Arts

This weekend: Fourth of July in the Catskills

Above: Margaretville's Fire Department Field Days and Carnival comes to a grand finale this weekend, July 3 and July 4. Photo by Joe Damone Photography.

We're already written about where to find fireworks on this Fourth of July in the Catskills. But there’s lots of other things going on across the region as well. Here are a few of our favorites, county by county.

DELAWARE COUNTY

On Friday, July 3, the West Kortright Centre in East Meredith celebrates its 40th birthday with a gala dance under the stars with Hazmat Modine, a pan-ethnic roots and blues band. Chicken dinner at 7 p.m.; music begins at 8 p.m. If you were born in 1975 or are driving a 1975 car, you get in free.   Read more

The Calico Indian Dance Showdown brings back the Catskills Anti-Rent Wars

Above: A Calico Indians mask designed by Angelo Vizcarrondo for the Calico Indian Dance Showdown. Photo via Todd Whitley.

During the 19th-century Anti-Rent Wars, poor tenant farmers rebelled against their rich patrician landlords across the Catskills, relying a mix of politics, armed uprisings and subterfuge to dismantle the semi-feudal system that remained in the region. 

In the 1830s and 1840s, rebel farmers disguised themselves in calico dresses and faux-"Indian" masks and roamed the countryside, organizing rebellion. 

Left: Awake! Arouse! Dance! An 1839 poster supporting the Anti-Rent movement in Nassau, New York. From Wikimedia Commons.

The story is like something out of the musicals “Oklahoma” or “West Side Story.” Just replace farmers versus cowboys or Sharks versus Jets with “Calico Indians” versus wealthy aristocratic “patroons.”

This summer, a coalition of Greene County arts organizations is doing just that. 

“As soon as the director of the Zadock Pratt Museum said, ‘There’s this story about poor farmers with their backs to the wall dressing up in calico and sheepskin masks,’ I was in,” said Fawn Potash, the director of Masters on Main Street at the Greene County Council of the Arts. “It’s just too crazy. We had to do something with it.”

Thus was born the Calico Indian Dance Showdown, which may sound like an odd indie band name but is actually a festive historical reenactment coming to three Catskills towns this summer thanks to Mainly Greene, a coalition of Greene County arts organizations that includes the Catskill Mountain Foundation, the Greene County Council on the Arts, the Prattsville Art Center and Zadock Pratt Museum.

  Read more

Chamber music kicks off summer of concerts in Tannersville

Above: The Helena Baillie String Trio performs Bach's Goldberg Variations at All Souls Church in August 2014. Photo via the 23Arts Initiative.

The 23Arts Initiative, a Greene County arts organization that launched last year, is bringing rockstar chamber music to Tannersville in a series of free summer concerts in the imposing and intimate All Souls Church. 

The series, which features artists from London and Denmark, begins this weekend on Sunday, July 5 with a performance of Franz Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” led by the Initiative’s summer artist-in-residence, pianist Tanya Gabrielian. Gabrielian’s piano will be joined by the violin, viola, cello and double bass played by Areta Zhulla, Mark Holloway, Paul Wiancko and Tony Flynt.

All Souls Church, perched at the intersection of County Roads 25 and 23C in Tannersville, is an excellent setting for chamber music. A miniature Gothic cathedral incongruously located at a quiet crossroads outside of the village, its vaulted wooden gives performers perfect acoustics and audience members close-up views of the musicians.   Read more

New summer, new antlers

John of Catskills Photography captured this young buck posing with some velvety new antlers in the Sullivan County hamlet of Rock Hill on June 2 and shared it in the Watershed Post Flickr pool.

Correction: An alert reader points out that deer have antlers, not horns. Forgive me -- I wasn't on my fact-checking game this morning. For more on the difference between antlers and horns, check out the National Park Service's helpful fact sheet. - Julia

Rip Van Winkle cauliflower mural takes shape in Margaretville

Above: Murphy works on a new mural in Margaretville on Tuesday, June 2. She plans to finish it next week.

Joanna Murphy, an artist and muralist based in the Catskills, is putting the finishing touches on a mural at the eastern edge of the Delaware County village of Margaretville that depicts a vintage cauliflower label featuring Rip Van Winkle. 

