Please join me in welcoming the Almanack‘s newest contributor Linda J. Peckel. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts. Originally from Croton-on-Hudson, she developed a lifelong interest in the Hudson River School of painting, and has since expanded her appreciation to many types of art that hail from the Hudson River Valley and the Adirondacks. She managed the Lakeshore Gallery in Bolton Landing during the 2009 season, and has reported on the arts from Albany to Canada for Examiner.com and her own ArtsEnclave blog. Linda has crewed on film sets, worked on film and music festivals, and interviewed painters, photographers and artists of all kinds.
Also a health writer, Linda often writes about mind-body connections. She has written for magazines such as Boston Home & Garden, Family Circle and Fairfield County Woman. She co-wrote the e-book, Just What the Doctor Ordered—An Insider’s Guide to Medical Writing with Nancy Monson, and contributed to Monson’s book, Craft to Heal—Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting and Other Pasttimes.
Peckel’s first contribution to the Adirondack Almanack, on the new Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait exhibit at the Adirondack Museum, will appear this afternoon.
By Diane Chase The Art Center/Old Forge has transformed itself once again. This weekend the newly named VIEW will host its gala reception to welcome the public to their LEEDS certified green building. The VIEW originated with just one event, the Central Adirondack Art Show, where artists were presented on chicken wire displays on founder Miriam Kashiwas’s front lawn. Now in it’s 60th year it is only appropriate that the Central Adirondack Art Show will be on display for the gala opening of the new building.
From Kashiwas’s front yard, the Arts Guild of Old Forge, Inc. was incorporated in 1967 and eight years later purchased its first building, named Arts Center/Old Forge, to support year-round programming. Jody Pritchard, graphic Design/media coordinator for the VIEW, says, “Our new name is VIEW. VIEW is reflective of the Adirondack vistas around us, and expresses the personal relationship that people can have with and through the creation of art. People come to the Adirondacks to view, when they come to VIEW arts they can observe the view of others, as well as express a view of their own. We have national exhibitions, performances and workshops that bring in visitors from other communities as opposed to only serving Old Forge, which our old name implied.”
According to Pritchard the move from the old building to the new graced them with an additional 20,000 square feet which allows for expanded workshop and classroom space, a commercial catering kitchen, a dedicated performance space with retractable seating for 200+, and the ability to stagger exhibits so there is always something fresh to see. All located within a green facility with geo-thermal heating, solar panels, recycled tire/metal roof and other energy efficient amenities.
There will be a variety of events happening throughout July 7-10, 2011 with dancing, silent auction, music, BBQ and ribbon cutting. A few highlights: for stamp collectors or those just interested there will be a special commemorative postal cancellation on Friday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. – noon at the VIEW. On Saturday there is a nature walk hosted by Gary Lee.
Sunday is family day with a visit from the Utica Zoomobile, face painting, clown and the opportunity to tie-dye a T-shirt or pillowcase (provided) for a small fee. Each day there are ongoing workshop demonstrations but on Sunday, artist Joseph Montroy will hold an introduction to iron casting and spectators can watch his students melt iron and pour the molten ore into molds to create sculptures.
The VIEW is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:00 p.m.
A diamond in the rough? Set back from the road, porch covered in vines, (which we later learned were hops); the dirt parking area and picnic tables are deceiving. Step onto the porch and the entrance inspires curiosity. Round tables with sprawling chairs invoke a shady retreat. No sign that we noticed, just a simple number 16, embellished with scroll work, over the front entrance-way of Tavern 16. Enter and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Upper walls on three sides are completely covered in various pieces of artwork, some originals, some prints (we’re pretty sure the VanGogh was a print), including a painting of the Sagamore Hotel, among other works by Elsie Soto, mother of owner Hank. Decorative panels beneath the bar, each one unique, are also creations of hers. The bar on the opposite wall is adorned with intricately detailed oak wood and mirrors, once bed headboards. Every glance reveals some now object of interest, painstakingly selected and collected by owners Hank and Toni. We take a seat at the bar and wonder where to purchase our tickets to this museum.
The bartender waits patiently while Pam surveys the liquor display. Oooh, pear flavored vodka, something she hasn’t tried yet. Ken suggests the pear with club soda and a splash of cranberry and Pam agrees. We are recognized by a long lost acquaintance and our story unfolds. Kim wishes she brought her wide angle lens for the photo shoot; there is so much to observe. Pam is eager to check out the bathroom and is not disappointed once she does. It’s a little gallery in there.
