Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adirondack Folk School Prepares to Open

Beginning in June, the much awaited Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne will begin its first classes. Dubbed by its founders as “the only school of its kind in the country dedicated to teaching the arts, crafts and culture of this unique Adirondack region,” the Lake Luzerne school will be housed in the former Odd Fellows hall (and later an elementary school and Town Hall) which was constructed in the 1930s.

The school began with an idea by town resident Jim Mandle who was looking for ways to revitalize Lake Luzerne’s downtown. It came to fruition with the support of town leaders, Adirondack Community College, and the Adirondack Museum.

The school is expected to house classes in Fiber Arts, Basketry, Woodworking, Ceramics, Felting, Quilting, Fly Tying, Cooking, Gardening, Leather Craft, Photography, Outdoor Skills, Rustic Furniture, and Blacksmithing.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Rock Against Rape Benefit, Heidi Little

The 5th Annual Rock Against Rape Benefit Saturday looks to be a great one with so many very good bands to get into. Five bands under one roof, that’s pretty rare in the North Country, plus it’s always cool when you can have fun while contributing to a worthy cause.

Also on Saturday night is Heidi Little, a singer/songwriter/rhythm guitar player who will be giving a 2-hour concert. She happens to be a fairly new to the Adirondacks and resides in Bloomingdale. It’d be wonderful if the community went out to hear what she has to share and give her some support.

Friday, April 16th:

In Potsdam, Happy Hour Jazz at Maxfields. The band consists of: Stephen Bird on bass, Kyle Tupper on percussion and vocals and Bill Vitek on piano. They will be entertaining diners 5 – 7 pm.

In Potsdam, Cue Ball Revue presents Americana Dance Music at La Casbah. The band plays from 9 – 11 pm.

Saturday, April 17th:

In Plattsburgh, Rock Against Rape, a benefit concert, will be held at The Monopole from 5 pm until 2 am.
This multiband event benefits the Sexual Assault Services of Planned Parenthood. The bands are: Eat Sleep Funk, Flip the Bus,
Filming Ohio, Shameless Strangers and The Josh Cramoy Band.

In Elizabethtown, Piano By Nature presents Destino Brass. This concert will be held 7 – 9 at The Hand House.

In Saranac Lake, Heidi Little’s House of Music will be at Saranac Village at Will Rogers. Heidi Little will be performing pop and soft rock original songs 7:30 – 9:30 pm. A $5 donation is suggested.

In Canton, Home Sweet Home; University Chorus Concert will be put on from 8 – 9:30 pm. It will be held at the Gunnison Chapel at St. Lawrence University and admission is free.

Sunday, April 18th:

In Lake Placid, The Met Live in HD Series, “Hamlet” will be shown at 1 pm at LPCA. Tickets are $18 to $12. The performance runs 3 hours and 45 minutes with intermissions. For more information call 518-523-2512.

Photo: Heidi Little


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Northern Forest Paddlers Film Festival Friday

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) will bring its Northern Forest Paddlers Film Festival to Lake Placid on Friday, April 16 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and screenings begin at 7:00 p.m.

Four documentary films and a clay-animated short will cover a range of themes on recreational canoeing and kayaking from exploring the Antarctic peninsula and Inside Passage, to finding record whitewater kayak waterfall runs and building a traditional birch bark canoe.

The lineup of films:

– Selections from Terra Antarctica: Rediscovering the Seventh Continent (20 min) An up-close look at the iceberg and turquoise blue water landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula by sea kayak.

– Selections from Dream Result (30 min). A group of extreme whitewater kayakers explore wild rivers and monster waterfalls in Canada, Chile, and Scandinavia, and one dares the world record descent of 186-foot Palouse Falls in Washington.

– Earl’s Canoe (30 min). Follow Ojibwe Nation member Earl Nyholm as he builds an Ojibwe birch bark canoe on Madeleine Island, Wisconsin, using traditional tools and methods.

– Paddle to Seattle (50 min). This independent documentary chronicles the journey of two intrepid adventurers paddling handmade wooden Pygmy kayaks from Alaska to Seattle via the 1,300-mile Inside Passage.

– Kayaking is Not a Crime (7 min). A clay-animated short with a fun pro-kayaking message created by young New York filmmaker Ben Doran.

All proceeds from the festival will benefit NFCT programs and stewardship activities along the canoe and kayak waterway that begins in Old Forge and stretches for 740 miles to northern Maine. There will be paddling-related door prizes and a silent auction.

