2018 Artists’ Hall of Fame

5:30 PM Saturday, November 17, 2018  Sunnehanna Country Club

Did you know that students involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement?

At the Bottle Works Arts on Third Avenue, we are well aware of the positive benefits of the arts and are proud that our educational programs make a difference in hundreds of lives each year. We are a multi-functional organization, but this is what we hold most dear. In fact, we believe so strongly in the importance of arts education that we are making it the focus of our most prestigious annual fundraising event, the Artists’ Hall of Fame Dinner scheduled for 5:30 PM November 17, 2018, at Sunnehanna Country Club.

The Artists’ Hall of Fame, now in its 17th year, is a special evening which showcases and honors individuals who have climbed the ladder of artistic excellence or had a positive impact on the arts. More than 200 people typically attend the event, which aims to be our major annual fundraiser.

Bottle Works is proud to announce that John Pencola, Dan Eash, and Michael Hood have been selected as Honorees for the 2018 Artists’ Hall of Fame.

Each honoree has excelled in the teaching field but has also used the arts to enhance the quality of living in our community and region. This year, each has also gone above and beyond the call of duty to teach, lead and share their knowledge with others.

We believe you share our vision for the future…one in which arts and culture thrive! Please consider making a meaningful contribution to the 2018 Artist Hall of Fame in support of these and many other fine teachers and instructors across the region. All net proceeds will benefit the Bottle Works’ Lifelong Learning Initiative which provides art education from preschool age to adults as well as professional enrichment for artists.

It’s easy and convenient to donate!   Donate Today!  


2018 Honorees

John Pencola

John Pencola grew up in East Conemaugh, in a neighborhood famous for its musical artists. Perhaps credit is due to the resident parents who loved music, loved to dance and encouraged their children to develop musical skills.

It’s no surprise that John, at age 6 was presented with an instrument and encouraged to stick with it. That instrument was not a piano, but a harmonica. The piano was soon to be his instrument of choice.

Like many of his musical friends and neighbors, he started playing in bands, in the clubs, at age 13. He recalls the nightly repertoire: three polkas, and three American hits. John played in ethnic halls, but moved onto dance bands, including Laddie Timko and Corky Christie at the Forest Park Club in Cover Hill.

John recognized that education is what would deepen his ability and interest. He had studied ten years at the Johnstown College of Music and went onto the Concord College in West Virginia, then graduated with a degree in education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After substituting for many years, he spent 21 years at Conemaugh Valley as a music teacher and band director. His time in education nurtured many students who chose music as a career or avocation.

By far, his favorite activity is pleasing people by playing the piano. Frank Filia, with whom he plays on a regular basis at Harrigan’s Café calls John “Johnstown’s keeper of the American songbook”. John co-founded the stellar group “Jazz in Your Face” with Mike Bodolosky who refers to John as one of the finest pianists in the area and a walking anthology of music- playing in every genre, whether as a soloist, in a trio or a big band.

His fans span every age in any gathering, with his biggest fan being his wife, Palma.

Although John excels with the standards, he maintains a passion for the classics and regularly challenges himself with Beethoven’s sonatas.

“I am learning more now than I ever did – different sounds, pieces I’ve never heard.
I keep my hands going, my fingers working. That’s what keeps me going”.


Dan Eash

The Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde said: “Life imitates art more than art imitates life.” Dan Eash took this adage one step further, creating a life that IS art. Although he took many divergent paths, Dan dedicated his life to both making and teaching art, touching many lives along the way.

His father wanted Dan to study business, so his high school classes included only one art course. After getting a world view of great art, thanks to three years in the Army, Dan took a job repairing church windows, and rejoiced with the opportunity to design and build his own pieces. He then understood the satisfaction that comes from the creative process.

His future wife, Georgianne (Geeg), convinced him to follow his dream and begin the journey to become an art teacher. It started at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and reached completion at Indiana State University – juggling work, marriage, and family with much moral support along the way.

His teaching career began at Ferndale where he introduced the photography program, while honing his own photography sideline. Dan found that working with students, helping them achieve their artistic goals and build confidence, defined his view of the process. As he was teaching the students, he was refining his own artistic skills.

His teaching role changed when he took time to earn his Master’s degree and accepted the position of high school principal at Conemaugh Township. As an administrator, he became the voice for the Arts, raising the budget for the musical, providing lighting and sound systems for the auditorium, purchasing new uniforms and risers for the band, and computers and programs to help the music department. Dan is convinced that student participation in the Arts enhances their overall academic performance.

Dan retired from public education and rekindled his passion for creative outlets: photography, painting and pottery. Inspired by the natural environment, he loves to travel (including 241 National Park sites). Blessed with a supportive wife and talented, beautiful and creative daughters and grandchildren, Dan continues to make a positive impact in the lives of those around him.


Michael Hood

If all the world is a stage, Michael Hood has enjoyed a life playing the leading role. Recently retired after 20 years as Dean of Fine Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Michael received his BA in Theatre magna cum laude from Arizona State University and his MA and MFA (Acting and Directing) in Drama and Communications at the University of New Orleans.

For 22 years he served on the faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he was department chair in Theatre and Dance for 10 years, and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for six years. During his tenure at UAA, his productions and students regularly received regional and national honors from the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).

As Dean at IUP, Hood led nationally accredited departments in Art, Music, Theatre and Dance as well as the University Museum and the Lively Arts program. He was instrumental in the successful renovation of many of IUP’s arts facilities and in establishing All-Steinway School status for the Music department. His ArtsPath grant facilitated partnership with the State Arts Council, which provides arts-in-education opportunities over a 5 county region.

In addition to university acting, directing, and teaching assignments, Hood worked professionally in Alaska as an actor with the Alaska Repertory Theatre. He has traveled internationally, as stage director and fight choreographer, as far afield as Russian and as close as Pittsburgh.

He has performed in volunteer leadership roles with the University Museum at IUP, has served as a member of the Indiana Arts Council, and holds memberships both in the Indiana Art Association and the Indiana Players. For 10 years, Dean Hood has also happily served as a board member of the Art Works, and now the Bottle Works, and is chair of the facilities committee.

In 2015, Dean Hood was inducted to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He was elected President of the National Theatre Conference in 2016.

Dean Hood is a Certified Teacher of stage combat, a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, and an associate of the Society of Directors and Choreographers. A Vietnam-era veteran of the US Navy, he is married to Dr. Kitty Shryock Hood, his wife and partner of 50 years. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.





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