Monday, June 26, 2006

Our New Neighbor: Lincoln Avenue Arts

Those travelling through McDonald may have noticed the large "Vote Snatchko" banner is no longer hanging in the large front windows of the former G.C. Murphy's store on West Lincoln Avenue. No worries -- we're still leasing part of the old "5 & 10" for our campaign headquarters. We're still in section of the first floor nearest Skybank. The middle section of the first floor just got some new tenants and they're now utilizing the large windows.

The name of our new neighbor is "Lincoln Avenue Arts." It's an artists' co-op led by Mary Lou Karas, Peggy Hughey, Alice Thomassy, Blanche Slates and several others. Mary Lou told me in an e-mail that, "Our mission is to showcase local talent, promote business in the community of McDonald and help stimulate the business district ...We welcome interested persons who would like to display their products. Work will be juried by a committee for potential display and all artists will be expected to 'volunteer' time."

Lincoln Avenue Arts is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If you're from out-of-town and doing an on-line map, the address is 106 West Lincoln Ave., 15057. I stopped in on Friday to check out their wares, which included oil paintings, framed-and-matted photographs, hand-made cards and many other items (including the three volumes of "McDonald Memories" books edited by Alice Thomassy).

This is exactly the kind of private initiative that brings small towns to life. Cheers to the organizers of Lincoln Avenue Arts for their efforts! Thanks also to Dale & Rita Csonka, the owners of the old 5 & 10, who have invested considerable time, efforts and funds into improving McDonald's business district.

This reminds me of what Sandee Umbach and her dedicated crew have done to bring WashArts to life in the space above Brothers Pizza on North Main Street in WashPA.

Washington has had an Artists' Co-Op of its own since 1994. After a time at the Washington Mall, it's now back in Downtown Washington in the first floor of the Washington Trust Building Annex at 30 Beau Street.

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