Members show kicks off new year at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild

White Pines

The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is pushing two faces this year. One is historic, best emblemized by the face of one of the original arts colony’s founders, Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead, who tried her hand at all mixes of arts and crafts explored in the studios built around she and her husband’s rural home here. The other is young and exploring, one of 600 members of the new organization who as often as not first experienced the place as part of Byrdcliffe’s annual, and growing, Artist in Residence program.

Both faces come together, in a variety of media ranging from the fine to the applied arts, and eventually performed or read arts as well, in the new “Byrd & Image” 2017 Annual Members’ Show opening with a reception 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, January 7 at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, and running through February 19.

As work piled in for selection and curation Tuesday, January 3, the breadth of this new open-armed and multi-faced Byrdcliffe grew with each new addition, each new arrival. Paintings, sculpture, ceramics, fabrics, and works not quite classifiable in normal ways were getting sorted around the main room of the Kleinert/James Arts Center, where it will all be up for viewing, appreciation, discussion and sales by the weekend.


“This non-juried exhibition gives voice and opportunity to the many artists among the organization’s over 600 members. The exhibition will feature the work of both well-known and emerging artists, in an array of media from the traditional to the experimental: painters and printmakers, sculptors and installation artists, photographers, digital artists, and multiple permutations along the way,” the organization noted in its call for up to two entries per member earlier this winter. “The members’ show reflects the long-standing interdisciplinary mission set forth by Byrdcliffe’s founders in 1902. Like its Artist in Residence Program, Byrdcliffe’s annual members’ show demonstrates the sustainability of Jane and Ralph Whitehead’s multi-disciplined model that welcomed artists and craftspeople to work collaboratively and without restrictions.”

In other words, like the arts organization’s recent reiteration of its mission as one combining the past and future, fine arts and crafts, and culture with an appreciation for place and sustainability, the new show will be all about diversity and energy. And inaugurated with a crowded cultured community opening reception sure to be lively and fun.

It all gets augmented on the evening of Saturday, January 28 with what’s become an annual Open Mic Night featuring music, prose, poetry, performance art and whatever else can be conjured.


The opening reception runs from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, January 7; that January 28 event starts at 8 p.m. Both take place at the at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts on Tinker Street, just off the Village Green. For further information call 679-2079 or see