New Paltz Historic Preservation Commission co-sponsors exhibit at Elting Library

Kamilla Nagy and John Giralico are pictured at last week’s reception for the annual New Paltz Historic Preservation Commission’s Art Exhibit at Elting Library. Nagy organized the exhibit and Giralico is the library’s director. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Glimpses of Historic Huguenot Street, the façade of Main Street Bistro in the village, The Flats in New Paltz and a view of the Shawangunk Ridge. What do these all have in common? Each is the subject of a work of art on display in an exhibit at Elting Memorial Library, on view through Saturday, June 3. The show is the third annual exhibition organized in partnership between the library and the village’s Historic Preservation Commission to highlight works exploring the theme of historic preservation and living life within a historic context.

Commission member Kamilla Nagy served as exhibit coordinator. The show was initially inspired three years ago, she said, when members of the Historic Preservation Commission viewed a painting of a local historical landmark and realized that if they could spotlight some of the local architectural treasures in the region by holding an exhibit featuring works that celebrated these structures, it might inspire people to take a new perspective of their surroundings, and perhaps appreciate them more.


According to Elting Library director John Giralico, when the Commission approached the library to see if they were interested in co-sponsoring the exhibit, the answer was immediately yes. “And it’s been great working with them. We do a lot of shows now – we’re booked through 2018 – but this is always a wonderful show.”

At an opening reception in the library’s Steinberg Reading Room on Thursday, May 18, awards were given in three categories: painting, drawing/mixed-media works and photography along with a “Best of Show,” which went to restaurateur John Novi’s “Schoonmaker Farm, Alligerville, New York,” an acrylic on canvas done in a folk art style.

First prize honors in photography went to David Downes for his horizontal-format “The Flats” depicting hay rolls.

Top honors in the drawing/mixed-media category went to Camille (Cami) Fischer for “French Walloon Church, New Paltz,” a pen-and-ink work. Donna Rutlin earned first prize recognition for her watercolor, “Fall Summer House.”

The judges were artists Lana Privitera, Marsha Massih and John Varriano.

The exhibit is available to view during library hours through Saturday, June 3. Admission is free.