Hudson Valley Art Scene

Arts & Culture

Arts and culture are what define the Hudson Valley.
The communities along the river are cultural wellsprings, with an abundance of performances, like music and dance, and creative communities for artists and writers. The region also boasts world-class theaters and museums, like Dia:Beacon, Bard’s Fisher Center, and the Bardavon. The region’s vibrant culture can only be matched by the Hudson Valley’s history, still evident in the form of its historic buildings, streets, and landmarks.

 

Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre Company Celebrates 25 Years of the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival

“William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)” Premieres at Woodstock’s Comeau Property on August 7
For its 25th anniversary, the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival received the gift of good fortune. While most theater companies have had to shutter their indoor performance spaces during the coronavirus pandemic, the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival has always been lucky to call the bucolic, wide-open acres of the Comeau Property in Woodstock its home. “I’m truly grateful for it to be outdoors this year,” says Elli Michaels, who founded the festival along with its parent organization, Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre Company, with her husband, David Aston-Reese. The couple, who both come from acting backgrounds, met in a 13th Street production of “The Taming of the Shrew” almost 40 years ago. “He was Petruchio and I was Kate, and he’s been trying to tame me ever since,” says Michaels. After performing in the premiere of Christopher Martin’s medieval rock opera, “Quasimodo,” at the Byrdcliffe Barn in 1987, Michaels and Aston-Reese quickly set down roots in the area and founded Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre Company in 1990. The bard-loving duo have been bringing Shakespeare’s work to the Comeau Property in Woodstock since 1996. Shakespeare in the Time of Coronavirus For much of the festival’s 25 years, the couple have relished the setting that the long, idle days of summer bring to Shakespeare’s rousing comedies like “Much Ado About Nothing” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” But with such expansive casts, Aston-Reese and Michaels knew it wasn’t feasible to stage Shakespeare’s larger comedies with proper social distancing guidelines in place, even in the open air of the Comeau Property. They turned instead to an old favorite, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, whose name is a reference to both the brevity of their adaptations and their intimate three-person cast. Bird-on-a-Cliff performed the company’s good-natured, slapstick rendition of the bard’s catalog, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” in 2017. (Hallmark moments of the play include “Titus Andronicus” as a cooking show and “Hamlet” told through a sock-puppet performance.) The Long Lost First Play (Abridged) This season, Bird-on-a-Cliff is premiering the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s newest production, “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged).” In it, the three-person cast—Bird-on-a-Cliff regulars Lawrence Beeck and Bill Solley as well as Jared Reinmuth, who is joining the company for the first time—take the audience on a whirlwind tour of a 17-year-old Shakespeare’s purported first play. “If you love Shakespeare, you’ll love this play. And if you don’t love Shakespeare, you’ll love it even more,” says Aston-Reese. The long lost manuscript, discovered in an unassuming Leicester, England, parking lot, turns out to be the proving ground for Shakespeare’s most famous plot devices and characters, including Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Richard III, Puck, Juliet, and more. In just over 90 minutes, the three Converse-clad actors manage to briskly weave together 39 plays’ worth of material. “There’s a danger of trying to do a concept with Shakespeare, and you have to be careful because if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t work,” says Aston-Reese. “The brilliance of the Reduced Shakespeare Company is that they really know how to play with it.” Setting the Stage The free performances will be held at the Comeau Property’s outdoor stage, which Bird-on-a-Cliff built specifically for the festival with permission from the town. “There’s a natural hill with a little rise for the audience where the sun as it sets will shine on the stage,” says Aston-Reese. The scene is refreshingly rustic with just an expanse of lawn stretching out from the stage for audience members to set up camp with blankets, chairs, and even their own picnics to enjoy during the show. Bird-on-a-Cliff also plans to have signs posted with policies that continue to encourage safe social distancing practices throughout each performance. “I’m looking forward to finally having an audience seeing and enjoying the show,” says Aston-Reese. “When you get that perfect day with the perfect weather, it’s just so Shakespeare.” Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre Company presents “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)” from August 7 through September 6, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, at 5:30pm. Located at the outdoor stage on the Comeau Property, 45 Comeau Drive, Woodstock. Blankets, chairs, and picnics are welcome. Admission is free with a $10 donation suggested. For more info visit Birdonacliff.org. ...

