6/08 CHRONOGRAM 1
Come Visit Ours! Here’s your invitation to visit our Lindal Cedar Homes Display Model in Cold Spring, New York in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Atlantic Custom Homes Open Houses Saturday - June 14, and July 12, 2008 10AM – 5PM Home Building Seminar: Saturday, July 19, 2008 11AM – 1PM (Reservations are needed) Call 888-558-2636 today for information and directions.
2 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
ADDITIONAL CONCERTS... JULY 11 - DONNA SUMMER JULY 13 - STEVE MILLER BAND & JOE COCKER JULY 19 - TONY BENNETT JULY 27 - RASCAL FLATTS & TAYLOR SWIFT AUG 2 - NY DOO WOPP SHOW
AUG 3 - HIPPIEFEST AUG 12 - ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND AUG 13 - MAROON 5, COUNTING CROWS, SARA BAREILLES AUG 14 - JONAS BROTHERS AUG 22 - BOSTON POPS AUG 30 - JOURNEY, HEART & CHEAP TRICK
Bramwell Tovey, conducting Joyce Yang, soloist
FULL SCHEDULE AT BETHELWOODSCENTER.ORG ADD A MUSEUM ADMISSION TO YOUR CONCERT TICKET ORDER TODAY! OPENS JUNE 2
CONCERT SERIES ON TWO NEW STAGES INCLUDE: Arts Under the Stars Music in The Museum at the TERRACE STAGE at the EVENTS GALLERY Get full concert schedule at BethelWoodsCenter.org
Tickets available at BethelWoodsCenter.org | by phone 845.454.3388 Bethel Woods Box OfямБce | Ticketmaster.com or Outlets and LiveNation.com Group sales 845.295.2521 | Info at 1.866.781.2922 Bethel, New York | Exit 104 off Route 17 at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival
1.800.882.CATS www.scva.net 6/08 CHRONOGRAM 3
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For more info, call
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Buy Tickets Online & SAVE!
t(SFFO-JWJOH&YQP1SPEVDUT4FSWJDFTGPSB4VTUBJOBCMF-JGFt4BJMTPO5BMM4IJQTt'JWF4UBHFT1PXFSFECZ 4VTUBJOBCMF&OFSHZ4PMBS 4PZEJFTFM8JOEt$IJMESFOT*OUFSBDUJWF1MBZ"SFBt/BUVSBM*OUFSOBUJPOBM'PPE t'JOF"SU'PML$SBGU.BSLFU1MBDFt8PSLJOH8BUFSGSPOU,BZBLT $BOPFTBOE4NBMM#PBUT ing Featur Skatalites tThe Felice Brothers tPete Seeger tAlix Olson tCheryl Wheeler tDavid Amram tGandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams tHappy and Artie Traum t Kevin So & Midnight Snack tPamela Means tMacTalla MÃ³r tR.Carlos Nakai tMagpie tEntrain tStrangelings tPistolera tArm of the Sea Theater tThe Bluerunners BOENBOZNPSF For complete performance roster and schedule of activities go to www.ClearwaterFestival.org
www.ClearwaterFestival.org OFFICIAL AIRLINE
4 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
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Call 845.876.WOOD www.williamslumber.com 2().%"%#+ s 3!,4 0/).4 s (5$3/. s (/0%7%,, s 4!..%236),,% s 2%$ (//+ s ()'( &!,,3 s -),,"2//+ 6/08 CHRONOGRAM 5
NEWS AND POLITICS
GREEN LIVING GUIDE
27 WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
77 SEEING GREEN
The gist of what you may have missed in the back pages of the global media maelstrom: corporate organic brands, voter ID laws, and T. Rex relatives.
Teal Hutton talks with local sustainability experts about the easiest practical steps we can take to create a greener life at home and work.
30 COMING TO AMERICA Jim Motovalli examines the myths and realities of immigration, the environment, and growing population numbers in the US and elsewhere.
36 BEINHART’S BODY POLITIC Larry Beinhart takes aim at how the old myths of the Great Republican Disaster are being recast as new truths in the run-up to the presidential election this fall.
COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK 38 A CURTAIN CALL FOR THE HYDE PARK PLAYHOUSE Hyde Park Playhouse alumnus Bob Sommer tells the story of the summer stock theater that ran from the 1950s through the 1980s, attracting top-notch talent.
6 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
Jonah Meyer, Plyoneer, 10”x10”x15”, wood, 2006 LUCID DREAMING
WHOLE LIVING GUIDE 90 RELAXING WITH THE RAYS Aimee Hughes explains how to enjoy the sun this season while saving your skin—the body’s largest organ—for years to come.
BUSINESS SERVICES 70 TASTINGS A directory of what’s cooking and where to get it. 82 BUSINESS DIRECTORY A compendium of advertiser services. 95 WHOLE LIVING DIRECTORY For the positive lifestyle.
We are proud to present the premier exhibition of this outstanding body of work depicting Italian architecture and culture from the hand of a contemporary realist.
May 31 through June 30, 2008
Marian Dioguardi “The Bachelor’s Laundry, Burano, Venice” 24 x 20 oil on cradled panel
Hanging Out inVenice
Rose Gallery Fine Art 444 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534 ~ 518-671-6128 ~ www.rosegalleryfineart.com Hours: Thursday through Monday 11:00 - 5:00 and by appointment Representing distinctive contemporary artists since 1989. 6/08 CHRONOGRAM 7
ARTS & CULTURE 44 PORTFOLIO The photographs of John Dugdale.
46 LUCID DREAMING Beth E. Wilson reviews shows at the Livingroom in Kingston, Kerhonkson General in Kerhonkson, and Spire Studios in Beacon.
68 FOOD & DRINK Brian K. Mahoney talks with wine importer Neal Rosenthal, author of Reflections of a Wine Merchant, about terroir at his home in the Shekomeko Valley.
136 PARTING SHOT Hollywood Premier, a photograph by Weegee, part of the “Facebook” exhibition at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College.
48 GALLERY & MUSEUM GUIDE
105 DAILY CALENDAR
Peter Aaron profiles Woodstock-based quietists Ida. Nightlife Highlights by DJ Wavy Davy and CD reviews of: The Barefoot Boys Sweetwater Passage reviewed by Nina Shengold. NCM Escape from Myopia Reviewed by Jeremy Schwartz. Pauline Oliveros/Miya Masaoka Accordion Koto Reviewed by Erik Lawrence.
60 BOOKS Nina Shengold profiles playwright and screenwriter Frank D. Gilroy.
62 BOOK REVIEWS Pauline Uchmanowicz reviews Washington: The Making of the American Capital by Fergus Bordewich. Anne Pyburn reviews Anybody Any Minute by Julie Mars.
PREVIEWS 109 Sparrow previews Remove the Landmark, an exhibition of photos by Aaron Yassin and Cannon Hersey this month at Gallery 384 in Catskill. 111 Mary Gauthier talks with Robert Burke Warren prior to her June 6 gig in Rosendale. 112 Jay Blotcher previews a bevy of summer festivals across the region, from music at Bethel Woods, to theater at Powerhouse in Poughkeepsie, and art at Storm King. 121 Billie Holiday sound-alike Madeleine Peyroux performs at the Bardavon on June 27. 123 David Soman exhibits drawings at Mill Street Loft in Poughkeepsie this month from his New York Times best-selling kids’ book, Ladybug Girl.
PLANET WAVES 130 THE SHAPE OF TIME Eric Francis Coppolino examines our cultural model of time, and how technology gives us a false sense of it. Plus horoscopes.
Poems by Roberta Allen, Alisha Bell, Andrew Brenza, Gary Bloom, Nichole Boisvert, Cathy Furlani, Lucas Gallo, Olga Kronmeyer, Emma McCann, Robert Milby, Forrest Schoenberger, Donna Sherman, Sparrow, and Steven Wheat.
Comprehensive listings of local events. (Daily updates of calendar listings are posted at Chronogram.com.)
