BRISTOL BOROUGH >> The Centre for the Arts and the Bristol Riverside Theatre are teaming up to honor two Bristol Borough artists during a Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, May 23 beginning at 7 p.m.
During a ceremony and reception, two bricks will be unveiled in the sidewalk in front of the Centre at 308 Mill Street in honor of performing artist Keith Baker and visual artist Joseph Sagolla.
“We’re going to be honoring two iconic, well known and beloved individuals from the borough,” said Bill Pezza of Raising the Bar, the organization that operates the Centre for the Arts. “It’s going to be a great time to show our respect and appreciation to them.”
This will be the first year that the Centre will be honoring both a visual and a performing artist. Previous inductees included visual artists Joe Pavone, Rosemary Strippoli and Rodney Miller.
“Joe Sagolla is probably the best known artist in Bristol Borough,” said Pezza. “Has has spent a lifetime painting images from Bristol Borough and Puerto Rico, which he visits annually. Mostly for us here at home, he’s painted every building, every image, every historic landmark in town that you can think of. He’s also done probably hundreds of portraits of homes. A popular gift in town is a painting of your home by Joe.”
Sagolla is also known for his sculptures and his tile work, including one of Bristol Borough, which residents have embedded in their sidewalks and have on display in their homes. He also worked with Bill Salerno to caption, frame and display the historic photographs decorating the hallways inside the borough hall.
“Keith Baker is a pillar at the Bristol Riverside Theatre. He has acted, directed and performed musically in countless productions,” said Pezza. “He is very talented. And for the past several years, Keith has brought artists to the Centre to perform. He has also donated his time, facilitating the music and performers at the town’s tree lighting. In addition to being highly talented, he’s a very civic-minded individual.”
In addition to the ceremony, patrons will be treated to “A Taste of Bristol” spotlighting finger food and heavier hors d’oeuvres from 12 borough eateries and restaurants, including Ceasar’s, Annabella, King George II Inn, Itri Wood Fired, Akia Japanese Fusion, Cafe Bombay, Cindy’s Cafe, the Borough Pub, the Pines Tavern, Mill Street Cantina, Chuck’s BBQ and Angelina’s Bakery.
“It’s unprecedented to have 12 borough restaurants all in the same spot, all for the same cost,” said Pezza. “It’s going to be more food than you’ll be able to eat.
“We have worked to promote Bristol as a real dining destination,” Pezza continued. “And this is another of many opportunities to say that Bristol is a place to go and eat and that you have many choices. We want people from out of town to say, ‘What do you want to do this weekend?’ We want their first answer to be, ‘Let’s go to Bristol.’ Once they make that choice, wherever they want to go or wherever they want to eat is great. Our restaurant owners are very progressive and understand that promoting all the restaurants collectively helps all of them.”
Adding to the enjoyment of the evening will be performances by cast members from the Bristol Riverside.
The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Centre for the Arts, which provides a downtown venue to showcase the artists of Bristol and Bucks County.
“The night is going to be a big win in many ways,” said Pezza. “And it’s going to be a nice, diversified night. You don’t want to miss the fun.”
The cost is $50 with cash bar. Tickets are available at Great IDs by Anne, the Bristol Borough Tax Office and at Spice & Company. Complimentary valet parking will be provided at the front entrance sponsored by The Grundy Commons.