Monthly Archives: January 2016

Bad Girl Ventures: For Women Entrepreneurs

When Journey opened at its current location in 2013, owner Su Nimon was part of a small business accelerator program focusing on women entrepreneurs: Bad Girl Ventures . BGV’s mission is to support women entrepreneurs with knowledge, networking, and a small loan to achieve their business goals.

Now that the program is coming to Akron/Kent/Canton in 2016. Nimon is hosting an info session on February 26 where women can learn more how BGV can help them open a business and reach their full potential as a female entrepreneur. The open-house-style info session is free, but please RSVP at

You can find out more about BGV at

Stark County Artist Profile: Emily Vigil

Each week in January and February we will be featuring a different Stark County artist. Get to know the amazing talent in our community.

By Laurie Fife Harbert

Emily Vigil describes herself as a traveler. She spent her childhood in Brazil, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia, the latter of which being where she completed her undergraduate degree. She then earned her M.F.A. in Louisiana and continued her fine art studies with the Master Copy Program at the Louvre in Paris, France and a landscape painting marathon at the New York Studio School in New York City. Currently, Emily has lived in Stark County for over seven years, the longest she’s remained in any one place. She and her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of animals reside on a little farmstead in East Sparta. To find inspiration for her artwork and to continue to satisfy her wanderlust, Emily travels often to visit her husband’s family in Colorado and her extended family in the United Kingdom.

As would be expected of a self-proclaimed journeyer, places regularly provide the artistic subject matter for Emily’s art. ‘My traveler’s background continues to inspire me to find meaningful connections to place in my artwork,’ she states. This focus of her work may be seen on her website,, which she has aptly titled ‘Intimate Ecology Paintings About Place.’

While to some the idea of ‘place’ may conjure up big cities and densely inhabited human areas, Vigil’s work takes on a more natural, environmental, and even esoteric approach to ‘place.’ Nature and organic forms proliferate her work more so than architecture. Her inspiration for visually defining a place can come from stories, maps, photographs, and real or even imagined components of what is or what could be there. The result when Emily sets out to represent a place in her artwork—which she would render in possibly paint, charcoal, digital photography, collage, or any combination of mixed media—will be a very personal and unique image. She attempts to capture not necessarily the actual place, but a sense of the place, often incorporating its past or its future possibilities into the depiction. She has been known to wander paths alone at dusk to view, photograph, or paint on site. Her large acrylic painting, ‘Hertiage,’ resulted from one such adventure at Castle Hill earthworks near Dorset in the United Kingdom.

In the past Vigil has been a gallery director, adjunct professor, and elementary art teacher. She has shown her work for over 15 years, often winning awards. She has received many grants for community-based exhibits and installations which she has spear-headed, including ‘Constellations of Women’ in the Canton Arts District in 2009 and a recent program bringing art to area parks through ArtsinStark and Stark Parks.

While she may have stayed in Stark County the longest thus far, it is obvious that she isn’t going to let the grass grow under her feet while she is here. Currently, in addition to raising her family and creating her artwork, Emily works for the Massillon Museum as their events and Studio M coordinator. She also organizes and curates independent art exhibits. An upcoming show she is arranging, ‘Conversations with our Collection,’ will be an off-site exhibit featuring artwork by the Massillon Museum staff, based on interpretations of pieces from the museum’s collection. It will coincide with the MassMu’s ‘Readapt’ exhibit. Other future endeavors for Emily include a body of work featuring community gardens and a group show highlighting landscapes with painter Heather Bullach of Canton and photographer Mark Pitocco of Louisville. Emily may be contacted through her website or via email at

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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. 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.

Downtown Classics series brings symphony to new audiences

After an overwhelmingly positive response to the Canton Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Rock the 5th Pub Crawl in March of 2015, the CSO is launching a full new series of events in Canton’s Downtown bars, restaurants and galleries for 2016. Downtown Classics lets patrons enjoy performances from small ensembles of Canton Symphony Orchestra musicians in the laid back casual atmosphere of their favorite hot spot. It’s a combination of classic venues, classic food and classic music! The series is funded in part by a grant from Arts in Stark and the Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

“Everyone who attended the pub crawl last year asked us to do it again,” remarks Barb Mucci, Director of Development for the CSO. “They loved having our musicians performing while they enjoyed the food, drinks and atmosphere of great downtown Canton venues. We are thrilled to be returning in 2016.”

