Selections: Woodstock Ceramics Arts Today – Closing Talks @ BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
Apr 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition at Kleinert/James presents Closing Talks on April 8

Selections: Woodstock Ceramic Arts Today, curated by Bard College Professor of Art History Tom Wolf, features work by contemporary ceramicists from the region: Rich Conti, Eric Ehrnschwender, Sophie Fenton, Mary Frank, Robert Hessler, Alan Hoffman, Jolyon Hofsted, Brad Lail, Young Mi Kim, Joyce Robins, Arlene Shechet, Grace Wapner, and Elena Zang.

On view through April 9 at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Selections: Woodstock Ceramic Arts Today highlights a major feature of the interdisciplinary organization’s mission. Byrdcliffe, whose programming includes exhibitions, classes, musical performance, and an artists’ residency program, is renowned for its ceramics program, which dates from the early days of the Byrdcliffe Art Colony. Byrdcliffe was founded in 1902 by Jane and Ralph Whitehead as a utopian artistic retreat including facilities for woodworking, weaving, painting, and ceramics. Byrdcliffe’s ceramics program was recently expanded to include classes in primitive pit-firing and intensive 2-day workshops with visiting artists in addition to its regular class schedule, which serves over 100 students each year. In a major community effort, Byrdcliffe recently constructed a new kiln shed to accommodate a larger kiln, permitting greater numbers of objects to be fired and serving more students and ceramicists from the region.

Selections complements the exhibition currently on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz, Carl Walters and Woodstock Ceramic Arts, which runs from February 4 – May 21, 2017. The Dorsky exhibition focuses on Walters’s ceramic sculpture, as well as his functional ceramics—plates, bowls and vessels. Ceramics made by artists who worked at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony, including Zulma Steele, contextualize his work. The exhibition at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts moves this history forward, demonstrating the breadth of production in the ceramic arts since the early days of the Woodstock Art Colony.

Tom Wolf has invited the students from his class “History of Art in Woodstock” at Bard College to co-curate the exhibition with him. “It has been a great experience for Bard students to visit the collectors and artists who are contributing to this exhibition,” Wolf says, pointing to the value of students getting a behind-the-scenes look at curating a show. He also notes that this is a selective exhibition: “Many talented artists from the region could have been added, but we are focusing on a dozen who range over several generations, including ceramicists who specialize in beautiful functional objects and sculptors who incorporate ceramics as part of their artistic vocabulary.”

Professor Wolf is one of the best-known scholars of the Woodstock Art Colony, with publications ranging from artists such as Konrad Cramer, Yasuo Kunyoshi, and essays in the catalogue Byrdcliffe: An American Arts and Crafts Colony, published by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. In 2015, he curated an exhibition about the art of Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

Selections: Woodstock Ceramic Arts Today will be cohosted by the Historical Society of Woodstock, 20 Comeau Drive. The Historical Society will be open on Saturdays and Sundays during the run of the exhibition, February 24 – April 9 2017. For hours and more information, visit www.historicalsocietyofwoodstock.org.

The Kleinert/James Center for the Arts is at 36 Tinker Street in Woodstock. The gallery is open Friday through Sunday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, or by appointment on Tuesday through Thursday. Closing talks with some of the exhibit’s participation artists will be held on Saturday, April 8 at 3:00 pm at the Kleinert/James.

Marc Black: The History of the 1950s and 60s through Popular Song @ BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
Apr 22 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm


Concert Date and Time: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 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!

Favorite folk-rocker and socially conscious lyricist, Marc Black, will bring his History of the 1950s and 60s through Popular Song to Byrdcliffe’s Kleinert/James Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:00 pm. The program will take concert-goers on a joyful trip through these historically defining decades with conversation, song, and a slide show. Black will perform songs by artists that range from Gene Autry to George Harrison. And chances are, the entire audience will sing along from beginning to end.

Here’s what Bram Lewis, Director of the Schoolhouse Theater, had to say after a recent show: “Not only did we run out of seats, not only did [Marc’s] ineffable singing and irresistible guitar subtly lift us out of our blues, but we all sang along as joy filled the room.”

A recent inductee into the New York Chapter of the Blues Hall of Fame, Marc Black’s musical career began in the 1960s, when his high school band, the Blades of Grass, toured in support of their top-40 hit, “Happy,” a romantic ballad ringing with the hopeful, harmonic musicality of The Mamas and The Papas. Black has shared the stage with notables like Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, The Doors, and the Dave Clark Five.

