Autumn is always a busy and interesting time in the Catskills. Craft fairs, art shows, and other good things abound to provide us with lots of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy before winter comes and makes our living rooms look inviting.
Windham is one of my favorite places, and I’m proud to belong to and participate in the Windham Arts Alliance (WAA) art shows, which are held at the Main Street Community Center, 5494 State Route 23, Windham. The autumn show is aptly titled “The Beauty of the Catskills,” and it opened on September 10 with a magnificent slide show and talk by noted Catskills photographer Fran Driscoll. Fran is familiar with every inch of the Catskills, and his knowledge and enthusiasm inspired us all. Speaking as a photographer, I came away with ideas for my photography as such as well as for new places to check out.
The WAA shows are open to painters and photographers, and given the theme, this year’s autumn show is, well, beautiful! If you’re in the area, please come and enjoy. It’s open until November 11. The Windham Autumn Affair will take place October 8 and 9 from 10 am to 5 pm, so if you can, come and take in both events on the same day.
If you visit the MSCC’s website you’ll see a gallery of selected artworks from the show. Here I’m posting for you one of my own works, a painting by Sheila Trautman who has long been one of my artistic inspirations, and some photographs by Fran Driscoll, who, I believe, will have a booth at the Autumn Affair.
The Mountain Top region of the Catskills is home to an amazing number of artistic, creative, and literary people. Cindy Smith is one of them. Cindy and her husband, Dan, operate the Antiques store located at the crossroads of Routes 23A and 296 in Hunter (you can’t miss it–it’s just to the west of the junction, on the north side of 23A — at 8176 Main Street).
Cindy’s path and mine first crossed at the Mountain Top Historical Society‘s annual Open House, where we were each selling our wares. Because of my interest in historic sites, for possible photographic subjects, I was attracted to the reproductions of historic postcards that she sells, and I bought some for future reference. Not long afterward, I met up with her again at — guess where — a postcard show sponsored by the MTHS at their Haines Falls headquarters. And so during one of my days of rambling round the Mountain Top with my camera, I stopped into Cindy’s store to see her in situ.
I was amazed at Cindy’s knack for filling these few rooms in this lovely old building with as many wares as possible without the effect being one of clutter and jumble. Actually, the ambiance was warm and homey. I loved it. In addition to the gently used items — “Old Treasured Belongings,” as she calls that side of her business — she also operates “Handmade by Cindy,” items she makes herself. Handbags in various styles and colors, scarves — you name it. In addition to her store, Cindy can be found at the many Holiday Craft Fairs in the area. I believe she and I will both be selling at the Craft Fair in Windham on December 14.
These are some photos I took inside Cindy’s store (with her gracious permission, of course). I’ll be processing some photos as “vintage” images and will post them on my photo blog when they’re ready.