Friday, December 01, 2006

Arty Facts

THE TURNOUT. A lecture on “Two Patrons of the Hudson River School of Art” is scheduled for a Sunday afternoon, in the Village of Catskill NY. The speaker is an Elizabeth Kornhauser, Ph.D., professional curator from a museum in Hartford. The sponsors make the usual efforts in the way of publicity. What’s the likely rate of attendance? A dozen, maybe? Twenty if it doesn’t rain and there’s a prospect of free wine? Actually, at last month’s inauguration of the Raymond Beecher lecture series, at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 145 people attended. Because of the size of the crowd, they were seated next door at Temple Beth Israel.

THE GUITAR. Lisa Fox Martin and Elizabeth Jacks, who are chairman and executive director of the Cole site’s booster club, made a trip to Manhattan the other day at the invitation of an art dealer named Alexander Acevedo. They had learned that Mr Acevedo owned the guitar that once was Cole’s. Ms Martin had telephoned him with a view to possibly borrowing the guitar for inclusion in a planned exhibition devoted to Cole’s musical interests. That inquiry elicited an invitation to visit Mr Acevedo’s Madison Avenue gallery, the Alexander. There they beheld an astounding collection of Cole’s art, along with papers and painting implements. Mr Acevedo expressed willingness to lend to Cedar Grove not only the guitar and its original case, but also a Cole painting of his sister playing the guitar, and other artifacts.

THE CHECK. . What is more, Mr Acevedo made to Cedar Grove an outright gift of some papers in Cole’s handwriting, including a $1000 check, written on the Catskill Bank, dated July 29, 1839, made out to John A. Thomson, who was Cole’s wife’s “Uncle Sandy” and the Coles’s landlord at Cedar Grove.

TIMISA is the name of a start-up GreeneLand enterprise, in which Sandra Grosso copies her oil paintings digitally, then technologically “sinks the pictures”—enlarged or shrunk, as you please—“into the tiles,” that is to say, into 6-inch ceramic or glass tiles, thereby achieving murals or table tops. The project is one of the first that has come to be housed in the Greene County Industrial Development Agency’s new offices, as a beneficiary of the Greene Accelerator program (which is co-sponsored by the State’s Committee for Economic Growth). Under that program, promising nascent enterprises, get office space at a below-market rate, along with staff support, for a limited time, in the hope that they will achieve viability and growth. Already being nursed along, in addition to Timisa, is new technology venture mounted by Daniel Quigley in which buyers of products on-line are encouraged and enabled to donate the “change” from a purchase to a designated charity. Thus, if you buy something on line for $97.78, you’d be invited to “round up” the charge to $100, with $2.22 going smoothly, with minimal processing costs, to a preferred non-profit organization.

ATHENIAN THESPIAN—thay what?--Casey Biggs is busy in Manhattan, directing rehearsals of the musical “Love Shakespeare” for John Houseman’s Acting Company. The show will tour schools across the country prior to its New York opening in May. Casey also is piecing together an audacious plan for a multi-venued, New School-backed festival of the arts (all of them) in GreeneLand. Meantime, wife Brigit Binns (aka The Road Foodie; has just finished two new books in the Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast series, and now is at work on a “slash-memoir” that also is a cookbook, called The Relaxed Kitchen. Then there's the restaurant project.... CAT ‘N AROUND= name of an ongoing competition for artists. The idea is to design a cat figure, with topical emphasis, ready for conversion into a fiberglass figure 28 inches high, like the one pictured here (or not, depending on whether we can get the transfer to work). The resulting litter will be part of a summer 2007 promotion. Better designs yield invitations to reception where artists will be matched with sponsors, will receive $50 stipend for supplies, and will earn the right to 25% of the gross when “their” cat is auctioned. Each winning cat will be displayed on own platform, with a web page featuring each work and the maker’s biography. There will be gala and auction next summer. Astoundingly imaginative entries have been submitted, with designs visible at the Chamber of Commerce office at 327 Main St, Catskill (518) 943-0989;;

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS can again be bought in GreeneLand. Although Catskill’s Birdland Music store is gone, a new Mountain Top Music Shop has been opened in Tannersville. As reported in The Daily Mail (11/22), Paul Lee offers guitars galore for sale, along with other stringed instruments, percussion gear, supplies, and instructional materials. He also rents band instruments. The facility is close to what soon will be a superbly made performing arts facility in the refurbished Orpheum Theater. And it makes a nice complement to Catskill’s state-of-the-art Water Street Recording Studio, where Lex, and Jim, and Bobby, and Betty and Frank have been laying down tracks.

UPCOMINGS. For information about imminent GreeneLand events, cultural and other, we’d like to refer you to the web sites of the Greene County Tourism office and the Greene County Chamber of Commerce. But that would be a disservice. Their common “official” calendar makes a mockery of the idea of telling people what’s afoot. People who rely on this roster would learn about ongoing exhibitions at the Arts Council’s galleries in Catskill and in Windham, along with a Windham Arts Alliance show at the Windham Mountain Ski Lodge. They would not learn about tonight’s “Evening of Illumination” at the Cultural Arts Center in Athens, with an auction of art and treasures to support the Lighthouse Preservation Society. They would not learn about the wine tasting an auction this evening at the St Patricks Church in Athens. Neither would they be alerted to Sawyer Chevrolet’s tree-lighting party, featuring a giveaway of bicycles and scooters, lots of them. Nor would they be alerted to the tree-lighting party at the Coxsackie gazebo this evening (7 pm.; Santa will be there) and the “Christmas By the River” festival all day Sunday in Coxsackie. As for Saturday, it’s understandable that GreeneLand’s official boosters would not publicize the excellent Winter Walk in Hudson, over in Columbia County, but they could at least take note of what The Daily Mail calls the “HOCA & Catskill Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party” at Anthony’s Restaurant, starting at 6 pm. (HOCA is the Catskill Chamber of Commerce). And it would not be a great stretch for our official boosters to take heed of publicity releases emanating from Tony DeVito on behalf of All Arts Matter in Greenville. In his words, “A selection of the art and crafts from the exhibit in the Greenville Cultural Arts Center during the Colors and Crafts show are [sic.] on view for sale in Gallery 81 on Main Street.” The items, all handmade, have a price range from $10 to $75.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whats the buzz around town concerning legal action being taken against the entire Catskill Village Board and the Catskill Fire Company?

My nephew is a Catskill Firemen and he said that the Catskill Fire Company President Harrold Rivenburg stated at their monthly meeting tuesday night that there was Legal Action against them but stated the Fire Company Board was going to handle it and failed to provide more information.

I've been watching the Catskill Daily Mail and the Freeman and haven't seen anything written about it. Under open government we should know whats going on! I'm scared to ask what mess they may have gotten us into this time.

My nephew hasn't been able to find out anything from the fire company concerning this "Legal Action". This idea that they can hide stuff from the public is just not right!

Dick can you find out whats going on?

This sounds like it might be big and they may be trying to cover it up as usual. Same Ol, Same ol!