Tickets are $8 for students and $10 in advance or $12 at the door for adults. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Lake Placid Center for the Arts at .


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lake George Arts Project Presents ‘Spring Fling!’

The Lake George Arts Project will host “Spring Fling!” at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George on Sunday, April 25, from 3 to 7 PM. Featuring food and music, the Spring Fling is in keeping with other Lake George Arts Project events such as Bands ‘n Beans, the Summer Solstice Cruise, and the Black Velvet Art Party. Proceeds from the event will help support the Arts Project’s many programs which include the Summer Concert Series in Shepard Park, the Lake George Jazz Weekend, various art workshops, and the Courthouse Gallery exhibition series.

Music will be performed by “Tequila Mockingbirds,” a Saratoga based acoustic duo. The menu will feature roast pork prepared by chef Ed Pagnotta from the Barnsider Restaurant. This year’s special raffle prize is a chainsaw carving of a bear, which will be sculpted on the premises by wood carver Glenn Durlacher of Queensbury.

Tickets are $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for children 12 and under, and are available at the Lake George Arts Project and at the door at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street in Lake George. A special pre-sale price of $15.00 is offered if purchased by April 21st . For information/tickets, contact the Lake George Arts Project at 518-668-2616.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let’s Eat: Rockwell Kent’s Asgaard Dairy

In 1926 artist Rockwell Kent married Frances Lee, his second wife. An infamous womanizer, Kent made little effort to hide his affairs, even bringing some of his paramours home for dinner with his new bride. In less than a year, the Kent’s marriage was in serious trouble. To save the relationship, Rockwell and Frances agreed to leave New York City and move to a place with fewer temptations.

Frances found a perfect spot in the heart of the Adirondacks–an old farm near Ausable Forks with views of Whiteface. Kent remembered his first view of the property: “The nearer we got to the house the worse it looked; and when we finally came so close as to lose sight of its general proportional unsightliness we became only the more aware of its particular shoddiness.” Nevertheless, the couple purchased the property for $5,000. It was about 200 acres, the heart of the farm “being level meadowland, and the rest pine woods and pasture of a sort…Lock, stock, and barrel we had purchased our farm: the land, the buildings, the team, the cows and heifers, the wagons, implements, and tools.”

Within three weeks of purchasing the property, plans for a new house and barn were complete, and within five weeks contractors had poured the concrete foundations. By snowfall, the buildings were under roof. Kent named the farm “Asgaard,” meaning the “farm of the gods” in Nordic myth. He painted the name in four-foot-high letters on the barn.

The property came complete with a tenant farmer on site. Kent purchased a local milk route, and hired the man to manage the dairy operation. The business of farming did not prove very profitable: “You’d think—I mean that people who have never owned a farm would think—that when a farmer, paying his own taxes and all his costs of operation, can earn enough to live, he’d earn at least as much when someone else pays his taxes and his costs for him, not to mention a salary. But it’s funny about farming…It just doesn’t work out that way.” Kent persisted, finding satisfaction in making his land productive, if not entirely profitable.

During World War II, Kent aided the war effort by doubling Asgaard’s milk production, increasing the size of his herd of Jersey cows, enlarging the barn, and installing a bottling plant so he could sell directly to local customers.

In 1948, Kent’s business ran afoul of local political sentiment when he organized a chapter of the leftist American Labor Party. After distributing political leaflets in Ausable Forks, his customers began canceling orders, one of them saying, “We don’t want Russian milk.” The local Catholic priest visited his workers, telling them to quit and asking them if they were Communists. After losing two employees and the major portion of his customers, Kent gave his entire business to two of his remaining employees and asked them to move it off the property as quickly as possible. When he and Frances received death threats, and a warning that “Someday they’ll be up to burn him out,” friend Billy Burgess watched the property armed with two guns.

The national press picked up the story of the controversy, and although Kent estimated that the incident cost him $15,000, the resulting publicity for the American Labor Party was well worth it. Kent himself decided to run for Congress on the American Party ticket, but to no one’s surprise, was not elected.

In 1969, lightening struck the house at Asgaard, and burned it to the ground. Rockwell and Frances rebuilt a smaller home on the site, where Kent, aged 87, died two years later. He is buried at Asgaard, under a slab of Vermont marble inscribed “This Is My Own.”