Wine importer Neal Rosenthal in the dining room of his Pine Plains home. FOOD & DRINK
8 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
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ON THE COVER
Blue in Utah edie nadelhaft | oil on canvas | “I think the most interesting thing about painting is the paint itself,” says Manhattan-based artist Edie Nadelhaft. “I ﬁnd the actual substance, the sort of beauty of paint itself and the act of painting, the physical expression, have a profound potency that resonates for me.” Having previously gone to school to study art history, humanities, and painting, Nadelhaft returned to school again in the `90s. “I felt I still had stuﬀ to learn,” she says. “I believe you always have stuﬀ to learn.” She went to the Massachusetts School of Art to study web design. “It was a better idea than I knew at the time,” says Nadelhaft. She has been able to support herself as a web designer crafting logos online and designing websites for diverse array of clients, from pharmaceutical companies to indie rock bands. “It’s very quick and dirty,” she says of web design. “What you see is what you get.” She took up web design as a creative part-time gig for money so she could continue with her ﬁrst love, painting. “I do [my art] for me,” says Nadelhaft. “But there is no guarantee someone will pay you for that.” Cows caught her eye while visiting her in-laws’ dairy farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Nadelhaft ended up really close to the cows and admired the curiosity of the animal. “I went inside the barn,” she says. “I’ll tell you, if you’ve never been two inches from a cow, it’s quite an experience.” She enjoys taking something common, an overfamiliar image or representation, and placing it in a diﬀerent setting. “I’m always very excited about the second impression,” says Nadelhaft, using a cow as an example. “If you look past your ﬁrst response to it, it’s like wow, that sort of wonder. Taking something out of its expected context and seeing it new for the ﬁrst time.” She has been painting cows for a few years now, in part because she ﬁnds them to be so funny. Humor plays a big role in Nadelhaft’s art, and her show at Pearldaddy in Beacon this month features many odd and oﬀbeat images of ﬂies, pills (The Best Medicine II, an eight-foot-high replica of a prescription pill inscribed with “Sweet!” on its face is at once guﬀawinducing and a caustic critique), teeth biting into cherries, and of course, many pensive bovine portraits. As part of her artistic process, Nadelhaft takes motorcycle trips to farms in the Hudson Valley to photograph cows. She employs no found images in her work, only photographs she has taken. While vacationing in Las Vegas a few years ago, Nadelhaft took a motorcycle ride to Monument Valley, where she shot the picture for Blue in Utah. The color grid in the bottom corner is a web color palette, an example of her commercial work inﬂuencing her ﬁne art. “The Best Medicine: Paintings and Sculptures by Edie Nadelhaft” will be exhibited at Pearldaddy on 183 Main Street in Beacon through July 6. (845) 765-0169; www.pearldaddy.net. Portfolio: www.edienadelhaft.com. —Tara Quealy 10 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
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EDITORIAL EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Brian K. Mahoney firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Perry email@example.com SENIOR EDITOR Lorna Tychostup firstname.lastname@example.org BOOKS EDITOR Nina Shengold email@example.com HEALTH & WELLNESS EDITOR Lorrie Klosterman firstname.lastname@example.org POETRY EDITOR Phillip Levine email@example.com MUSIC EDITOR Peter Aaron firstname.lastname@example.org VISUAL ARTS EDITOR Beth E. Wilson email@example.com EDITORIAL INTERN Tara Quealy firstname.lastname@example.org PROOFREADER Laura McLaughlin CONTRIBUTORS Roberta Allen, Emil Alzamora, Alisha Bell, Larry Beinhart, Jay Blotcher, Gary Bloom, Nichole Boisvert, Andrew Brenza, Eric Francis Coppolino, Cathy Furlani, Lucas Gallo, Aimee Hughes, Teal Hutton, Annie Dwyer Internicola, Elias Isquith, Olga Kronmeyer, Erik Lawrence, Steve Lewis, Jennifer May, Emma McCann, Robert Milby, Edie Nadelhaft, Anne Pyburn, Fionn Reilly, Forrest Schoenberger, Jeremy Schwartz, Donna Sherman, Robert Sommer, Sparrow, Pauline Uchmanowicz, Steven Wheat, Beth E. Wilson
PUBLISHING FOUNDERS Jason Stern & Amara Projansky PUBLISHER Jason Stern email@example.com ADVERTISING SALES Talisa Faulks firstname.lastname@example.org; (518) 334-8600x106 France Menk email@example.com; (845) 334-8600x106 Eva Tenuto firstname.lastname@example.org; (845) 334-8600x123 Shirley Stone email@example.com; (845) 876-2194 ADMINISTRATIVE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Amara Projansky firstname.lastname@example.org; (845) 334-8600x121 BUSINESS MANAGER Ruth Samuels email@example.com; (845) 334-8600x120 PRODUCTION PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Jacky Davis-Soman firstname.lastname@example.org; (845) 334-8600x108 PRODUCTION DESIGNERS Mary Maguire, Sabrina Gilmore PRODUCTION INTERN Eileen Carpenter OFFICE 314 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401 (845) 334-8600; fax (845) 334-8610
MISSION Chronogram is a regional magazine dedicated to stimulating and supporting the creative and cultural life of the Hudson Valley. All contents © Luminary Publishing 2008
SUBMISSIONS CALENDAR: To submit calendar listings, e-mail: email@example.com Fax: (845) 334-8610. Mail: 314 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401 Deadline: June 15
POETRY Submissions of up to three poems at a time can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or our street address. See above.
FICTION/NONFICTION: Fiction: Submissions can be sent to ﬁction@chronogram.com. Nonﬁction: Succinct queries about stories of regional interest can be sent to email@example.com.
12 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
independent senior living, just minutes from the shops and attractions of rhinebeck village.
Rhinebeck, NY | 845-876-3344 arborridgeliving.com
THE COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS ARE IN AN OFFERING PLAN AVAILABLE FROM SPONSOR. FILE NO. C-050013
everything for the garden and gardener w w w . a d a m s f a r m s . c o m POUGHKEEPSIE
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6/08 CHRONOGRAM 13
LETTERS Sante Cites Stinker To the Editor: I was startled to read Caitlin McDonnell alleging that I praised Russell Banks’s The Reserve in the Times Book Review. I did no such thing. I thought the book was the worst kind of guest-room pap, presumably written under duress if not actual torture by a writer who has done much, much better—and said as much. I normally wouldn’t care so much about being misrepresented, but I sure don’t want to be responsible for any readers subjecting themselves to that stinker. Luc Sante, Accord
Chronogram Book Editor Nina Shengold responds: Dear Luc, As the editor who deleted Caitlin McDonnell’s pull quote from your New York Times review and replaced it with “praised,” I’m prepared to take it on the chin. When I read your review, I had the impression that you’d found The Reserve an overheated but nonetheless enjoyable romp by an author who’d earned the right to a Hollywood paycheck. On rereading it, with the unambiguous “stinker” now lodged in my ear, I realize that your summation of it as “a ripping yarn” was not intended as praise. Apologies for my ironydeﬁcient editing.
Safety First To the Editor: I enjoyed your article on Bike Month [“Easy Like Monday Morning,” 5/08], thanks for getting the word out. Your readers should know that there are safe cycling rides on the last Friday of every month in Kingston. The more local cyclists who get involved, the better! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/safecyclingkingston www.fatsinthecats.com Bill Baird, Ulster
14 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
6/08 CHRONOGRAM 15
Photo Credit: ©1992 Suzanne Warner Pierot & JMB Publications
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16 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
Get the Most of the Outdoors with Kenco. Summer’s the favorite season for many of our customers. Our region has so many great places to see and so much to do. And while you’re out there, why not be comfortable and look good? Kenco offers the area’s best selection of outdoor clothing, footwear, toys and gear for the land, water or hanging out.
Get around on your own power, and save on gas, hiking, boating, or walking. Take the family camping in style in the amazing Mobile Adventure campers.
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The Writing on the Slanted Wall From the cluttered, dusty corner of my seasonally frigid/muggy attic, I would lean back in the creaky chair and imagine each mother clasping her well-Oiled of Olay hands and cooing over her teenager’s creative writing assignment. Then each father peering up over the top of his newspaper: “Send that to Uncle Steve, he’s a professional writer, you know.” Which was presumably how in the later ’80s I would occasionally ﬁnd in my battered mailbox white envelopes stuﬀed with poorly folded short stories written by my sister’s son Pete, my brother’s son Jake, and my sister-in-law’s daughter Isabel. Scanning those typewritten pages speckled with whiteout, I happily assumed the pose of the kindly uncle professional writer, pointing out moments of real resonance—and, by the by, oﬀhand, ever so gently, making one or two standard-issue suggestions about showing, not telling. I would then drive to the post oﬃce imagining their mothers peering breathlessly over their children’s thin shoulders: “Oh my, see? Uncle Steve’s a professional writer—and he knows what he’s talking about!” Whereupon having fallen prey to my own ﬁction, I would return to my attic racked with guilt for posing as a real writer. The truth at the time: Aside from a few chapbooks of poetry, one from New Erections Press (Madison, Wisconsin, 1969, of course) and a textbook on emergency care (another story, another time), my so-called career as a writer meant supplementing my crummy wages in academia by making a few bucks oﬀ the backs of my four, ﬁve, then six, then seven (!) kids; i.e., writing pieces on fatherhood for such austere publications as Seattle’s Child, LA Parent, and Baby Talk (which, by the way, was given away free with diaper service deliveries). On those dark mornings I would try to beat back my self-editing self by taking some small measure of comfort in the reasonable assumption that my young relatives would not be harmed by my charade. They would go to college, get real jobs outside the heartbreaking publishing industry, and never again write another story in their lives. Nor would they learn the truth about their Uncle Steve, semiprofessional writer. Now imagine, just glancing over the top of the magazine in your hands, time passing the way it always does, one gray hair drifting in the wind into another gray hair and another and another and suddenly but certainly not suddenly, a whole head of hair has mostly turned silver—or fallen out—and it’s a new millennium and tall, funny Pete is now Peter Steinfeld (LA screenwriter—Drowning Mona, Analyze That, Be Cool); beautiful, sultry Isabel is Isabel Burton (deputy editor at Cosmopolitan); and sweet, thoughtful Jake is Jacob Lewis (managing editor of the New Yorker). Big enchiladas. And Uncle Steve? Small potatoes. Still in the same creaky chair in the same seasonally frigid/muggy, dusty/dusty attic. Still teaching. A “midlist” writer still hustling up columns and articles, small and large. Still writing books, large print and small. Still eking out small paydays and… what is smaller? Well, that old guilt, for one. In the years after overlooking the grit and resonance behind the immature voices in those youthful stories, I have learned well the wordless, capricious ways that one arrives at the dawn of each writing day. And so I have occasionally marveled at how I, despite all humbling evidence to the contrary, the writing on the slanted wall, as it were, was an unintended agent of the remarkable successes of my niece and nephews. However misguided. However absurd the claim. From this hot/cold, dusty/dusty attic I have traced and retraced my own path as a writer, stumbling backward from New Paltz through Milwaukee and Madison, scuttling across the ﬂoor of the inland sea all the way to high school on Long Island and a English teacher at Wheatley High, white-haired Dr. Harold Wells, long gone from this life. And so I occasionally imagine as well the old man sitting at his desk reading something I wrote on the bus and, overcoming once again all good sense, telling this lazy, thoughtless boy that he was a good writer. Sometimes that’s all it takes. —Steve Lewis
Announcing the 2008 Kingston Kayak Festival. Saturday, June 14 at Kingston Point Beach, on Delaware Avenue, 10 AM – 4 PM. For novices to the experienced. Learn, try and check out the gear, with manufacturers on hand to demo and answer questions. Get a great price on a kayak, canoe or accessories. Admission is $7.00 in advance (at Kenco), or $10.00 at the beach. All ticket proceeds go to the Forsyth Nature Center.
