Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Philosophy: Getting Busy, and Meaning It

In his poem The Adirondacks Ralph Waldo Emerson begins to describe an expedition into the Adirondack wilderness by noting that the travelers unburdened themselves from their day-to-day lives:

Happier as they
Slipped off their pack of duties, leagues behind,
At the first mounting of the giant stairs.
No placard on these rocks warned to the polls,
No door-bell heralded a visitor,
No courier waits, no letter came or went,
Nothing was ploughed, or reaped, or bought, or sold

I can appreciate this imagery and the attraction of leaving it all behind for a holiday. But many of us reading the Almanack live in the Adirondacks and so our lifework, as I like to think of it, can’t be taken on and off like Emerson’s pack of duties. With that in mind and in light of what seems to be our national predilection with busyness, I’ve been giving some thought to what exactly is in Emerson’s pack?

First, I looked into what it means to be busy and I discovered that an interesting thing happened on the way to the 21st century. It seems that the word “busy” didn’t always signify the frenetic style of hyperactivity that many of us wear like a badge, the depleted yet slightly self-satisfied way we often announce “I am so busy!” These days we declare ourselves in this way as if we’ve accomplished something meaningful simply by darting between moments like hummingbirds, hovering without ceasing at one task before zipping on to the next. In contrast, “busy” used to refer to our earnest engagement in something enjoyable, yet somewhere along the way we began to veer wildly away from this sensibility towards a constant occupation with – what exactly?

At this point I’d hoped to open up Emerson’s pack to discover what all this busyness was all about, but it seems it’s a little bit like that drawer full of random things that don’t have any real relationship to each other or to me. The stuff doesn’t fit into any category yet inexplicably, I need what’s in there. And a “junk drawer” is born. Are we living lives analogous to junk drawers? This seems particularly offensive in a landscape whose pure earthly delight has been an inspiration for poets, philosophers, scientists, artists and novelists for generations.

I don’t know exactly when the common meaning of “busy” changed, or when our gaze shifted from the good life or the beautiful life to the busy life as a thing of virtue. I suspect it was right about the time we created the handy conjunction “busy-work” aptly defined as something that takes up time but isn’t actually productive, never mind earnest or meaningful (the whole notion of which brings Socrates to mind and his caution against the barrenness of a busy life).

My dear friend Craig, with whom I have been writing letters (yes, actual letters) for 19 years, wrote a while back that his delayed response was due to being caught up in “all those things Thoreau railed against.” He was busy, in the contemporary sense of the word. And it’s true that this affliction is at least as old as Thoreau who admonished that “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

Ultimately, the question of what on earth we’re doing is a personal one and I won’t presume to root through your pack (and let’s agree to keep our hands out of each other’s junk drawers). The question and the intimate cadence of your response will flourish, as everything meaningful will, along a horizon of uninterrupted and unhurried contemplation. Fortunately for those of us committed to a beautiful and a thoughtful life here in the high-country, we aren’t subject to the inevitability of a too-short holiday that as Emerson describes, is fruitful, but must end;

One August evening had a cooler breath;
Into each mind intruding duties crept;
Under the cinders burned the fires of home;
Nay, letters found us in our paradise:
So in the gladness of the new event
We struck our camp and left the happy hills.

(Oh and Craig, you owe me a lengthy letter. Get busy.)

Photo of Auguste Rodin‘s Thinker courtesy of ArtCyclopedia

Marianne is a philosopher living, writing and teaching in the Adirondacks


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black Velvet Art Party Scheduled for Nov 5th

The 23rd annual Black Velvet Art Party will take place on Saturday, November 5th, 2011, 8 pm to midnight at Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George. The event is a celebration of black velvet art. Artists donate new, original works of art for the party’s silent auction. This funky formal features awards for original black velvet art and attire, live music, dancing, games, and more. All proceeds from the event support the Lake George Courthouse Gallery exhibition series. This year’s theme is “BLING!”

