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 From June 8 to 17th, the Gettysburg Festival brings more than 100 events – musical, culinary, artistic, and community – to this small town in Central Pennsylvania. How should you choose which events to check out? The Gettysburg Festival has made it easy for locals and out-of-towners alike, with this handy list:

Top 10 Must-Go Events

  1. Bridging the gap between blues, rock, soul, gospel and a touch of jazz, the Robert Cray Band is sure to light up the stage! Five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray brings the blues to Gettysburg on opening night Friday, June 8.
  2. Blues, Beer & BBQ featuring Shemekia Copeland makes for a perfect summer evening, full of smokey BBQ, cold beer and the sizzling voice of Shemekia Copeland. The June 9 party will start with a special cooking demo by the one and only ‘Biker Billy’, a vegetarian, Harley riding, entertainer who loves all things hot and spicy!
  3. FREE and open to all, the Art Market features two days of live music on the Festival Main Stage, along with a wonderful collection of artisans and crafters displaying and selling their work. Enjoy delicious Festival food from top local vendors and cold beverages from the Festival Bar.
  4. Kicking off History Meets the Arts on June 14, the Edible Art Tour is a Festival favorite. Tour local galleries to experience nationally known artists showcasing fine art and top area chefs showcasing fine food.
  5. ‘A Step Back in Time’ is this year’s theme for Children’s Arts Faire – a free, fun-filled day of crafts, music, games, art, magic and much more – for kids of all ages!
  6. Don’t miss Broadway’s Next H!T Musical – a fresh, creative improv troupe that creates a full-fledged Broadway style musical, completely off the cuff using suggestions from the audience. Cap off the fun with the decadence of a chocolate reception featuring artisan chocolates, pastries, coffees and chocolate martinis. Broadway and bonbons – a winning combination!
  7. The White House Dinner is sure to be remembered by all who attend! Hosted by the Eisenhower Foundation, special guest Susan Eisenhower will talk about her memories of the White House during her grandfather’s administration, then Walter Scheib, White House Chef for the Clinton & Bush administrations, will discuss his experiences in the President’s house while you enjoy a extraordinary dinner and fine wines.
  8. An exciting combination of traditional and contemporary brass bands, the All-American Brass Picnic this year will feature Athena Brass, an all-female band. Enjoy outstanding picnic fare from quality food vendors plus the Festival bar featuring beer, wine and other beverages.
  9. Become a “Redhead,” as the fans of Red Molly are called. On Saturday, June 16, this trio will combine gorgeous a cappella ballads, bluegrass-tinged folk and a touch of jazzy western swing all done up in three-part harmonies.
  10. Then Sings My Soul: Songs and Spirituals from the American Experience is an uplifting, glorious musical journey that will satisfy your soul. Featuring mezzo soprano Cheryse McLeod Lewis closes the festival on Sunday, June 17 with this event to honor America’s treasure trove of Civil War spirituals and inspirational Broadway favorites.

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Whether you love blues or brews, tunes or ‘tinis, the Gettsyburg Festival has something for everyone. Learn more about these events – and the 90 others scheduled for 2012 – at

"Tomorrow...We Must Attack Him" by Dale Gallon

By Miriam Grinberg, Visual Arts Intern

Continuing our look at historical art, and the stories behind the artwork:

An oil painting by local artist Dale Gallon of Gallon Historical Art , titled “Tomorrow…We Must Attack Him,” shows a tense moment–a conversation between Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Liet. James Longstreet on July 1, 1863. According to Gallon, in this scene on the grounds of the Lutheran Theological Seminary west of Gettysburg, Lee listens to Longstreet’s arguments to move away from Gettysburg.  Lee’s mind, however, was already made up.  Gesturing emphatically, he stated, “If the enemy is there tomorrow, we must attack him.” Gallon’s prolific 31 year career has produced many masterworks such as this piece, which, like Lindenberger’s, shows a quiet but nonetheless seething moment of tension before the battle of Gettysburg was to take place. The antipating expressions on the faces of the soldiers in the background amplifies these feeling of uncertainty, and even fear, of what is next.

