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A new cultural exhibition entitled “Mountain Mary: Contemporary Visions of the Sainted Healer” explores the life and legend of Mountain Mary, Anna Maria Young (1744-1819), immigrant pioneer, farmer and sainted healer of the Oley Valley.
The exhibition opened Nov. 16 at the newly-opened DeLight E. Breidegam Building, headquarters of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University. Visitors can explore the exhibition during regular gallery hours 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Featuring new works by contemporary artists and historic artifacts from the Oley Valley, the exhibition presents Mountain Mary’s colorful and often contradictory legend, which continues to embody the traditions and positive values sustaining the region’s folk culture.
For generations, Mountain Mary has inspired pilgrimages and spiritual reflection among the people of the region who continue to retell her legend, sing ballads of her heroism and portray her at cultural festivals. From her humble beginning as a young German-speaking immigrant from war-torn Europe, to her journey of 30 years living in the wilderness as a revered hermit, Mary rose to the level of a folk hero among the Pennsylvania Dutch for her legacy of healing, generosity and kindness. Establishing herself as a skilled healer, productive farmer and leader in her community, Mountain Mary’s story is a quintessential American pioneer narrative of virtue, cooperation and humility in the face of war, illness and adversity.
The exhibition features local artists working in a variety of forms and media, including Ben Rader, Henry. W. Sharadin, Stacy A. Luyben, Leroy Genzler, Paul Wieand, Gladys Lutz, Jourdain Kinnander, Rachel Yoder, Patrick J. Donmoyer, Marshall D. Rumbaugh, Tammy Zettlemoyer, Joshua R. Brown and Schon Wanner. An exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase, exploring Mary’s legend through these works of art.
The exhibition can be viewed at the Breidegam Building, 15155 Kutztown Road, Kutztown. For more information, visit www.pagerman.org/mtmary/, follow the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center on Facebook, call 610-683-1589 or email heritage@kutztown.edu.
Studio B Fine Art Gallery in Boyertown announced the opening of its exhibition “Luminous: Shining Light Especially in the Darkness.”
The exhibit opens on Friday, Dec. 2 during Boyertown’s Holiday Open House Tour from 4 to 8 p.m. An awards ceremony will be held between 6 and 7 p.m. The show continues through Jan. 22.
“This December exhibit is a special annual event for us. We opened our doors for the first time in conjunction with Boyertown’s Holiday Open House Tour in 2008. As part of the Holiday House Tour, we were introduced to hundreds of visitors to Studio B that evening and look forward to hundreds every year during this annual community celebration,” said Studio B director Susan Biebuyck.
The annual exhibit showcases dozens of local artists and offers an array of styles.
“This exhibit is another opportunity for the many talented people who have graced our walls to exhibit and for us to celebrate their artistic accomplishments,” said Biebuyck.
The “Luminous” exhibit will showcase Studio B artists’ best works and talents.
“We want to ease our community into the darker months by focusing on the incredible talents of our local artists that light up our lives,” said Biebuyck. “Even in tough economic times, art is an investment and a gift bringing joy and hope to both the giver and the receiver.”
Juror for the exhibit is Jaap Vanliere, a longtime Boyertown area resident, private art dealer in contemporary art in New York City, collector, and avid gardener.
Located at 39A East Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown, Studio B Fine Art Gallery is the home of the Arts and Activities Alliance, a committee of Building a Better Boyertown, a nonprofit Main Street program dedicated to revitalizing small towns.
Studio B seeks to showcase the work of fine artists in themed exhibits — some juried, some open to all — and welcomes art in diverse media. In addition to art exhibits, workshops, and classes, Studio B also hosts activities and informal gatherings on assorted topics for small groups or meetings, gallery talks, and “Getting to Know You” opportunities.
Visitors are always welcome to view the changing exhibits; take lessons in the visual, literary, and communication arts offered by highly-trained local artists and teachers; and schedule small events or parties in its facility.
The studio is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 2 p.m., during classes, by chance, or appointment. Contact Sue 484-332-2757 or Jane 610-563-7879. Visit studiobbb.org, Studio B Art Gallery or the Studio B Virtual Exhibit Group on Facebook for more information.
