See Life Through Their Lens

POTTSTOWN, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is proud to announce a new all photography show opening in their main gallery. Shutter showcases the work of 20 local photographers, giving visitors a unique view of the world of each artist as seen through the lens of their camera. The show includes a wonderful diversity of style, from portraits and landscapes to abstracts and textural pieces that intrigue the eye and engage the mind.

Shutter will run through March 21 and can be viewed any time during regular hours. The ArtFusion gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-3pm. They are closed Sunday and Monday.

ArtFusion invites the greater Pottstown community to a reception on Saturday, March 14 from 12-2pm. Light refreshments will be served. All receptions are free and open to the public. RSVPs to 610-326-2506 are appreciated.

Participating artists are George Abruzzo, Kristy Bell, Carol Brightbill, Melanie Franz, Lisa Foster, Bob Hakun, Crystal Haring, Joe Hoover, Mary Kosar, Sylvia Landis, Charles McCann, Pam McLean-Parker, Donna Meyers, Geoffrey Meyers, Beverly Nuzzo, Gwendolyn Parrish, Peter Rampson, John Rizzo, Richard Whittaker and Jacqueline O. Young.

ArtFusion 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. 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.

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Pottstown Gallery On High Becomes Art Fusion 19464

Editor’s note:  Congratulations to our friends at Art Fusion 19464.  Arts revitalization is a key piece of Pottstown’s ability to reinvent itself and transform the borough into a once again thriving community!

POTTSTOWN, PA — As of this week, the Gallery on High is no more.

But don’t worry. You’re not going to miss any of the art exhibits, sales of local artists’ works or art classes offered there.

That’s because the nonprofit that offers appealing exhibits as well as engaging programming through its educational arm, the Gallery School of Pottstown, still exists at 254 E. High St. It just has a new name — Art Fusion 19464 — to go with a renewed and more acutely focused mission.

The name signifies the coming together — the fusion, if you will — of the gallery and educational portions of the organization, which launched in Pottstown in 2005, according to Erika Hornburg-Cooper, executive director and co-founder of Art Fusion 19464.

“We are evolving … again,” said Hornburg-Cooper. “We have so many arts and cultural amenities in Pottstown. This new name positions us as a destination.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120908/FINANCE01/120909575/pottstown-gallery-on-high-becomes-art-fusion-19464&pager=full_story

Joint Fundraiser Benefits Two Pottstown Organizations

The second annual Books and Brushes Beef and Beer will be held on Saturday, August 11 from 6-9pm at the Ballroom on High. Named for the two organizations who founded the The Gallery School of Pottstown and the Pottstown Regional Public Library — this community fundraiser is a fun evening of great food and music. All proceeds will benefit the programs and ongoing operations of both organizations.

Popular Pottstown restaurant Grumpy’s will be catering, and the fundraiser will be held at the Ballroom on High, a great downtown venue. The Ballroom, at 310 E. High St. next to the Farmer’s Market, is also the home to SwingKats. Local DJ and MC extraordinaire Pete LaRosa is donating his time and talents to the fundraiser, so be ready to get out on the dance floor.

Tickets are only $20 and include hot roast beef sandwiches, pasta and veggie salads, beer and soft drinks, and homemade desserts. There will also be vegetarian wrap sandwiches available. Guests can purchase their tickets online at www.galleryonhigh.org or in person at the School at 254 E. High St. or the Library at 500 E. High St. The ticket deadline is Tuesday, August 7. No tickets will be available at the door.

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. 

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.

Free Summer Program Application Deadline Is June 8

The Gallery School of Pottstown is excited to offer three free summer programs for students ages 8-12.  Kids Art Academy is a general arts exploration class, where students will explore two and three-dimensional arts.  Students in Clay Academy will delve into all aspects of creating with clay, including using a pottery wheel.  The third class, Asian Arts, will take students on a journey through the art traditions of many Asian countries.
 
Art Academy and Clay academy begin in June, while Asian Arts starts in July.  Applications must be received by June 8, 2012 for all three programs.  Applications can be found online at http://www.galleryonhigh.com/programs.html,
or in person at the school at 254 E. High St.
 