Come see Rockwell Kent’s milk bottle (2008.21), and more, in “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions” at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Open for the season on May 28, 2010.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WordSpring! A Performance Poetry Event

North Country Community College and the Adirondack Center for Writing are presenting WordSpring!, a night of performance by three spoken word poets: Liza Jessie Peterson, Jon Sands, and Jeanann Verlee. “These three are to poetry what hip hop is to music: cutting edge, full of rhythm and style and bound to smash stereotypes,” according to a press announcement issued last week.

The trio, will take the stage at 7:00 P.m. on Thursday, April 29th at the David W. Petty Lecture Hall on the North Country Community College Campus in Saranac Lake. The event is free and open to the public.

For five years, the Adirondack Center for Writing has been bringing performance poets to the Adirondacks and every time they pack the house. “We are so excited to bring these three new poets to North Country Community College.” says Adirondack Center for Writing director Nathalie Thill, “For years we have brought various spoken word poets to the area to lead writing workshops for high school students and they have developed quite a following locally. This will be the first time these particular poets have performed in the Adirondacks, and I am certain the audience will be blown away.”

Liza Jessie Peterson is a classically trained actress and alumnus of the renowned National Shakespeare Conservatory and has been a student of the legendary coach to the stars, Susan Batson, since 1994. Liza has performed her poetry on HBO’s Def Poetry. Known most for her exceptional poetic skills, Liza began her poetry career at the famed Nuyorican Poets Café in 1995 and was a vital member of the enclave of notable poets who were part of the “underground slam poetry” movement before it attracted television cameras and national obsession. It was this electric group of artists that inspired Russell Simmons to bring “slam poetry” to HBO.

Liza has also appeared in several feature films and has written several plays. Liza has taught creative writing and poetry to youth at Rikers Island and in high risk communities for over a decade.

Jon Sands has been a full-time independent teaching & performing artist since 2007. He’s a recipient of the 2009 New York City-LouderARTS fellowship grant, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam, subsequently becoming an NPS finalist. Jon has performed and facilitated workshops with university and arts organizations throughout North America, and is currently the Director of Poetry and Arts Education Programming at the Positive Health Project, a syringe exchange center located in Midtown Manhattan, as well as a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC. Jon’s poems have appeared in decomP magazinE, Suss, The Literary Bohemian, Spindle Magazine, The November 3rd Club, and others. He is also one-fourth of the nationally acclaimed electricity-fest, The SpillJoy Ensemble. Jon lives in New York City, where he makes better tuna salad than anyone you know.

Jeanann Verlee is an author, performance poet, editor, activist, and former punk rocker who collects tattoos and winks at boys. Her work has appeared and been accepted in numerous publications, including The New York Quarterly, PANK, FRiGG, decomP, Danse Macabre, and “Not A Muse,” among others. Her first book of poetry, “Racing Hummingbirds,” will be published by Write Bloody Press in March 2010. Verlee was the highest-scoring individual poet at the 2008 National Poetry Slam Finals, is the 2009 NYC-Urbana iWPS Champion, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam as both competitor and team coach. She proudly serves as co-curator for the Urbana Poetry Slam reading series at the Bowery Poetry Club. Verlee has performed and facilitated workshops at schools, theatres, bookstores, dive bars and poetry venues across North America. She shares an apartment with her dog and a pair of origami lovebirds. She believes in you.

Photo: John Sands, Performance Poet (Photo Provided).


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Adirondack Wild Center Launches Next Generation ‘Wings’

When a group of young Adirondack enthusiasts first met in 2009 they never imagined the energy and passion they brought would grow so quickly, drawing in other like-minded people to form Wings. Wings recently launched, bringing together the next generation of Adirondackers who want to share their passion for the natural world of the Adirondacks, while supporting the important educational and environmental work of The Wild Center.

According to the Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project Report, if current population trends continue in the next 20 years, the Adirondacks will rival Florida’s west coast as the region with the oldest population in America. It is time for the younger generation to actively participate in the future of the Adirondacks. Wings will encourage and engage this exciting group of 21-45 year olds who live in and outside of the Adirondacks in social, educational and philanthropic ways. They will come together for regular gatherings where they can network, develop a greater understanding for the natural world of the Adirondacks and support the programs and initiatives of The Wild Center.

Wings will play an active role in the future of The Wild Center. “It is so important to incorporate various perspectives into the future of The Wild Center,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director of The Wild Center. “Wings is a way of actively engaging the younger population both inside and outside of the Adirondacks in the future of the region. Creating future stewards of the Adirondacks is integral to the survival of the area.”

