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Many ‘talents’ on display at Albion variety show

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2017 at 8:32 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Cabaret at Studio B welcomed talent from the Albion community for a variety show, with dancing, singing and comedy routines on Saturday night.

One of the dance numbers including Lauren Thomas doing ballet, only to be joined by her father Todd Thomas in a tutu.

David Sidari and his daughter Gina did a Hee Haw skit. Amy Sidari, owner of the cabaret and Gotta Dance by Miss Amy, also was part of the routine.

Some of the performers on Saturday included Gary Simboli, Marcy Downey, The Gotta Dance Performers, Angela Tarricone and Rylie Seielstad. Tom Rivers of the Orleans Hub also did a fake news cast of local events featuring the character Gilbert Thunderburk.

Marcy Downey did a funny portrayal of the late comedian, Phyllis Diller.

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Variety Show brings laughs to Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Jim Babcock portrays Sonny and Sandra Monacelli-McNall is Cher in a performance of “I Got You Babe” during tonight’s Cabaret Variety Show.

Amy Sidari and her cast of performers put on their second variety show at the Cabaret at Studio B in Albion. Sidari performed in many of the comedic routines. She also danced, sang and was hostess for the two-hour show.

Marcy Downey also played a big role in the show. In this photo she is Marge, the Red Hat Lady. Downey also did a singing and dancing duet with Sidari. Downey also sang with Gary Simboli and performed with her 95-year-old father, Clyde Downey.

A full house attended the show at 28 West Bank St.

Photo from late 1800s shows a bustling downtown Albion

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 16 November 2019 at 8:12 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 5, No. 43

ALBION – This photograph, taken some time in the late 1880s or early 1890s, shows Main Street in Albion looking north from Bank Street. Comparing this image to a current view of the village, readers will notice very few changes in the cityscape of downtown Albion.

The only marking on the obverse side of the photo is the photographer, Francis J. Burnett. The approximate date of 1886-1893 is deduced by the appearance of a large wooden sign that reads “Western New York Hedge Company.” Organized in 1886 by Dwight Beckwith, the WNY Hedge Company encouraged local farmers to plant hedgerows between fields rather than using wooden fences. The short-lived company failed soon after around 1893.

Two village directories, one from 1887 and the other from 1894, provide a detailed look into life in Albion nearing the turn of the 20th century. The most notable feature of this image is the wide unpaved street. Sidewalks and curbing are all cut from locally quarried Medina sandstone and paving blocks run across the street at various locations to prevent pedestrians from soiling their shoes. Horses and buggies, the predominant method of transportation, are visible along the street. The attentive observer will notice the presence of hitching posts lining the sidewalks and the abundance of “road apples” scattered throughout the street, both indicative of equine transportation.

Businesses lined the streets of late-19th century Albion, providing residents with ample opportunities to purchase a variety of goods at specialty shops. On the left side of this image, awnings are pulled down over the storefronts of George W. Barrell’s Central Drug Store and James Bailey & Son’s Grocery Store. The mortar and pestle atop a four-sided post near the intersection of Main and Bank streets draws attention to the drug store. A small sign adjacent to Bailey’s Grocery Store reads “Law Office,” directing visitors to attorneys with offices on the upper floors of the Swan Block. The 1887 and 1894 village directories indicate that John Cunneen, Dean Currie, John G. Sawyer, and George Bullard all had offices in the upper floor of that building. Slightly visible lettering on the windows of the second floor advertise Oscar Eddy’s Insurance Agency as well.

Traveling north along the west side of the street, the image shows G. H. Sickels & Co. dry goods store with the awning retracted, followed by Franklin Clarke’s drug store, Landauer & Strouse’s dry goods, the Rochester Cash Store, and Lyman Root’s grocery store. Signs projecting from the upper floors of these blocks advertise the meeting rooms for the Ancient Order of United Workmen (labeled as Select Knights No. 3, Orleans Legion), the Grand Army of the Republic, and a millinery business operated by Lizzie Griswold. The Pratt Block, occupied by Lyman Root on the first floor, was occupied by his wife Emma Root’s millinery shop. The third floor, of course, was occupied by the Opera House. Further up the street is a sign that reads “Bakery” situated outside of Ben Franklin’s confectionary and bakery business followed by Henry Onderdonk’s furniture store and Guy Merrill’s hardware store.