All three programs are funded by the Greater Pottstown Foundation and are free for the students, with the exception of a small registration fee.  While preference is given to those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, students who do not qualify are also encouraged to apply.  Questions can be emailed to info@galleryonhigh.com, or asked over the phone at 610-326-2506.
 
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.

Dora Siemel Wins Best in Show Honors At Gallery On High’s “Re-Creative” Art Show

Pottstown, PA  –  Local Artist Wins Best In Show

Artist Dora Siemel received Best in Show honors for her piece, Buy More Stuff!, at a reception at the Gallery on High, Saturday, April 14.  Dora and 19 other local artists participated in Re-Creative, a recycled art show.  Entries in this show had to be created from recycled, upcycled or salvaged materials.

The $100 prize was sponsored by the National Association of Remodelers-Building Industries Exchange (NARI-BIE) Green Team.  Green Team member Christine Elliott awarded the prize.  The Green Team judges had the following to say about the winning entry:

Buy New Stuff!. . . stood out to the judges as a lively piece of art, steeped in the nostalgia of quality American manufacturing, while poking fun at our current culture which thrives on poorly made goods and constant consumerism.  While strong social messages are observed within this piece, it also stands alone as an artistic historic tribute.  The artful arrangement of materials from consumer products is delightful and the reclaimed nature of the materials strictly followed the theme of the show.  The reverse form inherent in the newspaper type elements used added an intriguing, reflective symbolism to this piece.  The piece takes us on a journey into our past, as it prods us to seriously consider our future.

Re-Creative runs through April 21.  Guests can view the exhibit during regular gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4:30pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm.  The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

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 School of Pottstown

@Gallery on High

254 E. High Street

Pottstown, PA  19464

610-326-2506

www.galleryonhigh.org

$10,000 Art Scholarship Deadline Extended For Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship For The Arts

Pottstown, PAThe application deadline for the 3rd annual Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts has been extended until March 10, 2012.  This $10,000 scholarship is designed to financially assist a qualified applicant in pursuing their further education in the arts. The program is open to any Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Hill School or Owen J. Roberts High School senior.  The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria: artistic performance as displayed at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Senior High School Art Exhibit at the Gallery School of Pottstown, and an essay on why an applicant wants to continue their education in the arts.  The applicant’s intended field of study must include a major in an arts related field.

In addition to submitting a completed application form and essay, each student must also participate in the art exhibit at the Gallery School of Pottstown.  Students must create pieces of art from three of four categories: watercolor or pastel; pencil, charcoal or ink; oil or acrylic; and sculpture, which include pottery, stone, glass, metal, fiber or wood. The application and essay must be received by March 10. Artwork does not need to be completed until the art show in May. 

Students can email info@galleryonhigh.com to receive an application, or stop by the Gallery School at 254 E. High St. in Pottstown.
 
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.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown
@Gallery on High
254 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-2506
www.galleryonhigh.org

Warm Soup and Cool Art At Pottstown’s Gallery On High

POTTSTOWN, PA – The non-profit Gallery School of Pottstown will be holding a delicious, beat-the-winter-chill fundraiser on Saturday, February 18th from noon until 3:00pm.  Guests can choose a handcrafted ceramic bowl and then fill it with their favorite soup.  Bread, beverages and homemade desserts will complete the meal.  They will have a nice variety of soups to sample, made by Gallery School members and volunteers, and donated by local restaurants. Vegetarian soups will be included in the selection.  Guests can have some culinary fun sampling every option, or fill up on their favorite!

Tickets are only $15 and all proceeds benefit the non-profit Gallery School of Pottstown.  Tickets can be purchase online at their website www.galleryonhigh.org, or in person at 254 E. High St.

When guests finish their soup, they will be able view the Gallery’s Winter Member Show: “Baby, it’s cold outside!”.  This fun show is all about contrasts: warm and cold, tropical paradise and winter wonderland.  Visitors can take a virtual vacation to a sunny beach or a snow capped mountain.