Tags: Theater

On the Cover: Portrait of Milton Glaser by Franco Vogt | August 2020

The life and work of famed graphic artist Milton Glaser (1929-2020).

Tags: Visual Art

Reservoir Year: A Walker’s Book of Days

The following is an excerpt from Reservoir Year: A Walker’s Book of Days by Nina Shengold, which is being published this month by Syracuse University Press.

Tags: Books & Authors

Album Review: David Greenberger and Prime Lens | Good Perspective

Album review of Good Perspective by David Greenberger and Prime Lens.

Tags: Music

Album Review: Rambutan | Inverted Summer and Spiral Wave Nomads | Spiral Wave Nomads

Album review of Inverted Summer by Rambutan and Spiral Wave Nomads by Spiral Wave Nomads.

Tags: Music

Album Review: Baby Sage | Glorious

Album review of Glorious by Baby Sage.

Tags: Music

Album Review: Wolfgang Muthspiel/Scott Colley/Brian Blade | Angular Blues

Album review of Angular Blues by Wolfgang Muthspiel/Scott Colley/Brian Blade.

Tags: Music

Six Books for Your August Reading List

Jane Kinney Denning reviews Eliza Starts a Rumor, a timely and often humorous story of complex relationships in a novel by Jane L. Rosen, plus five short book reviews.

Tags: Books & Authors

Beware of Falling Pianos: The Hudson Eye Festival Returns 8/28

A look at the upcoming The Hudson Eye Festival beginning August 28 and running through September 7.

Tags: Visual Art

Wild Youth: The Bobby Lees

A Livestream Record Release Concert at Bearsville Theater 8/7
The Bobby Lees will perform a live-stream record release concert from the Bearsville Theater.

Tags: Music

6 Live Music Shows To Check Out in August

The Hudson Valley has entered Phase 4 of New York State’s reopening plan, and live music is returning to some regional venues.

Tags: Music

Arias al Fresco: Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice Debuts A Drive-In Opera

Catch Puccini's "Tosca" at Tech City 8/29
The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice is set to begin August 29th with a drive-in opera at Tech City in Kingston.

Tags: Festivals

6 Must See Art Exhibits in August

A list of six exhibits happening in the Hudson Valley in August.

Tags: Visual Art

Parting Shot: "Pool Party" by Anneke Chan | August 2020

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney chose Anneke Chan's painting "Pool Party" to represent New York's 18th district for the Congressional Art Competition this year.

Tags: Visual Art

Two New Drive-In Film Series Add to Hudson Valley Summer Fun

Get the family in the car and roll your way to a safer night of entertainment. And add these other excellent activities to your schedule as well.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

3 Tips for Attending Virtual Arts or Movement Classes

Advice from the Cornell Creative Arts Center in Kingston
We asked the Cornell Creative Arts Center, a Kingston-based organization that provides accessible arts and movement classes for all abilities and skill levels, for a few tips that will help you ensure a seamless virtual experience from home.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Five Cool Things Do While the Hudson Valley Weather Gets Hot

Summer keeps steaming along as area arts outlets focus on safe, innovative ways present to present events while New York State is in Phase 4 of reopening.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

From A Drive-In Opera To Plein-Air Shakespeare, Local Productions Head Outdoors

Hudson Valley art organizations were forced to cancel their upcoming productions in mid-March, but under Phase 4, productions are now reopening. Although reopening has come with many challenges, productions are moving outdoors and these art organizations are looking forward to welcoming back the community.

Tags: Theater

Live Music and Screenings Among This Week's Hudson Valley Events

This week’s roundup of Hudson Valley activities brings quite an interesting assortment of things to do.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Turning the Page on the Pandemic: Local Bookstores vs. COVID

Hudson Valley bookstores were shut down when COVID hit, so they had to develop strategies to keep their businesses running and the books moving. They turned to social media to create a virtual browsing effect for the community, established curbside pick up and delivery, and planned for their reopening. Despite the challenges they faced during lockdown, now their doors are finally open and people can once again peruse the aisles for books under established and maintained health protocols.

