Free colony-wide activities at the historic Byrdcliffe Art Colony
On Saturday, September 29, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is hosting a colony-wide Byrdcliffe Afternoon, inviting area residents and out-of-town visitors to experience the multiple creative disciplines and services at the heart of the organization’s mission. From 12:30 to 2:30pm, Byrdcliffe’s Artist-in-Residence program will host its final Open Studios of the season at the Villetta Inn, where visual artists including ceramicists, videographers, and more will share the fruits of their nearly four-week stay atop Mount Guardian in an informal, meet-the-artist format. Visitors to Byrdcliffe Afternoon can also drop in at the jewelry studio, where Robin “The Hammer” Ludwig will have a class in session at 17 Whitehead Road; and see the ceramic studio run by long-time director Rich Conti, at the Byrdcliffe Barn, 485 Upper Byrdcliffe Road. Also to be unveiled on September 29, artist Melinda Stickney-Gibson has organized the Haiku Box Project, a series of artist-made boxes installed on trees throughout the Byrdcliffe colony. Visitors who find the boxes can consider leaving an anonymous haiku, thought, prayer, or secret in the box.
The day’s many events also include at 2:00 pm a tour of White Pines (454 Upper Byrdcliffe Road), the beautiful 1902 Arts & Crafts home of Byrdcliffe’s founders, Ralph and Jane Whitehead. The tour is guided by Byrdcliffe Board member and Byrdcliffe historian par excellence Henry T. Ford. Visitors to White Pines always enjoy the grand finale of the tour: the legendary “pottery attic,” housing hundreds of wooden and plaster molds and unglazed pots created by the Byrdcliffe Pottery between 1916 and 1925.
At 2:30 pm, visitors will have the opportunity to convene at the Byrdcliffe Barn to hear readings and performances by Byrdcliffe’s artists-in-residence, always a highlight demonstrating the interdisciplinary spirit that makes Byrdcliffe’s residency program so unique. Ending the day, visitors will be treated to a free concert at 4:00 pm at the Barn by British pianist Simon Mulligan, a collaboration with our friends at Maverick Concerts. According to the Times of London, Mr. Mulligan is “the most abundantly gifted of pianists.” Pulitzer prizewinning composer Paul Moravec calls him “a pianist with complete mastery of the instrument” while Herbie Hancock says “You have a phenomenal touch, man!” In addition to his extensive discography and vast repertoire, Mulligan’s solo work gains praise from critics and audiences alike, and his collaborations include performances and recordings with Yehudi Menuhin, Joshua Bell, Leonard Slatkin, and Sting. He has performed all over the world, most notably at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Wigmore Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, as well as private performances for Her Majesty the Queen and President Barack Obama. His keen interest in film composition led to a long association with composer Michael Kamen, culminating in his performance on the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers. He has led his own jazz quartet since he was thirteen, which has performed in major international festivals. His eclectic work has led to profiles in Downbeat, JazzTimes, BBC Music, Classic FM, and Gramophone magazines, among others. Simon is a recipient of the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music, and his teachers include Alexander Kelly, Murray Perahia, Alfred Brendel, and Alexis Weissenberg. More info: SimonMulligan.com
The recital is generously funded by Paul Washington, President of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and a trustee of Maverick Concerts.
All events for the September 29 Byrdcliffe Afternoon are free to the public. Maps of the colony and an itinerary for the day’s events will be available at the Byrdcliffe Theater, 380 Upper Byrdcliffe Road.
For more information call 845.679.2079 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Byrdcliffe will be holding an ARTIST SPOTLIGHT for ceramic artist Andrew Rouse on Saturday, October 6, noon to 6:00 pm at the Byrdcliffe Shop on 36 Tinker Street in Woodstock, NY. The Artist Spotlight will focus on Andrew’s work, and everybody will be able to meet him at the Byrdcliffe Shop and find out more about the skills and fine artistry involved in his very colorful and elegant ceramic works.
Coaxed from a single ball of porcelain clay, each creation by Andrew Rouse is an expression of the human hand: the artist’s, as it forms a unique work of art using the most ancient of pottery techniques—and yours, as it naturally cradles a finished piece.
Before the introduction of the potter’s wheel, pot-making was the outcome of the artful manipulation of clay into an object of utilitarian beauty. The heir to this “pinch-pot” technique, Andrew Rouse refines the process to create objects of rare appeal through a high level of craftsmanship that retains evidence of the artist’s hand: with each black bowl, for example, the exterior is left unglazed, literally revealing the artist’s imprint. Andrew Rouse uses glazes in distinctive ways on the exceptionally thin, organic forms: as an accent as well as a feature. Some pots simply have a rim of color, whereas in others color is used more boldly, coating the entire internal surface, creating contrast with the black unglazed exterior.
