Carla Smith, director of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and spokesperson for the Woodstock Arts Consortium (WAC), sponsoring organization for the weeklong festival, said, "The wealth of Woodstock is reflected in its arts organizations, its scenic beauty and its rich history. In Woodstock, artists represent a sustainable and renewable resource that enhances the quality of life for our citizens, and we want to share that with the larger community."
Saturday, April 5 will be "Family Arts Day." The Woodstock Artists' Association and Museum (WAAM) will hold a Digital Show and a solo show by artist Cayetano Navarrete titled "Life in the City." The closing reception is scheduled for the next day, and WAAM can be reached at (845) 679-2940.
The VARGA Gallery will hold a reception for the opening of its show titled "La Leona Painters' Guild." The VARGA's number is (845) 679-4005. The art of John Ernst will be featured at the Fletcher Gallery, (845) 679-4411, and Leslie Bender's show, "Tongue 'N' Chic," will open at the James Cox Gallery, (845) 679-7608.
That evening, the Woodstock Fringe Festival will be performing The Great Nebula in Orion, a chamber musical by Lanford Wilson and Kenneth Fuchs, at the Kleinert/James Arts Center. The Great Nebula will also be performed on Sunday, April 6. WAC board member Ilene Marder said that Wilson saw the New York City production by this cast and was impressed. For more information, call the Kleinert/James at (845) 679-2079.
On April 6, there will also be a wine-tasting and artisanal bread-baking demonstration by chef Clem Hallquist at the James Cox Gallery (repeated on Wednesday, April 9 and Saturday, April 12). The Sol Sonata Ensemble will be playing at the Center for Photography, a Maverick Concerts presentation. The Center can be reached at (845) 679-9957. At the Woodstock School of Art (WSA), from 3 to 6 p.m., two models will pose in the north light studio while gourmet treats are served by chef Richard Erickson of Bistro-to-Go during breaks. The event is aptly titled "Bistro-to-Go Meets Go-Figure!" and is $20.08 a head. Reservations are being taken at (845) 679-2388. Other area restaurants offering symbolic entrees for the same price are the Bear, Gypsy Wolf Cantina, the Garden Café, Joshua's, the Landau Grill, the Little Bear, Oriole 9, Violette and the Wok 'n' Roll Café.
Orleans, with special guests Robbie Dupree and Joe Bouchard, will end the day with two benefit concerts for the Queens Galley Soup Kitchen in Kingston at the Bearsville Theater at 4 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $52.95, 42.95 and 32.95, and are available by calling (845) 679-4406, or at the door one hour before showtime.
Phillip Levine will host his usual Open Mic Poetry Night at the Colony Café on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m., featuring Brent Robison and Jo Salas reading their short stories. Admission is $3. Or, if you prefer, tango classes will be offered by Woodstock Tango at the Black Bear Restaurant for $100. Call (845) 246-1122 for details.
On Tuesday, the 8th, WSA sponsors a ping-pong slam from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the school (all work and no play, you know...). The official sport of WSA, ping-pong and Woodstock go way back: back to the days of the old Sea Horse tavern, according to Marder.
On April 10, Thursday, a behind-the-scenes tour of several art galleries in town preparing for shows will be offered. There'll also be a reception and wine-tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Arts Center, with music by musician Joan Roberts, director of the Woodstock Playhouse. If you sneak out early, you can catch a talk with WAMC's head honcho Alan Chartock at WAAM on "Commerce and Communication." This event is co-sponsored by WCOCOA and WAAM.
Tango classes at Mountain View Studios start at 7 p.m., again for $10; and again, call (845) 246-1122 for details. From 8 to 10 p.m., the Hudson Valley Film Commission will present a documentary filmed in the Woodstock region, National Geographic's The Human Footprint. The documentary concerns the effect of humankind and its wasteful ways on the planet. Smith noted that this premiere has been awaited excitedly by the Woodstock community. Tickets are $100, $50 and $10. A benefit for HVFC, the film will be shown at the Bearsville Theater. Call (845) 679-4265 for reservations.
G. K.'s 80th Birthday, a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater benefit for the Woodstock Arts Consortium, sponsored by Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre, will be offered on Friday, April 11 at New World Home Cooking on Route 212 in Saugerties, just outside of town. Dinner seating is at 6:30 and the play starts at 7 p.m. Marder said that the mission of WAC is to "advance and enhance the economic vitality of the non-profit arts community," as the mission statement says on its website, www.woodstockartsconsortium.org. Admission, which includes dinner and the show, is $50. Tickets are available by calling (845) 247-4007.
Saturday, April 12's schedule is a full one. A shadow puppet theatre performance will be given at WAAM at 1 p.m., and admission is just $5 per family. Gretchen Primack and Allen C. Fischer are the scheduled featured readers at the monthly meeting of the Woodstock Poetry Society, hosted by the busy Phillip Levine and held at Town Hall. The reading starts at 2 p.m., admission is free. An open mic will be included after the features get their turn. Also at 2 p.m. is a book-signing at the Center for Photography by author Daniel Radosh. He'll be signing copies of his latest, Rapture Ready.
From 5 to 7 p.m. the Center will hold a reception for two new shows opening there: "Doppelganger," photos by Cornelia Hediger, and "Photography Now 2008," a group show juried by Darren Ching, creative director of PDN and co-owner/co-director of KLOMPCHING Gallery. Hediger will talk about her work at 5:30 p.m.
From 4 to 6 p.m. that same Saturday, April 12 at WAAM, three art exhibits will be opening: "Poetic," "Call and Response: Ten Artists Respond to Ten Student Poets" and a solo show by Alex Kyeton. Lila and Norman Bacon will have their own shows at the Sweetheart Gallery on Tannery Brook Road. Her paintings and his local photographs will be featured, and the reception there is from 4 to 7 p.m. The Annual Members' Show will be opening the same day at the Kleinert/James Gallery, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. The renovation of the gallery will also be celebrated at that time. "On the Outskirts" is opening at the VARGA Gallery, and the reception there is from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Woodstock Taste of the Arts week culminates in a very special performance at the Bearsville Theater. Jefferson Starship featuring Cathy Richardson is a collaboration of musicians from both the original Jefferson Airplane and the first incarnation of Starship. The band draws from both bands both inspiration and music. Cathy Richardson portrayed Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway show Love, Janis, and fulfills the role of female vocalist in the band originated by Grace Slick. Tickets are $52.95, 42.95 and 32.95, and can be purchased by calling the Bearsville Theater box office.