. hot pressed (a very smooth surface) watercolor paper or, sometimes, to a piece of sheepskin, goatskin, or calfskin parchment or vellum, using a lightbox. The watercolor paper I use is 100% cotton rag, acid free. This, along with high quality, light-fast paints results in longevity equal to oil on canvas. Before applying paint I experiment with paint colors and mixes in order to match the real subject and produce a realistic result.

Finally, I pick up my brush. I work with a very small, usually #1, round, kolinsky sable brush which allows me to achieve fine detail. Watercolor is a somewhat unforgiving medium. Since the paint is transparent, mistakes cannot generally be covered up or corrected without damaging the surface of the paper. So, the work must progress slowly and carefully, applying many diluted layers to accomplish saturated color. Colors are mixed in two ways. Sometimes the colors are mixed on the palette before application. But color mixes can also be achieved by what is called optical mixing – by layering two or more colors alternately on the paper so that the eye does the mixing as it sees through the “stacked” transparent glazes. For example, alternating glazes of yellow and blue create the effect of green. A complete and complex spectrum of colors can be achieved by simply using a palette of the three primary colors!

Northern Harrier Hawk and Chicks

Because of the detailed nature of this art form, it takes many hours of painting to complete the piece. But when it is done, the next step for me is to take the original to a fine art printmaker to be digitally scanned. The color-matched scan is used to produce limited edition giclee prints. A giclee print refers to one that is produced in such a manner that it is identical to the original. It is produced on a twelve color printer to achieve maximum color matching, with fade resistant, archival pigment-based inks on archival substrates – watercolor paper, photo paper or canvas. The process is expensive but it produces an image as close to the original as possible on a fine surface material. It, like the original, will retain color indefinitely with a modicum of care. Most recently, I have reduced my limited editions to 10 or fewer, since my aim is not mass production but simply to enjoy and share the paintings that I am able to produce.

I am ever thankful for the wonder of the creative process since it gives me such pleasure and satisfaction. I am convinced that God reveals Himself through the universe that He created for us to enjoy and discover and that He invites us to pursue a knowledge of Him through the marvels of His creation. Having formed us in His image, like Him, we all have a drive to create.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.

Proceeds from the sales of my works are donated to Life Choices, providing life affirming choices in Butler, Armstrong and Indiana Counties since 1984.

Glenn Thompson, Photographer

Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Artist Glenn Thompson has pursued his passion for nature photography in his retirement, rekindling his deeply rooted interest in photography, which began when he received for Christmas in 1955 his first Ansco camera and film-processing and contact-printing kit. He made black and white photos using the kit, as often as his allowance and grass-cutting jobs would provide cash to buy film and developing chemicals.

“It is almost impossible to believe that less than ten short years after retiring from a global business career that I would be displaying photographs in an art gallery! Until the last few years, the results of those trips ended up as coffee table books, which eventually got stashed away on obscure shelves.  As a co-op member of the Red Brick Gallery, I now have the opportunity to share some of my images with a broader audience than just my family and friends who visit my home.  It gives me much pleasure to share the beauty of this special planet we call home as I see it through the lens of my camera. “


“My most recent journey into the realm of photography is the result of the fortuitous convergence of two events, my final retirement from corporate life and the advancement of the digital image age. This convergence rekindled a lifelong interest in photography that began when I was nine years old. My fascination with nature in all of its expressions, especially animals of all sorts, provide unlimited subjects for the lens of my cameras. The existence of light makes it all possible.

Gray Langur Monkey

Bengal Tiger – male

It became evident to me that the soul of the creatures I photographed was best perceived when the eyes were the focal point of my images. Small things that move fast, however, present an unique challenge to achieve an accurate and sharp image of its eye. But the continuous and significant evolution in digital cameras and lenses has enhanced the possibility of achieving that goal. The possibility of taking ten or more frames per second freezes of a subject in very thin slices of time is a wonderful advantage that can also be a burden. Sometimes there can be just too many pictures!

As an example, consider two ten day photo trips, one an animal safari in Africa and a second capturing the landscapes in some of our National Parks. Photographing flying birds and running animals at ten frames per second can easily result in the collection of ten thousand images. On the other hand, that landscape trip could result in less than five hundred images, all captured with the camera on a tripod, just waiting for that exact moment of perfect light.

In both cases, the photos must then be processed and evaluated to uncover the “keepers”. Ten thousand images can represent hours in front of a computer screen while in the case of the landscape photos, the time is spent on setting up the shots.

