The Greene County hamlet of Palenville, not far from Woodstock and at the bottom of Palenville Clove where Rip Van Winkle was believed to have once tarried, may arguably be the nation’s first arts colony. The little hamlet is where all the Hudson River School painters (and their Transcendentalist writer and philosopher friends) used to stop en route to the great heights and vistas 2,000 feet above. And now, a host of contemporary artists, from cutting-edge iPhone and digitally manipulating photographers to inventor/artists and the musical Felice Brothers (including novelist bro Simone), all make their homes or were born and bred there. Talk about a perfect setup for the community’s first annual Hidden Gallery Walk of Palenville, set to take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23, complete with “pop-up” art galleries all over the community, a live painting event, food trucks, arts workshops, guided walks and other food and entertainment options all day each day.
The Gallery Walk will unfold from 12 noon to 6 p.m. both days, and gallery visitors will be able to walk to most locations where workshops and artist talks will add to the days’ allure. Pippy’s Hot Dogs and Yum Yum Noodles will lead what seems to be a growing food trucks parade in this stretch of the Hudson Valley. There’s even a community picnic area being set up and run by the great Circle W General Store for the occasion.
Among artists on hand will be many from the community, including proto-digi-photographer/explorer Vincent Bilotta, photographers par excellence Dan and Jill Burkholder, inventor/artist Ward Fleming (of pinhole screen fame) and dozens of others – from Norm Magnusson and his faux/serious historical markers to paintings by Tasha Depp and Ruth Leonard.
On a more eternal basis, Palenville will be offering up its waterfalls, long fields and beautiful country lanes and walks. Galleries for the weekend will range from two scenic barns and a creekside sculpture by the Catskill Mountain Lodge on the Ulster/Greene County line to a former dancehall and the community’s fire hall. A daylong live “Paint-Out” will take place on Saturday, drawing a host of professional and amateur landscape painters who will set up in various locations across the hamlet, with all resulting artwork to be sold at the end of the day Saturday, with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Gallery Walk.
Hidden Gallery Walk, Saturday/Sunday, June 22/23, 12 noon-6 p.m., Routes 32A & 23A, Palenville; (845) 241-0270, www.palenvilleny.com.