Category Archives: Press

Hudson Valley Magazine gives Catalyst a nice shout-out

In Hudson Valley Magazine’s recent article on ‘The 12 Best Places To Live in the Hudson Valley’, Catalyst Gallery gets a mention for ‘consistently good exhibitions’. Thanks! It’s clear that Beacon is a great place to visit as well as to live, judging from the ever-increasing numbers of people exploring Main St on weekends, stopping into our gallery and others.  As Catalyst moves into its fifth year, we’re pleased to be part of the draw.

By Mike Diago:

BEACON– This little city has changed so much so fast we can only hope it doesn’t burst at the seams. With the blink of an eye storefronts are occupied with boutique shops, warehouses are changed into high-end condominiums and new houses pop up in places you’d never think they could fit. Everyone is trying to get in on what seems like a sure bet for buyers at this point. The lure is obvious: express train to Manhattan, thriving creative community, great restaurant scene, hiking right in town at Mt. Beacon; there is really no checklist it won’t satisfy. And thus, the real estate market can be all-out war. People are outbidding each other, sometimes (over) reaching well past asking price, cash in hand, but, if you are diligent, you can still get in, and if you are handy, you’ll have options.

For those lucky enough to get in, Beacon has some exciting new developments happening. The Hudson Valley Brewery is already beginning to crank out critically acclaimed brews. A taproom and restaurant should be opening soon. The Roundhouse has enlisted powerhouse chef Terrance Brennan, who has brought a huge upgrade to food and service to match the always-stunning setting over Beacon Falls. Also of note: Kitchen Sink, Hudson Valley magazine readers’ pick for Best New Restaurant last year; Catalyst and Matteawan art galleries, for consistently good exhibitions; and Quinn’s or the Towne Crier Café for music.

For those moving to town for family life, your strollers will have lots of company. There are abundant events for kids, opportunities for parents to meet and socialize, and alternative schools such as Hudson Hills Academy, Montessori, serving kids from 3-8 years old. Also nearby (in Wappingers Falls) is Randolph School, a progressive, holistic learning model serving children ages 3 to 10. The city’s businesses are also very family-friendly: Max’s on Main, one of the best bars and restaurants, even hands out Max’s brand sippy cups to satisfy tots and make their parents feel welcome.

Carin White reviews Beacon Open Studios 2015

Columbia Alumni Arts Access invited Carin Jean White ‘11SOA to write for their blog as a featured Guest Blogger. Carin wrote about her visit to Beacon Open Studios 2015, including Erica Hauser and Jon Reichert at Catalyst Gallery:

The first thing to know about the artist community in Beacon, NY is that it is diverse and has far reaches. Work from these talented artists is exhibited internationally, and it is not uncommon to run into art pieces of theirs in the city. Many of the artists that work in Beacon also show in NYC, but choose to work upstate for a different type of dialogue and working conditions. No doubt there is a certain appeal to taking a break and being able to walk outside to see Bear Mountain, or take an easy stroll down to the Hudson River.

When this year’s Open Studios dates were announced, I was excited to be in the area—I wanted to see my favorite artists on their own turf. The event is now in its seventh year and over 60 artists participated in the weekend.

After two days I felt like a curtain had been pulled back on the magnitude and scope of the art created in that town. Staggering.The organization of the weekend was excellent. Thanks to the program with the numbering of art studios and their locations, a map, and clear, visible signage—finding the studios was easy.

My sprint into Beacon’s Open Studios began at Spire, a cluster of studios in a plain white building; and then led to private homes; KuBe, a center for art and home to many studios, offices, and galleries; the Lofts at Beacon; and then back onto Main Street to the Catalyst Gallery. Some notable highlights were seeing artists Susan Walsh and Jayoung Yoon at KuBe, Ronnie Farley at the Beacon Lofts, and Erica Hauser and Jon Reichert at Catalyst Gallery.

On the east side of the KuBe with bright afternoon sunlight pouring in, Susan Walsh sat wearing white at a white table, in a very bright white studio. White squares were on the walls with dark lines forming various patterns. Last fall I had seen Susan’s work at the Matteawan Gallery and had marveled at how she sought to track sunlight. As she wrote on her website, “The Marking Time Series (thread and shadow drawings) evolved from an unexpected moment that happened in my studio in Beacon, New York, one day in January of 2013 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon—a precise, haunting intersection of an object (thread), the sun, and white paper… Each piece depicts one moment in time, when the sinking winter sun creates long shadows; both thread and sun are the charcoal, ink, pencil.” On her work table I could see nails casting shadows on white paper, waiting for her to draw them.

