As we hurtle through July’s final thunder-stormy dog days, and just as the wider art world is cooling down and packing for summer vacations, the Hudson Valley art scene is hotting up with new galleries opening, first Fridays and Saturdays hopping, artists’ studio tours, and the Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) announcing its choice for the honor of “Distinguished Artist of 2014,” and, last but not least, arts festivals bringing local creatives together with their national and international counterparts.
In my June commentary or “round-up” of art events and shows in the area, I lamented the closing of the Imogen Holloway Gallery in Saugerties as proprietor/curator Diane Dwyer moves on to other pastures, so it is with a lighter heart that I can announce that this handily located storefront gallery in Saugerties’ Partition St. will continue to be an art space under the stewardship and curatorial smarts of Jen Dragon, a longtime player in the Hudson Valley art scene as an artist, teacher, and curator.
The new gallery is called Cross Contemporary Art and its roots are in Dragon’s 2010 art space experiment at 11 Cross Street Gallery, named after its Saugerties address; this space was primarily dedicated to installation and performance. The new gallery located at 81 Partition Street will show visual artists with a connection to the Hudson Valley and Catskills region and, although most exhibits will focus on paintings, prints and sculpture, Cross Contemporary will commit one show a year to an installation piece in tribute to its roots at 11 Cross Street.
The gallery will be launched on August 1st, during Saugerties’ First Friday festivities, with an exhibition entitled, Collection: An Exhibition of a Personal Art Installation. The opening reception is that evening from 4 — 9 p.m. Dragon, in her curator’s statement, eloquently describes the show as “an installation that becomes a personal environment. Each collector acquires objects made by others and creates a private museum. Life events such as death or divorce can force the dismantling of a collection…The dispersion of a collection is natural to its life cycle as paintings and sculptures scatter again across the world to be recombined in another space and time. And a new installation is born.” Among the artists whose work can be viewed in this inaugural exhibition are: Adrian Frost, Brenda Goodman, Heather Hutchison, Sir Terry Frost, Mark Thomas Kanter, Judy Pfaff, and Albrecht Dürer (yes, that Albrecht Dürer).
We’ve just had the Phoenicia/Shandaken Artists’ Studio Tours, and next is the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour which is scheduled for August 8, 9 & 10; Northern Dutchess County (Rhinebeck/Red Hook/Hyde Park) area will round off the summer art tours with its 6th Artists Studio Views over Labor Day weekend. Saugerties kicks off with an opening reception and group exhibition at the magnificent Opus 40, at 50 Fite Road, on Friday, August 8, from 5 — 7pm.
On view in their respective studios will be the print and mixed media works of Carol Zaloom, Mikhail Horowitz, and Loel Barr; the bricolage of Polly Law; ceramics by such as Marsha Kaufman-Rubinstein, and Steve Frederick & Cherie Jemsek, painting by, among others, Anita Barbour, Prue See, and Issac Abrams – Abrams is also showing work at Nobo Gallery at 558 Warren St. in Hudson, that show opens on August 2 with a reception from 5 to 8 pm.
Every year the Arts Society of Kingston honors someone with the title of “Distinguished Artist” of that year. The award is a recognition of significant achievement in the arts and previous honorees include Yale Epstein, Kate McLoughlin, Karen O’Neil, and Thomas Sarrantonio. This year, the award goes to Kingston resident Carol Pepper-Cooper and, with it, a one-woman exhibition in the ASK main gallery at 97 Broadway in the Roundout district. The show opens on August 2 with a reception from 5 – 8 pm, and runs through August 30.
For Pepper-Cooper, this award represents more than achievement in the arts. It also honors a commitment to the artist’s passion in the face of daunting physical challenges. Eighteen months ago, Pepper-Cooper’s car was sideswiped and forced into a tree. The bones of her wrist – her painting wrist – were pulverized. Titanium plates, wires and screws held the wrist together but, still, her mobility was so compromised that she could barely manage a paintbrush. She decided that if she could not paint, maybe she could draw – after all, she could still hold a pencil and work her fingers. Already enrolled in Meredith Rosier’s Abstract Drawing class at the Woodstock School of Art, Pepper-Cooper – formerly a figurative painter – redoubled her efforts and discovered a new mode of expression, and this is what is on view at the ASK gallery in Kingston.
The Woodstock School of Art celebrates one of its founders, the late Robert Angeloch, with a show of prints curated by his friends and WSA colleagues, photographer John Kleinhans and painter Paula Nelson.
Entitled, Angeloch Under Glass, the show includes etchings, lithographs, and some spectacular serigraphs, a print technique we see all too rarely and which, by its nature, always looks fresh and in the present. Also on display are Angeloch’s sketchbooks and art equipment giving the viewer a unique insight to how this artist worked. The show opened on July 19 and runs through September 6. And for the next few weeks his son, artist Eric Angeloch’s, work can be seen in the Founders Gallery at the Woodstock Artists Association Museum, and also at Mark Gruber in New Paltz in that gallery’s summer group show — also in this show are Staats Fasoldt, Vince Natale, Christie Sheele and Marlene Wiedenbaum; it runs through August 30.
