Terry Polonsky

Terry Polonsky Artist and Photographer from Western Pennsylvania.

Terry Polonsky Artist and Photographer from Western Pennsylvania.

Founder/President of Random Acts of Artists Inc.

Chairman Sharon Art Commission

As Western Pennsylvania native, Terry grew up working in the fields and roaming the woods of the family farm. These were the roots of his love for the outdoors and the beauty that he found there. He began drawing outdoor scenes and wildlife in pencil and in pen and ink. Entering several local township fair art shows, he found some success with his work winning blue ribbons in the youth category. 

He continued his interest in art through his college years at Youngstown State University where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education. In college he discovered a real interest in photography. He later taught Graphic Design and Advertising courses at YSU as a Limited Service Professor.

Years later he turned back to photography as a hobby and began, selling and entering his photos in shows. He added painting to his skills when he began studying watercolor painting under the direction of Sherry Liscio in 2013. His images are a reflection of his enjoyment of the outdoors.

Terry's work has been accepted in several regional juried shows such as the Hoyt Center for the Arts Regional Juried Show, Valley Art Center's Unaltered Photography Show and the Butler Institute of American Arts National Mid-Year show. His work is also on display at several galleries including Gallery 29 of Sharon PA.

Terry's statement on his work is that people pass by so many wonderful sights. Sometimes it take the eye of an artist to discover, or make art from even the most common elements around us. Art can be found, made or imagined. The artist is the common element in all forms of art.

Email: tpolonsky@gmail.com
Website: http://www.kissmyimagination.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terrypolonskyart/


Linda Brink

Linda Brink Watercolor artist and photographer from eastern Ohio

Linda Brink Watercolor artist and photographer from eastern Ohio

Co-Founder of Random Acts of Artists Inc.

Linda Brink is an accomplished water-colorist who currently resides in Brookfield OH. Her interest in art has been a life-long love. Linda's paintings not only display what she sees but she also incorporates a depth of emotion that reflects her passion for life. Her flowing brush strokes and use of color add a rich artistic dimension to her portraits and landscapes. She has studied under Sherry Liscio and credits Sherry with helping to develop her watercolor skills.

Linda's work has been displayed in many regional shows and has received several top awards. Her paintings are displayed in several area galleries and can be seen and purchased online at www.etsy.com/shop/Lbrink and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lindabrinkartist. Linda's original paintings have been sold both locally and internationally. Commissioned paintings are also available by request.

Susan Lynch Griffin

Treasurer of Random Acts of Artists Inc.

Art has always been a major part of my life. Growing up in New York City afforded me many opportunities to experience some of the greatest art in the world. I spent many summers working as an art counselor. I attended the renowned High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. I began my college training at Hunter College, CUNY, studying art and art history and graduated cum laude from Youngstown State University in Ohio with a B.S. In Art Education. I was an art educator for thirty one years teaching a kindergarten through high school assignment for the Southington Local School District in Southington, Oh. Upon retirement, I have continued my interest in art expressing myself through acrylic painting, photography and mixed media. My work has been shown at such institutions as the Trumbull Art Guild, Warren Oh, and the SOAP Gallery in Youngstown, Ohio. I currently serve as the treasurer for the Random Acts of Artists, a community based arts organization in Sharon, Pa.

More of Sue's work can be found on her website


Stella Shine

Elise McKeown Skolnick

Born in Oswego, New York, Elise McKeown Skolnick received her first camera at age 10, and she’s been making photos ever since. Her work has been included in numerous juried exhibitions, and she’s won multiple awards. The first solo show of her photos was in December 2013/January 2014 at the Thomases Family Endowment for the Arts Gallery at the JCC in Youngstown, Ohio. She has two daughters, and lives in Austintown, Ohio with her husband David.

To learn more, visit elisemckeownskolnick.com.