Participating artists include: Robyn Burckhardt, Joe Hoover, Joni Peters, Dora Siemel, Cari Myford, Tina Madonia, Sue Ploppert, Peter Ehlinger, Mary Chisak, Geoffrey Meyers, Donna Meyers, Arline Christ, Molly Light, Kristy Bell, Millie Lea, Charles McCann, Jackie Pierson, and Carol Ross Noyes.

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.

The Gallery School of Pottstown
@Gallery on High
254 E. High St.
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-2506
www.galleryonhigh.org

Gallery On High/Gallery School of Pottstown’s Annual Holiday Party, Friday, December 2nd

The Gallery on High/Gallery School of Pottstown is having their Annual Holiday Party on Friday, December 2nd from 5pm – 8pm.  The event is free, open to the public and features food, beverages and fun.  Everyone is invited to stop by.

The party ends in time for everyone to attend Tri-Pac’s A Christmas Story starting at 8pm.

The Gallery is located at 254 East High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464-5555

Voice: (610) 326-2506

Internet: http://www.galleryonhigh.com/

POTTSTOWN OPEN DOORS – September 10th

Saturday, September 10th

Pottstown Opens Its Doors to YOU!

Display of rescue/police/military vehicles

Classic Cars

Rescue demonstration including repelling off the high school building

 Come to Downtown Pottstown

11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Opening ceremony with Pottstown Middle School Jazz Band at Smith Plaza-11:00 a.m.

Open Doors invites you for a visit:

Pottstown Regional Public Library

Tri-PAC

The Gallery on High

Pottsgrove Manor

Pottstown Karate Club

Carousel

Genesis Housing

Hill School Art Gallery

 Come to Pottstown High School

2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Kid activities

Over 30 organizational information tables

Display of police, fire, and military equipment

Free entertainment

Free food

Display of classic cars

7:00 p.m. Home Varsity Football Game – Pottstown vs. Pennwood (Admission to the game will be charged)

¨ Free entertainment

¨ Free trolley transportation

¨ Free food

¨ Giveaways

¨ Displays

¨ Tours

¨ Demonstrations

¨ Games & Activities for youngsters

¨ Moon Bounce & More!

Pottstown’s Chestnut Street Park Getting Mural

The Chestnut Street Park and adjoining police substation will soon be beautified by a mural project.  Genesis Housing is funding the mural to be painted on the side of the substation facing the park.  Anna Johnson, co-founder of Citizens for Pottstown Revitalization, appeared before Council urging them to approve this project (which they did unanimously).

The Gallery on High found an artist for the project who will design the mural and work with high school students to complete it.

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Genesis Housing, Citizens for Pottstown Revitalization and the Gallery on High for partnering on this project to help transform a neighborhood!

New Exhibit At Pottstown’s Gallery On High

Stop by the Gallery on High/Gallery School of Pottstown to check out the latest exhibit which pays homage to all things summer.  Twenty-five local artists have contributed works of art for this show!

Current Show

Bees, Butterflies, Beaches and Bridges
The Summer Member Show
June 18 – August 13

Reception Saturday, July 16 from 1 – 3pm

Put this on your summer “to do” list!  Cathy and Erika will be glad to see you!

The Gallery is located at 254 E. High Street in downtown Pottstown.  For more information:

Voice – (610) 326.2506

Internet – http://www.galleryonhigh.com

Lincoln Elementary School Second Graders Learn About Pottstown

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

It is always great to read stories like this.  Some of Pottstown’s second grade students learned about two import resources in their town – the Pottstown Regional Public Library (PRPL) and the Gallery School on High.  Both businesses are found on Pottstown’s main street, a few blocks apart, and both businesses can help Pottstown’s children learn and succeed.

Three teachers from Lincoln Elementary School Jill Bolonski, Heather Kurtz and Leslie Swartz took their students on an all day field trip to the PRPL and the Gallery School.  To read about what all the students did, click here:

http://pottstownschools.com/pottstown/In%20the%20Spotlight/LINCOLN%20ELEMENTARY%20STUDENTS%20EXPLORE%20%93IN%20TOWN%20CLASSROOM%94/

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to those awesome teachers at Lincoln!

