Arts

This Weekend: WaterMusic

Above: Michael Pinciotti's neon water installation. Pinciotti is one of 18 artists featuring work in the Catskill Art Society's "River and Biota" exhibit, which has its final weekend on Nov. 15 and 16.

Water is an ever-present fact of life in the Catskills--especially in the small towns that have seen frequent flooding in the last few decades.

It's also an ever-renewing source of inspiration for artists and musicians, from 18th-century German composer George Frideric Handel to local artists like painter Kathe Frantz and composer Andrew Waggoner, the artistic co-director of the Jeffersonville based Weekend of Chamber Music.

On Nov. 15, the Catskill Art Society is hosting a multi-media arts event featuring music, video, and art installations, all inspired by water.

Left: Weekend of Chamber Music's Andrew Waggoner. Photo by Tom Bushey.

It's the last weekend of the gallery's "River and Biota" exhibit, curated by Naomi Teppich and featuring water-inspired works by 18 local artists, including Michael Pinciotti (above), and Kathe Frantz (below).   Read more

A Catskills rhapsody: "To Be Forever Wild"

David Becker released "To Be Forever Wild," a documentary film about the Catskills, in the summer of 2014. The project has been four years in the making—we interviewed Becker back in 2012 about his plans for the film, which was shot and edited collaboratively with the help of a large crew of volunteers. This fall, Jenna Scherer, our arts correspondent, got to watch the finished product. Here's her review. - Ed. 

The Catskill Mountains are hundreds of millions of years old, formed by eons of sedimentary accumulation, continental collision, glacial erosion and deforestation. But for every new generation that claps eyes on the region, it’s something brand new.

That sense of novelty and aw-shucks wonder is the engine that fuels "To Be Forever Wild," filmmaker David Becker’s new documentary about the Catskills and the way they make people feel.

Left: Director David Becker, photographed at Dibble's Quarry in the Catskill Mountains.

The film covers 12 days in the lives of Becker his crew, a group of young artists, filmmakers and musicians—mostly from New York City—as they head north to do the mountain thing. Along the way, they rub elbows with knowledgeable locals versed in everything from geology to fly-fishing—and, of course, Sullivan County homeowner and movie star Mark Ruffalo.

As a director, Becker goes out of his way to capture a sense of motion and life, taking the camera on cliff jumps off the edge of waterfalls, on zip-line rides through the tree canopy, and careening down scenic sunlit highways.

The in-between moments in this movie are about the crew finding creative inspiration in their surroundings: folky jam sessions around a campfire, sketches at Artist Rock in Greene County, and antique-camera photos of swimmin’ holes.

This can all feel a little precious at times, but fortunately, that’s not the meat and potatoes of the film. That would be Becker’s motley mix of interview subjects, who all get jazzed about the Catskills in different ways.

Among them are natural historian Michael Kudish, who leads the film crew into the woods as he cores a bog; Ellen Kalish of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, who rehabilitates injured owls and hawks; and Lama Karma, a monk from Woodstock’s Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery, who emigrated to the region from Tibet. The diversity of perspectives gives you an appreciation of just how many different ways there are to look at a place like this.

Becker's muse is 19th-century naturalist John Burroughs, the Catskills’ own famous essayist and conservationist. But "Forever Wild’s" spirit is closer to that of a group of little kids who appear early in the film, waxing rhapsodic about sticks.

  Read more

This Weekend: Simi Stone and other "Ladies of the Valley"

Above: Simi Stone. Photo via her Facebook page

Simi Stone, a Woodstock-based music phenom who blows audiences away with her huge voice and stage presence, will be playing the Bearsville Theater on Sunday, Nov. 9. alongside a phalanx of other female musicians from the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

They'll be performing their own songs as well as songs by legendary female performers, including Carole King, Carly Simon, and Aretha Franklin. 

Stone, who has toured with Simone Felice and Natalie Merchant and who also plays violin, guitar, and piano, has a new album of what she calls "Mountain Motown" music. She's helping to produce Sunday's show, which is a benefit for the Family of Woodstock’s Crisis Hotline and Walk-In Center.  Read more

Phillip Lenihan, 1953-2014: Gallery owner, punk impresario, and classics scholar

Above: Phil Lenihan in front of the Orphic Gallery. Photo by Stephen Thomas Ray.

Phil Lenihan, the 61-year-old owner of an eclectic series of businesses that were revitalizing the town Roxbury in Delaware County, died suddenly on Friday, Oct. 31.

