Press Releases

“Curator as Artist II” Exhibit Presented by Spencertown Academy Arts Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2019
Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
*protected email*

Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents “Curator as Artist II” Exhibit

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “The Curator as Artist II” exhibit featuring mixed media collages, paintings, ceramics, and photographs by Academy gallery curators Norma Cohen, Leslie Gabosh, Barbara Lax Kranz, Moira E. O’Grady, and Lynn Rothenberg. On Saturday, July 20, there will be an opening reception from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. and the show will remain on display through August 11. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Academy.

“To reward our diligent and dedicated volunteer Gallery Committee, every two years we host a show of their work. All of our curators are accomplished artists in their own right and not eligible to participate in the shows they curate,” says Madaline Sparks, vice president of the Academy Board. “This is our way of thanking them for the hard work of mounting multiple shows each year as well as a chance for the community to get to know them through their individual artistic endeavors.”

Norma Cohen has an unabashed love of color. “I tend to depict subjects in an environment that encapsulates, creating an intricate puzzle of shape, pattern, color, and texture,” she says. She often works with mixed media, incorporating watercolor, wax crayons, oil pastel, pencil, and unique collage material. Her themes include botanical still-lifes, famous and everyday people of Paris in the early 20th century, the early European immigrant experience in America, and antique Christian art. She has an M.A. in Art History and Criticism and has exhibited her work in solo and group shows in the United States and France.

Leslie Gabosh has been a working artist for over 50 years, painting as well as designing and fabricating silver and gold jewelry. As a painter, her inspiration has been 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, 18th century Spanish paintings, and 19th century American paintings. “My subjects are the incidentals of daily life. Although these are unremarkable objects, they create a pathway to thoughts and memories, as well as a window into the world of artists who inspire me. It is my wish to create a quiet meditative place for the viewer to find a calm refuge and a smile.”

Barbara Lax Kranz is an abstract painter. “My formal arts training was in dance, much of which was improvisational. This has had a significant influence on my painting,” she says. “Inspired by visual memories or visceral emotions from a place or time, my work is all about how the colors interact with each other and how one line or shape influences that which is adjacent or beneath. Colors are layered and massaged, one on top of the other, allowing shadows of the original markings to bleed through.” Her works are in many private collections internationally.

Moira E. O’Grady began her life with clay in 2004 with tiles, which she viewed as small three-dimensional canvases, where sculptural, woodcutting, and painterly techniques could be combined on a single surface. “Using leaf forms that fascinated me as tile motifs, my work evolved to hand-built bowls that incorporated extremely high-relief carved or sprigged forms on the interior surfaces,” she says. “New subjects I’m exploring now include undersea motifs and cloud formations.” O’Grady earned a BA in Fine Arts (painting) and English Literature at Manhattanville College and she did graduate studies in filmmaking at Montclair State University.

Lynn Rothenberg studied commercial photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and worked as a production assistant at an advertising agency. After moving to the Capital District from California, she owned and operated a photography portrait studio for ten years and exhibited fine art portraits locally as well as in juried shows. “During a portrait session, I take my time, develop rapport with my subject and strive to capture mood and personality with an honest, straightforward approach,” she says.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital Region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please visit our website at www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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14th Annual Festival of Books August 30 through September 2 at Spencertown Academy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2019
Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
*protected email*

Spencertown Academy Arts Center 14th Annual Festival of Books August 30 through September 2

Distinguished authors, children’s programming, and giant book sale

Spencertown, New York—Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 14th annual Festival of Books takes place over Labor Day weekend, August 30 through September 2. The Festival features a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by esteemed authors, and a children’s program. Featured authors include Ruth Reichl, Boris Fishman, Jenna Blum, Daphne Kalotay, David Yaffe, Steve Katz, Grace Taluson, and Crystal Hana Kim. Admission is free to all of the events, save for the Members Preview early book-buying opportunity detailed below.

Authors’ books will be available for purchase (at special event prices) and signing. Healthy, delicious snacks and beverages will also be for sale throughout the weekend, including the Academy’s signature “To-Die-For, No-Alarm Vegetarian Chili.”