There is an elegance to Susan’s work, and the process she engages in allows her to not only record but be in a dialogue with light. The simplicity of the idea and beauty in the drawings make me think about the other ways an artist can reveal time and something as intangible as sunlight. Susan also described a series she is creating with the light at Dia: Beacon in the Sol LeWitt area of the museum. I’m looking forward to seeing how that series develops.

Another artist working at KuBe is Jayoung Yoon, whose work stopped me in my tracks and made me lean closer. Jayoung’s work is new to me, and so it took me a while to understand what I was viewing. Some squares on the wall looked like graph paper; in a clear case I saw a delicately knit glove; a thin robe hung from the ceiling—all of these were made with dark strands of human hair. I found her particular use of hair to make garments fascinating. The pieces both repelled me and intrigued me. There is something about looking at a work of art that is of a person in a very real and biological way. The idea that I am not looking at the person to whom the hair belonged, but am looking at something of them, and it is wearable creates intimacy and discomfort.

At the Lofts, I met Ronnie Farley, an award-winning photographer whose work I had heard about but never had the opportunity to view in-person.

Ronnie’s expansive loft is filled with photography, books, all the makings of a home- and a New York City water tower. For over two decades Ronnie photographed water towers in the city, during that time she got to know the two primary manufacturers of these structures, and was offered a water tower to keep. When Ronnie exhibited her series at the Gallery at Hudson Glass on Main Street, she actually brought her water tower as a part of the show. The final product of this twenty year project has been published in a book New York Water Towers.

The tall wooden structure now in Ronnie’s studio, carves out a more private sleeping area. The photography in her studio was primarily black and white, beautiful glossy prints that emphasized line and geography. The industrial water towers, still the standard method of residential and commercial storage of water in NYC, appear nearly majestic in these photographs. It is portraiture.

There is an almost spiritual quality to the work she creates. While this feels hinted at in the water tower series, it is extremely visible in one photograph that caught my eye by her entry way. It depicts grey-blue storm clouds brewing, and forming a large face charging forward above the land. When I asked Ronnie about the face, she told me of the dance the native peoples had done right beforehand, and how there had been another face showing in the clouds around the same time.

The last stop on my itinerary was the back room at Catalyst Gallery. Jon Reichert and Erica Hauser run the gallery and also use the back workroom as a studio.

Much of Jon’s work has revolved around the theme of donuts. In the studio I found six inch vinyl records painted as donuts, wooden donut sculptures, wooden donuts mounted on metal sheets and hung on the wall. The palate of these sculptures and paintings is shocking: bright-neon green, hot pink, and the like. What is kind of magical about the smaller donut sculptures is not how enticing they look (and they are insanely enticing with their neon frosting and sprinkles), but actually how they feel. With the weight of a donut sculpture on the flat of your palm, you will notice something quite brilliant about the heft. Each donut has the weight of a real cake donut. The work is delightful, and the tactile experience only enhances the effect. If you’re curious to see his work in larger scale, you can find two wooden donuts in a public installation on Main Street until October.

Erica Hauser paints whimsical signage and scenes of a past time. Her often muted tones paintings hold selective pops of color and make me appreciate the choices of mid-century ad design. While I see a lot of gray and neutrals employed in Erica’s canvases, they don’t feel “heavy,”instead I find myself charmed. Perhaps my favorite pieces are a series of popsicle signs; this could be a seasonal bias- but these four small to medium sized acrylic paintings bring a smile to my face.

Looking at a still life of an ice machine and watermelons in Watermelons with Ice Machine, I feel like things are presented at face value. It simply is two subjects forming a composition: watermelons, ice machine. However, even knowing that, I cannot help myself from imagining a character that would drive to a gas station or market and pick up a bag of ice and refreshing melon. Her still-lifes provide a space for the viewer to insert their own story or enjoy the beauty of vintage signage.

Jon’s and Erica’s work are very complementary when viewed together. While they choose different color palettes to work in, their work holds a clarity and playfulness.

I finished the weekend feeling inspired by the art and conversations. While it will be another year before the next Open Studios, you can visit Beacon and its artists through the many galleries. I recommend coming up on the Second Saturday of the month for the gallery openings; you will find an exciting and dynamic group of artists and art appreciators.

