By Patrick Kernan, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE — The Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association held its annual celebration honoring the local artists who painted windows of businesses for the holidays.
John Maday, president of the DWBBA, thanked the artists for their work, saying without them, the annual tradition would be impossible.
At a gathering at Rodano’s, Maday recalled saying when the holiday painting program started, “Once we do this, the public is going to expect this again and again.” Thankfully, he said, the artists have repeatedly stepped up to make it happen.
The DWBBA provided dinner for the artists, along with gifts for each of them. Several prizes were also given out during a raffle, including gift cards to local businesses and even original art.
“It creates, it codifies the holiday feeling,” Maday said of the project’s importance. “I think it’s one of those things where you say, ‘Wow, that was pretty nice.’”
According to Maday, the paintings started around 10 years ago, and have totally taken off in terms of popularity.
The program is always looking for new artists, and he said artists typically work repeatedly with a business year after year. As new businesses open, new artists are needed to paint.
“Finding windows is the easy part,” he laughed.
Liz Revit, an artist from Kingston, has been painting the window of the Anthracite Newsstand since the program started.
“It’s a nice gesture to give back to the community like that,” she said.