The Festival, which began in 2006 as a book sale to raise funds for the Academy’s community arts programs, has grown into one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year. Academy Board members David Highfill and Jill Kalotay co-chair the Festival. “We are so excited about this year’s line-up of superb authors. Their literary styles and themes will appeal to variety of readers’ tastes. We have books about music, war, food, immigration, families, and more,” says Kalotay.

“The Academy is an all-volunteer organization and none of this would be possible without the generosity of our individual underwriters, book donors, and the nearly one hundred people who volunteer their time and talents to help make the Festival of Books a success,” adds Highfill, vice president and executive editor at William Morrow & Co., an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. “We are so grateful for their support.” Proceeds from the Festival book sale help support the Academy’s programs and preservation and maintenance of its historic building.

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE: Saturday, August 31

The Festival kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with “Remembering Woodstock,” a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the seminal music festival moderated by music industry veteran Gerald Seligman. Authors David Yaffe (Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, Sarah Crichton Books, 2017) and Steve Katz (Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ‘n Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star?, Lyons Press, 2015) will read from their books and discuss the influence of the festival musicians through the years, during and beyond the Woodstock summer. Yaffe’s other books include Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown (Yale University Press, 2011) and Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing (Princeton University Press, 2005). Katz was a founding member of The Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears. He became a record producer, working with rock renegade Lou Reed, among others.

At 1:30 p.m., author Grace Talusan, in conversation with playwright Liz Diggs, will explore the art and craft of memoir writing. She will discuss her debut book, The Body Papers (Restless Books, 2019), winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. Talusan’s unflinching memoir is about her life as an immigrant from the Philippines, racism, and childhood sexual abuse, as well as how she grappled with her family’s history of hereditary cancer. She gives voice to unspeakable experiences, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

At 3:00 p.m., author Boris Fishman will talk about food and family. His memoir with recipes, Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (Harper, 2019) tells the story of his childhood immigration from the Soviet Union, exploring the meaning of food after generations of scarcity and how a dinner table in Brooklyn lured him back to his culture in the United States. His previous two novels, Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo (Harper, 2016) and A Replacement Life (Harper, 2014), were both New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Elaine Khosrova, author of Butter: A Rich History (Algonquin Books, 2016), will join him in conversation.

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE: Sunday, September 1

At 12:00 p.m., best-selling novelists Jenna Blum and Daphne Kalotay will discuss the legacy of war. Both authors’ recent books take place against the background of war and its long-term consequences. Blum’s The Lost Family (Harper, 2018) follows a family facing truth in the shadow of WWII. Kalotay’s Blues Hours (Triquarterly, 2019) is part love story, part adventure, illustrating the consequences of America’s interference in Afghanistan.

At 1:30 p.m., debut novelist Crystal Hana Kim will discuss her book, If You Leave Me (William Morrow, 2018), a tale of war, family, and forbidden love—the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they’re forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today. Jessica Williams, executive editor at William Morrow/HarperCollins, will join Kim in conversation.

Sunday’s final program at 2:30 p.m. will feature trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl in conversation with Dinitia Smith, former culture reporter for the New York Times. Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet in Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir (Random House, 2019).

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM

The Festival of Books children’s program on Saturday, August 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. will feature “Froggy,” the lovable and enduringly popular character in a children’s book series by Jonathan London. The costumed character will be on hand to greet children and pose for photos with them. Children will hear funny stories about the silly amphibian, create a related craft, and browse in the Children’s Book Room, which will be open throughout the Festival.

GIANT USED BOOK SALE

At the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale, one of the biggest in the region, featuring more than 10,000 gently used books, including fiction and non-fiction, hard and soft covers—all offered at very affordable prices. There’s a special Kids’ Corner for young readers and a media section full of DVDs, CDs, audio books, and vinyl LPs. A first-floor gallery features a handpicked selection of specialty books, limited editions, out-of-print books, and new books donated by leading national publishers.

Friends of the Academy donate books and a dedicated band of volunteers, led by Allan Davidson and Wayne Greene, spend countless hours throughout the summer carefully sorting and organizing the books in preparation for the sale.

The book sale is open to the public on Saturday, August 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, September 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00pm, and on Monday, September 2 (bargain day) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Admission is free. Teachers with ID receive a 20% discount on their purchases (except in Special Books Room).

