Detail from American Woman by Shaqe Kalaj

Parts of the visual art series being exhibited this Saturday night (Dec. 1) in Beacon have been mostly around the world — and back: from Montenegro (on the Adriatic Sea in Europe), to Michigan, to Japan, back to the Detroit area, and now to Beacon. Shaqe Kalaj, an artist new to the Hudson Valley, is exhibiting her work in the second official exhibition of the “KuBe” (Kunsthalle Beacon) Collective, whose artists are located at the Ethan Cohen Fine Arts studios, one block north of Main Street in Beacon, at 211 Fishkill Ave. (in the upgraded building formerly known as the old Beacon High School).

Shaqe Kalaj (pronounced “shacha call-eye”) arrived in Beacon from Detroit in 2012 and established a studio at 211 Fishkill Ave. in September. She was born in Montenegro (once part of Yugoslavia) and as a child immigrated to Michigan, where she was educated in art and had a 20-year career exhibiting her work in Detroit-area galleries. She moved to the Hudson Valley in July 2012. “With the mountains on one side of Beacon and the river on the other side, plus the Hudson Valley region’s overall seriousness about the arts, it was an easy decision to make the move to Beacon,” she said.

At the Dec. 1 opening of the KuBe show, she’ll be showing prints and original woodcuts from her American Woman series. The last major showing of prints from this series was in the modern art museum in Saitama, near Tokyo, Japan, where all the prints were combined into one large “scroll.” In Beacon, some of the prints’ detailed woodcut originals will be on display, showing intricate patterns and figures cut into wood panels using only manual tools. The imagery in this series of work reflects on concepts about various female body types through history, juxtaposing body imagery from Classical Greek times with that of Marilyn Monroe, and even Oprah.

The opening reception for the second KuBe Collective exhibition will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, with live music starting at 7:30. The event will be at 211 Fishkill Ave. (parking in the rear). Kalaj will be at the event, and her studio there (in room 310B) will also be open for visitors that night, or later by appointment (call 734-604-1735 or 845-440-6802 to set up a tour of the studio). The artist can be reached at 845-440-6802.

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