A master craftsman and veteran furniture designer/maker, Andrew Rouse was born and raised in the United Kingdom where he earned a BA Honors Degree in Three Dimensional Design. He later created an original line of furniture that received national and international press, with showroom representation in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
Opening on Friday October 19, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents the solo exhibition OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART. Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00 pm. The public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 pm on Saturday.
OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being—the self in portraits.” The title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.
Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the Africa-Africa exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.
Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.
He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.
The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:
Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.
— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; Board President, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation)
OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART is open through Sunday, December 2. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment. School groups and other organizations can schedule group visits with the artist by contacting email@example.com.
On Friday, October 26, 2018, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents Ustad Shafaat Khan, a world-renowned Indian classical musician who has performed at concert halls and music festivals all over India, America, Europe, China, and Japan. A master of sitar, tabla, and surbahar (a bass sitar), Shafaat Khan’s performance at the Smithsonian received accolades from the Washington Post, who calls him a “virtuoso [with] astonishing individuality,” noting “Khan explored the rhythmic intricacies of percussive sound in a way that was both intellectual and poetic,” while the Times of London describes him as “absolutely superb.”
The history of Indian sitar music dates to the sixteenth century, with its discovery in the West—or more accurately its assimilation into the mainstream of popular music—attributable at least in part to George Harrison of the Beatles, whose studies with sitar master Ravi Shankar set the stage for a history-changing flux of eastern music influences into western pop and rock. Ravi Shankar played at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.
Ustad Shafaat Khan’s musical specialization is “east meets west,” a fusion of traditional Indian classical and folk sounds with a multi-cultural soundscape ranging from western classical, jazz, and rock, to pop, Flamenco, and African rhythms. He regularly performs with western musicians as part of his ensemble; Ethiopian Canadian-born multi-instrumentalist Coco Bastien will perform with Maestro Khan at the Kleinert/James on October 26. Ms. Bastien is a guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, and vocalist, and the founder of Sowelu Music School in Philadelphia. She has been teaching music to people of all ages for over 15 years.
Maestro Khan has packed the house at major venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 2015. In 2010, Maestro Khan performed with Stevie Wonder at one of the largest music festivals in the U.S., Bonnaroo; he also shared a televised concert stage with Ray Charles in Germany. In the rich history of Indian classical music, Mr. Khan has distinguished himself by being the first known artist to have attained simultaneous excellence in performing sitar, surbahar, and tabla. He is the son of Ustad Imrat Khan, known as one of the world’s greatest players of the surbahar.
Tickets to the performance at the Kleinert/James can be purchased by calling 845.679.2079 or online.
“A star in the world of classical music… the thunderous ovation never ceased throughout his performance.” Chandigarh Tribune, India
“Driving power entered the performance when Shafaat’s marvelous fingers on tabla showed us the rhythmic complexity of the music and enthralled the audience.” Cork Examiner, Ireland
Concert Date and Time: Friday, October 26, 8:00 pm; doors open at 7:30 pm
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Tickets: $20 general admission or $18 for Byrdcliffe members – please purchase your tickets online now!
Come walk the Byrdcliffe/Mt.Guardian Trails with Dave Holden of Woodstock Trails (www.woodstocknytrails.com). Dave is a member of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, a licensed Hiking Guide, noted local explorer, naturalist, amateur local history-buff, trail-maker, nature-photographer, and nature-writer. His knowledge of the area is wide ranging and deep. Walking the trail with him is always enjoyable as he slowly brings you in tune with the wonder of the natural world of Mt. Guardian. These hikes are more ambles as the group will walk for a bit, then stop and discuss the details of the surrounding natural- and man-made history, more of a saunter in the John Muir style of immersive nature experience.
Still, the walker needs to be prepared for a serious hike, like all Catskills hikes. The trail is very steep in sections, requiring sturdy shoes with good ankle-support (waterproof is always best). Another must-have is water, for yourself and your pet (dogs are allowed but leash-only), and please be prepared to pick up after Fido. Optional items are: trekking-poles; sunscreen (lower section is shaded but upper is open and sunny); insect-repellent, and a snack. Please always watch the weather and be prepared for a rain shower. Heavy, steady rains and/or a thunderstorm will automatically cancel a hike.