A pool table is nearly centered in the room, with maybe 50 trophies hanging above it and a few pool cues as well. We know the history of the family behind this tavern so we are not as surprised as some might be. Henry Soto, known as “Pop”, is a locally renowned pool shark. Reigning champions for at least the last decade, the Tavern 16 pool league, “Pop’s Pool League”, is reverently named for him. His son, Hank, has been a member of the Stony Creek Band for more than 30 years. Interestingly, neither Hank nor his father has aged much in those 30 years.
Pam begins her fact-finding dialogue with the bartender, Ken, and finds him extremely knowledgeable about the history and the everyday details of Tavern 16 – more like a curator than bartender. When she eventually learns that he was just filling in for the day, she is even more impressed. He is, in fact, more a patron than curator. In either role, Ken seems genuinely fond and proud of the establishment and its owners. The patrons, too, are quite proud of Tavern 16, its history, and the history of Stony Creek.
On a follow-up visit, it seemed everyone in the place had a story or morsel of trivia they wanted to share: “You don’t need a tattoo to fit in here.” “The jukebox has the most eclectic collection of music in the Adirondacks.” “Stony Creek has the highest number of single men per capita in Warren County.” And so on. Tavern 16 served as the Grange Hall in the 1940’s, but judging from newspapers used as insulation in the walls and dated 1865, Hank concludes that it was built in the mid-1800’s.
Ken modestly reveals that he has an interest in drink creation and shared an unnamed blend with us, which we have dubbed Ken’s Creekside Cooler until something better comes up. Jennifer, Tavern 16’s longest-standing bartender has a list of her own drink creations as well, including Sex in the Creek and the Jen-Garita, though her recipes are secret and she didn’t want to share. You’ll have to see her personally for that.
Ken’s Creekside Cooler 1 part tequila 1 part Absolut Citron Pineapple juice
Tavern 16 is open every day, year round, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (or later) and closes ONLY on Thanksgiving Day. Though they don’t serve food, in winter months a crockpot of something tasty and comforting is always simmering.
During the summer months, Tavern 16 hosts a cookout every Tuesday evening in conjunction with the town sponsored Stony Creek Music in the Park series of concerts. The first of this season is on July 5 at 7:00 p.m., rain or shine. They fire up the grill at about 5:30 at the Tavern 16. Food is free, but you can bring along something to share. One day a year, a Customer Appreciation Day cookout is held as well. We apparently just missed that event. Drink prices are in the low to average range, but a Saranac Pale Ale pint was a little pricier than most places we’ve reviewed. Don’t let that stop you though. Just experiencing this tavern is worth it.
Several bikers came in while we were there and Pam couldn’t resist a little friendly taunting. Yes, Pam would have to taunt the bikers! They offered some information about other bars in the Adirondacks that we must visit, gave her more insight about Sporty’s Tavern in Minerva, and eventually headed out. Probably wanted to get to a WiFi hotspot to check out our blog on their iPhones or Blackberries.
This is a “must see” tavern. Next time you are in Stony Creek, stop in, but put your transition lens glasses in your pocket for a few minutes before entering. You’ll find a warm, welcoming staff, a friendly bunch of locals who like to tell stories, and probably a visitor or two. And be sure to mention Happy Hour in the High Peaks if you run into Ken or Hank.
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.
The Lake George Theater Lab has announced its 2011 season, “A love letter to the Adirondacks”, including their annual free outdoor Shakes on the Lake “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” (the very first Shakespeare play they performed in Rogers Memorial Park); Tales for Tots Players (a children’s show); “The Cottage”(an eerie and mysterious new play representing the New Play Laboratory); an evening of original Ghost Stories; and “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, starring Lake George Theater Lab Artistic Director Lindsey Gates and Adirondack Theater Festival Artistic Director Mark Fleischer. The season opens with the annual free outdoor production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night, or, What You Will”, Shakespeare’s comedy about love, mistaken identity and the power of will. The Theater Lab has again teamed up with the Classical Acting Studio at New York University’s Associate Director Daniel Spector, who cuts all of Shakespeare’s scripts to 90 minutes, casts the play with graduates of the Classical Studio, rehearses at a breakneck pace and brings a naturalistic Shakespeare to Rogers Memorial Park. Through a grant from New York’s Roundtable Ensemble the production will be performing in New York City’s Riverside Park June 24th and 25th before travelling upstate. July 14th, 15th and 16th, Rogers Memorial Park, Route 9A; 7:30 PM. Rain location is at Bolton Rec Center. Free and outdoors.