Keepnews/Feed poster

Article from Philipstown.info

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 beaconarts.org.

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.

chronovid

Catalyst featured in Chronogram’s new web series

Catalyst Gallery’s co-owner Erica Hauser speaks about Beacon’s gallery scene in this segment (starting at 14:30) from the premier episode of Chronogram’s web TV series, ArtScene, exploring the Hudson Valley’s vibrant community of artists, galleries and museums, and history.

In his intro to the segment, which also focuses on the galleries Marion Royael and Bau, filmmaker Stephen Blauweiss describes how “the Beacon art scene and the vibrant 2nd Saturday event have greatly contributed to the city’s cultural and economic renaissance.” The episode features a number of artists from around the Hudson Valley.

 

Works by Gail Robinson, Paul Tillinghast, Rebecca Grela, Erica Hauser, Eric Walczak, Renee Samuels

Go Home (Town) To Shop

A recent article from the blog Wigwam Economy about shopping local and handmade in Beacon, including the Catalyst Small Works Show, on view now through Jan 3:

Attention Shoppers: Go Home (Town)

December 2, 2013 •

Now that Thanksgiving is out of the way, tis the season for packing a taser and heading off to rumble at the mall. But if coming home with a bloody nose and bagfuls of imported trinkets from Target doesn’t scream holiday for you, Wigwam has another idea—shop local, shop Main Street. Yes, it’s been said many times, many ways. But they who repeat themselves endlessly are the ones whose messages often stick.

Herewith, we present a guide focused on hand-crafted, hand-made, and hand-assembled items created (mostly) in our region and available at shops on Beacon’s Main Street. That leaves out a ton of other options—antique shops, consignment shops, purveyors of outdoor goods—but half the fun of shopping locally is strolling along in and out of stores and running into neighbors and friends, so we’ll leave it to you to explore further.

West side

Clay, Wood, and Cotton, 133 Main Street
claywoodandcotton.com

This shop draws its hand-made items from around the country, offering an assortment of kitchen glassware and software, along with cutting boards, soaps, and a wide array of note cards and seasonal greetings, from hip to homey. On Sundays through Christmas, the shop is featuring super yummy (actual customer review) cupcakes and cookies from The Darling Kitchen.

Hand-turned wooden honey dippers, $8; crocheted coasters, $xx. At Clay, Wood & Cotton.Hand-turned wooden honey dippers, $8.

Bicycle glasses, $11.

Bicycle glasses, $11.

Holiday cards, $3.50 and up.

Holiday cards, $3.50 and up.

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Small Works Show
Catalyst Gallery, 137 Main Street
catalystgallery.com

This gallery space, normally available for rental by the month, is hosting a group show through the holidays of over 100 small works by local artists. Prices range from $50 to $500. Opening reception is Saturday, December 7, 6-9pm.

The show features small works from $50 to $500.

Catherine Welshman, “Garden Girls”, $300.

 Michael Ulrich, "Panopticon", scratchboard, framed, $400

Michael Ulrich, “Panopticon”, scratchboard, framed, $400.

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Riverwinds, 172 Main Street
riverwindsgallery.com

One of the longest-running gallery and gift emporiums on Main, Riverwinds offers photographs and paintings from local artists, often with the subject of our region’s great natural beauty. You’ll also find plenty of hand-crafted jewelry and pottery, along with an array of seasonal cards, many again featuring festive photographs of local flora and fauna.

Stoneware pitcher, $20, tea candle holder, $12. At Riverwinds

Stoneware pitcher, $20, tea candle holder, $12.

Riverwinds carries a wide selection of artisanal jewelry.

Riverwinds carries a wide selection of artisanal jewelry.

Riverwinds  has a vast selection of note cards, including seasonal greetings featuring nature.

A vast selection of note cards is here, including seasonal greetings featuring birds, plants, and wintery landscapes.

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Cherrybomb 201 Main Street
cherrybombpopup.weebly.com

This popup shop, appropriately held in the space normally occupied by Zora Dora’s of artisanal popsicle fame, has been part of the local holiday scene for a few years now. Here you’ll find a variety of hand-crafted holiday ornaments, as well as jewelry, knitted hats and scarves, ceramics, and lots of neat stocking stuffers. The small selection of notecards is appealing, and leans toward the edgy and funky. Open through Valentine’s Day.