Turning our attention to the east side of the street, several men have gathered around the large pocket watch advertisement in front of the Empire Block. Although difficult to read, the name H. W. Preston appears on the watch face. Hiram Preston’s jewelry store is just out of sight, although the store’s white awning is visible in the image. Another sign calls attention to Charles H. Eddy’s harness shop. Located in the “Grover Block,” Eddy shared space with John Kane, a boot and shoe salesman and Jay Sweet, who operated a drug store. The next stretch of buildings included a liquor store and brandy distillery operated by Palmer & Briggs, and George Waterman’s hardware store, which operated out of Andrew Wall’s Gothic Hall. This particular building stands out due to the presence of its gabled roof facing the street.

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Former Medina HS hosting big art show this weekend

Photos by Tom Rivers: Michael Hungerford and Emily Tucker, one of the curators of the PLAY/GROUND art show and cultural event, are shown with puppets created by Kyla Kegler of Buffalo. Kegler is one of 34 artists featured with work Friday through Sunday at the former Medina High School at 324 Catherine St. Performers will be wearing the puppet heads and costumes during the art show.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2019 at 8:59 pm

Last year’s debut of PLAY/GROUND attracted about 2,000 people

MEDINA – Artist have been transforming rooms, hallways, stairwells, even locker rooms and closets in the former Medina High School.

PLAY/GROUND, an immersive art experience, is back at the former school from Friday through Sunday. PLAY/GROUND debuted last year and attracted about 2,000 people to the show.

This year’s show will be bigger, with 34 artist installations, up from the 29 last year.

Talis Equity and the Hungerford family have worked to put on the show.

“For three days this building will be the center of art world in our area,” said Michael Hungerford, one of the leaders of the project.

Keith Lemley created “Symmetry Breaking” which combines geometric objects with light and architecture. Lemley hopes people who see the installation will think about everyday materials in new ways.

Hungerford and Talis Equity have teamed with Resource: Art, which includes three Western New York art curators – Anna Kaplan (Anna Kaplan Contemporary), Elisabeth Samuels (Indigo Art) and Emily Tucker (Benjamin Gallery).

The curators didn’t want traditional art – paintings, sculptures and framed photos.

Nate Hodge of Brockport created this abstract painting, “Medina Green,” in a locker room. Hodge will be covering every inch of the room with acrylic, house paints, salvaged wood and panels, inks and aerosol.

“We want you to think about art in a different way,” Tucker said Monday evening, giving a walk-through of the school.

It sounded like a construction zone with hammering, sawing wood and drilling screws.

“It’s fun to see it all come together,” Hungerford said. “Some of the rooms are done and it’s so much better than we imagined.”

Hungerford, a regional director for Takeform in Medina, read about a similar as PLAY/GROUND a couple years ago in a vacant warehouse in New York City. Last year, Hungerford pushed for the former Medina school to host an immersive art experience.

Michael’s uncle Roger is planning to turn the building into apartments. While it is vacant, Roger Hungerford agreed to give artists free rein to paint and create inside – and even some spots on the outside. (Look for a sailboat on the side of the building this weekend.) Hungerford also is paying the artists for their work.

Emily Tucker, one of the curators, said the funding and exposure through PLAY/GROUND has been appealing to the artists. Often artists are asked to work for free or on a very low budget. Or, they aren’t given full latitude to be creative. PLAY/GROUND urged them to push the envelope and create multi-sensory art work.

Tucker and Hungerford expect to top last year’s attendance. PLAY/GROUND will be running shuttle buses from Buffalo for the opening night celebration and preview party.

Tucker also said the event has been talked about since last year, with much more anticipation among in the arts community now that people know it’s such a unique experience, having so many artists in one building, with wildly divergent work.

Highlights of the three-day event include:

Friday – PLAY/GROUND opens with a 21 and over preview party from 7 pm – 11 pm. General Admission Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. There are also ticket options which include a shuttle ride to and from Medina leaving from Hotel Henry at 6 p.m.

Included in the price of the tickets to the September 27th PLAY/GROUND Preview Party is a performance from Torn Space Theater. The avant garde theater group known for their site specific performances at Silo City, has created a new work,  Auditorium,  which will be performed at two different times during the preview event. The party will feature a variety of food and drinks including small bites prepared by Chef Lionel Hydel of the soon-to-open Harvest Restaurant, associated with Bents Opera House in Medina. There will be a cash bar by Mile 303 and kombucha from Bootleg Bucha and Snowy Owl Kombucha.