Kristina Rule

Kristina Rule was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Rule works predominately in the medium of painting. She attended classes at the Davis Family YMCA in Boardman Ohio under the direction of Suzanne Bort Gray and has been painting since early 2012. Kristina is employed by the YMCA in Boardman as an instructor for the ‘ArtReach’ community program. Rule is a staff member for Canfield Fair’s Fine Arts Building, a committee member for the YMCA’s ‘Five Squared’ and ‘BIKWIL’ shows, a member of RAA (Random Acts of Artists) and most recently a subcommittee member for the YWCA’s Women’s Art Show in Youngstown, Ohio.

Her work has been shown and accepted into various regional shows. She resides in Boardman, Ohio with her husband and two children.

Jeffrey Piper

Jeff was born in December of 1976 in Warren, Ohio.  He received a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Kent State University with a minor in education in 2002.  He began teaching art classes at the high school level in 2003 in the town where he grew up.  In the year 2010 he graduated from the Youngstown State University with a Masters of Arts degree. Jeff started adjunct work at the university level in 2015 as a Ceramics instructor at Mount Union University and the same year started teaching as an Art History instructor through Eastern Gateway Community College.

His education has been concentrated in painting; however he enjoys the field of ceramics and often uses a mixed media approach to his work.

Jeffrey Piper has been involved with many local shows and galleries, including The Soap Gallery of Youngstown, Ohio, Gallery 29 of Sharon, Pennsylvania, and The Mac Worthington Gallery of Columbus, Ohio.  He works both as a gallery and commissioned artist.

Artist Statement:

As an abstract painter my goal is to create intriguing compositions that have the ability to take on different meanings for all those that see the work. Each work has significance to me, however my hopes are to stir some sense of emotion in others as well.

Cori Surano

Cori Surano’s love of photography started at a young age and has evolved over the years, along with the technology, from a hobby to a passion and creative outlet.

Her images of nature, flowers, landscapes, cityscapes, architectural and human form, convey her unique perspective of the beauty and inspiration found in the world around us.

Cori’s work is currently on display in local art galleries and businesses. Her photography has been accepted into local, regional and national juried exhibitions and has garnered various prizes. She has had solo exhibitions through the Hoyt Art Gallery in New Castle, as well as other local venues, and is a member of the Random Acts of Artists group based in Sharon, Pa.

In her spare time, she also enjoys yoga, gardening, and painting, and lives in Hermitage with her husband and 3 cats.

Contact info: csurano@roadrunner.com

Website: www.corisurano.photoshelter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoriSuranoPhotography/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/corisuranophotography

Jeff Vargo

Campbell, Ohio. By the time he graduated High School in 1977 he had already taken the compressor that his father bought him to work on cars with and started etching designs into his friends’ car windows. After graduating from The Ohio Institute of Technology he spent time in California and Texas working as an oilfield engineer. Returning to the Youngstown area in 1981 he brought back with him his new ideas in music and art from the Los Angeles punk scene. As a guitarist, singer and songwriter he formed the band “Up for Adoption” that was a mainstay in the Youngstown area underground scene for 10 years. It was at this time, through hand-cut and drawn posters, basement silkscreening and shooting photos at the venues, that he honed his sub-culture style still seen in some of his works today. In the early 1990’s Jeff started to focus more on hand-engraving glass and was back into sand etching and shaping by 2002. In 2004 he officially launched his business Gabrielle’s Glass Engraving. Jeff has been an exhibitor in the Canfield Fair fine arts show since 2007, winning awards for his glass art, paintings and jewelry design. His inclusion in many local shows has earned him solo shows in the Metamorphosis Art Gallery in Struthers, Ohio and The Underground Gallery in Butler, Pa. where he was also given recognition for his support to the Gallery. The success of both Jeff and his daughter Gabrielle in art and community involvement have led to articles in several newspapers including The Youngstown Vindicator, Town Crier and The Butler Eagle. Jeff is currently an instructor in the Davis YMCA arts and humanities department in Boardman, Ohio.

