Art installed in shops on Main Street
By Christine Simek
One of the highlights of this month’s Second Saturday celebration in Beacon will be the opening of the eighth annual Windows on Main exhibit, a collaboration between over 50 artists and 50 businesses with many shops and restaurants transforming parts of their retail spaces into temporary art galleries for the month of August.
Dream in Plastic, 177 Main St., will serve as the hub of celebratory activities. Two artists’ pieces will be displayed in the store’s huge plate-glass windows, and the sidewalk out in front of the store will be home to a kickoff party from 6 – 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. The opening celebration will feature a showpiece titled Tiny Windows (a mini-exhibition of the artists of Windows on Main) and will serve the “best cupcakes” in all of Beacon.
Like many Beaconites, Dream in Plastic owners Jennifer Zukowski and Diana Currie moved upstate from Brooklyn several years ago because of the better rent-to-space ratio that downtown Beacon offers, but they also chose Beacon because of its arts-rich community. They are committed to making art a principal — and functional — component of their store. When Zukowski and Currie opened their shop in 2007, they made sure to devote part of the space for a gallery, and every month they host openings and small receptions for various artists.
Amy Wilson, a Beacon artist who has collaborated with Bukowski and Currie and who does consignment work for them, appreciates the commitment that Dream in Plastic has made to the local art community. “Jen and Diana do a lot of consignment work with local artists. Twice a year they do custom shows. They are very supportive of the art in this community and they put a lot of time and energy into it.”
Michelle Caves, owner of Blackbird Attic Boutique, a consignment shop located 442 Main St., is another shop owner who is committed to regularly showcasing artists and their work. She continues to be inspired by the spirit and enthusiasm that comes each month the community comes together to celebrate art.
“Second Saturday is by far my best day at the shop each month. It brings a large crowd of people either looking to explore Beacon or check out the events happening. I am really happy to be a part of it — it brings a great energy. This Saturday I actually have three events. I’ll be showcasing my window, which is an art installation by Chelsey Freeman titled Dirty Laundry. I will also be having an art opening [on the walls featuring the art of Stacie Bloomfield] and lastly, a kitten adoption event … with Sound Earth, a woman who makes natural cleaning supplies and … rescues cats.”
Throughout this past week, artists and business owners have been working together to create a veritable street-level art gallery. All along Main Street folks could be seen scrubbing windows, painting walls, hanging objects and hauling canvases through shop doorways. Another window-designer, Kit Burke-Smith says, “I really enjoy this event as an artist and as a jeweler because it is an opportunity for me to think about my work on a different scale and in a different context. I enjoy it when the piece relates to the type of store it is being displayed in; that’s why I chose antique lace as my subject matter for my work at Dickinson’s Antiques.” (Dickinson’s is at 440 Main St.)
This week’s Second Saturday (Aug. 11) events are free unless noted otherwise and include:
ART OPENINGS and RECEPTIONS
Spire Studios, 45 Beekman St., will be showcasing the latest works by Beacon artists Russell Cusick, Jeff Caramagna and Cynthia McCusker with receptions on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 – 10 p.m.
Marion Royael Gallery, 460 Main St., will present a group show featuring Deus ex Machina, by Peter Leue. Deus ex Machina is a dramatic, larger-than-life installation that explores the complex relationship of play, imagination and invention, and the irresistible human impulse to reinterpret our environment. The exhibit includes new oil paintings from Kathleen Erin Lee and Mary Giehl’s new series, Functioning Systems, recent mixed-media work. In addition, Brian Loatman will be screening the movie that does not exist #7. 6 – 10 p.m.
RiverWinds Gallery, 172 Main St., presents Safari by Paola Bari, Porcelain Painter. Having recently spent time in Africa, Bari has created fantasy images of cheetahs, lions and other animals to draw attention to their beauty, their lives and their survival, 5 – 8 p.m.
BAUGallery, 161 Main St., presents Lisa Zukowski’s new series, Transformations, a natural outgrowth of her Clootie installation. Zukowski continues the theme of shredding, cutting, compartmentalizing and shedding the past. Transformations echoes and expands on the use of repetition of action, wrapping, painting, concealing and celebrating the humblest of materials, old clothing, burlap coffee-bean bags, paper and wax. Also showing will be Enlighten, paintings by Ivan L. Sanford. Heavily influence by the energy of the ′50s and ′60s New York City art scene, Sanford invokes the bravado and ghosts of the era in his works. 6 – 9 p.m.
Blackbird Attic, 422 Main St., will host Gingiber, the illustrated work of Stacie Bloomfield and the opening of her show Zest. 6 – 9 p.m.
Back Room Gallery, 475 Main St., is having a Teen Inaugural Solo Exhibit for Upcoming Artist Daisy Velo. 6 – 8 p.m.
Music on the Squares will host a day-long concert at the corner of Cross and Main Streets. Live music will begin at 1:30 p.m. with sets by local bands Problems, Dead Channels, Black Mesa, Raddigan Brothers, Noise Experience, It’s Not Night It’s Space, Dead Empires, Incorporated Village of Ghost, Dandy Lions and Mike Hamel. 1:30 – 9:45 p.m.
Bank Square Coffeehouse, 129 Main St., will be hosting The Bar Spies for the fourth installment of their Patio Pint Party. Draft and micro-brewed beer will be served. Music begins at 7 p.m.; drinks specials from 8 – 10 p.m.
At the Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main St., Susan Fisher Wright, Carla Springer and Garrison Station will be in concert (with special guest Jeff Haynes). 8 p.m. Adult admission $10; students $5; children 12 & under free (with adult).
TALKS & WALKS
Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries at Denning’s Point invites you to join Clarkson University forester and certified naturalist Paul Blaszak for an informative morning of tree identification and a discussion of the human impact on forest succession. Register online at bire.org/events. 10 a.m.
At Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, 3 Beekman St., professor and author Christoph Cox will discuss the sound work Time Piece Beacon (2005), by the artist Max Neuhaus. Commissioned specifically for Dia:Beacon, where it was inaugurated on May 6, 2006, Time Piece Beacon creates an aural experience around the perimeter of the museum. One of a number of works from Neuhaus’ Moment series, Time Piece Beacon introduces a regularly repeating sound once every hour. 2 – 3 p.m., free with admission to the museum.
Valeria’s Ballroom Dancing at Rosa’s Exercise Dance Studio, 261 Main St., will hold a free hour-long class from 5 – 6 p.m., with ballroom dancing from 8:30 – 10 p.m. $8.00 for singles, $12.00 per couple. Call 845- 417-4738 to reserve a space for the evening; floor is limited to 20 couples.