I know a place where you can play mini golf and checkers below a ceiling of floating glass. Where it’s always evening under a Parisian skylight. Where otters share their hookah with sloths and princesses reign over dragonflies from high up in a bough. Where even the daily grind is made peaceful by musical surroundings and champagne bubbles fizz and sparkle eternally.
The ArtFull Living designer show house in Cold Spring is a study in fusion: work and play, life and leisure, interior design and fine art. The 12 rooms that make up this imaginative world of reverie has been schemed and composed by more than 35 artists and seven interior designers who represent the Hudson Valley.
ArtFull Living’s founder and director, Barbara Galazzo, approached developer Wilder Palter for permission to use his show model as display space. Palter generously moved out all of the furniture and left the model in Galazzo’s hands. The show house is set up in an active, over-55 luxury condominium. “I liked it because it’s a super energy-smart complex,” Galazzo says.
Designers have paid homage to their favorite celebrities and personalities by creating rooms that represent well-known names. As Bill Miller was styling his two Lady Gaga-centric rooms, the singer started the Born This Way Foundation to promote empowerment and anti-bullying. The $10 suggested donation for the show house will partially benefit the foundation.
Darron Andress’s room is in dedication to Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who took his own life after being bullied. Clementi’s parents talked to Andress about their son’s character, hobbies, style, and interests to help him conceive a musically focused space.
Interior designer Charles Burleigh fashioned a master bedroom where Kyra Sedgwick can catch up on her beauty sleep. Pee-Wee Herman’s clownish spirit lives in Maryann Syrek’s play loft for grownups. Nicole Ashey’s whimsical quarters are a nod to Elle Fanning’s character in Phoebe in Wonderland. Cold Spring resident and Broadway composer Rupert Holmes attended the opening and hosted the room that Phyllis Harbinger invented for him.
“The idea was that I wanted to show art in a personal setting that people could relate to, as opposed to the stark, white walls of a gallery,” Galazzo says. To pull that off, interior designers were needed. As the designers toured the artists’ studio to get a feel for their work, the process came together even better than Galazzo anticipated. The designers visualized motifs that the artists hadn’t thought of yet and collaboration pieces were specially made.
Artists and interior designers represent Beacon, Cold Spring, Cornwall, Cortland, Garrison, New Paltz, Newburgh, Peekskill, Poughkeepsie, Saugerties, and Wappingers Falls. Many artists are involved in Art Along the Hudson as well. “I wanted the public to see all the great art that exists in this area,” Galazzo says.
Luncheon lectures with ArtFull Living’s interior designers will be held every Tuesday from July 10 through August 28 at 12:30pm. Tickets for the designer talk, lunch, and show house tour are $50. Book a series of four for $170. Artists will talk about their mediums and work every Sunday from July 15 through September 2 at 1:30pm. Tickets for the artist talk and show house tour are $20. Reservations are required.
All artwork is for sale and profits support the Born This Way Foundation. Open through September 9, Friday to Tuesday from noon to 4pm. Twice each month, ArtFull Living will be open on Friday evenings. Children under 10 are not permitted. Sponsored by the Garrison Art Center. Glassbury Court, 3370 Albany Post Road/Route 9, #2 Yesterday Drive, Cold Spring. (845) 265-3618; Coldspringarts.com