Building awareness at Cornell Street Studios in Kingston

Antique print of City Hall in Kingston, 1875

Antique print of City Hall in Kingston, 1875

“Architectural Perspectives,” an ambitious new exhibition and multi-arts collaboration and celebration of an opening at Cornell Street Studios in Kingston next Saturday, February 8, takes what gallerist/curator Renee Darmstadt has been doing in the rambling upstairs space at her father’s Darmstadt Doors building in Midtown up several notches. Featuring “the perspectives of local architects and artists in a group art show, including photographs, drawings, renderings, models and other architectural-themed media,” the opening night will start with a number of presentations by the likes of RUPCO, the regional housing nonprofit set to talk about its new Lace Curtain Factory; historian William Rhoads addressing Kingston’s architectural history; and a presentation on Calvert Vaux’s work in the Hudson Valley. And if that’s not enough, look for the concert of architecturally inspired music by David Temple.

“About three years ago, my Dad had asked me to plan an all-architecture-themed show. It was something that I kept in my mind, but didn’t want to plan until I was ready,” Darmstadt said of her new extravaganza’s genesis. “It was about a year ago, right after our ‘We Love Kingston’ event in collaboration with David Temple, that I decided that it would be in February, and I approached Temple and asked if his classical music would work with the theme and he said it certainly does! It also couldn’t be more perfect timing, because the building across the street, the Lace Curtain Factory, is being renovated this year by RUPCO…so it all has to do with the right timing, the studio’s architectural endeavors and of course the inspiration that is found in the beautiful buildings located in the Hudson Valley and beyond.”

So, besides the vast array of architects who will be showing artistic works and artists demonstrating their architectural dreams, what can be expected from this show? From the Darmstadts’ perspective, it’s about bringing long-held dreams back to life and kicking things up a notch.

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“Every show that we host, my Dad and I are always trying to enhance our place in some sort of way,” she said of the huge metal building put up on Cornell Street for business purposes, but now morphed into something of a Midtown cultural center. “We have big dreams for the building, including an all-glass elevator and rooftop lounge. We want the space to keep changing and draw an ongoing interest…My father has a love for architecture and history; he’s a big Frank Lloyd Wright and Calvert Vaux fan. This has certainly rubbed off on me, and we often take drives in the surrounding areas and admire all different types of buildings. We love the houses located on West Chestnut Street in Kingston, think City Hall is beautiful and are amazed at the richness of all the amazing buildings in this area – it is hard to have a favorite!”

“Architectural Perspectives” opening reception & presentations, Saturday, February 8, 6-10 p.m., $15/$10 students, Cornell Street Studios, 168 Cornell Street, Kingston; (845) 331-0191, www.cornellstreetstudios.com.

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