The Update | Barko Readies Latest Youngstown Artwork, Seeks Sponsors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Fine artist Bob Barko Jr. is finishing his latest creation, “A Retrospective YO,” and is seeking a small group of sponsors to fund the printing and publicity of the piece.

Barko already has obtained 22 sponsors but needs 18 more. The sponsors will pay $100 and receive their choice of one of the remaining 18 artist proofs, with name listed on the art certificate that will accompany each piece.

Higher sponsorship levels are also available. For each additional $100, these sponsors will receive another artist proof.

For information, call or text Barko at 330 881 5819 or email by July 10.

“A Retrospective YO” is a 22-inch-by-28-inch limited edition piece, printed in full color on heavy gloss stock.

It features a stylized version of Barko’s YO logo, originally created in 2006, which is inset with 52 depictions of digital images from his art catalog. The run will be limited to 280 prints at $40 each.

“If you are a Youngstowner, there is something in this artwork for you,” Barko said. “Idora Park, Isaly’s, Mill Creek Park, YSU, Brier Hill, Smoky Hollow, the movie theaters, the skyline, the steel mills, the Here in Youngstown mural, the Canfield Fair and much more.” Barko said.

The piece will be released for public sale at the Summer Festival of the Arts, July 27-28, at Wean Park, downtown.

For 28 years, Barko has been creating artwork and collectibles highlighting Youngstown’s culture.

PBS Western Reserve Wins Regional Emmys

KENT, Ohio – PBS Western Reserve, which operates TV channels WNEO and WEAO, has won two 2024 Emmy Awards from the Central Great Lakes Region of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

“The Master Craftsman” and “The World According to Polka” – independent productions with broadcast premieres on PBS Western Reserve – each received awards June 22 at the Great Lakes Emmy Awards ceremony in Cleveland.

For “The Master Craftsman,” filmmaker and director Phillip Sieb and director of photography Philip Leiter won in the Lifestyle category. The 30-minute program provides a close-up view of local artist Richard Grell, showcasing his woodworking abilities in handcrafting Windsor chairs.

Jacob Kouwe received the award in the category Talent: Performer, Host, Narrator for “The World According to Polka.” This six-part series follows Ohio’s Chardon Polka Band across northeastern Ohio and beyond as it explores the history and culture surrounding polka.

PBS Western Reserve received five regional Emmy nominations in 2024: two for “The Master Craftsman,” two for “The World According to Polka” and one for “City Centric.” All three productions can be livestreamed at

Former Lead Singer of Journey Coming to Robins

WARREN, Ohio – Steve Augeri, former lead singer of Journey, will come to the Robins Theatre on Sunday, Aug. 25, for a 7 p.m. concert that will feature Journey’s greatest hits.

Augeri was the singer for the band from 1998 to 2006.

Tickets range from $30 to $60 (plus applicable fees) and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, June 28, at and the theater’s box office, 160 E. Market St.

Friendly Squares Set Monthly Dance

NILES, Ohio – The Friendly Squares’ monthly square dance will take place Saturday, July 13, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Niles Scope Center, 14 E. State St.

Gene Hammond will be the caller, and Frankie Hammond will cue the line dances. Admission is $7. For information, call Gene Hammond at 330 506 3370.

Pictured at top: “A Retrospective YO,” by Bob Barko Jr., will go on sale at the Summer Festival of the Arts next month.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.