Call for artists: One of the special features of the event is the silent auction of “black velvet art” – created and donated by local artists, as well as past exhibiting artists of the Courthouse Gallery. The idea of “black velvet art” is wide open to artistic interpretation, and there are always surprises. For more info email [email protected], or call 518-668-2616.

The Lake George Arts Project was established in 1977 to offer comprehensive programs in the arts. Its mission is to provide exposure and income opportunities to professional and emerging artists, and to provide quality arts programming for the residents and visitors of the Lake George region.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adirondack Arts: The Hills Are Alive…

There’s nothing quite like music in the mountains. This weekend the ever-ecclectic BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake offers up two bands with very different pedigrees that each swing to their own beat. First, on Saturday, October 22nd, local septet Crackin’ Foxy serves up three-part harmonies over a ukulele background for a vaudeville show dating back to the 20s and 40s. And on Sunday things take a jazzy turn with gifted pianist Larry Ham leading the Larry Ham trio.

Ham has been performing since the late 1980s, having started his musical journey with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and the Illinois Jacquet Big Band. Throughout his 3 decade career, Ham has played with jazz legends such as Junior Cook and Dakota Staton, and most frequently, as the leader of the trio. He was quite literally Jazz Ambassador for the State Department, bringing jazz to undeveloped countries in the early 2000s, after which he toured the US, Russia, Greece and Italy as pianist and director of the U.S. Tapdance Festival.

Ham has performed his music around the world, touring frequently, and has made appearances on NPR and the Today Show, and even performed at the White House for President Ronald Reagan. And on Sunday, October 23, 2011, Larry Ham returns to BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, with Bill Moring on bass and Graham Hawthorne on drums, for a special concert to benefit Keene Valley Flood Relief. As he has done at several venues this past year, Ham is donating 50% of the proceeds.

An accomplished composer, in 2007, Ham released his first jazz CD with his trio, Carousel, featuring seven original compositions in addition to five standards. His first solo effort, Just Me, Just You, followed in 2008. Despite a clever swing approach, jazz purists will still enjoy Ham’s easy style and his obvious reverence for traditional jazz lines.

You can look forward to hearing the distinctive renditions of the Larry Ham trio live at BluSeed Studios Sunday at 7pm for $15 admission. Tickets for the Saturday Crackin’ Foxy show (7:30pm) are $14.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Local Museums Receive a Surprise Windfall

The Adirondacks are unique in many ways, not the least of which is the kinds of museums that emerge there. In 1957, the Adirondack Museum first opened at Blue Mountain Lake, graced with a spectacular vantage point on the lake below, and a mission to provide the narrative history of the Adirondacks through its art and artifacts.

In July of 2006, the Wild Center opened in Tupper Lake, with innovative design and exhibits that integrate the science and beauty of nature in one place. The Wild Center, billed as the “natural history museum of the Adirondacks” has been extremely successful since opening, and continues to add exciting new exhibits each year.

And in a truly inspiring stroke of recent good fortune (or maybe just good karma), these two museums were each bequested $2.4M from the estate of the late LiLinda Kent Vaughan, a member of both museums, and a long-time summer resident of Long Lake. Coming at a time when many museum funding sources have run dry, these generous gifts present an especially welcome and much-needed boost to the museums’ futures.

Dr. Vaughan was a Professor Emerita of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics at Wellesley College in Wellesley Ma, where she had led the department from 1973 to 1990 as chairperson and director. She held both B.S. and M.A. degrees from Russell Sage College, where she received the Aldrich Award for Proficiency in Sports. and received her Ph.D. in Physical Education from Ohio State University.

Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Vaughan wrote numerous papers in her main field of sports psychology, and in 1970 co-authored the book (with Richard Hale Stratton) Canoeing and Sailing, a second version of which was published In 1985. Her appreciation for the wildlife in the Adirondacks and her love of the sporting opportunities also led her to develop an understanding of the environmental issues in the region.