My photography interests continue to expand and evolve as my capabilities improve. As a post-retirement adult, I use the internet daily to study new subjects and increase my understanding of how the masters achieve their incredible images. I am currently dabbling in some astrophotography; trying my hand at candid portraiture; doing some macro photography of flowers; and learning to print my own photographs.”

More about Glenn Thompson

Glenn and Linda Thompson

Glenn and his wife Linda Thompson (fabric-coiled basket artist) have been Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Artists since the fall of 2015, but they have much deeper roots in the Allegheny Valley going back to the 1940’s when Glenn first retreated with his family to a shared “fishing club” camp on the banks of the Allegheny near Emlenton. In 2007, Glenn and Linda, who reside in Butler, PA, acquired the riverfront property and rebuilt the lodge as a second home in their retirement. Now with their two children and grandsons, they are the fourth generation to have “this piece of Paradise leave indelible marks on [their] lives”.

Glenn Thompson is a retired businessman and entrepreneur.  His corporate career spanned 35 years during which he was involved in the coatings businesses of PPG Industries and ICI (England). His early work life was technology-focused including coatings research, technical and customer service management. Midway through his career, Glenn migrated to corporate development roles including global M&A and international corporate expansion. His international experience was extensive and included overseas postings in England and Brazil. His five year assignment in Brazil involved the creation of the business structure for PPG’s South American coatings operations including the construction of two factories and five business acquisitions.

Shortly after retiring from corporate life in early 2003, Glenn became an angel investor in Plextronics, a high-tech spinout from Carnegie Mellon’s chemistry department. A few months thereafter, he joined the fledgling operation as their COO and helped grow the company to more than 70 employees over the next seven years when he retired once again. He remained as an active consultant to the company until it was sold to Solvay (Belgium) in 2014.

Glenn is a 1968 graduate of Westminster College with a B.S. in Chemistry and is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees. He has done post-graduate studies at CMU, Pitt and the Vlerick School of Business in Brussels.

Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell, Potter

Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell at the wheel

For potter Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell, playing in the mud as a child began her lifelong passion for clay. Today her work is both a reflection of her concern for our planet and fellow humans as well as a celebration of earth and of a spiritual path.

“I enjoy weaving images in a variety of clay vessels.  I am particularly drawn to the plight of amphibians and endangered and threatened species,” said Anderton-Yarnell. “These have become the signature images in my work. From the playful to the profound, I intend for each vessel to evoke a sense of the beauty and peril of our world.”

Her work is primarily high fired porcelain or stoneware. Cheri creates each piece individually, from wedging the clay, forming each vessel on the potter’s wheel or hand building.  Some pieces receive surface treatment using handmade stamps, pieces of crochet or tatting for texture. Much of the work involves alteration through manipulating and through sculpting.


“This past year of working in clay has been one of introspection and of celebrating passages.  My journey in clay for 38 years has been a consuming pursuit in gaining skill and in expressing my observations of nature and reflecting my own spiritual path.  The subjects I am drawn to are wild places and in particular the plant and animal inhabitants.  This past year I completed a goal of walking the same 8 mile woodland path with my spouse each morning.  We marveled at the subtle intimate intricacies of PA woodlands.  These intricacies have emerged in this year’s renderings in clay.  Many of the pieces feature animals, botanicals and interpretive patterns.

All the work is original and formed by hand using slabs of clay or begins on the potters’ wheel.  I choose to work in porcelain or white stoneware because of the smooth white surface, which encourages surface decoration.  Many of the pieces are painted in colored slip (liquid clay infused with pigment) to produce surface depth.

The next step is sgraffito or etching through the slip to create imagery.  The etching process is very meditative and it is my hope these pieces will convey this mindset.  Other pieces in this collection are quite vibrant and feature the repetition of dot patterns that are very whimsical, while others feature sculptural animals.  All the work is high fired, durable and safe for use.

Green bowl

I have retired from shows this year.  My work may be found in Foxburg at the Red Brick Gallery, in Franklin at the Victorian Art and Frame Gallery shop and at the Gallery  Shop in State College, Pa.  My work has been published in two Lark Books:  500 Animals and 500 Teapots.”

Frog Teapot

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays, 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Sundays, Noon to 4:00 PM.  An Opening Exhibit welcomes guests on Sunday, July 16, 2017 from 4 to 6 PM after the 2:00 PM concert of International Competition Winner, Sean Kennard.





Benny BenackSax, Clarinet, Trumpet & Vocals

Looking for that perfect night out with your sweetheart – an evening of dancing to swing, Dixieland and jazz with wonderful vocals from the Great American Song Book?  This will be a night to remember as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts brings back Pittsburgh’s Jazz Legend –  Benny Benack and his Band!  