The schedule for the performances is:
• January 28, 2016 at 7pm at George’s Lounge (229 Cleveland Ave. NW)
• February 18, 2016 at 7pm at Canton Brewing Company (120 3rd Street NW)
• March 10, 2016 at 7pm at Cork & Canvas (322 3rd Street NW)

Each venue will offer “Symphony Specials” on food, drinks and/or merchandise during the performance. Seating is first come first served. There is no cover charge. Each performance will showcase different musicians and repertoire tailored to fit the venue.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, adjacent to the Zimmermann Symphony Center 2331 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio. Parking at the Zimmermann Symphony Center is free. For more information, please visit

And the winner is … The Canton Palace Theatre

by Judi Christy

Admittedly, I am no critic. Well, not officially. But, every year, I do enjoy watching the films nominated as BEST PICTURE by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. And, when I say “watching the films,” I mean sitting in the velvety seats of the Canton Palace Theatre while cozied up with a bag of unbuttered popcorn and a plastic glass of chardonnay or a cup of coffee (depending on the chill factor of the room.) In most cases, as with “Bridge of Spies,” Mike Christy is along for the ride. But, for films like “Brooklyn” and “Room” and most certainly, “The Danish Girl,” a flick not nominated for its title, but for Eddie Redmayne’s acting, I will need to buy a ticket and probably a pack of peanut M&Ms for my daughter. It’s fine. I just want to see the movies in total darkness and without a PAUSE button. And, I want to experience these same movies with spontaneous audience reactions, not readily accessible on Netflix, Redbox or the cracked screen of my I-phone. Plus, I like a big screen.

That’s why I go to the Palace.

For 5-bucks I am not only treated to great viewing experience, I am also privy to terrific sound (thank you Chris Lesho!), familiar-faced ushers, a beautiful lobby, and the The Big Dipper overhead. There’s also that lively organ prelude – ever single time — by the talented Jay Spencer who revels in showing off his fancy footwork and keyboard skills on a ground-raising icon. When was the last time you saw that kind of showmanship at Cinemark?

Never, I say.

So, beginning this month, I invite you to join me as the Palace offers their Academy Award Film Series. Depending on the genre and other bookings in the venue, the nominated films will show on the weekends (including a Sunday matinee) and the occasional Thursday night (art films) up to and beyond the February 28 televised Oscars. The schedule is not yet finalized due to the rights and releases of these films. So, you need to check the theatre’s website:

This year, I’m truly excited. The only nominated film that I have previously seen is “The Martian,” truly NOT a comedy, although it’s ridiculously in that category. It was okay, 1,000 times better than George Clooney’s “Gravity,” but not worth the $12.00 per person price paid in November at Tinseltown. I clearly should have waited.

Then, I could have enjoyed it – along with “The Big Short,” “Relevant,” and “Spotlight,” the latter of which I, as a Catholic, am truly anxious to see, and of course, comment on. Because that’s the other half of the joy – dishing about these films, sharing your agreement or disdain with The Academy after seeing, on a big screen, what “they” consider to be the best of the best. I assure you, it’s also a lot safer than debating the debates. Unless of course you are BFFs with Jada.

But, that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

This blog is about attending the Academy Award Movie series at The Palace and celebrating the traditions of the Awards (beginning in 1929) and the Theatre (opening in 1926).
When you do go, look for me. I’ll likely be up in the balcony for most of the films, with the exception of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I don’t have enough Dramamine on hand for that fiery flick. Plus, I’ll take my chances that it won’t win the golden idol. But then again, there was “Gladiator.”


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

Stark County Artist Profile: Diane Belfiglio

Each week in January and February we will be featuring a different Stark County artist. Get to know the amazing talent in our community.