An avid photographer in her spare time, Dr. Vaughan traveled extensively throughout the world photographing nature, and held a one-woman show at the Blue Mountain Center of wildlife captured on trips to Africa, Alaska and Antarctica. In a fitting culmination to her many lifetime accomplishments, the work of Dr. Vaughan lives on through the legacy she leaves to the two museums she supported in life.

Together, the Adirondack Museum and the Wild Center are instrumental in promoting the need for environmental protection of one of the last truly untouched frontiers in America. And they’re just plain fun to visit. Make sure to plan your next trip soon.

Photos: Above, view of Blue Mountain Lake from the cafe of the Adirondack Museum (photo by Linda Peckel); below, Trout Stream in the Hall of the Adirondacks at the Wild Center, and View of the Wild Center (Courtesy Wild Center).


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Artist at Work Studio Tour Begins Friday

Sept 23 – 25 will be the fifth annual free Artist at Work Studio Tour. Nearly 50 artists at locations in Wilmington, Jay, Onchiota, Rainbow Lake, Gabriels, Paul Smiths, Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake will be participating. Every year the artists create new artwork plus new artists are added. Most of the artists are voluntarily donating a percentage of their sales to the funds that have been established to aid the victims of Hurricane Irene flooding.

Painters, photographers, printmakers, carvers, sculptors, ceramic, fiber, a blacksmith, and mixed media and jewelry artisans will be on hand. New this year will be readings of original poetry.

You can find all the details on the tour’s website, or stop at Tour headquarters – the Adirondack Artists’ Guild Gallery at 52 Main St., Saranac Lake and pick up one of the free Studio Tour booklets (or download a pdf copy here). Online or in print you will find maps, examples of each artists’ work, descriptions, contact information and directions.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Adirondack Museum’s Fabric and Fiber Arts Fest

The Adirondack Museum will hosts its annual Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival on Saturday, September 17, 2011. Fabrics and regional artists are featured at this one day celebration of spinning, weaving, quilting, knitting, knotting and all fiber arts.

There will be textile appraisals by Rabbit Goody in the Visitor Center from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and a variety of yarn installations, or yarn bombings, displayed throughout the museum campus during the event. Yarnbombing is a type of street art typically found in urban areas.

Regional fiber guilds and artists will “yarn-bomb” more utilitarian parts of the museum in celebration of the fiber arts, and to showcase how traditional crafts like knitting and crocheting are being applied in new ways in the 21st century. This year’s
event includes a crocheted SUV cover by Jerilia Zempel.

In addition to the yarn-bombing displays, the museum will also feature the Third Annual Great Adirondack Quilt Show on September 17. The show is a special display of quilts inspired by or used in the Adirondacks, and will be open through October 9, 2011.

Demonstrations during the festival include: art quilting with the Adirondack Regional Textile Artists Alliance; bobbin lace-making with Judy Anderson; mixed-media textile arts and quilting with Louisa Woodworth; quilting with Northern Needles; rug hooking with the Country Ruggers; a variety of wool arts with Serendipity Spinners and felt making with Linda Van Alstyn. Linda will offer informal sessions of make your own felt flowers for a $5 fee.

Museum Curator Hallie Bond and guest Rabbit Goody will offer a presentation at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. entitled “Weaving Through History,” telling the history of the weaving tradition. Presentations will take place in the Auditorium. Visitors will be able to browse and buy from a small group of talented North Country fiber artists at the vendor fair. Enjoy fiddle and guitar music by talented musicians Doug Moody and John Kribs throughout the day.

Hands-on activities include recycled rugs – help braid strips of blue jeans into a floor rug and placemats for the museum’s Little Log Cabin, or make a coaster for home from recycled tee-shirts. This year’s Fiber Fest will include an afternoon knit-in hosted by Carol Wilson. This will be an opportunity for knitters to work on a project in the company of other knitting enthusiasts, and to exchange tips with other participants about how to tackle tricky techniques. Knitters are highly encouraged to bring finished projects to display, as well as works in progress.

