Press Releases

Intersection Austerlitz “Costume and Culture: Designs for Life”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2016

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
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Intersection Austerlitz “Costume and Culture: Designs for Life”

September 17 event sponsored by Spencertown Academy Arts Center, Austerlitz Historical Society, and Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center, in collaboration with the Austerlitz Historical Society and Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop, presents the second annual Intersection Austerlitz regional celebration of art, literature, and history on Saturday, September 17 from 9:00am to 4:30pm. This year’s program, titled “Costume and Culture: Designs for Life,” focuses on the innovation, practicality, and creativity found in fashion and fabrics. The three organizations, which are located within minutes of each other, will jointly host workshops, exhibits, and demonstrations.

Advance-purchase $35 Passports for the day include all activities, workshops, and presentations at all three venues, plus morning coffee and snack, gourmet boxed lunch (which must be pre-ordered), and afternoon reception. Children under 12 participate for free and have the option to pre-order a $6 boxed lunch. Advance registration and lunch orders close on Wednesday, September 14. Day-of $35 Passports will be available at each venue; they include access to everything except boxed lunches. In addition, the various exhibitions will be open to the public for free during the hours noted below. To purchase tickets, go to the websites of any of the organizations: spencertownacademy.org, oldausterlitz.com, millay.org

The day of activities begins at 9:00am with a welcome at the new Austerlitz Town Hall in Spencertown, across from the Village Green, then moves to the Spencertown Academy, followed by a visit to Old Austerlitz (where participants are invited to have lunch on the grounds). The afternoon concludes at the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop.

At 10:00am at the Spencertown Academy Arts Center (790 State Route 203 in Spencertown), milliner Victoria DiNardo will lead a hands-on workshop to create a headband/mini-fascinator. She will show participants how to make a rosette and leaf trim to attach to a covered headband and then work with materials to make their own headpiece. Materials supplied will be a covered headband, ribbon, feathers, fabric flowers and netting, needles, thread, and glue. Attendees are welcome to bring any ornament or materials they may want to use to create their custom piece.

The Spencertown Academy galleries will showcase a three-part exhibition titled “Hats, Hats, and More Hats!,” featuring milliner Victoria DiNardo, opera costume designer Sarah Conly, and feather entrepreneur Elizabeth Walters. The exhibit will be open to the public for free on Saturday from 12:00 to 4:00pm and on Sunday, September 18 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Victoria DiNardo, a millinery designer located in Chatham, NY, will display a collection of hat making materials, including hat blocks, blocking supplies, felt and straw bodies, and hat finishings and trimmings to show the step-by-step process of making a hat from raw materials to finished product. There will be a selection of vintage hats to try on (and take home souvenir photos), plus a variety of new hats for sale from Victoria DiNardo Millinery. A selection of books and illustrations on millinery styles and techniques and a collection of vintage hatboxes will be on display as well.

The “Tanglewood Toppers” exhibit by costume designer Sarah Conly, from New Lebanon and NYC, will display a retrospective collection of millinery representing 30 years worth of operas produced at the Tanglewood Festival. Accompanying the hat exhibit will be costume sketches, photos, and descriptive anecdotes. Conly will be on hand to answer questions and share her process for these designs.

In the “Vintage Feathers and Hat Trims” exhibit, Austerlitz resident Elizabeth Walters will display a selection of some of the thousands of vintage feathers and trims dating back to the 1900s that she sells on her website to designers and collectors. There will also be a bin of items for sale. She will share her unusual story of how she came to own this inventory and to be in this business. Walters has been selling these fabulous trims since 1996 to a diverse group of top-notch milliners, costumers, craftspeople, fly tiers, artisans, and designers including the costumer/milliner for the Metropolitan Opera; the costumer for the TV show “Boardwalk Empire”; the costumers for the movies “The Hunger Games,” “Crimson Peak,” and the new “Wonder Woman” movie coming out in 2017; and to the world renowned milliner Philip Treacy, and more recently, the fashion house of Maison Martin Margiela.

From 10:00am to 4:00pm at Old Austerlitz (11550 State Route 22 in Austerlitz), the Austerlitz Historical Society will present free demonstrations and exhibitions that are open to the public. Michelle Parrish will give ongoing demonstrations about the processing of flax, such as braking, scutching, and hetcheling. Antique tools and examples of flax fibers at different stages will be available for all to see. Parrish is a member of the New England Flax and Linen Study Group, and has been growing flax for over ten years. An educator, weaver, spinner, and plant-based dyer, she grows plants for fiber and dye, and documents her projects on her blog (localcolordyes.com). In addition, members of the Culley family and friends of the Society will be on-site throughout the day to demonstrate carding and spinning in wool, as well as how to use a drop-spindle.