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to the Pottstown Regional Public Library and the Gallery School for being incredibly welcoming and tremendous educational assets in Pottstown.

Links to the PRPL and Gallery School are found on the homepage of this blog under the category Important Pottstown Sites on the right side of your screen.

Pottstown Community Land Trust And Gallery On High Sponsoring Juried Logo Contest And Exhibition

Mosaic glass tile mural

Image via Wikipedia

MOSAIC  Community Land Trust

And

GALLERY on HIGH

Take part in piecing together our community in visual harmony

Exhibit dates: September 2 – 10 at The Gallery on High

Reception: Wednesday, September 7 from 7-9 PM

Drop off: Monday, August 29 from 11 AM-1 PM and from 6-8 PM

Pick-up: Monday, September 12 from 6-7:30 PM or Tuesday September 13 from 11 AM-1 PM

Winner will be announced on September 7 at the Reception

The Gallery on High and MOSAIC are proud to announce an open call to artists for a juried logo design competition and exhibit.

Winning design will be selected as the logo for The Pottstown Community Land Trust, and $500 will be awarded to the artist.  Submissions may be in 2D or 3D in any media; all submissions must include a mosaic styled image.

All submissions must be original to the artist submitting.

Pottstown is in the midst of revitalization.  Its history is tied to the river, the steel industry, Mrs. Smith’s Pies and manufacturing.  Charming 18th & 19th century architecture lines its streets.  The ARTS and INNOVATION are key to the sustainability of our renaissance.  Designs should bring out the many meanings of “mosaic” for Pottstown:  bringing together a multi-faceted, multi-hued community; putting broken shards together to create a thing of beauty; and recognizing the rough-around-the-edges nature of its past.

To download registration and inventory list please click on the following links:

http://www.galleryonhigh.com/MOSAIC_reg_form_rev.pdf

http://www.galleryonhigh.com/MOSAICS_inventory_rev.pdf

Cathy Paretti’s Speech As Read At Tonight’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting

Below are Cathy Paretti’s remarks, in their entirety, as read to Pottstown Borough Council!

June 13, 2011

I feel compelled to speak tonight so all facts are on the table concerning the Gallery School and what has happened with the county funding this year.  First, to get the information correct about the Gallery School of Pottstown, we are a 501c3 non-profit community art center.  We attained our non-profit status in 2005 in order to fulfill our mission of being a positive attraction not only for the downtown district but Pottstown as a whole.  We specifically kept the name Pottstown in our title, even though at the time it was more fashionable to claim to be a tri county entity.  We wanted to make Pottstown a name that was recognizable and associated with a positive reaction.  Erika Hornburg-Cooper and myself are the co-founders of the organization. The Gallery School rents 254 High Street from CLE Properties, of which Erika and myself are partners along with a third person who owns 51% of the property.  The third partner has no interest in the school.  The Gallery School is seeking to purchase the property from CLE in order to renovate the third floor of the building so we can expand our programming and also attain an asset to make us more financially stable.  Our board of directors will not invest in raising funds to renovate a building that it does not own, and the third partner of CLE will not invest money in the building, as she has no faith that Pottstown will pull itself out of its current downturn.  As per the guidelines of the county revitalization program, we are well within the parameters of applying for the funds to purchase the building, just as Tri Pac has done in the past.  Our current proposal only includes money to pay off the mortgage on the building, as well as any transfer fees that will occur from the transaction.  As for the payout of the partners, our board of directors will be responsible to raise those funds as agreed to by the partners.  All money secured by us from the county will go towards paying off the mortgage, and we provided ample evidence to the county to prove that this is the case.  Neither Erika nor myself will receive any financial gain from the funds.  We understand how this proposal may have raised some eyebrows, and went above and beyond to make ourselves available for questioning in the hopes of achieving maximum transparency in the matter.  In short, we have nothing to hide.  I have worked at this organization for the past seven years without taking a paycheck and am constantly paying out of my own pocket for expenses to keep the building and the organization running.  Our only interest is in making sure that the organization is secure for the future.