Visit www.adirondackmuseum.org for a list of fiber related workshops that will take place on Sunday, September 18, 2011.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wrap Up Summer With Jazz in Lake George

Adirondack summers end with a bang—or in this case, a biddle-de-bop. You have one more weekend to enjoy the biggest event of the Lake George Arts Project’s free summer concert series: Jazz at the Lake — two full days and a night of hot sounds by the lakeshore.

Head to Shepard’s Park (Canada Street) on Saturday, Sept 17th for a set of hot Cuban jazz infused with African rhythms with the Osmany Paredes Quartet, starting at 1PM. Stick around for some jazz saxophone with John Ellis, backed by the New Orleans sounds of Double Wide. And rounding up the afternoon is the Grace Kelly Quintet, featuring the brilliantly nuanced vocals and sultry saxophone of the 19-year-old Grace, who has been hailed by Wynton Marsalis as a “first-class jazz musician.” The day performances end at 6PM, leaving you time for dinner and a little fun in Lake George Village (at the arcades, mini-golf, or shopping) before returning for the evening set at 7:30PM.

And do return for the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet, a marvelous mix of different genres from r&b to classical with a jazz undertone. Don Byron plays clarinet and sax to his own compositions and arrangements, which have garnered raves from audiences around the world.

The Sunday (Sept 18th) program opens again at 1PM (closing at 6PM) with the classic jazz stylings of prodigy pianist Charles Cornell with his quartet. There’s more jazz sax to follow with Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green, and wrapping out the weekend is Kyle Eastwood (eldest son of Clint) whose many original compositions include the scores to his father’s films, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Grand Torino, among others.

The performances will all be held rain or shine—the designated setting is Shepard Park Pavillion, but in case of rain, it moves to Lake George High School, both on Canada Street in LG Village.

Lake George Jazz Weekend is a free outdoor concert program offered through the generous support the New York State Council on the Arts, the town and village of Lake George, and Kenneth and Susan Gruskin. The LG Jazz Weekend has been a hit every year since it first started in 1984. This program is the biggest and best of the summer season, and is sure to leave you pining for next year—all you have to do is show up!

And to keep this wonderful series alive for future years, you might consider becoming a member of the Lake George Arts Project


Friday, September 2, 2011

Hobofest: Fun Despite Its Name

If you are hobophobic or festival-averse Hobofest may not sound like the way to spend your Labor Day Sunday. But it’s actually pretty much free of hobos and absolutely free of the fakery that accompanies a lot of events cursed with the suffix fest.

What Hobofest does have is a lot of really good musicians playing for free in a low-key setting on the lawn between 7444 gallery and the train depot, in Saranac Lake. Bands include Brooklyn-based Frankenpine, among a well-chosen roster of local talent. This year Monsterbuck, an understated, intense quartet from Upper Jay, tops the night, taking the stage around 9 p.m.

There are also trains and grill food. The event starts at 11:45 a.m. and goes late.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: The Waterhole, Saranac Lake

We entered the Waterhole on a hot summer afternoon, finding relief from the heat in the cool, dim interior. Cave-like, the bar’s stone and mortar walls revealing its age, terra cotta tile floors sturdy and worn. The pine bar with its copper top suggested a practical sense of simplicity and function as well as longevity.

The bartender cautiously greeted us, having gently reminded a patron to watch his language. We weren’t sure if that was for our benefit or if the Waterhole has a “no swearing” policy. The beer menu was adequate though not impressive, but the prices were pretty reasonable. Our round of three beers and a vodka and grapefruit came to just $14. The Waterhole is strictly a bar, but you can get chips or peanuts if you need to munch.



The Waterhole will not appeal to everyone. If you like and feel comfortable in a “biker bar”, you should feel at home here. Pam used to be a biker, riding her own Harley Sportster, but even she was a little uncomfortable here. She didn’t take any notes, and seemed to be ready to move on before giving it a chance.

After playing pool, we ventured outside and never came back in. Bench seating, covered by an upstairs porch, seems to be the fair-weather place to be at the Waterhole. When we arrived, there were more people outside than in, wilting in the heat. The people were friendly, if not a bit curious. We met a woman named Janet who happened to know Kim’s husband, and eventually realized she knew Pam’s husband as well. Janet’s companion lives in the Saranac Lake area and was extremely helpful in advising other places to visit, though he had never been to Grizle-T’s across the street.