"Lincoln 142: Last Best Hope" by Wendy Allen

From Lee to Lincoln, our next preview focuses on a painting by another Gettysburg resident artist, Wendy Allen of Lincoln into Art Gallery. The gallery features many of Allen’s unique portraits of the 16th president, whose face represents to Allen “humanity, wisdom, and moral courage.” After a wonderful showing at last year’s Festival, Allen returns with new pieces like this one, “Lincoln 142: Last Best Hope,” remaining true to her style of experimentation with brushes, fingerpainting, and colors in her works. The painting’s subtitle comes from the last paragraph of Lincoln’s Annual Message to Congress, delivered on December 1, 1862, in which he emphasized his commitment to freeing the slaves in the South.  “In giving freedom to the slave,” he wrote, “we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” Through her piece, Allen hopes that we may “remind ourselves that freedom is elusive and a work-in-progress.”

"Dreams of Home" by John Weiss

Last but not least, artist John Weiss from Lord Nelson’s Gallery, known for his paintings of man’s best friend, displays a side of battle rarely seen. In his work “Dreams of Home,” Weiss creates a moving portrait of a confederate soldier connecting to “memories and places he holds dear to his heart” through the comfort of holding this dog. This painting is truly a testament to the power that common images have to connect us to the past; we can easily see ourselves in his place, our pets acting as steadfast friends in times of distress. It also brings home the heartbreak and homesickness of war, as we see the soldier escape from the battlefield in his mind and return to his friends and loved ones far removed from him.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see these fabulous pieces in person, along with the artists who created them, and much more, at this year’s History Meets the Arts.

History Meets the Arts kicks off Thursday, June 16 with the ticketed Edible Art Tour from 5-8 pm. All History Meets the Arts events continue on Friday and Saturday, June 17-18, with free admission to participating galleries.

By Miriam Grinberg, Visual Arts Intern

As a senior at Gettysburg College, I’ve walked through the battlefields of “the most famous small town in America” countless times. Each time I’ve tried to imagine how this quaint little Central Pennsylvanian locale became the site of the Civil War’s most famous battle, but I have always found it difficult to visualize the images of war strewn throughout such tranquil sites as Little Round Top, Seminary Hill, or even the College itself. The national park is littered with monuments to famous Civil War heroes and regiments, but these stationary statues give little insight into the scenes of war.

It has been the task of many artists in the years since the Civil War to take up this job of bringing the War to life for modern audiences, and the Festival honors this tradition by featuring a number of well-renowned historical artists and artisans in its 2011 History Meets the Arts lineup. Known as “the largest gathering of historical artists in the country,” Festival attendees will be able to enjoy downtown Gettysburg gallery exhibits featuring works by artists such as Dale Gallon, Amy Lindenberger, Keith Rocco, Wendy Allen, John Weiss, and many more. Special exhibits, live demonstrations, and talks with the artists are also included, giving attendees the opportunity to meet the artists and gain insight into their creative processes.

"The Devil's Den" by Keith Rocco

Many of these events will feature art which specifically focuses on the Civil War period, whether depicting full-blown battle scenes, discussions between generals, or quiet moments in the soldiers’ encampments. As this year’s Visual Arts intern for the Festival, I have had the unique opportunity to see new work from all the artists for this year’s HMTA ahead of the events themselves, and I wanted to share some of the images I have received from the participating galleries here to give everyone a glimpse of what’s in store for the weekend of Thursday, June 16 to Saturday, June 18, 2011.

The first piece that I would like to showcase is one by the Brafferton Inn‘s resident artist, Keith Rocco, entitled “The Devil’s Den” (the Inn is located on 44 York Street). His piece shows the fierce fighting taking place on July 2, 1863 near the formation of huge, ancient boulders known as “Devil’s Den” near Big and Little Round Top. When I first saw this painting, I was immediately struck not only by Rocco’s fastidious attention to detail, but also the vividness and immediacy with which he portrays the battle. The sweat, blood and distress that the soldiers are experiencing in that one moment comes across in a way that it never could from battlefield tours alone. (For more of Mr. Rocco’s works, visit his official website.)

"A Ransom for Gettysburg" by Amy Lindenberger

Leaving the battlefield, the second piece showcased in this blog is a unique colored-pencil work by local artist Amy Lindenberger, owner of the downtown Civil War Fine Art gallery on 333 Baltimore Street (link). Entitled “A Ransom for Gettysburg,” this painting depicts the arrival of Confederate general Jubal Early in Gettysburg on June 26, 1863. The “ransom” in the title comes from the demands Early and his troops would make on local towns as they passed through (including Gettysburg), “instilling uneasiness into the local population,” according to Lindenberger. The uneasiness and tension are amply evident in the piece; there are few people on the streets welcoming Early’s arrival, spectators standing gloomily in the background as the Confederates advance through an empty Baltimore Street. Though little of the vim and vigor of battle is present, the stresses on townspeople of shouldering the burden of such battles is amply demonstrated in Lindenberger’s piece.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog, featuring more exquisite Civil War-themed pieces from our featured History Meets the Arts participants!