Gina Cashbaugh Toth

Gina Cashbaugh Toth is a visual artist, art therapist, musician, and vocalist with a B.F.A. in studio art and a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. Gina’s story is fascinating because she was born legally blind and has very poor depth perception and inadequate peripheral vision, however she has been able to confront and embrace her challenges in a unique manner due to her involvement in the arts. Gina’s faith and the arts have had a healthy impact on her life. Gina was born in Youngstown, Ohio. Early engagement in the arts were encouraged by her family. This enabled Gina to develop strong coping mechanisms to better manage her special needs. As a result, she and her family developed several youth programs utilizing the arts for special needs children and young adults. Gina began singing at the age of 2 and hasn’t stopped. She and her family performed in many local venues at wedding ceremonies and nursing homes. She also had several rock and metal bands in the Youngstown area performing at local clubs. Currently, she and her husband have a full time music ministry. Humble Music Ministries regularly visits nursing homes, churches, and other venues in a six county area. They also have a band by the same name that they use for larger venues comprised of dear friends. Gina is a multifaceted artist. She enjoys abstract painting and drawing, jewelry designing, creating greeting cards, digital photography, painting with light, fiber arts, mixed media, and other general arts and crafts. She utilizes the arts in a healing capacity as an art therapist in several of the local nursing homes. In addition to her ministry work, Gina is also involved in the community. She is a member of Random Acts of Artists; DOVES, a local women’s group; and is the president of Herb Thymers, which is a group that concentrates on the various aspects of herbs. Gina’s particular interest is the medicinal uses of plants. This ties in nicely with Gina’s love of nature which definitely plays an important role in her whimsical style.

Mike Schuster

Ever since I was young, I have always been fascinated with art. Being creative was a way for me to express a lot of different emotions and thoughts growing up. Although I have always had a passion for art and a deep desire to find new and creative ways to express myself through my artwork, it wasn’t until I had a stroke in 2014 that I really began to look at myself and my relationship with art. I started to examine myself and learn how I could define my reality when I view objects. A perfect example of this would be staring at clouds. The majority of viewers will all see something different and have their own opinions on what they think they see. This is the type of imagination I am trying to stimulate in the viewer through my artwork. I want to give the viewer a glimpse of an undefined reality using their imagination through chaos and texture. My artwork is a mixed medium because I love combining all that I love into one painting. The process before the finished piece is the part that I really enjoy. It’s total freedom to use and do whatever I like on the canvas. If I had to describe myself I suppose I would say....I’m every art movie or struggling artist that you can imagine all rolled up in one. I wake up every morning thinking about color, design, and all the imagination and creative thoughts that consumes my mind on a daily basis. My love for art is unmatched in my eyes. It has been there for every good or bad situation in my life. The passion for what I do and all those single thoughts is what makes up my artwork. I’m so grateful for not only being able to keep growing as a artist, but to be able to share it with you all. Thank you everyone for the continuous love and support.