Baby balls and water bottle cozies made from vintage sweater material, $22 &  $12.

Baby balls and water bottle cozies made from vintage sweater material, $22 & $12.

 

Holiday cards featuring photo tableaux of vintage Christmas decorations

Holiday cards featuring photo tableaux of vintage Christmas decorations

Bags made from recycled clothing by Baggage of Beacon, $15 to $60.

Bags made from used clothing by Baggage!, $15 to $60.

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Midtown

Drink More Good, 259 Main Street
(moving a few blocks east soon)
drinkmoregood.com

DMG is where you’ll find spices and teas and bitters, along with the  home-brewed item, locally concocted soda syrups, featuring all organic ingredients and half the calories and sugar of regular sodas–that’s pure cane sugar, no corn syrup here. Use your fizzy-water-making machine or a regular bottle of seltzer or sparkly from the grocery store to complete your beverage. One bottle makes between 12 and 24 glasses, depending on your taste.

Delicious all natural soda syrups from Drink More Good, $25.

Delicious all natural soda syrups from Drink More Good, $15.

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Alps Sweet Shop, 269 Main Street Beacon,
1054 Main Street Fishkill
hudsonvalleychocolatier.com/#

The self-proclaimed stocking stuffer central, Alps has been helping Santa since 1922. No doubt about origins of manufacture here, as you can see right into the factory floor behind the counter. The store features a dizzying array of holiday-themed confectionery delectables.

Snowman peeps for all your peeps, from Alps Sweet Shop.

Snowman peeps for all your peeps, from Alps Sweet Shop.

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Beacon Natural Market
beaconnaturalmarket.com

Wool winter hats in a variety of styles and colors, hand-knit by widows in Nepal, who are often ostracized in that country. In addition to paying them fair wages, 5% of sales go into a scholarship fund for children.

Hand-knit hats from Nepal, $17.95.

Hand-knit hats from Nepal, $17.95.

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East end

Ella’s Bellas
ellasbellasbeacon

Delicious, gluten-free holiday baked goods available to order. Also featuring coffee beans roasted in-house by Tas Coffee.

Gluten-free pear tart.

Gluten-free pear tart.

IMG_0085

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The UV Portfolio
Matteawan Gallery, 464 Main Street
matteawan.com

The exhibition runs through the end of the year and features dozens of affordable, one-of-a-kind, color woodcuts by 13 artists, created during a month of printmaking sessions at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY..

Karlos Carcamo, Woodcut on handmade Thai kozo paper.

Karlos Carcamo, Woodcut on handmade Thai kozo paper.

 

Ryan Magyar,  Woodcut on handmade Thai kozo paper.

Ryan Magyar, Woodcut on handmade Thai kozo paper.

 

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The Tailored Mermaid, 528 Main Street
thetailoredmermaid.com

This shop just by the dummy light and across from the Roundhouse features women’s clothing designed and sewn by the proprietor, as well as a selection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories by mostly local fabricators. The shop has a rotating art exhibit, and is currently presenting photographs of the sky by Sarah-Maria Vischer.

Snowgazer coat in a jazzy Italian wool, $298.

Snowgazer coat in a jazzy Italian wool, $298.

Fabric headbands and pins, $15

Fabric headbands and pins, $15

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WORK:SHOP Holiday Sale December 14
Wickham Solid Wood Studio, 578 Main Street

This one day event will be held in the Wickham workshop, a renovated hat factory building along the shores of the Fishkill Creek, just up the street from the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls.  The idea is to have the sale in a working studio, with an emphasis on sharing some of the process behind the work.

A group of local artisans will be on hand selling their wares.

A group of local artisans will be on hand selling their wares.

