March’s First Friday features vibrant art, crowds of art lovers
BY FRANK WILKES LESNEFSKY, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: MARCH 4, 2017
Paul Triolo could not wait to show off his vibrant acrylic artwork to everyone who walked in the door of ArtWorks Gallery & Studio.
The Scranton resident, one of the artists with disabilities who showcased work at ArtWorks Gallery for this month’s First Friday, has been taking art lessons at ArtWorks three times a week for the past two years.
First Friday is a monthly art walk that draws crowds to galleries and shops in downtown Scranton, and it gives local artists and vendors the opportunity to showcase and sell their work.
Jacqueline Shattuck, a full-time art instructor who works with individuals with disabilities through Keystone Community Resources, worked closely with Triolo and other artists who showed their talents Friday.
“He’s been talking about it nonstop every time I’ve seen him for the past three weeks,” she said. “He’s been greeting everyone at the door since 5.”
As soon as someone walked into ArtWorks, Paul would gleefully give them a tour of the gallery, telling them, “I painted this and this and this,” she said.
ArtWorks hold exhibits for special needs artists every other month, and the exhibits allow the artists to express themselves, Shattuck said.
“It’s exciting because they don’t do this every day,” she said. “You don’t see individuals with disabilities showcasing their gifts — their creative individualities.”
Elsewhere in the city, Jim Zeske said First Friday tends to draw a large crowd to downtown Scranton.
“I feel like everyone comes out,” the gallery assistant at Marquis Art and Frame said. “It’s the one time when it seems like there’s a lot of traffic.”
Brothers Mike Visci of Scranton and Yanni Visci of Honesdale were among the local art enthusiasts admiring the artwork at SteamWorks in the Marketplace at Steamtown.
They use First Friday’s diverse art exhibitions as a source of inspiration.
“Being an artist myself, I like to see what everyone else is doing,” Mike Visci said. “There’s a lot of talented people.”
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