Ed Forbes and David Bickford, Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee, will serve as Wings representatives to the Advisory Board of The Wild Center. A former resident of Lake Placid, Ed graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2002 and joined the staff of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise as a reporter covering Saranac Lake and the Adirondack Park Agency. In 2003, he became the editor of the Lake Placid News. He left the News in 2007 to pursue a Master’s degree at the Columbia University Graduate School. In 2008, he became an editor at The Journal News in White Plains. He and his wife, Emily Hunt Forbes, live in Bronxville and visit the North Country as often as they can. “Emily and I think about and miss the North Country every day,” said Ed. “While I grew up in northern New Jersey and she was raised in Buffalo, we consider the Adirondacks our home. Wings, to us, offers a range of opportunities: We can connect inside the Blue Line and out with other expatriates who share our love for the region, we can learn more about the Adirondacks’ natural wonders and we can support the critical mission of The Wild Center.”

Dave currently lives in New York City with his wife and six-month old daughter. A 2000 graduate from St. Lawrence University, over five generations of his family have been going to Upper Saranac Lake since the 1940s. He currently works in ad sales at CNBC.

Joining Wings provides numerous opportunities for attending Wings events in various locations and visiting The Wild Center. Wings participants will see their contribution make an impact at the Museum in the form of a collective annual gift toward a specific program or exhibit.

Using an email mailing to announce the launch of Wings demonstrates how the group will continue to communicate and spread the word. “The way of the world has shifted dramatically towards internet-based communication and social networking,” said Dave Bickford. “If we can use it to harness the energy of our supporters, while using fewer resources and funds, it won’t matter where someone is in the world. If they love the Adirondacks and want to be involved, they can. We plan to use our Facebook fan page to keep in frequent communication with everyone. Our social events will be both inside and outside of the Adirondacks, enabling everyone to meet in person too.”

The Wings Steering Committee is actively seeking like-minded supporters, people who want to get together with others who share a love for the Adirondacks, be future stewards of the Adirondacks, and get involved in Wings. For more information, visit www.wildcenter.org/wings.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Josephine Foster and a Rock & Roll Benefit for ARC

So, I’ve been checking out Josephine Foster and Rachel Mason because this Saturday night concert seems the place to be this weekend. Both women have haunting voices and extremely different styles. I’m very curious and The Recovery Lounge is a great place to see a show. I’d also like to acknowledge Victor Herrero who was going to open for Ms. Foster. He had to cancel but he is quite the accomplished spanish guitar player and hopefully, he’ll be able to join the tour soon.

Thursday, April 8th:

In Canton, Open Mic Night at The Blackbird Cafe runs from 7 – 9 pm. Sign up earlier for a 3 song set.

Friday, April 9th:

In Canton, Friday Night Music Jam at the Tauny Gallery. This jam runs from 7 -8:30 pm.

Saturday, April 10th:

In Upper Jay, Josephine Foster will perform and Rachel Mason will open for her at The Recovery Lounge. The music starts at 8 pm and they will be passing a hat. Call 946-8315 for reservations.

In Plattsburgh, I Love Rock and Roll Benefit for ARC starts at 5:30 pm. The band is called Legend. $40 includes dinner at the West Side Ballroom.
Call (518) 563 – 0930 or (518) 834 – 5439 for reservation which are required.

Wednesday, April 14th:

In North Creek, Diz is performing at barVino starting at 7 pm.

Photo: Josephine Foster


Friday, April 2, 2010

Remembering Lake George’s Chuck Hawley

When my wife Lisa and I were considering purchasing the Lake George Mirror, among the first people we consulted was Chuck Hawley, the artist, politician and activist who died on March 9 at the age of 86.

Hawley was a part of my life for as long as I can remember. He was at my engagement party and my father’s funeral. He was Lake George’s supervisor and a member of the County board when my father published the Warrensburg-Lake George News, and the two developed a mutually useful relationship. He’d tell my father what would happen before it happened – information prized by a weekly newspaper editor when he’s competing with a daily, as I’ve learned for myself.

In 1998, I wrote a profile of Chuck for the Lake George Mirror, which I reproduce here.

About twenty years ago, some hikers on Black Mountain discovered a slab of rockface inscribed: ‘R.Rogers.’ Whether this was in fact the autograph of Robert Rogers, as the hikers believed, is still subject to debate, but there is no doubt that many people around Lake George hoped that it was authentic.