Tags: Books & Authors

The Hudson Valley and Northeast's Museums Start Reopening

Hudson Valley museums adapted to life under lockdown by going digital, now they are slowly reopening with abundant safety precautions, reduced capacity, and the lessons of virtual programming under their belts.

Tags: Museums

Shakespeare, a Market, and a Movie Are Among This Week's Hudson Valley Events

Arts outlets and businesses around the region continue to seek a balance as they negotiate reopenings amid the pandemic.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Inaugural Kingston Annual 2020 Exhibition Goes Forward Despite COVID

There's Still Time! Submission Deadline Extended to July 31
The vibrant Hudson Valley arts scene has refused to be cowed by COVID-19, and in fact new initiatives have been launched throughout the pandemic from virtual exhibitions to outdoor art displays. Local organizations the Kingston Midtown Arts District (MAD) and Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) are currently looking for submissions for the inaugural Kingston Annual 2020 art competition. The exhibition will feature local artists of all mediums who either work or live in the mid-Hudson region. Coronavirus forced the organizers to rethink their inaugural event in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. “The planning for this annual exhibition predates the COVID-19 outbreak. The Arts Society of Kingston and the Kingston Midtown Arts District designed the Kingston Annual to be the premier regional fine arts exhibition, unlike any other in the Mid-Hudson Valley,” says MAD marketing and communications director Rick Whelan. Original plans for an exhibition in the ASK galleries, as well as an opening ceremony and in-person painting demonstrations had to be scrapped. Despite these casualties, the Kingston Annual 2020 will still include special treats. Joining the ranks of these artistic locals will be world renowned multimedia artist Judy Pfaff, who has been invited to participate as a guest artist. The Tivoli resident has garnered a reputation as a “pioneer of installation art,” and has won multiple awards like the MacArthur Foundation Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The deadline for artists to submit was recently extended to July 31. Works will be showcased at the ASK galleries in Kingston from September 5-27, pandemic-permitting. The works will also be shown in an online gallery that will be available for a year. MAD began operating in 2013 as a coalition of volunteers with the goal of creating a flourishing art center in Midtown Kingston. The more than 400 artists and arts-based enterprises that are now located in Midtown Kingston have fostered community development and economic revitalization of the area. “The Midtown Arts District is excited to partner this year with the Art Society of Kingston for The Kingston Annual 2020,” says Anne Bailey, president of MAD’s board. Since 2005 ASK has been providing a dynamic variety of visual art exhibitions, performances, workshops, classes, and other events in their multi-arts facility. “The show, which will be curated by Kingston’s Distinguished Artist Awardee, Julie Hedrick, will undoubtedly be the first public art show since the pandemic,” Bailey says. Hedrick is a Kingston-based painter who has had her work exhibited in the United States, Canada, Colombia, and Europe. “The number of exceptional artists living in the Hudson Valley at this time is historic,” she says. The submissions deadline for Kingston Annual 2020 is July 31. All selected works will be featured in the online gallery. Aside from inclusion in the 2020 exhibit, the contest also includes cash prizes: $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd, and $150 for 3rd $150. For more information about Kingston Annual 2020, including application and submission guidelines for artists, please visit www.kingstonannual.art or send an email. ...

Tags: Visual Art

Even Aliens Love the Hudson Valley: On World UFO Day, Celebrate the Local "Flap"

Each July 2, fans of unidentified flying objects celebrate their belief that We Are Not Alone—and that They have come closer than official sources care to acknowledge. Are the aliens coming? If they are, the Hudson Valley's clearly already on their supercharged next-gen radar.