WORK & PLAY OUTFITTER Route 28, Kingston, NY 12401 845-340-0552. More on the web at www.kingstonkayakfestival.info
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18 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
CHRONOGRAM SEEN The events we sponsor, the people who make a difference, the Chronogram community. Here's some of what we saw in May: CAFE CHRONOGRAM AT THE KINGSTON MUDDY CUP (5/17) RONDOUT WATERFRONT FESTIVAL (5/10)
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Top: Uncle Moon performing at Cafe Chronogram on May 17 at the Muddy Cup in Kingston. Bottom: Arm-of-the-Sea Theater parade at the Rondout Waterfrton Festival in Kingston on May 10.
CHRONOGRAM SPONSORS IN JUNE: Woodstock Farm Festival (Wednesdays), HV Green Drinks (6/10), Amma Sri Karunamayi (6/10-12), Bruce Schenker Memorial Run (6/14), Cafe Chronogram (6/21), High Falls Wonderland (6/28), Readings at Maple Grove (6/29) 6/08 CHRONOGRAM 19
LIVE PERFORMANCES, FILM, THEATER, DEBATE
TICKETS & INFORMATION ONLINE AT THELINDA.ORG OR CALL 518-465-5233 Ex 4.
ITâ€™S ALL HAPPENING AT THE LINDA! Young Composers
Dancing on the Air
Featuring Erica Seguine
Taxi to the Dark Side
h Di A wit
Q&FEATURE FILM Jun/20 7pm
Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks
Rob Jonas Ben Karis-Nix Fire Flies
r irecto D h t i lw Pane FEATURE FILM
Erin McKeown Jun/27 8pm
Annie & The Hedonists
Asylum Street Spankers
Meet the Composers
Graham Parker & Mike Gent Jul/18 5pm workshop 8pm show
Live at The Linda!
Hear broadcasts of past live performances at The Linda, Wednesdays at 8pm on WAMC Northeast Public Radio 90.3FM or 1400AM on your radio dial. 6/11 - Dancing on the Air 6/18 - Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet 7/2 - Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams Erin McKeown presented in part by CDGLCC/Progressions Concert Series. Dancing on the Air made possible by Tech Valley Communications. Media Sponsorship of CRUMBS Nite Out at The Linda by Exit 97.7 WEXT. Music programming supported by the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Film programming is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
20 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
Esteemed Reader Now my loving is running toward my life shouting, What a bargain, let’s buy it. —Rumi Esteemed Reader of Our Magazine: As I write it is a chilly day in May. I am looking across the Wallkill Valley toward the Shawangunk Ridge. Heavy, sculpted clouds ﬁll much of the sky and the sun beams in at a dramatic angle—darkness above, brightness below—the true chiaroscuro that artists emulate. It is rife with contrast, as though the canopy is shouting Yes! and No! with the same breath. It reminds me of an early springtime memory—I was four or ﬁve—standing on a hill looking across a hayﬁeld at to the opposite ridge. The sky was so gray it was almost black. The ﬁeld and a hill of trees on the other side of the valley were awash with bright orange light as the sun set behind me. The image of light and dark interacting with such power and grace made me gasp then, as it does now. Strong contrasts are everywhere in springtime. It is a season of fertile conﬂict. Warmth collides with cold in the air and frozen earth, awakening dormant seeds and spurring trees to sprout new leaves. The conﬂuence beckons the birds to come home, and the otherwise graceful fox to bark noisily in the night, as much in pride as protection for her cubs in the den. Earlier this spring a ﬁnch built a nest on a many-pointed star lantern that hangs from the roof of our porch. It is a hostile place for a home, balancing on sharp metal tips, swinging in the wind. Watching momma ﬁnch carry leaves and twigs and ﬂuﬀ to her new construction I thought when the wind blows, the cradle will rock….And sure enough we came home one evening to ﬁnd the completed nest upturned on the ground surrounded by violet egg shells and smeared yolk. It had the same eﬀect as blood on our three-year old. “That’s very sad,” he said. But that was early enough for momma ﬁnch to get back to work and build another nest in the same place, apparently having learned from her design errors. As of this writing there are four furry ﬁnch chicks in the nest on the star, which appears to have become more stable with the accretion of speckled ﬁnch poop. My own mother taught me something about eggs and challenge when I was a child—about the time I ﬁrst felt the beauty and power of chiaroscuro, light and dark intertwined. Again it was springtime and we were hatching chicken eggs in an incubator. We had candled them and seen the growing chick fetuses inside, and carefully turned the eggs like a mother hen would, twice a day for a couple of weeks. And then we heard them starting to tap-tap-tap at the inside of the shells, and little holes appeared. We watched them work to widen the opening and break through. They worked and then rested—the periods of rest growing longer, the longer it took for the chicks to emerge—their little wet bird bodies exhausted, panting. The urge to reach in and tear oﬀ the shell was irresistible. “Don’t do it,” my mother admonished, “if you help them, they will die. They must do it themselves.” For me this has been a particularly vivid spring. I noticed the intensity and fullness of each stage of transition from winter more than usual—the ﬁrst whiﬀ of fresh, living air in February; the so-subtle green aura of buds on trees in March; the fulﬁlling thunderstorms and rain that are a cleansing ablution for the land and atmosphere in April; and the coming to verdant fullness in May. The liberating eﬀect of spring took me by surprise. More light, the smell of sweet air, its warmth on my skin—woke me up from an hibernation I didn’t realize I was in. To wake up in this way, by surprise, and to feel the parabolic meaning of the signs and events of spring, is a taste of unexpected abundance, like winning a cosmic lottery. It is, at times, diﬃcult to remember the wealth and abundance and happiness that is always already here. The crimes and controversies that are rampant in every area of life; the wars fought incessantly in ourselves and by extension in our homes, towns, nation, world; the greed for power, wealth, egoic aggrandizement—are compelling attractors of our attention. But there is a force that beckons wakefulness like it pulls the sap out of the roots and into the trunk of the maple in spring. If we relax our gaze, and allow the sap to ﬂow, we become engaged with a world that is rich with life and meaning, and is happy. —Jason Stern 6/08 CHRONOGRAM 21
22 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
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Ramps Festival ()!"(!',.&"*""(#%)"% May 3 â€“ 4
Rondout Valley Farm Tour &'%"(!',.%"!"('),%"*%&"% July 26 â€“ 27 Pick Our Valley. . . and Our Brains! "%"(!',.""#%&%% " July 26 â€“ 27 Farm Feast &'%"(!',.&(%'&% %& %'" August 2
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Corn and Tomato Festival &'%"(!',.*""&'"% &')" August 27 Putting it Up â€“ Preserving the Harvest *%"(!',.&"*""'&" September 7
8th Annual Susquehanna Valley Garlic Festival
"%'&""(!',.&)%&')" September 20 Fall for the Arts ""#%&'"*!'&""(!',.(" September 21 6th Annual Cauliï¬‚ower Festival *%"(!',.(-"*%&')" September 27
Little Farmerâ€™s Day *%"(!',. #&% !," October 4 Winter Festival
%!"(!',.'& '!"% December 6 Holiday Market Sullivan County &()!"(!',% %& %'&"%
December 6 â€“ 7
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For more information, visit www.buypurecatskills.com.