On display in the Morey-Devereaux House will be exhibitions of wool and linen clothing, bedding, and artifacts from private area homes and from the collection of the Austerlitz Historical Society, along with an assortment of meticulously hand-sewn miniature dresses (approx. 18 inches tall), undergarments, and hats made of wool, linen, and other fabrics, including a replica of dresses worn by Angelica Van Buren and Abigail Adams. Visitors will be able to compare the finery donned by elite ladies of the 19th Century with the more humble wool and linen garments fashioned for the less-privileged women of the time. The latter items are on special loan from the Columbia County Historical Society – Patzwahl Collection.

At 1:00pm, the Austerlitz Historical Society will host a special one-hour presentation for Passport holders in the Morey-Devereaux Barn. Wearing period costume and speaking in the first person, Phyllis Chapman brings a distinguished American woman to life in her interactive presentation, “Lucy Larcom: A New England Mill Worker in the 19th Century.” Lucy Larcom, later to become a noted poet, abolitionist, and educator, began her working life in a New England textile factory in the 1830s. As a young mill worker, Lucy tells about the working and living conditions that many young farm girls experienced in the early days of America’s Industrial Revolution, as they hoped to make a better life for themselves. Using rear screen projection images, as well as props and hands-on activities for the audience, Chapman demonstrates the tasks involved in textile production, the development of mechanization, and the structure of a mill, which was perhaps the most significant “machine” invented by Americans. Chapman’s “Vintage Visitors” program introduces audiences to illustrious American women, through first-person narrative, stories, activities, costume and artifacts, to provide a richer understanding of our history and culture.

In addition, from 1:00 to 2:00pm, Jennifer Touchstone will lead a free “hands-on” wet-wool felting activity suitable for children, as well as interested adults. Using natural wool fiber, plus shaped river stones, participants will create colorful and non-scratch felted rock paperweights. Touchstone is a fiber artist and illustrator. She has most recently been focusing on needle-felted baby mobiles, which she sells through her online shop. She lives and works in Old Chatham.

Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop will present an exhibition titled “Around The World: The Honeymoon-1924” from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay married Eugen Jan Boissevain on July 23, 1923. Their subsequent eight-month honeymoon went from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands to Japan, China, Malaysia, Java, Burma, India, France, Holland, and finally back to New York. During this trip, they acquired an impressive collection of Asian artifacts. These treasures, along with original traveling documents and copies of her journal and correspondence to her family are on display in this exhibition. Also included is a recreation of their photo album documenting their travels and Millay’s gorgeous collection of Chinese silk kimonos.

At 2:30pm, Steepletop will welcome Sarah Parker, a Lecturer in English at Loughborough University in the UK. She will give a lecture to Passport holders about how Millay used fashion and photography to forge an iconic celebrity image. Edna St. Vincent Millay is sometimes called a “Rock Star” poet because she achieved celebrity status like no other poet of her time. Dr. Parker is the author of the article, “Publicity, Celebrity, Fashion: Photographing Edna St. Vincent Millay” (Women’s Studies, 45.4, 2016); she delivered a lecture on this topic at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Most of the items in Millay’s wardrobe still exist and a few of them will be showcased on the day of the talk. Following the lecture, refreshments will be served from 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

“Mysterious and Unexpected: the Merger of Art and Science” Exhibition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2016

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents “Mysterious and Unexpected: the Merger of Art and Science” Exhibition

Spencertown, New York—Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “Mysterious and Unexpected: the Merger of Art and Science” exhibition featuring artists Carrie Crane, Kay Hartung, Larry Kagan, Gwenn Mayers, Karen Schoolman, and Catherine Wilcox-Titus. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, July 23 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm and the show will remain on display through August 14. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

“Art and science have much in common from the spark or hypothesis that generates an idea; to the discipline of the process; the risk taking with tools of the trade and the surprise of the result,” says curator Barbara Lax Kranz. “This exhibit displays the work of six artists who incorporate science to create their art. The processes are unique and the results outstanding and unusual.”