In addition, Spencertown Academy members will have first crack at the books during the Member’s Preview on Friday, August 30 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Free for members, $10 for member’s guests, and memberships will be available at the door. Refreshments will be served during the evening hours.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Folk-Pop Duo The Chapin Sisters Presented by Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Concerts Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2019
Media Contact:Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
*protected email*

Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Concerts Series Presents Folk-Pop Duo The Chapin Sisters

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Concerts Series presents folk-pop duo The Chapin Sisters on Saturday, May 4 at 8:00pm. General admission tickets ($20 public, $15 Academy members, $10 students) may be purchased in advance via www.spencertownacademy.org and will be available at the door.

“I bought my first record (45 rpm from a Woolworth store) at the age of nine. It was ‘Bye Bye Love’ by The Everly Brothers and it hooked me on music for life. When I heard The Chapin Sisters CD ‘A Date With The Everly Brothers,’ I immediately became a fan. The attraction of The Everly Brothers was two-part harmony and the same is true for these sisters,” says Mike Zdeb, member of the Academy’s Music Committee. “Their original songs are great, too. Given the wonderful acoustics of the Academy, two-part harmony accompanied by two guitars presenting original songs and some Everly Brothers covers should make for a fine evening.”

Since 2005, The Chapin Sisters have garnered critical acclaim with their alluring vocals and distinctive blend of folk music roots and modernist sensibilities. Siblings Abigail and Lily carry on a proud family musical legacy: father Tom Chapin is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, legendary late uncle Harry Chapin was a musical artist and activist best known for his 1974 #1 hit “Cat’s in the Cradle,” and grandfather Jim Chapin was an esteemed jazz drummer. The duo have been singing and harmonizing from their youth in, first, Brooklyn, NY and later the Hudson River Valley. They have recorded seven albums, the latest of which, Ferry Boat, will be issued by Loantaka Records on April 30.

Spencertown Academy Roots & Shoots Concerts Series features artists who reach back to earlier traditions in music (Americana, jazz, blues, rock, and world music) for inspiration, while incorporating more recent trends, forms, and influences. Other upcoming concerts in the series include rockabilly swing band The Lustre Kings on Saturday, April 13 at 8:00pm and Americana roots-oriented duo Kieran Kane and Rayna Gellert on Saturday, June 29 at 8:00pm.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2019

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
moc.l1566775824iamg@1566775824smayh1566775824anig1566775824

Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Hidden Gardens is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, with a kick-off garden party the night before. This beloved Columbia County gateway to summer event is designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts.

The theme of this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour is “Artful Landscapes” and shoppers will, once again, find treasures at the Garden Market on the Green. Flower farmer Jenny Elliott will give the annual Hidden Gardens Breakfast Lecture and the “Gardens of Delight” art exhibition will be on display at the Academy. Spencertown Academy Board Members Madaline Sparks and Vivian Wachsberger are co-chairs of Hidden Gardens; proceeds benefit the Academy.

The festivities begin with the Academy’s traditional Twilight in the Garden Party on Friday, June 14 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Meg and Bill Stratton’s elegant and gracious 1845 Greek Revival home in Spencertown, NY. The house, pool, and newly constructed rustic party barn are surrounded by shade trees and grassy meadows that give way to wooded areas beyond. New friends meet and old ones greet at this festive start to the summer season. Cocktails, sparkling beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and a scrumptious light supper are served. Andres Sarmiento, bar manager of John Andrews Restaurant in South Egremont, MA, will concoct a special signature cocktail for the occasion. A silent auction will feature multiple items ranging from a pair of Wave Hill chairs to a delivered truckload of organic garden mulch. Directions will be sent once tickets are purchased. Tickets are $90 in advance, $110 at the door.