By Laurie Fife Harbert

A prolific and accomplished member of the area’s creative community, Canton artist Diane Belfiglio has participated in over 170 solo and group shows, earned numerous art grants, and has been featured in a variety of art publications. Her work is in the art collections of museums, universities, businesses, and individuals both nationally and abroad, including the Canton Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, and singer Patti LaBelle. Diane holds a B.F.A. in drawing, painting, and graphics from The Ohio State University and an M.F.A. in painting from Syracuse University. She has shared her artistic talent and knowledge with students as a professor at Walsh University for the past 15 years.

Belfiglio’s artwork depicts contrast and organization, and strong color choices. Her style is realistic but takes on a sense of the abstract through the shapes and the minute attention to detail, resulting in a kind of heightened reality. Her distinctive compositions of close-cropped subjects are readily recognizable. However, the medium she incorporates tends to change, based on both her chosen subject matter and on her natural desire for new challenges. While the crisp lines of her historical architectural pieces are enhanced by acrylic paint, she found that oil pastels better lend themselves to the softer edges needed for plant life and floral depictions. Colored pencil and her latest sculptural designs in wood currently round out her media preferences.

Light, most notably sunlight, nearly always plays a starring role in Diane’s compositions, with the resultant shadows being an important feature of her paintings and drawings. “Ethereal by nature, shadows become a structural part of my compositions,” she states. Interestingly, her latest foray into the medium of wood sculpture also exemplifies this signature element of her work. The sculptures cast distinctive shadows depending on the angle of the light source. Her venture into the three-dimensional realm was quickly rewarded, as ‘Repetitions II’ was accepted into the 2015 ‘Stark County Artists Exhibition’ at the Massillon Museum.

An additional part of Belfiglio’s work is community art installations. She has partnered with local organizations for several large-scale group artworks, including Walsh University, GlenOak High School, Habitat for Humanity, and the Canton Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys the outreach aspect of these projects and takes special pride in involving those with no art background who don’t necessarily feel as if they are creative or artistic. Her next group art project, with Walsh University and St. Thomas Aquinas School, will be completed by April of 2016.

Not one to remain stagnant, it will be exciting to see future offerings from this dynamic artist. Continued growth—be it regarding subject matter, style, media, or even the size in which one works—is arguably the mark of a true artistic soul. Diane seems to have been abundantly blessed by the muse, as she has the talent, skills, and inner drive to unceasingly seek out new ways to express her creativity. That she finds joy in sharing her gifts with others is icing on the cake. Further images of her work may be seen at Though her plate is full with family, teaching, her art, and the community art projects, Diane does accept commissions, mostly over the summer months. She may be reached via email at

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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.

Do the Mu! – Chinese New Year Kites

The 2016 seven-day-long Chinese New Year celebration will begin on February 7.  To mark the year of the monkey, Diane Gibson will help participants make Chinese New Year kites at the Massillon Museum’s “Do the Mu!” workshop on Saturday, February 6, from noon to 2:00 p.m. Open to participants of all ages, the session is free and all materials will be supplied. Guests are invited to drop in any time during the workshop.  No reservations are required.

Gibson, a Massillon artist and art teacher, works primarily with acrylic paints and pencil; creates jewelry using hardware; and experiments with charcoal, pastels, mixed media, and wood. She is a licensed visual arts teacher, with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ashland College and a Master of Education in integrated arts from the University of Rio Grande. A member of the Ohio Art Education Association, she is a working artist and teaches private lessons and arts workshops through Pat Catan’s and the Massillon Public Library in addition to the Massillon Museum.

“Do the Mu!”—a free event—adds a hands-on dimension to a Massillon Museum visit, providing an intergenerational, interactive outlet for creativity. All materials, tools, and instruction are supplied at no charge.

Visitors can also see the Celebration in Art exhibition; the Studio M Paintings by Melissa Markwald exhibition; Paul Brown and the Integration of Ohio Football; It’s Been Awhile; and Fashion Outlaws. The Immel Circus diorama is always on display.