Rogers and his Rangers have always appealed to our imaginations, perhaps because they were the first identifiably American heroes. Chuck Hawley, whose painting of a Ranger is reproduced here, has done more than anyone else in our region to shape the popular image of the Rangers.

The painting was one of a series depicting the Rangers commissioned by Harold Veeder in 1966 for the newly constructed Holiday Inn. They have been republished often in newspapers, magazines and books, and reproductions are best sellers at Fort William Henry and at the Lake George Historical Association’s shop in the old Court House.

Hawley wanted the portraits to be as historically accurate as possible; he spent months in the libraries researching the Rangers’ dress, habits and weapons; he read contemporary accounts and picked the brains of historians like Harrison Bird, the author of numerous books about the era, who served with Hawley on the Lake George Park Commission.

When he began the series, Hawley was Supervisor for the Town of Lake George, and the model for the portrait reproduced here was his colleague on the Warren County Board of Supervisors, Earl Bump, the Supervisor from Horicon. Another model was Howard MacDonald, for many years a member of the Lake George Village Board of Trustees and the founder of Lake George’s Little League.

Despite the fact that he has been both a public official and a painter (as well as a graphic designer and the owner of an advertising agency) Hawley has really had only one career: Lake George. It is a career for which he was in some sense predestined. Stuart Hawley, his father, was Warren County Clerk for twenty-five years; in 1950 he was elected to the New York State Assembly and served through 1958, when he was succeeded by Richard Bartlett. Assemblyman Hawley introduced the legislation authorizing the construction of the Prospect Mountain Highway. Fred Hawley, who was supervisor of Lake George from 1918 through 1921, was Chuck’s grandfather.

Hawley’s deep roots in the area (his own family came to Lake George a few decades after Rogers departed at the end of the French and Indian Wars) may have helped to make him an unusually farsighted public official.

He believed that the health of the tourist economy depended upon the protection of the lake, and the orderly development of the village and the shores. The businessmen who came to make a quick dollar, he has said, “can’t see past August. They’re the shortsighted ones. The visionaries see as far as Labor Day weekend.”

In 1997, Hawley gave up his seat on the Lake George Park Commission, which he had occupied for thirty years, ten of them as chairman.

In the late 1970s, worried that heavy development along the shores would cause the lake to lose its famous translucent clarity, and frustrated by the Park Commission’s lack of authority and funding, Hawley campaigned for the creation of a task force that would study the challenges facing Lake George and suggest approaches for meeting them.

In 1984, the Task Force for the Future of the Lake George Park was organized, with Hawley as a member. Of its 200 recommendations, the most significant were those urging the Governor and the legislature to enhance the Park Commission’s regulatory powers and to provide it with a reliable, independent source of funding. Hawley wrote to Governor Cuomo, “New responsibilities and powers for the Commission are vitally necessary to save Lake George. At this late date there is no alternative.”

Former Lake George Park Commission Chairman Carl DeSantis says of Hawley’s tenure: “He wasn’t afraid to take a stand, even if his position wasn’t popular with business. We’ve been good friends since the 1940s, and we both remember when the lake was a lot cleaner. Chuck has dedicated his life to protecting Lake George.”

Although Hawley has retired from official life, his interest in Lake George is undiminished. At his home on Pine Point, the lake is never out of view, and it has survived better than he expected. He’s pleased that the experimental use of sonar is under consideration, having fought to use that means to eradicate milfoil since the late 1980s. In 1971 he wondered aloud to a reporter from the Lake George Mirror why the Lake George business district faced away from the lake; in the late 1950s he and the late Alex Muratori developed a plan to build a boardwalk along the lake. He’s glad that one is underway.

And, of course, he still paints. Hawley’s landscapes of an unspoiled Lake George have been powerful tools for its preservation.

Illustrations:

Chuck Hawley’s painting of Robert Rogers, based on Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Earl Bump.

Hawley receiving Lake George’s Wilbur Dow Award from Dow’s son Bill, president of the Lake George Steamboat Company, in 2002.

Two landscape paintings of Lake George by Hawley: “Black Mountain in Spring” and “Down the lake in Spring.”

For more news and commentary from Lake George, subscribe to the Lake George Mirror


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene: Fiddles and Family Events

This week I think of the most intriguing show looks to be in Raquette Lake. Check out this nifty video of Trish Miller clogging and John Kirk playing the tune, Irishtown Breakdown on the fiddle.

I also want to call some attention to The Adirondack Bluegrass League. They have a very thorough calendar listing events held all over the park and beyond.