He’s the MAN – This is THE Band – and  It will be SIZZLING, WORLD CLASS JAZZ & SWING for a “hot time in the old town of Foxburg” and the perfect late summer night out.

Consummate Showman and Band Leader, BENNY BENACK and his Quartet will “TEAR THE ROOF OFF” of Lincoln Hall, Saturday night, September 16 at 7:30 PM!  
Call to reserve now as seating is limited!  Tickets are $20 for Adults and Students $5.  Beverages will be available by donation.  Call 724 659-3153 to reserve or buy online here. 

Benny’s virtuosic artistry on sax, clarinet, trumpet and vocals will be backed up by some of Pittsburgh’s hottest musicians wailing, rocking, and charming the audience with Swing, Jazz standards from the Great American Song Book, Dixieland, and Rhythm and Blues.

Last year in his cameo appearance in a night of New Orleans Jazz, Benny had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand and wanting MORE BENNY!  Now, an entire night of his magical audience charisma and musical virtuosity and versatility.

AND Be sure to wear your dancing shoes! Dancing at Lincoln Hall has become a favorite of audiences – loving both the warm ambience and close up experience of thrilling music making and also the opportunity to dance with their sweetheart at the back of the hall.

Benny Benack and his band will make you want to get up and shake a leg… but if you prefer to sit and enjoy, there will be plenty of musical variety and outrageous riffing to entertain and delight!

Tickets are $20 for Adults and Students $5.  Beverages will be available by donation.

Call 724 659-3153 to reserve or buy online here.


Benny Benack, Jr.
 is a legend in the Pittsburgh jazz and night club scene – a band leader well known for his virtuosic musicianship and charismatic audience appeal.  The Benny Benack Band plays everything from jazz, swing, big band, and Dixieland – with wonderful vocals from the Great American Song Book and more.

The band’s front man is no stranger to the music world.  His father, Benny Benack, was a Pittsburgh band leader and at the forefront of the Pittsburgh jazz scene in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  Benny Jr. song continues the family’s musical tradition playing trumpet, clarinet, and saxophone.  His son, Benny Benack III, is following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps as a jazz trumpeter and vocalist, currently building a big name for himself in the jazz scene in New York City.

HAVE AN UNFORGETTABLE TIME dancing in the golden twilight to Rock ‘n’ Roll, 50’s, Pop music, and Jazz with John Burgh’s BIG BAND in an OUTDOOR CONCERT on Sunday, August 13 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at beautiful RiverStone Farm in a new shaded, grassy location west of the H-Barn.  Bring the WHOLE family – your lawn chair, cooler, picnic basket, AND dancing shoes – and join us for a magical night in one of the most scenically beautiful places in western Pennsylvania – RiverStone Farm!

A favorite of ARCA audiences and known throughout the Pittsburgh area for his musical versatility in a broad spectrum of styles, keyboardist and band leader, JOHN BURGH is bringing a nine piece Big Band of Pittsburgh’s preeminent instrumentalists and vocalists – including celebrated Pittsburgh singers, LISA BLEIL and RANDY EUGENE, performing it ALL – from jazz standards, 50’s, rock ‘n’ roll, and vintage country to popular music sure to delight the concert crowd and get ALL ages up and dancing!

Versatile vocalist LISA BLEIL is known for her performances on the Emmy-winning PBS series “Live From Studio A” and can also be seen on the nationally-televised “Rock, Rhythm & Doo-wop” and “Red, White & Rock” performing with Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli and Connie Francis, among others.

BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY – OR – have a romantic night out with your sweetheart! Bring lawn seating – a chair or a blanket – your picnic basket and cooler – AND your dancing shoes!

The concert is RAIN OR SHINE.  If there’s rain, the entire concert simply gets moved inside to the Olympic sized arena in the RiverStone Farm H-Barns. The RiverStone gate opens at 5:00 PM – and the concert starts at 6:00 PM.

Children under 6 are FREE, Students are $5, and Adults are $20.  Buy online or call to RESERVE: 724-659-3153 Beer, wine and water for sale. 

Beautiful RiverStone Farm

Gates open at 5:00 PM. RiverStone Farm is located at 352 Foxview Road, Foxburg, PA 16036, just up the hill from Foxburg.   Once in the area, follow the signs to the turn onto Foxview Road off of Route 58 (Foxview Road on one side and Metz Road on the other).  It’s RAIN or SHINE – so plan for the day, no matter what.  Any issue with weather, we simply move inside to the H-Barn Arena.

