Humans of the Catskills: Rhiannon Radu

Rhiannon Radu / Photo Credit: Mike Radu

Journey to the Catskills:

My journey here has been a back-and-forth from the Hudson Valley to the Catskills from the start. In the 1990s, my father would travel every weekend to the mountains for downhill mountain bike races and meets at Plattekill. He met my mother, who was “his mountain flower,” and soon I came along. I was dubbed “The Plattekill Baby” among their friends. I went to university at SUNY New Paltz, earning a BFA in Metals and a minor in German Studies. I have since returned, planning on staying in these hills and putting down roots.


I am the Program Coordinator for the Headwaters Arts Center in Stamford, NY. I have the pleasure of bringing arts programming and workshops to the area. My wish is to bring the community together, by encouraging folks to fearlessly explore and unabashedly cultivate their artistic abilities and talents.

A metalsmith by trade, I have made it a priority in my life, to tap into the natural creative impulse that people have. Whether a sculptor, fabricator, carpenter, mechanic, or farmer, we all have the desire to create and gain deep satisfaction from a job well done. I want to remind people that they are artists, no matter what they do for a living.  


Studio artist. I am interested in using different materials, exploring their inherent qualities and traditional uses. Thinking about materials can be very poetic. Wood is warm. Fabric provides comfort for our bodies and homes. Metal can be cold and hard, or molten and flexible. I am invested in the conversation around functional objects and love thinking about the intersection of beauty and function. 

Happiness Is:

Going on a drive on the backroads with the windows down. Swimming in the creek. Finishing a project. Taking the family on an adventure. Putting in a hard day’s work. Hands in the soil. Being outside with the dogs. Singletrack. Getting muddy because the top’s down. Harvesting garlic scapes. Foraging ramps. A big bonfire after a week of rain. Being cozy and warm in a tent on a cool, breezy night. 

Favorite Dish:

A cold, leftover eggroll in the morning. Dad’s chicken and twice-baked potatoes. When Grandma makes “sarmale” (stuffed cabbage in Romanian) and “clătite” (crêpes in Romanian). A savory leek and parmesan puff pastry with the pretty lattice pattern from the coffee shop. 

Ideal Country Home:

Lived in. Lots of ceramic pieces on shelves. Heavy, solid wooden furniture. A large mudroom, with lots of room for bikes, boots, and coats. A woodstove. A big copper sink. Green walls. Decorative lamps. One very big comfy chair. A big yard with a garden. A studio out back.