(Parking in back of Blockbuster)
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6/08 CHRONOGRAM 23
Comfort and Style. ali Cookware. Organic Chocolates. Mario Battali Cookware.Furniture. Furniture.Kites. Kites.Hand-crafted Hand-craftedKaleidoscopes. Kaleidoscopes. Dr. Hauschka Skin Care. Masters Collection by The Culinary Institute of America. Homemade pastries. Local products. International crafts. Introducing www.KaleidoStore.com
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24 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
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Repairs Failing Concrete Foundations A Greener Foundation Alternative Decks, Sun Rooms, House Additions, Car-Ports, Pole Barn, Solar Panels, and MORE! • • • • • • •
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6/08 CHRONOGRAM 25
Fruit arranged like flowers? What a delicious idea!
Meet the farmers who put the local in locally grown
Same day pickup & delivery available
July 26 & 27, 2008 Enjoy spectacular scenery, sample farm-grown products, and watch demonstrations of sustainable agriculture, beekeeping, corn harvesting and more while learning about the rich agricultural heritage of this special region. The self-guiding tour will feature classes or demonstrations all weekend long at:
Gill Corn Farms
Experience a corn harvesting demonstration from a haywagon pulled alongside an operating corn harvester.
Five Springs Farm
An up-close demonstration of bees
Take a tour of this full scale vegetable operation to learn what goes into raising vegetables from farm to fork.
Farm & Granary
A walking tour and class on Sustainable Agriculture in the Rondout Valley.
Stone Ridge Orchard
A hands-on demonstration on several techniques of plant propagation useful for any backyard orchardist.
Rusty Plough Farm
Learn about their unique CSA/buying club model, as well as how to grow healthy plants via healthy soils and management of the surrounding habitat.
This horse facility’s manure management program creates composted manure mixed with topsoil for garden and landscaping use.
Country Flowers A greenhouse tour and demonstration of bedding plant propagation. Catskill Native Nursery
Learn what it means to become an ecological gardener and turn your property into a beautiful, bio-diverse haven for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and small mammals.
Hasbrouck Farms A tour of a large selection of antique farming equipment and hand tools along with the RVGA’s walk-through historical farming exhibit. Farm Tour participants receive a map, coupons for local businesses, restaurants, B&Bs, & farm products. Experience the culinary pleasures of good, wholesome locally grown food. Aroma Thyme Bistro, DePuy Canal House, Friends and Family ll Hillside Restaurant, High Falls Café, Northern Spy Cafe, and Oscar Restaurant will use Rondout Valley products as part of their menu and offer discounts to all tour participants. Stay with us the whole weekend and receive discounts at participating bed & breakfasts: Baker’s Bed & Breakfast, The LockTender’s House, The Sheeley House Bed & Breakfast, Sparrow Hawk Bed & Breakfast, and 1712 House.
For more information visit www.rondoutvalleygrowers.org or email Debbie@rondoutvalleygrowers.org The Farm Tour was made possible by grants from The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Watershed Agricultural Council and NYC DEP. All monies raised from this event go directly to support the Rondout Valley Growers Association
26 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
with Dipped Bananas
To order, please call or visit the location nearest you:
900 Ulster Avenue
10 IBM Road, Suite B
EdibleArrangements.com Copyright © 2008 Edible Arrangements, LLC
Franchises Available. Call 1-888-727-4258
Eating organic food doesn’t mean you’re not eating corporate food. Many of the country’s largest food corporations are behind popular organic brands. Kraft, the number one food processor in the country, produces Boca Foods (makers of Boca Burgers) and Back to Nature. Odwalla juice is produced by Coca-Cola. Heinz, the 27th-largest food company, produces the most organic foods, including Earth’s Best, Tofutown, and Health Valley brands. A study published in the April issue of Science found that the closest living relatives of the Tyrannosaurus rex are modern birds. T. Rexes are more closely related to ostriches and chickens than living reptiles. Cott Corp., maker of private-label sodas, is bringing the health and wellness craze to canines, producing a line of vitamin-infused beverages for dogs. The company does have some competition with retailer Pet Smart, which is producing a nutrition tablet that can be added to dog water. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association expects Americans to spend about $43.4 billion on their pets in 2008. In a six-to-three vote, the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter identification law on April 28. Indiana’s Democratic Party and community groups had sued the state, claiming the law placed thousands of eligible voters who did not have driver’s licenses at a disadvantage. “The onus of the Indiana law is illegitimate just because it correlates with no state interest so well as it does with the object of deterring poorer residents from exercising the franchise,” wrote Justice David H. Souter in a dissenting opinion. Many voting experts believe the law will lead to more litigation, legislation, and complications. Fifty American service members were killed in Iraq in April, a seven-month high. The Iraqi government reported that civilian casualties reached a high of 969 that month. Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group says the increase in the number of deaths is due to fighting between Shiite militiamen and US forces in Sadr City. Violence has been steadily increasing since January, according to US military figures. Members of the House of Representatives can lease a car at taxpayers’ expense. With few restrictions on what kind of cars members can choose, there is no limit on how much they can spend. Gas, insurance, general maintenance, registration fees, and excess mileage all get paid for by taxpayers. About 125 members of the House take advantage of this benefit, which has been in place since the 1980s. The Senate does not allow its members to lease cars with public money. One in five vehicles sold in the US was a compact or subcompact car during the month of April. Sales of pick up trucks, sport utility vehicles, and vehicles with six-cylinder engines have sharply declined. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved 2,370 warrants to spy on suspected terrorists last year. The figure is a nine-percent increase from 2006. A recent study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University found that the number of terrorism and national security prosecutions initiated by the Justice Department in 2007 was more than 50 percent below 2002 levels. Black men are nearly 12 times as likely to be imprisoned for drug convictions as adult white men, according to a Human Rights Watch report. The report, as well as one done by the Sentencing Project in Washington, shows that there was an overwhelming focus of law enforcement on drug use in lowincome urban areas, which could be linked to the disproportionate rates. Sources: Good Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Times —Tara Quealy
6/08 CHRONOGRAM 27
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28 CHRONOGRAM 6/08
MARK JOSEPH KELLY
Brian K. Mahoney Editor’s Note Connectivity
all it six degrees of Chronogram.