Jenny Elliot, owner and lead grower at Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake, NY, will give a talk titled “Growing Cut Flowers for Your Garden and Home” on Saturday, June 15 at 9:00am (doors open at 8:30am) in the Spencertown Academy Auditorium. Audience members will enjoy home-baked goodies while learning what they can do now to incorporate cut flowers into all sizes and styles of gardens, including soil needs, plant types, and variety choices. Elliot will go into what to look for in cutting plants (grown and foraged), planting, and maintenance, as well as how to get the most out of plants to bring beautiful cut flowers into one’s home all season long. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

The centerpiece of the Hidden Gardens weekend is the self-guided tour celebrating the art of the garden on Saturday, June 15 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The tour showcases six private gardens in the hamlets of Spencertown and Old Chatham, NY. A variety of garden styles will be on display on the tour: the perennial, herb, and pool gardens of a 1770s center hall colonial home ornamented with rustic fencing, pergolas, and arbors; a recently installed meadow with 1000 native plants; a cloistered rose garden and formal courtyard parterre; a productive kitchen and cutting garden; a charming retreat featuring an award-winning design; a two hundred-acre former horse farm with an English courtyard garden, multiple ponds, sweeping views, and massive islands of perennials, specimen trees, shrubs, and more.  

The tour will take place rain or shine. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of; various package rates involving multiple events are also available. To purchase tickets for Hidden Garden events, go to www.spencertownacademy.org. Day-of garden tour tickets and maps will be available from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the Academy and at the Garden Market on the Green.

The Garden Market on The Green will take place on Saturday, June 15 from 9:00am to 2:30pm at the Spencertown Village Green across the street from the Academy. The market will showcase more than 20 vendors offering plants, home and garden furnishings, birdhouses, antiques, garden books, and expert garden advice, plus shoppers will find bargains on choice garden items and accessories at the Academy’s White Elephant Booth. A percentage of all sales benefit the Academy. Pro Sharp Mobile Service will be at the market to hone pruners and shears to perfection. Drop them off with Bob Sheets in the morning, tour the gardens, and pick up tools by 2:30pm. Food trucks will be on hand offering breakfast and lunch, including Arturo’s Restaurant at Micosta and Larry’s Food, as well as an ice cream sundae booth staffed by Academy members. Admission is free.

The “Gardens of Delight” art exhibit featuring works by Stephanie Anderson, Amy Bergeron, Marilyn Orner, Mary Ellen Riell, Laura Shore, Pamela Stoddart, and Marianne Van Lent will be on display in the Spencertown Academy Arts Center Gallery on Saturday, June 15 from 9:00am to 4:00pm and on Sunday, June 16 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Using an array of materials and techniques, the artists explore the theme of magnificent gardens and the flowers, foliage, and insects that populate them. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital Region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.


Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents Juried Photography Show

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2019

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-629-3175
moc.l1566775824iamg@1566775824smayh1566775824anig1566775824

Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents Juried Photography Show

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents its Third Annual Juried Photography Show. On Saturday, June 22, there will be an opening reception from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the exhibit will remain on display through July 14. Gallery hours will be Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free and the artworks will be for sale with a portion of sales benefiting the Academy.

Juror for the show, Bonnie Yochelson, is an independent curator and art historian specializing in the history of photography. She is former Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York and teaches in the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts.

“Digital imaging provides new opportunities and new challenges for photographers and curators alike. The convenience of digital submissions to the competition is undeniable, but images on a screen provide only a preview of the works. I am therefore especially looking forward to June 22, when I can experience the actual, rather than the virtual, show,” says Yochelson.. “It will be a pleasure to see print surfaces and experience the works at human scale in the gallery.”

Yochelson will bestow first and second place plus three honorable mentions. Photographers included in the show are: Lee Backer (New York, NY), William Bullard (Ghent, NY), Paul Barton (Durham, NY), Daniel Bauman (New York, NY), Mary Jo Downey (Alplaus, NY), Alan Finger (Chatham, NY), Larry Frankel (Great Barrington, NY), Gail Giles (Chatham, NY), Judith Grunberg (Valatie, NY), Jamie Hankin (Kinderhook, NY), Linda Horn (Spencertown, NY), Paul Miller (Chatham, NY), Arthur Nager (Fairfield, CT), Liz Sample (Hillsdale, NY), Georgia Sandman (East Chatham, NY), Jody Schoenfeld (Valatie, NY), Gerald Seligman (Ghent, NY), Leland Sharp (Canaan, NY), Caroline Siemers (Valatie, NY), Diane Smook (Kinderhook, NY), Edward Walk (Great Barrington, MA),  Steve Wildermuth (Ghent, NY), and Mike Zdeb (Chatham, NY).

