Monthly Archives: November 2015

Handmade for the Holidays

By Laurie Fife Harbert

I have always been a plan-ahead kind of gal. I often got my college term papers back, graded, on the day the rest of the class was turning theirs in at the deadline. This being my nature, holiday shopping for me always started early. Back when the Friends of the Little Art Gallery of the North Canton Public Library held their outdoor sales show in July at Walsh University, I began my shopping then and there. After that event ceased, I usually began in September at Yankee Peddler, or at the very latest, in mid-November at the Canton Museum of Art’s Christkindl Markt. Being the ‘artsy’ one in a family of accountant-types, my creative gifts were always a hit with the logical-minded who seem to think art and artisan crafts hold some element of magic simply by being created by hand. (Guess what? They are right!) Unique, personalized, and creative presents are my trademark. No mass produced items are given by me, no-siree, Bob!

As art galleries and shops realizing the value of offering artwork and hand-made goods became more prolific in Stark County, I began shopping for Christmas pretty much year-round. Whenever I am in one of these places, I pick up gifts which remind me of someone I buy for. Yes, holiday shopping has pretty much become a year-round sport for me now!

Below I have compiled a list of some of my favorite Stark County galleries and shops for gifts, listed by town for your convenience. (While each one is worth the drive from any starting point, I am aware of the time constraints modern life puts on us all.) If you need more info, such as exact location or hours, type the shop name into Google or Facebook and it will surely pop up. While I am sure there are more wonderful places that aren’t on this list, this is a good place to start if you wish to eschew the chain stores this season:

Jupiter Studios
Paris Marketplace
Canal Fulton
Canal Fulton Glassworks
ONEarth Studios
Bliss Studio
Canton Museum of Art Shop
Cyrus Custom Framing and Art Gallery/Translations (One-day art sale December 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
IKON Images
Journey Art Gallery and Journey Two Boutique
Just Imagine
Second April Galerie
Snarky Art Studio
The Hub
Winter Wonder Flea Market/The Auricle (One-day art and craft sale December 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Maple Street Gallery
Modern Vintage
AH Gallery
Market Street Art Spot
Massillon Museum Shop
Gallery 121
North Canton
Chestnut Hill Gifts
Rust and Found

While this list encompasses art and hand-made works, don’t forget local food also makes great gifts! There are numerous fabulous local restaurants, breweries and wineries offering gifts and gift cards, plus bakeries and candy stores featuring goodies galore. Tickets, gift cards, or memberships to performance art venues are also sure to please the hard-to-buy-for on your list. Stark County has so much to offer this season, make sure local businesses are on your holiday shopping list!

LaurieHarbert_Headshot 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />


Laurie Fife Harbert is a writer, a Canton native, an ailurophile, a visual artist, a bibliophile, a mother of two, and an oenophile—not necessarily in that order.

Walburn reflects on being a Canton Star as event approaches Saturday

by Todd Walburn

Writers are not accustomed to being the centers of attention. Writing is generally a solitary experience and when victory comes, it usually comes in the form of a letter or an email or a review in the newspaper. We celebrate in the comfort of our homes, often with a cup of coffee, frequently in our underwear, while working on our next project. We don’t generally get applause or flowers or the chance to stand center stage. I don’t know that most of us would be comfortable with that kind of creative relationship with our audiences. So, when I was approached a few years ago to be one of the “Stars” in The Canton Palace Theatre’s “Dancing With Canton’s Stars”, you would think I would have declined, being the modest and private person that I am. Before I could say, “No, thank you”, however I was possessed by the spirit of my inner celebrity and I said “Yes, of course!” before they even finished the ask.

You see, it’s not so much that I love the limelight, but I do love the idea of it. I love being a part of a creative community that has so many opportunities to share their gifts with each other and with every audience. I love that we have this remarkable old theater that has survived into the 21st Century because of the support of a community that loves it. I am enamored with this city that has been through a lot of economic hardship and still finds a significant place for The Arts when it feels like they have nothing left to give. I love all of that and this opportunity to be a tiny piece in that was exciting to me and I said Yes and I meant it from a very deep place in my heart.