Often inspired by current issues in science, Carrie Crane’s recent work uses the tools of Knowledge Visualization (graphs, maps, and diagrams) to address issues of ambiguity and subjectivity in visual communication. Her work (from sketches to paintings to constructions) suggests maps and diagrams that are un-tethered to any particular data set. This allows the work, she says, “to be a free agent upon which any number of meanings may be placed and thereby highlighting the human tendency to draw meaning in large part from personal beliefs and experience rather than from presented data.” Crane lives in Boylston, MA.

Larry Kagan is a sculptor who uses steel, light, and shadow as a creative medium. A longtime professor of art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he maintains studios in Troy and New York City. He is represented by the Hirschl & Adler art gallery in Manhattan. “We are more or less aware of the presence of shadows, since they tell us something about our environment, but we do not actually look at them—unless they call attention to themselves by some unfamiliar or unexpected behavior,” says Kagan. “My challenge was to induce viewers to actually look at the shadow rather than solely at the steel. I began shifting more of the narrative burden to shadow. The more content the eyes could detect in the shadow, the more time and attention they would expend on exploring its details.”

Kay Hartung’s current series of encaustic paintings is related to her fascination with the microscopic world. “I have been looking at electron microscope photographs and am inspired by the abstract organic shapes and intense color of this hidden world. I imagine the energy and interactions that go on in the body and the mind to produce action and thought,” says Hartung. “I am exploring the connections between science and art; conscious of the profound effects that these minute biological forms have on the universe.” She is represented by the Fountain Street Fine Art Gallery in Framingham, MA.

Over the past two years, Gwenn Mayers of East Chatham, NY, has used her iPhone camera to document a wide range of images, including food, nature, shadows, and medical experiences, such as her mother’s chemotherapy treatments. She prints the photos and then works with charcoal, graphite, pastels, watercolors, acrylic, and collage to intertwine themes, creating new associations, new experiences, and new contexts with the images. “I have no preconceived idea of results, but remain open to chance, experimentation, and subjective associations,” says Mayers. “Focusing on the interplay between object-image-memory and experience, I search out buried thoughts, transformations, and connections.”

Karen Schoolman of Carmel, NY, is an abstract painter, a student of botanical illustration, and a physician. A packet of 50-year-old x-rays of her mother’s leg inspired her current artwork. Over time, the surface of the x-ray plastic had buckled in places, forming raised and flowing organic lines. On a whim, Schoolman decided to photograph them. “What I saw in the viewfinder of my camera was totally unexpected. The bones in the x-ray seemed to be immersed in a spacious and organic matrix with a brilliant light emanating from within. I recognized in this moment the potential that existed for merging my artistic and scientific interests,” she says. “What if we could look at a bone, for instance, and not be influenced by associations of fear, vulnerability, and even disgust? What if we could see bones as objects to be appreciated in terms of line, shape, and form?”

Catherine Wilcox-Titus is an assistant professor of art history at Worcester State University. She reflects her interest in art and science through photography, a medium that combines both disciplines. “The common denominator of science and photography is that both make visible many worlds that are not ordinarily available to natural vision,” says Wilcox-Titus. “I don’t necessarily want to fully understand intellectually what is represented. I just want to stand in close proximity to the mysterious and marvelous. I accept that all things are not necessarily knowable.”

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, see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2016

Media Contact: Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

Highlights: Columbia County private gardens tour and cocktail party; Garden Market on The Green; Adam Wheeler lecture on deer-proof landscaping; “From the Garden: Still Life” art exhibition

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 12th annual Hidden Gardens Tour, an annual gateway to summer in Columbia County, is scheduled for Saturday, June 18. It includes an array of events designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts. The theme of this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour is “Artful Landscapes: Village and Country Gardens.” Broken Arrow Nursery’s Adam Wheeler will give a morning lecture about deer-proof landscaping. Shoppers can pick up items at the Garden Market on The Green and take a workshop about hummingbird-friendly planters. The “From the Garden: Still Life” art exhibition will be on display at the Academy and the Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party will take place at a bucolic private home. Spencertown Academy Board members Madaline Sparks and Vivian Wachsberger are co-chairs of Hidden Gardens; proceeds benefit the Academy.

The festivities kick off with the Academy’s annual Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party on Friday, June 17, 6:00pm to 9:00pm at “Falling Waters,” the historic home of John and Denise Dunne in Spencertown, New York. The property, with its stacked stonewalls slicing through rolling green meadows, punctuated by grazing sheep, is reminiscent of a charming farmstead in the Irish countryside. Derek Grout of Harvest Spirits will concoct a signature cocktail for the event called “Twilight Splash” that will incorporate the Valatie distillery’s farm fresh, small batch spirits. It will be served along with sparkling wines and a light buffet supper. Party tickets are $80 in advance, $90 at the door. Directions will be sent once tickets are purchased.

