Art is first on Second Fridays

First Posted: 9/14/2013

The art made Main Street in Pittston shine.

Despite storm clouds hanging low on Friday night, the final Second Friday Art Walk was a success, said Rose Randazzo, Pittston’s Main Street Manager and organizer of the event.

“We had more artists and musicians just coming in and setting up,” she said. “A lot of people from out of town are here that have never been to Pittston. I consider that a success.”

Included in the art fans visiting Pittston was Federico Castelluccio, known to many as Furio Guinta on HBO’s The Sopranos. Castelluccio is a realist contemporary painter himself and said he was excited to see what’s happening in Pittston.

“We have a lot of friends here,” he said. “And there’s a lot of art happening here in Pittston and we want to be a part of it, really experience it.”

Michael Callahan, owner of soon-to-be-opened Callahan’s Café and Coffee House, was in front of his business offering pumpkin spice coffee with whipped cream and cinnamon. He said he’s excited about events such as Second Friday Art Walks.

“It brings people to the city and gets the different businesses exposed,” he said. His café, which will feature a full coffee and tea menu, gift baskets, coffee by the pound food, desert and catering is expected to open in about six weeks.

The O’Boyle family of the Westminster section of Jenkins Township said this is the first Second Friday Art Walk they attended. Joe and Maria O’Boyle were enjoying some pumpkin spice coffee as their daughter, Yanna, munched on a snack.

“The only thing better would be if we had a college downtown,” Maria said. “That’s the vibe it’s giving off. It has a college town feel.”

Joe grew up in the Junction and said the downtown of 20 years ago was “burned out buildings and not much of a night life.”

“But now it’s exciting,” he said. “Things are changing for the better. I love the painting on the buildings. This is really, really great.”

Artist Dwight Kirkand, who was responsible for two of the downtown murals, brought his artist wife, Kay, and some of their work to display and sell. He works in acrylic on canvas and illustration board and she works primarily in pencil.

Kirkland, who makes a living at art, has about 6,000 products with his images on them. Things such as throws, coffee mugs, puzzles and greeting cards. He also does illustrations for advertising agencies, fine art and murals.

“Rose (Randazzo) asked me to bring some of my art and I was happy to oblige,” he said.

Maria Livrone, owner of the art gallery and co-op Art on Main, said Pittston is so supportive of the arts.

“In order to have anything viable you have to have a city government that is behind what you’re doing,” Livrone said. “They hire artists to do murals and fixtures and public art projects. It’s great for the downtown and it’s great for everybody.”

The Art Walk also featured over a dozen other local artists displaying and selling their creations.

Town Center, formerly known as the Lower Tomato Lot, hosted Merchants of Groove, a blues party band. Musicians also performed along North Main, the Pocket Park and the clock at Landmark Bank.

“Despite the weather, it was really a great night in Pittston,” Randazzo said.

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