As for 2010, so for the new page of the calendar heralding another decade, in which many artists, arts organizations, and galleries listed upcoming shows.
Devorah Sperber has her inimitable thread spool works being shown in exhibitions, grouped and solo, in North Carolina, Paris, the National Portrait Gallery, and Salem, Massachusetts’ Peabody-Essex this year, as well as a local showing at Ulster Community College, where she will be serving as an artist in residence.
Anique Taylor of Phoenicia, who had a solo show at the Monmouth Museum in New Jersey, is continuing work on her “Traveler Series” — sculpted heads with bodies built “of many different kinds of shapes & things” alongside some new altar-like pieces, for a series of exhibitions she’s still working out for the year.
Shelley Parriott has a permanent sculptural installation, Environmental Fields of Color, opening at the Coral Springs Museum of Art in Florida this year, and more of her commissioned and well-collected Color Field Sculptures ”brightening landscapes in the Northeast all winter.”
“Looking ahead: A lifting economy that will bring in folks both to look and to collect,” Christie Scheele requested. “Personally, a duo show in January at Mark Gruber in New Paltz and a solo this summer at Chace-Randall in Andes. Most of all, I look forward to feeling a happy, forward energy around me in our art world.”
“In 2011, I’m launching a line of ‘green’ nature prints, archival giclées on 100 percent recycled paper,” added Norm Magnusson. “For now, they can be seen and ordered on www.DecoratingNature.com.”
Sculptor Martha Walker has a show of new works coming up in March at Red Dot in New York City. Craig Barber’s continuing a project begun in 2010 — making tintype portraits of people who have a close working relationship with the land. Arlene Shechet says she’s open to anything. Brenda Goodman wants everyone she cares about to stay healthy, and to “paint my heart out.”
“Looking ahead to 2011… I’m working on a solo project, but continuing the collaborative spirit I will be working with the music of one composer for the whole series. I’ve never met the reclusive Scott Walker, but I’m hopeful!” wrote choreographer and painter Clyde Forth. “I’m also going to get back to collaborating with myself, and make a suite of drawings as part of the solos project.”
“This year I hope to reorganize and put together much of my work for the last few years,” said Michelle Spark. “It is at best a house cleaning and paring down effort. And then, I want to return to painting on canvas…it’s calling me!”
Randy Conti and Doug Farrell at the New York Conservatory of the Arts, as well as the Woodstock Playhouse now, were enthusiastic about a 2011 NYCA season that kicks off next weekend with the Off-Broadway musical Batboy, presents The Wizard of Oz in June, an intensive music theatre program set to perform at Disney and Universal in Orlando, entertainment and imagination capitals; and “the rising of the Woodstock Playhouse that…promises to stretch everyone’s imagination” via the town’s first summer stock season in a quarter century.
“The Golden Notebook is busy planning lots of author events in 2011,” wrote the venerable bookstore’s new co-owner, Jacqueline Kellachan. “We hope to have about 5-6 events per month. We will also be busy buying more books, organizing the store, and setting up our website. The Golden Notebook is extremely grateful to all the community support it has received since we re-opened on October 29th!”
“What’s next for the Hudson Valley Film Commission? We’re currently working to find locations and personnel for a fully funded indie feature film that will be shooting in February. And we anticipate that five other films are scheduled for production as of now,” noted Laurent Rejto. “But the biggest news of all is that we will be moving to our new home with the Woodstock Film Festival at 13 Rock City Road this month. Anyone interested in helping us offset costs, can donate to our Capital Campaign online at hudsonvalleyfilmcommission.org.”
Josephine Bloodgood at the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum listed pages of new shows, from Main Gallery juried group exhibitions to solo room shows being curated by Bruce Weber of the National Academy, a Regional Exhibition being juried by Patterson Sims, former director of the Montclair Art Museum (with a January 15 submission deadline), and a Towbin Museum Wing calendar including a retrospectove of works by the late photographer Harriet Tannin, a Permanent Collection selection around the theme of Interior Lives, “Peggy Bacon: Cats and Caricatures,” being curated by Tom Wolf, and a print show by Milton Glaser. In addition, she noted more speakers for WAAM’s increasingly popular Dialogues talks with art professionals, as well as the fact that the Permanent Collection is lending George Ault’s Late November for an exhibition at the Smithsonian.
“For 2011, as part of our outreach to other orgs in 2010, we have arranged for an exhibit in cooperation with the National Parks Service Roosevelt/Vanderbilt sites. The exhibit, entitled ‘The National Youth Administration and Woodstock: A Lasting Legacy,’ will feature furniture and other objects made at Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s cottage industry project which served as a model for the Woodstock Resident Craft Center, our campus’ first incarnation, in 1939,” wrote Woodstock School of Art Executive Director Nancy Campbell of a project to include photographs and anecdotes from the Woodstock Historical Society “as well as personal accounts from folks whose parents or grandparents actually attended the craft center at Woodstock during its three year span.” “We hope to continue to spread the message that the Woodstock School of Art is your friendly, neighborhood world-class fine art school.”
Bernard Gerson, at Galerie BMG, noted a year-ahead schedule including shows by Jessica Kaufman, Kamil Vojnar, Leah Macdonald, Joy Goldkind, Susan Dewitt, and
John Dugdale. Shandaken Theatrical Society is touting upcoming productions (and tryouts for) Over The River & Through The Woods, The Foreigner, Into The Woods, their annual PlayFest in June, as well as a host of monthly film screenings. The Arts Upstairs, also in Phoenicia, kicks off its 2011 season next weekend with “Express Yourself.”
