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.
What can you get for $100? Paintings, sculpture, ceramics, woodcuts, drawings and mixed media. The Barrett Art center put on their annual 100 for 100 raffle Sunday night. The event was held at Locust Grove on the Samuel Morse estate, a fitting spot for the event.
It is not mere coincidence that Locust Grove’s walls were lined with an exhibition of Barbara Masterson’s oils. Rather the appreciation for the arts that the Samuel Morse estate displays naturally goes back to their perpetrator. The wall-hangings and event itself pays homage the once professional artist that Morse was. Prior to inventing the telegraph system, Morse painted for a living, including a portrait of John Adams; Locust Grove still exhibits some of his work.
A Night on the Town at the Millbrook Library drew a crowd Friday night as people scurried inside to avoid the brisk February air. They were greeted by a display of refreshments supplied by Coach’s Wine & Spirits, including wines and eats.
The evening’s festivities began with a brief talk by photographer Bill Wiegelman whose works are on display.
Wiegelman’s traced his love of photography to a class he took in college. While that may have initially inspired him, he said his family encouraged him, sitting patiently while he flipped through film prints. His wife, children, parents and in-laws awere there in the audience, ratifying their support of his photographic endeavors. In his day job Weigelman is a fireman in Eastchester, where he lives.
The Bard Music Conservatory faculty concert last Saturday afternoon might be described as an intimate concert. Marka Gustavsson, accompanied by Frank Corliss on piano, played four sonatas for viola and piano. While each sonata was very different, they made for a coherent afternoon of music making.
This article was published in the February 15 2012 edition of the paper
Contemporary music had an airing last Thursday at Merkin Hall when the Ecstatic Music Festival took the stage in a program of new music, hosted by John Schaefer of WNYC.
Classical music is being redefined as players and composers incorporate ideas, sounds and techniques from other traditions into music played, for the most part, on traditional orchestral instruments. Last Thursday we heard a group called YMusic, composed of six classically trained musicians playing violin, viola, cello, clarinet, flute/bassoon and trumpet. They were joined by composers playing bass and piano, and later two guitars and synthesizer.
This article appeared in the February 15 edition of the paper.