October 2: Paintings by Victor Mirabelli comprise the current exhibition at the Argazzi Gallery in Lakeville, CT.  The artist painted these large, for the most part square images especially for this show.

Mirabelli grew up in Washington State not far from the Columbia River. His work perfectly expresses how he was  “drawn to the dry, arid summer air blanketing the sagebrush hills where weather beaten farmhouses stood abandoned along dusty dirt roads.”

1194 "Rural Fancy" by Victor Mirabelli

His white houses have the haunting quality of buildings that stand empty after long years of abandonment. Some are single houses, their walls pierced by narrow windows that stare at us with ghostly eyes Others present blank faces to the onlooker.  The barns either stand alone or attached to the houses.  The buildings rise out of a landscape bereft of trees. In a few pieces everything is partly obscured by mist. 

1195 "Dusty Sage" by Victor Mirabelli

September 26, 2015- The Amernet String Quartet played four pieces by young composers Thursday, Sept. 24 at Merkin Hall in NYC before a sparse audience.  There was charm, warmth and a definite strain of familiarity among the three composers, all of whom were present.

The audience that was not there would have been surprised at how conservative these composers sounded.  They did not go for the far out, the weird or the uncomfortable. They all composed for the string quartet using the instruments the way they have traditionally been played, which was surprising.  They even sounded like traditional instruments.   They sounded a little like Haydn.  There were themes and variations and sounds that might be the human voice and sounds from nature. 

The last piece by Daniel Ott had six movements with names like Mesto, Odes 1 and 2, Scherzo and Allegro!  

"Photo-Fugues," an exhibition of some 30 prints of photo-collages by Marcia Slatkin can now be seen at the Cooper Finn Gallery on Front Street in Millbrook.

For many years Slatkin worked with black and white film, which she would process in her darkroom. Many of her images documented the lives of her daughters. Later, she worked with models trying she says, “to show similarities between our species and the natural world we’re part of: trunks and trunks, limbs and limbs, nests and nests.”

After she turned to digital photography, Slatkin’s search for ways to distinguish her work from that of other photographers led her to use her individual prints as raw material for collage. She prints her images in different sizes to create perspective then cuts them up (sometimes into as many as 25 pieces) before experimenting with their arrangement. When she is satisfied, she pastes the pieces onto a sheet of paper. Next she scans the collage, edits it with I-photo and has the results printed professionally. 

1185 Collage by Marcia slatkin

Landscapes by two Millbrook artists – Peter Corbin and Trevor McWilliams - are the subject of this autumn’s exhibition at the Millbrook School’s Warner Gallery. 

Many of us are familiar with Peter Corbin’s sporting paintings and drawings – primarily of hunting and fishing – set in the landscapes where these sports are practiced. For the past 40 years, Corbin says, “I have had the privilege and pleasure of recording the sporting life, the people who pursue it and the places they love.” 

1176 Chance for a Double by Peter Corbin

From the salmon rivers of Canada to the trout streams of the American West to the tidal flats of the Florida Keys Corbin, who says he made his early reputation painting clouds and water, evokes not only the appearance but the atmosphere of these very different locales.  The same can be said for his paintings of upland shooting in places as different as the grouse woods of the Northeast to Southern quail country.

1175 Two Fishermen by Peter Corbin

This Friday, Sept. 24, Bard’s new Orchestra Now will perform is debut at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington at 7:30 pm at the Daniels Arts Center.

Orchestra Now is a creature of Bard’s president, Leon Botstein, who is also music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. Orchestra Now or TON, is designed to teach proficient musicians about playing in an orchestra. It is designed as a three year all-scholarship program that gives a $24,000 a year stipend. This is the first year of this program and Friday night is its first public concert. More concerts will be held at the Fisher Center in October. Concerts have been scheduled for the Metropolitan Museum and Carnegie Hall.

In Friday’s concert at Bard's Simon's Rock the audience will hear Beethoven’s Second Symphony, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 24 with Anna Polansky, and Haydn’s Symphony No 99. Botstein indicated he wanted to do a course of Haydn symphonies.    

