Catherine Howe, Bouquet, 2014. Oil on canvas. 48 x 55” (detail)

Samhain Art Holiday Madness

by Claire Lambe

You may be thinking that I am a month out with my reference to Samhain, but October 31st is, in addition to All Hallows, the eve of the month of Samhain– the Gaelic word for November. Samhain (Sow-​​en) literally means summer’s end. Ireland’s climate is a little kinder than America’s northeast but even there, that’s a stretch. Back to topic: the highlights of art happening now and in the coming holiday season in our beautiful artist-​​ridden valley. In honor of the month’s initial in my native language, let’s begin with:

Saugerties: There is a very exciting show at Cross Contemporary Art, 81 Partition Street. Curated by Ford Crull, it features the works of New York City-​​based Catherine Howe and Peggy Cyphers. It is primarily a print exhibition and, in fact, both artists worked side-​​by-​​side in a print studio to create monoprints with this show in mind.

Cathern Howe, Peggy Cyphers

Artists Catherine Howe and Peggy Cyphers in front of their respective prints.

Cyphers’ prints also include silk-​​screened elements; her work references animals, birds and the natural environment. She also paints and there is one particularly spectacular example in the gallery, entitled, Animal Spirits – Woodpecker. Her paintings are made by constantly turning the canvas, giving the work a strange vertiginous effect of not being exactly sure where we are: are we catching a woodpecker’s feather out of the corner of our human eye, or are we a mite deep inside the bird’s plumage peering out?

Peggy Cyphers, Animal Spirits-Woodpecker

Peggy Cyphers, Animal Spirits-​​Woodpecker, 2010 70 x50

Howe’s muse is art history and, in recent years, the 17th Century Dutch School of still life, but stripped of the moribund metaphor of dead game, over-​​ripe fruit, skulls, flies etc. For example, in the painting, Bouquet (see banner image above), she takes only the flowers, a bouquet of what may be peonies and roses in luscious color, and, as if conducting Handle’s “Messiah” with a brush for a baton, she speeds those blossoms from bud through efflorescence to a spectacular Halleluiah wilt. And all done in a tempest, seemingly.

The monochromatic prints seem made in calmer weather, but are none the less virtuoso pieces for that. This show, which runs through November 30, is not to be missed. Cross Contemporary Arts is open 7 days a week and by appointment. Call 845 – 399-​​9751 for more information.

If in Saugerties sooner rather than later, search out SebSi Studio at 252 Main Street for a small works show curated by Diane Dwyer, ArtEsopus, to benefit the Esopus Creek Conservancy. November 22 and 23 only with a closing reception on the 23rd from 1 – 5 pm.


Woodstock: As always, this town has a million art events going on including a number of holiday shows.

WAAM kicks the season off with its members’ show in the Main Gallery opening on Saturday, November 22, with a reception from 4 – 6 pm; this is a regular smorgasbord of affordable art. Also opening at the museum at the same time is a solo show of Leslie Bender paintings – hers is the stuff of good dreams and bad, and always mesmerizing.

Leslie Bender, Your typical Night Scene

Leslie Bender, Your typical Night Scene,14 x 18 oil 2014

(If at WAAM, be sure to catch the Georges Malkine exhibition in the Towbin wing. A Frenchman who made Woodstock his home, Malkine was the only visual artist named by André Breton’s 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism as a founding member of the Surrealists, originally a literary movement.)

Next door, at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Kleinert/​James Arts Center, the wonderful Henrietta Mantooth show, Jailbirds and Flowers, has just one more weekend to run – it closes on November 23 to make way for one of the season’s highlights, the Guild’s annual 5 x 7 show. As per the title, art works are on 5 x 7 inch supports and are $100 each with all proceeds to benefit the Guild. That opens on December 5th with an opening party from 5 – 7 pm. Entrance to the K/​J gallery is through the Woodstock Guild’s craft store, 36 Tinker St; it’s $10 for non-​​exhibitors.

Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Kleinert/James, 5x7 Show, 2014

Examples of some of this year’s 5 x 7 works –works are in various media and displayed anonymously.

On Friday, November 21, the Woodstock Framing Gallery (WFG) on Tinker St. is hosting an informal discussion over libations with exhibiting artists Mark Thomas Kanter and Heather Hutchison. This show, 50/​50, continues through November 30 – for more on that, please see our coverage of the show here.