Tags: Festivals

This Week's Hudson Valley Openings Include Art, Music, and More

July is here, and under Phase 3 of the New York State on PAUSE act things continue to cautiously and slowly reopen. Here are a few examples right here in the Hudson Valley. ART Storm King Art Center Set to Reopen The renowned Storm King Art Center sculpture center in Mountainville recently announced that it will be opening its 2020 season on July 15 and running Wednesdays through Mondays from 10am to 5:30pm. For the season, the 500-acre outdoor grounds will be open for limited-capacity visits (the museum store, cafe, and tram and bike rentals will remain closed for the time being). To coincide with the center’s reopening, special exhibitions by Kiki Smith and Martha Tuttle will be unveiled, and other program highlights will include special loan presentations of Mark di Suvero’s E=MC2 and Louise Bourgeois’s Eyes. MUSIC Grand Cru Heats Up with Bands and Barbecue Grand Cru Beer & Cheese Market in Rhinebeck has returned to the local live music landscape and this weekend will be presenting North Carolina’s the Knotty G’s (July 2 from 7 to 10pm) and Kingston’s Gold Hope Duo (July 3 from 5 to 8pm) as the outdoor accompaniment for the reappearance of food truck the Grille Wagon. Burgers, seafood, and barbeque items will be served up straight from the grille and 16 varieties of craft beer are on tap. There’ll be a bonfire after sunset and partiers are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs to set up with the required six feet between their neighbors, in case the socially distanced outdoor tables are full. ART Green Kill Gallery Reveals New Works Kingston’s Green Kill gallery is a peer-to-peer artist space for visual artists, songwriters and performers, literary artists, and filmmakers. The facility’s July exhibition kicks off this Saturday from 5 to 7pm with an opening party (with staggered, limited-capacity admission) for an exhibition of new works by Fred Duignan, Don Perlis, and Karen Sasha. “Green Kill is equipped with a heat pump, so the air is constantly refreshed and the space is, as always, sanitized,” says gallery curator David Schell. The exhibit runs through July 25. MUSIC Daryl’s House Doors Unlocked for Dining and Shows Daryl’s House, the Pawling restaurant and live music venue owned by singer Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates, is now open for outdoor and indoor (limited seating) dining and, soon, performances. Shows will resume with a blues brunch engagement by Adam Falcon (July 19) and continue with dates by AshenMoon featuring Garry Beers of INXS (July 22), Lee DeWyze (July 23), Willie Nile (July 25), the Verve Pipe (August 2), Walter Trout (August 6), Constantine Maroulis (August 15), Marshall Crenshaw and the Bottle Rockets (August 27), KT Tunstall (August 30), and many others. ART Chesterwood Announces 2020 Season Chesterwood, the historic Stockbridge, Massachusetts, summer home, studio, and gardens of foremost American sculptor Daniel Chester French—famous for his statues of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Minute Man soldier in Concord—will open its 51st season as a national historic site on July 2 with an outdoor sculpture show of works by Rick and Laura Brown. The site will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 10am to 4pm, and the entry fee is $20 per car (two-hour passes for each visitor). Visitors can download maps and self-guided tours of the formal gardens, landscape, hiking trails, and woodland walk (face masks are required, and social distancing must be maintained when appropriate). To find out about more upcoming events in the Hudson Valley, subscribe to our weekly newsletter Eat. Play. Stay....

Tags: General Arts & Culture

On the Cover: Pauline Decarmo | July 2020

Artist Pauline Decarmo discusses her art and what inspires it.

Tags: Visual Art

Cornell Creative Arts Center's Inclusive Approach to Virtual Classes

While the CCAC team is looking forward to fully opening the space to the community in the future, this summer they have wholeheartedly pivoted to virtual offerings, which are live-streamed through an app called Mindbody. While the virtual classes offer a solution in the short-term, the team also sees a new world of possibilities for the organization's long-term programming.

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Arts & Entertainment Winners

The 2020 Chronogrammies winners in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Album Review: Bobby Previte/Jamie Saft/Nels Cline | Music from the Early 21st Century

Album review of Music from the Early 21st Century by Bobby Previte, Jamie Saft, and Nels Cline.

Tags: Music

Poetry | July 2020

A selection of poetry submitted by Chronogram readers.

Tags: Poetry

Music Store Spotlight: Alto Music

A spotlight on Alto Music, Chronogrammies winner in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Arts Organization Spotlight: Arts Mid-Hudson

A spotlight on Arts Mid-Hudson, Chronogrammies winner in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Music Festival Spotlight: O+ Festival

A spotlight on O+ Festival, Chronogrammies winner in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Art Supply Store Spotlight: Catskill Art & Office Supply

A spotlight on Catskill Art & Office Supply, Chronogrammies winner in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Dog-Friendly Dining Spotlight: Keegan Ales

A spotlight on Keegan Ales, Chronogrammies winner in the Food category.

Tags: Chronogrammies

Author Q&A: Glenn Nystrup

On Dealing with Anger in the Classroom
Glenn Nystrup talks with us about his book, 'Anger in the Classroom'.

Tags: Books & Authors

Album Review: Aliza Hava | Natural State

Album review of Natural State by Aliza Hava.

Tags: Music

Album Review: Pitchfork Militia | Grass or Gravel?

Album review of Grass or Gravel? by Pitchfork Militia.

Tags: Music

Album Review: Robert Burke Warren | Redheaded Friend

Album review of Redheaded Friend by Robert Burke Warren.

Tags: Music

Six Books for Your July Reading List

Carolyn Quimby reviews Nothing Can Hurt You, a kaleidoscopically told murder novel by Bard alum Nicola Maye Goldberg, plus five short book reviews.

Tags: Books & Authors

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Hudson Valley Events

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The Museum At Bethel Woods: Story of 60s & Woodstock @ The Museum at Bethel Woods

The Museum At Bethel Woods: Story of 60s & Woodstock

Mon., July 13, 10 a.m., Tue., July 14, 10 a.m., Wed., July 15, 10 a.m., Thu., July 16, 10 a.m., Fri., July 17, 10 a.m., Sat., July 18, 10 a.m., Sun., July 19, 10 a.m., Mon., July 20, 10 a.m., Tue., July 21, 10 a.m., Wed., July 22, 10 a.m., Thu., July 23, 10 a.m., Fri., July 24, 10 a.m., Sat., July 25, 10 a.m., Sun., July 26, 10 a.m., Mon., July 27, 10 a.m., Tue., July 28, 10 a.m., Wed., July 29, 10 a.m., Thu., July 30, 10 a.m., Fri., July 31, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 1, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 2, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 3, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 4, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 5, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 6, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 7, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 8, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 9, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 10, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 11, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 12, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 13, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 14, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 15, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 16, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 17, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 18, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 19, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 20, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 21, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 22, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 23, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 24, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 25, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 26, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 27, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 28, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 30, 10 a.m. and Mon., Aug. 31, 10 a.m.
ENSAMBLE STUDIO: ANTÓN GARCÍA-ABRIL AND DÉBORA MESA MOLINA - Ca'n Terra: Architecture of the Earth @

ENSAMBLE STUDIO: ANTÓN GARCÍA-ABRIL AND DÉBORA MESA MOLINA - Ca'n Terra: Architecture of the Earth

Mondays-Sundays, 3 p.m.-12 a.m. Continues through Oct. 31 — ‘T’ Space is excited to welcome Ensamble Studio, architects Débora Mesa and...

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Hudson Valley Art

In our Visual Art coverage, you’ll find Chronogram’s beloved covers, which feature different artworks by Hudson Valley artists each month. We’re also regularly updating gallery openings and art exhibits throughout the Hudson Valley—from painting and sculpture to photography and multimedia.

Books and Music

Each month, we profile a Hudson Valley author along with book reviews and announcements for local readings, and our music coverage is dedicated to promoting artists with a connection to the Hudson Valley. We offer news about upcoming music events and concerts, CD reviews, and features on notable musicians from the area, all with tracks that you can listen to while you read about the music.

Films and Festivals

Not only is the Hudson Valley home to dynamic independent theaters like Upstate Films, the Downing Film Center, and Rosendale Theatre, and to festivals like Mountain Jam and Clearwater, which attract world-renowned performers every year, but it also has a burgeoning film festival culture. The Hudson Valley is becoming a popular shooting location, and independent film festivals throughout the region are making an impression on the industry, like the annual star-studded Woodstock Film Festival.