Diane Marie Beatty

In one way or another, the arts have been a part of my life. I was born in Fayette County, Pa. My father passed away when I was two, and my mom and I moved to the Mahoning Valley, to join her family that moved here after WW2, to work in the steel mills. I grew up in Youngstown, and from when I can remember, I was drawing and painting. 
I began attending Youngstown State University, winter quarter in 1984. I started as an education major, in hopes of becoming an art teacher. I later changed to an art major. I was lucky to have such great instructors and was able to express my creativity in new mediums. I especially enjoyed printmaking. Life sometimes interrupts one’s plans, and unfortunately, with less than 48 hours to complete my BFA, I had to leave YSU. I worked for Harmon Homes for over 14 years, the real estate magazines that where typically found in grocery stores. I started up in the paste-up department and worked my way up to graphic supervisor. Originally, the office was on South Avenue in Youngstown. In 1994, the office was closed and I was the only one that was offered a position, but it was in Canton. For over nine years, I commuted to Canton. I had thought I would retire from this company, but after it was bought by another company, I learned a new term - corporate down-sizing. It was okay, the drive was exhausting. It was almost impossible to find the time to express myself artistically. It was hard to find a new job. I ended up at Dinesol Plastics in Niles, Ohio. What a change! Factory work for less than half of what I was making, but it was a job. I had to work and I had to make it work. A lot of lessons were learned! The main lessons I learned was the difference between wants and needs, and how to survive on a minimal budget. During my time there, I mostly drew in charcoals, it was cheap and I had a lot to express! And then I saw on the news the post office was giving the postal exam. I took it once when I was in Canton. I passed, but was never called. So I took it again, and got the call! I was so happy, it was life changing. But it is also a job that leaves you physically and sometimes mentally drained. So once again, my artistic desires were tabled, until I bought my first DLSR camera. At first, I just used it on vacations, then it began to grow. I started out taking a lot of nature photos. And then General Electric on Market Street was scheduled to be demolished, so I went to the site to capture some shots, my step father worked there. And then one of my coworkers saw what I posted on Facebook and we started to go out and shoot together. He taught me a lot! I worked on my weaknesses, such as low light photography, by setting up still lifes. One day, my coworker told me about a site on the north side of Youngstown, and so we went to check it out. It was amazing, it was my first abandoned site. I was captivated by the structure, the way the light and the elements interacted with the abandonment. One day, when I was driving home I noticed an old building that was in my neighborhood that was abandoned and I stopped to check it out. That is when I met Timothy Sokoloff and Linda Gens, from Iron Soup. I had seen Tim on the news, and I have driven by the company homes many of times. So I asked them if they had anyone that did any photography for them. They didn’t. So I went up there to actually “see” the sight I have driven by, and was blown away. I fell in love with the site, with its history. I imagined the company homes in the height of its time. The steel workers going to work in the morning, kids going off to school, clothes hanging on the clothes line and the smells of dinner. I mostly see a soldier coming home from WW2 and going from combat to the the steel mill. Shortly after, I began to host photo tours to help raise money to save the endangered site. My photography moved from nature to photography that tells a story. For every abandoned site, there were people. There is a story. And one day that building will eventually be torn down and become a memory for those who knew it was there. But I don’t just do abandonment, it is always good to step outside the box and try new things. Those new things will only make you better! I also have met some truly amazing and talented photographers that have taught me so much! Three years ago, I decided that I might be good at this photography thing, I certainly enjoy it, I might as well just go for it. And so, no matter how tired I am sometimes, I have pushed myself to do it. I am not getting any younger and I need to do it now, before I might not be able to do it later. Any opportunity that I have to photograph, I do it. I also formed a Facebook group, The Youngstown Photography Group, that has over 500 members. It is just a another platform to get your work out there. I enter every art show I can and am a member of various photo and artist groups. I try to get my work out there as much as I can, as you never know who will see it!

Don Gold

My Dad worked construction but on Sunday afternoons he would get out his paint brushes, paper, and tempera paint. I would watch him paint Oriental scenes from his memories when he served in WWII. In 1995, I decided to try to make it as a professional artist. For ten years, I volunteered and worked at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle. Then I volunteered and eventually became the director of the Blue Heron Art Gallery in Volant, Pa. During that time, I began teaching fine arts to private students and small groups. When the Gallery closed, I continued teaching but specialized in the artistic needs of seniors. I received a grant from the PA Council on the Arts to concentrate on this work. I have been funded for five years in a row. When working with eniors, they don’t always remember my name, they just call me “The Art Guy.” Currently, I teach fine arts at the Hermitage Senior Center, the Community Library, Garden Way Assisted Living, and private art students, both children and adults. I still find time to do my own art. I like to paint portraits of people and pets in watercolors, oils, acrylics, and pastels. For just plain fun, I like to paint seascapes with old lighthouses, dramatic waves, and multi-colored rocks. Recently, I won first place for the best watercolor - I painted my dog, Arrow. The only best of show award I won was for a 3-D stained glass piece….you guessed it…a seascape. I am self-taught but enjoy taking classes. I owe my portrait inspiration to my mentor, John Catterson. I am most proud of all my former and current art students who use my suggestions and insights to make their paintings come alive! In my art, I want to capture and share with the world the deep beauty and wonderment that I see everywhere….in the roaring sea or the blooming flower or the gentle smile of those that love us.