For any questions, comments or concerns regarding this year’s History Meets the Arts participating galleries, artists, or special events, please visit the Gettysburg Festival website or call us at (717) 334-0853.

Wendy Allen, "Lincoln 125" - of Gettysburg's Lincoln into Art Gallery

By Alice Estrada, Festival Executive Director

Abraham Lincoln once said: “I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me.”   

I invite you to become a Friend of the Festival for the upcoming 2011 season, and support arts & culture in Gettysburg. 

Hopefully you have had the opportunity to experience the Festival personally by attending musical or theatrical performances, strolling through art galleries, or enjoying unique culinary experiences.  More than half of the Festival’s annual events are absolutely free and open to the public.  As planning is launched for the 2011 Festival, we are asking two favors of you: 

  • First, please save the dates and join us at the 4th Annual Gettysburg Festival, June 10-19, 2011. 
  • Second, please support arts and culture by joining the “Friends of the Festival” for the upcoming 2011 season. 

Children's events at Gettysburg Festival: designed to stimulate a life-long appreciation for the arts

Your Gettysburg Festival membership helps transform the Gettysburg community, building on the following success:

  • Nearly 200 FREE concerts, performances and art exhibits over the past three years.
  • More than 2,400 artists, musicians and performers…from James Earl Jones narrating A Lincoln Portrait to former White House Chef Walter Scheib creating culinary masterpieces in unique Adams County settings. 
  • Support of the Festival’s community compliment, the Fringe Festival, offering nearly 125 events over the past three years, more than half of which were FREE and provided a showcase for local artists/businesses.
  • Enriching, educational opportunities for all ages, from FREE Children’s Arts Fairs to conversations with top chefs, conductors and choreographers.
  • Economic benefits and improved quality of life to the greater Gettysburg community.

Capturing Gettysburg's Lincoln Square on canvas: the Festival's Artist Colony, June 2010

Click here for more information about the various levels and benefits of Festival Friendship.  Your tax-deductible donation directly benefits the non-profit Gettysburg Festival and ensures the future of accessible, quality arts programming.  Please know that ticket sales for Gettysburg Festival, as is the case with most festivals, cover only one-third of all operating expenses.  Therefore Friends of the Festival play a critical role in the Festival’s sustainability. 

One of the keys to a healthy community is its support of the arts.  According to a recent article in Parade magazine, “Happy people usually have access to art—painting, film, sculpture, theater, music.”  Gettysburg and central Pennsylvania have a wonderful resource for the arts in the Gettysburg Festival.   Join us as a Friend today and hope to see you in June.

By Jennifer Spindler, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Art History Major

The Brafferton Inn, 44 York Street

On a beautiful Friday morning, I walked over to Gettysburg’s York Street in order to visit an upcoming Gettysburg Festival gallery location–the historic Brafferton Inn. It is a tall stone building with a heavy set door and intricate molding. Inside, it has a very quaint and relaxed atmosphere, with a long hall that opens on the left into a sitting room with a large window. Keith Rocco’s artwork adorns every wall, with various Civil War oriented paintings–some that are close ups of figures and some that are battle scenes. After talking to owner Brian Hodges, I learned that the inn was built in 1786, the oldest house in downtown Gettysburg, a fact which is underlined by its antique interior. 

Keith Rocco, Marshall's Crossroads-Charge of the 2nd WV Cavalry

During the Festival’s History Meets the Arts events, the dining room will be used as an additional gallery.  This fascinating room has a mural painted around the walls, depicting several of Gettysburg’s recognizable buildings, including Penn Hall from Gettysburg College! Very nice. One of my favorite Keith Rocco paintings is hanging up in the front hall on the left, Pickett’s Charge.  It is highly dramatic with each soldier showing his determination to fight. It is the facial expressions of the figures that bring the painting to life. The painting is large; 30 X 46 inches and its size makes it very powerful. It is the perfect piece to put in the front hall of a gallery.

Overall, the inn is quite lovely and cozy. I want to stay there…maybe when I am older and have a salary. There are still rooms available for the Festival as well if you are interested! Word on the street from a friend who has stayed there is that they serve the best breakfast in town.

