WILKES-BARRE – Cocktails, Culture, Cinco de Cuatro and Community: Four words that reflect the essence of the event “Cocktails and Culture” on Wednesday night at the Sardony Art Gallery of Wilkes University, sponsored by the Diamond City Partnership.
The door opened at 5:30 p.m., and the crowd quickly filled the lobby near the Sardoni Gallery in downtown Carambelos. With live music presented by John Shem, a menu inspired by Cinca de Mayo, lively chatter among smiling faces and an impromptu dining room set up this morning in the classroom, the stage was definitely prepared for a successful evening.
Mayor George Brown and DCP Executive Director Larry Newman took a break from talking to talk to a reporter about the importance of engaging downtown people and further appreciating art in all its various forms.
“What you see here tonight,” Brown began, “is people who are interested in art, the Diamond City partnership, and downtown. And when we take a tour of the beautiful works of art in the gallery, it brings everyone together.
Brown pointed to last weekend’s cherry blossom festival, which brought together about 20,000 people who want to enjoy the weather and enjoy social events as proof of the potential for new activities in 2022.
Newman drew attention to the possibility of intersections between other galleries in the city center. “I’m most excited given the location of the Sardoni Gallery here, so it’s that we now have the opportunity to create synergies and partnerships between the Circle Arts Center, where the Wyoming Valley Arts League is located, and the Marquis Art & Frame Gallery on the second floor across the road . You know, the amount is more than a part, and that’s one of the ways we do it, and you can expect more to come. ”
Heather Sincavage, director of the Sardoni Gallery, took some time before offering a tour of the gallery’s latest exhibition to offer some insight into the current exhibition as well as her thoughts on DCP’s Downtown Rebound efforts.
“So, Dan R. Tally’s new show. He is an artist from Kutztown, a native of the south (Georgia). He is an artist who works with lenses, meaning he works in photography, video, and in performance as well as in drawing. The exhibition is a retrospective from 1973 to the present. “
Sincavage revealed some feedback from DCP regarding the March iteration of “Cocktails and Culture,” and said the guided walks conducted with it were necessary to help people feel less intimidated by the arts. They believe the exhibits are more accessible under the experienced and professional guidance of Sincavage.
“I think the Sardoni Gallery in general has always been about accessibility and ways of understanding art, but also about oneself through a different type of lens. Thus, holding programs or events of one kind or another is becoming increasingly important, not only for the liveliness of this gallery, but for us as a culture here in northeastern Pennsylvania. We are very happy to be the place for this. “
Susan Magnotta, director of marketing and development at DCP, spoke of the growing “appetite for the city center” as more and more events are held in the city center.
“I just talked to someone who came back to their second event,” she said. “And I said, ‘Thank you so much for coming downtown,’ and the gentleman said, ‘How nice to be back.’ So our numbers continue to grow. We have different people here every time ”.
Both Magneto and Brown have expressed similar sentiments regarding the efforts of those working hard to help downtown recover.
The magnate said: “This is part of DCP’s overall downtown restoration strategy, you know, collaborate with the art community, have excellent partnerships with the city, colleges and universities and just pool all our assets and work together to bring downtown back.”
Brown thanked: “I want to thank Larry and the Diamond City Partnership because they are really doing a great job bringing people back in partnership with the mayor and the mayor’s administration. So, this is just the beginning. ”