Saturday and Sunday – the event costs $10 ($5 for all students with ID). PLAY/GROUND is geared towards families for these weekend days. The site can be visited from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. There will be family friendly activities in the former gymnasium and live music curated and presented by Revolution Gallery in the Auditorium.

For more information on PLAY/GROUND, click here.

Rich Tomasello made “Safe Space” out of cardboard and white plaster. More than 150 students from Kenmore, Tonawanda and Starpoint schools helped create the artwork. The installation addresses the anxieties of growing up in American schools where lockdown drills are commonplace.

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About 1,000 people attended Home and Garden Show over the weekend

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 29 April 2019 at 3:37 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: United Way director Dean Bellack talks with Orleans County Chamber of Commerce director Rebecca Charland at the start of the Orleans County Home Show. This was United Way’s first year having a booth at the Home Show and was part of the agency’s efforts to be more visible in the community.

KNOWLESVILLE – Although the weather did nothing to cooperate, the Orleans County Home, Garden and Outdoor Show still boasts a success from the weekend event at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

An estimated 1,000 people came through the doors, said Orleans County Chamber of Commerce president Kathy Blackburn.

The annual home show provides vendors and businesses with the opportunity to showcase their products and services, while providing the public with valuable information.

Linda Kludt, a member of Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s board, sells a ticket on a pair of gliders to Kat Tsoukatos of Clarendon during the Orleans County Home, Garden and Outdoor Show.

Vendor space was sold out and spilled over from the Lartz Exhibit Building to the Trolley Building. Vendors represented a wide variety of interests, including tourism, gardening, banking, home improvement, building trades, jewelry, pools and spas, heating and more. The 810 Meadworks on Saturday and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery on Sunday were popular with their wine tastings.

The Sourced Market and Eatery added a nice touch with their first participation in the Home Show, serving breakfast and lunch in the Trolley Building.

Kelly Moore of Brockport brought children Payton Preston, 10, and Callen Preston, 4, to the Orleans County Chamber’s Home, Garden and Outdoor Show on Sunday to take part in the Scavenger Hunt. Payton and Callen have their eye patches and pirate’s flags, as they set out to find hidden treasure throughout the home show booths.

Visitors received a ticket with their paid admission which made them eligible to win a prize at any booth if their ticket matched one posted by each vendor.

Saturday the Albion Elks Lodge served a chicken barbecue. Sunday’s highlight was a Pirate Treasure Hunt for children, who donned their eye patch and searched for clues at vendor’s booths.

From left, Kathy Blackburn, president of the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce; Rebecca Charland, director; and Paula Knapp, board member, watch as vendor Denise Best pulls the winning ticket for a pair of Comfort Back Glider chairs, which the Chamber raffled off. The lucky winner was Elizabeth Jubenville of Kent.

A tradition for many years has been to close the Home Show by drawing the winning ticket for a major prize. In past years the Chamber has awarded lawn mowers, scooters and an outdoor shed. This year’s prize was a set of comfort back gliders valued at $1,125. Denise Best, who had the Scentsy booth, pulled the winning ticket, which belonged to Elizabeth Jubenville of Kent.

“I never win anything,” Jubenville said when she received the news.

“What a way to end a successful show,” Blackburn said.

Charlene Pratt of Medina, left, talks with volunteer Pam Schuner in the OCALS booth at the Orleans County Chamber’s Home, Garden and Outdoor Show. Looking on at right is Pam’s husband Jeffrey.

Gail Miller, manager of the Canal Village Farmers’ Market in Medina, and Shauna Gardner greeted people at the Farmers’ Market booth at the Orleans County Home, Garden and Outdoor Show. Miller holds the schedule for summer hours of the market, which begin in June.

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GCC has reception today for student art show in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Madison Reese created the painting at right, one of about 40 in the art display at GCC in Albion.

Staff Reports Posted 23 April 2019 at 3:49 pm

ALBION – The Albion Campus Center of Genesee Community College proudly invites the public see about 40 paintings and other artwork done by the students in instructor Karen Flack’s Painting 101 and 102 classes. Artwork on display will encompass a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylic and mixed media.

There is an opening reception today from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Albion Campus Center, 456 West Ave. Light refreshments will be served. Artwork will be on display through the end of the semester or until May 7. Visitors are welcome to view the exhibit throughout this time during any of the campus center’s open hours.