For those whose minds don’t immediately snap to the reference: There was a ubiquitous party game from late last century called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Essentially a way for cinephiles with capacious memories to show off, the object was to choose an actor—any actor—and then connect back to prolific big-screen thespian Bacon in six moves or less. Take Gone With the Wind star Olivia de Havilland. Late in her career, De Havilland lent her talents to the `70s disaster-genre disaster The Swarm, also starring Richard Chamberlain. Chamberlain played a supporting role in the Katherine Hepburn vehicle The Madwoman of Chaillot, as did Donald Pleasance. In Halloween, Pleasance starred as the psychiatrist trying to find asylum escapee Michael Myers before he kills the babysitter, Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis and Bacon both appeared in the early `90s Big Chill rip-off Queens Logic. From the antebellum south to the Brat Pack in four moves. (When I was tending bar in Tribeca in the early ‘90s, I met a struggling comedian/actor who told me he had developed a game exactly similar to the one described above—note that this was two or three years before the advent of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon— but he called his version “Back to Bacon.”) Radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi was the first to state the idea of six degrees of separation in his Nobel speech of 1909, suggesting that it would take six radio relay stations to send a message around the world. This started futurists on a tear of thinking about the “small world phenomenon” that has given us, among other things, the Internet, as well as the charming ethnocentrism of the Disneyworld ride It’s a Small World After All. The “six degrees” concept came into the public consciousness in the mid‘90s with the cinematic adaptation of John Guare’s play “Six Degrees of Separation.” The title of the play refers to the idea that if each of us is one degree away from each person we know, and two degrees away from people who are known to people we know, then we are all an average of six degrees removed from any person on earth. A simple way of saying this: We’re all connected. And this is where semantics enters, for the quality of connection is important. As a newspaper reader, I can say that I am connected to the recent catastrophic events in Burma and China. But this connection is limited to non-engaged intellectualism. I know the meteorologic and geologic causes of cyclones and earthquakes, and how many tens of thousands of dead are being reported on any given day. But my connection to the events extends no further than this, aside from a momentarily heightened empathy for the suffering of others and a thought to send a check to the Red Cross. My connection to these events is weak. In contrast, one of these reasons we all feel so connected to 9/11, especially those of us who live in New York, is that we are likely physically connected to people directly affected, or at most, one degree removed. The events of 9/11 were much on the minds of those I heard speak at
the Omega Institute’s Being Fearless conference in April. This makes perfect sense, as 9/11 is the current touchstone for our existential dread. And the residual fear from 9/11 is, in one sense, fear of the other; fear of those we are not connected to and who seem unwilling to connect to us. (NB: I’m not sure we can connect with everyone. Religious fundamentalists—of all stripes—seem concerned with connecting in only one particular way, abjuring human relations in favor of tethering themselves to the supposed goals of a higher power. How do we as humanists connect to that?) At the conference, Omega cofounder Stephan Rechstaffen reminded the audience of the origin of the institute’s name. It’s taken from a term coined by a French Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, to a describe a rather complex theory about the evolution of consciousness. The Omega Point, which Rechstaffen thankfully explained in simple terms, is the point at which consciousness recognizes it own interdependency. In the context of Being Fearless, Rechstaffen’s message was that it was time for the New Age to engage with the world. It’s not enough, anymore, to retreat into the interior. We need to use the inner resources we have been developing lo these many years—through the various disciplines that Omega has been fostering—to make a change in the world. And I don’t think Rechstaffen was talking about sending a check to Red Cross, either.The connection he was calling for was deeper than that. As Caroline Myss noted in her keynote speech at Being Fearless, “You cannot have an intellectual experience of God.” (By “God,” I take Myss to mean the greater consciousness suggested by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.) One way I saw this engagement in action recently was in the work of Omega itself, through its community outreach. At a recent Hudson Valley Green Drinks event, I was introduced to Joan Henry, who directs empowerment programs at Mill Street Loft for inner-city girls in Poughkeepsie. Henry explained how she had been contacted in the fall of 2006 by Traci Childress, a program coordinator at Omega, about the possibility of sponsoring a group of girls for Arts Week, Omega’s annual feast of interdisciplinary creativity. Working with Childress and two other instructors, Lesley Hawley and Jeri Van Blaricom, Henry crafted an experience for 14 urban, at-risk girls—some of whom had never eaten “vegetarian” food before (the food served on the Omega campus being strictly vegetarian)—to connect to themselves, to connect with their potential, and, as Childress pointed out, it was an opportunity for everyone at Omega to connect with the fierce energy of these girls, a group not typical of Omega’s demographic. Since the unqualified success of Arts Week, Omega has forged a connection with Mill Street Loft that has extended to scholarships to some of its conferences, like “Women and Power,” and the organizations are looking to collaborate again on Arts Week in the future. And how did Omega’s Traci Childress connect with Mill Street Loft’s programs? Reading Chronogram. Back to Bacon, as they say. —Brian K. Mahoney
Get your weekly dose of Chronogram on Monday mornings at 8:15 with Brian and Greg Gattine on “The Morning Show with Gattine and Franz.” WDST 100.1FM.
6/08 CHRONOGRAM 29
NEWS & POLITICS World, Nation, & Region
AMERICA Big Immigration, the Environment and
by Jim Motavalli
In 2006, USA Today ran a lengthy story titled “How Will the USA Cope With Unprecedented Growth?” The country’s population had just crossed the 300 million mark, up from 200 million in just 39 years. Writer Haya El Nasser listed the many environmental problems made worse by rapid population growth, from traffic congestion to dwindling open space. But El Nasser’s story left one question unanswered: Why is the US virtually the only industrialized country with a rapidly growing population? The key word is “immigration,” but El Nasser never uses it. It’s a pretty big target to miss. More than a million immigrants achieve permanent resident status every year (twice the estimated number of undocumented arrivals). Seven hundred thousand people a year become US citizens, and half a million receive work visas. These immigration numbers are unprecedented in our history: For most of our nation’s more than 200 years, fewer than 500,000 immigrants were admitted annually and usually less than 300,000. That pattern has been radically altered. A 2008 Pew Research Center report attributes 82 percent of US population growth to immigration, noting that the foreign-born population will pass its historic 19th-century peak of 15 percent within two decades. Largely because of immigration, the US Census Bureau estimates that from 303 million today we’ll grow to 400 million people as early as 2040, and 420 million by 2050. While some parts of the world, including Western Europe and Japan, are experiencing “birth dearth” with below replacement-level fertility, the US is growing so fast we now have the third-largest population in the world, after only India and China. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, if we legally admitted just 300,000 people a year, by 2060 the population would be 80 million less than it’s likely to be on our current course. Fifty-three percent of the 100 million people we just added were recent immigrants or their descendants, says the Pew Hispanic Center. According to the authoritative Population Reference Bureau (PRB), at least a third of US population growth between 1990 and 2000 was due to immigrants, and firstand second-generation Americans will constitute a third of our citizenry by 2025—the highest number ever. 30 NEWS & POLITICS CHRONOGRAM 6/08
Obviously, our numbers are swelling as a result of both legal and illegal immigration. PRB’s estimates are probably considerably understated, because of the difficulty of quantifying just how many illegal immigrants are currently in the country. (The most popular number is 12 million, but other estimates are much higher.) Tom Barry, a senior analyst with the Center for International Policy (CIP), admits that there’s “no question that most population growth is from immigrants and the effects of ‘chain migration’ [the policy of family reunification that gives priorities to extended family members of current residents].” Barry’s own proposals for immigration reform not only include a path to legalization but also restrict family reunification to “the immigrant’s spouse and children,” an idea that he admits is controversial. Indeed it is. The New York Immigration Coalition, for instance, says that any immigration bill that includes cuts in family immigration “is a profound betrayal of the family values and basic fairness that all Americans cherish.” Chung-Wha Hong, the group’s executive director, calls for “a broad and simple legalization for immigrants; a future worker program with full rights and a clear path to citizenship; family unity; and strong protections for due process and civil rights.” Under such a plan, illegal immigrants would have nearly the same rights as legal immigrants. There are “push” factors that cause people around the world to seek better lives for themselves. And there is an environmental impact to our projected growth—a virtually taboo subject for many of the larger green groups, and for much of the media, too. It seems nearly impossible to have a sane and unbiased discussion of this hot-button issue, one that avoids racism and just looks at the numbers. THE “I” WORD There is no more agonizing issue on the American political agenda than immigration. America is, as we’re frequently reminded, a nation of immigrants. We absorbed 25 million people between 1860 and 1920, and most observers believe we are a stronger nation because of it. But America’s current circumstances are vastly different than they were at
PEOPLE FLOCK OVER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE DURING A MASSIVE POWER OUTAGE IN NEW YORK ON AUGUST 14, 2003. THE US HAS THE WORLD’S THIRD-LARGEST POPULATION, WHICH IS EXPECTED TO GROW BY 100 MILLION PEOPLE, TO 400 MILLION, IN THE NEXT 30 YEARS.
