All around the Hudson Valley, it seems that at least in terms of gift-buying, you can’t approach Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and all the rest of the Winter Solstice holidays too early anymore. Gift shows started opening last weekend, with a flurry more getting underway over the coming weekends on either side of Thanksgiving up and down the Valley.
Also opened last weekend was Varga Gallery’s always-wild annual Gift Show, featuring a host of items from the vaults of the fabled downtown New York rock Mecca Max’s Kansas City, along with piles of affordable Outsiderlike-energy art by local creative types at the always-anarchic and fun gallery space next door to Upstate Film’s cinema at 130 Tinker Street in Woodstock. Call (845) 679-4005 or visit www.vargagallery.com for further information.
Across the river near Bard College, the Tivoli Artists’ Co-op and Gallery opened their Holiday Show of members’ affordable small works last weekend with a splash as well: the entities’ biggest show before their upcoming (and very popular) “Erotica” exhibition in February. Gallery hours are Friday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. and from 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Call (845) 757-2667 for further information, or just stop by the space past the main intersection on the town’s Broadway main drag.
Things kick up a notch this coming weekend with a couple of big holiday shows opening, perhaps the grandest being the annual Holiday Show at the always-bustling and fun Woodstock Artists’ Association & Museum from 4 to 6 p.m. this Saturday, November 20. WAAM is located at 29 Tinker Street, just off the scenic art colony town’s Village Green. Call (845) 679-2940 or visit www.woodstockart.org for further information.
Also opening this Saturday will be a “Let It Snow, Let It Snow” extravaganza of local artists’ work at the Unframed Gallery off Huguenot Street, near the Golf Course, in New Paltz. The reception will take place from 1 to 5 p.m., corresponding with regular weekend hours, on both Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21. The space is located at 173 Huguenot. Call (845) 255-5482 for full info.
The following weekend, tony Elena Zang Gallery, located at 3671 Route 212 in Shady, just west of Woodstock, will be opening its annual Holiday Show with loads of high-end crafts and other gift items from its top-shelf artists. Visit www.elenazang.com or call (845) 679-5432 for full information.
After we all stuff ourselves on turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving and its following days off, the Greene County Council for the Arts opens its annual holiday show, with loads more affordable art and gift items, on Saturday evening, November 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s located on Main Street in Catskill, between Willard and Thompson. Visit www.greenearts.org or call (518) 334-8200 for full info.
Finally, far off in early December, the 3rd and 4th will be chock-full with even more holiday art events, from Woodstock’s Friday-night Open House to the City of Hudson’s massive Winter Walk extravaganza on Saturday, as well as Kingston’s First Saturday events, which will include a big opening for the Arts Society of Kingston’s own annual holiday show, this year focused on “Trinkets and Small Works.” But we’ll be getting to all that, and all the rest of the community gift events fast approaching, in our coming issues.
In the meantime, while thinking arts and holidays, why not also give a go to the new “Cut It Up” exhibit of contemporary papercutting artists up at Newburgh’s fabulous Ann Street Gallery since last weekend. It’s a gem and, in its evocations of old-style Tannenbaum decorating styles (albeit in a postmodern light), quite apt to the darkening time of year. The Gallery can be reached at www.annstreetgallery.org or by calling (845) 562-6940, extension 119.
Get looking and shopping – or at least finishing those gift lists.