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Food, music, art meet at Sboro’s for North Country Arts Council Arts & Apps


The North Country Arts Council kicked off its 2014 schedule with Arts & Apps, held Monday night at Sboro’s Restaurant and Chop House, combining art, food and live music on a cold, snowy night.

Arts Council President Kris D. Marsala said he previously planned to see close to 50 people to turn out for the event, though on Monday night he expected somewhat fewer people would come because of the severe weather. Despite the storm, Mr. Marsala said, there were no plans to postpone the event.

“We told them unless the doors blow in, we’re staying.”

As it happened, the doors stayed on and a full house of patrons braved the elements to enjoy food, a silent auction, live music by Ryan Grant and art painted live by Robert P. Hedden, of Wellesley Island, and Jan Byington, of Clayton.

Mr. Hedden and Ms. Byington are both part of the Plein Air Painters Thousand Islands Region, a group Mr. Hedden founded in 2009 with Ms. Byington as an original member. Before that, Mr. Hedden said, there was no organization like it in the area.

“It’s always fun to come out,” Mr. Hedden said. He said he has painted in several other North Country Arts Council events.

Along with Mr. Marsala, council Secretary Taylour L. Scanlin cochaired the event. She said that the choice of location was a perfect fit.

“Sboro’s already has a big role in the community,” she said. “We wanted to have a larger role in the community.”

Monday’s event was the first of its kind for the Arts Council, which, according to its website, was established in 1949 as the North Country Artists’ Guild.

Even though the winter weather diminished turnout slightly, both Mr. Marsala and Ms. Scanlin saw the event as the beginning of a yearly tradition.

“We want to have this event kick off every year,” Ms. Scanlin said.

Arts & Apps was not the first event of its kind for Sboro’s, though, as both Mr. Hedden and Ms. Byington said they have painted at similar events at the restaurant hosted by the Samaritan Auxiliary.

Ms. Byington was impressed by the first-time event. “I think the event is really nice,” she said. “I love the music.” The art Mr. Hedden and Ms. Byington were to paint will be on display at the Arts Council’s Arts on the Square space, at 52 Public Square.

“I wanted to find out more about the Arts Council,” said Vincent A. Cesario, who was invited to the event by Mr. Marsala. “It’s always a good idea to come here.”

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