featuring items from

Beacon Bee — all natural body balm www.beaconbeebiz.com/home.html
Beacon Knits – one-of-a-kind wool hatswww.beaconknits.etsy.com
Beth Bolgla Ceramics – functional stoneware www.bethbolgla.com/ceramics.html
Catherine Welshman – coloring books –www.catherinewelshman.com
Evan Cohen – woodblock prints  www.evanmcohen.com
Fabhaus Beacon – laser-fabricated goods –www.facebook.com/fabhausbeacon
Gabor Ruzsan – hand crafted wooden stools –www.etsy.com/shop/garnydesigns
Jenny Lee Fowler – silhouette portraits & paper cuts –www.jennyleefowler.etsy.com
Kit Burke-Smith – hand-fabricated jewelry www.kitburkesmith.etsy.com
ModCraft – modern handmade ceramics – www.mod-craft.com
Niho Kozuru – hand made sculptural beeswax candles –www.etsy.com/shop/NihoKozuruStudio
Plumbop – hand knit felted objects – www.plumbop.com
Rexhill Furniture – wooden boxes and puzzles –  www.rexhillfurniture.com
Stylo Furniture + Design – sculptural wine accessories –www.stylo-fd.com
Ten Willow – hand blown Malfatti glassware —www.malfattiglass.com
Wickham Solid Wood Studio – modern organic charcuterie boards – www.jessicawickham.com

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Roll Your Own

Sew Your Own
Common Ground Farm
79 Farmstead Ln., (off 9D) Wappingers Falls
Holiday Felting Project

 holiday felting

Join Laura Sansone and Textile Lab on December 7th from 10am-12pm to construct hand-felted Christmas ornaments using naturally dyed wool from sheep that live in the Hudson Valley. Open to adults and kids of all ages.

Fee includes materials for 3-5 handcrafted ornaments.

$35 per family $30 for friends of CGF

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Blow Your Own
Hudson Beach Glass, 162 Main Street
hudsonbeachglass.com

jordanwithhose

hudsonbeachbulb

Master glassblowers John Gilvey or Kathleen Andersen will help you make your ornament. Call to sign up 845 440-0068. No ornaments Mondays or Tuesdays unless you call and schedule a big group. Each ornament is $30 and takes only 15 minutes to make. Please note that your ornament will have to cool slowly overnight so either you may pick it up the next day or they will mail it to you. No experience necessary. Ages 6 and up.

Copyright 2013 Wigwam Media

Weekend Roundup

An Abundance of Events on Beacon’s Second Saturday

September 13, 2013

By Sommer Hixson

The City of Beacon plays host to an active social scene on most weekends but September’s Second Saturday is looking like a particularly dynamic affair, including a three-day film festival, numerous art openings, notable live music, and other cultural happenings.

In conjunction with Fovea Exhibitions’ current photography exhibit, The Gun Show, curated by TIME photo editor Neil Harris, participating artist Erin Trieb will discuss her assignment documenting the 2013 annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Houston, Texas. The event, which is open to the public, begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be followed by a Q-and-A with Trieb.

Taste Like Chicken and Short Walls Gallery owner Matt Held holds up Batman ’zine cover to artist Joel F. Naprstek’s original watercolor sketch and final acrylic painting. Photo by Sommer Hixson

One of the city’s newest art galleries, Short Walls, will be exhibiting the work of American painter and comic book artist Joel F. Naprstek, who has contributed to superhero titles at DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, Pulp Adventures and other publishers.

Matt Held runs Short Walls from inside his new skateboard shop, Tastes Like Chicken.  A painter from Brooklyn via Seattle, Held opened the shop in Beacon last May, after moving here with his family. In keeping with the skate aesthetic, he curates exhibitions that showcase street, graffiti and counter-culture art with an emphasis on selecting artists whose work shows an expertise in craftsmanship and visually vibrant narratives.

“Skate culture and comic culture share quite a few similarities. It’s all about the art. Growing up, as with so many other little boys, I was fascinated with comics. They were my first lessons as a budding artist,” said Held. “Joel, who will be at the gallery on Saturday, is a painter working in a traditional style during a time when most art is completed on the computer. In his show, we have his small watercolor sketches next to the finished acrylic paintings, giving a bit more insight into the workings of the artist.”

The opening will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 380 Main St., with a special ‘zine making workshop for kids from 5 to 7 p.m.

A few blocks down and on the other end of the art style spectrum, August Ventimiglia’s minimalist work will be showcased at Matteawan Gallery, 464 Main St. A solo show curated by gallery owner Karlyn Benson, Borrowed Linesincorporates found books that have been deconstructed and reconfigured into a more abstract form and chalk line drawings the artist produces by snapping a string coated with blue chalk on paper. The opening is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Going even further into the realm of conceptualism, Utopian artist James Antonie has produced a Micro Retrospective of his work at Catalyst Gallery, 137 Main St. For more than 30 years Antonie has been investigating issues of scale in art through a variety of media and styles. In 1975, he created The Micro Gallery, architectural models of exhibition spaces with portable moveable art exhibits. The show at Catalyst, opening on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., represents the full scope of the artist’s ideas and work.