Thursday, March 25th:

In North Creek, Diz at Trapper’s Cabin . He starts at 7 and plays until 10 pm.

Friday, March 26th:

In Canton, The Hazel Pearl Band is playing the Blackbird Cafe. The band plays from 7 – 9 pm.

In Plattsburgh, Professor Chaos at Gilligan’s Getaway an all ages show starts at 8 pm.

Saturday, March 27th:

In Potsdam, Hamlet: The Met Opera Live in HD. At the Roxy Theater starting at 1 pm.

In Lake Placid, Hamlet:The Met Opera Live in HD. At LPCA starting at 1 pm. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. Running time is 3 hours and 45 minutes with intermissions.

In Raquette Lake, Trish Miller and John Kirk will perform from 7:30 – 9:30 pm at The Raquette Lake School on Route 28. Tickets are $12.

In North Creek, The Noodlemen at Laura’s Tavern start at 9 pm. I looked around online for these guys and I think I found them but there is no way to prove it so I won’t include the link because what if there are other Noodlemen out there and I’d be steering you wrong.

In Potsdam, The Orchestra of Northern New York presents “Carnival of the Animals”. the concert is from 7 – 9 pm at SUNY’s Helen Hosmer Concert Hall and features creatures created by Camille Saint-Saens and Dr Seuss.

In Canton, Sweet Adelins St. Lawrence Chorus’s annual barbershop performance. The 7 pm concert is being held at the Canton High School.

In Queensbury, The last Saturday of the month Coffee House Open Mic at the UU Church is held from 7:30 – 10 pm. A donation of $4 includes light refreshments.

In Saranac Lake, The Back Porch Society will perform at the Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge starting around 9 pm. Cover of $5.

Sunday, March 28th:

In Potsdam, Hamlet: The Met Opera Live in HD Encore Perfromance, at the Roxy Theater starting at 1 pm.

In Hadley, The Siver Family in conjunction with The Adirondack Bluegrass League will perform from 2 -3 pm.

Tuesday, March 30th:

In Saranac Lake, The Adirondack Singers will rehearse for their annual Spring Concert. New members are encouraged. For more information contact Val at 523-4213.

Photo: John Kirk and Trish Miller


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities:Lake George Opera’s Three Little Pigs

This year Lake George Opera’s Opera-To-Go is performing another adaptation by John Davies of Opera Tales. Davies, a bass-baritone has performed with a variety of opera companies such as Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco and Philadelphia as well as many others. Then in the 1990s, as a means to entertain his own children, Davies hit on a combination that worked. He merged classic fairy tales with classic music in a way to engage and entertain children of all ages.

Each Davies children’s opera takes recognizable tunes and pairs them to a story with a lesson, similar to the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon that showcased The Barber of Seville. In this performance one little pig goes to the library as she researches how to build a house. The Three Little Pigs converges with Mozart’s Don Giovanni as the wolf pretends to be a statue and ends up being invited for dinner with a second little pig and trouble commences.

For Liz Giblin, Director of Marketing for the Lake George Opera, Davies’ children’s operas not only take classic operatic ideas and themes but have a strong educational element to them as well. Each year the company performs for schools throughout upstate New York, the Adirondacks and western New England as well as a series of free performances for families.

“The Opera-To-Go program has been going into communities and schools since 1985,” Giblin says. “Children aren’t only exposed to opera but to good lessons within each of the classic fairy tales. The Three Little Pigs shows how everything you need to know is in the library. Last year’s opera was about the danger of talking to strangers. Another opera was about the Golden Rule. Children are not only exposed to opera but also exposed to stories and music. Obviously we are an opera company so want people to know that opera is available to everyone not just an older generation.”

The 45-minute opera of The Three Little Pigs will be held at the Charles R. Wood Theatre in Glens Falls free of charge at 1:00 p.m. on March 27. According to Executive Director Bill Woodward seating for the operatic performance at the Wood Theatre is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The 299-seat theatre will be open a half-hour before show time.

“This a great opportunity for kids to come and see opera where it is reachable. It is a fairy tale and children are mesmerized with the singing. It’s a good way to assimilate them to opera,” says Woodward. “Parents will enjoy it just as much as the kids.”