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital Region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please visit www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.


Spencertown Academy “Gardens of Delight” Exhibition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2019

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
*protected email*

Spencertown Academy “Gardens of Delight” Exhibition

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center kicks off its 15th annual Hidden Gardens program with “Gardens of Delight.” This exhibit features artists Stephanie Anderson, Amy Bergeron, Marilyn Orner, Mary Ellen Riell, Laura Shore, Pamela Stoddart, and Marianne Van Lent. Spencertown Academy Gallery Committee member Norma Cohen curated the show and Moira O’Grady, also a member of the committee, assisted.

The opening reception is Saturday, May 18 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, and art will remain on display through Sunday, June 16. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Admission is free and all art is for sale with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Academy. Please note that Saturday, June 15, the gallery will be open from 8:30am to 4:00pm for the Hidden Gardens Tour.

“‘Gardens of Delight’is a stunning and diverse exhibit. Spencertown Academy’s successful garden tour served as the inspiration,” says Cohen.“Visitors to the gallery will feel surrounded by magnificent gardens, yet still enjoy the uniqueness of each delicate painting of a flower or flying insect.”

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Stephanie Anderson (Great Barrington, MA) is an award-winning children’s book illustrator. Her series of black-and-white graphite drawings was inspired by the strange magic of Dutch master Otto Marseus Van Schrieck’s paintings of the forest floor. Her drawings depict detailed, natural worlds in which real and unreal elements merge and disparate pieces of life combine in deliberately composed tableaux.

Oil painter Amy Bergeron (Scotia New York) says she is fascinated by light and form. Her style is a dance between impressionistic brushwork and realism. A graduate of Skidmore College, she is a member of the Schenectady Art Society and Albany Center Gallery.

Marilyn Orner Cromwell (South Egremont, MA) loves color, light, and transparency. She works mainly in oils and occasionally watercolors and pastels. She has a BFA in Painting from California College of the Arts, and an MEd. in Creative Arts in Teaching from Lesley University. She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists and is represented by 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, NY.

Mary Ellen Riell (Schenectady, NY) is always looking for new ways to represent gardens, the sea, landscapes, and the human figure. She studied at the Art Students League in New York City, Fashion Institute of Technology, Brooklyn College, and the College of Saint Rose. She is a current member and former co-director of the Oakroom Artists. Her award-winning pastel landscapes, watercolors, and prints are in private and corporate collections.

Laura Shore (Altamont, NY) founded Farm Share Studio where she creates oil paintings that celebrate local food and upstate New York farmers. She has recently been inspired by the dramatic shapes and colors of tropical plants in the New York Botanical Garden. She especially loves the way the lush foliage surrounds flowers and creates a secret world of peace and contemplation.

Pamela Stoddart (Ridgefield, CT) is an abstract artist whose background in math and science inspires her work. She sees things analytically and portrays them creatively. Stoddart studied at Silvermine Arts Center and Ridgefield Guild of Artists, as well as Parsons School of Design and Laguna Beach College of Art. Working on both canvas and paper with bold colors and simple shapes, she finds flowers especially intriguing.

Marianne Van Lent (Athens, NY) creates dreamy, impressionistic paintings. She says that her work filters through memory and examines the mysterious forces of the physical world and investigates humankind’s fragile position in the universe. She constructs places, worlds, and cosmologies that are represented in the outer world of nature and the inner world of the psyche. She has degrees from the Tyler School of Art and Cornell University.

The theme for Hidden Gardens 2019 is “Artful Landscapes.” The Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party marks the start of the summer season on Friday, June 14 at a private home in Spencertown. On Saturday, June 15, the Academy will present an array of events designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts, including a lecture by Jenny Elliot of Tiny Hearts Farm (“Bringing Cut Flowers into your Garden and Home”), Garden Market on the Green, and Hidden Gardens Tour, which offers garden lovers a peek into some of the region’s most spectacular properties.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital Region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please visit our website at www.spencertownacademy.orgor call 518-392-3693.

