The Update | Barko Unveils YSU Illustration; Mall Skating Rink to Open

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Local artist Bob Barko Jr. recently completed his latest illustration, “Youngstown State University,” which will be displayed at the Olde Fashioned Christmas at the Mill this weekend at Lanterman’s Mill.

Limited edition prints of the artwork will be available to purchase for $30 at the event.

The new piece continues Barko’s series of drawings that highlight Youngstown’s culture.

Old Fashioned Christmas at the Mill will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26.

Also for sale will be the original artist’s illustration – matted, framed, signed and numbered No. 1 of 1 – for $3,500.

The illustration depicts Jones Hall at YSU and other landmarks of the campus.

“It is hard to believe that this year marks 30 years since I graduated from YSU,” he  said. “To mark this milestone … I decided it was time that I do a piece of fine graphic art featuring our university.”

The color pencil and ink computer-enhanced illustration, which took more than 40 hours to complete, is based on photos taken by the artist. The 16-by-20-inch limited edition piece is printed on white gloss cover stock.

“I have a long-standing, awesome relationship with YSU, going back to before 1993, the year I graduated and started painting the Pete the Penguin fire hydrants on and around campus,” Barko said. “So it was important for me to work with YSU to get the OK to include the ‘block Y’ logo, as well as the seal, so the art could be as complete as possible.”

Skating Rink at Southern Park Mall to Open

BOARDMAN, Ohio – The ice skating rink at DeBartolo Commons at Southern Park Mall will open for the season at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24.

The 35-by-60-foot rink will be open until Jan. 15.

The cost to skate is $12 for adults and $10 for children. Guests can bring their own skates or rent them for $4.

On Mondays in December, with the exclusion of Christmas Day, guests can skate with characters and princesses from 5 to 6 p.m. with the purchase of a pass.

There will also be free horse and carriage rides from 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 24 and Dec. 8 and 15; and from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 23, 30 and 31.

For information, to go

Christmas Tree Charity Fundraiser Event

PULASKI, Pa. – The River Valley Community Resource Center, 320 Shenango St., will present The Gift of Christmas: Charity of Your Choice Fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec.1.

Organizations, schools, churches, businesses, clubs and individuals are invited to display their hand-decorated Christmas trees to compete for a top prize.

New this year is the Western PA Cookie Table baking competition. Children can write letters and get pictures with Santa, sit in on a Christmas story reading, make crafts and play games. All proceeds will go to charity or a nonprofit.

Musicians, children’s crafters and tree decorators are being sought. For information on how to participate, go to or call 724 652 6183.

Donate Artificial Christmas Trees for Light-up Night

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city of Youngstown will accept donations of artificial Christmas trees from 3-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at 6 W. Federal St., downtown.

The trees will be on display during the city’s Light-up Night on Dec. 1. They will then be donated to families in need Dec. 4.

Trees can be picked up if possible; email

The city is also accepting wreaths, artificial pine roping, decorations and lights.

Pre-lit trees on which the lights no longer work will be accepted. If possible, include a few strands of lights to replace the nonworking ones.

The city is also looking for volunteers to unload the trees from cars Nov. 30.

Chicago Tribute Band Coming to Robins Theatre

WARREN, Ohio – Brass Metropolis, a tribute to Chicago, will return to the Robins Theatre on Feb. 16 for an 8 p.m. concert.

Tickets are $18 and $25 (plus applicable fees) and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at and the box office, 160 E. Market St. A presale for members of Friends of the Robins Theatre will start at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Brass Metropolis is an eight-piece band that captures the excitement and artistry of early Chicago Transit Authority.

Presentation on Birding in Northeastern Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Larry Richardson, retired executive director of Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, will give a presentation titled “Better Birding In Northeast Ohio: Location, Location, Location” at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Austintown Senior Center, 112 Westchester Drive.

The program will include habitats, glaciation, geography and birding infrastructure. It will include photos of northeastern Ohio birds, and audience members can ask questions.

Admission is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Audubon Society of Mahoning County.

Pictured at top: Bob Barko Jr.’s new illustration, “Youngstown State University,” which will go on sale this weekend.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.