ToddDancing 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />In a nutshell, the idea is to team a Canton “Celebrity” with a local professional dancer and showcase a two to three minute dance for an audience that gets to vote for us with money! The couple who raises the most money gets the highly prized mirror ball trophy and the satisfaction that the money they raised would go for the general operations of this glorious local theater. The atmosphere is fun but competitive and each year the stakes get higher and higher as crafty, local celebrities find innovative ways to add dollars to their coffers. I was a novice, naïve, but I knew I could learn how to dance so that’s what I did. I literally practiced day and night; in the dance studio where my partner Carol-Ann Miller worked, in the gallery, in my brain every night before I went to sleep. I knew this dance better than I knew my address. I hot glued gems to my pants and had a custom shirt made with glitter writing. I was serious. I was motivated. I was terrified beyond anything I could ever have imagined.

Standing in the wings before my cue, my legs were shaking, my heart was racing and I looked for the exit. I’m a writer. I’m not John Travolta. I was supposed to be at home in my underwear. Then, out of nowhere, I heard a quiet voice in my head. “You are blessed,” it said. I looked up at the lights, at the curtains, the cavernous space of stage before me. I turned and looked over at the cement walls beyond the curtains. I walked over to them and again heard the voice in my head. “You are blessed.” I placed my hand on the wall and felt the soul of this beautiful building, heard the stories of the performers who had walked the stage in the preceding decades, knew that I was blessed to be one of them and to have the opportunity to do this one small thing to ensure that it continued into the future.

I danced like a maniac. I stood center stage, I was applauded, I got to look into the lights and say “Hi Mom!” It was an experience that I will never forget. I didn’t win, but I placed respectably. What I did win, however, is the knowledge that every time I walk through the doors of The Canton Palace Theatre I have the understanding that it is now a part of me and I am now a part of it. It is here because of all of us and many old theaters from its time have not survived. I encourage you to go and play your part in this exciting event. Be a part of the theater and a part of this wonderful, exciting community of artists and singers and dancers and filmmakers. The real star of this show is The Palace…..and you for bringing it to life. Have a ball!

The Canton Palace Theatre’s 5th annual “Dancing with Canton’s Stars” is this Saturday at 7:30pm. For tickets or more information, please visit


headshot 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />

Todd Walburn is the co-owner of Second April Galerie and Studios and a blogger for ArtsinStark.

Free at the Z!- ConverZations

by Maranda Saling

Whether you’re one of the Stark County residents who has yet to experience the talent and grandeur of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) or a lifelong supporter, Free at the Z!- ConverZations is the perfect event for you! A free… yes FREE way to sprinkle a little culture and dialogue into your Monday- it’s easy! Support your favorite, local restaurant or pack your lunch and join the discussion on various topics related to the world of music! This series of free discussions is held the second Monday* of each month, September – April. The CSO provides coffee, tea and light desserts. Connect with other CSO enthusiasts at the Zimmermann Symphony Center Foundation Hall located at 2331 17th St NW, Canton 44708. November’s ConverZation with Andrew Shahriari to be held on November 9th at 12pm and will be on Autism and the Arts. Examine how the arts, specifically music, can benefit those affected by autism.

Be sure to mark your calendars for December 14- Holidays Through the Ages with Chris Kenney, January 11, 2016- Music and Film with Dr. Daniel Goldmark, February 8- Classics and Premieres with a CSO Musician, March 14- Guitars and Classical Music with George Dean and Jim Marron and finally April 11- Contemporary Choral Music with David Kienzle. Visit for full descriptions of each ConverZation and more information on the CSO.

*All programs subject to change without notice*

Sponsored by: T. K. and Faye A. Heston

Maranda Saling 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />

Maranda Saling is the owner of Bellflower Communications and a blogger for ArtsinStark

Canton Arts District All-Stars Exhibit Friday at CMA

Guest blog by Rob Lehr, Director of Marketing at the Canton Museum of Art

This Friday, the Canton Museum of Art galleries will look a little different. Artwork will pop up for just one night—paintings, sculptures, photography and more. But rather than works from around the nation, the museum will only feature regional and local talent. The Canton art community has been invited to show their best work and one artist will be crowned the 2015 Canton Arts District All-Star. And here’s the best part: You know who gets to pick the winner? You do.

