0701: Enjoy the Holiday Weekend

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I’m a day early with this post. The holiday weekend is just about upon us. I hope you have a safe and happy Fourth. Today’s opener you might remember from a few years ago when a group of photographer friends gathered to shoot the annual Saugerties parade (and turned it into a bang-up show the following year). It was especially appropriate to show it again as it was just chosen for a show entitled “War and Peace” at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont, opening July 23.

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The other day I paid a visit to the Thomas Cole home (National Historic Site) to see a friend. It’s a great place to visit, directly across the Hudson from Olana, home of Frederick Church, once a student of Cole’s. The earliest art movement in American history, the Hudson River School, was born here. And its legacy remains.

Cole was buried just down the road at the Thompson Street Cemetery, a site I have been curious about for a long time. And so, fresh from conversation about Mr. Cole,  I decided to pay a visit to the cemetery. Rain forced me to eventually leave, but not before this little adventure yielded some interesting results

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Most of the headstones I saw ran from 1850 to 1900. And many of them were in various stages of disrepair. In fact, more than a few are just neatly piled pieces.

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I have often found that trees in cemeteries can have a particularly stately, almost regal, quality. This one is a perfect example. I suppose what impresses me most is that, left undisturbed, they completely rule. Nothing stands in their way. Witness the two small headstones (above) being shoved around by the massive roots. Or the reverse side (below) literally swallowing a large stone.

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By the way, I never did find Cole’s grave. I know it’s there  – another good reason to return.

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I’m still breaking rocks from my last quarry visit. These first two show broken pieces on my rock breaking surface (a bigger rock)!

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Driving back to the studio i passed the neighboring beaver pond – flush with water lilies.

All in all a pretty good day.

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I’ll leave you with one last image from the cemetery – one that sticks in the mind.

Thanks for the visit.

An Eventful Weekend

Last weekend was full of activity, much of which worth noting. I’ll try to be brief. It started with a Friday trip to Schoharie County and a favorite stream bed of mine. The above image and the following one are examples of the plant fossils I continue to find up there. These two in particular are small but visually interesting to me. I often come away from there with back-breaking sized fossil laden rocks (ask my chiropractor about that). But this time the smaller pieces won out and the ibuprofen was saved for another day.

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Saturdays in September are always full of art openings and events. And this year the schedule seemed to be especially packed. The afternoon began with the annual picnic of the Greene County Council on the Arts. For years this fine organization has played a crucial role in the cultural life of the Catskills and the Hudson River Valley. The event was held at the historic Beattie-Powers Place which overlooks the Hudson, directly across the river from Olana, the home of Frederic Church. Great food, fine music, and a large supportive crowd made the event a success.

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From there it was a trip across the river to see my friend and brilliant multimedia artist, Brian Dewan, at a relatively new venue for art. CR10 (named after the county road where it resides in the small town of Linlithgo) is the brainchild of Francine Hunter McGivern, its founder and creative director. This “contemporary arts project space”, tethered both conceptually and aesthetically to the NYC art world, is a wonderful addition to the area. It’s the perfect place for the installation art that currently resides there. Supporting ventures such as this enhances the cultural richness of the area and encourages its further growth.

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A few miles to the north, in the town of Hudson, we ended the day at BCB Art on Warren Street. A not to be missed solo show of new work by the acclaimed sculptor Ed Smith opened that evening. Ed is a Guggenheim Fellow and an Associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors whose work is in the collection of The Hood Museum, Yale University Museum, The Albright-Knox Museum and many private collectors. On display along with his bronze sculptures is a selection of recent monoprints whose power and strength lingers in the mind long after viewing.

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Sunday morning arrived with an email from overseas with great news – which I will share with you next week (I’ve written more than enough today!). I’ll leave you with a handful of fresh fossil images. I just needed to get my hands dirty digging out behind the studio.

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Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

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