Self-proclaimed Godfather of the Saranac Lake Music scene, the Waterhole opened in 1970. Built in the late 1800’s as a livery and stables with living quarters above, the building has undergone a few transformations since then. In the mid 1980’s, the upstairs was renovated to accommodate an open and spacious music lounge, bringing in bands from near and far. In contrast to the downstairs interior, upstairs at the Waterhole is bright and open with exposed beams in the cathedral ceiling and a blue and white tile floor. Roots rock, bluegrass, blues and rock bands regularly take the stage for enthusiastic audiences. In 2011, in conjunction with celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Waterhole hosted live music on each of the 10 nights of Saranac Lake’s winter carnival. Thursdays are Party on the Patio days featuring live music outside, stone walls creating the backdrop.

Located at 43 Main Street in Saranac Lake, the Waterhole is open every day from noon to 3 a.m. According to the patrons we met, the Waterhole is a fun place to be and open to newcomers. Locals, hippies, bikers, college students and visitors all feel at home and find it one of the best places around for live music.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Serenades at Sembrich Opera House

Music and mountains seem to go together—and there are plenty of places to find it. One of the special secrets of Bolton Landing on Lake George is the Marcella Sembrich Opera House Museum, which this Saturday will be featuring a vocal recital with mezzo-soprano Lucille Beer as one event in their ongoing summer concert series. Ms. Beer will be singing various pieces from composers such as Mahler, Copeland, Brahms, and Debussy, accompanied by Michael Clement on piano.

The historic Sembrich Museum is a living tribute to the large and colorful life of opera singer Marcella Sembrich, who spent the latter part of her life in Bolton Landing, teaching voice students at the studio that is still part of the property. At twenty-five she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera, embarking on a long and successful career. Her travels took her around the world where her eye for impressionist paintings and other artworks helped her collection grow impressively. Those, along with mementos and memorabilia of a unique life form the basis of this wonderful place to visit.

But if all this isn’t enough to convince you, then you simply must go to just to step back in time and enjoy one of the finest views of Lake George available, as it must have been a hundred years ago.

Tickets for the Lucille Beer recital are $20. Other concerts rounding out the last weeks of the season include “An Evening with the Hyperion String Quartet,” on Saturday August 27th ($25), and a recital on Saturday, September 3rd by pianist Thomas Pandolfi, playing music by Liszt, Scriabin, Chopin, and Gershwin ($25).

For more information, call Faith Bouchard at 518-644-2431, or visit the Sembrich’s website.

Photo: Marcella Sembrich in the 1880s.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Artists Reception: Great Camps and Rustic Lodges

The 7444 Gallery in Saranac Lake will host a ‘Meet the Artists’ opening reception Saturday, August 13 at 5 p.m. for f-Stop Fitzgerald and Richard McCaffrey. Their photographs will be on display until October 6.

The exhibit features more than 25 canvas-print photographs drawn from a book to be published by Rizzoli this fall, Adirondack Style: Great Camps and Rustic Lodges.

Adirondack Style describes the architecture, design, and natural beauty of Adirondack great camps and rustic camps. The structures make use of the materials readily available in the area — rough-hewn log exteriors that contrast with sometimes lavish and elegant interiors featuring intricate stonework and hand-carved furniture.



The book’s introduction is by Adirondack preservationist Dr. Howard Kirschenbaum; the foreward is by Laura S. Rice, chief curator of the Adirondack Museum; and text is by Adirondack Life contributors Jane Mackintosh and Lynn Woods.

Natural elements such as tree roots, twigs, and bark often played an integral part in the décor, and the simple yet elegant Adirondack chair has become an international symbol of leisure. Many camps had boathouses, teahouses, game rooms, and even bowling alleys, and several were designed by top architects of the era and incorporated their international influences: Pine Knot resembled a Swiss chalet; the architectural flourishes of Santanoni were Japanese-inspired; and The Hedges had Dutch doors.

