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July 19 - Poughkeepsie Open Studio Tour

July 19, 2020
Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director, Arts Mid-Hudson

This is the sixth year that a group of dedicated artists and volunteers have planned for the Poughkeepsie Open Studio Tour. While everyone has participated in the past by walking through the studios, this year the tour will be a virtual event, promoting the 62 artists that are included in this year’s studio tour online. The virtual event shows the broad diversity in the Poughkeepsie artistic community through a video feature of each artist on the tour.

wooden loungeThrough a partnership with Barrett Arts Center, the artists and volunteers have worked together to broaden the impact of this event. The group received funding through Dutchess Tourism, administered by Arts Mid-Hudson to include videos that showcase the local artists long after the timing of previous years’ weekend events. The individual videos are slide shows showing the artists’ work and an image of the artist. This simple showcase is a lovely way to spend time exploring the talents of Poughkeepsie area artists. Artist and lead organizer Jeff Aman commented: “Organizing our events for the past five years has been a buildup over several months, leading to one weekend with 500-800 people touring Poughkeepsie. Being online this year we build up for a few months, free of being anchored to a specific weekend and now have the next six months to show off the arts community of our City.”

The virtual format allows for the inclusion of performing artists, such as Poet Gold’s spoken word poetry and fusion dance by Anna Mayta. The individual features and videos level the field, allowing Basha Ruth Nelson and Jan Mollett to show their larger sculptures, as well as the numerous jewelry artists to show details of their smaller pieces.

Painting of a girl in a blue dress sitting in a field

Visitors to the virtual Poughkeepsie Open Studio tour can see classically trained portrait painters, such as Benjamin Arnold, Jennifer Keltos, and Carl Grauer. The variety of media that artists use to express their creativity includes a young cartoonist, Madison Cahill, as well as artists that use digital media to create art, such as Tom Ellman and Donna Faranda. Included are several artists featured that create works of art for the home, such as Jeff Johnson’s fine wood furniture; Robert Lechterman and Jeep Johnson make glass objects using a glass kiln to fuse layers of glass creating stunning objects d’art.

neon body paintingSeveral photographers are included in the tour including an homage to the late Eric Lindbloom, one of Poughkeepsie’s most notable photographers. Among the stellar photography offerings is Steven Steele Cawman’s stunning travel photography, Sean Hemmerle’s photo series on Poughkeepsie’s Fall Kill Creek and David Henningsen’s psychedelic portraits.

Stained glass with flowerJulia Whitney Barnes’ work includes public art installations including her “River of Bricks” series, as well as paintings that show her love of the Hudson Valley River school. John Breiner’s illustrative art is drawn and painted on old book covers and also scales up to mural size. Nestor Madalengoitia is another artist that creates paintings as well as wall-sized murals – both artists’ work is seen gracing walls throughout Poughkeepsie.

Artists and their artwork can be seen on the Poughkeepsie Open Studios webpage:
Email for additional information: [email protected]

May 10 - Calvert Vaux Photography

May 10, 2020

Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director, Arts Mid-Hudson

a domed room with a baby grand piano in it

Liz Cooke’s photography, “Convalescent Home Piano Room,” shows items that are left behind in abandoned buildings. (Photo: Liz Cooke)

The Hudson River Valley region is fortunate to have landmarks designed by notables such as Calvert Vaux, Andrew Jackson Downing, Frederick Clarke Withers and Frederick Law Olmsted. Many world-renowned landmarks came out of partnerships between these 19th century architects and landscape designers that set the style and fashion for America’s grand places.

Today we can appreciate the mission of the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance to preserve the regional legacy of the 19th century architect, Calvert Vaux. To expand appreciation of the historical value of these places, Kitty McCullough and the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance invited Franc Palaia to curate a photography exhibit that featured the historic architecture and landscape design in the Hudson River Valley. Palaia commented, “In my selection process I tried to focus on well-known, as well as lesser-known architecture to give the show a sense of discovery for the viewer.” From over 100 images, he selected 29 photographers to show 70 images for the exhibit.

areal view of Olana

Photographer Paolo Nigris used drone photography to capture Olana and the sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. (Photo: Paolo Nigris)

Olana is a stunning example of Calvert Vaux’s partnership with Frederic Church to complete a home sited on a rise where views of the Hudson River and the landscape seems to go on forever. Photographer Paolo Nigris used drone photography to capture Olana and the sweeping views of the surrounding landscape.

Several photographs in the exhibit feature the abandonment and ruination of these grand structures. Liz Cooke’s photography, Convalescent Home Piano Room, is a wonderful example of the architectural details in these old buildings. The photograph allows us to imagine the grandeur of this room in its prime, filled with music appreciators for an afternoon concert. Cooke has created a collection of these memorials to grand architecture and is the founder of Abandoned Hudson Valley, a website devoted to sharing ideas and images of the forgotten places in the Hudson Valley region.

foggy image of Psychiatric Hospital,

Monica D. Church captured the existing building on a cold morning in her photograph, Cheney Building, Psychiatric Hospital. (Photo: Monica D. Church)

Now abandoned, the Hudson River State Hospital Psychiatric Center looms above Route 9, a major transportation corridor. The iconic buildings were designed by Frederick Clarke Withers and the grounds were designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted: both were known for their pioneering work of America’s Park Movement, as well as the design for New York City’s Central Park. Monica d. Church captured the existing building on a cold morning in her photograph, Cheney Building, Psychiatric Hospital.

Sunny day with an old castle

John Verner’s photo of Bannerman Castle shows the intricate architectural details up close. (Photo: John Verner)

Bannerman Castle is another spectacular architectural structure adjacent to the railroad corridor on the Hudson River. John Verner’s photo of Bannerman Castle shows the intricate architectural details of the structure up close.

Wilderstein is an Italianate style home designed by John Warren Ritch in 1852, and 40 years later, Calbert Vaux completed a landscape plan for the grounds that were originally pasture. Wilderstein’s interiors were designed by Joseph Burr Tiffany featuring the finest decorative arts during that time, including stained glass windows. Photographer Pieter Estersohn captured one of Wilderstein’s large stained glass windows at the top of a stairwell. The window’s artistry continues to sparkle in the sunlight, providing beauty and grace to all who walk within the walls of this architectural gem.

Windows with intricate patterns on them and light shining through

Photographer Pieter Estersohn captured a stained glass window at Wilderstein, one of the architectural treasures in the Hudson River Valley. (Photo: Pieter Estersohn)

Details on the Calvert Vaux Photography exhibit:
Currently the exhibit is available for viewing online:
To learn more about the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance:
Photographs are available for purchase: contact [email protected]
The exhibit is up through May 31 at Montgomery Row art exhibition space in Rhinebeck; however, the space is closed until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.