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Art Exhibition: The Question of Mountains

511 Gallery Lake Placid will present a group exhibition March 26–April 20 entitled “The Question of Mountains”—paintings, drawings and photographs that focus on the subject of mountains, created by artists ranging from the Hudson River School through the early and mid-twentieth century, and up to the contemporary period. Following are more details from a gallery announcement:

“The mountains are calling, and I must go,” said the naturalist John Muir. For those of us who live year-round or seasonally in the Adirondacks and those who make annual or several-times-a-year pilgrimages to this landscape, the “call” remains a compelling one. It has been so throughout the ages.

Work by several of the artists in The Question of Mountains address the Adirondacks, such as Whiteface Mountain (1873) by Sylvester Hodgdon, or Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid (ca. 1878) by George W. Waters, or Untitled (Mountain Stream), (ca. 1980) by Sarah Jaffe; but the meanings and import of other mountains are brought to life in the exhibition as well: Scottish artist Lesley Punton explores the top of the highest peak in her country’s Munro range in the series of ink on paper works, The Extent of Snow: Ben Lomond, Winter into Spring (2006) and photographer Ansel Adams, comes close to defining the sublime in Tetons and the Snake River (1942).

Additional artists and “their” mountains include William Crosby (Mt. Mansfield in Vermont and Denali in Alaska); Viviane Silvera (Green Mountains outside Hong Kong); Alex Schuchard (the Rockies in Colorado); Chris Dunker (Utah ); and James Burnett and Jennifer Odem, two artists who work, individually, within the genre of “mountains of the imagination,”

The opening reception for The Question of Mountains will be held on Friday, March 26th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery at 2461 Main Street.

For further information, contact Janice Thomas at 511 Gallery.

2461 Main Street, The Wilkins Building
Lake Placid NY 12946 USA
[tel] 518 523 7163 [fax] 518 523 3949

5 1 1 G A L L E R Y
252 Seventh Avenue, Suite 12J
New York NY 10001 USA
[tel] 212 255 2885 [fax] 212 255 6518

“Mt. Mansfield, Vermont” by Plattsburgh artist Bill Crosby, courtesy of 511 Gallery


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adirondack Music Scene:Open Mic, Musicals, Jam Bands and Acoustic

Thursday, March 18th:

In Saranac Lake, Open Minded Mic Night at BluSeed Studios starts at 7:30 pm, sign up is at 7 pm. Admission is $3.

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical will be performed at LPCA. It starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $10 for adults $8 for students.

Friday, March 19th:

In Tupper Lake, Annie will be performed by the high school musical club. Admission is $7.

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA.

Saturday, March 20th:

In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA at 11 am.

In Saranac Lake Roy Hurd will perform for the benefit of the Northern Lights School at 7 pm. The benefit is at BluSeed Studios and includes a silent auction, tickets are $15. Call: 891 – 3206 for more information.

In Tupper Lake, Annie at the high school at 7 pm. Admission is $7.

In Saranac Lake, Melvin Seals and JGB will be at The Waterhole starting at 9 pm.

In Canton, Roots of Creation will be performing at the Java Barn starting at 9 pm.

In North Creek, Dreaded Wheat is at Laura’s Tavern at 9 pm.

Photo: Melvin Seals


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adirondack Bracket 2010: Adk 64ers (UPDATED)

The Adirondack 64er round is set. Play-in victories by Frankenpines, Lawnchair Ladies, Peter Hornbeck and Backyard Sugarin’ have filled first-round pairings for the second annual Adirondack Bracket.

In general, it seems as though invasive species and related issues have established a beachhead this year. Spiny waterflea, rock snot, Realtors, and watermilfoils (some varieties of which, it must be said, are native to these parts) have joined the dance, as has Triclopyr (the chemical herbicide recently approved by the APA to kill Eurasian watermilfoil on Lake Luzerne), and DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries (whose failure to mount adequate protections at state boat launches is chiefly responsible for the spread of these invaders—with the exception of Realtors, who mostly plague the shorelines).

Click through for some featured match-ups from the first and second quads of this year’s first-round (check in tomorrow for featured matches in quads 3 and 4):

In the first quad, light pollution—an excellent photo essay on the topic by photographer Mark Bowie is featured this month in Adirondack Life Magazine—is going up against the incredibly diverse galaxy of Adirondack mushrooms (our favorite, Ganoderma applanatum, a.k.a. shelf fungus, or—appropriately—bracket fungus, or artist’s conk, is its own natural artistic medium with numerous gifted practitioners throughout the Adirondacks and upstate New York.)