Approximately forty of these extravagant camps survive, including ten that are National Historic Landmarks. Adirondack Style will feature thirty-seven of these camps, including Pine Knot, Uncas, and Sagamore, all of which were built for William West Durant, a pioneer of the Great Camp style; Wonundra, which was built for William Avery Rockefeller and his family; and White Pine, which President Calvin Coolidge once used as his Summer White House.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS:

f-Stop Fitzgerald is a noted photographer whose work has appeared in more than 100 periodicals, including Rolling Stone, GQ, Publishers Weekly, and The Village Voice. His collaboration with Stephen King, Nightmares in the Sky, was a national best seller.

Richard McCaffrey is currently staff photographer for The Providence Phoenix. He is represented by Getty Images and his work appears in numerous national and international books and publications.

7444 Gallery is on Depot Street, near Stewart’s and the train station.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

‘Watercolor Encounters’ Opens at Lake Placid Center for the Arts

Tim Fortune explores the natural world with delicacy combined with a hungry appreciation for the minor miracles we walk past every day. His work astonishes the senses with its simplicity and grace, and offers up a feeling of awe that resonates long past your first peek into Fortune’s world, splayed out in glorious, wall-sized watercolors.

His upcoming one-man show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) at 17 Algonquin Drive in Lake Placid, “Watercolor Encounters” opens on Friday, August 12th with an artist’s reception from 5-7PM. The show, which continues there until September 17th, includes more than a dozen of the large scale watercolors―along with another 20 midsized works―that reflect a uniquely gentle view of the natural world, Fortune style.

These days, Fortune works almost exclusively in watercolor, painting the simple elements of life on a scale that defies you to try to walk past it without having to stop and stare. Using a delicate and refined approach, he turns an analytical eye on the finest details, exposing the complexity of even simple subjects like rocks under water with tremendous skill. “I like the idea of fractals,” he says, “of breaking up nature, almost like a puzzle.” His studies include wild roses, impressions of tree branches in winter, leaves in fall, and several of his marvelous examinations of water in motion. His Adirondack vantage points are uniquely personal and beautiful.

It’s been many years since Fortune has mounted a solo show of this magnitude, and the combined impact of so many of his ingenious large works is a rare treat. For more information, go to the LPCA website, or visit the Fortune Studio at 76 Main Street in Saranac Lake, NY.

Photo: Top, Green Frog; Below, Fallen Pine both by Tim Fortune.

Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Storyteller, Writer George Davis at Depot Theatre August 3

Adirondack storyteller and writer, George Davis, needs you to help him kill a few stories on Wednesday, August 3 at The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY. Prepare for a pell-mell parade of vignettes, monologues and readings ranging from a wader-wearing Amazon named Rosslyn to a perennially pickled bathtub yachtsman.

“Back in 2006 my bride and I were seduced by a sagging-but-still-sexy old house in Essex,” Davis explains. “So, we swapped New York City for Adirondack bliss, eco-historic rehab and four years of marriage testing misadventure.”

This solo performance pokes fun at the idiosyncrasies (and absurdities) of renovation, marriage and North Country life while inviting the audience to participate in editing a memoir. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paul Smith’s College VIC August Schedule

The Paul Smith’s College VIC has issued their schedule for the remaining summer season. The VIC is located at 8023 State Route 30 in Paul Smiths. For more information about the events listed here or the VIC in general contact Brian McDonnell at (518) 327-6241

July 29 – August 28: “Life on the Lakes” Juried Art Show

The Paul Smith’s College VIC has asked Caroline Thompson, Executive Director of The Arts Council of The Northern Adirondacks, to be the juror of our first juried art show. Artists from around the region have been invited to submit their works for consideration. The Opening Reception will take place from 5 to 7:00 PM on July 29th in the Great Room of the VIC. In addition to the juror selected awards, a “People’s Choice” selection determined through visitors voting for their favorite artist’s work. The balloting will be a fundraiser to support the development of art programming at The VIC.