The musicians’ tent is ready – and the RiverStone grounds are gorgeous… All That’s Missing is YOU – and the BIG BAND!

Bring a cooler – a picnic – lawn seating or a blanket – and have a wonderful evening with your family or special moments with your Sweetheart.

Would you also like to enjoy ARCA’s annual Membership Pig Roast Picnic, which precedes the concert this year at 4:00 PM for ARCA Members?

 If you become an ARCA MEMBER  by August 7 , you can be a part of the festivities and also attend the Membership Picnic beforehand! Click here to become an ARCA member and reserve and pay for your dinner ticket by August 7 to attend the ARCA Membership picnic, making a full day of it at scenic RiverStone Farm.

For more information on the ARCA Membership picnic and becoming an ARCA member, call 724-659-3153.


2017 Glenn Thompson, photographer

Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg!  Enjoy a walk along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles with Foxburg Tours OR have a Segway tour of beautiful RiverStone Estate in the morning or early afternoon!  Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza.  Save time to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  Or spend the night in the lovely Foxburg Inn.

And of course, before the concert stop by the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop to enjoy the offerings of talented Cooperative Artists from the region and view the works by Donna Edmonds, Glenn Thompson and Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell in the exhibit – Inspired Expressions:  Brush, Lens and Clay.

About the Musicians

John Burgh and his band have been so popular with ARCA Members playing during the annual membership picnics and late into the night, with Members dancing for hours.  Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to bring JOHN BURGH back with a nine piece BIG BAND ORCHESTRA for an ENTIRE evening of joyous music-with celebrated Pittsburgh musicians – including celebrated singers, LISA BLEIL and RANDY EUGENE, performing jazz standards, 50’s, rock ‘n’ roll, vintage country and popular music… sure to get ALL ages up and dancing.

It’s going to be a gorgeous summer night of grooving and rocking to BLUES, JAZZ & ROCK ‘N ROLL as keyboardist John Burgh and superb cross-over, world travelled and acclaimed musicians will make you want to get up and shake a leg… but if you prefer to sit and enjoy, there will be plenty of musical variety and outrageous riffing to entertain and delight!

John Burgh was first introduced to the Pittsburgh music scene on 1982 when he joined the Harold Betters Band playing five nights a week at the South Hills Sheraton.  John graduated from IUP in 1981 as a piano performance major, and has returned there many times to play with nationally known artists such as Billy Crystal, Rita Moreno, and recently Doc Severinsen.

John BurghJohn played for many years with the Billy Price Band touring Europe in 2003. He has played and recorded 5 albums with the rock group Gathering Field, playing Hammond B3 organ. Besides filling in occasionally with CLO productions like Miss Saigon and Addams Family, he enjoys playing piano for local musical productions in Sewickley. A long time member of the Balcony Big Band (18 piece jazz band), playing monthly at the Jergels Rhythym Bar in Warrendale.

Many people will remember his performances over the last 30 years in the Oil City/Franklin and Foxburg area.  John grew up in the Harmony/Zelienople area playing piano accompanying his father, who played banjo, and helping his family in the tractor salvage yard business, which he continues to this day.


John Burgh and Lisa Bleil

From Jazz standards to Rhthym & Blues and Rock n Roll, vocalists LISA BLEIL and RANDY EUGENE are sure to delight – AND to get you up and dancing!  Have a listen…


Vocalist Lisa Bleil was a featured performer on the Emmy-winning PBS series “Live From Studio A” and can also be seen on the nationally-televised “Rock, Rhythm & Doo-wop” and “Red, White & Rock” performing with Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli and Connie Francis, among others.  Lisa’s theater credits include “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Sound of Music” and “Kiss Me Kate”. She also spent several years with Latshaw Productions as a writer, director, and performer of themed musical reviews that performed in the Pittsburgh area as well as touring the Eastern US and Canada.

RANDY EUGENE – Rhythm & Blues AND Pretty Woman


BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY – or have a date night on a picnic blanket at twilight at beautiful RiverStone Farm.  Children under 6 are FREE, Students are $5,  and Adults are $20. You can buy tickets here or call 724 659-3153 to reserve.

“Dimensional Wonders” Exhibit

What art offers is space, wrote American novelist John Updike – “a certain breathing room for the spirit”. Visual artists then become the choreographers of this space of mind and spirit – whether meditatively drawing us into an experience of untold dimensions or creating protected physical spaces to hold our precious thoughts, papers and worldly treasures.