The artists include Clifford Braman, Alyson Cameron, Diane Huntington, Joan Garcia, Anna Goodwin, Charity Kremer, Chase McAdoo, Heather Ramsey and Madison Reese.

“Our students create a refreshingly diverse array of lovely paintings,” Mrs. Flack said. “The students impress me year after year with their talent, their receptivity to painting theory and techniques and their appreciation of art as a worthwhile endeavor.”

Subjects are varied and include portraits, landscapes, abstract, still-life and research of great artists. Many of the students started with little or no prior experience in artistic painting, and those who have some background in art have honed their skills.

Alyson Cameron created the painting at left. Other artwork, from left to right, is by Heather Ramsey, Clifford Braman and Madison Reese.

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Healthcare rate hikes show Obamacare is a ‘flawed law,’ Collins says

Posted 25 October 2016 at 2:47 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) today released the following statement after reports found that premiums for Obamacare’s benchmark plans are set to increase by an average of 25 percent. Additionally, consumer’s coverage choices will be drastically reduced in many areas, Collins said.

“The implosion of this failed law was to be expected,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Congressional Democrats and President Obama forced this program into law, despite knowing full and well that the initial rates were artificially low and unsustainable for insurers. Families must now either find 25 percent more income to pay for these increased premiums or opt for significantly reduced health coverage for their loved ones.

“Unfortunately, this latest price increase is another slap in the face to hardworking New Yorkers that Obamacare has failed time and again. Last year, more than 200,000 New Yorkers were kicked off their health care plans after Health Republic overpromised benefits to its consumers, and left New York taxpayers with the double whammy of having to pay for the its $265 million in losses.”

Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, premiums and deductibles have increased substantially, the largest private health insurers in the nation have attempted to merge due to crippling losses, and more Americans are on taxpayer-funded Medicaid than ever before. The collapse of CO-OPs across a variety of states has cost taxpayers over $1.2 billion. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly proposed and voted to keep certain safeguards of the Affordable Care Act, while increasing plan flexibility and making insurance more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Collins currently serves on the Health Subcommittee for the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over many aspects of Obamacare and has continuously worked to replace what Collins said is a “flawed law.”

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Teachers and principal will rock at Lyndonville talent show

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2014 at 12:00 am

‘Common Core’ will entertain at intermission, playing AC/DC, Johnny Cash and more

Photo by Tom Rivers – The “Common Core” band of Lyndonville teachers and a principal gets together Monday. Pictured from left include Brian Lang on guitar, Jason Wilhelm as lead singer and guitar, Kristina Best on drums and Aaron Slack on guitar. John Bailey is also part of the group.

LYNDONVILLE – The annual talent show at Lyndonville Central School is a much-anticipated event, with several hundred people packing into the school’s Stroyan Auditorium.

The event, in the past, has included teachers, but that participation had tapered off in recent years. However, the teachers will be back on stage for Thursday’s talent show, and they’ll be back in a big way.

Four teachers plus Middle/High School Principal Dr. Aaron Slack will perform in a rock band, “Common Core.” The band will make its debut and play about 10 songs during intermission, and the audience will hear a variety of music from hard-rocking AC/DC to contemporary Christian.

The band is led by lead singer and rhythm guitarist Jason Wilhelm, who is also the district’s information technology director. He is part of a U2 cover band.

“I think when the kids see us up on the stage it will excite them to get more involved in the school,” Wilhelm said.

The Lyndonville band will also perform songs by Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Imagine Dragons, and Darius Rucker.

Courtesy of Lyndonville Central School – This doctored poster hangs in the Lyndonville community promoting a performance by Common Core, which includes from left: PE and health teacher Brian Lang, high school band teacher Kristina Best, school district IT director Jason Wilhelm, elementary music teacher John Bailey and middle/high school principal Dr. Aaron Slack.

Wilhelm and Slack are joined in “Common Core” by elementary physical education and health teacher Brian Lang, high school band teacher Kristina Best, and elementary music teacher John Bailey. The teachers are busy leading extracurricular programs at Lyndonville, including coaching sports and playing in the high school musical. Slack also has been busy working on the district’s budget.

The busy schedules have made it a challenge for the band to practice for Thursday’s show. But they have found time. After a final rehearsal on Wednesday, Slack said the group will be ready.

“We want to show students that they can pursue musicianship when they are older,” said Slack, who is a freelance guitar player for different bands.

