Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rockwell Kent Day Celebrates The Artist’s Adirondack Roots

Kent with WoodcutThough many famous artists have used the Adirondacks as the subject of their work, one artist stands out as a painter, activist and illustrator. Rockwell Kent was a prolific artist and through his seascapes and landscapes provided a window into the wilds of Alaska, Newfoundland, Greenland, Tierra del Fuego, the Adirondacks and beyond.

For the second year the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) is hosting a Rockwell Kent Day on September 21st from 10 am – 4 pm in Newcomb to celebrate this adventurer with strong ties to the Adirondacks.

“Rockwell Kent Day is a great way to focus on the author and world traveler as well as delving into the natural history that he depicts in his art as well as his writing,” says AIC’s Kristin Pasquino.

According to Paquino the event remains essentially unchanged from its inaugural year with the exception of the keynote speaker. Writer/Producer Dr. Frederick Lewis will be on hand to present a view into Rockwell Kent based on his 10-year study of the artist. Lewis’s study of Kent culminated into the two-part, 170-minute PBS documentary, “Rockwell Kent: painter, author, illustrator, adventurer and social activist.”  As the writer/producer of the documentary and professor at Ohio University, Dr. Lewis will speak of the journey that had him following in the footsteps of Rockwell Kent including recreating Kent’s attempt to sail to Cape Horn.

“There will also be working artists along the trails, “says Pasquino. “Participants can come, walk the paths, watch artists at work and ask questions. The plan is to do a silent auction near the end of the day.”

Rockwell Kent Day is not the only opportunity to follow in Kent’s footsteps. The Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum houses “the most complete and balanced collection of Rockwell Kent’s work in the United States.”  The permanent exhibition of Kent’s work is located in the Feinberg Library and is open seven days a week.

In nearby AuSable Forks sits Asgaard Farm,  Rockwell Kent’s Adirondack home. With views of Whiteface and the surrounding land, Asgaard Farm was an inspiration for many of his works. Though no longer functioning as an artist studio, the current Asgaard Farm continues Kent’s working dairy traditions by providing fresh chèvre, bûche, soaps and caramels from its own goat stock. Asgaard Farm can still be visited as long as a trip to the farm store or to help with the goats is part of the plan.

If Rockwell Kent’s work is new to you I encourage you to join Dr. Lewis for an in-depth talk regarding this multi-talented artist with strong ties to the Adirondacks.

Photo of Rockwell Kent with woodcut used with the permission of The Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum for Rockwell Kent Day. 


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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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