The centerpiece of the Hidden Gardens weekend is the self-guided tour celebrating the art of the garden on Saturday, June 18 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Included on the tour are in four gardens in Spencertown, two in Kinderhook, and one in Austerlitz—the restored grounds and gardens of 20th century American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay at Steepletop. In Kinderhook, tour-goers will enjoy sweeping views of the Catskills and Berkshires from Galloway Hill and Windy Hill Farm. In Spencertown, visitors will have access to several village properties hidden behind houses and privacy fences, designed and cared for with great enthusiasm by their owners.

The tour will take place rain or shine. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 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 at the Academy at 8:30am and at the Market on The Green beginning at 9:00am.

The Garden Market on The Green will take place on Saturday, June 18 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Spencertown Village Green across the street from the Academy. This year’s market will showcase more than 20 vendors, including both new dealers and popular returnees from last season. Shoppers will find herbs, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees from multiple local nurseries and farms, as well as hand-crafted garden trellises, garden-related vintage treasures, handmade pillows and cushions for outdoor furniture, birdhouses, tableware, note cards, and soap. All proceeds from a “white elephant” sale of garden paraphernalia and new and used garden books benefit the Academy.

Garden designer Heather Grimes of Pondside Nursery will offer a free demonstration on planting and caring for a potted succulent garden at the market in the afternoon. At 2:00pm, Zema’s Nursery will lead a workshop on how to make your own hummingbird-friendly planter. Advance registration for participation in the workshop is required, as space is limited; tuition is $65 (including all materials). Pre-made Zema’s hummingbird planters will also be for sale.

On Saturday, June 18 at 9:00am, Adam Wheeler, propagation and plant development manager of Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, will give an illustrated talk about a diverse assortment of plants that show strong resistance to deer browse. These varieties include native plants, as well as some exotics. Wheeler has worked at Broken Arrow since 2004 and holds a BS degree in Urban Forestry and Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont. He serves as an adjunct lecturer at Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Berkshire Botanical Garden. He is a recent recipient of the Young Nursery Professional Award from the New England Nursery Association. Lecture tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of and include a light continental breakfast, featuring homemade goodies. Doors open at 8:30am. This event is sponsored by Ward’s Nursery and Garden Center in Great Barrington, MA.

“From the Garden: Still Life” art exhibition, in which eight regional artists masterfully focus on the art of the still life in pastel, watercolor and oil, inspired by botanical subjects, will be on display in the Spencertown Academy Arts Center Gallery on Saturday, June 18 from 9:00am to 4:00pm and on Sunday, June 19 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The artists include Susan Crofut, Ann Getsinger, Patricia Munson Gravett, Katarina Holbrook, Karen A. Hummel, Nina Lipkowitz, Alain J. Picard, and Peter Seltzer. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

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 about Hidden Gardens events, see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents Paul Green and Klezmer East

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2016

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents Paul Green and Klezmer East Saturday May 7

Paul Green and Klezmer East Poster
Download the Poster

Spencertown, New York— Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents Paul Green and Klezmer East on Saturday, May 7 at 8:00pm. The concert will spotlight traditional and contemporary klezmer favorites, including Freilachs, Horas, and hits from the Yiddish Theater. Directed by clarinetist Green, Klezmer East features Pete Sweeney (drums), Bruce Krasin (saxophone), and Alan Gold (piano/keyboards). General admission tickets ($20/$10 for students) may be purchased in advance via www.spencertownacademy.org and will be available at the door.

“Klezmer music pulsates with an irrepressible energy that makes for a delightful way to celebrate spring,” said Spencertown Academy volunteer Craig Bender. The music inspires audiences to sing (and sometimes even dance) along. For those unfamiliar with the genre, Green and his band members offer informal, but enlightening details about the forms, rhythms, and origins of the tunes they play. They also share humorous stories about the music and the old klezmer players—anecdotes that have been passed down through the ages.