The Museum shop, OHregionalities, and the lobby café, Anderson’s in the City, will be open, and photostrips from the vintage photobooth will be available for purchase.

The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark.

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East (Ohio Route 172) in downtown Massillon.  Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in nearby city lots.  For more information, call the Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit


Space Jam: Canton Symphony’s Earth–HD Odyssey MasterWorks Series

By Jara Anton

Space. Still the final frontier. We’re obsessed with the unknown, we flock to movies about it, devour every morsel of space-related research. But what’s the view like? What does our planet look like from space? I’ve never been to space. But. If I had, I’d think long and hard about the playlist I’d take with me. But what musical arrangements are epic enough to stream while I’m staring out the window into space?! Yes, it’s a difficult question. Luckily, there are answers and the Canton Symphony Orchestra has it dialed in.

Earth (formerly a film titled Orbit) is the second movie commissioned by the Houston symphony will be at the Umstattd Performing Arts Hall on Saturday Jan 23 at 8pm. The Canton Symphony Orchestra will be performing a solid program to some of the most vivid and adventurous images of space that you’ve ever seen. NASA opened the vault to share the borderline magical pictures of the view from space. You’ll be treated to a vision of the world you’ve yet to see from 200 miles up. Our giant blue marble comes to life. Be amazed as you enjoy tropical storms, varying shades of ice movement, and varying shades of the oceans. Plankton blooms will splash bejeweled colors across your eyes while you enjoy the Canton Symphony’s performance.

The musical performance will include Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 5 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine. See below for a sampling. However, most notable is Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra. If you’re not sure, it was most notably used in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. Fun fact: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (Thus Spoke Zarathustra or Thus Spake Zarathustra) is technically categorized as a “tone poem” by Richard Strauss, it was inspired by Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the same name.

Earth—An HD Odyssey MasterWorks Series will only be in town for the night, tickets will go fast.

CSO Box Office | 330-452-2094 |

Canton Palace Theatre and Announce 2016 Canton Film Fest Submission Categories, in association with the Canton Palace Theatre and the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, will host the 2016 Canton Film Festival in downtown Canton, Ohio on April 21, 22 and 23, 2016. During this three-day film event, the public will get the chance to screen the submitted short films of independent directors from Canton, Stark County, North East Ohio and all across the country. As well as be able to hear from industry leaders in cinematography, directing and acting. The final 2016 schedule will be released in early March 2016.
2016 Canton Film Fest categories include: Sports Documentary, Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Music Video and Short Fiction/Drama. All submissions should be no more than 15 minutes each. The early deadline to submit films is Tuesday, March 1, 2016 with a discounted submission fee of $25.00 per entry. Final Deadline is April 1, 2016 with a submission fee of $30.00 per entry.

Submissions can be made by logging onto or by mail to:
Canton Palace Theatre
c/o 2016 Canton Film Fest
605 Market Avenue, N
Canton, Ohio 44702

The Canton Film Fest is a chance for up-and-coming filmmakers to showcase their work. After the entries of each category are screened, there will be an awards ceremony honoring the top-rated films in that respective category, as determined by a panel of judges. Winners will receive prizes for their submissions. Directors who wish to enter their work should visit for submission guidelines.

About, now in its fifth year, is dedicated to cultivating the talent within North East Ohio’s filmmaking and creative community. Through co-presenting events such as the 2016 Canton Film Fest as well as through education, strives to put North East Ohio on the independent filmmaking map.

About the Canton Palace Theatre

Completed in 1926, the Canton Palace Theatre is a downtown architectural jewel registered on the National Historic Registry. A prized community venue for classic, contemporary and art films, The Palace annually hosts more than 300 special events, concerts, recitals and Broadway-style productions. For more information, please visit

The Palace is located at 605 Market Avenue North in Canton, Ohio. Business and box office hours are Monday through Friday 10:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Business offices can be reached at (330) 454-8172 and a 24-Hour Recorded Event Information line is (330) 454-8171.

Stark Artist Profile: Terri Howard

Each week we will be featuring a different Stark County artist. Get to know the amazing talent in our community.