July 30 – NOLS Comes East

The National Outdoor Leadership School, based in Lander, Wyoming, has utilized the Paul Smith’s College VIC as its eastern outpost for the month of July. NOLS is the recognized leader of “hard skills” in outdoor education and recreation. Come listen to Jack Drury, a former NOLS instructor and well known outdoor educator, give a historical perspective of NOLS followed by a presentation by Adirondack based NOLS logistics coordinator Lindsay Yost on plans for NOLS coming East with their wilderness programs.

August 6: Adirondack Wildlife Festival

The Paul Smith’s College VIC will continue the tradition of hosting the Adirondack Wildlife Festival on August 6 from 10 AM to 8 PM. There will be presentations on all creatures great and small, from Bears to Salamanders. We’ll have live music with Roy Hurd, Native American storytelling with David Fadden of the 6 Nations Indian Museum, Mark Manske’s bird on hand demonstrations, fun and games, visits to the butterfly house and a very special presentation on Loon Conservation in America by Dr. Jim Paruk, The Director of Biodiversity Research Institute’s International Center for Loon Conservation and Research.

August 12: Mindfulness Meditation Yoga Walk

Mary Bartel, ERYT, of Inner Quest Yoga and Wellness Center, will lead a silent walk from 10 AM to Noon to awaken your senses and participate in gentle flowing yoga movements on the trails at The VIC. Preregistration is required. The fee is $25.

August 13: Joe and Jessie Bruchac

Father and son Abenaki singers and storytellers, Joe and Jessie will perform their Native American themed stories and music in the Whispering Pines Amphitheatre at The Paul Smith’s College VIC at 2 PM. Sponsored by the Adirondack Center for Writing.

August 19: Adirondack Plein Air Festival Paints the VIC

Come out to the VIC on Friday August 19th to view artists in various locations around the VIC. The public is welcome to visit artists as they create art on the trails and in the woods. Three of the Plein Air artists have donated paintings to the VIC to raise awareness of the festival and to generate funds for the center. We thank them for their generous commitment to growing The Arts presence at The VIC. We will sell tickets at the front desk. The drawing will take place at the Plein Air Festival.

August 28: Monarchs in The Meadow

The benefit concert will start at 2 PM, and outdoor fun all afternoon for friends and families of the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Join us in the meadow next to the butterfly house to celebrate the migration of the Monarch butterfly and wind down the summer in style.

Regular programs and Activities:


Farmer’s Market

Check out the goods under the pavilion from local farmers on Fridays from 2 to 5 PM.

The Paul Smith’s College VIC Butterfly House

The popular butterfly house is open and staffed 7 days a week from 10:00 to 4:00 PM throughout the summer. Visitors can view native butterflies up close and learn about the life stages and migratory patterns of these colorful insects. The Butterfly House is made possible with significant support from the Adirondack Park Institute (API.) For more information contact The VIC at 327 – 6241.

The Paul Smith’s College VIC Fun Runs – Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday of the summer The Paul Smith’s College VIC offers Free Fun Trail Runs from 6:00 to 7:30. Join area runners on the great trails at The VIC. Sarah Keyes will talk training, nutrition and techniques for adding distance to your running.

First Sunday Series of Trail Races

The “First Sunday” Series will continue with a “Predator and Prey 10K” on August 7. Every month the distance for the First Sunday Series will progressively increase. September 4th we will offer a 15k Trail Race and on October 2nd we’ll offer a 13.1 mile half marathon. There will be also be a 5k option every month. “First Sunday Series” Trail Races begin at 9:00 AM. Register: www.active.com Sponsors include Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Mac’s Canoe Livery and Paul Smith’s College. For more information contact The VIC at 327 – 6241.

Naturalist led Back Country Paddles – Every Tuesday of the summer.