Clarinetist Paul Green’s career spans jazz, classical music, and klezmer. In addition to his work with Klezmer East, Green co-directs A Summer Celebration of Jewish Music, which presents a wide variety of Jewish music throughout the Berkshires and he is first clarinetist of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra in South Florida. He performs jazz widely throughout the Berkshires and South Florida, appearing at Barrington Stage, Colonial Theatre, Gateways Inn, Red Lion Inn, Florida International University, and Lynn University, among other venues. He is an active teacher as well, having taught courses at Williams College and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He is a member of the faculties of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and the Berkshire Music School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Pete Sweeney is a drummer, author, and educator who performs in every genre of music. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many outstanding artists, such as Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford, Frank Gambale, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, “Dangerous” Dan Toler, Ed Mann (Frank Zappa), Andy Summers (The Police), Mick Goodrick, Malcolm Cecil, Laurel Masse, Steve Bailey, John Abercrombie, Jay and the Americans, Larry Coryell, Murali Coryell, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Lorne Lofsky, and Ray Vega. He is also a member of the Latin group Sensemaya. In addition to his performing, Sweeney has written 18 drum instructional books for the Alfred publishing company, as well as produced three DVDs. He has numerous instructional lessons online with Workshoplive. He is also a faculty member of the Berkshire Music School and Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

Saxophonist Bruce Krasin has performed extensively throughout the world as a soloist, orchestral and jazz musician. Educated at the University of Massachusetts and the Berklee School of Music, Krasin has toured New England with Tony Bennett, toured Belgium with “The Young at Heart Chorus,” and toured Russia with the Jeff Holmes Big Band. He has appeared on the NBC “Today Show” with Katie Couric, and has performed with a wide variety of ensembles, including the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, the Keene State College Jazz Orchestra, Phil Wilson’s Thursday Night Band, the Roy Pomeroy Studio Orchestra, and the Commonwealth Opera Orchestra, among others. He is currently a faculty member of Smith College and Greenfield Community College.

Alan Gold is one of the most prominent klezmer musicians in the Berkshires. He has played piano/keyboards for numerous musical endeavors, playing with various klezmer ensembles (Berkshire Klezmer Society, Two Cents Plain, The Knaydels), professional and amateur/community theater companies (Berkshire Public Theater, The Theatre Barn, Town Players of Pittsfield, Romance, Soul and Rock and Roll), and has accompanied numerous vocal ensembles and solo artists. Gold is currently the music director at Temple Anshe Amunim and the organist/pianist at the First Baptist Church in Pittsfield. He is also a member of Kesher Shir (Boston Cohort), a group of singers/ songwriters collaborating on writing new Jewish music.

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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Intentional Jazz Concert at Spencertown Academy Arts Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2016

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents Jazz Concert Saturday, February 13

Spencertown, New York— Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents the Intentional Jazz ensemble on Saturday, February 13 at 7:30pm. This talented sextet brings a fresh return to the rich tradition of jazz from the Blue Note era exemplified by the likes of Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, and many others. Led by Rob Fisch, Intentional Jazz brings together some of the finest jazz musicians from northeastern New York, western Massachusetts, and southern Vermont, including Rob Fisch (trumpet), Aaron Dean, (sax), Dave Pickard (trombone), David Bartley (piano), Dave Christopolis (bass), and Steve Collins (drums). General admission tickets ($20/$10 for students) may be purchased in advance via www.spencertownacademy.org and will be available at the door.

The concert is the first of a series of four concerts that will be produced this year by Spencertown Academy volunteers. Longtime Columbia County residents Rob Fisch and Craig Bender are spearheading the effort. “For the first program, we’re pulling out all the stops to help everybody shake off cabin fever and warm up this winter,” said Fisch. “Intentional Jazz is a strong six-piece jazz group known for its rich sound and synchronized harmonies from a formidable three-part horn section and a stellar rhythm section of piano, bass, and drums.”

This ensemble of veteran musicians excels with selections such as “All Blues,” “Nardis,” and “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis, “My Favorite Things” by Richard Rogers but brought into the jazz idiom by John Coltrane, “Doxy” by Sonny Rollins, and “Sister Sadie” by Horace Silver.

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 Handmade Holiday Shop 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2015

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Handmade Holiday Pop-up Shop 
Opens November 27

Spencertown, New York— Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s Handmade Holiday Pop-up Shop will run Friday through Sunday, November 27, 28, and 29 and Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6, from 10:00am to 4:00pm each day. Holiday gift shoppers and art lovers “go local” at this curated sale that features cards, ceramics, jewelry, quilts, cutting boards, knitwear, felted puppets, fired glass, baskets, paper crafts, and edible delicacies made by dozens of Columbia, Ulster, and Berkshire area residents. Admission is free.

“After a two-year hiatus, we are excited to bring the Handmade Holiday tradition back to the Academy,” said Vivian Wachsberger, chair of the Handmade Holiday Committee. “We heard from many community members who missed the event. Shoppers will once again find hundreds of unique and gorgeous gift items at the market, with prices to suit every budget.”