The Red Brick Gallery’s Exhibit, “Dimensional Wonders”, presents such a refreshing space in which to catch your breath with paintings of Steve Hindman and fabric-coiled baskets of Linda Thompson from Friday, June 2 to July 9 at 17 Main Street, Foxburg.

Meet the Artists at an Opening Reception on Sunday, June 11, from 4 to 6:00 PM when when musicians from CARNIVAL OF SOULS will match the inspiration of Steve Hindman’s Celtic interlace art with spirited music.  

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Painter Steve Hindman

Since his retirement as an educator in the Philipsburg-Osceola School District of Pennsylvania, Clearfield artist Steve Hindman has been working on a series of paintings taking the Celtic interlace art of his ancestors and adapting it to abstraction and color field painting. Inspired by the Book of the Kells, his technique begins by painting layers of transparent and opaque paint stains to create an ambiguous background for the viewer to explore. He then overlays a Celtic grid pattern and illuminates with double knot-work, to create a level of iridescence. The grid layer creates a fluid moving layer above the colored background and adds a shimmering effect.

Viewers have described the surface beauty and unfolding dimensions of his paintings as mesmerizing, inducing a kind of meditative state. Hindman says, “Each artwork I attempt invites the viewer to experience new relationships of movement, pattern, and color. I present a new vision beyond the basic Celtic knot-work into manifestation of feeling, creativity, and technical skill. It is my intention to take the viewer on a journey into my work, assist them to understand and acquire a new language and see abstraction as something insightful in its own right. All painting is in its simplest form just paint on the surface of a support. The artistry comes in how the work draws the viewer into a sense of wonder. My work is an attempt to give form to that innermost creative impulse.”

The fun part, according to Hindman, is the constant experience of expanding and stretching as an artist. From looking at topography maps, it occurred to him that he could create a grid and interlace the Celtic knot-work over a landscape. A painting coming over from the Winkler gallery in DuBois has mountains in the foreground and background and a bright sky, overlaid by Celtic knot-work.

Busier than ever in his retirement, Hindman serves as President of The Susquehanna River Art Center of Clearfield and oversees two galleries and local arts programs.   In 2015, Steve Hindman art was displayed in the juried Allied Artists of America Exhibition at the National Arts Club Gallery in New York City.

Linda Thompson’s Fabric-Coiled Baskets

Linda’s fabric-coiled baskets are each uniquely contrasted in color, texture and decoration. Formerly a professional Gifted and Talented coordinator, Linda first discovered weaving when she and her husband spent five years in Brazil during his tenure as a corporate executive with PPG Industries.  While there, Linda found an English speaking weaving teacher from whom she learned the language of warp and weft as a calm pursuit in the midst of the turmoil of living far away from family and trying to fit into a new culture.   Returning to the U.S., her weaving led to her chosen artistic pursuit: “When I discovered fabric-coiled baskets, I knew I had found a great creative outlet!

As each row spirals into existence, there is surprise and fulfillment, color-play and texture, whimsy and structure. What is a basket? …a vessel… a pleasing shape… a means of self-expression.” Erik Wahl’s quote rings true with her: “The secret is not the mechanics or technical skill that create art–but the process of introspection and different levels of contemplation that generate it.”

An organized and structured person, Linda finds pleasing the repetitive motion of basket making and the tactile touch of the fabric and cord. She also enjoys finding beads to decorate her baskets, shopping at an annual quilting convention in Cleveland. Sometimes a fabric inspires a bead and sometimes the other way around. What gives Linda great satisfaction and relaxation is learning something new with each creation, unique in its own way. Part of the fun is the magic of not knowing what she is getting as baskets emerge from the sewing machine often not exactly as planned.

The mystical aspect, says Thompson, is that she will never know how the baskets will be used. “People who buy my baskets complete the project for me. The baskets aren’t finished until they are put to use by the people who purchase them. I create a vessel – and they fill that vessel or choose to leave it empty on a shelf as a decoration.” A blue and yellow fabric-coiled basket in one friend’s kitchen is filled with lemons, and the same basket perfectly matching French kitchen tiles in another’s home gives order to chaos, holding invitations and bills to be paid. Baskets made from camouflage fabric hold men’s keys and coins.

With the proceeds from her creations, Linda sponsors a program she calls “Baskets for Books” which provides easy readers to ESL (English as a Second Language) students in two elementary schools. As students improve their new English reading skills, they may choose one of the donated books and practice reading it with the teacher or volunteers. When they master it, they may take it home and keep it to proudly demonstrate their new reading skills to family and friends.