the turn of the century. In 1900, there were 25.6 Americans per square mile in the US; now it is 83 per square mile, a more than 300 percent increase. Further, immigrants are concentrated in certain states, with California being a prime destination. The state has 36 million people today (with a relatively dense 230 people per square mile). The population has doubled since 1960, but it could nearly double again, to an astonishing 60 million, by as early as 2050. California stands out in the immigration debate. Every hour, it adds 60 people. Between 1990 and 2000, California grew from 29.8 to 34 million people, an increase greater than the increase in all the northeastern states from Maine to Virginia in the same period. The rapid growth is fueled by the fact that, as the PRB reports, “Foreign-born couples tend to have more children than US-born couples. Foreign-born residents are in their prime childbearing years, and immigrants often come from countries with larger families.” Census data shows that Hispanics have an average of 2.9 children per woman, compared to 1.8 for non-Hispanic whites. This is a factor in the recent increase in the US fertility rate to a replacement level of 2.1, a 35-year high—higher than that of any industrialized country. THE ENVIRONMENTAL ARGUMENT Why is immigration an environmental concern? The fact is that America’s rapid growth makes it nearly impossible to achieve sustainability. According to Population-Environment Balance (PEB), 93 percent of US increases in energy use since 1970 can be attributed to population growth. To house our growing numbers, we pave over an area the size of Delaware every year, the group says. Our population growth is a big factor in the endangered or threatened status of as many as 700 species of plants and animals. Another 9,000 species are at risk. And every day, we remove 3.2 billion gallons of water from aquifers that are not replenished by natural processes. Although increased population has many other environmental effects (urban sprawl and the loss of open space, to name two), energy and climate effects are
central and little understood. Any efficiency gains we make are being swamped by rapid population increases and their attendant increased energy demand. The wasteful American lifestyle is one major culprit. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, the US is the top consumer of 11 of the world’s top-20 traded commodities. We use a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel. We have more private cars than drivers with licenses, and, at least until recently, more than half of those sold were gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. Between 1975 and 2002, the average American home grew 38 percent, even though household size declined. We have an impact disproportionate to our population, but the growth of that population exacerbates the problem. “US population growth explains the preponderance of growth in our national energy consumption,” says Leon Kolankiewicz in a report for Numbers USA, which advocates lower immigration rates. In 1970, he points out, with the US population at just 200 million, a US awash in cheap electricity and driving huge gas-guzzling, inefficient vehicles used 67 quadrillion BTUs (quads) of energy and 14.7 million barrels of oil a day. In 2006, with 300 million people and after many energy-efficiency improvements, we used 100 quads of energy and 20 million barrels of oil a day. And the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the US, which rose 13 percent between 1990 and 2000, closely mirrors the just-over-13-percent population increase. PUSH AND PULL It’s hardly surprising that so many people want to come to America from the overpopulated developing world, and the “push factors” that cause them to seek a new life in the US are compelling. Who can blame a family mired in poverty for wanting a better future? According to Population Connection, the swelling numbers abroad create pressures leading to “increased poverty, hunger, land degradation, a lack of health services and limited social and economic mobility. These problems motivate people to leave their homeland in search of greater opportunities.” And what better place to go than the affluent, welcoming US, 6/08 CHRONOGRAM NEWS & POLITICS 31
the destination for 20 percent of the world’s international migrants? How do mainstream groups address these emigration pressures without calling for taboo mandatory caps on US immigration? Population Connection wants to combine action at home (ensuring contraceptive availability, defending reproductive rights) with foreign aid and diplomacy abroad. “If our neighbors to the South see real hope for better lives at home, they will feel much less pressure to emigrate,” the group says. Such views have many supporters. “What would stop the illegal migration?” asks G. Jefferson Price III, a former Baltimore Sun foreign correspondent, now with Catholic Relief Services. “A reversal in the trends that have devastated the economies of the countries whose people feel they have no alternative but to leave. We are spending a lot of energy and wealth to keep immigrants out of the US. If we and the governments of the countries they are coming from were to devote as much to improving their standard of living at home, they might not feel the need to come to America.” As Price points out, the options for the desperate immigrant are staying home “and nearly starving in appalling economic conditions” or trying to cross into the US, where if they can evade the Border Patrol, their prospects will immediately improve. It’s hardly surprising that up to 30 million people have
LARGELY BECAUSE OF IMMIGRATION, THE US CENSUS BUREAU ESTIMATES THAT FROM 303 MILLION TODAY WE’LL GROW TO 400 MILLION PEOPLE AS EARLY AS 204O, AND 420 MILLION BY 2050. THE US HAS THE THIRD-LARGEST POPULATION IN THE WORLD. made that trip successfully, and many others have failed yet keep on trying. Betsy Hartmann, director of the population and development program at Hampshire College, says, “If we’re going to have a big population because of immigration, then we should take it as a chance to reduce individual consumption and carbon footprints. Instead of a one-child policy, we should encourage a one-car policy.” Hartmann claims that sprawl is caused largely by “poor zoning, planning, transport, and taxation policies.” She supports a massive US investment in green technology. Hartmann also hopes that India and China—both of which are increasing their per capita global warming emissions—can leapfrog over the West’s oil obsession and go directly to cleaner energy sources. That’s obviously a worthy goal, but when profit is the key motivation, the investment often goes elsewhere. The obstacle is to get countries around the world to focus on eradicating hunger, infant mortality and poverty. A major hurdle would be limiting births through universal access to family planning and maternal health programs. In 1994, 179 countries met in Cairo, Egypt, for the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD), with the goal of forging an international commitment. The conference issued a 20-year plan known as the “Cairo Agenda” that included: • Universal access to reproductive services and family planning programs by 2015; • Full participation of women in political and public life; • A consensus target of .7 percent of Gross National Product per donor country for international development assistance.
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This agenda has languished. The 1994 call was for $17 billion annual commitment for population and reproductive health programs by 2000, and $21 billion by 2015. By 2004, less than $10 billion per year was committed, and the Bush Administration—which opposes abortion and, in many cases, family planning—has failed to meet the need. By contrast, the administration’s Iraq War has already cost American taxpayers more than $500 billion, and bills are now running $275 million per day. The same funds strategically applied could have gone a long way toward ending world poverty. According to Zonny Woods, an international consultant on reproductive health issues, “The Bush Administration’s reinstatement of the Global Gag rule [which prohibits U.S. funds from going to groups that in any way aid abortion] has had a severe impact on organizations that have rejected it. Not only are they no longer able to receive USAID funds, they are unable to receive muchneeded USAID-donated contraceptives.” Nevertheless, Thoraya Ahmed, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), says that the ICPD process offers the best hope for reducing migration pressures. “To address migration, the growing poverty and demographic divide between rich and poor countries must be addressed,” she says. Echoing this theme is Tom Barry of CIP. “A comprehensive US immigration policy should support job creation and development programs,” he says. “That, unfortunately, is not happening, because the economic policies of countries like Mexico are complicated by economic ‘liberalization’ programs like NAFTA, which support US interests and are not connected to job creation.” The status quo shortchanges Mexicans looking for work. TAUGHT BY TV More family planning clinics may not be the answer. Bill Ryerson, president of the Vermont-based Population Media Center (PMC), analyzed 50 demographic and health surveys carried out in the last few decades and found that the predominant reasons women in developing countries give for not using birth control are: 1) fear of side effects; 2) male opposition; 3) religious opposition or the belief that family planning is not morally appropriate; and 4) fatalism—it’s up to God. “Lack of access to services is cited by less than two percent of respondents; in many countries it is less than one percent,” Ryerson says. The evidence suggests that family planning education is as important as opening clinics. What clearly does work is changing hearts and minds about family size and the use of birth control, a decidedly grassroots phenomenon. And that’s exactly what PMC does by creating popular soap opera-type radio shows. The model is Mexico, where Miguel Sabido, vice president of the major TV network Televisa, created a series of telenovelas with family planning themes. From 1977 to 1986, when these programs were on the air, Mexico experienced a 34 percent decline in population growth and, in 1986, won the United Nations Population Prize. In 1975, the average woman had 3.5 children; by 1985, it was 2.4. A spokesperson for US Aid for International Development, speaking on background, calls Mexico “a graduated country.” The agency stopped working there in 1999, after handing its family planning programs over to the Mexican government. “That’s one of our success stories,” the spokesperson said. “As in Turkey, Indonesia, and Morocco, the government became an active partner with us and the result was a significant drop in fertility rates.” The drop in Mexican fertility rates—to just over replacement level—would seem to be an interesting talking point in the current immigration debate, but it is rarely mentioned. One imagines it would turn our elected representatives into enthusiastic supporters of production aid to family planning soap operas, but that hasn’t happened. When PMC launched it Sabido-type soap opera program in Ethiopia, the country had a five-year supply of oral contraceptives gathering dust in a warehouse. Only six percent of the population used any modern method of birth control and the birth rate was 5.4. Now birth control is in demand and, in the most populous Amhara region, fertility has dropped a full child, from 5.4 to 4.3. A TV soap opera broadcast in India in the early 1980s, “Hum Log,” had very high ratings and a similar success story. A study showed that 71 percent of viewers learned from watching the show that family size should be limited. A second
Conversations with a Life Coach
Do you have unfulfilled goals and dreams or are you just stuck? The question people ask me most frequently as a professional life coach (PCC) is - How can you help me get what I want? My answer is that working with me allows clients to figure things out for themselves. That may not be what they want to hear but it’s the truth. You discover your own path and answers. What you choose yourself, you own. And what you own empowers you to get what you want. What is coaching? Coaching is a conversation. I listen to clients in a way that creates a unique kind of conversation, unlike any other you have ever had. It is confidential and powerful. Does it really work? Coaching is designed to have an immediate impact on your life. My goal is to have you achieve your goals in one to three months. Of course some clients get so much value that they choose to stay on. Coaching quickly shakes you out of your automatic patterns and habitual way of being. You begin to change the way you see things, gain new learning about yourself and that allows you to change your behavior. Together we design a plan, make commitments and get into action. The coach’s job is to hold you accountable to your plan. It works. Can coaching help me find a new career? Improved relationship? Grow my business? In a word, yes and more. Many clients use me to improve their business or work. Any area of your life can be addressed successfully by coaching. I hold the vision of your bigger self. When you are more “you” it impacts on everything in your life. Can it be that easy? Yes and no…it takes some work. Most clients who come to coaching are already successful but want something more. People on their own tend to stay stuck in familiar circumstances rather than take on the risk of change. As coach I will challenge and support
my clients to grow. The path to growth is through change and willingness to confront the risk of being uncomfortable. That’s why my motto is “change is inevitable…growth is optional.” With risk comes reward and the rewards can be plentiful. What do people say they get out of coaching? Here are comments from a few of my clients: “He prods you to lead yourself from self-doubt to self realization. David is the best investment I’ve made in my practice.” Charles LaBarre - Acupuncturist “David helps me separate the essential from the inessential and supports me in fulfilling my objectives. He is my ally and coach, and with his support I know that I am not alone as I face the challenges of life.” Jason Stern - Publisher “David has enabled me to be confident in my abilities, in my judgments, and in my decisions.” Ilene Tanen - President TDA Advertising Do you offer a free consultation? Yes. It is important for people to find out for themselves what coaching is like and if they have the right chemistry with their coach. All my coaching work is on the phone so it is easy and convenient to set up a free coaching session to find out for yourself. I invite you to contact me today for a free session and see if it is for you.