Next up is Daisy Foote’s “The Cottage”, an eerie mystery set on an unnamed body of water in upstate New York. Every summer Lake George Theater Lab selects artists to come upstate for a week on the lake and lab a brand new play. The playwright, director and actors all live in one house and workshop the play’s structure, theme, dialogue, etc., and then present a reading to the public with a guided talk-back afterward for the playwright to gather as much feedback as possible. Daisy Foote and the director Evan Yionoulis are frequent collaborators, including Ms. Foote’s play “Bhutan” off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater and Daisy’s upcoming play “Him” this Fall at Primary Stages in New York City. Ms. Foote is the daughter of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Horton Foote. July 30; The Sagamore Hotel, 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing; 8:00 PM; $15. Reservations: (518)203-2600.
The full Lake George Theater Lab 2011 season includes:
“Twelfth Night, or, What You Will”
Shakes on the Lake By William Shakespeare Directed by Daniel Spector July 14-16, 7:30 PM Rogers Memorial Park Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing Rain location- Bolton Rec Center Free. Outdoors.
Tales for Tots
Children’s Fairytale performance July 20, Free Bolton Free Library (518)644-2233
New Play Lab By Daisy Foote Directed by Evan Yionoulis July 30th, 8 PM Sagamore Hotel 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing $15, (518)203-2600
Original Ghost Stories
August 6, 8 PM Sembrich Opera Museum Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing $12, (518)203-2600
By A.R. Gurney Directed by Michael Barakiva Starring Lindsey Gates and Mark Fleischer August 12-14, 8 PM/2PM Sagamore Hotel 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing $25, (518)203-2600
Two new exhibits have opened at the Adirondack Museum: “The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait” and “Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts.”
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait was the classic artist of Adirondack sport. “The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait” features paintings and prints depicting life in the Adirondack woods – images of hunters, sportsmen, guides, and settlers that include a wealth of historical detail. An ardent sportsman and lover of the outdoors, Tait lived in the region for extended periods of time near Chateaugay, Raquette and Long lakes. His images of animals and sporting adventures were among the best known in 19th-century America thanks to Currier & Ives, whose lithographs of Tait paintings helped popularize the Adirondacks as a sportsman’s paradise.
Chief Curator, Laura Rice called the exhibit, “a rare opportunity to see some of Tait’s most important works, including a few from private collections which are rarely, if ever, on exhibit.”
“Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts” focuses on the work of one of the nation’s most recognized amateur wildlife photographers in the first decades of the 20th century. Roberts’ Adirondack wildlife photographs represent an important breakthrough in science and the technology of photography. He developed a thorough knowledge of Adirondack wildlife and their habits, and deer jacking inspired him to consider night photography. A feature article in the New York Times, August 26, 1928, described Roberts’ as “hunting with a camera in the Adirondacks.”
The “Night Vision” exhibit features approximately 35 original large-format photographs of Adirondack wildlife. Roberts’ cameras, equipment, colored lithographic prints, hand-colored transparencies, published works, and his many awards will also be exhibited. His work has been published in Audubon Magazine, Country Life, Modern Photography, and The National Geographic Magazine.
The museum is open through October 17, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week, including holidays. There will be an early closing on August 12, and adjusted hours on August 13; the museum will be closed on September 9. Visit www.adirondackmuseum.org for more information. All paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.
With an opportunity to bypass a trip to Vegas and be married by the King of Rock n’ Roll at the Lake George.com Elvis Festival, I feel it may be time to renew our wedding vows. My husband hates the idea but only slightly less than my Halloween wedding plan of dressing up as the bride and groom and being married by Beetlejuice.
In Lake George this weekend the Elvis Festival opens this Thursday, June 2 with a free tribute concert at Shepard’s Park starting at 7:30 p.m. According to Festival Director Jason Sherry the concert is family-friendly and gives a sampling of what the weekend festivities hold. “Not only will people be able to see tributes to Elvis, James Brown, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson but also Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. The musicians are all tributes,” says Sherry. “Friday night is about Rock and Roll History, which is where all the other tribute artists come in. Saturday is Elvis all day long. Elvis will be on a boat, playing in restaurants and seen all around Lake George.”
Another activity families can look forward to is the Elvis Classic Car Parade. The parade starts at 9:00 a.m. on June 4th. The parade route starts at the high school and continues to the Lake George Forum. All the performers will be showing their stuff.
“We have set up the Forum to seat 2,100 people for our event,” says Sherry. “Some of the events are only $15 so there is a lot of variety for families. We also hold the Elvis Gospel Music Contest on June 5th. The event is free but we are asking for donations for United Way. We have always held one event for charity in the eight years that we have held this event. The past four years we have raised funds for the United Way.”