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Teresa Broadwell Sextet Celebrates the Music of Nat King Cole

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2017

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Teresa Broadwell Sextet Celebrates the Music of Nat King Cole

Spencertown, New York— Teresa Broadwell, jazz vocalist, violinist, bandleader, and arranger, brings her jazz sextet to the Spencertown Academy Arts Center for an evening devoted to the music of Nat King Cole on Saturday, June 10 at 7:00pm. General admission tickets ($20 general public/$15 Academy member/$10 students) may be purchased in advance via www.spencertownacademy.org and will be available at the door.

Nat King Cole’s repertoire included many of the most popular standards of his day, such as “Unforgettable,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “Mona Lisa.” In addition to his well known interpretations of the gems of his era, Broadwell and her group will perform some of his rarely heard songs. The band features Mike Novakowski on guitar, bassist Pete Toigo, sax man Leo Russo, Michael Lamkin on piano, and drummer Cliff Brucker.

“You haven’t heard ‘Swing’ until you’ve heard Teresa. She has spent a lifetime honing her skills as a musician and entertainer,” said Rob Fisch, chair of the Academy’s music programming committee. “Her bandmates are superb, all performing in the Capital District for dozens of years. They are all masters of their trade.”

Teresa Broadwell is formally trained, holding a BM from the Crane School of Music and an MA in Jazz Studies from the College of St. Rose. Her vocal influences include: Lambert, Hendricks and Ross; Eddie Jefferson; King Pleasure; Sarah Vaughan; Betty Carter; Ella Fitzgerald; and Anita O’Day. On fiddle, she draws from Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, and Stephan Grappelli. She has two recordings: “Sunny Side of the Street,” with the New Moon Swing Band (a group that performed on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”) and her latest, “Everything’s Jake,” featuring her swing band Thrivin’ on A Riff. Broadwell moved to the Capital Region in the early 80s, where she formed her own groups, performing at concerts, festivals, radio and television shows, and jazz clubs in the greater Northeast. Her groups have performed with and/or opened concerts for musical luminaries such as Stan Getz, Jon Hendricks, Marc O’Connor, Asleep at the Wheel; Leon Redbone, and baritone sax great Nick Brignola.

Guitarist Mike Novakowski plays in the post-bebop jazz style made popular by Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, and Jim Hall. He provides tasteful support for the groups’ improvisations and adds his own warm and swinging solos to the powerful front line. He performs regularly in the Capital Region with many groups, including Cliff Brucker’s Full Circle, the Wee Be3 organ trio, and the Jon Leroy Trio, and he holds the guitar chair in the Empire Jazz Orchestra, a professional big band in residence at Schenectady County Community College.

Jazz saxophone master Leo Russo has been a mainstay of, and an inspiration to, the Capital District jazz scene for many decades. With his buttery tone and formidable improvisational virtuosity, he captivates listeners and makes each song a unique treasure. In his long career, he has performed with Paul Whiteman, Major Bows, Woody Herman, Bobby Sherwood, and many other top names too numerous to mention. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music and, in addition to his performing, has taught instrumental music in public schools and at the college level.

Pete Toigo, a versatile and masterful bassist, propels Broadwell’s group with a relentlessly swinging energy. His bass lines are the rhythmic and harmonic foundation for the ensembles and his bowed (arco) solos delight audiences wherever he performs. He has played and/or toured with NRBQ, The Lustre Kings, Jay Unger, and Molly Mason, and contributed his tasteful bass lines to many artist’s recordings.

Jazz pianist and organist Michael Lamkin is from the Boston area via Miami, where he attended Miami Dade College and studied with the late pianist Wally Cirillo of Red Norvo and Joe Diorio fame. He also led a number of trios and quintets. In Miami, he performed with multi-horn man Ira Sullivan and altoist Jay Corre of the Buddy Rich band. He relocated to Los Angeles for various studio sessions before returning to the Northeast. Lamkin has performed extensively throughout the region with groups that include his jazz organ trio Wee B3, the Latin jazz group Caribe Mambo, Groove Nouveau, One Eyed Cat, saxophonist Charles Neville, and the swing band Nitro Jive.

