Ten years ago, Gardiner was largely an “under the radar” kind of place, primarily known as New Paltz’s unassuming neighbor to the south. These days it’s a destination in its own right. In addition to its farm markets and the craft beer brewing and small-batch spirits production to be sampled there, Gardiner has placed an ever-increasing focus on the visual arts. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4, the town rolls out the welcome mat for the inaugural Gardiner Art Crawl, a free, two-day, self-guided exploration of the creativity Gardiner has to offer.
The Gardiner Art Crawl encompasses three distinct events. Here’s how it all works:
The Craft Market Walk
The Craft Market Walk is a brand new event organized by the newly revived Gardiner Association of Businesses (GAB), back after a two-year hiatus under the direction of new president Lucia Civile. The walk is a one-day event, to be held Saturday, June 3 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. It begins at the Gardiner Library in the community room, where a donation to one of the groups benefitting from the event — the library, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Gardiner Business Association — will be rewarded with a reusable tote bag in which to carry any purchases made along the Craft Market Walk. Raffle ticket sales — at the library and throughout the walk — will also support the named organizations.
Attendees can peruse the handmade wares of vendors inside the library’s community room and then start the Craft Market Walk heading toward the grassy area behind Pasquale’s pizzeria, where a farm market with more craft vendors will be set up and there’ll be live music by Shlomo Franklin. Lakeside Licks will sell hard ice cream by the entrance to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the next segment on the walk, leading to its conclusion at Yard Owl Craft Brewery.
Handcrafted beer and spirits, barbecue and finger foods will be on the menu there, accompanied by live music from two bands from 1-5 p.m. Winning raffle tickets will be pulled for a number of prizes from local merchants, including a free skydive from Skydive the Ranch, a one-year family pass to Mohonk Preserve, a one-night stay at Kettleboro Inn, a home-brewing kit from Pantano’s Home Brew Shop in New Paltz, a gift basket from longtime Gardiner business Kiss My Face and another from a newer business in Gardiner, The Green Room organic haircare salon.
A list of participating vendors along the Craft Market Walk and more info is available at GABNY.com.
Gardiner Open Studio Tour (GOST)
The two-day, self-guided Gardiner Open Studio Tour (GOST) returns on Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. There is no charge to visit any of the art studios and visitors are welcome to move at their own pace, squeezing in a lot of studio visits throughout the weekend or going to just a few. The tour brings the opportunity to peek into what an artist’s daily life is like, see works in progress, ask questions and perhaps purchase a piece.
Participating artists this year are Marsha Massih and John Varriano, Andrea McFarland and Jonathan Pazer, Anna Davis, Alexa Ginsburg, Annie O’Neill, Bruce Pileggi, Sabina Kurz, Carolyn Baum, Craig and Pamela Booth, Gregory Thompson, DM Weil, Jean Tansey, Keri Gould, Lady Pink and Roger Smith, Leonie Lacouette, Lynn Isaacson, Marcia Cole and Meadow, Marcy Bernstein, Marilyn Perry, Michael X. Rose, Ron Schaefer, Suzy Sureck, Cynthia Winika, Stacie Flint and Keri Gould.
Maps of studio locations are available from local merchants, or may be downloaded at gardineropenstudiotour.com.
Open house at Sunflower Art Studios’ new location
The third component of the Gardiner Art Crawl is an open house to introduce the new space for Liz Glover Wilson’s Sunflower Art Studios. Formerly located in the hamlet on Main Street, Sunflower Art Studios recently moved to new 3,800-square-foot digs at 2694 Route 44/55, the former home of Utility Canvas. (That company is still very much in business, Glover Wilson says, having closed just the Gardiner location.)
The open house will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Expect to find a variety of kid-centered art activities, musical instruments they can play, a gift shop, an art show, a juice bar and a food truck.
The new space on Route 44/55 will house both Sunflower Art Studios and the new Stone Wave Yoga, a wellness retreat center. “We’re bringing the two of them together because we believe that art and yoga really complement each other,” says Glover Wilson. Each will be a separate entity, with the art studio portion remaining a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The larger space will accommodate more participants in the programs. The Sunflower Art Studios after-school kids’ program is currently “bursting at the seams,” according to Glover Wilson, who notes that they awarded 30 scholarships this spring to local kids from economically challenged backgrounds. “That’s at the heart of our mission, to bring visibility and accessibility to the arts,” she says. “We’re so blessed and grateful we have this bigger facility now where we can grow the after-school kids’ program and add on more programs, to bring more visibility to the arts.”
They’re also launching a yoga program for kids in grades K-8.
Because of the logistics involved in the move and getting the new programs underway, Glover Wilson is putting the Sunflower Art Festival she founded two years ago on hold for this summer, with plans to bring it back in 2018. “We’re a very small staff, so we feel it’s important to focus on this expansion and get ourselves established and moved into our new home. But we’ll be back next year, stronger than ever!”