Sevan Melikyan of Wired Gallery in High Falls (11 Mohonk Road), is hosting two solo shows opening simultaneously in High Falls and Stone Ridge, NY, on Saturday, August 9 with receptions from 5 – 7 p.m. Past Things, New Beginnings gathers past and new antique assemblage sculptures by the Woodstock artist, Lenny Kislin, at Wired Gallery and, at Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty in Stone Ridge, New Paltz-based artist and photographer Joan Barker shows work from her series on water, aptly entitled, Water Show.
Kislin, who started out life as a law student, creates sculpture from antique rarities and oddities transforming them into intriguing assemblage pieces that can include social commentary, puns and, always, humor. The titles alone are worth the price of admission – if there was a price that is – for example: “Threat to the Pendantic Gardner.” The reception at Wired Gallery is sponsored by Lekker, a new restaurant opening soon in Stone Ridge, and Stone Ridge Wine and Spirit. Kislin is also well known in the area as a curator, particularly of work made by Hudson Valley artists, at Oriole 9 Restaurant in Woodstock and at New World Home Cooking in Saugerties. This month Oriole 9 features artists D. Michael Price and Lila Bacon, while New World Home Cooking is showing the work of Mary Anne Ericson. Erickson, whose obsession is road-side ephemera, funky signs and motels will soon embark on a trip, “Ride the Relay” — a 12 day road rally on Route 66 with fellow art maven Jen Dragon to raise awareness and money for cancer. No doubt this will also provide Erickson with a whole wealth of new material for Hudson Valley consumption in the near future.
At the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014, continues to delight visitors with its myriad offerings by a selection of sixteen artists, among them is photographer Kay Kenny whose long exposures, often up to an hour, really do capture a world of wonders. The show is in the Alice & Horace Chandler and North Galleries but, worth noting that from August 2 – 24, the Museum is open only on Saturdays & Sundays – for a more detailed review of this exhibition in this publication, click HERE.
Also at the Dorsky, later in August, is the first museum exhibition to survey the career of Dick Polich: Dick Polich: Transforming Metal into Art. Polich is of the world’s principal art fabricators who, like others in his profession, remains behind the scenes. This exhibition reveals how Polich has impacted the development of contemporary art by opening up the industrial process of metal casting and fabrication to accommodate the creative choices of artists. The exhibition runs from August 24 – December 14 at the Morgan Anderson Gallery, Howard Greenberg Family Gallery, and Corridor. There will be an opening reception: Saturday, September 6, 2014, 5 – 7 pm .
Spanning the end of July/beginning of August is the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice with an array of events and luminaries that will make for a very exciting and busy few days – the festival opens on Wednesday, July 30 and goes through August 3. This year the festival celebrates Spain with the opera, The Barber of Seville, featuring festival co-founder Maria Todaro, Hak Soo Kim, Kevin Glavin and Lucas Meachem; the opera will be performed on the main stage on Saturday night, August 2.
Roll-on-the-Radio host Carey Harrison will be performing with pianist Justin Kolb in his own play, Seven Favorite Maladies of Ludwig Van Beethoven on all three weekend days. This year the festival features some homegrown Hudson Valley singers: soprano Brittany Sokolowski and her brother, tenor Christopher Sokolowski – both graduates of the Opera Conservatory at SUNY Purchase. Ms. Sokolowski will perform in the Festivals opera workshop presentation of Clarimonde with Festival co-founder Louis Otey, on Saturday afternoon, August 2, and Mr. Sokolowski in the concert, Voices of Distinction: Baroque, on Thursday night, July 31. (Links to the festivals’ website are below for more information on times and venues.)
Later in August, from the 21st to 31st, the Kingston Festival of the Arts will enter its second year also with an array of events and happenings that will challenge the most voracious of social animals. This festival, founded by Kerry Henderson, is broadly based and includes all aspects of the arts, including visual; this year the latter includes the Kingston Artists Soapbox Derby on August 24th on Broadway in the city’s Rondout District. There will also be a one woman dramatic piece by and featuring Sylvia Milo about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s older sister who was also a composer well known in her day. Called The Other Mozart, it will be performed at the Uptown Gallery and Festival HQ at 296 Wall St both weekends of the festival. Milo recently had a hit with this piece at the performance space Here in New York.
featured image; Lenny Kislin, A Real Head Case, assemblage, 2013
All images are courtesy of the artists or their representatives.
See below for more information on the Saugerties art tour and the festivals:
Claire Lambe is an Irish born painter whose works have been exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic; she is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and holds an MFA in painting from the City University of New York. In addition to her art-making, she is also the company manager and designer for The Woodstock Players Theater Company—as the company designer she is responsible for everything from the website to the set design. Writing credits include contributing author to Teen Life in Europe (part of the Teen Life Around The World series), and articles and reviews for this publication.