Drummer Cliff Brucker is a versatile musician who, in addition to being a world-class percussionist, is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, producer, arranger, and educator. He has performed as a professional musician for over 40 years and has worked with some of the finest talent in the Capital District, including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Capital Region Wind Ensemble, and the Empire Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with a variety of internationally known jazz and pop artists, including Aretha Franklin, Buddy Greco, Rex Richardson, Bob Mintzer, and Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents “Art from Farm to Table” Exhibit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2017

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents
“Art from Farm to Table” Exhibit

Spencertown, New York — Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “Art from Farm to Table,” an invitational multimedia exhibit featuring works by 15 accomplished regional artists. The show includes depictions and interpretations of landscapes, buildings, farm life, flowers, vegetables, insects, and animals: everything found in an agricultural environment, which might (or might not!) end up on a table. On Saturday, May 20, there will be an opening reception from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. and the show will remain on display through June 18. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Academy.

Norma Cohen curated this exhibition, assisted by Barbara Lax; Leslie Gabosh and Lynn Rothenberg are also members of the Academy Gallery Committee. “Our spring exhibit takes note of the reemergence of nature’s stunning colors, its flora and fauna, its bounties, and new life that returns every year,” said Cohen. “The art ranges from finely crafted classical depictions to funky ‘outsider’ type art. Although living on a farm can be glorious and exciting, it is also challenging on many levels. Still, the artwork maintains a celebratory demeanor, a peacefulness, and a sturdy sense of importance.”

The artists featured in “Art from Farm to Table” include April Aldighieri (Simsbury, CT), Deborah Bayley (Poestenkill, NY), Arlene Boehm (Hudson, NY), Jim Brearton (Troy, NY), Jerry Freedner (Valatie, NY), Carl Hetherington (Canaan, NY), Linda Horn (Spencertown, NY), Caroline Kaars Sypesteyn (Great Barrington, MA), Maj Kalfus (Hillsdale, NY), Marybeth Ketz (Hillsdale, NY), Maria Kolodziej- Zincio (Hudson, NY), Joan Palmer (Salisbury, CT), Georgia Ranney (Valatie, NY), Marlene Wiedenbaum (High Falls, NY), and Jacqueline Wilder (Ancram, NY).

“Art from Farm to Table” is the kick-off event for the Academy’s 13th annual Hidden Gardens fundraiser, which includes the Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party on Friday, June 16, and an array of events designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts on Saturday, June 17, including the Garden Market on the Green, Hidden Gardens Tour with the theme “Artful Landscapes,” and a presentation by horticultural consultant, writer and lecturer Ron Kujawski entitled “Vegetable Gardening: It’s Never Too Late to Start.”

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents a Jazz Concert by The Quartet Saturday, October 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17 2016

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents a Jazz Concert by The Quartet
Saturday, October 1

Spencertown, New York— Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents a jazz concert by The Quartet on Saturday, October 1 at 8:00pm. The group features Stuart Quimby (flute), Tony Kieraldo (piano), Terence Murren (base), and Peter O’Brien (drums). General admission tickets ($20/$10 for students) may be purchased in advance via www.spencertownacademy.org and will be available at the door.

“Separately, The Quartet’s master players have all pursued careers as sidemen—playing in diverse styles and backing a roster of amazing musicians. They bring decades of musical experience to the stage, but now they’re playing for each other,” said Spencertown Academy volunteer Rob Fisch. “Their combined history yields an enormous collective repertoire, allowing them to select compositions that span several decades of jazz history.”

Stuart Quimby has at any one time been a classical and jazz composer, and a professional musician (flute, vocals, most of the baroque wind instruments, the Balinese gamelan instruments, the blues harp and chromatic harmonica, the trumpet, various keyboards (esp. early synths), and several experimental instruments of his own design). An abbreviated list of his credits include stints with Luther Allison and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and performances with Paquito D’Rivera, Ben Sidran, Vassar Clements, Jimmy Schwall, Gordon Lightfoot, the Brüggen Quartet, several chamber groups and classical ensembles, as well as the jazz quartet M.2.Q, which he co-founded.