Cougar sightings are a recurring meme in Adirondack lore and blogging. These sinewy felines are going up against real maple syrup. Of the syrup it can be said that the sap runs hard throughout the month of March and is known to dribble furiously. Its chief vulnerability: the tendency to look too far ahead to potential pairings in the sweet sixteen round.

Frankenpines, having gotten past the century-deceased master watercolorist Winslow Homer by virtue of their height and period uniforms and three-point game, find themselves facing the Moodys—early and prolific Adirondack settlers whose members include Jacob Moody, founder of Saranac Lake. The legendary guide Martin Van Buren “Uncle Mart” Moody so impressed President Chester Alan Arthur (One of his two Presidential “sports”) with his guiding chops that the president established the eponymous Moody’s Post Office at Moody’s Mount Morris House in Tupper Lake (the present location of Big Tupper Ski Area, and the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort).

Axe-fodder is the leitmotif of the Bracket’s second quad. John Brown (who just last year “celebrated” the sesquicentennial of his hanging, only to return home to his North Elba farmstead to find that the state park has an appointment with the chopping block in the 2010 State Budget) will meet the magisterial eastern white pine, the object of logging desire since the first european settlers arrived on the continent. This section of the Bracket also features Moriah “Shock” Incarceration Correctional Facility and Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility, both slated for closure in this year’s state budget. They will face last year’s Bracket powerhouse Stewart’s Ice Cream Shops of Greenville, NY. Depending on the outcome—not so much of this contest, but of budget negotiations in Albany—Stewart’s might consider a new flavor: Moriah Shocolate, or Moriah Shock-full-o’-nuts, or something like that.

Our personal favorite in this corner of the Bracket is Yellow Yellow, who’s ability to crack the defenses of DEC bear-proof canisters proved that he is definitely smarter than your average bear. Yellow Yellow will meet Wells Olde Home Days.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Adirondack Bracket 2010: Selection Day

In limited areas of the Adirondack Park, an understated excitement built gradually throughout the day yesterday as selections were made for the 2010 Adirondack Bracket.

Bracket pairings were made by combining the top 28 randomly selected entrants from two lists (a longer list of general Adirondackiana, and a shorter list of 2009’s Adirondack headliners). Four more slots were reserved for last year’s final four, including 2009 Bracket champion Stewart’s Ice Cream Shops. The remaining slots will be filled later this week by a play-in round which sets four randomly selected entrants from a list suggested by our readers, against the Bracket judges’ “Hand o’ God” choices (our favorites that somehow missed the first cut). A preview of the play-in round follows the jump. . .

So here is how things stack up for this week’s play-in round:

Game one pits late 19th/early 20th Century painter Winslow Homer (who spent time throughout his career at the North Woods Club in Minerva—his last visit to the Adirondacks occurring one hundred years ago this summer, shortly before his death), against the frankenpine: that towering synthesis of artifice and nature, and itself a subject of contemporary Adirondack painting (not to mention inspiration for an excellent band).

Saranac Lake’s doyens of drill. . . the Idas of March. . . those angels of aluminum and mesh—the incomparable Lawnchair Ladies—sashay into the Bracket against an equally formidable lineup of local adirondack ski hills. This squad of impressive topography (talking about the ski hills, now), once thought to be heading downhill, fast, has made a strong comeback this winter led by Big Tupper and Hickory. The list also includes a couple cross country ski mountains, one of which boasts the only ski mountain palindrome in the Adirondacks: “O! Dewey. Aye, we do!” This match up could go either way, but one thing you can count on: Chairs will certainly be lifted, and might be thrown.

Game three features perhaps the most interesting play-in pairing, with Olmstedville’s Pete Hornbeck and his fleet of featherweight canoes taking on Lake George’s Winter Carnival, the village’s annual string of wintertime events held every weekend throughout the month of February. Any other year this would have been no contest as canoes are not much use on a solid lake surface, especially with a lot of cars and snow machines and dog sleds racing around. This year, however, warm weather forced cancellation of some carnival events, premature demolition of the ice palace and relocation of the dog sled races from the slushy lake top to safer ground inland. The Fund for Lake George reports that the lake failed to fully freeze over this winter (the first time since 2002). Though this might be an advantageous climate for a naval assault, Hornbeck will have his work cut out for him if he is to make it to a much anticipated confrontation with Senator Betty Little in the “Upstate Great Eight” round next week.

The final play-in contest throws New York State’s official fish, the brook trout, into the mix with back yard sugarin’. Not a whole lot to say about this one except: that is some mighty fine eating.

Join us later this week for play-in results and a preview of the first round.