Lang, the PE teacher, also hopes the band’s willingness to perform for a big crowd will encourage students to try more activities in school, even ones that are outside their comfort zones.

“We hope the kids will see us in a different way outside of normal roles at school,” Lang said. “I think we might be able to motivate the kids to be more involved.”

“Common Core” was picked as a name for the band. That is also the name for the state’s new standardized testing program.

The talent show begins at 7 p.m. and includes 15 student acts that include dancing, singing, tumbling and cheerleading, and various musical ensembles. Tickets are available at the door. Proceeds will go towards the junior/senior prom.

Albion churches are showcases of stained-glass masterpieces

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The stained-glass window tour on Saturday included a stop at the First United Methodist Church. The Good Shepherd window was created in the Tiffany style but not by Tiffany. The large window was gift to the congregation by the church’s pastor in 1914, the Rev. Henry Clay Woods.

ALBION – They drove through a storm to see works of art by famed masters of the craft.

Anne and Ed Engel of Oakfield weren’t disappointed on Saturday with the first ever stained-glass window tour of Albion’s seven churches in the historic Courthouse Square.

The Pullman Memorial Universalist Church has more than 40 windows created by Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, perhaps the most esteemed stained glass artist.

Bill Lattin, Orleans County historian, talks about the Christ the Consoler window in the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church. The church in 1895 wanted a window with outstretched arms of Christ to fit the denomination’s welcoming tradition.

One of the windows of Christ the Consoler shows Jesus with his outstretched arms. George Pullman paid $5,000 for that window, which was installed in January 1895.

Tiffany highlighted that window as example of the firm’s work in an 1898 brochure.

Engel gazed at the glass, and ran her finger along the bottom of the window.

“I touched a Tiffany stained-glass window,” she said, breaking into a smile.

Tiffany revolutionized the stained-glass world. Stained-glass windows, prior to Tiffany, tended to have clear glass with a stencil pattern painted on the glass.

The Free Methodist Church in Albion was built in 1860, the first church in a denomination that now has more than 1,000 churches. The church still has the original stained-glass windows from the building. Those windows from 1860 were fairly plain compared to the style that emerged in the 1890s.

Tiffany developed opalescent glass, putting color directly in glass. His windows became very popular in the 1890s. His windows at the Pullman church were installed in 1895.

Other stained-glass artists turned to opalescent glass, and many churches, including several in Albion, swapped out their older, plainer windows with Tiffany-style windows, Lattin said on the tour. (Lattin wrote a book about Orleans County’s stained-glass windows: Luminaries in the Firmament.)

The windows in the seven churches range in age from the 1860s to the 1960s. Many of the masters of the craft, both at the regional and national level, created windows for churches in Albion.

Lattin concluded the tour of the seven churches inside St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which includes many narrative windows that depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. Leo Frohe, a popular stained-glass artist from Buffalo, designed and created many of the windows at St. Joseph’s. The Frohe studio also has several windows at the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Albion.

Lattin said Albion is blessed to have so many exquisite examples of stained glass.

“There is really some extraordinary artwork here,” Lattin said after leading the tour. “There is really something here that can be marketed.”

Saturday’s tour drew about 40 participants on a bitterly cold morning. Tony and Cathy Mancuso of Elba have driven through Albion for years. They have long admired the churches, and wondered what they were like inside.

They took lots of pictures of the windows, the pipe organs and architectural features. Mr. Mancuso works in the real estate business.

“This place is absolutely gorgeous,” Mancuso said while on a tour of the First Presbyterian Church. “I love the woodwork in here.”

Lattin stands in the Presbyterian Church by a window created by Henry Keck, an apprentice at the Tiffany studio until 1933, when he started his own company in Syarcuse. This is an early work by Keck, created in 1934 as memorial to Ella Beckwith Kenney, a Sunday School teacher at the Presbyterian Church. Lattin said it’s one of his favorite windows in Orleans because of theme and striking colors. It shows a teacher and her two students.

Connie Mosher is a long-time local resident and an artist. She praised Lattin for his recall of the dates of the windows, who made them, and the stories behind them often as memorials for local residents. Lattin led the nearly two-hour tour without notes.

Mosher said the tour was an eye-opener and made her admire the community’s residents from a century ago even more. The seven churches showcase a variety of architectural features. The buildings are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The churches have added meaning after learning about their windows, Mosher said.

“What a heritage we have,” she said. “Until you get inside, you don’t realize the richness of it.”