Phil Lenihan had various careers as a punk band manager, classics scholar, and paralegal before he founded the Orphic Gallery, the Eight Track Museum, and the Roxbury Corner Store in 2010.

"I would call Phillip the quintessential bon vivant," said Megan McManemin, one of his younger sisters who lives in Dallas, Texas.

"He always tried to go out and have a party," said Reginald Oberlag, a friend from Lenihan's punk days in the 1980s who followed Lenihan's lead and moved up to the Catskills. "He was irrepressible."

According to Oberlag and to Lenihan's family, Lenihan died on Halloween night, in costume, on his way to a Halloween party in the Ulster County town of Woodstock. He was found near the village green in the evening, unresponsive. The cause of death was apparently a heart attack.

"Full regalia"  Read more

Halloween in the Catskills: Part 2

Above: A ghoulish performance of dancing skeletons, ghouls and pumpkins is slated for 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock on Friday, Oct. 31.

Halloween is a whole week of festivities this year. The fearsome fun began last weekend and continues through the big day itself on Friday, Oct. 31 and beyond.

Here's our guide to Catskills Halloween events for Oct. 30 - Nov. 2.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Left: A demon wolf is ready to scare visitors to a haunted house in Hancock. 

On Friday, Oct. 31, come out to Walton for the 3rd Annual Knight in the Castle Halloween Party and Dance at the Castle on the Delaware. It’s an atmospheric night of dancing to Blues Maneuver, and there’s a buffet.  Read more

Post-season swimming hole

On Oct. 10, Watershed Post reader Tim Cox visited Blue Hole, a legendary swimming hole in the Ulster County hamlet of Sundown, and shared his shot in our Flickr Pool. (No word on whether he took a dip.) 

Look familiar? Lucius releases Catskills music video

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The Catskills remain Brooklyn's primary source for American-Gothic-style atmospherics.

A new music video for "Hey Doreen" from the Brooklyn-based indie band Lucius features familiar sites along Route 28 in Delaware and Ulster counties, including the Phoenicia Diner, Margaretville Bowl, and Fleischmanns' Main Street. (It's not the Margaretville bowling alley's first time in a music video.) An alpaca, presumably a Catskills native, also makes a cameo. 

Keep an eye out for local faces, several of whom meet grisly ends at the hands of the murderous songtresses. Recognize somewhere or someone? Share it in the comments. 

Boiceville sculptor's "Stargate" installed in Baltimore museum

Above: "Stargate," a sculpture by Boiceville artist Steve Heller, installed in the sculpture garden of Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum. Photo by Martha Frankel.

A Boiceville sculptor has just returned from Baltimore, where he helped install his “Stargate”—a massive metalwork crafted mostly of upcycled vintage auto parts—in a prime location at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

Left: Heller next to his sculpture of a guitar made out of a 1953 Pontiac. Photo via the Fabulous Furniture website

Perhaps it was written in the stars. Steve Heller, the creative force behind Fabulous Furniture, a furniture store based in the Ulster County hamlet of Boiceville since 1971, is passionate about automobiles, dinosaurs and rocket ships. Drivers passing his workshop on Route 28 can see some of his creations, including a silver Dodge Magnum licked with green flames called the “Cro-Magnum” and a large silver rocket labelled “Roswell or Bust.”

Deep space travel via wormholes is a logical extension.  Read more

This weekend: Halloween in the Catskills, Part 1

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Above: A promo for Haunted Huguenot Street, New Paltz's annual spookfest, featuring "Mrs. Gertrude Deyo-Brodhead’s infamous Murder Mystery parties at the Deyo House." Tours, spirit readings and ghost stories all weekend.  

It’s the darkening evening of the year, and the veil between the worlds has thinned. Venture out into the mountains and valleys for some resonant Halloween fun, costumed or otherwise, beginning this weekend. There’s a little of everything going on, whether you’re looking for pumpkins and not-too-scary spirits for the little guys, contemplative historic ghost-walks, or smokin’ hot dance parties into the wheeee hours.

Here’s our guide to the fearsome and frolicsome times for Oct. 24 - Oct. 26. We'll have another one next week, to cover the many festivities scheduled across the Catskills for Halloween itself. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Fall blazes in the Schoharie Valley

Photographer Caleb Jacobus took these photographs of the blazing fall colors in the Schoharie Valley this morning, Friday, Oct. 17.

He was hiking on the cliffs in the town of Middleburgh, looking out towards Vroman's Nose and the Catskills. Below, there is a shot of the trail.

Caleb says that the colors of the shots are enhanced slightly by a filter on his camera, but are otherwise unaltered.  Read more


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