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6/08 CHRONOGRAM NEWS & POLITICS 33
TV soap show, “Humraahi,” became the top-rated program on Indian television, with 230 million viewers. Again, surveys showed changing attitudes on such questions as the proper age for marriage and women in the workforce. The same approach, in cooperation with Save the Children, has also worked well in reducing AIDS incidence among Indian truck drivers. PMC has spread its TV-driven message around the world, and works in 15 countries with offices in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Sudan. Government cooperation varies, but the government of Ethiopia has provided funding and Sudan offered free airtime on state-controlled TV. REVERSE IMMIGRATION Other factors not recognized in the heat of an election year are also slowing immigration-related population growth. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, music clubs fill up on weekends with Brazilian customers intent on dancing to the music of one of their favorite bands—Pink Floyd. There were only an estimated 35 Brazilian families in Bridgeport in the early 1980s, but now there are many thousands. Brazilians have opened restaurants, painting businesses, and travel agencies, and their arrival has added spice to the city’s beat. But immigration and naturalization officials noticed a significant drop in new Brazilian arrivals after 1992, dovetailing with an economic downturn in the US. Now that pattern may be repeating, as Brazilians (especially illegal immigrants) face stronger enforcement and a recession that makes it harder to find work. Some can’t renew driver’s licenses, making it a challenge to keep a job in a battered economy. Brazilians in strongholds such as Newark, Danbury, and Boston say they’re pulling up stakes and making the reverse trek back to their homeland. The Boston-based Brazilian Immigrant Center estimates that 5,000 returning Brazilians left Massachusetts in 2007. Arizona (where one in 10 workers is a Hispanic immigrant) passed a tough new law that went into effect January 1, slapping businesses that knowingly employ the undocumented with business license suspensions of up to 10 days. Second-time offenders lose their licenses entirely. The law is considered so draconian by illegal Mexican immigrants in Arizona (some with long-held employment) that many are reportedly “self-deporting” back to Mexico. “The number returning to Mexico is difficult to calculate, but there is no question that many families are leaving, according to Mexican government officials, local community leaders, and immigrants themselves,” reports the Arizona Republic. In 2007, the Mexican consulate processed 16,500 applications for passports, which nationals will need when they return to Mexico. FILLING ECONOMIC GAPS But there’s another side to the immigration debate. Supporters of maintaining current high levels say that a constant influx is necessary to keep the US economically competitive.Without immigrants picking onions in California or cleaning gutters in Connecticut, they say, those jobs would go begging. “Our immigration system is broken and the government must act in a comprehensive way to fix it,” says Randel Johnson, US Chamber of Commerce vice president for labor, immigration, and employee benefits. “Our immigration and visa policy must ensure employers are able to fill jobs critical to our economy when American workers are not available.” Some labor unions have backed this plan, too, making a rather unusual coalition. And liberals use remarkably similar reasoning in endorsing Bush’s goals for amnesty and guest worker programs. “Comprehensive immigration reform would protect our security, allow our economy to grow, protect the wages of US workers, honor our value of rewarding hard work, restore the rule of law, and respect America’s traditional embrace of immigrants,” says the Center for American Progress. President Bush said his failed plan to create a temporary worker program (admitting 400,000 people annually) would “meet the legitimate needs of American employers.” The Chamber has argued, in Congressional testimony, that because the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of those in the work force between the ages of 25 and 34 to grow by only three million
34 NEWS & POLITICS CHRONOGRAM 6/08
between 2002 and 2012, and says the aging work force will erode American competitiveness. It adds that the US fertility rate will decline to 1.91 between 2015 and 2020, below “replacement level.” Meanwhile, by 2010, 77 million baby boomers will retire. By 2030, one in five Americans is projected to be a senior citizen, the Chamber says. But selectively quoting the fertility rate is highly misleading, because it ignores the population growth fueled by immigration. Without the constant influx, the US would indeed have a shrinking population similar to Western Europe. But with immigration, it is slated to take a giant leap forward. The Census Bureau estimates the US population will reach an incredible 419 million by 2050. With numbers like that, an American “birth dearth” affecting competitiveness is not only unlikely, but it’s also well nigh impossible. Obviously, the employment issue has as many facets as a diamond; for every immigrant who “takes” a US job, there’s another one being shipped overseas by the same companies that encourage high immigration rates. And new factories abroad encourage people to stay home and not emigrate. COSTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS Immigrants contribute much to American society, and it’s important not to scapegoat them. According to Sebastian Mallaby, director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Geoeconomic Studies, in California in 2004 an impressive 94 percent of undocumented men ages 18 to 64 were in the workforce, compared with 82 percent of native-born men. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that approximately 7.2 million undocumented immigrants are working in the US today, comprising some 4.9 percent of the overall workforce. “Far from being part of a shiftless underclass, the act of coming to the United States makes immigrants among the most upwardly mobile groups in the nation, only a bit behind hedge-fund managers,” Mallaby says. And there is conflicting information about illegal immigrants’ burden on social services. They pay no income taxes but do pay sales and payroll taxes. They visit hospital emergency rooms and attend schools, but are ineligible for welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid. According to Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego, the net effect of undocumented workers on native-born Americans is roughly zero. A 1997 RAND Corporation study had similar findings. But Hanson’s numbers are far from definitive. Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation comes to much different conclusions. He says the 4.5 million low-skilled immigrant households circa 2004 produced an average net fiscal deficit of $19,588, or $89.1 billion in total. “Over the next 10 years,” he wrote last year, “the net cost (benefits minus taxes) to the taxpayer of lowskill immigrant households will approach $1 trillion.” Another study, by Donald Huddle of Rice University, estimates that immigration to the US since 1970 (both legal and illegal) has cost taxpayers a net $68 billion (after subtracting the taxes legal immigrants pay). But it’s not all about money; the immigration debate also has moral dimensions. “Comprehensive immigration reform is a great moral debate,” says Jim Wallis, president and executive director of Sojourners/Call to Renewal. “‘Who would Jesus deport?’ is a fair question.” Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, says, “How we treat the 12 million undocumented who are here in many ways colors who we are as Jews. How we react to those who want to enter our borders and become part of our country says a lot about how well we remember our own stories when we were immigrants looking for a safe haven, a place to rest and live and prosper.” Some environmentalists argue passionately that it’s not fair to simply tell aspiring Americans—some of whom risk their lives and their entire life savings in an effort to cross the border for a better life—that they should simply stay away. Given the current, highly charged debate, it’s unlikely that we’ll achieve national consensus on immigration anytime soon. But we need to focus here. How big a country do we want to be? What is our country’s carrying capacity, and did we exceed it many years ago? Why do people choose to emigrate, and what can we do to ease conditions in their countries? That’s a debate worth having.
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A public interest message courtesy of Chronogram
by Melissa Everett, Executive Director Sustainable Hudson Valley - SHV
his month, the center of SHV attention is a scary-exciting new project just launched: the Kingston Green Trail. Extending from Uptown to the waterfront along Broadway, uniting the city’s neighborhoods, the Green Trail is an image of possibilities that could be created as the citizens and leaders of Kingston work together with many small projects aimed at uniting and transforming this corridor into an environmentally and economically advanced district. Renewable energy installations, community gardens and tree plantings, bicycle lanes and racks, building façade improvements and more are part of the vision, which can only be fully developed through a communitywide conversation. That is what’s scary: unleashing the latent creativity and energy in this city by drawing a line and inviting direct, positive action along its length. This is a Kingston effort, but every community could do likewise. The Green Trail has seed funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and from the Fund for Environment and Urban Life, including a challenge grant which must be matched by community contributions of money or materials. Matches might include installation of bike racks by businesses, tree plantings and facade improvements by residents or businesses, local food donations for grassroots fundraisers. Co-sponsored by Sustainable Hudson Valley, Mid-Hudson Energy$mart Communities and the Forsythe Nature Center, spring and summer projects and activities will range from work
parties to fundraisers to celebrations. Each month will focus on a theme and speciﬁc results: May is garden and tree planting month. We’ll establish sites and get stuff into the ground. Watch www.sustainhv.org for dates of planting parties. June is bike-friendly city month. We’ll hold a workshop on getting your bike and body in tune for summer, and another on creating a bike-friendly city. We’ll join in the Tour de Kingston family ride too. July celebrates Interdependence Day with facade beautiﬁcation work parties and a forum on the Eco-City movement. We’ll make and ﬂy kites and encourage the city to use ecofriendly ﬁreworks augmented by kites, candles and other people-powered tributes.
August is Energy Independence Month. We’ll make a ﬂoat for the Artists’ Soap Box Derby and also hold a workshop on energy-efﬁciency for owners of big energyhog buildings. September is SHV’s annual conference, Cool Communities/ Living Economies, where we explore the state of the art of climate action and green development through people power, and report on the accomplishments of the summer campaign. The venue and program will be announced soon, and may be an exciting surprise…
For details on projects and events described above, visit www.sustainhv.org.