Other art openings include Buoyant Sea, a show of paintings by Khara Gilvey, at Hudson Beach Glass, 162 Main St., from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday; Recent Paintings + One, a solo show of work by Tom Chibarro, at Theo Ganz Studio, 149 Main St., from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and Splattered, a solo show of large-scale abstract paintings by Rick Rogers, at X On Main, 159 Main St., from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Dream in Plastic, at 177 Main St., will host a Robot Adoption event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, at which the artist “ezerd” will be unveiling original paintings on canvas. “On Saturday, I will be releasing from Earth quarantine the latest robots that are up for adoption,” explained ezerd. “The robots’ systems have been graded to current Earth-compatible standards. When you adopt one, not only are you opening up your life to their friendship, love, silliness, quirks and antics, but 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to bringing more robots into loving homes.”

Across the street from Matteawan Gallery, the Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main St., will present Scott Beall and Friends, a collaborative musical project of Beall’s original compositions. A Beacon resident for more than 10 years, Beall is the founder and leader of San Francisco’s Chain of Fools show band and, as a guitarist, has shared the stage with Huey Lewis, The Tubes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Idol and many others.

Joining him live on Saturday is Jim Cammack on bass and Nadav Snir-Zelnicker on drums. The performance, which may bring out some surprise guests, begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door. Be sure to arrive early to check out Latino Artists of the Hudson Valley, an exhibit currently on view at the Center. The works of 14 different artists are on display until Sept. 29.

The first-ever Beacon Independent Film Festival kicks off at 7:15 p.m. in the theatre at the University Settlement Camp on Friday, Sept. 13, with a screening of Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm. The schedule on Saturday, Sept. 14, includes a series of short films beginning at noon, a panel discussion on technology’s influence on the art of filmmaking at 1:30 p.m., and feature film presentations beginning at 3 p.m., including Zack Ordynans’ Palace Living and Joe Glickman’sKings of Coney Island.Sunday’s lineup features the documentary Kivalina People, a documentary about a tiny island 130 miles above the Arctic Circle, at 12:15 p.m., and Bottled Up, Beacon resident Enid Zentelis’ feature film starring Melissa Leo that world premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, at 3 p.m. All screenings on Saturday and Sunday feature a post-projection Q-and-A with the director.

To stay focused amidst the swirl of activity, liquid sustenance is recommended. On Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m., Artisan Wine Shop, 180 Main St., will be pouring Great American Terroir, with a focus on sustainably and organically grown wines vinified with minimal intervention. Offerings include the 2011 Finger Lakes Chardonnay from Eminence Road Farm Winery, which is sustainably grown, unfined and unfiltered, followed by three reds from Broc Cellars: the 2012 Umpqua Valley Gamay from Oregon, the 2012 California Valdiguié, and My Essential California Red Wine 2010, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, syrah, petit verdot and merlot. Wine tastings are paired with small food dishes prepared in Artisan’s in-store kitchen.

published 9/13/13 on philipstown.info

 

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CANVAS article

From CANVAS, July print edition: Beacon Gallery Showcases Artist’s 3D Works, by Anna Lillian Moser:

Eva Drizhal is not the sort of artist to get pigeonholed into one medium. She likes to experiment, expressing herself by different means, whether it’s tapestries, pen and ink drawings, sculpture or painting. Most recently the Callicoon resident has taken to creating 3-D pictures. The collection of work will be displayed in a solo show at Catalyst Gallery in Beacon during the month of August.
Drizhal was born in Prague in 1951 under the communist regime. While the fact might conjure up images of the heavy Soviet hand squashing out artistic expression, Drizhal attests that growing up she never felt threatened, restricted or barred from pursuing her passion as an artist. “It’s fascinating for you, but for me it was normal,” Drizhal said. We were pretty educated kids. We had a lot of art, and there was no shortage of materials, so I actually liked it very much.”
Growing up in Prague, Drizhal said, she felt supported, if not by her friends and family then the city itself, the artistic majesty of which no political party could snuff out. “I was always surrounded by art because Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. I was molded pretty well even under that communist regime, which was a very restrictive regime in many ways, but I chose to be an artist, to sneak through these kinds of problems.”
However, being an artistically gifted child under the Soviet regime and trying to make an actual career out of it proved to be two very different things. In 1967 Drizhal’s parents and her younger siblings managed to immigrate to the United States, but Drizhal, then 17, refused to go, thinking she would stay and be educated in Czechoslovakia. Because of her parents’ immigration Drizhal was suddenly seen as a threat, a political misfit. “I was basically marked from there, and I didn’t see them for 13 years,” Drizhal said.
Drizhal calls those 13 years her “suffering”. She wasn’t allowed to teach art or attend university. She was allowed to take some classes, but only so long as the works she produced were practical and utilitarian. This restricted her to weaving and fiber arts. “It was basically a crafts school which taught us how we could be practical workers so we could work in a factory, and we could work at home. I chose to be a freelance artist, which was not so easy in communism because you had to have a permanent job and they gave me all sorts of problems because of my political background.”
Finally, in 1979, Drizhal, pregnant with her first child, was allowed to immigrate to America. Like many area artists, Drizhal first settled in New York City before relocating to the Hudson Valley. “I don’t regret it for a second that moved her,” Drizhal said. “A lot of people told me, ‘Oh my God, you’re from the city and now you live in the country?’ and now they’ve followed me here. It definitely adds to my work.”
For the first 20 years of her career in the United States, Drizhal relied on her skills as a weaver, making a name for herself with her three-dimensional tapestries. “It was something unusual and people loved it, I must say, but I am the kind of artist who likes to experiment. I don’t want to stay with one kind of medium,” Drizhal said. “You start to feel like, this is itI’ve done as much as I could.”
After working mostly with fabrics, Drizhal started to branch out into painting and drawing. She says she particularly enjoys drawing because it requires a near obsessive attention to detail, which appeals to her. Still, though, her ideas kept coming back to the three dimensional. Drizhal loves texture; she loves to create works of art that convey meaning not just through sight, but touch and feel (she’s one of the artists who welcomes visitors to put their hands on her creations), and no medium seemed to lend itself better to this than fabric arts. The work, however, is time-consuming, intricate, and at times physically trying. Drizhal searched for a way to create her 3-D images that wouldn’t be as labor-intensive, and finally settled on working with paper and other organic materials. “I always had a tendency to do organic things in my tapestries; simple forms from nature, so I’ve continued to do that in this medium,” Drizhal said. “Nature is my major inspiration.”
The upcoming show at Catalyst is the first time Drizhal will be displaying her 3-D forms for the general public. “This is something major that I’m doing right now and it will be all 3-D, ” Drizhal said. “This is something that I want to show as a statement, and a result of all my knowledge of all these different mediums.”
Drizhal admits, though, that she could switch mediums again in the future. “I’m not sure if it’s [the] end of what I’m doing. Maybe in five years I’l change and I’ll do something different. I don’t like stagnation.”
Drizhal can be contacted through her website, www.evadrizhal.com.
Catalyst Gallery is located at 137 Main St in Beacon. The gallery can be contacted by visiting www.catalystgallery.com or by calling 845-204-3844.

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Philipstown.info/ The Paper article

Catalyst Gallery Operates a Little Differently

July 14, 2013

Short-term rental gallery designed as alternative business model to serve and sustain artists

By Alison Rooney

The usual equation for an art gallery is akin to that of agent and client: in exchange for services provided — in this case a space to exhibit work — the provider receives a percentage of the artist’s sales profits. Catalyst Gallery, a new space that opened near the west end of Main Street in Beacon last February, uses a different formula.

Exterior of Catalyst Gallery   

Exterior of Catalyst Gallery

The gallery is available to rent, without curatorial vetting or any real restrictions, for any artist. The renter can use the space as they wish, paying simply the negotiated fee, with any sales profits retained directly by the artist, not the gallery. Catalyst’s stipulations are simple: “We provide only the space, our friendly support. You take care of installation, publicity, openings, ‘sitting’ the gallery, sales, and de-installation/basic cleaning.”

The space, formerly the second of the two spaces which were home to the VanBrunt Gallery, is approximately 400 square feet, and includes “freshly painted, well-constructed” walls, as well as wood floors, track lighting, a bathroom, some parking and large storefront windows facing Main Street. The renting artist takes care of and has control over all the rest.

Rentals are available monthly (ideally including a Second Saturday date) with some two-week and even shorter rentals available from time to time. Right now Catalyst, which is within walking distance from Dia, is booked solid through November.

