Arts

The era of the silent film, as well as the era of dance on film, has momentarily returned, which is good news for all you Gene Kelly fans. Director Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist has made a compelling statement as he pays tribute to former ages of cinema. The film is showing all week at The Moviehouse in Millerton and at Rhinebeck’s Upstate Films theater.

The Seti Gallery in Kent, Connecticut, is exhibiting the work of Alex Echevarria and gallery owner Arista Baltronis until March 10, 2012.

Arista Baltronis not only owns the gallery but works as an artist as well. The gallery’s current exhibition includes her most recent series, Hardware on the Rocks. Baltronis takes grungy, used shovels, axes, rakes, saws, and so on and refurbishes them with Swarovski crystals, which she buys in New York City. She said that Hardware on the Rocks allows her to work with materials she has never worked with before and to explore the world of woodworking.

Main Street in Millerton is made for meandering. Whether filling up with an Irving’s cup-of-Joe on a breezy day, or finding solace in tea-for-two at Harney & Sons, or grabbing some fresh air on the rail trail, Main Street attracts those seeking to stroll with no agenda. Yet if you have never wandered into Eckert Fine Art Gallery, you are missing out.

Eckert Fine Art gallery, owned by Jane Eckert, has been in business since 1996, but changed locations several times. Jane Eckert first opened in Naples, Florida where she dedicated the gallery to both modern and contemporary art. In 2008 she moved to Millbrook and re-located her gallery to Kent, Connecticut. In the summer of 2011she again transferred her gallery to Main Street in Millerton. She enjoys this location due to the atmosphere the art gallery and the neighboring wine store creates.

The Maplebrook School in Amenia has been exhibiting artwork from regional high school students and some middle school students. The exhibition includes students from Maplebrook, Webutuck, Kildonan, Dover, South Kent and Millbrook. I've added a sampling of the pieces, but hope that the community will review the exhibition personally. 

This winter is the mildest winter most of us have experienced. Nonetheless, Jerry Michalak still has visions of snow and ice; he thrives off of the weather that most of us seek to avoid. The Millbrook School is displaying Michalak’s Snow Bound exhibition until March 24 in their Warner Gallery at the Holbrook Arts Center.

Michalak served as an educator for over 30 years. During this time he shifted his personal focus from landscape painting to black and white photography. As he studied and produced such photography, his love affair with snow also emerged.

The majestic two-hundred-year-old masterpiece by Mendelssohn sent chills up and down my spine as I sat in the 900 person audience at Bard’s Fisher Center Saturday night.

The American Symphony Orchestra, augmented with members of the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, performed Elijah to full houses both Friday and Saturday evening in the acoustically superb Sosnoff Theater.

For 30 years Rhinebeck’s Upstate Theater has been showing films that reflect its commitment to film as an artistic medium. According to Associate Director, Rebecca Prahl, they strive “to show something alternative, to give people options and a place to come together. [Our purpose] is two-fold; to show great movies, but also to have this social place in the center of town that people can go to. It is different from the café or restaurant and they are seeing something they can engage with and at the same time, engage with each other.” She added, “…and to keep things a little funky and a little fun too. To keep the world a lot more interesting.”

People have been depicting animals since the dawn of history. Over 17,000 years ago, humans painted images of the animals they wished to hunt on the walls of caves. The ancient Egyptians portrayed many of their gods with the heads of animals, while tribal art often combined human and animal features to symbolize the bond of humans with the natural environment. 

By the 18th century, images of animals were often portraits of particular creatures—be it a prized pig or cow, a racehorse or hunter, or a beloved pet. That tradition continues today, as can be seen in a new exhibition of paintings and sculpture at the Gilded Moon Gallery in Millerton. While the 11 artists whose works are on display range from self-taught to highly trained, they are all exceptionally talented.

 

 

Last week, 31 students from the Millbrook High School Concert Choir sang with their older colleagues in a two-day “Adopt a Choir” choral workshop with Dr. Rebecca Reames at SUNY Potsdam. Millbrook High School Concert Choir director Alexis Clements said that students were fortunate to work closely with Reames, who has guest-conducted and adjudicated festival ensembles in more than a dozen states and in Canada.

 

When two artists merge their efforts into a joint project and when those artists are of both of great sensitivity and possess great talent, it is likely that something great will emerge.  Those who heard Peter Wiley and Anna Polonsky play together at Bard last weekend were in agreement that they had heard music of the highest caliber, achieving greatness.  The project was the complete works by Beethoven for piano and cello, played over two days, Saturday and Sunday. That is not an enormous body of work, but I thought, as I left the Sunday concert at Olin Hall, that if Beethoven had heard these two players as we had heard them, he would have increased his repertoire for these instruments, perhaps doubling it.  The program started with Beethoven’s seven variations on Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen (“In men, who feel love”), from Mozart’s Dei Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), which sounded more Mozartian than Beethoven-like—light, lilting, and full of song. Beethoven, clearly enthralled by Mozart, was inspired to write these variations on the fetching aria of Papageno.  
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