Tony Mancuso of Elba took a lot of photos on the stained-glass window tour. He is shown inside the sanctuary at Christ (Episcopal) Church.

Many of the stained-glass windows, including this one in the First Baptist Church, were paid for as memorials to prominent Albion residents.

Artists have road show this Saturday

Posted 15 May 2013 at 12:00 am

Artwork by Connie Mosher of Albion

Press release, GO-Art!

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council presents the 2013 Artist Road Show in Orleans County this Saturday from 10am to 3pm. This event is free for all attendees.

Previously called the Open Studio Tour, this sixth annual event features an Art Trail with five artists in a variety of media at three studios and galleries in Orleans County, all open for guests to experience art and meet the artists in person.

The Artist Road Show is envisioned to provide an exciting opportunity to see artists at work, view or purchase art, raise awareness of art and culture and contribute to tourism in Genesee and Orleans counties. A map of all sites and artists may be picked up at GO ART!, Seymour Place, 201 East Main Street in Batavia and at participating sites as well as online at www.GOart.org.


Sites and Artists featured in Orleans County include:

At Marti’s on Main:
Connie Mosher, Kim Martillotta & Chris Versteeg

227 N. Main St., Albion, NY 14411

Connie Mosher
I am primarily a painter experimenting in other mediums,such as Polaroid transfers and scanner photography. I love capturing the image of fresh flowers in all their delicate beauty on the scanner. They are alive!

Kim Martillotta
First of all, I am an artist. I sculpt, collage, paint, and I am a photographer. That is what I do, and who I am. I also have a great little Fine Art Gallery. It has given me the opportunity to meet other artists and show the world their art. I want to inspire, and in the process have been very inspired myself. We have First Friday events from May thru December and I encourage folks to stop by any time. Meet the artists and have some fun!

Chris Versteeg
My goal is to encourage people to really look at, and enjoy our surroundings. And, to generate a smile, perhaps.


Artwork by the Mental Health Association

At MHA of Orleans County:
MHA Art Workshop artists

20 S. Main St., Albion, NY 14411

MHA of Orleans County
Creative individuals meet every Wednesday for Art Workshop, and are thrilled to be part of The Road Show. View their unique styles and techniques within this large group of student artists. Pieces range from sculpture, hand crafted beads, watercolors, oils and acrylics. You will find Abstract and Realism in this workroom. Stop in to MHA, where these semi-pros are happy to talk to you about their work! Artists will also be working on some new pieces as you tour. Some pieces are for purchase.


At Solace Pointe:
Betsy LaMere

1882 Kent Rd., Kent, NY 14477

Betsy LaMere
Betsy specializes in equine/canine art and is a member of the IEA and CAG. Known for her distinctive style in pen and ink, Betsy also creates images of companion animals, nature and florals in photography, acrylics and colored pencils.

This event is made possible with the generous support of The Bank of Castile and the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, please call 585-343-9313, email info@GOart.org or visit www.GOart.org.

Josie Waverly performs to sellout in Albion

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Country/Western star Josie Waverly, right, brought down the house with her first appearance in Albion on Saturday night since suffering severe injuries from a motor vehicle accident, which occurred when she was traveling to Albion in December 2016 for a benefit concert. Waverly performs here at the Cabaret at Studio B with Kelly Reilly of Irondequoit, who was making her first official appearance singing harmony with Waverly.

Posted 2 July 2018 at 10:49 am

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

ALBION – If returning to Albion for a show was traumatic for Josie Waverly, she sure didn’t show it.

The Country/Western star from Hilton put on her first show in Albion on Saturday night since being seriously injured in an automobile accident December 2016 when she was route to do a benefit concert.

Waverly, who recently signed Amy Sidari as her publicist, performed to a sold-out crowd at the Cabaret at Studio B.


Amy Sidari, owner of the Cabaret at Studio B, and Josie Waverly of Hilton share some antics about their recent trip to New Jersey, where Waverly sold out a 450-seat venue four days in a row. Sidari has taken on a new role as Waverly’s publicist.

The evening was also special, as it marked her official debut with Kelly Reilly of Irondequoit singing harmony.

“I have been looking for a long time for someone to sing harmony,” Waverly said. “I’m so fortunate I found her.”

Waverly also introduced Dave “Tank” Taney of Hilton, a drummer whose rendition of “Hot Rod Lincoln” had the crowd stomping their feet and cheering.