This new annual competition is built on the notion that art is for everyone and anyone (ages 16 & older) can vote to choose the winner. From 5pm-8pm on Friday, visitors can register and cast up to two votes for their favorite works but only vote once per artist. The winning artist will have a feature profile in About Magazine, a special ARTe newsletter dedicated to their artwork sent to thousands of subscribers, a $100 gift card to Pat Catan’s Prizm Art Store (provided by ArtsInStark), and a feature in the @CantonMuseum quarterly magazine and website.

One goal of this project is to make art more accessible and expand the perspective of what art is. This event opens the Museum walls to the Canton Arts District and celebrates the diverse community that makes up First Fridays. Also, the competition counters the notion that art is elitist and acts as a people’s choice award for area artists.

With over 75 participating artists, you are bound to find something unique and many pieces are available to purchase. Enjoy artwork by Margene May, Heather Bullach, Judi Krew, Stephen McNulty, Jorge Cervantez, William Shearrow, Kim Eggleston-Kraus, Tina Myers, Erin Mulligan, Tim Carmany, David McDowell, Su Nimon, Nancy Stewart Matin, Tim Belden, Maxim Rosset, Tiffany Marsh, Joe Martino, and many more.

Don’t miss this FREE one night art event where you get to VOTE on your favorite artwork! With so many talented artists in the region this is a chance for YOU to crown one of them as a Canton Arts District All-Star. Visitors must be present to vote between 5pm-8pm, the winner will be announced on Friday night at 8:15pm and the Museum will close following the announcement at 8:30pm. Make history this First Friday as we pay thanks to the vibrant and creative artists who celebrate Canton as their destination for arts and culture!

Your Art Museum. Your Vote. One Winner.

Special thank-you to our sponsors: About Magazine, ARTe, and ArtsInStark.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ArtsinStark is hiring!

The Director of Development is a new position at ArtsinStark. In partnership with the President and CEO, the Director of Development creates and executes the County Arts Council’s annual fundraising plan. This position requires: 1) a BA and five or more years of non-profit fundraising experience; 2) a dynamic style of interacting with boards, donors, and community leaders; 3) superior computer skills; 4) outstanding writing and speaking abilities; and 5) the capacity to work with artists and arts organizations. Salary range: $70,000 – $85,000. Start date: January 2016. This is an exempt position reporting to the CEO. Deadline for resumes: 5 pm November 30, 2015. Send to or ArtsinStark 900 Cleveland Ave NW Canton, OH More at

ArtsinStark is a 46 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, runs the Annual Arts Campaign — and so much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program, 20/20 Vision, and The ELEVEN). Our annual budget is $3 million and our endowment at the Stark Community Foundation totals $14 million. In May 2015, our Annual Arts Campaign raised $1,775,000 to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 10 years in a row. Over the last decade we’ve increased private sector giving to the arts by 85%.

The Development Director has five major areas of responsibility: A) Creating the Arts Council’s annual fundraising plan, B) Overseeing the Annual Arts Campaign,
C) Maintaining relationships with major donors, D) Establishing a planned giving program, and E) Managing the fundraising budget, database, and website.
A. Creating annual fundraising plan: (20% of time) 1) Analyze past efforts, 2) Set donor strategies, 3) Determine calendar of activities, 4) Establish goals, and 5) Decide how to evaluate our results.
B. Overseeing Annual Arts Campaign (20% of time) 1) Create cultivation plan,
2) Help recruit campaign chair and workers, 3) Establish dollar goal, 4) Organize strategy for soliciting individuals, foundations, corporations, and government; 5) Oversee special events, 6) Submit grant applications, and 7) Develop campaign materials.
C. Maintaining relationships with major donors (20% of time) 1) Put together interaction strategy, 2) Host meetings and special programs, 3) Attend community leader functions, and 4) make ArtsinStark board part of development effort.
D. Establishing a planned giving program (20% of time) 1) Create strategy for growing endowment, 2) Help develop renovation plan for Cultural Center and its neighborhood, 3) Prepare planned giving materials, 4) Develop giving tools with Stark Community Foundation, 5) create educational materials, and 6) set timeline for results.
E. Managing fundraising budget, database, and website (20% of time) 1) Develop and track budget, 2) Coordinate database (Raiser’s Edge), and 3) Oversee online giving.