By Jennifer Spindler, Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Art History Major

Lincoln Into Art, 329 Baltimore Street, is a new gallery within one of Gettysburg’s vintage brick buildings. Although the facade is old, the inside looks brand new, with high ceilings and a fresh look. As soon as I walked in, bright colors from the paintings were jumping out at me. There are so many marvelous contemporary works, and ironically, all of them are of Abraham Lincoln by artist and gallery owner Wendy Allen. 

Lincoln 125 by Wendy Allen

The most interesting aspect to this gallery is not its roots in history and America but its clear modern contemporary style, with  influence from artists like Van Gogh and Warhol. When I asked Ms. Allen about her choice of Lincoln as subject matter, she explained that she loves contemporary artists like De Kooning and O’Keeffe but what she found missing in their work is that they ignore their history and their heritage. By choosing an individual she finds to be profound and powerful among American people, it takes her art to a different level. She has been painting Lincoln for thirty years now, and the question comes to mind, why Lincoln? Plain and simple, because she is in search of the exact location of America’s soul. And she says freedom is never finished.  I find her paintings to be expressionistic with deep rooted emotion. She plays with artistic elements of color and shape in order to create a new composition every time she paints Lincoln. I was even treated to a sneak peek into her studio, where she has been working on a breakthrough painting, one of Lincoln dead. The cools of the blues and purples are eerie and peaceful. It was awesome to be able to see an artist in the process of work.

Lincoln 106 by Wendy Allen

Lincoln into Art is a fine addition to the History Meets the Arts component to the upcoming Gettysburg Festival.  Wendy will be painting during the first weekend of the Festival, June 18-20, which should be exciting since she is very grainy when she paints and only uses her hands. She will be painting with another artist, a graffiti artist from Denver named Austin Matthews, for the weekend.

Lincoln into Art had its soft opening last weekend, making it now open to the public  for viewing, so check it out.  I like her work and her ideas; she is very original and I do not believe there is another artist like Wendy Allen in Gettyburg.  

Additionally, on April 10th the Lincoln into Art will be hosting speaker Jeremy Black, a British professor from the University of Exeter in U.K., as he gives a talk about the Civil War, from the British perspective. It all sounds very interesting and I am excited that this new hip gallery has decided to take its roots in Gettysburg!

For  more information:

By: Jennifer Spindler, Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010, Art History Major/Business Minor

As an intern working closely with the Festival’s History Meets the Arts component, I have the pleasure of visiting downtown galleries, meeting the owners and looking at the various art pieces that will be on display during the Festival. I hope to share some of my insights and impressions through this blog as I visit the galleries.

Artist Dale Gallon

The gallery I am writing about today is Gallon Historical Art Gallery. This gallery is in a lovely brick building on the right of Steinwehr Ave heading south, where Steinwehr splits off Baltimore Street towards the battlefields. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised with the inside of the gallery. There are gorgeous arched wooden ceilings, with great lighting for the paintings, and an open, fresh atmosphere. I was extremely impressed with the layout, which includes a backroom for originals and a second floor. As I looked around the gallery, Anne Gallon explained to me that for every battle scene Dale paints, he has a historian describe exactly what happened at that moment to be entirely accurate. Every painting bought comes with an essay, describing each icon in the composition and the objects in the background. It is common for the paintings to have recognizable historical buildings that still exist. I thought it was awesome to see a painting with the ABC Brewery in it, showing how the Civil War battle at Gettysburg literally was all over the town. One of the most distinctive characteristics that I observed about Dale Gallon’s paintings is his use of atmospheric perspective, playing with colors and texture that evokes a feeling of wonderment and significance about the battle scene. It is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, whether the knowledge of the battle scene is known or not. (And believe me, I do not know about the battle scenes.) I am drawn to the delightful execution of color and gradation of tones that sets a mood specific to each painting.

Fight'n Irish by Dale Gallon

One of my favorite paintings is not done justice by a photo. It is the painting of the Irish brigade, called the “Fight’n Irish.” It is full of greens and gives distinct Irish pride. Even the mist has a sea-green color to it, integrating the figures into the background and overall making it very dramatic. Makes me want to be Irish… too bad I am completely Italian and German. Also… very conveniently in time for St. Patty’s Day!

When I receive an update of the events that the Gallon Gallery will be holding, it will be displayed on the Gettysburg Festival website, under visual arts. 

Click on this link for an overview of the History Meets the Arts events, including a list of participating galleries:

For more information about the Gallon Historical Art Gallery:

So far, I am very impressed. Next  blog entry will be for the American Civil War Museum/Gettysburg Gift Center! See ya then.