Lots to Celebrate on the Mountain Top

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Counting up money for the 50/50 at MTHS

Counting up money for the 50/50 at MTHS

Sunday saw two anniversary celebrations among the arts community on the Mountain Top. In Haines Falls, the Mountain Top Historical Society threw a party for its fortieth anniversary.  Ice cream, cake, lemonade, and ice tea were offered for our enjoyment, and top-notch music from the fifties performed by the Rhythm and Blues Band ensured that it was great fun to “twist gain, like we did last summer” — or perhaps more summers ago than I care to count…. Earlier in the day, Larry Tompkins gave a presentation on historic Windham. Alas, other commitments meant I had to miss this, but MTHS President Cyndi LaPierre assured me that it was well attended.

The Rhythm and Blues Band does their thing

The Rhythm and Blues Band does their thing

The MTHS has the friendliest, most dedicated, and most knowledgeable people you can imagine. Stop into their colorful headquarters the next time you’re driving along Route 23A — you can find details on their website — and while you’re there, check out my photography exhibition “Natural and Historic Landscapes,” open through Labor Day weekend!

Enjoying the festivities at the TAAC

Enjoying the festivities at the TAAC

The other celebration was taking place in Tannersville, where the Tannersville Antique and Artisan Center was celebrating the first anniversary of being in business. The place was alive with well-wishers, and I also met some of the regulars whose work is for sale there, including photographer Francis Driscoll and local historian/author John Ham. Rick Thomas has done a superb job of bringing together gifted regional artists and collectors to a bright, friendly venue where you’re sure to find something you’ll want to buy, for yourself or for a gift.

In Hunter I stopped into the Kaaterskill Fine Arts & Crafts Gallery for a preview of a truly

A glimpse of the new show in Hunter

A glimpse of the new show in Hunter

eye-opening photography show that’s opening this weekend. Carolyn Bennett is always on the lookout for interesting artists to showcase, and this time she has managed to find three photographers whose work really pushes the envelope as to what can be done in the medium. Palenville’s Dan Burkholder I’ve been familiar with from Facebook and his website and was glad for this opportunity to see some of his fine work “in person.” While I was there I met Vincent Bilotta, also from Palenville, who was busy hanging his portion of the exhibit. The third photographer is Fawn Potash from Catskill and I look forward to being able to study her work more closely.

The opening reception for “Light Sensitive” is this Saturday August 16, 2 to 4 pm at the Kaaterskill Fine Arts & Crafts Gallery, Route 23A in Hunter. Hope to see you there!

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Happy Birthday Mountain Top Historical Society

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First, something about the Mountain Top Historical Society in their own words: “The Mountain Top Historical Society is dedicated to discovering , preserving, interpreting and sharing the unique and rich history of the Mountain Top region in Greene County, NY. The Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1974 and engages in activities and programs that enrich understanding and foster appreciation of the Catskill High peaks.  We encourage the study and preservation of the Mountain Top’s art, literature, history, culture, folklore, legends in a variety of ways.”

Local historian and author John M. Ham poses with his latest book. The quality of the B&W photos in this one is amazing.

Local historian and author John M. Ham poses with one of his books.

Now, the great news is that they’ve been doing this since 1974! This year the MTHS celebrates forty years of serving the northern Catskills. They’ve supported the work of historians such as John Ham, whose books are an invaluable and indispensable resource for the region’s history; sponsored the premiers of such filmmakers as Tobe Carey, whose visual documentaries are historical tours de force on such topics as the Ashokan Reservoir and the Catskill railroads; invited lecturers to share their knowledge of the history and culture of the region; provided entertainment steeped in the Catskills’ popular culture; and currently, for which I’m very grateful, are hosting my photography exhibition

"Ashokan Dreams"

“Ashokan Dreams”

“Natural and Historical Landscapes.”  This is the first time the MTHS has ever hosted a photo exhibition and I’m privileged that they’ve decided to “take a chance” on me and am especially thankful to current MTHS President Cyndi LaPierre for her faith in my work.

On Sunday August 10 the MTHS invites us all to their official celebration of their fortieth birthday.  Come and join in the fun if you can! On Route 23a in Haines Falls — you can’t miss the sign and the colorful headquarters. At 1 pm Larry Tompkins will present a lecture about beautiful, historic Windham.  From 3 pm to 4.30 pm the Rhythm and Blues Band will entertain, and there will be free ice cream and cake for everyone. And while you’re at it, please stop into the Visitor Center to enjoy my photographs–you might find a print or some fine-art cards you’ll want to take home.

 

Tannersville Antique and Artisan Center: Don’t Miss It!

Manager Rick Thomas welcomes you to the Tannersville Antique and Artisan Center.

Manager Rick Thomas welcomes you to the Tannersville Antique and Artisan Center.

On a recent visit I ran into photographer Fran Driscoll and his friends.

On a recent visit I ran into photographer Fran Driscoll and his friends.

In the short time it has been in existence–it celebrates its first anniversary on July 6– the Tannersville Antique and Artisan Center has evolved into a major presence in the vibrant Northern Catskills art world. An outreach of the Hunter Foundation, the TAAC is appropriately located on Route 23A,  just a few miles from the famed Kaaterskill Falls, a beloved subject of landscape painters at least since Thomas Cole first painted it in the 1820s.

The TAAC’s vendors represent an impressive mix of local artists and antique collectors. From prints, paintings, and photographs to rugs, chairs, and other items awaiting new owners to love them–and let’s not forget the books on the history of the area–, the TAAC truly does offer something for everyone. All is under the skillful management of Rick Thomas, who has made this space in a renovated 19th-century building a pleasure to walk through. Walk in the door and you’ll get a friendly greeting from Rick, who welcomes you to have a leisurely look around in the two-floor space.

Rick’s hospitality extends as well to organizing talks by the TAAC vendors. Recent speakers have included famed Northern Catskills photographer Fran Driscoll and historian/author John Ham. It’s a great way to get to deepen your acquaintance with the artists/collectors/authors and their works.

I’ll be giving a talk at the TAAC on Saturday afternoon June 28 at 3 pm–sharing Book coversome tips on how I approach my photography, especially my work in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, and perhaps whipping up your enthusiasm to get out and take your own photographs of this beautiful region. Also, we’ll have our book Historic Hudson Valley: A Photographic Tour available for sale, and I’ll be glad to sign the book for you as well! I look forward to meeting you there.

The Tannersville Antique and Artisan Center is open year-round Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 6 pm. Like them on Facebook to get the latest news.

While you’re in the area, don’t miss the chance to enjoy a meal in one of Tannersville’s fabulous restaurants. My personal favorite? The Last Chance, which also sells cheese and other irresistible food items (such as chocolate!!!) for you to take home.