This year’s Handmade Holiday participants include Amanda Bagnato, Beth’s Farm Kitchen, Michael Boyer, Gretchen Brown, Terry Buck, Kay Castelle, Pamela Dalton, Mary Ann Davis, Bina Evans, Joyce Flower, Ulrike Grannis, Liz Hamann, Nikki Hayes, Ali Herrmann, Betsy Howard, Sharon Koomler, Josette Lee, Jan Moseman, Melody Lea Lamb, Doris Nieves, Clarke Olsen, Melissa Pollack, Gunnel Reznikoff, Pat Rotondo, Gloria Scannell, Prudence Theriault, Sally Veillette, Vivian Wachsberger, and Susannah White, along with others to be announced.

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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“Fin. Fur. Feathers.” Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2015

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents 

“Fur. Fin. Feathers.” Juried Regional Art Exhibition

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents its 2nd annual juried regional art exhibition titled “Fur. Fin. Feathers.” Carrie Haddad of Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson served as judge, selecting 56 oil paintings, watercolors, engravings, monoprints, mixed media assemblages, and photographs created by 27 local artists. On Saturday, October 31, there will be a festive opening reception from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the artists and the show will remain on display through November 22. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale, with prices ranging from $50 to $2,500.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Barbara Willner and the Spencertown Academy for asking me to jury this group exhibit. I don’t think I have ever seen a collection of artwork so filled with a love of nature,” said Haddad. “With subjects from the comical to the divine, and artists ranging from amateur to expert, this multimedia assortment of artwork was a delight to view.”

“I don’t envy the difficult job Carrie had in winnowing down the finalists,” said Barbara Willner, co-chair of the Academy Gallery Committee. “Over 250 works by 87 regional artists were submitted for consideration to be included this show. As the size of Academy galleries limits the number of works that can be exhibited, her job was very difficult with such a large offering of fine works. Our region is truly rich with artistic talent!”

The artists to be featured in “Fur. Fin. Feathers.” include Scott Balfe (Earlton, NY), Marty Bannan (Albany, NY), Stephanie Blumenthal (Sheffield, MA), Jim Brearton (Troy, NY), Jennifer Clark (Great Barrington, MA), Phyllis Considine (Hollowville, NY), Margot Curran (Valatie, NY), Thomas Curran (Chatham, NY), Page Curry Ginns (Valatie, NY), B. Docktor (Ancram, NY), Jerry Freedner (Valatie, NY), Michelle Gillett (Stockbridge, MA), Denise Hackert-Stoner (Albany, NY), Tina Johnston (Altamont, NY), Cat Jones (Albany, NY), Ellen Lynch (Stuyvesant, NY), Claudia McNulty (Climax, NY), Jane McWhorter (Great Barrington, MA), Dez Ryan Odegaard (Southfield, MA), Rick Patterson (Old Chatham, NY), Elaine Radiss (Great Barrington, MA), Valerie Richmond (Hillsdale, NY), Susan Sabino (Richmond, MA), Sarah Sterling (Hudson, NY), Scott Stoner (Albany, NY), Rose Tannenbaum (Great Barrington, MA), and Steve Wildermuth (Ghent, NY).

In keeping with the exhibition’s animal theme, the Academy will donate 10% of its 35% commission received from any art sales to Out of the Pits, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that focuses on the plight of the American pit bull terrier. Raffle tickets will also be for sale for a chance to win an original photograph by legendary rock and roller, Lou Reed, of his beloved dog, Lolabelle. He donated the print to Out of the Pits prior to his death in 2013. Reed and his wife, Laurie Anderson, shared a great love for dogs—especially rescue dogs. As a special treat at the “Fur. Fin. Feathers.” opening reception, Out of the Pits will present a housebroken, affectionate, and very well mannered registered therapy dog named Aurora, who is available for adoption.

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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“Spaces and Moments” Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2015

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Presents “Spaces and Moments: Images by Marcia Powdermaker and B. Docktor” Regional Art Show Winners Photography Exhibition

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents 
“Spaces and Moments: Images by Marcia Powdermaker and B. Docktor,” a photography exhibition by the winners of last year’s Spencertown Academy juried regional art exhibition, which was judged by Peter Jung of Hudson’s Peter Jung Fine Arts Gallery and Bill Thompson and Marie-Claude Giroux of Chatham’s Thompson Giroux Gallery. On Saturday, September 26, there will be a festive opening reception from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the show will remain on display through October 18. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, or by appointment. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

“B. Docktor has a great eye for capturing the classic and unusual visual moments in nature. She has a special affinity with the animals she conveys with her camera. Her work is dynamic and beautiful,” says Leslie Gabosh, co-chair of the Academy’s gallery programming. “Marcia Powdermaker’s photographs capture the tranquility and peace in natural settings. Quiet, contemplative, her images have a poetic stillness.”

