The big Woodstock Halloween bash has long been a major draw in the region, from its long parade of kids and adults all gussied up as elements of the fantastic and nightmarish to the rocker-accompanied gift of treats to all in attendance (under a certain age, of course). But of equal drawing power, in more recent years, has been the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW)’s annual fundraising adjunct to all the spooky fun: its popular “Say Boo!” Halloween portrait benefit on the CPW porch – down where Bob Dylan once used to play inside at the old Café Expresso, a previous owner at 59 Tinker Street.
There, as usual, the lovely Woodstock Times & Alm@nac Weekly staff phtographer Dion Ogust will be setting up a temporary studio, complete with grey background and lighting, and taking professional portraits of all who ask for a minimum $20-a-pop fee. This year, everyone is encouraging adults to have their portraits, taken as well as the usual posses of kids. And believe me, having done this before on several occasions, and later used the images for holiday cards a few weeks down the line, I have to tell you not only how eerily painless the entire process is, but fun to boot!
It all takes place while the parade’s on, further up Tinker Street and Mill Hill Road, from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 31 – no day earlier or later. After all, if doing Halloween right, you have to do it all properly. For further information, contact the Center for Photography at Woodstock, located at 59 Tinker Street, by calling (845) 679-9957 or visiting www.cpw.org. And don’t forget to say “Boo!”
“Show of Heads” has opening at Hudson’s Limner Gallery next Saturday
Tim Slowinsky’s Limner Gallery – which started in New York’s East Village back in the 1980s before inching its way upstate, first to Phoenicia and now in Hudson – may be the perfect destination for those who can’t get Halloween, or a bad election season, out of mind in the month to come. Starting next Thursday, November 4, with an official opening on Saturday, November 6 from 5 to 7 p.m., Limner will be hosting a great new group exhibition, “Show of Heads,” featuring the works of two dozen artists whom Slowinsky has pulled in from all reaches of the compass. Yet all bend one’s head in singular ways, and, as always with Limner material, are as original as anything that one will see in the Valley (and maybe anywhere) these days.
“The ‘Show of Heads’ shows the many ways in which the head can be used as a means of self-expression,” Slowinsky has said of his work. “All the artists in the exhibition have used the portrait formula to express their individuality. The characters of the artists are revealed in the works: In some we see the comic, in others anxiety, joy, shock or political expressions.” Perfect explanation of the season and its roiling truths and unveilings.
Limner Gallery is located at 123 Warren Street in Hudson. The show can be viewed from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and at other times by appointment. For further information call (518) 828-2343 or visit www.limnergallery.com.
Play Exquisite Corpse & other arty diversions at Game Night at Vassar in Poughkeepsie next Thursday
At first glance, the chance to play an evening of Exquisite Corpse seems the perfect choice of games for this week of All Souls’ and All Hallows’ days and eves. And yet a closer look at what Surrealists Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí came up with in Paris in the 1920s reveals nothing macabre – just a rearranging of bones, as it were.
The idea is simple: One artist draws part of a human figure on a panel of a folded sheet of long paper, then passes it on to the next to add onto, without seeing what came before. It plays as well in literary circles, with paragraphs added onto each other. And I’ve heard of attempts to do the same with film and music, and even with architecture and sculpture, in some parts of our own region these days.
Next Thursday, November 4, more organized versions of the Surrealist game, and other amusements enjoyed 90 years ago, will be the focus of an art-filled “Game Night” set to start at 5 p.m. at Vassar College. Put on by the Frances Lehman Loeb Fine Arts Center as one of a number of events scheduled to keep activities alive while the museum’s galleries are closed for needed roof repairs, the evening was put together for visitors of all ages to play some of the games that were favored by artists who are represented in the Art Center’s permanent collection. In addition to Exquisite Corpse, expect games of chess (enjoyed by many artists including Marcel Duchamp), skittles and cards (a Bellows fave, among many). At the evening’s close, starting at 7 p.m., art-lovers will be encouraged to test their knowledge of art history in a trivia contest.
Game Night will take place in the Aula, a large meeting area in Ely Hall, the old Alumnae Gymnasium located behind the Main Building to the left. For further information call (845) 437-5632 or visit http://fllac.vassar.edu.