Game On: Rock, Paper, Scissors from Translations Art Gallery

By Judi Christy

I am not a competitive person. But, like most people, I do like to win. This holds particularly true in the one step back / three moves ahead Game of Friendship. I truly enjoy the spar and the give and take that comes with a good opponent, especially one like Craig Joseph, who knows how to bend but not break the rules.

I try to accept his invitations, as they have been extended to all of us, to play.

This month’s game (i.e., Translations Art exhibit) is titled, “Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Art of War.” It contains 15 scenarios complete with backdrop and armed (or more accurately, unarmed) forces, three per scene and representing the modalities of rock, paper and, you guessed it, scissors. These soldiers, made from clay, wire, paper, oil, tin, and God knows what else are set on a shelf; a battle without casualties, or so it would seem.

But look closely, as I did, rounding the exhibit about 4 ½ times in its space at Cyrus Custom Framing, and you may notice more. I saw not only unique details and but also similarities in the opponents – the broken, battered, scuffed, scarred, rusted and, as I previously mentioned, the unarmed. My personal favorites were fellows that I titled, “Angry Corn,” “Trapeze Humpty Dumpty,” and “A Little Too Happy Gingerbread Boy.” But the artists (Gail Trunick, Kelly Rae and Breanna Boulton) gave those more proactive names, with my tip-top choice being “Cute Little Bunny with Missile Launcher,” a title of which I would love to take credit. But, I am not cheater.IMG_1400 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />

Instead, I am a spectator. And the work’s title coupled with the setting, Sunny Meadow, made me wish that the really Game of Life was much more challenging.

And it would have been if given the backdrops like Abandoned Amusement Park, Arctic Circle, Factory, Urban Ghetto or Rural Farm, a scene painted in Old MacDonald pleasantry and serving to frame my aforementioned angry corn, really titled, “Unharvested.”

These 2-dimensional war scenes, created by Kat Francis and Steve Ehret, could stand alone, for certain. They are not dark, disjointed or even all that strange. They’d match any couch. They are pleasant in the same way of childhood movie, picture book or cartoon. I’m not suggesting that the backdrops are simple, but incredibly optimistic. Think the forest before Bambi’s mother takes it to heart or NYC before 911. Surprise! We are under enemy attack!

And, make no mistake, these enemies mean business. Watch out for the paper mache beehive, the one-eyed baby, the sleeping redneck with his truck on blocks, or the koi. And, keep your eye on the over-sized (and fantastic) ice prince in full metal (ice-trayed) jacket.

Which of these victors will not spoil? I wonder. And you will too. IMG_1398 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />

It’s all part of Craig Joseph’s game – having you decide which one of the rock, paper, scissors soldiers is the champion of each of the 15 battles. It’s a tough call, really. They all look so capable and, at the same time, so vulnerable. And, unlike the “real” wars we see on TV or through texts, there’s no one to interpret the excuses of these patriots and tell us what to think of the good, the bad and the truly ugly.

So, I called it a draw. I stopped my inner analysis of the merits of rock versus paper and decided not to cover the cut of the blade. Instead, I looked, as I so often do, beyond the fighters. I tuned, instead, to the syrupy scenery – a mock oasis without any casualties. Yet.

Rock, Paper Scissors: The Art of War
@ Translations Art at Cyrus Custom Framing through November 2015.



Judi Christy 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />Judi Christy is the Special Events & Marketing Manager for Fieldcrest Estate.