The big arts event this coming weekend will undoubtedly be the Holiday Benefit Fine Art Auction taking place at Fletcher Gallery on Mill Hill Road Sunday afternoon, December 19, and the exhibition of over 175 pieces, most of them locally-originated, that the gallery will be previewing from 10 a.m. Friday, December 17 right up until the point the bidding is called to order Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
“We’ve put together a great collection of art to raise monies for the food pantries this year…There are many paintings to delight all art collectors’ tastes,” said Gallery Director Heather Toboika of the upcoming exhibition and auction. “Art makes a wonderful gift for the holiday or the New Year…And it is all in the spirit of stocking these kitchens with food for those who need it this holiday season. Family’s volunteers are working overtime to make this happen so please come out and show your support.”
Among the large oil landscapes, modernist works from the 1940’s and 1950’s, and a wide variety of drawings and lithographs from artists gone and still very active among us — all curated by Tom Fletcher himself from the many estates and collections he works with on an ongoing basis — will be original pieces and prints by Rolph Scarlett, Konrad Cramer, Ernest Fiene, Joseph Pollet, Calvin Grimm, Doris Lee, Hongnian Zhang, Jehudith Sobel, Leslie Bender, Anton Refregier, Eduardo Chavez and many more.
Family, which is currently celebrating its 40th year as Ulster County’s premiere social services agency, runs programs that supply the community with shelters, court advocates, counseling and case management services, hotlines, and child care supports…and four key emergency food pantries around the county.
“During the holiday season our food pantries see a significant increase in numbers and need additional resources,” noted Family founder and Executive Director Michael Berg of the upcoming event at Fletcher Gallery. “This auction will help us raise the monies necessary to keep everyone safe, nourished and warm.” ++
The actual live auction, which starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, December 19 in the gallery at 40 Mill Hill Road, will be preceded by a preview exhibition to be held Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day, as well as on the day of the auction from 9 a.m.-noon.
The auction catalogue catalog is also available online at www.fletchergallery.com, and bidding will be allowed online as well as by phone.
For further information call 679-4411 or visit same website.
Phoenicia’s nice in the summer and autumn, but great this time of year when the hamlet’s Main Street storefronts sparkle with decorations and a welcoming warmth. And with the community’s monthly festive evening of culture taking place with The Arts Upstairs opening of its latest exhibition, Celebrate! Saturday, December 18, who really has an excuse not to get out there now?
It’s always hard to judge these shows by their cover names or minimal press…or even from the lists of names involved. Or even, for that matter, once the pieces get hung on the actual walls of the rambling gallery that, in one form or another, has been running strong for a decade now. What’s important to know is that the gallery’s potluck openings run late and raucous, draw a large crowd of jazzed artists and the surrounding community’s eclectic and hugely friendly best, and often erupt in singing and/or dancing by the time they run their lot. Perfect for this season of darkness, then, and any time (or one) searching out a festive way of making new friends, or hanging with old acquaintances.
A key component of the gallery’s group shows, which pretty much take anyone in — which makes for great spirit if sometimes spotty, if energetic, aesthetics — are what gets focused on, and hung, in the rambling upstairs spaces’ solo room. This month, there’ll be two sharing the singular space…subtle, ink-brush atmospheric artist Patricia Charnay, and Jacqueline Barnett, a color field painter who has recently been shown in New York City and Paris, France, according to the press
“Living most of my life in an urban environment and yearning to be in the country, I moved to the Catskill Mountains,” noted Charnay in a piece about herself for the Shandaken Art Tour last summer, which captures much of the ethos of this gallery, at its best. “The contact with nature fills me with wonder for the peace that I need to connect with my inner reality and express it through my work.”
This Saturday’s opening for Celebrate!, as well as the Charnay and Barnett solo shows, will run from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Arts Upstairs Gallery, 60 Main Street in Phoenicia. Visit www.artsupstairs.com or call 688-2142 for further info, including exact Friday through Sunday hours.
Also open this weekend, albeit not for formal openings at the same time as the upstairs event, will be two higher end, more traditionalist galleries, one of a singular artist’s amazing mask work, the other a finely-curated selection of top regional artists working in photography, collage, drawing and painting.
Wendy Drolma Masks, on the Boardwalk just behind where the Arts Upstairs is, has the one-of-a-kind wonders, and is usually open until about 5:00 PM on Saturdays. Visit www.wendydrolma.com or call 688-7713.
Just up the street at 38 Main, Cabane Studio and Gallery is currently showing a superb Winter Show, up into April that brings together an evocatvie mix of fine work from local artists and photographers Nina Bachinsky, Craig Barber, David Morris Cunningham, Ron Garofolo, Tom Sobolik, and Michelle Spark…all curated by fine art photographer Andrea Cabane, who has managed to not only make a go of it with this gallery for two years now, but keep improving what she does, and honing the subtle aesthetic she promotes, during that time. For further information, including her Saturday hours (usually lasting until around the time the Arts Upstairs bash starts), call 688-5490 or visit www.cabanestudios.com.
And remember… there’s plenty of places to eat in Phoenicia, so make it a full evening of gallery hopping, shopping, and late night art-hopping. ++
Lenny Kislin’s been curating exhibitions at Oriole 9, mixing and matching the work of local artists to match the room’s calming walls and lively chatter, for years now. And he’s currently showing his own work through the upcoming holiday season. It’s an impressive demonstration of the “blend of antiques, humor, and irony artistically arranged” that others have commended him for all over his Facebook page. As well as the deep wells of warmth Mr. Kislin seems to bring to everything he does, minus a few political letters over the years, which he has a habit of saying is the result of his happy marriage and love for this town he’s made home for most of his life.
Kislin, who’s had his work showing, or his heart and hand involved, in almost every gallery and arts organization within a 25 mile radius of the Village Green, started building up the materials he uses for his assembled works from the antiques business he ran from the early 1970s on. Combined with a good eye for textures and color, an easy (if sometimes buffoonish) wit, and those gorgeous, odd bits and pieces he seems to have an endless supply of, his resultant works are familiar and funny, easy to look at and somehow cathartic to a room, lending whatever context the stuff is hung in added grace and an accompanying sense of age…and agelessness.
Lenny wasn’t sure people would see this show. But it turns out its opening a few weeks back was mobbed. And it’s been gaining kudos, and sales, ever since.
Consider this, then a reminder…to get by Oriole 9 just off the Village Green and see what Mr. Kislin’s been up to of late. It’ll put you in a good mood. It somehow fits the season. And finally, it has become pure Woodstock.++