ArtFusion 19464 Gets Jazzy For A Good Cause‏

musician.jpg painting by Destiny Garcia, Teen Studio student

musician.jpg painting by Destiny Garcia, Teen Studio student

Pottstown,PA – ArtFusion’s seventh annual Fashion Plates fundraiser will take place on Saturday, April 20 at Brookside Country Club from 6-9pm.  This year’s theme is Fashion Notes, and the event will be an amazing fusion of food, fashion and music.

ArtFusion 19464, formerly The Gallery School of Pottstown/Gallery on High, is a charitable 501(c)3 non-profit community art center. Proceeds from this event help them not only to continue to offer a great selection of classes for all ages, but also to expand their free programs and scholarships.  ArtFusion has been bringing the arts to the greater Pottstown community for almost 8 years, and relies on major fundraisers like Fashion Plates to help keep their doors open.  Generous community sponsors of this event include: Heartland Abstract, S&H Interiorscapes, Dolan & Mayerson, PC and Genesis Housing.

Jazz musician Adam Price and his band will perform musical hits from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Guests will experience a dynamic, multimedia fashion event with local student models wearing vintage costumes from several jazz eras.  The models will walk to the accompaniment of Adam’s jazz quartet performing musical hits from each era.  Visit his website to hear some of Adam’s musical talents: www.adampricemusic.com.

The event’s silent auction is based on the idea of Edible Art, with local bakers, confectioners and chefs creating mouthwatering items for guests to bid on, as well as locally crafted beer and wine. Among those donating their culinary talents are: Bause Catering, Montesano Bros., Sand Castle Winery, Stone Keep Meadery, Giant, Bridge Street Chocolates, The Baker’s Touch and many more.

Tickets are $70 each, or two for $120.  Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner and yummy dessert, a chance to win fun door prizes, an evening of live music and fashion.  A cash bar will be available. Tickets can be purchased online at artfusion19464.org, over the phone at 610-326-2506 or in person at 254 E. High St.

ArtFusion 19464 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. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Hot Glass to Warm Up Your Winter At ArtFusion 19464

hearts 1Just in time for Valentine’s Day, ArtFusion is proud to announce a special trunk show celebrating the amazing glass artistry of Tari Zarka. Visitors will learn more about the artist, her process and how she creates her beautiful glass jewelry.

Tari describes what inspires her art:

What drives me to create is what motivates me to be the best person I can be: mood enhancement. When I create something – whether it is a piece of glass, a painting, or a smile on someone’s face – my life’s burdens are lifted. I am also driven by the knowledge that my creations enhance the moods of those who receive them.

hearts 2I find inspiration everywhere – in the glorious landscape, through the face of adversity, within the cashier at a convenience store, etc. Everything and everyone offers a chance for us to learn and grow.

Ever since I started creating art in the far away corners of my family’s hosiery mill in BucksCounty, I have searched to find ways to love what I do each and every day. If something from me inspires another to move toward a life of happiness then I feel that I have done my job. This is the current in my artistic evolution.

ArtFusion will have special all new inventory just for this trunk show. Visitors can shop an amazing selection of handcrafted lampworked glass jewelry in a wide variety of colors, shapes and styles. All of Tari’s work will be on sale 10% off during the show. Trunk show hours are Friday, February 8 from 10am to 5pm and Saturday, February 9 from 10am to 3pm.

hearts 3ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. 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. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Andrew Kefer: Pottstown Planning Commission’s Newest Member

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

A Roy’s Rants Exclusive Interview

I had the opportunity to interview our newly elected Planning Commission Member this evening.  I was anxious to interview Andrew in light of some recent comments on local blogs.  I think it is important to get to know someone before jumping to conclusions based on supposition or fear of the unknown.

Andrew was raised in Caln Township, near Coatesville.  He was brought up to appreciate cities and urban areas by his parents, who were from Philadelphia.  As a child, he was often taken to Philadelphia where he was exposed to the many things Pennsylvania’s largest city has to offer. 

Andrew majored in Philosophy at Fordham University in NYC from 1992 to 1996.  Andrew made a conscious decision to attend college in a big city so he could have that experience.  Living in NYC allowed Andrew to visit neighborhoods, in places like Brooklyn, that were revitalized during his college years.  Andrew agrees with gentrification but he draws the line at the displacement of the original residents.  There should be a balance struck between the new and the old.

In 2003, Andrew and his wife decided to buy a home on Chestnut Street and renovate it.  They were attracted to Pottstown initially because of the reasonable rents and stayed because of the affordability of owning a home.  They were encouraged by the talk of downtown revitalization and the centralized elementary center project that was proposed for the core neighborhood.

The Kefer’s moved into their Chestnut Street home in April of 2004.  They did most of the renovation themselves.  After settling in they began to notice the level of crime in their neighborhood.  They have two children, ages 5 & 6, and the crime in their neighborhood is a concern.

The core neighborhood has a higher than usual percentage of rental properties (even for Pottstown).  People like the Kefer’s are needed to buy and renovate the existing housing stock in the core neighborhood to stabilize it.  

Andrew enjoys reading Sue Repko’s blog, Positively!Pottstown, and has since gotten to know her.  He is working with her on the Community Land Trust.  He attended the Code Blue sponsored meeting with Attorney Adam Sager at the Pottstown Diner and the summit at Invictus Ministries.  By attending these events, Andrew got to know more people in Pottstown who are making a difference.  

I asked Andrew what, if any, affiliation he has with Thomas Hylton.  Some comments were posted on SavePottstown that questioned whether he is Hyltonite.  The Kefer’s are neighbors of the Hyltons but Andrew only met Mr. Hylton one time.  He recognizes the contributions Mr. Hylton made to Pottstown; however Andrew’s approach is far different than the man he is replacing on the Planning Commission.  Andrew’s approach is:  engage in a dialogue, build a consensus and a resolution will emerge.

Andrew likes the rich architecture of Pottstown, the walkable community aspect and the adaptive reuse of buildings.  Pottstown is built-out and should take advantage of existing buildings and transform them, rather than demolish them.

Andrew would like to make the Planning Commission friendlier and cut some red tape.  We need economic development to help lower taxes, lower crime and revitalize Pottstown.  For example, there are industrial parcels all over Pottstown that would be lend themselves to things such as the manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels and other green technologies.

Key ingredients to our revitalization will be the arts, green business and things like heritage tourism.  Andrew feels a sense of urgency that Pottstown needs to develop a vision, based on the ULI recommendations and see it come to fruition.  Pottstown can go either way.  The longer we delay moving forward the more difficult that task will become.

We wish Andrew well in his endeavors to help move Pottstown forward.  It would seem a new day is dawning in Pottstown and we finally have a critical mass of “doers” who can make the revitalization I have waited for, since 1983, actually happen.