Sherry recommends people to stop by the Lake George Forum and pick up the $3.00 program which includes a complete schedule and all the free events.
With the hum of gospel music in the background you can set your own stage to be married by Elvis. Perhaps you can have your own themed wedding but I will only be able to watch from the stage as Pricilla Presley beehive hairdos fill the Lake George Forum.
Call 518-681-7452 for Elvis Festival tickets and more information.
Photo: An Elvis tribute performer courtesy LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival.
The Arts Center/Old Forge (recently renamed View) will be holding a reception to welcome the return of their many volunteers and recruit new ones. The reception will be June 8th, from 11:30 to 1 pm and then again from 4:30 6 pm.
Visitors are welcome to celebrate the center’s volunteers in the new building with light refreshments and hors d’oeurves, and receive a guided tour of the new facility. Those interested in volunteering show let event organizers know their availability, even if that is restricted to certain months, days, or times. Volunteers are sought in all areas, including the front desk and store, data entry, mailings, and cleaning, special events set up/take down, culinary preparation, and taking photos. Volunteers can also help performances and exhibits with set up/take down as well as openings, music, and lighting. There are also options to volunteer from home. Poster distribution, picking up supplies in Utica, and/or picking up visiting artists from the airport are also areas where volunteers are needed.
The Arts Center’s grand opening gala weekend will be July 7 10.
Those interested in volunteering should attend the reception or contact the Arts Center at (315) 369-6411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For a printable volunteer form visit their website at www.ArtsCenterOldForge.org. Photo: Curator Linda Weal, Jim Tracy, Stephen Wick, Deb Burrington Mills hanging the Northeast National Pastel Exhibition.
The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York will open for the 54th season on Friday, May 27, 2011. This season, the museum opens two new exhibits and also introduces a host of family activities and special events.
The Adirondack Museum’s two new exhibits – “The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait” and “Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts” – showcase two very different, yet complimentary, visions of the region. “The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait” features paintings and prints depicting life in the Adirondack woods-images of hunters, sportsmen, guides, and settlers, that include a wealth of historical detail. Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait was the classic artist of Adirondack sport. From the objects Tait worked with to Currier and Ives prints and finished oil paintings, the exhibit showcases Tait’s artistic vision and skill and highlights the region’s beauty and character.
“‘The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait’ looks at the life and work of this most quintessentially Adirondack artist,” said Chief Curator, Laura Rice. “This exhibition represents a rare opportunity to see some of Tait’s most important works, including a few from private collections which are rarely, if ever, on exhibit.”
“Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts” focuses on the work of one of the nation’s most recognized amateur wildlife photographers in the first decades of the 20th century. The “Night Vision” exhibit features approximately 35 original large-format photographs of Adirondack wildlife. Roberts’ cameras, equipment, colored lithographic prints, hand-colored transparencies, published works, and his many awards will also be exhibited. Roberts’ Adirondack wildlife photographs represent an important breakthrough in science and the technology of photography. His work has been published in Audubon Magazine, Country Life, Modern Photography, and The National Geographic Magazine.
The Adirondack Museum has planned a full schedule of family activities, hands-on experiences, special events, lectures and field trips for all ages. Programming for families in 2011 has expanded to include an Artist in Residence program, and a collaborative canvas where visitors can help paint an Adirondack landscape.
This summer, the museum has a special new event to kick-off summer for families -“Familypalooza” – on July 9. Familypalooza will include a bounce house, music show by Radio Disney, kayaking and paddling demonstrations on the museum’s pond, costumed animal characters, food, face painting and more. Children age 17 and under will be admitted free of charge for the day. Families will also enjoy “The Adirondacks Are Cookin’ Out!” – a tribute to food prepared with smoke and fire – on July 28, and Dog Days of Summer on August 6.
Two special exhibits will also return in 2011. The Adirondack Museum celebrates food, drink, and the pleasures of eating in the Adirondack Park in, “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions.” The exhibit shares culinary stories and customs, and a bit about local celebrity Rachael Ray. “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters” includes historic quilts from the museum’s textile collection as well as contemporary comforters, quilts, and pieced wall hangings.
The Adirondack Museum has introduced some lower admissions prices for 2011. The admissions prices are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (62 and over), $12 for teens (13-17), $6 for kids (6-12) and free for those 5 and under. Admission will be free for members and all active military every day. Reduced group rates are also available.