Tony Kieraldo is a freelance pianist, pen and ink artist, teacher, accompanist, composer and musical-director who lives in Hudson, NY. He has shared the stage and worked with Jacques d’Amboise, Bill Irwin, Tommy Stinson, Lil’ Buck, Bobby Previte, Meshell Ndegeocello, Marco Benevento, and Sarah Jessica Parker (to name a few).

Terence Murren is a string bassist, electric bassist, and guitarist. He studied classical string bass and composition at Vassar College and jazz bass with Tim Ferguson, Steve Neil, and Drew Gress; as well as doing course work with Mike Richmond at NYU’s Graduate program in Jazz Performance. Along with leading his own group, the Eternal Now, Murren is an active member of the cajun alt. country group, the Doc Marshalls, and Matt Bauders’ Doo Wop group, The White Blue Yellow and Clouds. He has performed with Tom Abbs, Daniel Carter, Butch Morris, Assif Tsahar, Lawrence Clark, Tomas Fujiwara, Steve Blanco, Le Gitan Trio, and the Schul band among many others.

Peter O’Brien was born in Flushing, Queens, New York. The son of drummer Bill O’Brien, he began playing the drums as soon as he could sit up at the set, playing along with recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and all the greats of jazz. His extensive professional career includes being a member of the bands Orleans, Eric Person and Meta-Four, John Esposito Trio, and Peggy Stern’s Estrella Trio, as well as freelance tours with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rory Block, and Tracy Nelson. In addition to his busy performance schedule, O’Brien teaches at home and at Bard College, and he freelances as a studio session player.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Spencertown Academy Presents Exhibitions by Scott Thomas Balfe and Jane McWhorter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Spencertown Academy Presents Exhibitions by Scott Thomas Balfe and Jane McWhorter September 24 – October 9

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents exhibitions by painter Scott Thomas Balfe and photographer Jane McWhorter, who were the winners of last year’s Spencertown Academy juried regional art exhibition. Carrie Haddad, of Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY, judged the show, awarding first prize to Balfe and second prize to McWhorter. On Saturday, September 24, there will be an opening reception from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the exhibitions will remain on display through October 9. Gallery hours after the opening are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

Scott Thomas Balfe’s exhibit is titled “Translations in Oil.” Based in Earlton, NY, he is a classic landscape painter in the tradition of the Hudson River School. His paintings capture the atmospheric condition created by humidity and diffused light, which helps to cause a softening of the spatial plane, giving the romantic feeling that the Early American painters so masterfully executed. Over the past 30 years, he has exhibited his work nationally, including a one-man show at the prestigious Union League Club of NYC and auctions by Sotheby’s NYC and Guernsey’s London. He is a current member of the Salmagundi Club of New York and his art is represented by Gallery at Four India Street in Nantucket, MA, The Hearle Gallery in Chatham, MA, and Silverwood Gallery in Saratoga, NY.

“What I would say about painting for me, is that when I paint in the field, I try to create something that is partly what I see and partly what I would like to see, or where I would like to be,” says Balfe. “And in doing this, I am creating my own handwriting in oil paint.”

Fine art photographer Jane McWhorter’s exhibition is titled “WhatAmILookingAt?” It will feature her vivid new work, which is mysterious and powerful. Most of the large images are of inorganic subjects, concentrating on the interaction of color, form, and texture. The result is a series of strong, compelling, and beautiful photographs. McWhorter, a resident of the Berkshires, grew up in a family of artists and photographers in Brooklyn. Since 1974, she has exhibited her work in various galleries in Massachusetts, New York, and Santa Fe, and her limited edition prints are widely collected. She also works as a professional graphic designer and has taught photography and graphic design at schools and colleges for over 40 years.

“My artwork moves in stages. I work in a particular form or style, which then, after several years, morphs into something else,” says McWhorter. “Now, in this digital world, I use the power and potential of the computer as a tool to take my photography into a more ‘painterly’ realm. The actual ‘shooting’ of the image is just a starting point. My intention is not to take a photograph but instead, to make a photograph.”

Housed in a restored 1840s Greek Revival schoolhouse, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Photo Captions:
“Summer in the Catskills” by Scott Thomas Balfe
“Chrome Twist” by Jane McWhorter

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