While Art in the Village is not really supposed to be about any one event or business, this year the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce decided it was time to un-mothball horses. Rather than being in honor of HITS or the former carousel that was near the beach, this year the horses will symbolize a sport of a different color: the Saugerties Stallions collegiate summer league baseball team.
“Because the baseball team is the talk of Saugerties, we decided to hitch our horse to their wagon,” said Peggy Schwartz, co-director of the chamber. “Each year we try to come up with something that best represents Saugerties, without really singling out any one business. But there is just so much talk about the Stallions, it was just time to get on that horsewagon.”
Chamber members aren’t quite sure what to call this year’s Art in the Village project, but for now their in progress working title is Galloping Around Saugerties. It’s hoped some of the artists will take the Stallions baseball theme to heart and create pieces of art accordingly.
“We were really so honored when we heard about this,” said Kevin Hinchey, the team’s owner and a graduate of Saugerties High School. “This took us completely by surprise and we’re just so flattered. “The way Saugerties and its residents have embraced this team is terrific. When we first started we didn’t know what would happen or how people would react to us.”
Last year’s version of the Stallions, which was owned by someone from Myrtle Beach, tanked in attendance, and local businessman Hinchey purchased the team, which competes in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, and vowed to make it work. He’s spent thousands of dollars in improvements to the ballpark at Cantine Field, recently having footings and walls installed for 50 special seats.
The team’s roster is now full with players from Division I and II schools along the East Coast. Dennis Sheehan, a professional scout for the Tampa Bay Rays and former Saugerties American Legion baseball coach, has been hired as the team’s general manager.
“We hope to constantly grow and be a part of life in Saugerties and bring the fans quality baseball,” Hinchey added.
“We’re happy to have them here and look forward to seeing what creative horses our artists come up with,” Schwartz said.
While the timeline for the projects is not yet set in stone, Schwartz said tentative plans are that applications for artists and sponsors be available on the Chamber’s web page at DiscoverSaugerties.com on February 8, with the artist applications and sketches and sponsor applications due by March 7. The reception where artists meet sponsors will be held at a location still to be determined on March 17. The deadline for completed projects is May 19.
The gala and auction is slated for Sept. 17 at a location to be determined although talk is of holding it after a Stallions’ baseball game at the large pavilion at Cantine Field, with the team owner, and staff and players on hand to help out and meet residents and fans.