The museum is open May 27 through October 17, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week, including holidays. There will be an early closing on August 12, and adjusted hours on August 13; the museum will close for the day on September 9. Visit www.adirondackmuseum.org for more information. All paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.
The 7th Annual Northeast National Pastel Exhibition has opened at the new Arts Center / Old Forge and will be on through June 25th. The exhibition is considered a highlight of the Arts Center’s annual exhibition calendar, with thousands of visitors a year from the Northeast and beyond attending. The exhibition features works from some of the nation’s foremost pastel artists. More artists than ever have submitted work in the hopes of being selected this year.
108 works were chosen by pastelist Wende Caporale, this year’s juror of selection and author of several major publications on painting with pastels. Admission to the Arts Centers exhibitions is $8/$4 members & groups of 6+/Children under 12 free.
The Adirondack Arts community has announced its 2011 summer season highlights, featuring Shakespeare in the Park, Saranac Lake Village Art Walks, free concert series and a new Adirondack art festival that celebrates the artistic history and community of the Adirondacks.
Arts in the Park – Summer 2011 highlights will include the inaugural Adirondack Arts Heritage Festival in Saranac Lake on June 26- July 4. For nine days, 35 uniquely Adirondack activities span a range of art forms, from fly fishing to historic Saranac Lake walks, to Cure Cottage lore. Join the Adirondack arts community in Saranac Lake for the first heritage celebration of the arts, culminating with a July 4th Parade of Boats on Lake Flower, concert and fireworks. Free summer concert series kick off every summer in communities throughout the Adirondack Park. In June, Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series kicks off a summer of free musical performances in Mid’s Park on Main Street, Lake Placid. This free concert series runs every Tuesday through August. The Lake Placid Sinfonietta will also perform six free Wednesday night concerts in Mid’s Park July through August. Offering classical music fare, the Sinfonietta is the Orchestra of the Adirondacks.
The Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival features 42 performances of six productions in 18 Adirondack towns. Based in Blue Mountain Lake, the theater troupe’s festival line-up includes: Romeo & Juliet, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Violet, The Conference of Birds, Movie Madness Cabaret and The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Live in Concert. For performance dates and locations, log onto AdirondackExperience.com for more information. At the Charles R. Wood Theater near Lake George, the Adirondack Theatre Festival will present The K of D, a ghost story and one-woman play, June 29-July 2.
A 4-year tradition will take place during the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council’s Annual Arts Festival June 11-12 in Glens Falls. This two-day festival features juried arts and craft shows, family activities, food and entertainment. For a complete list of summer concert series, arts festivals, workshops and museum exhibits.
You can search events, attractions and Adirondack vacation packages online.
Photo: Tara Bradway as Helena, Collin Ware as Demetrius in a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In Hungry Will’s Variety Hour produced by The Adirondack Shakespeare Company in 2010.
The Adirondack Center for Writing at Paul Smith’s College will present its annual Adirondack Literary Awards on June 12th at the Blue Mountain Center. Authors and poets from across the North Country submitted their work in March and will be honored by a panel of judges in the categories of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, memoir, nonfiction, and photography as well as a “People’s Choice Award.” The work of three regular contributors here at the Almanack are being considered this year. Adirondack Nature Notes: An Adirondack Almanac Sequel by Tom Kalinowski; Adirondack Ice: A Cultural and Natural History by Caperton Tissot; and History of Churubusco and the Town of Clinton, Clinton County, NY by Lawrence Gooley will be considered in the non-fiction category.
The Adirondack Center for Writing is a resource and educational organization that provides support to writers and enhances literary activity and communication throughout the Adirondacks. The event is FREE and open to the public, but space will be limited so reserve your seat through the ACW – 518.327.6278 or email@example.com.
Submissions for this year’s Awards include: In Children’s Literature, Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto, by Eric Luper; A Day at the Fair by Judyann Grant; The Rock Singer by Betsey Thomas Train; Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner; and The Adirondack Kids 10: The Final Daze of Summer by Justin and Gary VanRiper.
In Fiction, Rehabilitation by Timothy J. Brearton; Adirondack Detective The Years Pass by John H. Briant; Saying Goodbye to Port Davis High by Dave Donohue; Mission to Xan by C.W. Dingman; Tailings by Jeffrey G. Kelly; and Incidental Contact by Chuck Walley
In Memoir, submissions include The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball; Green Fields by Bob Cowser; and Yabanci: An American Teacher in Turkey by Dave Donohue.
