Pittston’s Second Friday Art Walk connects arts and community

By Gene Axton - For Sunday Dispatch
Children paint rocks with the Pittston City Arts Council at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Luisa Garavito, 9, of Bear Creek, checks out a lighting display at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Art on display at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk on Main Street. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Karen Tetor, of Lake Wallenpaupack, flips through an art collection at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk. - - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

PITTSTON — The city got reacquainted with its arts community on May 11 during the first Second Friday Art Walk of 2018.

Scott Nichols’ booth in front of the Inspiration Mural in downtown Pittston served as an introduction to the event — for both the artist and patrons. Nichols, of South Auburn, said he began creating artistic lighting pieces almost two years ago.

“It just started basically with a whole big bad of insomnia,” Nichols said. “I quit drinking, so I needed something to do. I made a lamp for the heck of it and my wife said I should try to sell it. I thought nobody would buy it, but I put it up on Facebook and bam.”

Pittston City Second Friday Art Walk organizer Mary Kroptavich said Nichols is the exhibitor who traveled the furthest to participate in the event. This year, reaching out to artists in surrounding communities is a goal for the art walk committee.

“I think it’ll help to get more people to know that Pittston has an art walk; it will bring more people out,” Kroptavich said. “We want to pull people in from Wilkes-Barre, from Dallas.”

Despite the conscious outreach, Pittston City Second Friday Art Walk still acts as a showcase for hyper-local artists like 14-year-old West Wyoming resident Autumn Dyches.

Autumn hopes to turn her passion for drawing into a career and said her style varies from piece to piece.

“I’d either describe it as semi-realism or cartoonish,” Autumn said. “Some people would describe it as anime-ish.”

Duryea resident Annie Corcoran offers a different sort of art at her stand—the art of relaxation. Corcoran said crafts have always been a hobby for her, but she began making bath bombs and artisan soaps after her sister told her they sold well at craft fairs.

“I’m a teacher and got a gift card from a student for Barnes & Noble,” Corcoran said. “I got a couple books on making soaps and I was hooked.”

Corcoran made a special soap to sell at this year’s art walk: Pittston Tomato.

Across the street from Corcoran, Pittston resident Jeszika Le Vye exhibited her imaginative realism pieces. Le Vye has carved out a space for herself online—now she wants to get to know the artists of Greater Pittston.

“Most of the work I do is online. I do Kickstarters and a Patreon; we sell our books online and I go to conventions across the country,” Le Vye said. “I wanted to connect a little more with the local art community. The Internet, there’s something impersonal about it, so I like the idea of the personable connections, getting to know people.”

Patrons can get to know these artists and other exhibitors at the Pittston City Second Friday Art Walk, which starts at 5 p.m. on the second Friday of every month from May through October.

Children paint rocks with the Pittston City Arts Council at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_PSDArtWalk3.jpgChildren paint rocks with the Pittston City Arts Council at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Luisa Garavito, 9, of Bear Creek, checks out a lighting display at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_PSDArtWalk4.jpgLuisa Garavito, 9, of Bear Creek, checks out a lighting display at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Art on display at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk on Main Street.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_PSDArtWalk5.jpgArt on display at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk on Main Street. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Karen Tetor, of Lake Wallenpaupack, flips through an art collection at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_PSDArtWalk1.jpgKaren Tetor, of Lake Wallenpaupack, flips through an art collection at the Pittston Second Friday Art Walk. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Pittston’s Second Friday Art Walk kicks off

By Gene Axton

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.