A small drizzle of rain didn’t keep students, local residents, artists, musicians, and vendors from attending downtown Lancaster’s First Friday on September 5, 2014. Following tradition, First Friday is held on the first Friday evening of every month to celebrate Lancaster’s local artists, musicians, and other individuals who contribute to the culture of Lancaster.
At the Ware Center, artwork by Paula Egolf was featured throughout the Lyet Lobby and mezzanine level. Egolf uses acrylics and pastels to “celebrate color, light and shape, reflecting the joy that can be experienced from even the simplest of objects,” the artist states.
“As a representational artist, I am influenced in my painting by my environs and travels… I am very active while painting, moving constantly, energized by the music of the day,” she states. “Never limited in subject matter, if I’m not working directly from a still life or model, I use my own sketches or photographs to jump-start the creative process for a landscape.”
Egolf states about her pieces: “I use no medium with my paints and do not premix my colors, merely pulling separate colors onto the same brush and letting them blend (and stay fresh) as I apply them to my surface.”
In the Lyet Lobby, live music by local folk musician Pat McCaskey entertained visitors throughout the evening.
“Music and singing have been a part of my life since my earliest memories,” states McCaskey. “I come from a show business family. My father travelled the world as a professional musician. As a child and teenager, whenever possible, I tagged along. It was thus that I got to experience performers such as: Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, and Jonathan Winters. From the folk music side it was: The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul & Mary, The Smothers Brothers and The Limeliters.”
McCaskey states, “For the last thirty-five years I have spent my workday teaching undergraduate and graduate students the intricacies of business and marketing. By night, however, I’ve been strumming a guitar and singing folksongs at local coffeehouses and folk venues first in the Boston area, and then in central Pennsylvania. I try to bring more to the stage than just music. I am a storyteller, a folklorist and above all a seasoned teacher. From the ancient ballad, to the newest song that I’ve just composed, my years in front of both classes and audiences have honed my ability to draw the listener in and impart a deeper connection with the music. Now, I’m stepping away from the days in the classroom to fully devote my time to creating and sharing with others the music that I love.”
Elsewhere in downtown Lancaster, local artists displayed their paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other pieces for local residents and students to enjoy.
Children’s author, illustrator, and crafter Ashley Lucas held a book signing at Strawberry & Co., on West King Street. Her recently published book, The Angry Artist, deals with the challenges of working in the creative and artistic industry. She also creates small sculptures and paintings around the characters she designs.
At the end of the night, the streets in downtown Lancaster were crowded and buzzing, as people enjoyed the arts and entertainment that the city had to offer. Don’t miss the next First Friday downtown, scheduled for October 3, 2014.