Marcia Powdermaker lives in Tyringham, MA.  Her work has been exhibited at Spencertown Academy and at Lenox’s Sohn Gallery. “I like to capture the solitude and peacefulness of nature with my camera, then spend time working with it digitally before printing it,” says Powdermaker. “It is all intuitive—no planning, no agenda, no social comment. In this exhibition, I am showing quiet images that focus on nature, minimalism, horizons, and abstracts.”

B. Docktor lives in Ancram, NY. She began her photography career by helping her father, illustrator/artist Irv Docktor, develop film when she was about five years old. “Photography has always been a part of my life. I loved Life Magazine and always cared about making pictures that were not only beautiful, but mattered in some way,” says Docktor. “I’ve long been fascinated with the connection between my photographs and what we end up remembering. I try to capture the kernel of magnificence of whatever I’m photographing, hoping that the final image will make the viewer say: ‘WOW, I feel like I was there.’”

Carrie Haddad of Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson will judge the Academy’s 2015 fall regional art show, titled “Fur. Fin. Feathers.” Animal-themed submissions will be accepted from residents of Columbia County, NY and the following surrounding counties: Rensselaer, Albany, Ulster, Dutchess and Greene in NY, Litchfield in CT, and Berkshire in MA. First and Second Place winners will be awarded one-person shows in 2016 in the Academy’s large and small galleries, respectively. The deadline to submit work for consideration is September 12, 2015. Guidelines for submission are on the website.

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 about the “Spaces and Moments” exhibition and about submitting work for the fall show, please see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Announces Teens’ Short Story Contest Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2015

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Announces Teens’ Short Story Contest Winners

Spencertown, New York—Spencertown Academy Arts Center is pleased to announce the winners of its first-ever Teens’ Short Story Contest, selected by judge Lauren Oliver, a New York Times bestselling young adult novelist. The contest was open to Berkshire and Columbia County teenaged writers in grades 9 through 12. The top three winners received cash prizes ($100, $75, and $50 respectively) and were invited to read their stories at the 10th annual Festival of Books over Labor Day weekend.

Carrie Babigian of Sheffield, MA, won first place for “Day One.” She is a senior at Berkshire School. Oliver said the piece was “a perfect example of how a ‘small’ specific story can feel rich with detail and specific character observations.”

Ruby Lamond of Philmont, NY, won second place for “Solitude and Solace.” She is a sophomore at Berkshire Waldorf School. Oliver noted, “The pain of this story felt so real. I loved the very specific details peppered in throughout the whole piece.”

Samantha Reagan of Medway, MA, won third place for “Peter Pans Are Rare.” She is a senior at Berkshire School. Oliver said, “The author did a wonderful job building tension throughout the story. [The character] Mark totally creeped me out!”

Honorable mentions went to Pearl Elsbach of Sheffield, MA, for “Short Story”; Lauren Stone of East Nassau, NY, for “And She Was Loved”; and Rebecca van der Meulen of New Lebanon, NY, for “Unknown Care.”

“We were absolutely delighted by the great variety and high quality of the story submissions,” said Jill Kalotay, co-chair of the Festival of Books. “The contest added another dimension to the Festival and to the Academy’s mission of supporting the arts. It’s so satisfying to be able to encourage and reward young creative writers this way.”

All of the winning stories are posted in full on the Academy’s website at https://spencertownacademy.org/events/teen-writing-contest.

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Hidden Gardens Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2015

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
413-464-2851,
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

Highlights: Columbia County private gardens tour and cocktail party; Garden Market on The Green with new Black Forest Flammkuchen Food Truck; Ellen Ecker Ogden lecture on edible gardens; “Concrete & Clay: Works Inspired by the Garden” art exhibition

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 11th annual Hidden Gardens Tour, an annual gateway to summer in Columbia County, is scheduled for Saturday, June 20. It includes an array of events designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts. The theme of this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour is “Artful Landscapes: Ornamental and Edible Gardens.” Author Ellen Ecker Ogden will give a morning lecture about edible gardens. Shoppers can pick up items at the Garden Market on The Green and snack on food provided by the Black Forest Flammkuchen Food Truck. The “Concrete & Clay: Works Inspired by the Garden” art exhibition will be on display at the Academy and the Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party will take place at an historic private home. Vivian Wachsberger and Academy Board member Madaline Sparks are co-chairs of Hidden Gardens; proceeds benefit the Academy and its arts-in-education programs in local schools.