Waverly said she and Sidari just returned from New Jersey, where Waverly’s show sold out at a 450-seat venue for four days. Waverly said she had also just received a call inviting her and the band back next year.

The evening became emotional when near the end, Waverly choked up in the middle of a song and stopped the band. She said she felt the urge to sing something different which she wanted to dedicate to Sidari. Her rendition of “How Great Thou Art” brought the room to its feet.

Sidari and Waverly are both looking forward to the day expansion begins on the Cabaret at Studio B, which will at least double its space.

Sidari announced the stars of several upcoming shows at the Cabaret, including a variety show featuring local talent and Albion High School student Riley Seielstad, accompanied by Albion music teacher Gary Simboli.

Topping it off will be a return appearance of nationally acclaimed jazz singer Erin Boheme, who will be at the Cabaret for two shows in August. Boheme is the singer who performed at the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

“Amy makes things happen,” Waverly said.

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Cabaret in Albion to hold first singing competition

Photos by Tom Rivers: Amy Sidari, owner of The Cabaraet at Studio B in Albion, is organizing “$ing” – a singing competition on July 14. Auditions will be July 10.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2017 at 9:56 am

ALBION – Calling all singers. The Cabaret at Studio B is holding it first singing competition on July 14.

Auditions are July 10 and are open to singers of all ages. The participants need to be solo singers performing prerecorded music. The performers in auditions will advance to the finals on July 14.

The competition at the Gotta Dance by Miss Amy studio (at the corner of Liberty and West Bank streets) includes a $100 grand prize and the thrill of performing before a live audience.

“I would love to be blown away by that jewel in the rough,” said Amy Sidari, owner of Gotta Dance and the Cabaret.

Singers in Orleans County and beyond are welcome to audition for $ing.

Judges in the preliminaries include Albion vocal teacher and musical director Gary Simboli, vocal instructor and Lake Plains Players director Lance Anderson, and professional singer Marcy Downey.

“I’m looking for that surprise factor,” Sidari said.

Simboli and Downey have been regular performers at the Cabaret since it opened in 2013. (They will be performing in a July 8 variety show at the Cabaret.)

Simboli said the singing competition will be a showcase of the singing talent in Orleans County. Singers outside Orleans also are welcome to audition.

“This is another type of entertainment we can offer our community,” Simboli said.

For more information, contact Sidari at (585) 354-2320.

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Jim Babcock’s friends take delight in roasting him

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 October 2016 at 9:35 am

101516_jbreverendmother

GAINES – Jim Babcock was roasted on Saturday during a benefit at Tillman’s Village Inn. About 100 people attended the event, which was a fund-raiser for The Salmon Children’s Foundation. That foundation has raised about $15,000 for Albion High School graduates in scholarships in memory of Nicholas Kovaleski.

This photo shows Phyl Contestable, “The Reverend Mother,” picking on Babcock, a local contractor and owner of Jim Babcock Construction. The Reverend Mother said Babcock was a handful for the nuns when he attended Catholic school in Albion.

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Marcy Downey plays Ernestine, a telephone operator, during the roast of Babcock. Downey pretended to get a call from a motorist who discovered Babcock, who battles narcolepsy, asleep in his truck by the side of the road. Jim Salmon is at left. He served as host of the roast.

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Steve Babcock shared some silly childhood stories of his brother to the delight of the crowd.

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Amy Sidari took a turn roasting Babcock and showed a photo of Babcock dressed as a woman during a fund-raiser at the Cabaret at Studio B. Babcock has also portrayed Sony Bono in a variety show at the Cabaret.

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Josie Waverly is dressed as Dolly Parton. Waverly performed a spoof of the Parton song, “9 to 5,” in describing a kitchen repair gone wrong.

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Kelly Kovaleski, mother of the late Nicholas Kovaleski, said her son had a good sense of humor and would have enjoyed the roast of Babcock.

The Kovaleski family has launched the “Live With Purpose” organization to help high schoolers set goals, make positive choices and utilize their talents. Kelly and her husband Jay will debut their interactive workshop for the community at Holy Family Parish on Oct. 26 from 7 to 8 p.m. Click here for more information.

Nicholas Kovaleski was remarkably determined, even as a teenager, working towards his goals in football, swimming and tennis, and giving of himself by helping at home and through Boy Scouts. Nicholas adopted “Live with Purpose” as his motto when he was 11.