I’d now like to discuss the events leading up to the mess we currently find ourselves in.  As the facts currently stand, on March 14th council voted on the prioritization of projects to propose to the county.  The results were that the Gallery School was chosen as the top priority and the Western Gateway was chosen as the second priority, with the vote breakdown being four for Gallery School, two for the Gateway, and none for the Skyline project.  The borough staff was also on board with this decision.  However, when it came time to present our projects to the county, they were to be presented in the order prioritized by council, and suddenly the Skyline project was now being presented as the second priority.  At the time I wondered why this would be but, against my better judgment, decided not to question it, as we were not involved with either project.  But now I can’t help but ask why, without a single vote from council, the Skyline project was suddenly presented as the second priority?  The only entity against council’s decision of prioritization was Mayor Heath, whose opinion in the matter does not override that of the council.

In addition to this, Mayor Heath then took it upon herself to contact Commissioner Hoeffel and advocate for a project that was not supported by one member of borough council as far as any record of the matter is concerned.  Her actions make our town look as if we do not have our so-called ducks in a row, and has once again cast Pottstown in a bad light with the county.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but I did not feel at any time that our council and our borough staff were at odds with each other over the decision of March 14th.

I would also like to speak about recent events which I believe call into question the extent of the Mayor’s involvement in the county’s decision.  On Friday, June 3rd, Mr. Mason Craig was approaching people in town and informing them that the Skyline project had been awarded funding by the county per recommendations by the county staff.  This is important because that information was not to be made public until Monday, June 6th, when the county staff’s recommendations would be emailed to all involved parties.  In those recommendations emailed on June 6th, it was outlined that the Skyline had been awarded $241,000, while the other two projects were not to receive funds.  It wasn’t until June 7th when the revitalization board made their first ever decision not to follow the county staff’s recommendation and instead leave the decision to the commissioners.  Still, I’d like to know how Mr. Craig was aware of the staff’s recommendations three days before they were to be announced.

To be clear, I have no political agenda.  I only want to ensure that the Gallery School of Pottstown can keep its doors open to serve the community and help the town move forward.  As for Mayor Heath, her actions may have serious consequences.  Because of her and Mr. Wildrick’s appeal to Commissioner Hoeffel, Pottstown is now in a position where we may not see any county funding at a time when the economy is in serious turmoil.  I understand that borough council cannot control the actions of its citizens, but Mayor Heath is an elected official.   You may correct me here, but I believe Pottstown has a council – manager form of borough government, which means that the mayor did not have the authority to go against borough council’s wishes.  Her interference in this process is, I believe, unethical, and I do hope that council reprimands her for her actions.

I have given all council members a copy of what I have said here tonight.   I have also included copies of letters that we receive from students and parents of the children that attend our programming and classes.  We have dozens more in our files.  I hope these speak to the impact that we do make and can continue to make in the Pottstown community.

Thank you all for your attention.

Cathy Paretti,

Co-Founder, Gallery Director of the Gallery School of Pottstown

Cathy Paretti Blasts Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath Over Gallerygate

Cathy Paretti, Co-founder of the Gallery on High/Gallery School of Pottstown read a prepared statement during the Comments from Citizens Present part of tonight’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting.  Evidently only Councilors Weand and Rhoads were listening.  Bonnie appeared unphased (probably because she knew four members of council support her bad behavior).

Mrs. Paretti broke down the series of events which lead to Gallerygate.  Mayor Heath meddled in a council decision and caused the Gallery’s request for grant money (to pay off the mortgage on their building and expand their services) to be denied.  Mrs. Paretti also brought some interesting facts to light about an inappropriate release of information, by the mayor’s husband, before it was to be made public.

If Mrs. Paretti would like to have her remarks published on Roy’s Rants, in their entirety, we would be glad to do so!

We applaud Cathy Paretti and Erika Hornburg-Cooper for not allowing the mayor’s highly inappropriate behavior to go unchallenged, and for all they have done to help the Borough of Pottstown and the Greater Pottstown Area.  You ladies ROCK!

Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath Tops Roy’s Rants Most Wanted List

I never thought the day would come when someone in this community would irritate me more than Mr. Hylton.  However, that day has now arrived.

Mayor Heath’s recent behavior is that of a petulant child.  The mayor stormed out of the last Pottstown Borough Council meeting after not getting her way on a vote.  Following close behind was her husband (Mr. Mayor), who as I reported in my last council coverage, made a derogatory comment about the collective intelligence of our council.

Pottstown has a weak mayor, strong council form of government.  We employ a professional manager (Jason) and the council dictates the course of action we take as a community.  Everyone takes direction from council.  Those seven elected officials, representing each ward of our borough, make the decisions that shape our future.  The Office of the Mayor is ceremonial (aka spirit bunny/ribbon cutter) and in the event of a tie vote on council the mayor is called on to cast the deciding vote.  The mayor also “oversees” the police department, which again appears to be fairly ceremonial as Chief Flanders runs the department.

After Bonnie’s stellar performance last month she went on WPAZ to bad mouth council and whine about the PDIDA vote, which Mo Gallant reported on her Pottstown’s Blog.  Again, is this a professional way for a mayor to act?  She may only be ceremonial; however, she is an elected official!  I suggest Bonnie run for council if being mayor does not have enough “teeth” for her liking.  Stop trying to make your job more important than it is!

Now we come to the most disturbing and egregious offense the mayor committed recently.  During the dedication ceremony at Pottsgrove Manor a few weekends ago, Bonnie approached two Montgomery County Commissioners and pushed for the PDIDA Downtown Lighting Project to be the number one priority for funding as Pottstown’s revitalization project.  Pottstown Borough Council had already voted and approved the Gallery School project as our top priority in March.  A presentation was made to Montgomery County, by the borough, supporting the Gallery School project as our number one priority for funding.  There was much debate by the Councilors about what Pottstown’s priority project should be at March’s council meeting.  A roll call vote was requested by President Toroney and the Gallery School project won.  This should have been the end of any debate!

In Bonnie’s “talks” with the Commissioners she relayed that the Galley School would profit greatly if the county funded the purchasing of their building.  This “information” was taken back to the committee who decides the funding.  This “information” is one of the reasons cited for their hesitation in funding the Gallery School project.  The final decisions have yet to be made, but Pottstown may get cut out completely for this round of revitalization dollars.  Once again, it appears to the county that Pottstown does not have its act together – a common complaint from them.  Unity of vision and speaking with one voice is essential when applying for grants and any kind of funding.  The ULI Report remarked that Pottstown’s in-fighting was a serious problem.

I must say this behavior is shocking.  This one woman side-show could not only hurt Pottstown but it could hurt one of the few businesses on High Street.  Council has gotten its act together and has worked better as a group lately.  They can agree to disagree.  As Councilor Gibson stated after Bonnie stormed out of the meeting – he doesn’t get mad when a vote doesn’t go his way; he has to respect his fellow Councilors and the will of the majority.  That is how things work in a democracy.  This meddling by the mayor could seriously jeopardize our downtown revitalization.  The mayor should be held directly responsible for any negative repercussions that her loose cannon behavior causes.  I again call upon Pottstown Borough Council to formally reprimand/censure, whatever terminology you would like to use, Mayor Bonnie Heath for totally overstepping her authority as Mayor of Pottstown; and knowingly and willfully undermining a binding vote of council (toward the revitalization of our central business district.)

Lastly, Mayor Heath was asked to do something that actually falls within her limited realm of mayoral responsibilities.  The mayor was asked to speak at a welcoming event for a family who is bicycling across the United States.  They were making a stop in Pottstown for the BMX event at Trilogy Park.  The mayor agreed to speak at the welcoming event on May 26th at PMMC.  As part of the welcoming event, the family was to be presented with gift certificates to cover their meals while in town.  The mayor also agreed to go to three restaurants to get donated gift certificates for the family.  On May 26th, the Mayor never showed up at the hospital to welcome the family nor did she speak with any businesses.  After the ride was finished down High St., people went and got the three gift certificates and presented them to the family the next day.  If you check out the family’s blog, they wrote a nice article about their stay in Pottstown.

http://www.ridethenation.org/1/post/2011/05/good-food-good-friends-good-racing.html

The next council meeting is Monday, June 13th at 7:00 p.m. in Pottstown Borough Hall.  If you are as outraged by this behavior as I am, I would invite you to address council during the portion of the meeting that allows residents to comment.

