Aaron Lewis and the Stateliners return to Reading for a gig at Santander Arena on May 18. Tickets go on sale Friday at ticketmaster.com.
Lewis grew up in Springfield, Vermont, listening to his grandparents’ 8 country tracks. Those roots inspired the multi-platinum frontman and founder of Staind to return to his roots and he’s been quietly making an impact on country music ever since.
With a decade invested in a genre that has seen him record with George Jones, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Mickey Raphael, the Cox family, Ben Haggard and Dan Tyminski, and producer Buddy Cannon, he has won two Billboard No. 1 Country Album debuts for his albums “Town Line” and “Sinner”.
Lewis’ single “Am I the Only One” debuted as Billboard’s No. 1 country song, only the ninth time a debut album has topped the chart since 1958. The latest album by the touring star, “Frayed at Both Ends,” was released in January.
The Foundation for the Reading Public Museum announced two recent major gifts from the Ethel Baziotes Trust and the Estate of William Baziotes in New York. The significant gift of nearly 100 works by William Baziotes includes sketchbooks, drawings, watercolors and gouaches, oil paintings on canvas and cardboard, and archival documents representing the full range of the career of the Pennsylvania-born artist from the early 1930s to the early 1960s.
The gift includes works from Baziotes’ WPA period, early Surrealist period, his Geometric/Cubist period, and his mature lyrical style developed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Baziotes (1912-1963) was born in 1912 in Pittsburgh to Greek immigrant parents. The family moved to Reading the following year to pursue business opportunities, including a partnership with the famous restaurant Crystal.
The artist spent his formative years in Reading, where he worked for a time for the Reading time and for JM Kase & Co., a stained glass manufacturer.
He took some of his first art lessons from Earl Poole, the second director of the Reading Public Museum.
By the time he reached his early twenties, he made the decision to move to New York City, where he enrolled in classes at the National Academy of Design in the mid-1930s. was deeply influenced by surrealism and symbolist poetry, introduced to him by Reading poet and fellow Greek, Byron Vazakas (1905-1987).
As soon as he arrived in New York, Baziotes quickly joined the circle of other artists, Roberto Matta, Gordon Onslow Ford, Jimmy Ernst, Robert Motherwell, Peter Busa, Jackson Pollock and Gerome Kamrowski, who all explored surrealism and automatism, or ” automatic writing,” in the 1940s.
The gift includes a group of Pennsylvania landscapes, works that were likely painted during his many summer residences in Reading, where he maintained an apartment and was able to reconnect with friends and family.
The donated works join several paintings by Baziotes that are already part of the permanent collection. The museum also houses one of Baziotes’ painting easels, a group of brushes, and his “lucky” painting shoes, all part of a 2012 gift from Ethel Baziotes.
“The Reading Public Museum will now be able to showcase many facets of William Baziotes’ 30-year career in the city, which was instrumental in his artistic formation and development,” said museum curator Scott A. Schweigert. “The artist Reading really made his mark in the world of mid-century American abstraction at a key moment in its emergence as a cutting-edge style of art around the world, and we are thrilled to to be able to tell that story here at RPM.”
Many works will be presented in an exhibition at the museum from May 14 to September 25.
The winners have been announced for the 2022 High School Juried Art Exhibition, which runs through February 13 at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education, West Lawn:
• Coggins Prize ($250): Mary Brubaker, sophomore at Wilson High School, charcoal.
• First place ($125): Madalyn Wilcynski, Wilson junior, acrylic
• Second Place ($100): Angelle Rescigno, Senior Tulpehocken, Mixed Media
• Third place ($75): Brittany Troung, Exeter senior, gouche
• Berks Art Alliance Award, Joanna Knepper, Senior Exeter, sculpture
• Community Award: Kenlee Gollub, Sophomore of Governor Mifflin, Mixed Media
• Fred and Deb Gurman Prize: Payton Fritz, Daniel Boone senior, acrylic
• Honorable Mentions ($40): Olivia Biancone, Exeter Senior, Etching/Pen/Ink; Jinyan Chen, Wilson junior, charcoal; Reese Dauber, sophomore from Wyomissing, oil pastels; Mia Davis, sophomore of Daniel Boone, ink; Dani Ha, Daniel Boone senior, digital; Mia Herner, Exeter junior, ceramics; Wyomissing senior Jordan Newton, photography.
The exhibit was judged by this year’s Coggins Prize recipient, Amanda Lee Condict. The Coggins Prize rewards artists who adopt the values expounded by Jack Coggins: creativity, innovation and service to the Yocum Institute and the community.
Laura Williams-Burke, a graduate of Wilson High School residing in Massachusetts, is releasing her first book, a children’s book called “A Friend for Milton”.
The book, which is available for pre-order at all major outlets until its March 15 release, is about acceptance, community and friendship and is inspired by real events.
Illustrated by Ashley Idell and aimed at young children, the picture book tells the heartwarming story of a cat who feels lonely when its owner goes to work and decides to look for the perfect companion in his apartment building. But when no one lives up to his expectations, Milton begins to wonder if he’ll find a friend.
“This book is a meaningful story that will especially resonate with families who have pets,” Williams-Burke said.
Signed copies can be purchased directly from the author on her website, www.laurawilliamsburke.com.