Tag: Belleayre Music Festival

“Art in the Catskills” Is Four Month Old

Art in the CatskillsArt in the Catskills, published earlier this year, is an inventory of cultural assets in the Catskills, and it essentially serves as a travel guide for art and history lovers.

I wrote this book, because this is the kind of book I wish I was handed when I moved to the Catskills ten years ago. And, although some of the cultural projects that I discuss in this book were developed later – like for instance The Woodstock Writers Festival, which launched in 2010, and The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, which also launched in 2010, most are well-established, well-known historical landmarks. For instance, Thomas Cole’s Old Studio at Cedar Grove Mansion in Catskill was built in 1839; the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild was founded in 1902; the Maverick Concert Hall, the oldest chamber music hall in the country still in existence, opened in 1916; the Woodstock Playhouse opened in 1938; all these are national artistic and cultural landmarks.

People are used to come to the Catskills for its tremendous outdoor recreational opportunities, but what I’m saying with this book is that the Catskills is also an amazing cultural destination – look for instance at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival in Cooperstown – the festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year (it opened in 1975). Or Bard Music Festival, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. And, right here close to us, there is Belleayre Music Festival that brought Ray Charles and Wynton Marsalis to the Catskills.

And there is art in all forms and styles. Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown displays works by famed landscape painters like Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand. The Emporium in High Falls houses documents about Cubist painter Marc Chagall, who lived in New York City in the 1940s, and maintained a studio in High Falls – Chagall painted in the Catskills from 1946 to 1948. So, there is a lot of art in the Catskills.

I knew quite a bit about the Catskills prior to writing this book, but during the research phase, I learned many new things:

  • The National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, founded in 1986 by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and his wife Marylou, is the only dance museum in the country, and one of the very few in the world. Its collections are extensive;
  • Thomas Cole’s New Studio, which was built in 1846, and was demolished in the 1970s, is currently being re-built based on the original design model.

There is a lot going on in the Catskills, and I talk about all these in my book. A second edition is coming out early next year.

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Looking forward to talking more about Art in the Catskills!

© 2014 Simona David

Weekend in the Catskills – 7/25/14

 

Yet another grand weekend for the arts in the Catskills! My recommendations this weekend include: an open studio tour in Roxbury, Margaretville and Andes, opera at Belleayre Mountain, theater in Woodstock and Franklin, and dance in Tannersville.

AMR (Andes, Margaretville, Roxbury) Open Studios Tour

This weekend twenty artists in Andes, Margaretville and Roxbury open their studios to the public, and show their working spaces. During the tour, artists in all media will be talking about their styles and techniques, and the process of making art. This year, which marks the tour’s third anniversary, the studios are open Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 from 11 am to 5 pm. For maps and more information, visit http://www.amropenstudios.org.

Belleayre Music Festival

The Belleayre Conservatory, founded in 1992, presents Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount, Ulster County, every year in July and August. This Saturday, July 26 it presents opera Lucia di Lammermoor written in 1835 by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti; the story is loosely based on a novel by Scottish writer Walter Scott. For tickets and more information visit http://www.belleayremusic.org.

The Woodstock Playhouse

In existence since 1938, the Woodstock Playhouse is a rural extension of the Broadway theatrical and musical performances. This weekend the playhouse presents The Three Musketeers based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas written in 1844, and adapted by Peter Raby. The Three Musketeers opened last night July 24,  an event that coincided with Alexandre Dumas’ birthday – Dumas was born on July 24, 1802. The play can be seen again tonight, July 25 and tomorrow, July 26. For tickets and more information visit http://woodstockplayhouse.org.

Franklin Stage Company

Founded in 1996, Franklin Stage Company produces both classical and contemporary plays, and prides itself in having a free admission policy. Over the years, the theater has presented plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ionesco, and others. This summer it will present Tartuffe by Molière, in a translation by Richard Wilbur, from July 25 through August 10. Tartuffe is a comedy in five acts about Parisian foibles in the 17th century. For tickets and more information visit http://www.franklinstagecompany.org.  

National Dance Day

July 26 is National Dance Day. Catskill Mountain Foundation presents a dance program tomorrow at the Orpheum Theater in Tannersville: as part of the Mountain Top Summer Residency Performance program this year, the National Dance Institute will perform its grand finale tomorrow evening. For tickets and more information visit http://www.catskillmtn.org/events/performances/2014-07-26-national-dance-institute-762.html.

Have an artsy Catskills weekend!