He was courageous in his fight against leukemia. Nicholas was just 15 when he died from the disease on June 29, 2011.

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Babcock thanked the crowd and participants for the roast on Saturday.

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Local contractor will be roasted in benefit for children’s foundation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2016 at 3:43 pm
Jim Babcock

Jim Babcock

ALBION – Jim Babcock said he has thick skin and can handle the jokes coming Saturday, at his expense.

“They definitely have a lot to talk about with me,” Babcock said. “I think it will be a good time for everyone else, I don’t know about me.”

Babcock will be “roasted” during a benefit at Tillman’s Village Inn. Proceeds for the roast go to the The Salmon Children’s Foundation, which has directed nearly $15,000 to a scholarship for Albion students in memory of Nicholas Kovaleski.

The Foundation also supports other causes, including The Open Door Mission in Rochester, Camp Good Days, Holy Childhood in Rochester and other children fighting illnesses.

Jim Salmon of Barre is host of the roast, as well as a home repair clinic on WHAM 1180. Salmon works as a home inspector.

He started the roast last year with Doug Bower, an Albion plumber and guest on the Home Repair Clinic, the first target of an evening of jokes.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Doug Bower lets out a big laugh last Oct. 24 when he was roasted by Jim Salmon during a benefit at Tillman’s Village Inn. Bower, a plumber in Albion, is co-host of the WHAM Home Repair Clinic with Salmon. Saturday the roast will feature local contractor, Jim Babcock.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Doug Bower lets out a big laugh last Oct. 24 when he was roasted by Jim Salmon during a benefit at Tillman’s Village Inn. Bower, a plumber in Albion, is co-host of the WHAM Home Repair Clinic with Salmon. Saturday the roast will feature local contractor, Jim Babcock.

Babcock has worked as a local contractor for nearly 40 years. He has owned his own business, Jim Babcock Construction, since 1996.

He has appeared in variety shows at the Cabaret at Studio B run by Amy Sidari, and helped with the annual Hometown Christmas show to benefit the scholarship fund in memory of Nicholas Kovaleski.

Salmon said roasting Bower last October drew a capacity crowd to the Village Inn and proved a fun evening of entertainment. He said several people eagerly offered to help roast Babcock.

The public has already purchased 90 tickets for the Babcock roast and more are spots are available by calling the Village Inn at (585) 589-9151.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Salmon said. “Everyone agreed there is enough good material on Jimmy.”

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Cabaret will diversify acts in fourth year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Contributed photos – Bruce Wojick and Jamie Holka will play an acoustic guitar concert on April 16 at the Cabaret at Studio B, 28 West Bank St. in Albion.

ALBION – In 2013, Amy Sidari had a dream of using space in her dance studio on West Bank Street for a performance venue.

She added professional lighting, sound equipment, tables and chairs for 84 people. She also started booking acts – local and regional musicians, comedians and other entertainers. The venue has proved popular with the performers and also the local community who welcome the chance to experience live entertainment in a cozy setting.

The Cabaret at Studio B is back for a fourth season. Sidari said many favorites will return including Marcy Downey, Josie Waverly and Phyl Contestable, a comedian better known as “Reverend Mother.”

Ace Caldwell works this morning on the new cappuccino bar for the Cabaret at Studio B in Albion.

File photo by Tom Rivers – Jim Babcock portrays Sonny and Sandra Monacelli-McNall is Cher in a performance of “I Got You Babe” during a Cabaret Variety Show on Aug. 15, 2014. More variety shows featuring local talent are planned for this year.

Sidari also is working with concert promoter Thom Jennings of Albion to bring in some new acts. Jennings has arranged for Bruce Wojick and Jamie Holka to perform at the Cabaret on April 16 at 7 p.m. Jennings lined up many of the performers for the Beegarten, the former Boiler 54, in Medina last year.

Wojick and Holka are full-time musicians doing 250 gigs a year. The April 16 concert will be their first in Orleans County.

Sidari said the venue will see other changes this year, including a new cappuccino bar. Her father, Ace Caldwell, has been busy working wth contractors to get that new setup ready.

Sidari said she is pleased to shine a light on so many talented people in the area. She includes other local talent in variety shows, which will be back again this year.

She expects to have 25 to 30 different shows this year. After Wojick and Holka on April 16, the Albion Jazz Band will perform twice on April 23 at 6 and 8 p.m.

For more information on tickets and prices for the shows, call 585-354-2320 or click here.