Catskills Corner Jan 17-22

What’s going on in the mountains Jan 16-22.

Saturday is absolutely gallery day this weekend. Start out as early as 1:30pm with a visit to Kaaterskill Fine Arts at the Catskill Mountain Foundation building on Main Street in Hunter, where local painter Robert Selkowitz will be giving a talk. Selkowitz is a Shokan resident whose evocative oil and pastel paintings of the region are among the very best. (We own a copy of his book A Painter’s Path Through the Catskill Mountains: Landscapes in Pastel, in which Selkowitz kindly pinpoints the exact locations of his various landscapes.) More info here.

Robert Selkowitz’s A Painter’s Path Through the Catskill Mountains: Landscapes in Pastel comes highly recommended.

Stick about in Hunter for the 4pm opening of the same gallery’s Heat Wave! show, a purposefully named attempt to warm our souls in this coldest of months. According to the CMF’s web site, “the show explores each artist’s interpretation of warmth, whether it be the soft tropical breezes of a Caribbean beach or the more intimate feeling of the fire within.” Selkowitz will have work on display alongside Norma Zotos, Fawn Potash, and our own Mount Tremper neighbors, Rita Schwab and Salvatore Scalisi.More info here.

Then get ready to party. The third Saturday of each month sees a new show at Phoenicia’s Arts Upstairs gallery on Main Street, but the event is so much more than just another opening. With considerable contributions from local artists, especially the majority who are talented but either amateur or semi-pro, each show’s opening serves as a community celebration, a potluck dinner and BYOB party that typically brings out the very best in, and of, those of us who live around the Phoenicia area. This Saturday’s opening promises to be extra special for a couple of reasons. The theme, Revolution!, is presumably tied in to this Tuesday’s impending Inauguration, and will hopefully have inspired our local artists to new heights. And the show opening is being doubled up with that of a new Fine Art Gallery and Photographic Studio just a few doors down the road. Andrea Cabane opened up Cabane Studios at 38 Main Street next to Ruth Gale Realty towards the end of last year. Finally done with my book, I was able to stop in and chat with her last weekend as she was switching over shows. A life-long resident of various villages in our area, Cabane is a talented photographer who rightly sees her new Studio as complementing, rather than conflicting, with that of Arts Upstairs – for while the latter accepts all work, and leans towards paintings and sculpture, Cabane Studios is “juried” (i.e., work must be accepted) and will lean towards photography. Cabane’s Winter Show, the second at her Studio, is at the same time as that of the neighboring Arts Upstairs – from 6-9pm – and promises the usual wine and cheese, though I imagine Cabane will have a long way to go before her buffet table can match that of the feast further down the road. I look forward to Phoenicia Main Street’s equivalent of some Saturday night club-hopping between the two galleries and encourage all locals to stop in and see Cabane whenever they see the “open” flag hanging above the door. Hers is a welcome addition to a village that remains just one step short of thriving. More info on Arts Upstairs here; Cabane Studios here.

At the same time as these gallery openings in Phoenicia,
The Golden Notebook, Woodstock’s long-standing independent bookstore, is hosting a launch for the brand new book An Anthology of Hudson Valley Humor. Compiled by Danny Shanahan, cartoonist for The New Yorker, Some Delights of The Hudson Valley (to give its full, rather non-enticing name) features what the Golden Notebook calls an impressive cast of local “funny people,” with the book’s proceeds going to the Dutchess County Arts Council. Local contributors scheduled to appear at the event, which starts at 7pm, across the road from the Golden Notebook at the Kleinert/James Gallery, 34 Tinker Street, Woodstock, are Mikhail Horowitz, Laura Cunningham, and Jane Glucksman. More info here. Admission to all the above events is free.

The Golden Notebook hosts a launch party for Some Delights of The Hudson Valley: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Humor

After seeing absolutely fabulous presentations towards the end of last year of Bye Bye Birdie (starring students from the Onteora Middle and High Schools), and a debut presentation of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with additional, locally-composed music and starring a rambunctious teenage cast from various local schools, who clearly reveled in their gothic get-up (that one took place at BackStage Productions in Kingston; regrettably I did not have time to write about it in more detail), I’ve decided that theater is the new rock’n’roll. Actually, that’s what the Max’s Kansas City/Factory crowd decided in the late 60s/early 70s, when their Theater of the Ridiculous productions did indeed threaten to replace live music for a while. It’s certainly a comparable alternative. As such, I will try my best to get over to the NYCA Cabaret Theatre in Hurley for a presentation of Mel BrooksThe Producers either this weekend or next. Certainly beats going to see a local covers band. More information here.

Sunday and Monday bring celebrations for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And of course, Tuesday will see some of us having the biggest celebration since November 4. After that, we’re in for a continued cold recession, so make the most of what’s around you while you have it!

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