It’s been called “artist’s time”—the enforced periods of pandemic-induced solitude that have allowed artists the opportunity to create without outside distractions. For others, of course, the shutdown has brought economic hardship and isolation. Certainly, artists themselves have been affected in widely divergent ways. But one common denominator that emerges from conversations with half a dozen artists and people affiliated with arts institutions is that being resourceful has been essential to surviving and possibly thriving during this time.
Ed Ford, who was city historian for 35 years and died at age 103 on April 29, leaves a legacy that succeeded in permanently establishing Kingston as a city of history, noteworthy for its restored 18th-century stone houses and city hall as well as significant historic sites. The city would be a much-diminished place were it not for the inspiration, knowledge, and persistence of Ed Ford.
On May 1, Isabel Alvarez and Julio Nazario are opening a storefront gallery at 29 West Strand dedicated to the work of emerging and mid-career artists of diverse backgrounds. The West Strand Gallery, as it is called, will be an important addition to Kingston’s cultural scene, a breath of fresh air introducing unfamiliar artists with a distinctive point of view that’s especially invigorating after months of isolation from the pandemic.
Julio Nazario, a Vietnam War veteran who had worked, taught, and exhibited his work as a photographer, made large black and white prints of the medals posed formally against a black background and then cut out and overlaid them with transparencies of colored handmade paper in a project that was to occupy him for the next 20 years. A sampling of the works are now on display at the Arts Society of Kingston, through April 27.
Back in the 1960s, Kingston residents Leonard Van Dyke and his wife, Vera, were instrumental in breaking down barriers to equality. Thanks to their activism—both held leadership positions in the Kingston branches of the NAACP and the Congress of Racial Justice (CORE)—discriminatory practices against blacks in the building trades union as well as in local housing were challenged.
Henry Street, which extends from Broadway to Wall Street, is slated to get a facelift. The existing sidewalks, a patchwork
Take a close look at store windows in the Village of Saugerties. You will see signs and banners with social justice slogans.
Kingston Land Trust acquires six acres of abandoned quarry and forgotten wilderness improbably inserted within the Kingston city limits.
While two teams have been on call from noon to 10 p.m. and only one team on call from 10 a.m. to noon, the service will be expanded to a second team on call during the morning hours. Beginning in 2021, the Mobile Mental Health Team will also include a dispatcher at the 911 call center, who “will be a licensed clinician who will assist the 911 center operators in determining the appropriate intervention needed to respond to calls from individuals reporting on a behavioral-health-related issue.”
Many are experiencing symptoms similar to [those of] solitary confinement and experiencing extreme bouts of depression and an increase in suicidal thoughts.”