Friday, July 5 was the big opening for the “Small Town Parade” collection of images of the 2012 July Fourth Parade in Saugerties by eleven professional photographers, all applying their individuality to capturing the event at hand. The crowd was large but well spread-out over the former factory’s massive, elegant expanses, kept cool by large overhead fans and the space’s breeziness.
Individual artists mingled amongst a crowd made up half by artists, half by those captured in the impressive imagery, which reinforced underlying themes of patriotism and community good cheer along with the inevitable surreal elements that tend to characterize the photojournalist or classical art photographer sensibility.
The stars of this show tended to be the crowd as much as the work. The good cheer of the event was enhanced by its great combination of comfortable space, appreciative crowd, and enthusiastic artists checking everyone out for reactions to not only their singular works, but the exhibition as a whole.
Initiated by Saugertesian Allen Bryan, who’s been shooting the parade using various styles and modes of observation for decades now, the show – up through the July 26 on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 5 p.m. — includes work by Bryan, Dan Burkholder, Tom Lindley, Benjamin Swett, Ken Tannenbaum, Art Murphy, Harry Wilks, Michael Nelson, Jill Skupin Burkholder, Moshe Katvan and Rivka Katvan… and its sense of breadth and professionalism is breathtaking.
“That was certainly fun,” said one older couple, meeting another of their age in the large parking lot as First Friday and the openings’ 6-9 p.m. running time came towards a dusky close. “You want us to go back in with you or should we head back to Partition Street?”
“All told, that was probably the best First Friday we’ve had yet,” said Miss Lucy’s and Cue owner Mark Propper a couple of days after July 5, when so much happened outside his two eateries’ popular doors. “The best of it all… the art was great. Or so I hear.”
Until next First Friday on August 2…