The idea for this came to Catalyst co-owners and artists themselves Erica Hauser and John Reichert (he is also a cabinet maker). Hauser says she and Reichert “talked awhile about having a show — I’ve shown pretty regularly in the area. We were feeling discouraged that there aren’t more venues for art in a town known for being revitalized due to art; galleries come and go. I didn’t want to be a gallery owner and though we thought about having a collective, most of all we wanted to have a place where you can just go and see something — this town can be quiet or packed so it can be hard to plan, economically.

“Then, this space became available and it didn’t need a ton of work to get it ready. We went back and forth on the idea until it evolved into making it available for artists to rent on a short-term basis, and occasionally use it to show our own things. This gives people looking to show a professional place to exhibit and also to meet with colleagues. We’re not interested in ‘being the main brand’ — it’s not our vision.”

Hauser recently spoke of her vision for the space at the June Beacon TEDx talk:

“I want to engage the public, support artists and open a good-looking place to show art on Main Street; I need such a venture to sustain itself and to facilitate my own work. My friend and I manage Catalyst Gallery as a rental space where people can realize their creative projects, independent of a more typical gallery model. They rent it short-term to install essentially whatever they want, find new exposure, experiment with ideas and inspire dialogue. They have full control, which is something we as artists so often end up handing over to someone else, or waiting for others to make decisions about our work.

Catalyst Gallery's Erica Hauser, standing near one of her own paintings. Photo by A. Rooney.

Catalyst Gallery’s Erica Hauser, standing near one of her own paintings. Photo by A. Rooney.

“This way, artists have access to a professional gallery space in a highly-visible location to try something out. A sculptor used the gallery as a testing ground for new pieces and to meet with collectors. Another wanted to explore the local market potential with an eye towards opening a permanent shop. As for us, we have extra studio space, a venue for group exhibitions and workshops. Every time I see a new show going up, and watch people walking by, peering through the windows, I am reminded that the vitality that drives Catalyst is rooted in making our own work, providing a way to sustain and encourage the creative life, and supporting the art community we are part of.”

The gallery opened with an exhibit of Hauser and Reichert’s own work, and since then has played host to a range of art including a sculptor from Los Angeles whose works focused on dogs (and tied into the “Beacon Barks” community event; a group of MFA students from New Paltz who showed their work together, and, most recently, an installation which examined truth in advertising and agribusiness while reinterpreting product packaging and in-store signage. “There’s been so much interest, we’ve been able to pick and choose,” says Hauser, adding, “we like diversity.”

Philipstown photographer Aleta Wolfe’s show opens on Second Saturday, June 13 (see sidebar.) Hauser says Wolfe was “looking for an opportunity to explore a new project and committed to the idea early on.” Occasionally they may break with the mold, for instance a group holiday show with works from multiple artists is planned, that one possibly on a commission basis. Artists have the option to open the gallery for whatever schedule they personally wish for, i.e., weekends only, or every single day of the rental, if they are available and willing to gallery-sit.

Hauser has been in Beacon for about six years, moving there from Washington Heights, after having a “good instinct about this place.” She’s not a stranger to the Hudson Valley, however, having grown up in Brewster. Her own art, which was visible during an in-between exhibits visit to the space, has been called “American nostalgia, with a vintage aesthetic.” She describes it as “representative, but it’s not photorealism, evoking a sense of place and time — maybe a memory but also having graphic appeal.”

Sculpture  and other artwork by Ed Benavente fills the windows last April at Catalyst Gallery. 

Sculpture  and other artwork by Ed Benavente fills the windows last April at Catalyst Gallery.

She describes Reichert’s works (there is a very small area at the back of the space which serves as a mini-working area for him, as “very kinetic work: sculpture with moveable parts and also acrylic on wood paintings.” Hauser sees both of their works (prints of which are available for sale at the Clay, Wood and Cotton store next door) as sharing a “strange sense of humor.”

Hauser and Reichert chose the name Catalyst because the definition of the word coincided with their goals for the space: “The space will be continually utilized and transformed to fulfill various needs, and by doing so will create new opportunities for communication and creativity. Essentially unchanged, yet always different.”

As Hauser has stated, “It will bring something new to town each month, and we won’t be sure just what, but we know it will be interesting.” Catalyst Gallery is located at 137 Main St., Beacon. Visit catalystgallery.com or phone 845-204-3844 for more information.