By Laurie Fife Harbert

Though trained as a graphic designer at Kent State University in the late 1970s, after a two-year stint with a large ad agency, Canton native Terri Howard decided commercial art wasn’t for her. Instead, she sought out other ways to earn a living, all the while keeping art in her life as her passion and hobby. Her amazingly intricate drawing talent became her artistic focus, and though her main media choice of colored pencils and markers is relatively traditional, her preferred background for her art goes beyond the expected paper, stretched canvas, or wood. Terri’s ‘canvas’ of choice is dried gourds in a variety of shapes and sizes.

How did the artist choose such an unusual vehicle for her work? In a phrase, passions collided. An avid interest in backyard bird watching led her to make gourd bird houses as gifts for family and friends. The next obvious step was to apply her drawing skills to them, and the gourds then came into their own as true works of art. The outdoors has always been an important aspect in Terri’s life and is part of why she chose gourds on which to showcase her talent. “I feel a strong connection with nature and the outdoors and enjoy using a product in my art that originated from the earth. It is nature’s beauty, tenacity, and timelessness that inspires me each time I pick up a gourd and study its individuality. Nature has already created the art. I just take it to another level for people to enjoy,” she stated.

While gourds may seem limiting to others, they are viewed as a creative challenge by Terri. Shape, natural color, and size all play a role in determining the piece’s theme and purpose. In addition to stand-alone works of art, she fashions them into functional items such as vases, containers, lights, and ornaments. Though already dried when she purchases them from growers within Ohio, the gourds require much cleaning and preparation by Howard before she can begin to apply her artwork to the surface. Besides drawing on them, Howard may also enhance a gourd with carving, drilling, burning, staining, or painting. Her themes and subject matter can encompass anything from Native American and western motifs to animals and nature to abstract shapes and designs.

Howard’s gourd art is beginning to gain ground in the fine art community, with a following of avid collectors both locally and nationally. She has been showing and selling her colorful gourds since 2009 at various galleries, shops, and sales shows. One of her larger gourds, titled “A Tribute to the Canton Palace Theatre,” was accepted into The Little Art Gallery of the North Canton Public Library’s 2015 ‘May Show,’ a juried show notably difficult to get into. Her work is currently featured at the ROY G BIV Gallery in Columbus, the Wendell August store in Berlin, and this spring will available at The Shop on Canal in Bolivar. Terri may be contacted through her website:

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“Dutch Treats” Opens at Ahh Gallery

On Thursday January 14 from 5 to 8 pm, the Art and History Gallery (The Ahh Gallery) at 120 East Main Street in downtown Louisville opens a show of artworks done using a mysterious technique from the 15th century. The exhibit, which runs for six weeks, features 30 paintings by Massillon artist Frank Dale, and his students. Dale graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has had a lifelong passion for the work of painters like Vermeer, Rubens and Rembrandt. But unable to find someone to teach him how to paint in this style, in 1998, after retiring from Superior’s Brand Meats, he set out to teach himself. He was so successful that he has written a book about it called Art – A Search for Beauty: a Guide to Classical Painting Based on the Flemish Technique.

Dale developed an expertise on the Flemish Technique of 15th-century Belgium painter Jan Van Eyck. It’s a technique that involves executing a precise drawing on canvas or panel and then applying thin glazes of paint to achieve a transparent, luminous finish using a resin/oil medium. This process of painting produces unusual depth and brilliance of colors not possible with other oil painting methods.

Frank Dale has been teaching students how to paint in the Flemish style for nearly two decades. “Dutch Treat” features a sampling of works by his students who range in age from eleven to eighty two. In 2002, Dale had open heart surgery at Mercy Medical Center. Thirteen years later, he donated to the hospital a reproduction he’d made of the 19th-century painter William Bouguereau’s “Song of the Angels.” The painting took Dale more than 60 hours to complete.

The Ahh Gallery is part of 20/20 Vision Louisville, an economic development project of ArtsinStark, the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Louisville; which aims to transform three blocks on East Main Street downtown into “Constitution Place.”