Sunday afternoon, September 20, 2015 was a special afternoon at Vassar’s Skinner Hall. Pianist Blanca Uribe and composer Richard Wilson have played a two-piano recital at Vassar nearly every year since 1975. Last year, their fall recital was cancelled due to an illness. This performance was their last. Many friends attended this farewell appearance.

The recital opened with Igor Stravinsky’s Sonata for Two Pianos, composed during the first year he arrived in theUnited States(1939). Nadia Boulanger proof-read this cerebral non-Russian neo-classical work, which attempted an update of J.S. Bach’s counterpoint in a more modern French idiom. I can’t say I was attracted to the composition, which to me had little in the way of attractive drive and appeared mired in minute digression and intricate regression rather than offering arresting echoes of Bach in new context, but many of the more than two hundred attendees surrounding me thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you’re in the mood for laughter, Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig is sure to exercise your diaphragm. Michael Bolinksi as director squeezes virtuallly all the juice from a script that runs perilously close to self-parody. This amusing 2004 farce about two desperate Shakespearean actors on-the-make has deep roots in Molière as well as the Marx Brothers. Having fallen to the bottom of the acting profession, these down-and-out actors turn con artists. They must enact their greatest performance in real life (and in drag costume) in a play within a play, concluding with an inept sketch of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

As Leo/Maxine Hal Chernoff offers romantic afflatus, sincerity, agonizing anguish combined with admirable energy. Rob Pawlikowski as Jack/Stephanie provides angry resignation, English charm, and dizzy confusion rooted in practicality. Notwithstanding that both actors are about a decade older than casting should dictate, they offer a marvelous performance and one does not really care about their age. Rob’s facial antics are remarkable.

Noted Italian painter Fabrizio Breschi, born in Livorno in 1950, had a small exhibition of his work at Smithfield Church on September 13, 2015. As a young man he was a singer and actor, but his love of painting compelled him to paint full-time. He taught painting for many years at The Academy of Florence, and then transferred to the prestigious Academy of Brera in Milan. In 2003 to 2007, he taught at The Academy of Carrara in Tuscany. He now resides in his home town of Livorno where he can paint by the sea.

Septembe 13: Three Millbrook artists – Stan Morse, Anne Collins, and Penelope Hall - each won ribbons at the Dutchess County Fair last month. For the past three years they have been taking one of the weekly classes Sarah Scott gives at her studio on Elm Drive. Unlike the two women who have been painting and drawing for a number of years, Morse picked up a pencil for the first time at the first class in June 2012. 

Sarah Scott has been teaching art for some time. Until last year she taught children until they all took up sports instead.  Now she gives two classes a week to adults. She begins with basic drawing to show her students “how to look at things as shapes and how they relate to each other.”  She says she has no particular philosophy, but simply tries to “guide her students in order to bring out the talent they all have. Everybody has a medium they prefer and feels more comfortable with.”  

In addition to teaching Scott does animal portraits on commission. She is also working on “The Gerbil Wheel,” a novel for children eight to twelve and up set in the Hudson Valley.

1164 drawing by Anne Collins

September 9: The retrospective of works by Emily Rutgers Fuller, a collection of her sewn canvases at the Millbrook Library, is such a bright and colorful show that cannot it fail to brighten one’s day.  These exuberant mixed media creations on wood or canvas are made of such diverse materials as collage with sewn paper, canvas, photographs, glitter, and acrylic. Some are inscribed with marks that suggest animal tracks, planted gardens, or trees.  

Emily studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and received a BS in Art Education from Tufts University. Later she studied at the Art Students League and School of Visual Arts in New York City. She now lives in New York City and northeast Dutchess County.


When Emily began working almost 40 years ago she would stitch a small piece of paper or canvas onto a larger one using the lines of thread to express a pattern.  Today, she says her new work "has become more exuberant and sensual.”  And exuberant perfectly describes these small rectangular pieces.

1161 Viburnum by Emily Rutgers Fuller

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