Looking for the perfect present this holiday season before the coming election year? How about starting with these words:
“It is the purpose of the Association in these exhibitions to give free and equal expression to the ‘Conservative’ and ‘Radical’ elements, because it believes a strong difference of opinion is a sign of health and an omen of long life for the colony.”
Thus ran the preamble to the original constitution of the Woodstock Artists Association, referenced by the institution’s current executive director, Janice La Motta, in her own forward to the bountiful Centennial Catalog WAAM has produced as the final act of celebrating its 100 years of support and leadership for this town’s much-celebrated arts community.
“It may be noted here that the ‘strong differences of opinion’ have been maintained with undiminished vigor for 50 years,” rang an announcement 50 years ago on a previous celebration of the Artists Association’s founding.
Talk about new ways of celebrating: although it has a few copies for sale immediately, LaMotta said this week that WAAM is taking orders for the catalog now as they sell out. Furthermore, she pointed out that the year’s other great catalogue, for the town’s grand, cross-fertilizing and multi-organizational Woodstock Collects exhibits — also handsomely designed by native talent Abigail Sturges, is available for those looking to really give the gift of Woodstock this year.
Woodstock Artists Association, One Hundred Years of Community and Art includes essays by noted Woodstock scene art historians Tom Wolf and Bruce Weber, a valuable arts timeline put together by WAAM archivist Emily Jones, and 300 pages filled with the best Woodstock art of the past 100 years and longer. It’s scholarly, placing Woodstock art among the best of American 20th century achievement, and alongside the best anywhere.
But it’s also much more than a respectable coffee table tome, full as it is with telling photos, little seen works (including Bob Dylan’s cover painting for Music From Big Pink), and other catalogue covers and evocations of art openings and events that result in the rendering of a truly living arts colony, a continuing place of creativity.
And, with that Woodstock Collects catalog published a few months back, the perfect gift for anyone living here, or wanting to…or maybe just being enticed for a long visit.
For full information on ordering copies now, visit woodstockart.org or call WAAM at 679-2940.