WAAM readies for its July 20 centennial bash

(Photos by Dion Ogust)

The Woodstock Artist Association’s 100th Anniversary heats up again in the coming week as it heads towards its big Birthday Bash on Saturday, July 20, complete with cake and ice cream party in a tent out back of the classic building just off the Village Green.

It being Woodstock, the backyard birthday bash will include live music, by the Xtractions and Nancy Tierney and the Boys. And the goodies will be locally sourced, from Jane’s Ice Cream and Bistro-to-Go, who made the cake. 

The event, open to all and designed to be a true town-wide celebration, will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with special remarks, awards and presentations at 5 p.m. And yes, there’ll be a big tent…just in case.


Also occurring on July 20, from 4 p.m. to 6 pm, will be artist receptions — again, open to all — within the WAAM galleries for new exhibitions that actually open this Saturday, July 13. 

Janice La Motta, Executive Director of WAAM

In the main gallery will be a Happy Birthday show of works juried by Queens Museum Curator/Archives Manager Louise Weinberg.

“People, pets, institutions, and nations have birthdays. While some of us would actually like to forget about our birthdays, others revel in the celebration of our own, our friends’ and our loved ones’ arrival on this planet,” reads WAAM’s announcement for this compendium, whose final look was still a mystery as we moved towards print this week. “Artists from our region were asked to submit works that reflect how they perceive this widely accepted but not often closely examined cultural phenomenon.”

As usual with the Artists’ Association over these past 100 years, expect a diverse array of styles, subjects, senses of humor and gravitas, enthusiastic talent, and influences. Contributing artists to this show include a wide array of Woodstock talent — Maxine Davidowitz, Yale Epstein, Paulette Esrig, Ginnie Gardiner, Calvin Grimm, Laura Gurton,
Pat Horner, Alan McKnight, Elin Menzies, Roberta Sickler, Joyce Washor, Clara Steinzor, Vince Natale, Carol Pepper-Cooper, Elise Pittelman and many more. 

In WAAM’s central Solo Gallery, out front of the entrance to the organization’s charmingly engaging “100 Years, 100 Objects” historic exhibit in the Towbin Wing, is “Object Oriented,” an exhibition of coolly mesmerizing photo works by Danny Goodwin, who lives and works near Albany, and has shown and published in museums and art publications everywhere.

“My current work is, in equal parts, an ongoing interrogation of photographic veracity and a critique of authoritarian power. The two are not unrelated. This preoccupation with veracity finds a foothold in spaces, objects, and surfaces that masquerade as quotidian but are clearly unreliable narrators,” Goodwin writes of his esoteric explorations of geometry in action, and the principals inherent behind it. “Recent philosophical positions in logic, including Object Oriented Ontology and Speculative Realism, also factor into this equation, as does the Modernist obsession with the grid, particularly as they inform photography’s digital evolution. The familiar grey checkerboard pattern, for example, of a transparent layer in Photoshop (which is now more a signifier of empty space than actual empty space) represents more than a passive, benign background — it is part of our new, weird grammar of visualizing the invisible. Hand-constructed environments and objects impersonate their virtual counterparts and expose the circular logic that often undergirds not only specific imaging technologies including texture mapping, 3D printing and augmented reality; but also some of the persistent epistemological underpinnings of photography, generally.”

Goodwin will be speaking about his art, in the gallery where it’s showing, at 3 pm on July 20. 

For more on all this centennial birthday bash fun, and art, visit woodstockart.org, call 679-2940, or visit the galleries themselves at 28 Tinker Street in the center of town.

Happy Birthday!