The Paul Smith’s College VIC offers a guided back country canoe trip every Tuesday of the summer. Trips are suitable for families. MAC’S Canoe Livery, in Lake Clear, will furnish the boats and equipment. Trips meet at The VIC at 10 AM and return by 4 PM. Trip fee is $75 for adults. Reservations are required. For a complete schedule, more information or to make a reservation for these popular trips 327 – 6241.

Explore the Adirondack ALPS – Every Thursday of the summer.

The Paul Smith’s College VIC offers a series of day hikes up the “Adirondack Low Peaks” in close proximity to The VIC. Trips meet at The VIC at 10 AM and return by 4 PM. Trip fee is $50 for adults. For a complete schedule, more information or to make a reservation for these popular trips, contact The VIC at 327 – 6241.

Naturalist led hikes and paddles at The VIC – Every day of the summer

Come explore nature at The Paul Smith’s College VIC! The trails are open and free to the public all the time! To enhance your experience, join one of The VIC naturalists for an investigative two hour hike in the woods or paddle on the waters of The VIC. Groups meet at 10 AM and 2 PM daily. Trip fee is $20 for adults. For a complete schedule, more information or to make a reservation for these popular trips, contact The VIC at 327 – 6241.

“Fun with Fungi” Mushroom walks

The Paul Smith’s College VIC will host naturalist led mushroom explorations on the trails and in the woods of the 3000 acre VIC campus. Come investigate “anything fungal” with mushroom specialist Susan Hopkins on Thursday, July 21, and August 4. We will meet at the VIC Visitor’s Building at 10:00AM for an introduction on what you might expect to see at this time of year; followed by a two hour walk of identification and collection. After the walk we will return to the center and those interested can sort out and discuss the various fungi collected on the tour. Susan will explain the various field guides and simple keys she uses to identify the various local mushrooms. The Fun with Fungi Interpretive Workshop is $20 per person. Preregistration is required.

Yoga on the deck at The VIC

Jackie Foster, RYT, will lead sessions on the deck at the VIC to awaken your senses to the natural world. Wednesdays through 8/31 from 9:30 to 10:45 AM. $15 per session


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Wild Adirondacks, Pioneered by Painters

Yes, you read it right. We have artists to thank for bringing us to the Adirondacks. At least, that’s what the Adirondack Museum suggests, with a new exhibit of paintings by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait.

Maybe the name isn’t familiar, but the paintings certainly are, since Tait was the most popular painter to have his Adirondack paintings published by lithographers Currier and Ives.

Already successful in New York City for his extraordinarily realistic paintings of wildlife, the Currier and Ives exposure made him nationally famous, and drew attention to the Northeast Wilderness so close to New York and Boston.

Born in England in 1819, Tait was just over 30 when he relocated to New York City and not long after became enamored of the Adirondacks. He summered at a shanty near Raquette Lake painting sporting scenes amongst the lush landscapes that were to become some of his best-known works. Paintings such as “A Good Time Coming” (1862) featured the artist, two guides and a friend from Brooklyn enjoying the day’s catch around a campfire, while the dogs stand by. Hunting and canoe fishing were often depicted, but he also painted a number of nature “portraits” of bears, beavers, and quite a few farm animals in stunning detail.

Tait’s eye for detail is evident in every one of the more than 50 paintings exhibited, 38 of which are part of the Adirondack Museum’s permanent collection. Many of his works are part of our national consciousness, and to see them in person not only recalls a déjà vu kind of feeling, but it also helps to connect us to the fairly recent history of this region.

Well worth the trip to Blue Mountain Lake on State Rte 30, try not to miss this exhibit, which goes through October 17, 2011. The ADK Museum is a full-day event, with plenty of other exhibits, and a really nice café with a great view of the lake itself. Museum admission is $18 for adults, $16 seniors and $12 students. Take a look at the visitor’s guide here.

Along with ornithologist and painter John James Audubon, A. F. Tait will be featured in a special lecture by David Wagner, author of American Wildlife Art, at the Adirondack Museum on Monday, August 15, 2011, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Illustration: Above, “A Good Time Coming,” 1862, by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. Courtesy the Adirondack Museum.

Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave.



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Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.