The hikes start at 10:00 am and average 2 1/2 to 3 hours in duration, meeting at the Byrdcliffe Theater Parking Lot (380 Upper Byrdcliffe Road). $20/person suggested donation. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED, GROUP LIMITED TO 12. Call 845. 594.4863 for reservations or for more information.
Hike dates and themes are:
Saturday May 19: Early Spring on Byrdcliffe/Mt. Guardian Trail
Saturday June 16: Mountain Laurels in Bloom
Saturday July 14: Hiking (Slowly) in the Shade, Hike #1
Saturday August 11: Hiking (Slowly) in the Shade, Hike #2
Saturday September 15: Early Fall on the Byrdcliffe/Mt. Guardian Trail
Saturday October 27: Fall Colors
Stop dreaming and start playing guitar right away! Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!®, as seen on PBS, taught by Marlene Hutchinson, is a unique, award-winning one-day workshop for busy adults and aspiring musicians of all ages who would like to play guitar but may not have time for weekly lessons. This is the quickest and easiest way to get far more than just a start: during this fun-filled day you’ll learn basic chords, simple strumming and picking patterns, play familiar songs, learn tuning techniques, guitar care, basic music theory, music resources, tablature, performance skills and more. In no time at all you’ll be playing guitar!
This five-hour class would normally cost over $100 to attend. Thanks to a generous grant from the Bluestein Family Foundation, being administered by the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase is able to present this class for FREE! There is no cost to attend, no admission charge or other fees. Please bring an acoustic guitar if you have one. No guitar, no problem: we’ll have loaners available, courtesy of Guitar Center, Albany, NY, and other lenders. There will be a half-hour lunch break; you may bring your own, or there are numerous restaurants, snacks and lunch options just steps away.
About the Instructor: Marlene Hutchinson, guitar instructor, musician, published author, producer and founder of Marlene’s Music, developed a simple method of learning to play guitar that has influenced and inspired guitarists around the world! As seen by millions on PBS, Marlene’s popular Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!® workshop is based on her signature guitar method created to help the absolute beginner learn to play quickly and easily. In addition to PBS, Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!® has been featured on CBS, NBC, NPR, Acoustic Guitar, Making Music Magazine, Women’s International Music Network, several news publications, and is a 2014 Player’s Choice Award nominee. Hutchinson presents her live workshop at colleges, universities and guitar events around the United States.
“Marlene is the pied piper of guitar instruction.” – David Lusterman, Publisher, Acoustic Guitar
ANNUAL “5 by 7” SHOW – HOLIDAY FUNDRAISER
Every year the 5 by 7 Show, with this year’s Preview Party on Friday December 7, brings in hundreds of artists from the Hudson Valley and beyond, who donate artwork to be sold for $100 each. The 5 x 7 artworks are exhibited anonymously at Byrdcliffe’s Kleinert/James Center for the Arts: buyers buy for the pure love of an artwork rather than its perceived monetary value, and emerging artists are discovered. Of course if the purchased artwork is by one of the Hudson Valley’s art-world celebrities who regularly participate—Milton Glaser, Portia Munson, the Starn Twins, Joan Snyder—then that buyer has made an excellent investment! Every year the number of artworks donated and people crammed into the K/J’s high-energy 5 by 7 Show Preview Party goes higher and higher, demonstrating wide support for Byrdcliffe’s programming in exhibitions, artists’ residencies, classes, and more. Artwork purchased from the 5 by 7 show can be taken home as of Friday, December 21.
Exhibition Dates: December 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019, with the Preview Party on Friday, December 7, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Gallery Hours: Monday/Thursday/Friday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, Saturday/Sunday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, or by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
WINTER SOLSTICE 2018 with HAPPY TRAUM & FRIENDS
On Saturday, December 15, 2018, Byrdcliffe’s Annual Winter Solstice Concert will be held at the Woodstock Playhouse. Curated and hosted by New York folk star Happy Traum, the Solstice Concert features favorite musicians singing a combination of holiday and American classics. It’s a concert to which everyone goes happy, and leaves happier. This year’s performers will be announced soon. Proceeds from the event support Byrdcliffe’s ongoing work as a center for the arts in the Hudson Valley. Read more…
Concert Date and Time: Saturday, December 15, 8:00 pm; doors open at 7:30 pm
Location: Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY
Tickets: $67 / $47 / $27 (plus $3 handling charge) – purchase your tickets online now!