Personally, I think our mayor should resign.  This is disgraceful behavior and harmful to Pottstown.  She should hang her head in shame!

Let’s Talk – Pottstown Community Meeting On April 28th

Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)3  non-profit corporation, will hold a Community Meeting on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. at the Ricketts Center, 640 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.  Community members will be asked for their ideas for a new mural at the Chestnut Street Park and to help to set priorities and develop future projects.  An update on Washington Street neighborhood projects including the new community garden will be discussed.  Information on the Science in the Park event and other upcoming events will be provided.  Community concerns about this area and other sections of the Pottstown will be explored with the hope of setting priorities for future projects.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the proposed mural in the Washington St. neighborhood will speak volumes on the tenacity and determination driving the revitalization of Pottstown.  Genesis Housing Corporation, The Gallery on High and Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization are in collaboration to develop a mural at the park located at Washington and Chestnut Streets.  The artistic coordinators, Cathy Paretti and Erika Hornburg-Cooper of the Gallery on High have selected Robert Louis Williams, an accomplished local artist to design and create the proposed park mural.  Let’s talk about the different types of murals and what this mural should look like – this is the chance for your input.

Judith Memberg, Executive Director of Genesis Housing Corporation, will provide an update on their Washington Street neighborhood housing developments including the rehabilitation of vacant properties for new home buyers and the homeowner rehab programs.  Information about the Pottstown Homeowner Rehab Program will be provided.

Genesis Housing Corporation serves Montgomery County as a non-profit community development organization and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and to the education of consumers on housing and financial issues.  Genesis Housing Corporation has worked with government agencies, other non-profit agencies and private housing developers to create affordable housing.  Genesis Housing Corporation is certified for counseling for FannieMae, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and many banks and local government programs.

For more information, visit our website at http://www.genesishousing.org or call 610-275-4357.

GALLERY SCHOOL OF POTTSTOWN AND BOSCOV’S PARTNER FOR 5TH ANNUAL FASHION PLATES FUNDRAISER

Pottstown, PA – Spring is here, which means that it is time once again to join the Gallery School of Pottstown as they host their annual Fashion Plates fundraiser on Sunday, April 10th, from 1-4 pm at Brookside Country Club.  Now in its 5th year, the theme of this year’s event is Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and promises to be a fabulous time for all who attend.

“As always, we are happy to hold our Fashion Plates fundraiser at Brookside Country Club,” said Cathy Paretti, Gallery Director and co-founder of the Gallery School.  “We are also extremely excited to be working with Boscov’s for this year’s show.  The Gallery School and Boscov’s have fostered a tremendous working relationship, and we are thrilled that they will be on hand to showcase their fantastic styles at our biggest fundraising event of the year.”

Tickets are $60 and include appetizers, lunch, dessert, the fashion show, and an endless supply of Tiffany Punch, this year’s signature drink.  Magical Sight and Sound will provide music for the afternoon, and the Remi from High Street Ballroom will be on hand to present a dance demonstration.  There will also be door prizes and a silent auction running throughout the show.  To purchase tickets, please visit www.galleryonhigh.com, or stop by the Gallery on High at 254 High Street.

The Gallery School of Pottstown is a non-profit organization that aims to provide an excellent education in the arts to both the youth and adults of our community. Our instructors are all professional artists who limit class size for more individualized instruction. We help students to foster their creativity and develop their talents for both their personal enrichment and as a foundation for advanced studies in the arts. The school also offers an after-school program for children in our community, as well as an art camp that runs through the summer and on no school days during the school year.  For more information on the Gallery School of Pottstown please visit www.galleryonhigh.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FASHION PLATES PLEASE CONTACT:

Cathy Paretti

610-326-2505

254 High Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

cathy@galleryonhigh.com