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Culturally Speaking

By Cornelia Seckel
ART TIMES November/ December 2010

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Russian dancers and actorsDancers, Actors and supporting staff with Mikhail Baryshnikov (center back row) at the Ringling International Art Festival in Sarasota Florida, Oct 2010

Online you will find my Travel and Culture report of a trip I made to Sarasota, Florida for the 2nd Annual Ringling International Arts Festival done in collaboration with the Baryshnikov Art Center.

Several years ago, Sara Pasti, Director of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, and Carla Smith, former Executive Director of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, were meeting together and the subject of storage and digitizing their individual collections came up. From that early conversation came the Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium launched at a Press Conference at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) in Woodstock this past month. The Dorsky Museum, the CPW, the Women’s Studio Workshop, Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum are the founding members of the consortium with the belief that other organizations will join them in the future. The 5 members all have historically significant works in their collections and have a recent history of sharing work with one another. The problem for each was storage of their vast collections, the accessibility of the works, the preservation of the collections and the access to others outside of the individual organization. After many meetings, numerous grants submissions, and the great cooperation and participation of the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council (www.senylrc.org) 50 of each of the members’ works are now part of this digital collections pilot project with a total of 250 works having been digitized and available online at www.hrvh.org/hvvacc. Another 15,000 images will be uploaded in the next 3 years from the permanent collections of each of the organizations.

(L to R) Members of the Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium: Matthew Leaycraft of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Ariel Sanberg, Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Sara Pasti, Director of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, Ann Kalmbach, Director of Women's Studio Workshop, Josephine Bloodgood, Executive Director of WAAM(L to R) Members of the Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium: Matthew Leaycraft of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Ariel Sanberg, Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Sara Pasti, Director of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, Ann Kalmbach, Director of Women's Studio Workshop, Josephine Bloodgood, Executive Director of WAAM

These artworks represent a wide range of art—from furniture, to drawings, photographs, paintings, sculpture and multi-media work—made in or about the Hudson Valley from the mid-19th century to the present day. Ariel Sanberg, Executive Director of CPW, welcomed the press and members of the various organizations and funding supporters. Sara Pasti in her opening remarks spoke about the huge role Carla Smith had in making the Consortium possible. She continued to speak of how the idea came about and introduced the concept of the consortium and the challenges, specifically for each member to begin using a common database.  She also expressed great thanks for original funding from Ulster County and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area as well as great appreciation for the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Dorsky Museum to continue the project. Appreciation was also expressed by Josephine Bloodgood, Executive Director of WAAM; Ann Kalmbach, Director of WSW; and Matthew Leaycraft of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. John Shaloiko, Executive Director of the South Eastern New York Library Resources Council, introduced the library’s team that created the website and entered the data. I was quite pleased as I listened to the strong sense of unity, the willingness to share and cooperate with one another for the greater good. The greater good is knowing that their collections are being preserved, that educators and students can access the database for study and research, that curators can now comb through the holdings and make decisions for new exhibitions knowing what is more fully available and that the public has access to work that perhaps has never been out of storage. I remember, and now it is 27 years of memories, when organizations would not share any of their resources; groups housed on the same block unwilling to share copy machines. I spoke of this to the gathering and commended them on their willingness to get outside their own needs, to see the greater value in cooperation and knowing that we all benefit.

I stopped at the DogHouse Gallery to see paintings by Patti Ferrara and photographs by Susan Phillips. The gallery has 3 viewing spaces and each woman had a room on the 2nd floor and shared the space below. It was an excellent blending of work. Susan’s photographs are precise and bring you into the scene/ image effortlessly as did Patti’s landscapes with their soft edges. Congratulations on a fine show.

Pattie Eakins and Marlene Wiedenbaum at the Bruynswick Gallery, Gardiner NY for Marlene's exhibit(Lto R) Patti Eakins, of The Bruynswick Studio & Gallery and Marlene Wiedenbaum at Marlene's exhibit at the gallery in Gardiner, NY

Marlene Wiedenbaum, an excellent artist, had an exhibition of her pastels at The Bruynswick Art Studio and Gallery. Raymond J. Steiner has written a critique of the show for this issue.

Paul Gould recently celebrated his 50 years as an artist. On view was one of his earliest paintings as well as his current work. Paul has been painting, teaching and running a gallery for many years. He comes from a painting family, his parents, John & Mary Gould (his father John F. Gould (d. 1996), a highly respected artist) opened the Bethlehem Art in 1957 and sons Robert, William and Paul continue the proud tradition started by their parents providing classes, framing, and a gallery. The opening of Paul’s show at the Hudson Valley Gallery in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY was quite crowded with collectors, students and friends. Paul had the idea for “The Annual World’s Smallest Stretched Canvas Competition”, a show of 1”x2” paintings. On Dec 3rd, at the gallery in Cornwell on Hudson, the 3rd annual will open. Bravo Paul, you have certainly made your own mark as a painter, teacher and gallery owner.

Paul Gould celebrates his 50 years as an artist at the Hudson Valley GalleryPaul Gould celebrates his 50 years as an artist at the Hudson Valley Gallery, Cornwell, NY

Renee Darmstadt was given the upstairs of 168 Cornell Street in Kingston, NY by her father Kenneth, the owner of Darmstadt Overhead Doors. Renee created an excellent space for invited artists to show their work for a month, twice a year. Over 47 artists hung their paintings, showcased their jewelry, woodwork, pottery, photography and other handmade crafts. Live Music by area bands and food served by Renee’s friends made this a delightful evening. It seemed that hundreds of people were there, work was sold, and I saw many new and young artists. This show’s theme was Vintage Inspired and artists and servers were dressed in vintage (gasp!, 50’s & 60’s) clothing. What an excellent service to artists and the Kingston area community.

Black Dome Press has recently published Landscape Gardens on the Hudson: A History: The Romantic Age, the Great Estates & the Birth of American Landscape Architecture by Robert M. Toole — a lovely pictorial history that should please both residents as well as the many tourists who come to the Hudson Valley/Catskill Mountain Region during all seasons of the year. Well-researched and documented, the book contains both archival and recent photographs of estates and gardens throughout the region (192 pp.; 8 ½ x 11; 142 Illus.; Notes; Bibliographical Essay; Index. $24.95 Softcover). Visit them at blackdomepress.com for further info/titles.

Online you’ll find a report of my doings during September: The Pastel Society of America’s 38th Annual Open Juried Exhibit held at the National Arts Club, NYC and a short video online  • The 14th Annual Fall for Art, a fundraiser for the Hudson Valley arts’ community and local Jewish Federation projects held their elegant cocktail party at the Wiltwyck Country Club in Kingston, NY  • The Audubon Artists 68th Annual Juried Exhibition (www.audubonartists.org) was held at the Salmagundi Club, NYC (see a short video at online ) •  A review of The Sensational Josephine Baker written and performed by Cheryl Howard and directed by Ian Streicher at Emerging Artists Theatre (EAT www.emergingartiststheatre.com) was performed at TADA! Theatre in NYC  • The 11th annual Woodstock Film Festival 2010 had a line-up of nearly 150 films. A video will soon be uploaded online.
All videos are available on YouTube and at www.arttimesjournal.com/video/Videos_Art_Times.html

Enjoy the winter months by dreaming up new artistic projects for the new year!