Cauliflower used to be one of the central Catskills' biggest exports, and cauliflower farmers decorated their crates with colorful labels that depicted pastoral scenes and happy country women.

(Until this year, the logo for Pure Catskills, the region's buy local program, was an adaptation of a cauliflower label from the Walton-Hamden Cauliflower Co-op that featured a girl in a red dress. WAC employees call her Fran.)

Murphy at work on the mural on Tuesday, June 2. Photo by Julia Reischel.  Read more

The winners of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Above: "Ashokan Reservoir" by Mark Miller, the grand prize winner of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. 

It's Memorial Day weekend, and our print 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide has hit the streets! Copies are waiting at dozens of locations around the Catskills. See what it looks like and how to get one by clicking here.

Each year, we ask readers of the Watershed Post and our Catskills Outdoor Guide to send us their best photos of the Catskills great outdoors. This year, 52 photographers entered our 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest  Read more

This Weekend: Memorial Day in the Catskills

Above: Princesses in Liberty's 2014 Memorial Day Parade. Photo by John of Catskills Photography, submitted to the Watershed Post Flickr pool. This year, Liberty's parade takes place on Monday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Ah, Memorial Day: a bittersweet tang, part remembrance, part celebration. The scent of gunpowder from ritual muskets mingling with the fresh blooms of late spring and a whiff of barbecue sauce. The unofficial beginning of summer brings a host of wonderful seasonal things bursting open at once.

Come out and imbibe the heady mix. Here’s our five county guide to the best of the Catskills this weekend, May 23 to 25.

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

This Weekend: Between the Lines Movement Fundraiser

On Saturday, the Catskill Mill on Main Street Catskill is hosting a dance performance (and a pre-performance auction and a post-performance dance party) as a benefit for the Greene County Council on the Arts.

The evening is planned with young, impecunious types in mind: tickets are on a sliding scale, and a DJ will turn the Mill into a club for the after party. (If you only come for the dance, you can get in for just $5.) Food is being provided by the Catskill Mill Food Truck. 

The centerpiece of the evening is a collaborative dance performance choreographed by a group of local dancers and accompanied by live music: 

The highlight of the evening is a collaborative dance performance inspired by sketches drawn especially for the event by Kiki Smith, and featuring live music by Michael Moss and Billy Stein. Nine dancers, a collection of seasoned pros from the area including Jean Churchill, Peggy Gould, Sondra Loring, Judith Moss, Donald Mouton, Nancey Rosensweig, Maria Simpson and Todd Whitley, will be creating and performing the piece.  Read more

SUNY Delhi welders craft 12-foot stainless steel bronco

Above: Welding instructors Chris Mignier and D.J. Stein show off their creation: a 12-foot-tall bronco sculpture that will be installed on the SUNY Delhi campus. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Those attending the SUNY Delhi commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16 will be greeted by a new addition to the campus – a 12-foot-tall sculpture of the school's bronco mascot logo, rendered in stainless steel.

The idea for the sculpture was crowd-sourced from among students, administrators and a campus beautification committee. The implementation fell upon welding instructors Chris Mignier and D.J. Stein.

“They asked what we could do,” Mignier said. “We started looking at the logo and decided to make the two-dimensional thing a three-dimensional thing.”

Mignier and Stein began experimenting after class hours and created a scale model, which they presented to college President Candace Vancko and others in March.

“We had no idea what the reception would be. They seemed really pleased with it,” Mignier said.

Vancko confirmed that she liked the model and said she gave the sculptors one more instruction. “I told them, 'Oh, I want it big. I want it really big,'” she said.  Read more

This Weekend: Tiny Arts Day in West Fulton

Above: The former Methodist Church Hall in West Fulton hosts a day of festivities in West Fulton on Saturday, April 11. Photos courtesy of Panther Creek Arts. 

The tiny Schoharie County hamlet of West Fulton doesn't have much in it aside from a few houses and a former Methodist Church hall. But this weekend, it will host its own day-long festival, called "Tiny Arts Day in a Tiny Town."

The festival is packed with events. There will be a family vaudeville show, an artists reception, a three-course dinner featuring meats and veggies raised nearby, live music from a jazz trio and a mini-market featuring beer from Green Wolf Brewing Co., spirits from Kymar Farm Distillery and goodies from Bearsville Bakers.  Read more


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