Artists & Authors Symposium

FREE Admission – FREE Entertainment – FREE Parking

The Artists & Authors Symposium kicks off at noon (and all day on Saturday)

Our line-up for the Authors and Artists’ Symposium at Beatles at The Ridge this year is phenomenal!!!

Our authors include Featured Authors, Ivor Davis, who toured with The Beatles in 1964 and wrote the book “The Beatles and Me on Tour” and Jude Southerland Kessler of “The John Lennon Series.” We’re so fortunate to have authors Lanea Stagg of “The RecipeRecords Cookbook Series” and the wonderful kid-dult book, “Little Dog in the Sun”; Sara Schmidt, host/researcher for and author of the new book, “Happiness is Seeing the Beatles: Beatlemania in St. Louis”, and Aaron Krerowicz, author of “Days in the Life”.

Our artists include Featured Artist Ken Orth, a collector of art who has created a unique exhibit called “Meet the Look Alikes!”, a collection of artwork that parodies the Beatles’ album covers; Lisa Harp, antique button jewelry; and Rande Kessler who has created 4 mixed media sculptures depicting each of The Beatles for the fest, along with the “Doors of Liverpoool” art posters and hand-sketched Beatles t-shirts. What a line up!

Don’t miss their presentations (free of charge) on Friday night, 16 Sept. and all day Saturday, 17 Sept!

argentaThe Argenta Collection will be on display all day Friday and Saturday in The Studio.

The collection contains over 200 large format photos, including many rarely seen before. Originally composed and displayed for the Argenta Arts Foundation in North Little Rock, the entire collection was donated to Downtown Walnut Ridge last year.

FRIDAY, 16 September 2016

2:00 p.m. – Displays open for viewing at “The Studio”

4:30 p.m. – “Meet and Greet” reception with all authors and artists present


5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at “The Studio”

ivor-judeFeatured Author Jude Southerland Kessler

Jude Southerland Kessler will start with an introduction of this year’s artists and authors, then follow with presenting a multi-media show: “Lennon’s Liverpool: The Beginnings of The Beatles”

Jude is the author of three books (of what is to be a nine book series) on the life of John Lennon: “Shoulda Been There”, “Shivering Inside”, and “She Loves You”. She is currently working on Volume 4, “Should’ve Known Better”. Jude is the radio host for “The John Lennon Hour” on BeatlesARama radio.

Kessler began writing the first volume on The John Lennon Series in 1986, spending 20 years positioning herself as one of the top Lennon research authorities by conducting multiple interviews in Liverpool, UK, and the United States; by collecting and reading hundreds of books about Lennon; and by utilizing numerous interview DVDs, CDs,and periodicals. She has taught classes on The Beatles for public schools and colleges and has advised numerous Beatles’ authors about the facts versus the myths of John Lennon’s life.

Kessler’s first two books have received positive reviews and acclaim as “the only factional” narrative biography, to quote Beatles author and Mersey Beat creator, Bill Harry. Steve Marinucci of BeatlesExaminer referred to Kessler’s books as “expanded biographies” of Lennon.


6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at “The Studio”

Ivor-and-Beatle-poster72Featured Author Ivor Davis

Ivor Davis who toured with The Beatles in 1964 and wrote “The Beatles and Me Our Tour” will present: “The Sixties: Eyewitness to History: From The Beatles to Bobby Kennedy”

In 1964, Ivor Davis was hand-selected to accompany The Beatles on their North American Tour and was the only journalist with the group for all 34 action-packed days. Davis was also the only newspaper writer invited to accompany the Beatles for the amazing “Rock and Roll Summit” when the Beatles finally met Elvis Presley in Los Angeles on 27 August 1965 – 50 years ago this Summer. In 2014, Davis broke his long silence and shared the “rowdy and riotous” memories of that historical summer trek in a fast-paced book entitled The Beatles and Me on Tour.

Davis’s exciting volume, heralded as “a refreshing and entertaining look by a real insider who recorded the intimate happenings of The Beatles” recently won the coveted 2015 Independent Publishers’ Book Award for a Memoir. Over the last year, he has also thrilled Beatles aficionados as Guest Speaker for the Fest for Beatles Fans in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Having served as a journalist for the London Daily Express and Editor-at-Large for Los Angeles Magazine, Davis has lived all over the world and written about a myriad of subjects: earthquakes, wars, politics, and social upheaval. But nothing, Davis believes, equals his memories of the Summer of 1964, when rock’n’roll changed forever. And he will share those adventures with Beatles fans on Friday night, 16 September 2016 as the kick-off for “Beatles at the Ridge.”

7:30 p.m. – Book signing for Ivor and all authors. Artists also available to sign their works.

SATURDAY, 17 September, 2016

All Authors will have their books for sale in the MarketPlace throughout the day

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. at “The Studio”

Studio Walking Tour of “Meet the Look-Alikes”

Ken Orth will giving a walking tour of Meet the Look-Alikes, a collection of artwork that parodies The Beatles’ album covers, followed by coffee and a Q&A session.