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

International Pianist Sean Kennard

As the beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley indulges in the lushness of summer, come into the air conditioned comfort of Lincoln Hall and luxuriate in the timeless beauty of piano masterpieces in the hands of internationally acclaimed pianist, Sean Kennard in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg at 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 16.  

You will be moved and entranced both by Sean Kennard’s pianist sensitivity and virtuosic bravura. The Washington Post wrote of his “powerful and involved music making” and described him as “a strong luminous pianist.”

A recent prize winner in the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Sean’s debut recording received rave reviews:  American Record Guide said that he “plays Chopin’s preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them. He boasts a huge, romantic sound and a bold melodic vision.”   Here is his Chopin Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Opus 23, which Sean will be playing in Foxburg.

Fanfare wrote that “his playing is full of life and sparkle… ” with a “mastery of Chopin’s idiom… in fingerwork that floats featherlike over the keys in the fast-paced preludes, giving the impression of complete effortlessness and in an emotional responsiveness to the poetics of the slow pieces that is quite touching.” 

Sean Kennard received his undergraduate Bachelors from the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music, a Masters from The Juilliard School, and is completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at Yale University.  He has accepted a position on the faculty of Stetson University beginning in the fall of 2017. Kennard completed a two-year residential requirement of coursework and writing a thesis at Yale, and is in the first of three years of required professional experience. That includes performing and teaching, and leads toward a D.M.A. in 2020 once he submits a portfolio and completes a final oral exam and recital.

After the concert, please join us to meet this most interesting and talented young artist at a reception and exhibit opening at the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop on Main Street, Foxburg, featuring the artwork of Donna Edmonds, watercolorist;  Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell, potter; and Glenn Thompson, photographer.

Tickets are Adults $25, ARCA Members $20 and Students $5.   You may reserve tickets by calling 724-659-3153 or may purchase tickets online here.

Just an hour and half north of Pittsburgh, Lincoln Hall’s intimate acoustics provide a truly inspired environment to enjoy chamber music and pianists performing on its 7 foot Steinway. Built in 1909, the stage’s backdrop is an original hand-painted canvas of an actual scene downstream on the Allegheny River.  Lincoln Hall has a capacity audience of 120 and is located on the second floor of the Foxburg Free Library.

Plan to Make a Day of it in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley and Foxburg!  Enjoy the glory of summer with a walk along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles or do a Segway tour of RiverStone Estate with Foxburg Tours.  Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza.  Plan to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  Or spend the night in the lovely Foxburg Inn, where every room has a river view.

Sean Kennard

Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Viña del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.

Kennard has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as Japan’s NHK Chamber Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic, the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Belgique and Orchestre Royal de Chambre in Belgium, the German Chamber Orchestra of Frankfurt am Main, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, Sinfonia Perugina, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras of Charleston, Sioux City and Honolulu.

Sean has appeared in recital and chamber music in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Sall Cortot (Paris), Palais des Beaux-arts and Theatre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Chopin Society (Warsaw), and major venues in Italy, Japan, Korea, Morocco and Chile.

The Washington Post wrote of his “powerful and involved music making” and described him as “a strong luminous pianist.” American Record Guide said that he “plays Chopin’s preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them. He boasts a huge, romantic sound and a bold melodic vision.” Fanfare wrote that “his playing is full of life and sparkle.”

Sean’s first teacher was Ellen Masaki. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004. In his final year at Curtis he won the institute’s Sergei Rachmaninoff Award, given to one graduating pianist each year. After subsequent work with pianist Enrique Graf he received a Master of Music from the Juilliard School (studios of Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald) and spent the following two years in the studio of Richard Goode.

Sean is currently engaged in doctoral studies at the Yale School of Music in the studio of Boris Berman. Kennard has completed a two-year residential requirement of coursework and writing a thesis at Yale, and is in the first of three years of required professional experience. That includes performing and teaching, and leads toward a D.M.A. in 2020 once he submits a portfolio and completes a final oral exam and recital.   Sean has accepted a position on the faculty of Stetson University beginning in the fall of 2017.

