2nd SouthSide Arts Festival Sprays Color Across Bethlehem April 23

Apr 4th, 2016Press Release from ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Banana Factory


BETHLEHEM, PA—Creative energy will flow from the canvas into the streets as ArtsQuest’s SouthSide Arts Festival returns to the Banana Factory Arts Center, 25 W. Third St., Bethlehem, on April 23. The free event, which debuted in 2015, will take place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and include a new AfterParty from 4-7 p.m.

An interactive arts experience, the SouthSide Arts Festival is packed with dynamic activities for every artist in the family. With yarn bombers to transform ordinary backdrops into works of fabric art, chalk artists to inspire driveway masterpieces, and a host of demonstrations and workshops, the festival is five straight hours filled with artistic inspiration.

Highlighting the 2016 festival is an exhibition and painting demonstrations by graffiti and fine artist DISTORT. Hailing from Jersey City, N.J., this 29-year-old artist was classically trained at the Academy of Fine Arts and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. While he has strong ties to the classic arts, he credits the graffiti-lined streets of Philadelphia and its thriving artistic community for influencing his personal street art style.  In fact, the first thing guests will notice about DISTORT’s work is that it’s on what appear to be scrolls; however, a closer look reveals the “scrolls” are made out of unraveled spray paint cans and fire extinguishers


Guests looking to get in touch with their inner Banksy after watching DISTORT’s painting demonstrations can check out graffiti-inspired workshops ranging from screen printing to ceramics. Among the options are learning how to create a graffiti artist tag, screen printing designs onto t-shirts, shaping graffiti letters with clay and more.


Looking for activities just for children? Bring the kids and grandkids to Peanutbutter’s face painting booth to transform the entire family into works of art. This Philadelphia-based artist has been painting people since 1978 and in less than 10 minutes his team of artists can decorate faces with his incredible airbrushed designs.


Other festival highlights include juggling, plein air painting by the Banana Factory’s resident artists, dance performances by Pennsylvania Youth Theatre and mosaic tile demonstrations. Plus, local skate shop Homebase610 is back with one of the hits from last year’s event: a Game of S.K.A.T.E Tournament featuring skateboard stunts galore, with the winner receiving a year’s supply of Van’s shoes.


New this year is an AfterParty from 4-7 p.m. featuring spinning fire performances by The Burning Hearts, live glassblowing demonstrations, artist networking opportunities and more. In addition, some of the festival’s artists such as tarot card reader Willie Alsedek and performers from the Burning Hearts will be taking their art into the community, performing on the sidewalks of neighboring streets and encouraging festival attendees to explore all the city’s SouthSide has to offer.


“The SouthSide Arts Festival is a great opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and history of the community and showcase the talent of the artists, merchants and organizations in the Lehigh Valley,” says ArtsQuest Sr. Director of Visual Arts Stacie Brennan. “Throughout the day we will provide a variety of opportunities to participate in and observe the artistic process, in order to ignite imagination and creativity. This year’s festival will encourage participants to take risks, try something they’ve never done before and learn something new.”


The list of festival participants so far includes:

Demonstrating Artists:

Graffiti Art – DISTORT

Graffiti Art – Max Meano

Glass Blowing – Banana Factory Hot Glass Studio

Live Painting – Chris Kosztyo

Wheat Paste Collage – Marlow Rodale

Plein Air Painting – David Sommers

Pottery on the Patio: Clay Wheelthrowing – Deb Slahta

Community Mosaic – Kim Hogan

Stop Animation Demos

Juggling and Spinning Performances –  the Burning Hearts

Chalk Art with Trisha MaeCast Paper Tiles with Virginia Abbot


Other Happenings:

Game of S.K.A.T.E. Tournament hosted by Homebase610 & Vans

Yarn Bombing – Knitter’s Edge 

Face Painting – Peanutbutter (unique designs for $5)

Tarot Game – Willie Alsedek, Performance Artist

Graffiti Artist Tag Workshop – DISTORT 

Clay Monogram Workshop – Devyn Leanor Briggs

Screen Printing Demo by Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations – attendees can bring and print their own t-shirts for $5, or purchase a t-shirt for $10).

Crayola Gallery Window Painting – David Blank

Banana Factory Resident Artists Open House – visit them in their studios

Dance Performances by Pennsylvania Youth Theatre

Hands-on Children’s Art Project with Pediatric Cancer Society of Lehigh Valley

Caricatures by Kate Sante
Faces of The SouthSide Exhibit – featuring works of Broughal Middle School students who worked with photographer Ryan Hulvat


Great Eats
Trixie’s Treats Food Truck

Lehigh University Füd Truk



L2 Creations – Lauren Stoy – Jewelry

Crinkle Studios – Amanda Rodgers – Art Lessons and Experiences

Matthew Twombly – Art & Photographic Prints

Janelle Rae Jewelry

Casa de Jorge – Salsa Guy!

Haggis Vitae – Julie Miller – Digital Collage, Lamps and Mixed Media Works

Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations

Kate Sante Caricatures & Illustrations


The SouthSide Arts Festival coincides with Bethlehem’s annual Spring on SouthSide celebration, formerly known as the “Spring on 4th! What’s on 3rd” celebration and chili cook-off. For more information on the festival visit www.bananafactory.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebananafactory.



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