Times Leader | Artists submit abundance of works for Fine Arts Fiesta

WILKES-BARRE — Artists flocked to Midtown Village Saturday to deliver their entries for Wilkes-Barre’s largest annual spring festival — the Fine Arts Fiesta.

From field trips to family fun days, the Fine Arts Fiesta draws massive crowds to downtown Wilkes-Barre with its wide array of artists, vendors, and entertainers.

Juried art submissions for this year’s Fiesta were held on Saturday, so the pieces can be judged before the event in May. Hundreds of artists poured into the studio on South Main Street with framed pieces and delicate sculptures in hopes of having their pieces selected to be displayed in either the student or adult category.

“The Fiesta was started as an opportunity for everyone to exhibit their work. It’s one of the few juried outdoor exhibitions in the entire state,” said Brian Benedetti, the Executive Director of the Fine Arts Fiesta Board.

The Fine Arts Fiesta is in its 62nd year. About 400 works are expected to be submitted to be judged. The Fiesta is also an opportunity for artists to sell their works.

“We’re working to increase activities for children and families. We’re going to have interactive art experiences for children so they can do paintings and drawings. Tom Rush is our headliner at the bandshell Saturday night and the Tri Cities Opera Company will be preforming Hansel and Gretel,” Benedetti outlined.

Curtis Salonick is a veteran to the Fine Arts Fiesta and a winner of previous Fiestas. Salonick’s medium is photography, through which he expresses himself through a stunning and distinct surrealist style. “I actually don’t remember how many years I’ve been submitting, but it must be something like 20. I’ve been doing photography since ’69, but my style came to what it is now around ’89,” Salonick recalled as his friends heckled him from behind.

“It comes naturally to me, it speaks to me. I like photos that tell a little bit of a story. Some of the effects like motion blur is from the camera itself, otherwise I do overlays where I shoot a variety of textures to layer on the pictures,” Salonick explained his process. Salonick has tackled some life’s biggest questions in his “Enlightened Dogma” featured on his website, www.salonick.com, where his work is also featured.

Ted Scazafabo, is another artist who submitted one of his works to be judged. Scazafabo also does photography in a digital and mixed media style and has been submitting to the Fine Arts Fiesta for three years. “I’ve been doing art for quite a bit now, since high school. I went to get my degree in graphic design and after that, it kind of started. I do it because I have a drive to,” Scazafabo said.

Martha Calabrese has been a volunteer at the Fine Arts Fiesta for about 10 years. This time, she worked at the intake table. “I am an art appreciator, and I appreciate the artists as much as the art itself. Because of my position here, I get chat with the artists and see their work even before the judges, so…

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