Matt Leaycraft of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild spoke about looking forward, “to a significant expansion of programs at Byrdcliffe next summer with increased outreach to Artist in Residence applicants, several new instructional programs in original Byrdcliffe crafts, increased focus on our ceramics program, and more performances at the Byrdcliffe Theater.”
“For 2011 the Varga Gallery will present exhibits featuring a select group of artists residing in the Hudson Valley as well as handpicked new artists from outside the area including artists from Brooklyn, Philadelphia and beyond,” wrote Christina Varga of her venue’s latest changes. “The exhibitions will be curated by Christina Varga with guest curators as announced…On Friday nights the gallery hosts a percussion ensemble. Once a month private previews will be held for collectors, curators, VIPs and guests of the artists on the night before public receptions.”
“In 2011 we will continue making new artwork and are planning lectures and demonstrations and more events at the gallery,” said artists and Bearsville Graphics Studio Gallery owners Karen Whitman and Rick Pantell.
Lora Shelley said she “will likely spend 2011 making conscious decisions about what to do next.”
“In 2011, more and more artists will use the internet tool box as a way to reach a greater audience. For example: daily sketches by a painter will be posted on Twitter enabling that painter to share his/her visual musings to the world in real time. Musicians and performance artists will upload more work on YouTube and everyone will market openings, events and arts commentary on Facebook. The audience for blogs will continue to grow,” opined Jen Dragon of 11 Cross Gallery, in Saugerties and Shandaken. “Now that we have this ability to connect to each other around the globe, there is an increasing need for more meaningful content. People don’t just want to see art in a gallery or a museum, they want to know an artist’s connection to what they do and why they do it. As more and more artists discover blogging, we are going to see a more intimate connection with an artist’s process: their inspiration for what they do and the steps they take to make it happen.”
“All I want is for my life to continue as it is and has been...I wish I were thin and rich, but other than that things are as perfect as I could want them to be,” chimed in Loel Barr. “After a year of working mostly with mixed media, I’m hungry for paint and simplicity, so this winter I’m studying with Chris Gallego, whose work I greatly admire, and plan to put away my piles of rust for awhile. For our community, I’m trying to remain hopeful that as the economy improves, we’ll see more galleries opening and thriving, and more artists able to support themselves with their art.”
“The Woodstock Arts Board is alive and well following our sale of the Woodstock Playhouse to the New York Conservatory for the Arts,” wrote in Joan Roberts, now secretary of the organization she headed for nearly a decade. “It is our hope for the future that we are able to continue to support the Woodstock Playhouse as an additional funding source for them — as well as an occasional programmer. Our Garden Tour, Chef’s Dinner and our children’s programming will continue as we glory in their re-construction and enclosing of the beloved Woodstock Playhouse.”
Finally, from Prana pioneer Baird Hersey, an elliptical but appropriately haunting anecdote he calls, “The Box”:
“The teacher was dying. He had only a few weeks to live. He called his students and his friends around him. ‘My death will be my final teaching’ he said. ‘I will need your help in this transition. In that work you will find the truth of your own deaths. Meditate on my death and your own.’ As the weeks passed most of his students cared for him and began the process of examining their lives and their thoughts about their own deaths. There was one old friend, a cabinet maker, who did not come to see the teacher. They had known one another for many years and the teacher knew the reason for his absence. When the Cabinet maker was a young boy, his father, to whom he was an apprentice, had died suddenly and without apparent cause. Held in a state of shock, the cabinet maker had never shed a tear. The teacher sent for the cabinet maker. When he arrived the teacher spoke to him formally. ‘I would like you to build me a box. It should be 6 inches by 6 inches by 8 inches, large enough to hold ashes from cremation. It should be made of your finest wood, but be simple. It should bear no letters or symbols.’ The cabinet maker returned home and immediately selected a beautiful piece of chestnut and began work on the box. As he worked through the night memories of his long friendship with the teacher drifted back to him and he felt the weight of the coming loss of his old friend. He remembered back to his childhood and the time they had spent together. Engulfed in those memories, as he shaped and smoothed the wood, he also thought of his father, all that he had learned from him and all that he had had to learn without him. As he brushed stain on the box, his tears channeled along its intricate grain. As dawn broke, the box was finished. It was beautiful, elegant, yet simple. He rushed to the teacher’s house to give him the box. On entering the teachers room the he said, ‘I have finished the box for your ashes.’ The teacher looked lovingly in his eyes and said, ‘Oh. My old friend you misunderstand. My ashes will be spread on the mountain side. The box is for your ashes.’”
Happy year ahead… ++
Among the many new things kicking off 2011 around town, the first to actually happen will be the Varga Gallery’s opening this weekend of what it’s saying will be an annual “January Invitational” show introducing Luke D. Yocum of Brooklyn to the region alongside the gallery’s “well-established roster of self-taught, outsider, emerging and visionary artists.” Yocum grew up in an ultraconservative suburban home and community and was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder as a child, which led him to painting as a form of therapy. “I practice the ‘Paranoiac-critical’ method,” he has said of a career trajectory that saw him rising through the underground art scene of New York, where Christina Varga first noticed him. “I induce myself into a state of delirium so that I can reproduce the images of a madman without any diminution of my critical faculties.” The show, and recently renovated and “revived” gallery, opens 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, January 8. The exhibit then runs through Sunday, February 6. Varga Gallery is located at 130 Tinker Street, next to Upstate Films. For further information call 679-4005 or visit www.vargagallery.com. ++