In Nonfiction, Why We Are Here edited by Bob Cowser; Adirondack Nature Notes: An Adirondack Almanac Sequel by Tom Kalinowski; Adirondack Ice: A Cultural and Natural History by Caperton Tissot; History of Churubusco and the Town of Clinton, Clinton County, NY by Lawrence Gooley; Haunted New York Volume 4 by Cheri Farnsworth; and See and Be Seen: Saratoga in the Victorian Era by Dr Hollis Palmer.
In Poetry, Winterberry Pine: Three Poets on Adirondack Winter by Elaine Handley, Marilyn McCabe, and Mary Sanders Shartle; Wanderings Through White Church by Mary Anne Johnson; Transfiguration by Pat Shannon Leonard; Set Theory by Georganna Millman; The One Good Bite in the Saw-Grass Plant; A poet in the Everglades by Roger Mitchell; and Lawless Adirondack Haiku by Sean Tierney and Karma in the High Peaks.
It’s been called the greatest sports moment of the century. The Miracle on Ice, Feb. 22, 1980, when the U.S hockey team, made up of 20 college kids, upset the Soviets 4-3 during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., on their way to winning the improbable gold medal. Now it’s your turn to tell your story—where you were during that historic day that united the nation? How did that win against the Soviets inspire you?
Do you have a story to tell about that day? If you do, submit your story to the United States’ goaltender Jim Craig, firstname.lastname@example.org, for your chance to tell your story in an upcoming book of the memories about that game with the Soviets. What do you remember about the morale of the country at the time of the victory? Maybe you remember where you were and what you were doing. Or maybe this win served to inspire your life.
The two winning stories will receive a Miracle movie poster, personally signed by Craig. The deadline is May 31, 2011.
A Plattsburgh native and Clarkson University alumnus who is lead programmer for High Moon Studios, maker of the Transformers video games, will give a presentation at Clarkson on “Transforming a Franchise: The Making of Transformers: War for Cybertron” on Tuesday, April 5.
Andrew Zaferakis will speak about his experience in the games industry, as well as give an inside-look into the game development pipeline for a high-profile game. The presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. in CAMP building room 176 and is free and open to the public. Zaferakis is a 13-year veteran of the computer and video game industry. He first began programming computer graphics demos on the Apple IIe in the early 1980s. His interest in programming brought him to Clarkson where he received a B.S. in computer science with a minor in mathematics in 1998.
He then spent two years working for IBM Microelectronics before going to graduate school to obtain his M.S. in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus in real-time rendering and collision detection.
Zaferakis entered the games industry in 2001, and within a few years was hired by Rockstar Games to be the Xbox lead programmer for the multi-million dollar Midnight Club II franchise.
In his current position at High Moon Studios, Zaferakis has worked on multiplayer aspects of Darkwatch and led the programming development for both the Bourne Conspiracy and the critically-acclaimed Transformers: War for Cybertron. He continues to lend his programming expertise to future projects, as well as drive the vision of online and multiplayer aspects of game development.
The presentation is sponsored by Clarkson’s Digital Arts & Sciences (DA&S) Program. DA&S combines elements of strong scientific research with equally impressive technological expertise in the digital arts.
Clarkson’s program is rated as one of the Princeton Review’s top-50 game design programs and was named the Most Innovative Program in North America by the International Digital Media and Arts Association in 2010.
For questions regarding the DA&S program or the presentation, please contact Dave Beck, director of the Digital Arts & Sciences Program, at email@example.com or 315-268-4205.
Joseph Beuy’s 1970 ‘Felt Suit’ – a piece of art that is, literally, a suit made of felt, mounted on a wall by a coat hanger – is by now a cultural artifact of such prominence that in “An Object of Beauty,” comedian Steve Martin’s recent novel about the New York art world, a wealthy collector is portrayed as frivolous largely through his ownership of one of them.
Beuys created one hundred of the suits, one of which was acquired by the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach and is included in its traveling show, Objects of Wonder and Delight, now installed at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls until April 21. At first glance, the decision to include Felt Suit in the exhibition, surrounded, as it is, by paintings by Chagall, Courbet, Matisse, Picasso, O’Keeffe and Warhol, among others, may seem like an eccentric one
But David Setford, The Hyde’s director (who was the Norton’s chief curator from 1990 to 1999) makes a good case for its presence here.
“Beuys, a German air force gunner during World War II, claimed that he was shot down over central Asia, where he was rescued by Tartars who wrapped his body in felt. Like every artist who works in the still life genre, he takes an object and imbues it with spirituality, with an awareness that in life there’s death, and in death, life,” Setford said during a recent tour of the show.
