For two weeks in October, Hudson will be transformed into a giant art gallery with the commencement of ArtsWalk, hosted by the Columbia County Council on the Arts (CCCA), on October 5. Paintings, photographs, sculpture, video, multimedia installations – you name it – will be installed in dozens of storefront windows. More than 250 artworks by members of CCCA will be exhibited in the cavernous industrial space of the Pocketbook Factory. Small works will be for sale for $50 at 209 Warren Street in the annual CCCA fundraising show. And 30 of the nation’s top plein air artists will paint on the grounds of Olana from October 16 through 18, with the works exhibited on October 18 at the Olana Wagon House Education Center, followed by a cocktail reception and live auction.
“We get thousands of people,” said Cynthia Mulvaney, executive director at CCCA. She noted that the event, now in its 20th year, has expanded as Hudson and its environs have experienced a renaissance, with 800 member artists. “We’re reaching past our borders to people in the Berkshires.”
In addition, the CCCA Gallery, at 209 Warren Street, will host a show of works interpreting the local landscape, titled “Columbia County in All Seasons,” curated by H. M. Saffer, a painter/musician with a pointillist style whose work is particularly popular in Japan.
The Members’ Reception at the Pocketbook Factory, held October 11 from 6 to 8 p.m., will celebrate the achievements of members Arlene Boehm and Maria Kolodziej-Zincio, winners of the 2014 Linda Arnaud Memorial Award and a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Grant respectively. Boehm is a plein air painter who has distilled her on-site paintings into iconic, more abstract works on a larger scale; Kolodziej-Zincio is an encaustic artist who has created a series of works about her Russian mother’s escape from the Holocaust and journey to America. Examples of their work will be display in a special gallery at the Pocketbook Factory.
ArtsWalk embraces all the arts, with readings by 12 diverse and talented poets and authors at the Hudson Opera House on October 11 and 12 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. There’ll also be a mini-Performance Arts Festival at the Opera House on October 19 at 1 p.m., consisting of readings of one-act plays by the winners of this year’s Student Playwriting Contest by area actors. Musicians and entertainers will perform at the Members’ Show reception on October 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pocketbook Factory, as well as at the Performance Arts Festival.
Plenty of art will be for sale, some of it at the Artist Marketplace at the Seventh Street Park on October 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which will offer not only paintings and sculpture but also photography, jewelry and crafts. The ArtsWalk Kids event on the same day in the same place enable children to get into the act, with games, music, crafts and family-friendly entertainment.
When you’re in Hudson, be sure to head up to the NOBO gallery at 558 Warren Street, which will be exhibiting “Unframed: Eight Photographers in Exhibition” from October 10 to November 9. The eight are all based in the Hudson Valley, but have established distinguished careers well beyond the region: Craig Barber, who makes daguerreotypes and uses other antiquarian photographic processes to capture cultures in transition, including Vietnam, Havana and the Catskills; Karen Davis, co-owner of the Davis Orton Gallery and the recipient of the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s 2009 fellowship; Richard Edelman, whose work has been featured in operatic sets and is represented in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums; Jeff Jacobson, who has published three books and is also represented in the collections of major museums; Kay Kenny, another award-winner who has taught photography at New York University for more than 20 years and whose work is featured in several books; Elaine Mayes, retired chair of photography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, who has worked in both documentary and fine art photography since 1960; Carla Shapiro, another multiple award-winner whose series of photographic and mixed-media works reflect on aging, 9/11, beauty, longing and decay; and Ruth Wetzel, a landscape photographer whose most recent work takes an intimate look at swamps.
With so much to see, it’s probably wise to plan multiple visits to Hudson this month. It’s giving the large city south of us some serious competition, and events such as these are proof that increasingly, the art world is shifting north to the gentle hills and intimate, revitalizing cities and towns of the mid-Hudson Valley.