Safe Berks and the Lonnie Walker IV Foundation are teaming up for a raffle fundraiser. The winner will get two tickets to see Walker’s Los Angeles Lakers play the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 9 at the Wells Fargo Center and meet the former Reading High basketball star.
The prize includes meet-and-greet passes along with dinner for two at Cheers American Bistro and overnight accommodations and breakfast compliments of The DoubleTree by Hilton Reading. Car service to and from the game will be provided courtesy of Rhoads Limousine.
Raffle tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased online at: www.SafeBerks.org/LonnieTix.
For more information contact Mindy McIntosh, Director of Development, at 610-468-9637 or MindyM@SafeBerks.org. The winner will be chosen Dec. 1.
All proceeds equally benefit Safe Berks and The Lonnie Walker IV Foundation.
The Lonnie Walker IV Foundation works to positively impact individuals and families by investing time and financial resources in communities, including Reading.
Safe Berks provides a safe haven and support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through education, advocacy and a relentless commitment to prevent abuse.
Author and Leesport resident Tom Dillman’s book “The Legacy of the Boc: Book 2 of The Gnome Door Chronicles” is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Crave Press.
“The Legacy of the Boc” continues the story of teenage protagonist Susan and her grandfather Cooper. On a return visit to Tir-Na-Fey, the land on the other side of the Gnome Door, Susan and Cooper are asked to help when a mysterious book, written in the language of the Boc, a lost group of elves, is discovered and must be opened with magic. But Al-Ron, a dark elf, has another Boc book he hopes to use to find and open a box which contains magic secrets and immortality. Al-Ron has teamed with Chancellor Adronis who hopes to use the Boc book to help him take over the throne. Susan, Cooper, and their friends must prevent the Boc books from being used for evil purposes if they hope to save Tir-Na-Fey and their world on the other side of the Gnome Door.
Dillman started writing about a dozen years ago — he had stories in his head that he had to tell. In fact, The Gnome Door Chronicles began as a bedtime story and grew into novels. He is retired and, when he’s not writing, he enjoys woodworking. Dillman is also a long-time runner and student of karate. Dillman grew up in Reading and is a 1974 graduate of Reading Senior High School. He has lived in Leesport for more than 25 years.
Crave Press is a fully integrated publishing company that engages in title acquisition and development, editorial, design, promotion, sales, warehousing, and distribution. It publishes fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of categories and formats. For more information, visit www.cravepress.com.
Berks County-based publishing company Crave Press has released a new children’s book, “The Boy Who Never Threw Anything Out.” The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and the Crave Press site, and it was written by first-time author and Pennsylvania resident Margie Peterson.
“In a house on a street in the middle of town
Lived a boy named Tommy whose room could be found,
To hold more stuff than a person should keep,
If he wants to be able to walk in his sleep.”
So begins the story of The Boy Who Never Threw Anything Out about a packrat named Tommy who becomes trapped in his bedroom because he can’t bear to part with his old stuffed animals, books and toys – even the broken ones – and they pile up around him.
In rhyming prose, Tommy’s parents help him realize the solution lies in donating toys and clothes to others and recycling what can’t be reused. The story teaches important lessons in giving and sustainability with humor and wacky, over-the-top scenes. Colorful, comical illustrations will delight children and charm adults, especially those with their own packrat in the family.  A hidden-picture page at the end allows readers to find concealed objects among Tommy’s clutter.
Crave Press is a fully integrated publishing company in Leesport that engages in title acquisition and development, editorial, design, promotion, sales, warehousing, and distribution. It publishes fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of categories and formats. For more information, visit www.cravepress.com.
Margie Peterson was born in Elyria, Ohio, the daughter of two writers, and grew up in Ramsey, N.J. She graduated from University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in English and worked in journalism in Washington, D.C. and Pottsville, before settling with her husband in Salisbury Township, outside Allentown.  She toiled in newspapers while raising two children and later became a freelance writer.
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