Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
The first classes at the Salem Art Center start Aug. 26; at 8 a.m. Aug. 30 there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Photo courtesy of Palotas family
Joe and Jessica Palotas and their children, Olivia and Rocky, pose outside their school, the Salem Art Center at 203 4th St. East. Joe is a painter and Jessica a photographer.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
A couple from Florida has founded a new art school in Salem that they hope will boost the city’s small art scene.
Joe and Jessica Palotas are opening the Salem Art Center at 203 4th St. East, where they’ll teach art classes for children and adults. The first classes start Aug. 26; at 8 a.m. Aug. 30 there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Joe Palotas, 36, draws and paints — he has a Facebook page displaying a range from plein air landscapes to superhero portraits — and Jessica Palotas, 30, is a photographer.
The couple moved to Salem only seven weeks ago with the plan to open the school. “We’ve done a lot of marketing research,” Joe Palotas said. “We’ve got an established base in terms of revenue.”
At first, they’ll be the only teachers, and the center will display their art. As they plant their roots, as Joe Palotas puts it, they hope to expand both their faculty and their gallery offerings to include other regional artists. “This is the ground level,” he said. “This is where it all starts.”
Before they moved here with their 10-year-old son Rocky and 8-year-old daughter Olivia, the couple had begun networking with the homeschool community in the Roanoke Valley. They already have students signed up for their art classes, which cost an individual student $5 per hour or $40 for a four-week course. Classes are two hours long, once a week.
Joe Palotas said they intend to start out focusing on art activities for middle school students, after-school programs and evening classes for adults.
With cutbacks to art curriculums, many public school art classes focus on crafts, he said. “That really opens it up for folks like us.” The couples’ classes teach not just art techniques but art history, he said — for example, discussing how Impressionist painter Claude Monet made use of complementary colors.
They ran a similar school in Sarasota, Fla., called Arts in Wonderland. They had moved to Florida to live near Joe’s parents. He said that his mother and father started spending half the year in their native Ohio — which sparked his and his wife’s decision to set out on their own. “Virginia seemed to have everything we were looking for,” he said.
The scenic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the sense of a close-knit community, the budding art scene and the local government’s friendliness toward small businesses brought them to Salem.
But they didn’t expect their project to come together as fast as it has. “It just feels like everything’s almost like magically happening,” Jessica Palotas said.
For more information visit www.salemartcenter.com.
Perry F. Kendig Awards return
The Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards, formerly administrated by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, will return, funded through a co-sponsorship by Hollins University and Roanoke College.
The awards recognize excellence in the arts and arts philanthropy. Founded in 1985, the awards were presented by arts council until 2012, when the nonprofit was dissolved. The awards’ namesake was a Roanoke College president and patron of the arts.
At a ceremony on Nov. 3 in Roanoke College’s Wortmann Ballroom, the co-sponsors will present three awards: for individual artist, arts and culture organization and individual or business supporter.
The individual artist award includes all disciplines — dance, literature, theater, visual arts, media arts and music. Residents and businesses from Roanoke, Salem and Vinton and the counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke are eligible. Nominations are open until Sept. 16.
For more information, including nomination forms, visit www1.hollins.edu/kendig/.
Gamut Theatre is holding auditions for its next play “Baby with the Bathwater” by Christopher Durang. Director Ami Trowell, a member of the Big Lick Conspiracy comedy troupe, calls the script “a satiric look at family values and childrearing.”
The play contains parts for two to three men and two to three women. Auditions take place 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the June M. McBroom Theater at Community High School, 302 Campbell Ave. S.E. in Roanoke. Performances take place Oct. 3 to 5 and Oct. 10 to 12. For more information email email@example.com or call 540-676-1415.
Roanoke Children’s Theatre is holding auditions for its entire 2013-14 season with signups at 10 a.m. Saturday. Open to adults and children ages 8 and up, the auditions take place in the theater company’s new home in the Dumas Center for Artistic and Cultural Development, 108 1st St. N.W. in Roanoke.
RCT will also conduct an open house with tours from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
For more information on audition requirements and sign up forms, call 400-7795 or visit roanokechildrenstheatre.org.
On the Arts blog
Chipotle in Roanoke is holding a fund aiser Monday for the Taubman Museum of Art. Read all the details and download the flier you need to participate at blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
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