Gilbertsville residents gathered Friday to see the results of a popular summer arts program.
Since its inaugural year in 1989, the Gilbertsville Summer Arts Workshop has grown considerably, said Rev. Randy Palada, who started the program while serving as pastor of Gilbertsville Baptist Church. Now retired, he still lives in Gilbertsville and remains art director of the church’s program.
According to its mission statement, the program strives “To learn to grow individually as creative persons, sharing the blessing of creativity as a spiritual expression. We also seek to create, enhance and share our artistic talents with one another and to appreciate the process and rewards of such creative expression.”
“When I first came here, there was not a lot going on in arts in the community. Because of my passion for art, I reached out and got the summer program going,” Palada said.
The workshops, held from Aug. 5 to 9 this year, are open to all ages from kindergarten students to adults. In addition to the core painting classes taught by Palada, Noelle Da Silva Holdredge, art teacher at Unatego High School, taught digital photography. Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School art teacher Ashley Hughes taught weaving and Joe Richheimer taught tie dye.
Another Gilbertsville arts endeavor, the Gilbertsville Expressive Movement offered at no cost a two-day sculpture workshop as part of the program. The sculpture classes were led GEM resident sculptor Kelly Cave, who asked students to use plaster and wire to sculpt objects capable of receiving and passing a ping pong ball.
The program has gained broad community support and enjoys a degree of monetary support from the village of Gilbertsville.
“The village built easels and display boards for us and they include us in their budget,” Palada said. He said other support comes from family members of enrollees, volunteer retirees, student interns and donations from individuals and…