Every month, the small hamlet in the cradle of surrounding mountains hosts a communal evening of art openings and potluck fun, with its streets open late for all the folks who come out to enjoy each other’s company, and the reasons that they all have come to – and stay in – this troubled-but-beautiful corner of Ulster County and the Catskills. This Saturday, September 17, the Arts Upstairs opens “Almost Heaven” – a redolent theme if ever there was one – alongside solo shows of underwater paintings by Gary Ampel, as well as similar solo shows by Peter Wallack and Gary Neal.
“We hope you have recovered from Irene,” ran the e-blast on the show, to all the arts crowd in and around Phoenicia that have made the Arts Upstairs’ openings the region’s best in recent years. “Phoenicia was not destroyed. Muddy, yes. Getting cleaned up. And life goes on.” Notes were added as to local artists wrecked by Irene and still working with materials, from water to pebbles, culled from “the sometimes-mighty Miss Esopus.” You have to hand it to such spirit.
The Arts Upstairs opening runs this Saturday, September 17 from 6 to 9 p.m., and probably later, at 60 Main Street in Phoenicia. Go for the entire evening or day and help clean things up, share a dinner in one of the community’s reopened restaurants and buy art! For further information call (845) 688-2142 or visit www.artsupstairs.com.