10:15 a.m. – noon at “The Studio”

Book Release Party & Presentation

Book Release Party for Sara Schmidt’s “Happiness is Seeing the Beatles: The Beatles in St. Louis”. Join us for cake and coffee and a celebration of this new Beatles author! The party will be followed immediately with Sara’s Presentation: “The Beatles in St. Louis”, with a Q&A and book signing to follow!

noon – 1:15 p.m. at “The Studio”

Lunch and Learn with Aaron Krerowicz

Aaron Krerowicz, author of “Days in the Life” will present: “The Beatles and The Rolling Stones”. This 60-minute multimedia presentation will compare and contrast the two through musical examples and interviews with the band members. Please bring your lunch and enjoy it during the presentation. Q&A and book signing to follow!

1:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at “The Studio”

“Good Ol’ Freda” Film

Jude Southerland Kessler of The John Lennon Series will briefly discuss Freda Kelly’s role as Official Fan Club Secretary for the Beatles and Freda’s 12 years as a NEMS employee with Brian Epstein, followed by a showing of the award-winning film, “Good Ol’ Freda”

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Street Vendor Area

“The Secret Stories Buttons Tell”

Antique Button Jewelry Artist, Lisa Harp will present “The Secret Stories Buttons Tell”

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at “The Studio”

“Sing Along with Cameron Hicks”

Stay after Freda’s film & have fun singing your favorite Beatles songs, lead by Cameron Hicks!

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at “The Studio”

“Tea and Scones” with Lanea Stagg

Enjoy a British tea with scones and lemon curd with Lanea Stagg followed by her presentation: “A Day in the Life of a Beatle!” Q&A on foods The Beatles loved and book signing will follow.


Ivor Ivor Davis

Featured Author
Through thirty-four days and twenty-four cities in 1964, Ivor Davis traveled with the Beatles watching them make rock history. He enjoyed unrestricted access to the four boys—from their hotel suites to backstage at concert arenas to their private jet—as reporter for The London Daily Express. The Beatles were in limousine number one — Davis in limousine number two. Ivor played all night games of Monopoly with John Lennon, ghostwrote a newspaper column for George Harrison, and witnessed the night Bob Dylan “deflowered” the young marijuana Beatle virgins. He was asked to travel with the band again for the 1965 tour where he was the only daily newspaper journalist invited to the meeting with Elvis on August 27th. Fifty years later after an extensive career as a journalist, Davis collected his memories and notes into The Beatles and Me On Tour.

jude-thumbJude Southerland Kessler

Featured Author
Author of three books (of what is to be a nine book series) on the life of John Lennon: “Shoulda Been There”, “Shivering Inside”, and “She Loves You”. She is currently working on Volume 4, “Should’ve Known Better”. Jude is the radio host for “The John Lennon Hour” on BeatlesARama radio.

lanea-thumb Lanea Stagg

Author Lanea Stagg continues the Recipe Records series with her latest publications: Recipe Records the 60′s Edition and Recipe Records – a Culinary Tribute to The Beatles. Maggie McHugh (1967 – 2011) and Lanea published Recipe Records in 2010.

saraschmidt Sara Schmidt

Sara Schmidt has been actively involved online with Beatles communities for the past 20 years. She has ran the popular blog, “Meet the Beatles…for Real” since 2009. The idea behind her blog was to be the 21st Century version of a Beatles fanzine, similar to those from the 1970’s. She posts rare Beatles photos and stories of people who met one or more of the Beatles. The blog has been featured several times in Beatlefan magazine and was listed on Beatles’ historian Mark Lewisohn’s website as one of the top five best Beatles site online. She is writing a book about the Beatles’ in St. Louis called “Happiness is Seeing The Beatles: The Beatles in St. Louis” that will be published by Bluebird Publishing next summer. Sara is a Title 1 reading teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade students in Alton, Illinois.

Aaron Krerowicz

Despite being born 15 years after the band broke up, Aaron Krerowicz is the United States of America’s only full-time professional Beatles music scholar. Author of “The Beatles & The Avant-Garde”, “The Beatles: Band of the Sixties”, and “From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America”, his newest book, “Days in the Life”, will be released this summer.


ken-orthKen Orth

Featured Artist
Meet the Look-Alikes! is a collection of artwork that parodies The Beatles’ album covers. Think of these artworks as visual puns, covers of covers, tributes, spoofs, and homage, all in the spirit of The Beatles’ original album artwork. The purpose of the collection is to educate fans, scholars and others about the artistic legacy of The Beatles’ album covers as shown in parody art.

The collection includes:

  • About 1,700 pieces of Beatle album cover parody artwork that appear on over 40 different formats such as LP and CD covers, book jackets, magazine pages, posters, t-shirts, digital files and a variety of others.
  • A gallery of digital images of every piece of artwork in the collection.
  • A spreadsheet that catalogues 56 fields of descriptive information about each piece of artwork.

Rande-thumbRande Kessler

Cover artist for She Loves You and photography artist for “The Doors of Liverpool” poster. Kessler is primarily a pen and ink artist who was The Caroline Dorman artist of the year in 1983 and won first place at Melrose Arts Festival in 1986.