Art in the park

June 15, 2006|by KRISTIN WILSON

Satomi Pirrone will perform her own unique art form - opera-graphy - during the third annual Art in the Park, which brings music, artwork, lectures, demonstrations and food to Hagerstown's City Park.

The event will be held Saturday, June 17, and Sunday, June 18, and is sponsored by multiple community organizations and the Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery Inc.

On Sunday, amidst an array of artwork and music, an audience can witness something probably not taught in any school.

Opera-graphy is a combination of opera singing and painting of large Japanese characters, Pirrone said. She created it as a response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Pirrone, 36, of Hagerstown, was living in New York City at that time and wanted to use her vocal and artistic talents to do something that would be healing to the people of New York. "It's the music, healing and atmosphere," Pirrone said of opera-graphy. "Spiritual energy works together."


Pirrone performed her opera-graphy in galleries in New York City's SoHo district and it developed into a show, she said.

She most often paints with a "big, huge brush" that can be used while she stands, but she sometimes paints with her hair.

She likes to work with her audience for creative inspiration, and the Japanese characters she paints often are chosen based on the energy from the crowd, she said.

The opera songs she sings are usually from her favorite Italian operas such as "Tosca" and "Madame Butterfly." She also sings from German and Japanese operas.

Pirrone has found that painting and singing go together in a natural way.

"Art is healing. Art is the creation, harmonies to the people," she said. "We can see in art a vision - what is inside."

Satomi Pirrone will perform her opera-graphy at 4 p.m. Sunday at the City Park band shell.

Art in the Park also will feature live music on both Saturday and Sunday, arts and crafts for kids, workshops, seminars and demonstrations.

Free food will be available, and artists will display their work for sale. All activities take place around the City Park band shell, said Ron Lytle, founder of the Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery Inc.

The featured event of the Art in the Park weekend is a free concert by jazz drummer George "Butch" Ballard, who has worked with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. The 6 p.m. concert will take place at the band shell. Ballard will open with a drum clinic, followed by a lecture about his career, said Arthur Page, spokesman for the school and gallery.

"(Ballard) was part of some of the more profound developments of jazz," Page said. "He was at the tail end of the swing era and he went into the big-band era."

Ballard will also perform an "old-fashioned jam session," Page said.

The event is a fundraiser to help the nonprofit art school and gallery with operational costs such as hiring art instructors for the downtown organization, Lytle said.

The school and gallery offer multiple programs to the community, Lytle explained. During the school year, the organization holds an after-school art outreach program at four locations in the community. The program, held Mondays through Thursdays, focuses on children who need a structured program when they get home from school.

The gallery is a site for poetry readings during the school year, and volunteers from the school also make art and history presentations in Washington County schools.

If you go ...

WHAT: Art in the Park

WHEN: Noon to dusk Saturday,

June 17, and noon to 5 p.m.

Sunday, June 18

WHERE: City Park band shell,


COST: Free, donations are accepted.

The Herald-Mail Articles