That baroque sensibility is obviously more apparent in works like the 17th century painter Daniel Segher’s decaying flowers, in Matisse’s dead fish and even in the joyous 1916 still life of a Portuguese breakfast by Robert Delaunay. That’s one of Setford’s favorite pieces in the show, not only because it reminds him of the Mediterranean, but because its depictions of fruit are harbingers of abstraction.
Objects of Wonder has been promoted as something of a historical survey of the still life genre, including, as it does, four centuries of still life from the Ming dynasty of China to the present.
But that description doesn’t do justice to the exhibition, which is organized thematically rather than chronologically, or to the astonishing, dizzying quality of every single piece that’s gathered here.
Take, for example, the cubist guitar of Picasso. “Whenever I look at this, I don’t just see planes and boards; the colors are like guitar chords. I can hear the jangly sounds, and not just those sounds, but a deep mellifluousness,” said Setford.
For those interested in American modernism, highlights of the show will include works by Demuth, Sheeler, O’Keeffe and Milton Avery.
This show has been described as candy for the eye, and rightly so. Far from being an exercise in art history, Objects of Wonder is an opportunity to spend time with masterpieces we’re unlikely to ever see again in upstate New York.
“Objects of Wonder and Delight: Four Centuries of Still Life from the Norton Museum of Art,” fifty-one works of art from the collection of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, will remain on view at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls through April 21. The Hyde Collection is open Tuesday through Friday, from 11am to 4pm and on weekends from 12 to 5pm. Call 792-1761 for more information. Images: Joseph Beuys, Felt Suit, 1970; Marsden Hartley, Flounders and Blue Fish, 1942; Daniel Seghers A Garland of Pink Roses, circa 1645.
Obituaries vary widely in their historical value. Sometimes they’re elaborate; at times they are understated; some leave out important facts; and some, well … some are just hard to explain. Like this one from March, 1952: “Richard A. Whitby, a native of Warrensburg, died on Wednesday of last week at his home in Albany. Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Kathryn M. Waring Whitby; two sisters, Mrs. Frank Chapman and Miss Kate Whitby of Yonkers.”
That notice appeared in his hometown newspaper. Accurate, no doubt, and surely succinct, but brevity isn’t always a good thing. In this case, the inattention to detail is stunning, and it’s quite a stretch from what’s true to what’s important. I’d like to take a crack at bridging that gap. Richard Augustus Whitby (not Richard E. or other variations that appear in many records) was born to Louisa and Richard James Whitby on January 22, 1879. The family’s background played an important role in Richard’s legacy. Once established, the Whitby surname remained prominent in the Warrensburg-Glens Falls area for decades.
In 1872, the Whitbys (they had two young sons) emigrated from Yeovil, England where Richard J. had operated a cloth manufacturing business employing 61 laborers. He pursued the same work in America, first at Leeds in Greene County and then at Salem in Washington County, finally settling in Warrensburg, where he was superintendent of the woolen mill.
Financially sound, Mr. Whitby was able to pursue his interests, which were family and music. He managed to combine the two in remarkable fashion, and mix work in as well. Each family member learned to play a musical instrument, and as they entered adulthood, each was employed in the family business. By 1899, son Percy was managing the mill with his father, while Eloise, Eustace (salesman), Kate (stitcher), and Richard (buttonhole maker) toiled for Whitby & Co.
As good as they were at making clothing, it was in the world of music that the family excelled. The Whitby dance band played countless gigs and was in great demand, but the family performed solos and joined other musical groups as well. In 1895, the GAR Band and the Citizens’ Band ended an ongoing competition by merging into the Warrensburg Military Band. Among the dozens of members were several Whitbys—Percy, clarinet and Musical Director; his father, Richard J., cornet; Eustace, saxophone; and young Richard A., baritone horn.
After a performance on baritone by Richard in 1893, one prescient local reviewer said Whitby’s effort “… would have done credit to a professional player.” Besides the baritone horn, Richard also played two related instruments, the euphonium and the trombone. By the mid-1890s, his euphonium solos were known far and wide, and highly praised.
During the next several years, he performed at dozens of graduations, church events, and the like, routinely accompanied by his mother, Louisa, on the piano. In the summer of 1895, Mr. and Mrs. Whitby and son Richard were the star attraction at the Leland House in Schroon Lake.
In 1896, the 17-year-old was hired by Scribner & Smith’s Circus to play slide trombone during the summer. In 1899 he signed with a traveling comedy and music act, followed by several years as trombonist for the Broad Street Theater in Richmond, Virginia.