Sean Kennard, Pianist

Preludes Op. 28                                                 Frédéric Chopin
No. 11 (B major)
No. 13 (F sharp major)
No. 21 (B flat major)
No. 23 (F major)
No. 24 (D minor)

Ballade in G minor, Op. 23

Preludes Op. 28
No. 1 (C major)
No. 3 (G major)
No. 4 (E minor)
No. 7 (A major)
No. 8 (F sharp minor)
No. 15 (D flat major)
No. 16 (B flat minor)

Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31




Preludes from Book 1                                        Claude Debussy
No. 11, “La danse de Puck”
No. 7, “Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest”
No. 8, “La fille aux cheveux de lin”
No. 5, “Les collines d’Anacapri”

Prelude from Book 2
No. 12, “Feux d’artifice”

Three Movements from Petrouchka                  Igor Stravinsky

Bernie CunninghamLead Singer & Guitarist
Bob ArtisMandolinist
Karen ArtisString Bassist
Radford VanceBanjo Player
Michele Birkby-VanceFiddler

Come on out and hear the NEW SOUND of audience favorite, the Allegheny Drifters. Yes, it’s a Bluegrass Jamboree in Foxburg – Back by popular demand –  Bob and Karen Artis and Berne Cunningham, and BETTER THAN EVER with their new banjo player and fiddler – Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance!

Gather by the river as ARCA brings to the beautiful Allegheny River Valley the uplifting and energetic bluegrass of the Allegheny Drifters in concert in Lincoln Hall on Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 PM!  It’s musical fun for the whole family that will remind you what country living is all about.  The stunning vocal harmony, blazing instrumentals and soulful singing and good old-fashioned bluegrass energy of western Pennsylvania’s finest blue grass ensemble will set your down-home toes a tapping!

Take a break from the summer heat in Lincoln Hall’s air conditioned comfort and have a country-good time enjoying Bluegrass at its Best.  From the western foothills of the Alleghenies, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Drifters have presented their exciting style of bluegrass to audiences across the country for more than a decade. Their engaging, fast-paced show with bluegrass instrumental fireworks and heartfelt vocals appeals to all ages, as seen in this performance at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh in June of 2014.

Bring ALL the generations of your family and your friends.  Tickets are $15 for Adults and $5 for students.  Children under 6 Free.  Beverages available by donation,

About the Allegheny Drifters

Allegheny Drifters Banner

Internationally acclaimed Bluegrass recording artists, The Allegheny Drifters have earned a reputation with their superb song selection and good old-fashioned blue grass energy and drive – and are audience favorites right here in western Pennsylvania.

Bob Artis and Bernie Cunningham’s natural duet blend echoes the sound and feeling of the golden age of bluegrass. When joined by the high harmony of bassist Karen Artis, this band presents a warm, authentic sound that touches the heart. Add Bob’s soulful mandolin and the exciting banjo and fiddle work of Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance and you have an unbeatable bluegrass sound straight from the heart of the old Alleghenies.

Enjoy the “new fiddler” and banjo player additions to the group in this performance from the 2017 Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival.

In response to their CD, Can’t Wait, Canadian disc jockey Howard Bonner wrote, this is “a regional group who belongs on the national scene … a smooth but steadfast adherence to bluegrass music. Great CD release!”

The Allegheny Drifters are known and loved for their… “Tremendous talent and deep respect for the soul of the music they perform.”  Make a night of it –  Join the toe-tapping fun on Saturday, July 29 and experience their soulful music making in Lincoln Hall at 7:30 PM – and Bring the whole family.

About the Musicians

bernie-bioLead singer & guitarist Bernie Cunningham has one of the finest voices in traditional bluegrass today.  A born bluegrass singer, Bernie is the product of a West Virginia coal mining family, raised on traditional music. He and Bob have performed together for over 30 years. Bernie’s talents are in high demand; he’s recorded with several regional bands, released a solo CD and is a gifted and versatile multi-instrumentalist. The Allegheny Drifters is the first band in which he takes center stage as lead singer and guitarist. Bernie makes his home in rural Fombell, Pennsylvania.

bob-bioMandolinist Bob Artis is a veteran of the western Pennsylvania bluegrass scene. Playing professionally since the early 1960s, he began a tenure with Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers in 1968, recording nearly 80 songs for the Rural Rhythm and County labels. Bob’s deep feeling for the music is reflected in his book Bluegrass, the first-ever history of the music, and in his classic modern song, “Blue Ridge”. He’s appeared on PBS’s “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and over his long career, has played or recorded with bluegrass legends Red Allen, Hylo Brown, Clyde Moody and Larry Sparks.

karen-bioBassist Karen Artis drives the beat with her rock solid rhythm on the upright bass and is an excellent singer whose high harmonies add warmth and depth to the band’s vocals. Also a talented songwriter, she contributed the title song for the “Climb Heaven’s Ladder” CD project. An award-winning designer, she handles all the graphics for the band. Karen’s outgoing personality and enthusiasm both on and off stage continue to win new friends and fans for the Allegheny Drifters. A native Pittsburgher, she and husband Bob live in suburban Forest Hills.