Over the years, his music grew into an alternately literary and quick-witted combination of activism, personal history, and satire. While “Happy” celebrates new love, Black’s more recent “Party of One” is a hilarious tribute to the single life, in which the narrator relishes release from a relationship: “Party of one / I get a table real quick / Party of one / I give myself a kiss / Party of one / I save a whole lot of money / Party of one / I think my jokes are funny….” Songs like “No Fracking Way” and “I Love You Rachel Maddow” combine humor and tunefulness with informed politics. Black says that like many songwriters, “I’m trying to help out wherever I can.” As part of that impulse, he performed in the very successful fundraiser for Byrdcliffe’s Alf Evers Archive in 2015, organized by Woodstock legend Ed Sanders. A portion of concert proceeds from the upcoming April show will also help support visual and music arts programming at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, the organization that oversees the second-longest continuously operating artists’ colony in the United States.

The History of the 1950s and 60s through Popular Song is an evening of sharing songs and thinking about our common history in new ways. Black puts it like this: “In this time of social and political discomfort, I felt that creating a show that features singing together might be a good tonic for us all. I think that’s why the show has been so well received all over the country.”

Tickets to the performance at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY, are $20 general admission, $18 for Byrdcliffe members. Purchase by calling 845.679.2079 or online.

marc black
Photo credit: Doug Goodman.

The Ritual of Construction – Gallery Talks and Opening Reception @ BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
May 20 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The Ritual of Construction is a group exhibition of artists working in a variety of media, using units of geometric origin to make their work. The conceptual underpinning of the show is in part based on what Roberto Calasso, a theorist who studies ritual and myth, has described as meticulously enacted activities of construction and deconstruction whose meaning, in the end, remains unintelligible to all but the practitioner. “How,” writes Calasso, “can we know something that doesn’t want to let itself be known? In only one way: by becoming to some extent, the thing itself.”

Curator Jeanette Fintz has asked the participating artists to examine their own motives for constructing with geometry and to play their own process off the central gathering concept of this show: construction from repetitive units as a form of ritual. In addition to artwork that has its foundation in geometric pattern will be work by several artists who use intuitive repetitive processes of accretion of parts that are more subjectively derived. Fintz notes that “the methodical process of doing this work is a meditation on fragmentation and oneness. . . a metaphor for the individual’s capacity to transform, taking place in the context of a great unifying web that is satisfying both on an aesthetic and a spiritual level.”

The artists in the show are: Laura Battle, Emily Berger, Benigna Chilla, Susan Spencer Crowe, Ann Feitelson, Ann Francey, Lisa Hoke, Mona Mark, Altoon Sultan, and Stephen Westfall.

The Ritual of Construction show will have its opening reception on Saturday, May 20, 4:00 – 6:00 pm preceded by gallery talks with participating artists from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

About the curator:
Jeanette Fintz is a painter, art educator, art writer, and independent curator. She is the recipient of the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award for painting, the NYFA Fellowship for Works on Paper, the E.D. Foundation Award for painting, and many other prestigious awards. Ms. Fintz is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, NH, the Millay Colony for the Arts, NY. She is an alumna of the Skowhegan School, Boston University SFA, the New York Studio School and Queens College. She has taught at SUNY, Purchase and at Parsons, the New School for Design. She is a founding faculty member of a Parsons affiliate school, CENFAD in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Jeanette Fintz will have a solo show at Fox Gallery, New York, in the fall of 2017, concurrent with the publication of a comprehensive book on her work. For more information, visit http://www.jeanettefintz.com

Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild Awards Dinner @ Venue TBD
Jun 24 @ 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Please join us for the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Awards Dinner honoring Rich Conti, Kate Pierson, and Manny Bromberg.

Saturday, June 24, 2017
Details to follow!

Heather Masse and Roswell Rudd @ BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
Jul 22 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Back by popular demand, vocalist Heather Masse and world-class jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd perform at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, on Saturday July 22, 2017. Masse and Rudd released the album AUGUST LOVE SONG in 2016, a mix of standards and originals which Michael Bailey of All About Jazz calls “music that makes you wish you could live forever just to hear more of it.”

Called “one of jazz’s greatest trombonists” by the Wall Street Journal, Roswell Rudd is famous for his combination of jazz and world music and his groundbreaking collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and Steve Lacy. Singer/songwriter Heather Masse is a great interpreter of songs, and combines this with a wide range of sonic resources. Masse is a regularly featured guest on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” and a member of the Wailin’ Jennys. Masse recorded a duo CD with Dick Hyman and is the vocalist on Funky Little Sweet Thing with John Medeski, Matthew Finck, Ira Coleman, Roswell Rudd, and T Xiques.

Also performing are Rolf Sturm, guitars, and Mark Helias, bass.

heather masse and roswell rudd