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.
Kingston area | Culture
A guide to what’s happening in the live music world this spring. Some selections are shows; others are entirely new venues on the scene. Some are outside, some are inside, and some are, sigh, livestream, and that still doesn’t mean live and next to a stream.
Whether you’re looking for new or used, rare or a classic, the Hudson Valley Book Trail has it all. The book trail, which is made up of only independent bookstores, runs from Peekskill up to Hudson. While we only highlight six stops here, the trail has 17 in seven Hudson Valley counties. Just minutes away from each stop are other activities like unique restaurants, other shopping or even the Hudson River Skywalk.
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.
The reopening of live theater perches anxiously on the cusp of a reintroduction of in-person performances in 2021, awaiting signals that audiences can feel safe sitting in the same indoor space. Long-suppressed desire for the collective experience of art remains at war with lingering fear of contracting an illness that can turn the lining of one’s lungs to the consistency of concrete. But spring is here, summer looms nearer and presenting venues need to make decisions, pronto.
For some venues, particularly those without outdoor space, the question of returning may be if, not when.
After going mostly online for 2020, the O+ Festival plans to return to Kingston for in-person events October 8-10, 2021.
For me, reading’s been better than ever this year. It’s helped me and many others find a means of accepting, even understanding, the anxieties caused by pandemic. It’s been an alternative to the battles over truth that have forced their ways into our political souls via journalism and the social media.
Musician Lara Hope will be the second recipient of Kingston’s bi-annual Distinguished Artist Award. The award will be presented Thursday, November 12 at 5:30 p.m. in a live-streamed ceremony on the Facebook pages of City of Kingston, Arts Commission, Lara Hope and event sponsor Radio Kingston.