PITTSTON — Main Street went from ordinary to artsy in a matter of minutes as the Second Friday Art Walk made its grand return Friday to kick off the new season.
Artists lined up and down the street from 5 to 9 p.m. doing live demonstrations of their work, or selling completed projects while musicians kept the flow going with live entertainment.
The Sunday Dispatch held an Open House during the event to showcase its new office at 71 N. Main St. Times Leader Media Group Executive Editor Tim Farkas played guitar and sang while Pittston artist Heidi Van Leuven set up in a tent outside the Dispatch office and refreshments were offered inside by Times Leader and Dispatch employees.
Residents from all over Greater Pittston joined in on the fun, and Main Street Manager Rose Randazzo was thrilled with the outcome.
The best part, she said, was the diversity among age groups in attendance.
“What I’m most impressed with tonight is the number of young people — teens and early 20s,” she said. “In the past, I thought it was more of an adult crowd and we are packed with kids tonight, and I love that. One of our goals is to spark them young.”
Allie Maranti, 11, and her younger sister, MaKayla, 9, were as young as they got when it came to participating in the art walk as they were hard at work on a mural of a city church.
The Pittston siblings were instructed by Jan Lokuta, who ran an interactive mural for local children, calling it a calming experience.
“It really calms you down,” said MaKayla.
Allie said she’s always enjoyed painting because of how it makes a person think.
“I really like painting,” she said. “It’s so concentrating.”
Abigail Roberts, 18, a senior at Pittston Area High School left her mark on the event as well, being the winner of a contest in which a poster she designed will be the official art walk poster.
The Yatesville resident’s poster represented a sunset over an Arabian scene, but said there was nothing to her poster — she was just having fun.
“It’s not really interpretive of the art walk, but I felt the colors involved were really representative of how colorful everything is,” she said.
Roberts’ work will leave an impression at art walks, as will Pittston resident Kristen Rinaldi’s work, who painted a human canvas of none other than her boyfriend, Bradley Lee, also of Pittston.
Rinaldi painted Lee black and white to look like he was right out of the scene of a graphic novel. She said she started painting him a few hours before the event officially began.
“We were just brainstorming ideas as to what the theme was going to be for this project and we went with this,” Lee said. “She said, ‘You’re going to be the model’ and I said ‘Totally down with that!’”
Rinaldi will paint more human canvases at future art walks and will be stationed outside Gerri’s Bridal Shoppe.
Another main stay at the art walk is Mary Kroptavich, of Duryea, who sold photos she’s taken of nature and wildlife, such as lions and eagles.
She joined the art walk last year after being a patron in prior years.
“I was a patron walking around and I said ‘I can do this. I can sell my stuff here,’” she said.
As other patrons walked through her tent to glance at her work, Kroptavich interacted with everyone to answer their questions and explain her work.
She said that’s what she enjoys most about the art walk, interacting with the residents.
“I like meeting new people,” she said.