The festivities kick off with the Academy’s annual Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party on Friday, June 19 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in Chatham, New York, at the home of Drs. Maureen Killackey and Bruce Pinkernell. Their house was designed in 1912 by noted architect Wilson Eyre, an innovator in Shingle Style. Originally called “Oak Hearth,” there are nine fireplaces located in the arts and crafts interior. Eyre was a founder and editor of House and Garden Magazine and wrote extensively about the interaction between the interior and the outdoors, hence many French doors and windows abound. Views of the Catskills are a notable feature of the landscape. A special cocktail “Solstice Spritzer” concocted by mixologist Jeremy Kenny of Rouge Restaurant in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, will be served along with sparkling wines and a light buffet supper. Party tickets are $80. Advance reservations are required, and directions sent once tickets are purchased.

The Garden Market on The Green will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Spencertown Village Green across the street from the Academy. This year’s market will showcase more than 20 vendors, including both new dealers and popular returnees from last season. Shoppers will find herbs, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees from four nurseries and farms, as well as hand-crafted garden trellises, garden-related vintage treasures, handmade pillows and cushions for outdoor furniture, birdhouses, tableware, note cards, soap, and a “white elephant” sale of garden paraphernalia and new and used garden books. Master gardeners from Cornell University Cooperative Extension will be on hand to offer advice on tough garden issues. Admission is free.

For the first time, food will be available for sale at the market by Black Forest Flammkuchen Co. Food Truck, a mobile restaurant with a wood­fired brick oven, offering a fresh and international interpretation of the traditional Alsatian and Black Forest regional flat-bread snack, flammkuchen.

On Saturday, June 20 at 8:30am, Vermont-based food and garden writer and landscape designer Ellen Ecker Ogden will give an illustrated talk about the art of growing food. Blending classic design with artful touches, the kitchen gardens Ogden has designed for clients, communities, and businesses are both practical and beautiful. Her books include The Complete Kitchen Garden, From the Cook’s Garden, and The Vermont Cheese Book. Her newest book, The Vermont Country Store Cookbook, is due out this September and features recipes, Vermont stories, and anecdotes about Vermont food. In addition, her designs and writing have appeared in a wide range of food, garden and general interest publications, from Martha Stewart Living to The New York Times. Lecture tickets are $20 and include a light continental breakfast. Copies of The Complete Kitchen Garden will be for sale and there will be a book signing session after the talk.

“Concrete & Clay: Works Inspired by the Garden,” a group exhibition featuring seven regional ceramicists and one concrete fabricator, will be on display in the Spencertown Academy Arts Center Gallery on Saturday, June 20 from 8:30am to 4:00pm and on Sunday, June 21 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The artists include Corinne Alexander, Sue Browdy, Kay Castelle, Mary Anne Davis, Marybeth Ketz, Justin Madsen, Lauren Mundy, and Jacqueline Wilder. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

The centerpiece of the Hidden Gardens weekend is the self-guided tour celebrating the art of the garden. It will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Included are the grounds of five private residences located in Chatham Center and Kinderhook Village. Gardens range from intimate to ambitious. They include a romantic country garden anchored by a fenced potager covered in roses, a minimalist deer-resistant landscape with views of the Catskills, and a museum curator’s cozy English Style garden. Also on the tour, Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, a NOFA-certified organic farm and home to the non-profit organization Sylvia Center, whose mission is to inspire children to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm.

The tour will take place rain or shine and optional lunches will be available by advance purchase. Lunch from the food truck can be enjoyed at tables under the trees on The Green while shopping at the Garden Market or at Flammerie farm-to-table bistro in Kinderhook Village for a break while visiting the gardens on the tour. Tickets are $30; 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 at the Academy and at the Market on The Green beginning at 9:00am on June 20.

There will also be a Hidden Gardens Raffle ($5 per ticket or five for $20, available online or at the Academy on the day of the tour). Donated prizes range from a truckload of organic mulch (delivered) and a pair of elegant steel wire tower trellises to gift certificates to local nurseries, collections of premium garden tools, and more.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 about Hidden Gardens events, see www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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