Banjo player Radford Vance
has been playing the banjo since he was 8 years old. Born in Richlands, Virginia, bluegrass was in his blood. Since age 12, he’s spent his years traveling the country playing the music that he loves, and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many of the musicians who forged the path of bluegrass music, including Carl Story, Hylo Brown and Lawrence Lane. He formed his own band, Tradin’ Post, based in Mansfield, Ohio during the 1980s, and added his banjo expertise to the Ohio-based band Northwest Territory for 20 years. Radford brings his experience, vocals and banjo style to the Allegheny Drifters. From straight-up banjo rolls to melodic pickin’ he adds drive and feeling to the band’s sound.

Fiddler Michele Birkby-Vance  If you’ve gotta have a fiddle in the band, Michele Birkby-Vance will delight you with her talent and enthusiasm. From a family of Grantsville, Maryland fiddlers, at age 10 she learned to play from her Dad, and went on to become a five-state fiddle champion. Along with husband, Radford Vance, she played bluegrass with Northwest Territory for 21 years. She also played fiddle on the very first IBMA award-winning “Daughters of Bluegrass” recording, and toured for 2 years with the New Coon Creek Girls. Always smiling, Michele brings a fifth vocal harmony to the band, and adds smooth backup and superb fiddling. She and Radford now reside in Garrett County Maryland.

History of the Allegheny Drifters

In 2002, veteran western Pennsylvania bluegrass mandolinist Bob Artis was invited to put together a one-show-only bluegrass band to perform with the Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra at their debut concert to be held in April 2003. Bob’s wife Karen Artis was the obvious choice to play bass, and friend and former bandmate Bernie Cunningham was called in to sing and play guitar. With the addition of Alabama transplant Jake Abrams on banjo, the Allegheny Drifters were born and were an instant hit.

At the time, Jake and his wife Lisa were busy with their own band, but Jake continued to help out on banjo when he could. In 2005, Keith Beaver, banjo picker from Leetonia Ohio was invited to join the band, and remained a popular member for nearly a decade until his departure at the end of 2013. Young med school student and Banjo player Gregg Welty joined the band in 2014, leaving in the summer of 2015 to resume his medical career.  He was replaced by the talented multi-instrumentalist, Jim Scott, in 2015, and in 2016 banjo player and fiddler – Radford Vance and Michele Birkby-Vance –  joined the Allegheny Drifters.

Hallmarks of the Allegheny Drifters are their stunning vocal harmony and their total commitment to professionalism. Through their many years of performing they’ve learned what audiences enjoy seeing and hearing, and work hard to please and entertain. They are a traditional bluegrass band without being overly bound to convention or restrained by the past. Bob, Bernie and Karen, all talented songwriters, add fresh material to the band’s catalog and continue to seek new ways of reaching out to audiences with their heartfelt message of real bluegrass.

The Allegheny Drifters released their first CD, Out of the Woods, in the spring of 2006. It was produced by David Mayfield and included guest fiddler Jeremy Abshire, who later went on to play with the Grascals. The project received great reviews – County Sales said “good songs, good singing, excellent listening” while Bluegrass Unlimited described it as “refined and well produced… traditional in the best possible way”.

In 2008, the band released Can’t Wait, featuring the outstanding fiddling of internationally acclaimed Michael Cleveland. WYEP’s Bruce Mountjoy referred to the material as “great original additions to the bluegrass songbook…tasteful arrangements that make each song come alive”. With a nod to Bob’s catchy title tune, Bluegrass Music Profiles enthusiastically declared, “Can’t Wait? Don’t wait! Get it!”

Their latest project, an all gospel CD, Climb Heaven’s Ladder finally debuted in 2014, delayed by a series of family losses and band members’ health issues. The titel cut was penned by Karen, and once again guest Michael Cleveland provided his blazing fiddle. All three projects have been well-received by national and international audiences worldwide via broadcast radio and streaming audio.

Over the past decade, the Allegheny Drifters have earned a solid reputation as one of their region’s most popular and hard-working bluegrass bands, performing at festivals, county fairs, corporate events, community day celebrations, universities, weddings, arts and crafts fairs, churches, rural grange halls and urban summer concerts.

Exciting to hear…fun to watch…the Allegheny Drifters enjoy what they do, and that joy is shared by their audiences and growing number of followers and fans.



Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts