Category Archives: Beacon

Press for Jason Adams show

The Poughkeepsie Journal ran a nice article last week, “Billy Joel, the Bardavon and Beacon: An artist’s path through photography and sculpture”, about Jason Adams’ show on view. The reception is today Sat November 12, 6-9 pm, with live music earlier 2-6 pm. We will also be open tomorrow 12-6 pm.

By John W. Barry

Head down to Beacon this weekend and you can learn how Billy Joel, Elton John, motorcycle racing and the Bardavon 1869 Opera House inspired one artist’s love of photography and sculpture, and his knack for harnessing creative expression.

It all starts with Rosendale resident Jason Adams, a Poughkeepsie native who since childhood has continuously discovered new ways to express himself.

Starting Friday and continuing during weekends through November, Catalyst Gallery in Beacon will showcase how Adams has used photography and sculpture to indulge his lifelong love of the arts.

“Photography and Sculpture by Jason Adams” will also feature live music on Saturday and Nov. 12. Also on Nov. 12, the exhibit will be open in conjunction with Beacon’s Second Saturday monthly arts celebration.

“I like his work and his eye,” Erica Hauser, co-owner of Catalyst Gallery, said of Adams.

Second Saturday, the Catalyst Gallery and its Adams exhibit underscore the pivotal role that the arts play in Beacon. The southern Dutchess city is home to Dia:Beacon, the contemporary art museum; it was long associated with the late Pete Seeger, who lived in nearby Dutchess Junction; and the new American Center for Folk Music shows how cultural horizons continue to emerge.

The path that Adams took to the arts began when he was 8. He helped his father’s friend, an electrician, with the lighting for dance performances at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. Adams helped cut lighting gels, those transparent pieces of colored plastic used to create colored lighting.

Adams through that experience — work with the electrician continued into his teens and included jobs at the Dutchess County Fair and Clearwater Festival — learned that he loved working backstage.

“I loved the whole idea of being the guy behind the curtain,” said Adams, 45.

Networking led the former Town of Poughkeepsie resident to gigs on Broadway and supervising the construction of stages for performances featuring Billy Joel and Elton John.

While on a supervisory team overseeing construction on tour with the two piano players, Adams viewed the stage as “an enormous sculpture with forklifts and cranes.”

And for 15 years, he served as the technical and lighting director at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie.
While at the Bardavon, Adams captured with a camera his lighting work, for his own satisfaction and to use as a tool that could help with future performances.

After leaving the Bardavon in 2013 to be a stay-at-home father, Adams spent more time on his photography. The attention he has paid to his craft has generated magnetic images.

“I’m very much into shots that are spooky or moody, soulful or hard-lit,” Adams said.

A motorcycle enthusiast for years, Adams also built vintage motorcycles and began racing, semi-professionally, around the world.

That led to him building trophies for races out of old engine parts. He taught himself how to weld. And then he became a sculptor.

“The photo stuff was good and fun, but I got more commissions and more interest in the metalwork,” he said.

The photographs and the metalwork sculptures offer interesting perspectives on the world, which bend reality a bit.

The photos reveal how lines, shadows and the images they can generate are tucked into corners of our everyday world.

The sculptures draw you in on two levels. Both the materials used to create the sculpture and the finished product demand critical thinking and ignite the imagination.

The emotions conveyed by some of the sculptures could also make you laugh.

“For metal sculpture, the litmus test is, does it make me giggle,” Adams said.

Regarding his sculptures, Adams continued, “I love the transition from an everyday object into something completely different. It’s interesting how that switch flips and a large nut and bolt can all of a sudden become something else … And once you see it, you can’t un-see it.”

John W. Barry:, 845-437-4822, Twitter: @JohnBarryPoJo

CALL FOR ARTISTS: 4th Annual Catalyst Small Works!


We are pleased to announce the 4th annual Catalyst Small Works Show CALL FOR ARTISTS!

The show will run December 3 through January 8.

How To Submit

Submit up to 3 jpegs to:

Paintings, drawings, prints, photography, sculpture, mixed media. Include your name, email, address, phone number, website, and title/media/dimensions/price of each work. See guidelines.

Entry Fee

$25 (for up to three submissions).

Fee is payable online via this link to Square: or by mailed check (payable to Catalyst Gallery).

Guidelines for Work

Size must be no larger than 16″ at largest dimension for 2D (including frame), and 20″ for 3D. The work must arrive clean, professional and ready to hang, either wired, with hardware attached, or a cradled back. No sawtooth hangers. Works on paper must be framed or mounted.

Price limit is $600. When selecting & pricing your work, please consider that affordability will increase the likelihood of sales during the holiday season. This is a fun and popular show!

Gallery retains a 25% commission on sold work. Artists will receive payment after the show closes.

We encourage early entries. Deadline to submit images via email is Nov 13.

Notifications will be emailed by Nov 18.

Drop-off dates will be between Nov 19-27, specific dates/times will be emailed to accepted artists. There will be weekend and evening times.

If accepted, artists may deliver work in person or ship it to the gallery (artists must cover all shipping expenses). Gallery is not responsible for work arriving damaged.

Include hardware if something specific is needed. 3-D pieces must be self-supporting (we have pedestals but you may provide your own) or wall-mounted.

The gallery proprietors retain the final word on what will be in the exhibition and how the art will be installed.

Gallery will provide postcards for distribution and other publicity.

Opening Reception

The opening reception/party is Sat Dec 3, 6-9pm. We will also be open till 9pm on Sat Dec 10 for Beacon’s 2nd Saturday (

Pick-up dates will be between Jan 8-11, specific dates/times to be announced. Unsold work must be picked up, or return shipping can be arranged at artist’s expense.

Thank you!


137 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508


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‘For Goodness Bake’ fundraiser coming up Sept 24


Want to contribute to this one-day bake sale, to be held at Catalyst on Sept 24 to benefit the Beacon Community Kitchen? Sign up via this link to bring baked treats to For Goodness Bake on Saturday, September 24:

All proceeds go directly to the Kitchen and help provide fresh, wholesome meals to our city’s hungry residents. We’ll have donation jars and a collection bin for canned goods – so if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can still make a difference!

For Goodness Bake sale at Catalyst June 6


For Goodness Bake is an annual Beacon bake sale dedicated to raising funds and awareness for charitable organizations within the Hudson Valley. Now in its third year, For Goodness Bake has previously raised over $6,000 for the Children’s Organ Transplant Association and the Kids R Kids Feeding Program.

This year, For Goodness Bake will benefit the Green Teen Community Gardening Program. The sale will be held on June 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Catalyst Gallery in Beacon, NY and will offer delicious goods for sale (plenty of gluten-free, vegan, savory and sweet options) from more than 50 local bakers.

Kristen Cronin and Tara Tornello are the co-founders of For Goodness Bake. Helanna Bratman is the Green Teen Program Coordinator, and Chelsea Schiffer is the Green Teen Crew Leader.

The Green Teen Community Gardening Program, a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County, works year round to empower Beacon youths to be effective agents of change in their community by immersing them in the local food system. The program teaches life and work skills through hands on experiences in farming and gardening, health and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Every year the Green Teens grow 1,200 square feet of vegetables, sell them via a mobile market, and organize an annual photography exhibit highlighting their gardening experiences.

Article from

Warming Up for Second Saturdays

April 10, 2015

As winter wanes, Beacon’s monthly celebration turns up the heat

By Brian PJ Cronin

The sun has long since gone down, but it’s clear from a quick glance up and down the street that no one’s going to bed anytime soon.

Beacon Main Street (Photo by Michele Gedney)

The sidewalks are swarming with revelers. A rock band wails away from a rooftop across the street, their songs reverberating through the balmy night air. One block east, art lovers stand transfixed in front of a window-length video screen projecting experimental films, while the coffee shop one block west is tapping kegs and sending out pitchers of sangria to the patio that’s bedecked with strings of lights and thirsty patrons alternating between craft beer and espresso.

Austin? Oakland? Nope, just another summertime Second Saturday in Beacon, New York.

Second Saturday, Beacon’s monthly celebration of arts, culture and whatever else happens to be going on in town that day, takes place 12 months a year. That’s the day that galleries hold their openings and businesses stay open later than usual. But winter weather tends to make the ones that take place from December through March more cozy than chaotic.

“Winter in Beacon is definitely for the professionals,” said Dan Rigney, president of the Beacon Arts Community Association (BACA.) “Spring and summer, all the stops come out. More folks from the New York City area and tourists from all over the world are coming up from Dia:Beacon.”

The Pippin players

It’s not just the tourists who are gallery hopping. The first Second Saturday of spring also gives Beaconites an excuse to make their way from one end of Main Street to the other and catch up with everyone they haven’t seen during cabin fever season.

This year, they’d better give themselves some more time.

“There was a time you could make your way from the west end to the east end and touch just about everything in under three hours, depending how much time you spent at Max’s,” said Rigney, referring to the beloved pub and community institution located in the center of Main Street. “Now that’s impossible. The east, west and center of our town is popping all day and all evening long.”

This Saturday, events include free films at the Beacon Theater, a performance of Pippin at the high school, wine tastings at Artisan Wine Shop, a branding workshop at the co-working space BEAHIVE, a talk with photographer and conservationist Alison M. Jones at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, about a dozen art openings and a celebration of early 20th-century Jewish cantorial music played on a 1905 RCA Victrola and a 1902 gramophone. Not to mention it’s one of Dia:Beacon’s biannual Community Free Days, which means free admission for all residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

A listing of events can be found in our online calendar and at

Kamel Jamal (file photo)

“It’s a beast,” said Kamel Jamal, owner of Tito Santana’s Taqueria. For Jamal and his staff, Second Saturday is an excuse to crank up the music, stay open late and relax in the confidence that business will be brisk. “Our Second Saturdays are so crucial to the life of our business,” he said. “We know that even if we’ve had some slow nights that week because of rain, Second Saturday will make up for it because on Second Saturday, people don’t care if it’s raining.”

It’s a marked difference from the Second Saturdays of a few years ago, when Main Street still had blocks of empty storefronts, and national publications weren’t yet touting Beacon as the next You-Know-Where.

“People are coming up from Brooklyn now to see what the big deal is with the Hudson Valley, and we’re right there to welcome them with a drink and get them to join the celebration,” said Jamal. “It wasn’t like that when I first got into Beacon four years ago. People would talk about Second Saturday, but it didn’t feel that different from your usual Saturdays. That’s all changed now. Now you’ve got people coming up from the city, and no matter what you’re presenting that day it gives you a chance to spread your arms out and connect with pretty much the entire metropolitan area.”

Linda Hubbard (Photo by Jennifer Konig)

Attracting downstaters is a nice by-product of Second Saturdays, but it wasn’t part of the original plan. As Linda Hubbard of RiverWinds Gallery explained, the origins of Second Saturday go all the way back to 2002, even before Dia:Beacon opened. Beacon’s revival was just getting started here and there along Main Street, but there wasn’t anything going to connect the outposts of inspiration to one another and show the community that there was a new spirit in the air worth rallying behind. She credits Ricardo Diaz and Thom Joyce with initially getting the idea off of the ground. Choosing the date itself was done somewhat arbitrarily.

“Kingston was doing First Saturdays, so we just picked Second Saturdays,” she explained.

Thirteen years later, Beacon’s Main Street is booming, attracting the attention of art patrons from all over the world. But if proof is needed that the monthly event hasn’t betrayed its small-town roots, look to the opening that will take place at RiverWinds this Saturday. The show, Birds in Flight, features award-winning photographs from renowned California photographer David Wong. But the refreshments for the opening will be baked by the artist’s 94-year-old mother-in-law, who lives in Rhinebeck.

“I always feel uplifted by Beacon Second Saturdays,” said Hubbard. “You can come alone or with a group of friends, enjoy great art, sample some good food and just have a fun time.”

Tonight at Catalyst starting at 6 pm,  James Keepnews’ music residency and video installation continues, featuring Keepnews and a variety of other performers. Through April 26.