Briefly noted in Woodstock (10/27/21)

Mary Anna Goetz ‘Small Spectacles’ exhibit opens at James Cox Gallery

From quiet restaurant interiors and pastoral scenes of the Catskill Mountains to Harley Davidsons roaring down Rock City Road and drum ceremony bon fires in Magic Meadow, artist Mary Anna Goetz has captured the spirit of “The World’s Most Famous Small Town” in a new exhibit of oil paintings titled “Woodstock: Small Spectacles,” opening Friday, October 29 at the James Cox Gallery in Willow.

“The work in this show is new,” James Cox explained, adding that the artist began the series shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. The first piece Goetz painted  for the upcoming exhibit depicts a maskless bartender at A&P, a local pub. “Shortly after finishing this painting, we were in lockdown,” Goetz noted. “My approach to capturing life in our small town had to conform to public health mandates in place at that time.”


Cox noted that work in the exhibit is painted in a small format, ranging in size from 5” x 7” to 12” x 9,” creating intimate depictions of life in Woodstock.   “For this exhibit Goetz has managed to tap into the pulse of the town as well as the beauty of its surroundings.”

A nationally known painter and teacher, Goetz moved her studio from Manhattan to Woodstock in 1990. While she continued to supply her exhibiting galleries with urban scenes of New York, the artist welcomed the opportunity to create canvases that captured the unique quality of this small. “The techniques I develop painting cityscapes in New York were really valuable when I began to produce this series,” she added.

“Woodstock: Small Spectacles” will be on view through November 26. An opening reception for the artist will be held Friday, October 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. Proof of vaccination is required.  The James Cox Gallery is located at 4666 Route 212 in Willow. The exhibit can be viewed at the gallery’s website, For more information, call (845) 679-7608 or email

Say boo! Halloween portrait booth and fundraiser
Have your ghosts and goblins, heroes and villains photographed by Dion Ogust on Sunday, October 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Center of Photography at Woodstock (CPW) during the Woodstock Halloween Parade. Spots are first-come-first-serve. COVID-19 safety guidelines apply.

The session will take place on the porch of CPW, located at 59 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For a $20 tax-deductible donation, your spooky likeness will be emailed to you as a high-resolution digital file or for a $35 tax-deductible donation, you’ll receive a digital file by email and an 8×10″ inkjet print by snail mail. Proceeds raised at Say Boo! support CPW’s educational programs.

Penny Social in Woodstock

The Woodstock Fire Company Three Ladies’ Auxiliary is sponsoring a Penny Social on Saturday, October 30 from noon until 3 p.m. at the Lake Hill Firehouse at 4123 Route 212 in Lake Hill (approximately five miles west of the Woodstock Village Green).

The kitchen opens at noon for lunch. Ticket sales start at 1 p.m. and calling prizes starts at 2 p.m. Featured will be a 50/50 raffle, special table and food.

For additional information, call (845) 679-2982 or (845) 679-4039.

Beth Humphrey, Director of Education & Public Programs at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM), talks to Bennett Elementary School students Oisin McDermott (left) and David Cobey about their drawings, which they are making using ink made from locally foraged acorn caps.

History, science, sustainability infuse Bennett art project

At Bennett Elementary School, students are immersed in a multifaceted art project that incorporates elements of science, history, literature and environmentalism. Onteora art teacher Roberta Ziemba is collaborating with Beth Humphrey, director of Education & Public Programs at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM), to teach students how to create drawings using inks made from locally foraged materials like acorn caps and goldenrod. The students’ work, which depicts fantastical landscapes, will be showcased at WAAM from November 19 through December 31.

During a recent class, Grade 5 students were working with a dark-brown ink made from acorn caps. The nuts had been collected by students at home (and in some cases on the school’s Nature Trail), and then crushed by volunteers who hammered them during recess. Ziemba added water, boiled the extract and stirred in gum arabic and ferrous sulphate (a type of iron). The production process, she told the students, demonstrated how science can play an integral role in art.

Bennett students Fiona Turck (left) and Kerry Murphy working with ink made from acorn caps. The young artists are students in Roberta Ziemba’s art class.

To inspire the young artists, Humphrey gave a slideshow of ink drawings from the WAAM collection, including landscapes by Alf Evers and Conrad Kramer, pointing out how the artists used ink, lines and brushstrokes to create certain effects or a particular atmosphere. Afterwards, Ziemba shared some of the long history of natural inks. Oak-gall ink, she noted, was used in historical documents like the American Declaration of Independence, as well as by renowned authors like the Brontë sisters. “There is a long history of artists coming to our area because of the resources we have here,” Ziemba added. “We are expanding on that history.”

Reducing waste and promoting sustainability are major concerns of Ziemba, who aims to meet New York State Learning Standards in an environmentally sustainable way. “That’s why we are making our own ink from local materials, rather than using markers encased in plastic,” she said. In another example of recycling, feathers found on the school grounds are fashioned by Ziemba into quills, which the students can use to apply ink to paper. In the same vein, earlier in the school year, Ziemba sought out wood scraps from local woodworkers, which the students used to make fanciful dragon sculptures. Her ultimate goal, she says, is to create a “reduced waste” art classroom.

Humphrey finds the Bennett project to be personally rewarding. “It’s exciting for me to examine our collection in a new light in terms of materials and sustainability and working with teachers. I am learning, too!”

Woodstock labyrinth walk supports peace

The public is invited to walk the labyrinth on the grounds of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock on Friday, October 29 from 5 p.m. until sunset. “Come and share in the silent ebb and flow of this ancient ritual offered for peace and healing for our families, friends and communities,” said organizer Dana Patton.

A goodwill offering will be taken to support the work of the Ulster Immigration Defense Network.

The labyrinth is located behind St. Gregory’s at 2578 Route 212 in Woodstock.

Annalee Orsulich led a Drive for Fair Priced Housing last Sunday to shine a light on the ‘Hudson Valley’s housing crisis’, driving through Woodstock, Saugerties and Kingston and ending with a standing protest on the Village Green in Woodstock. (Photos by Dion Ogust)


Car caravan protests area’s housing woes

Insane rent hikes, housing crises, selling the Catskills to the highest bidder…those were the themes of a Drive For Fair Priced Housing that took place October 24. Signs were carried by cars that met at Andy Lee Field parking lot at Woodstock’s Mescal Hornbeck Community Center and caravanned through Saugerties and Kingston before coming back to Woodstock for a standing protest on the Village Green.

A Drive for Fair Priced Housing was held last Sunday to shine a light on the ‘Hudson Valley’s housing crisis’, driving through Woodstock, Saugerties and Kingston and ending with a standing protest on the Village Green in Woodstock.

“Our entire community is threatened as lifelong community members can no longer afford to live here,” said Annalee Orsulich, the event organizer, who said the goal is “to raise public awareness, unify locals and shine a light on the housing plight in hopes of influencing lawmakers enacting change.”

Topic of Cancer to meet October 27

Topic of Cancer, Family of Woodstock’s support group for cancer patients, survivors and caretakers, will hold its second meeting on Wednesday, October 27 at 7 p.m., at the Woodstock Reformed Church on the Village Green. Topic of Cancer helps people transitioning to a new way of life, assists with problems at home, work or school, deals with the side effects of treatment, role and relationship changes, financial concerns and, in the words of Family of Woodstock, just about “any problem under the sun” relevant to participants.

The group meets regularly on the fourth Wednesday of each month. For more information, call Jane Young at (914) 466-2917 or Eric Glass at (845) 750-1253.