The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 5, 2013

Picture of success: VOMA’s initial StudioPM program draws artistic crowd

JOHNSTOWN — The new monthly program titled StudioPM offered by Venue of Merging Arts (VOMA) got off to a rousing start and organizers are eager to sustain the momentum.

The initial step-by-step art instruction combined with a social event attracted a near-capacity crowd to the arts center located at 305 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johns-town.

The painting class in April featuring the inspiration of Georgia O'Keeffe fulfilled the expectations of the center.

“We were one ticket shy of a sellout,” said Karen Mesaros, VOMA director of development and marketing.

“I posted the photos of the event on Facebook and our likes went up 25 percent,” she said.

Mesaros also was encouraged by the  number of participants who traveled some distance to attend.

“We had people driving in from Portage and Northern Cambria,” she said. “We want to continue the buzz with our next StudioPM May 24.”

The session, which will take place from 7 to 10:30 p.m., will have participants do their best to make beaded jewelry with the help of guest instructor Alisa Barnhart of Clementine Designs in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County.

Barnhart is gaining a reputation for creating unique, hand-beaded creations such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

The instruction is geared for all artistic skill levels, including beginners, while socializing and networking with others.

“We will be doing two projects if time allows,” Mesaros said. “We will start off doing a single-row bracelet and by adding different charms and beads, people can be as creative as they desire.”

Programs are held the last Friday of each month and vary in creative inspiration and art medium.

The cost is $35 per session, which includes all supplies.

People are responsible for bringing their own beverages and must be 21 or older to participate in the sessions.

“Some people brought wine, wine coolers and a mix of other drinks to enjoy during the evening,” Mesaros said. “It’s a creative studio experience to create art, drink and socialize.”

Mesaros said that to the best of her knowledge, the nearest similar program is offered in Murrysville, Westmoreland County.

“We are finding that this is a good opportunity to offer something different to help attract people to the arts,” Mesaros said.

For June 28, StudioPM will offer a wine-themed acrylic painting on canvas session with instructor Natalie Poldiak.

Preregistered attendees will receive a special offer from B & L Wine Cellars in Cambria City and winey representatives will be on hand to give a brief talk about wine.


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