The Update | Butler to Show Works by Blind Sculptor; The Vindys to Release New Single

YOUNGSTOWN – An exhibition of sculptures by Michael Naranjo will open Sunday, July 14, at The Butler Institute of American Art, and run through Sept. 22.

Naranjo will be present at a reception Sunday from 1-3 p.m., and will give a gallery talk at 2 p.m. The exhibition will be in the Bacon wing.

Naranjo is a Native American, who was blinded by a grenade in 1968 while serving in the U.S. military in Vietnam.

While recuperating in a hospital in Japan, the wounded 23-year-old asked a volunteer for some modeling clay. He’d lost the use of his right hand, but with his left, he sculpted a small figure and began his career as a sculptor.

The clay recalled a childhood pastime for Naranjo: sitting with his mother, Rose, a well-known potter, and modeling small animals. Naranjo, lived in the Santa Clara Pueblo until the age of 9, when his father accepted the pastorship at the Baptist Indian Mission in Taos. As one of 10 children, Naranjo enjoyed the New Mexican wilderness with his siblings, exploring the land and hunting with his older brother.

His sculptures often feature the narratives of his childhood: native dances, eagles and buffalo, women carrying water. But his work is wide-ranging — he sculpts mythical creatures, such as mermaids and centaurs, as well as cherubs and nudes. The forms he creates are simple and bold, but the surfaces have a varied texture that viewers are encouraged to touch.

“Being blind makes the pace of life slower,” Naranjo said in his press materials. “You can’t walk fast or grab things quickly. Life is more gentle and soft and this change brought my creative energies out.”

For over 40 years, Naranjo has sculpted stories from clay, using his left hand and no tools. He has received many awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Award from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and the LIFE Foundation’s Presidential Unsung Hero Award. His work is included in collections in the Heard Museum, the White House, and the Vatican.

“Michael Naranjo is an inspiration in every sense of the word,” said Louis Zona, director of The Butler. “Given the cross that he has been given, the word “inspiration” is just not powerful enough to describe the challenges this remarkable artist has overcome.”

The Vindys to Release ‘Elton Glasses Baby’

YOUNGSTOWN – The Vindys will release a new single, “Elton Glasses Baby,” on Friday on all streaming platforms.

The Youngstown-based rock band is currently on tour as the opening act for Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. It’s the band’s first tour with a national artist.

The tour includes a show at MGM Northfield Park near Cleveland tonight.

Kids First Theater Initiative Sets Auditions

WARREN, Ohio – Kids First Theatre Initiative is seeking performers for its Kids Have Talent show.

Singers, dancers and musicians ages 7-18 can demonstrate their talent on Monday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Warren Community Amphitheatre.

The Kids Have Talent show will take place Aug. 13-14, also at the amphitheater. Youth from Kids First’s Camp ShowBiz will perform numbers from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Lion King” and other Disney shows. The talent show will feature celebrity judges, a cash prize for first place and prizes for lower finishers.

For information, call 330 406 0606.

Postmodern Jukebox Coming to Packard

WARREN, Ohio – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox will return ot the Valley on Dec. 2 for a concert at Packard Music Hall.

Tickets range $74.75 to $29.75 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, July 12, at (fees apply).

Handel’s Creates Flavors for Ice Cream Month

CANFIELD – July is National Ice Cream Month and Handel’s is celebrating with a limited production of Peach and Lemon Bar ice cream flavors.

“At Handel’s, our guests can savor fresh flavors handmade every day in our stores, which sets us apart from other ice cream shops that make products offsite in large manufacturing facilities, deep freeze, and ship to stores,” said Jennifer Schuler, CEO of Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Grove City Prof Writes Book on Beekeeping

GROVE CITY, Pa.  – Tracy Farone, a biology professor at Grove City College, shares her observations about beekeeping in her new book.

“Honey Bee Vet: The Adventures of a Veterinarian Seeking to Doctor One of the World’s Most Important Animals” (Northern Bee Books) details her journey as an animal doctor diving into a new field of study – the honey bee.

A clinical veterinarian before she became a professor, Farone has been involved in beekeeping for the last seven years. She started the Bee Project at GCC, which runs an on-campus apiary to study bees, hive health, and the public health impacts of apiculture. Farone keeps also her own bee hives and sells honey from her home in Portersville, Pa.

“Honeybees are very important little animals that deserve recognition equal to that of our other domesticated animals,” Farone said. They are responsible for pollinating crops in all regions “not only for themselves, but for the plants, animals, and humans … They are one of God’s great gifts to us,” she said.

The book compiles columns that Farone wrote for Bee Culture Magazine over the last four years, covering everything from handling swarms to hive inspections in an entertaining, educational, practical, and inspirational style.

“Honeybees have medical problems just like the rest of us,” Farone said. “They get bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic and nutritional diseases. But we can also examine them, do diagnostic tests on them, and treat them for diseases to help make them better. I like that part.”

The books is available to purchase at, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other booksellers.

Street Scene Car and Bike Show at Park

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Armstrong is teaming with Veteran’s Outreach to present the 12th annual Street Scene Car & Custom Bike Show on July 21 at Austintown Park.

 Registration to enter a car, truck or motorcycle is $10. Spectators get in free, and all proceeds raised go to Veteran’s Outreach. Registration will be from 10 a.m. to noon.

The show is noon to 3:30 p.m.

The Street Scene show is one of the best and largest car shows in the Mahoning Valley. It will feature music by Youngstown’s Vegas Band from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Guys Without Ties from 1:30-3 p.m. 

“Street Scene” TV show host Rick Gurrera and co-host Krysta Sylvester will record a special episode of their popular Armstrong Neighborhood Channel show at the event. 

 For information, contact Armstrong marketing manager Greg Rhoton at  or 330 986 0987.

Pictured at top: Michael Naranjo, a Native American sculptor, will give an artist’s talk at The Butler Institute of American Art on Sunday.

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