Phoenicia: A Real Arts Community

I got the hard drive back. And I got offers of about eight different Mac loaners from local friends in the Phoenicia area: who knew so many people had old but fully functional laptops sitting around? Phoenicia is a wonderful community, and one of the many things that makes it so special is the Arts Upstairs gallery in the middle of Main Street, with its monthly openings that double up as pot-luck parties. The current show is called Five Years, presumably celebrating the existence of the Gallery itself, and at the opening two weekends ago, I was truly taken aback by not just the quality of the work, but how many of the actual artists I’ve come to know since moving up here. If you’re out and about in the area – for example, if you’re taking your kids trick-or-treating through Phoenicia for Halloween – try and stop in and see the show. All art is reasonably priced, and the vast majority of it is by truly local artists. We are blessed by their talents.

img_9583.jpgDakota Lane is an author, journalist and raconteur as well as a great artist

img_9588.jpgLora Shelley lives in Catskill. She has the solo show this month, in the side room. I am constantly amazed at her output, quality and quantity alike. The detail in her paintings is truly astounding.

img_9599.jpgRob O’Connor, Shelley’s partner, spends most of his time writing List Blogs for Yahoo that have a readership the rest of us should be jealous of. (Though I should spare Rob my feeling about endless lists.) Anyway, Rob also finds time to paint. God knows how.

img_9583.jpgThis painting of Gram Parsons is by his former bassist, Ian Dunlop, a Brit who lives in Cornwall but has a couple of brothers in the Catskills. I met him at the opening, a very nice chap. He is performing in a Gram Parsons Tribute show this weekend in Gainesville, FLorida.

img_9593.jpgFinally, you have to love this piece of multi-media by Zuikon. The five credit cards are entitled Can Someone Please Bail Me Out and the asking price, $39,323.85, we can presume is his current credit card debt. Bill Drummond would love it.

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4 Comment(s)

  1. Geo

    31 October, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Not only a wonderful but a relatively prosperous community, if there are so many old but fully functional laptops sitting around unused…

  2. 1 November, 2008 at 9:57 am


    You raise a good point. The friends who offered are all professionals in similar lines of work to myself and very dependent on computers. What I see happening is that people who rely on them feel compelled to buy a new computer every 2-3 years the way people once used to trade in their cars. Difference from the car analogy is that resale values on the computers is so low that these people (up here) are more inclined to hang on to the computers for emergencies and, I’ve noted, for kids. Two of the offers I had were “it’s the old laptop, our kid uses it, you can have it for time being.”

    I believe that if the resale value was better, people would not have old computers lying around. As for an obvious question of whether we could not just get by with old computers, we recently bought some software for our desktop. Turns out it only worked on Macs with the new iTel chips. Our desktop computer was brand new when we bought it 3 years ago. Can you imagine, for example, buying a CD that required less-than-a-3 year old CD player? The computer/software manufacturers have us by the short and curlies.



  3. Geo

    1 November, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Yes, it’s the same down here really — the G3 still labours away in the kid’s bedroom. We upgraded from that a while back, because of internet speed — it’s amazing that it’s still going. Gear in general — whether professional ( here for music/business) or ‘leisure'(everything else) seems to constitute an endless black hole into which I pour money…

  4. tadpoles

    2 November, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for being a vital part of the community Tony. The community is only as good as its individual parts coming together to create something larger.

    The Gallery too is only as good as the support it gets from the greater community.
    We’ll plan a Rock Dockers room for an upcoming show.


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