Annual MLK Service Draws Big Crowd In Pottstown

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: Martin Luther King Português: Martin Luther King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Each year, the interfaith prayer service honoring Martin Luther King Jr. celebrated by the borough’s various religious communities strikes a special chord with the Rev. Vernon Ross Jr.

“This is something I look forward to,” Ross said. “It’s really a part of me.”

Ross, the pastor of Bethel AME Church, grew up in Mississippi and, as a football player in high school, was president of his chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In 1977, when Ross and other members of the organization tried to go to church to share their faith with their Christian coach — a white man — the athletes were told that only white players were allowed inside.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130121/NEWS01/130129952/annual-mlk-service-draws-big-crowd-in-pottstown#full_story

National Art Tour Comes to Pottstown

Pottstown, PAThe Gallery School of Pottstown and Gallery on High will be kicking-off a rebranding campaign this fall with an amazing art exhibit.  This show has been traveling throughout the south and was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in February 2011.  Threads of a Story: Continued will open September 7, 2012 at the Gallery.  Threads features the work of artist Charlotta Janssen, who was inspired by mug shots of famous–and non famous–people arrested during the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s.

Threads evolved as a way to visually thank participants of the civil rights movement for their work and dedication that made the moment possible.  Janssen specifically honors Bus Boycotters from 1956 and Freedom Riders from 1961.  The artist’s goals are to transport the viewer back to this moment in time, to create a living history and bring awareness to a collective consciousness where segregation seemed normal and fighting it was a daunting task.  To realize these goals, Janssen re-imagines the mug shots of her subjects using oil, acrylic, rust and collage.  Mug shots are normally portraits of shame, but in those belonging to the Bus Boycotters and Freedom Riders, she sees their heroism, determination and courage.

The exhibit at the Gallery will feature eight brand new portraits in this incredible series, including new portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.  Also on display will be giclee prints of 15 of her portraits from the original series.  The show will open with a private reception on September 7.  The show will be open to the public from September 8 through October 20, 2012 during normal Gallery hours.  Educational field trips for local school and groups can also be arranged.  Pieces from the original series can also seen beginning July 6 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this show.  Interested businesses should email info@galleryonhigh.com or call 610-326-2506 for more information.

Charlotta Janssen was born in Maine to German parents living in America under the Marshall plan.  In 1973, her family moved to Iran, which they fled during the revolution in 1979.  Janssen studied painting at the University of Arts in Berlin from 1986-1989, dropping out to travel the world as a street musician and performance artist.  To make sense of all of these experiences, she returned to painting in 1991 with a clear voice that was no longer searching but finding.  She
currently lives and paints augmented portraiture in Brooklyn, NY.

The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery.  The School offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The Gallery on High is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-4:30pm and
Saturday 10am-3pm.  The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.