On December 6, the Woodstock School of Art (WSA) has a holiday sale – this usually includes donated art and also a lot of art materials, frames, etc. so is an excellent source for those. Proceeds benefit the WSA building fund. Also happening in the Robert Angeloch Gallery is the WSA’s student exhibition which offers a great opportunity to see what goes on in the school, especially for anyone considering taking a class. WSA caters to a range of students from absolute beginners to those who are accomplished artists taking refresher courses or trying out new approaches, and the exhibition reflects this diversity of experience. Show runs through December 20.

The Center for Photography (CPW) at Woodstock is hosting Home Grown, an exhibition which spotlights the 15 photographers who have received CPW’s Photographers’ Fellowship Fund award over the past 10 years. With an exciting range of approaches and interests, they represent the ever growing vibrancy of artistic inquiry and dialogue that is nurtured by CPW. This show continues through January 11, 2015.


Judith Jamison, Sun Moon 2014. Pastel

Judith Jamison, Sun Moon 2014. Pastel 23 x 19″ — Courtesy of The Wired Gallery

High Falls & Stone Ridge
: The Wired Gallery at 11 Mohonk Road in High Falls, and its satellite gallery at the Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty office in Stone Ridge, have a busy season ahead starting with a November 29 & 30 Thanksgiving weekend show of small works, all under $100. This is also a preview of a group show on the walls entitled Group Show #9: Galaxy of Color. This show is curated by teaching artist Meredith Rosier and features a number of her students. The official opening for this show is December 6 from 5 – 7 pm. Simultaneously Scott Cronin’s solo show opens at the Coldwell Banker office.

Scott Cronin, Miles Ahead, 2014. Pastels and inks on vellum, 18 x 24”

Scott Cronin, Miles Ahead, 2014. Pastels and inks on vellum, 18 x 24”

Cronin riffs off art from many cultures: Indian mandalas, Australian aboriginal art, and also European modernists such as Kandinsky. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Kingston: KMOCA on Abeel St is hosting works by Lisa Alt, Kate Hamilton, and Jessica M. Kaufman in a politically charged show entitled, In Plain Sight. All three artists explore the politics of what the title means in different contexts. Alt’s contribution, Star-​​Spangled Torture Hood/​Bodybag, is self-​​explanatory – she also has contributed a searing manifesto on the implications of the exhibition title. Hamilton has made paper Burqas to explore what it means to be hidden in plain sight – she likens the Burqa to an invisibility cloak. Kaufman’s series of photographs, entitled, Black Milk of Morning, are from the grounds of Nazi concentration camps. She chose to use color rather than the black and white we usually associate with “evil” and which allows us to more easily disassociate ourselves from it. Color normalizes and updates the landscape, and underlines the truth that atrocities are often committed in plain sight by hitherto ordinary people. This show goes to November 29 and will be followed by another three person show: Organic Chemistry with works by Susan Meyer, Dina White, and Robert Hessler. This show opens on Saturday December 6, with an Artists Reception from 5 – 8 PM.


Lynn Palumbo, Triptych 2, 2014. Graphite on paper, 30 x 66”

Lynn Palumbo, Triptych 2, 2014. Graphite on paper, 30 x 66”

Rhinebeck: Atwater Gallery is presenting paintings and drawings by Lynn Palumbo and Rudy Vavra from November 29, 2014 through January 12, 2015 with an opening reception November 29 from 5 – 8 PM. Palumbo will be showing works from an ongoing series using motifs derived from an heirloom quilt – the resulting artworks are sensitive and evocative. Vavra’s paintings play with abstract pattern that is derived from the interplay of random marks and vivid color. The show remains up until January 12. The Atwater Gallery is located above the Rhinebeck Artist’s Shop at 56 East Market Street.


Theodore Roszak, Rooster and Egg, 1974. Lithograph on paper, 27 x 19”

Theodore Roszak, Rooster and Egg, 1974. Lithograph on paper, 27 x 19”

Hudson: John Davis Gallery is hosting a very interesting exhibition of lithographs from the estate of Theodore Roszak (1907 – 1981).  An innovator in his time, Roszak was a participating artist at the documenta II in Kassel in 1959 and at the Venice Biennale in 1960. He was affiliated with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition is curated by Anne MacDougall and runs through November 30. The gallery is located at 362 ½ Warren St., hours are Thursday through Monday, 10:00 till 5:00 p.m.

And that’s it ‘til next time. If you are still with me, dear reader, we at Roll Magazine wish you a happy but not too fulfilling Thanksgiving.

Featured Image: Catherine Howe, Bouquet, 2014. Oil on canvas. 48 x 55” (detail)

All images are courtesy of the artists or their representatives.

For additional information about the galleries and the artists featured in this article, you can find their websites online.


Claire LambeClaire 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. Claire Lambe’s art work can be seen here:   clairelambe​.net/ 

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