Word of his ability spread, and in 1910, “Dick” Whitby was the trombone soloist for Carl Edouarde’s 60-piece band, a top act in Philadelphia and New York City. (Edouarde, who later composed film scores, conducted the music for Steamboat Willie, the first sound cartoon.)
In October, 1911, Whitby married Bertha B. Lancaster (yes, Bert Lancaster) of Peekskill, and the couple moved to New York City. All the while, Richard’s fame continued to grow.
Though he had made steady progress over the years, his rise now seemed meteoric. Outstanding performances in Edouarde’s band were soon followed by a stunning announcement in 1913: Richard had been offered the second chair in John Philip Sousa’s band, which for decades had featured some of the world’s finest musicians. Second chair meant the number two position, but Whitby was also promised first chair upon the lead trombone player’s imminent retirement.
It was a tremendous honor and highly regarded confirmation of his great talent, but there was a problem: Richard was still under contract to Carl Edouarde, who had no intentions of releasing him from a prominent run at New York’s Palace Theater.
He continued as lead trombonist for Edouarde’s concert band, and it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime had passed. But such was the talent of Richard Whitby that Sousa was willing to wait. When he became a free agent in 1915, Sousa signed Richard to an 8-month contract, beginning on April 1, 1915.
The timing was fortuitous. After three years of playing one main venue and going on only a short tour each season, Sousa’s band was suddenly once again a hot property. When Richard joined the orchestra, it was for an extraordinary tour reaching all the way to the West Coast.
San Francisco was hosting a major event, the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition (the World’s Fair), celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal and the city’s own recovery from the horrific 1906 earthquake. Sousa’s band played on opening-day and performed for an extended run through May and June, allowing untold thousands to enjoy Whitby’s great solos.
The band might have played longer but for a telegram from New York, requesting their services for an upcoming extravaganza at the world’s largest theater, the Hippodrome.
Leaving San Francisco, the band toured the Northwest to great acclaim. Notable was a July concert before 17,000 attendees at a high school stadium in Tacoma, Washington. From there, the band toured through the Midwest and then played before large crowds in Pennsylvania, including a month at famous Willow Grove Park and two weeks at the Pittsburgh Exhibition, before finally arriving in New York.
Those were heady days for one of the world’s most famous bands, now performing at the 5,200 seat Hippodrome for an 8-month run. Critics raved, as did Theatre Magazine: “The astonished and delighted spectator feels like cheering all the way through the really wonderful program.” It was a smash success, but Whitby remained for only half the run (about 215 performances).
When his contract with Sousa expired at the end of the year, Richard returned to more familiar haunts. In 1916, he opened with a slide trombone solo for a Warrensburg concert by students of the famed Oscar Seagle. Whitby’s rendition of Patriot Polka was a tribute to his friend and former instructor, Arthur Pryor, author of the tune and acknowledged for decades as one of the world’s premiere trombonists.
Richard’s preference was to remain in the North Country, but no matter where he was, his talent and fame kept him in high demand. A renowned soloist who tested the limits of his instrument, Whitby starred for several years on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. The main venue he played there was the famed Steel Pier, which extends 1000 feet over the ocean and today sits directly across the Boardwalk from Trump’s Taj Mahal Resort and Casino.
He also did stints at New York’s Palace Theater, and in the 1920s was soloist with the Paramount Symphony Orchestra at the Paramount Theater.
When he was upstate, he played with Noller’s Band of Troy and the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra. Whitby lived in Albany for many years, and through the 1930s and 1940s was one of the city’s and the region’s most sought-after musicians. He was widely acknowledged as one of the greatest trombone players in the country.
Obituaries normally mention one’s accomplishments, and when Richard Whitby died in 1952, his hometown obit noted only two events: “… native of Warrensburg … died … at his home in Albany.” It suggests an innocuous existence marked largely by his entrance into and exit from life. Being born and dying are surely significant, but as you can see, there was some other stuff in between.
Photo Top: The John Philip Sousa Band performing at the Panama-Pacific Exhibition (World’s Fair) in 1915.
Photo Middle: A euphonium, one of the instruments mastered by Richard A. Whitby.
Photo Bottom: The famed Steel Pier on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk.
Lawrence Gooley has authored nine books and many articles on the North Country’s past. He and his partner, Jill McKee, founded Bloated Toe Enterprises in 2004. He took over in 2010 and began expanding the company’s publishing services. For information on book publishing, visit Bloated Toe Publishing.
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