6/08 CHRONOGRAM NEWS & POLITICS 35
Larry Beinhart’s Body Politic
OLD MYTHS/NEW TRUTHS The Great Republican Disaster, from Reagan to Bush the Lesser, has been the Time of the Unreal. (Yes, people possessed by the unreal are very much like the undead. They’re mindless, lethal, they infect others, they’re very hard to stop, and their existence is a complete surprise to people who live in the real world.) Those forces of darkness derive their power from their Great Myths. No matter how powerful a myth is, if it is essentially false, reality has certain methods fighting back. It uses Failure. If Failure fails, it moves on, through Fiasco, to Disaster. Recently, there have been signs of hope. Yes, “hope” means Obama. He speaks of reality, whether it’s about race or a gas tax holiday. Lo and behold, people actually have heard, listened, and agreed. Let us seize the time and create New Truths, based on reality, to replace the Old Myths, based on bullshit. Old Myth: 9/11 was an act of war. New Truth: 9/11 was a criminal act. Osama bin Laden was not a head of state or an agent of a state. He was a religioncrazed gangster with a relatively small gang. His acts were crimes. To elevate them to acts of war was to elevate him. Worse, it created the wrong response. So wrong, he’s still out there. Proof that you can commit a mass murder against the United States and get away with it. Only when we redefine 9/11 will we be able to figure out a sane response to replace the current insanity. Old Myth:The War on Terror. New Truth:The War on Terror is bogus. There is no War on Terror. It was a PR ploy to invade a country that annoyed George Bush and Dick Cheney, to transfer mad amounts of money to the militaryindustrial complex, to win elections, and to allow George to play dress-up. Old Myth:The war in Iraq was not a war of choice. New Truth:The war in Iraq was a war of choice. Even if someone actually believed that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous man with weapons of mass destruction, the problem was solved the moment that the weapons inspectors got full access to all sites in Iraq. At that point, going to war was like the police going into a man’s house to look for guns, then shooting him while he is sitting on the couch because they couldn’t find them and were tired of looking. Old Myth:The war in Iraq can be won. New Truth:The war in Iraq was lost years ago. It was lost through belief in stupid mythologies and the failure to heed reality. It was lost through poor planning and worse execution. The administration does not have a plan, the means, or the will to win in Iraq. Their only plan, their only goal, is to pass the problem on, so they can blame the next president for their failure. Old Myth: If we leave Iraq, chaos will ensue. New Truth: Iraq is in chaos now. George Bush, and his gang, created the chaos. They applied everything they believed in—force as foreign policy, that the whole world wants to be like us, 36 NEWS & POLITICS CHRONOGRAM 6/08
free marketeering, no government, crony appointments—to Iraq. It demonstrates the bankruptcy of their entire theology. Old Myth: Free markets are the best solution to everything. New Truth: Markets are good for cheap consumer goods but bad for health. They’re bad for individual health, for health care systems, for the health of our workforce, for the health of the environment. Unchecked and unbalanced, they’re bad for the health of our economy. Old Myth: All regulation is bad. Remove regulation and the free markets will make everything better. New Truth: An economy without regulations is like a baseball game without umpires. The cheaters take over and chaos ensues. Old Myth:Tax cuts stimulate the economy New Truth:The wrong tax cuts can ruin the economy. The truth is that the American economy has often thrived with high tax rates. Since World War II, it has never done as badly as it has under Bush, with the most cuts and lowest rates. Old Myth: Reagan won the Cold War. New Truth:The hippies won the Cold War. Reagan told Gorbachev, “Tear down this wall.” But Gorbachev didn’t. Reagan built up the military, but that didn’t change anything. The people who tore down the Berlin Wall did so because they wanted to wear jeans and listen to rock ‘n’ roll and say rude things about their government. Like the hippies. Old Myth:The media lost the war inVietnam. New Truth (A restatement of an Old Truth):The war inVietnam was a stupid, useless mistake. Bad politics, bad military strategy, and bad tactics made it worse. America’s leaders and America’s generals lost the war in Vietnam. This is important, because after Bush leaves office, someone else will have to get us out of Iraq. The myth makers will rush in to say that Bush policies could have won and that his successor lost the war. Old Myth: It was George Bush who got it wrong. New Truth:The Republican agenda has been revealed as bankrupt. George Bush acted out an agenda. Enthusiastically backed by a Republican Congress. And acquiesced to by Democrats like Hillary Clinton, who were terrified by the Republican’s Big, Bad Myths. Old Myth: Religious faith is a good way to judge a leader. New Truth:The way people deal with reality, is the Way to Judge a Leader. The spectacle of our candidates groveling on TV over how religious they are is appalling. “If there is one thing for which we stand in this country, it is for complete religious freedom, and it is an emphatic negation of this right to cross-examine a man on his religion before being willing to support him for office.”—Theodore Roosevelt (Republican) Old Myth: Being intelligent is elitist. New Truth: Lord, oh Lord, we’re tired of stupid leaders who can’t do anything right.
We love our children serving Western MA and neighboring communities
BAN PESTICIDES in ULSTER COUNTY www.myspace.com/banpesticides Did you know that home and garden pesticide use can increase the risk of childhood leukemia by almost seven times? Or that even at relatively low levels, pesticides may increase an individualâ€™s risk of developing Parkinsonâ€™s disease by 70%? 19 of the 30 commonly used lawn-pesticides are linked to cancer, 13 to birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 15 with neurotoxicity, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 27 are sensitizers and/or irritants, and 11 have the potential to disrupt the endocrine system. Studies also link pesticides with childhood asthma, hyperactivity, developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction. Source: Beyond Pesticides.
Visit www.myspace.com/banpesticides for more information on what you can do to help ban pesticides in Ulster County and other counties.
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COURTESY PATRICIA GRAF
A Curtain Call for the Hyde Park Playhouse by Bob Sommer
An old playbill from the Hyde Park Playhouse features the grainy and bejeweled image of Marjorie Gateson on the front cover, then appearing in “Pride and Joy,” a “new play” by John O’Hare. Gateson’s was a recognizable face to audiences in 1954, the playbill’s date. Her career began in 1931 and included over 100 films. Often cast in matronly supporting roles in movies like Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) and The Sky’s the Limit (1943), she appeared with Mae West, Mickey Rooney, Olivia de Haviland, Fred Astaire, and many other big stars. By the early `50s, her prime film years were behind her, but she had revitalized her career in TV soap operas and was still certain to draw patrons to the Playhouse. Sprinkled throughout the black and white playbill are ads for businesses in Hyde Park—Arbuckle’s Tavern (“Where Friends Meet After the Show”), the Hyde Park Diner (“Just Good Food”—and air-conditioning!), and W. Crispell & Sons, where you could buy “Reynolds Do-It-Yourself Aluminum.” Summer stock at the playhouse was a presence in the cultural life of the Hudson Valley for over three decades, until April 28, 1987, when the theater burned down in a conflagration of unknown cause that brought fire companies from across the region. Owners and producers came and went in those years, and by the late 1970s, the theater had fallen into disuse until actor Biff McGuire bought and revived it as The Hyde Park Festival Theater. The property’s current owner, Patricia Graf, had just purchased the Playhouse when fire destroyed it. She only saw one play there, Berthold Brecht’s “A Man’s a Man,” in 1986, with Bill Murray and Stockard Channing, but she lives on the grounds now. At the center of the courtyard, the stone base of the once-familiar clock tower now resembles a massive, ivy-covered tree stump, while behind it the lawn gives way to woods where the theater once stood. Like Marjorie Gateson, the Playhouse has faded into history. THE PLACE IS THE THING Unlike many of the classic barn theaters on the straw-hat circuit, a network of summer stock theaters that flourished in the Northeast from the 1940s through the 1960s, the Hyde Park Playhouse was more than a single building. It was an entire complex, an environment, a stunning piece of architecture. 38 COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK CHRONOGRAM 6/08
Once known as the Vanderbilt Farm, it had been the barn and stables for the Frederick Vanderbilt estate, maintaining upwards of 100 cows, 50,000 chickens, and as many as 20 Belgian workhorses when it was in full operation. A 1954 Life magazine article wrongly attributes the building design to Stanford White. According to Tara McGill of the National Park Service, it was designed by architect Alfred Hopkins (1870-1941) and constructed in about five months in 1901 by the firm of Creegan & Collins of Morristown, New Jersey. An undated ground plan from that period places the cow barn in what later became the theater lobby, a machinery shed where a bookstore later opened, wagon and horse stables in the scenery storage rooms, and a bull pen in the green room and dressing rooms. The theater itself was simply listed as a hay barn. A set of large double doors opened onto the cow and wagon yards, then separated by fencing. Four panels of windows above the doors and three more sets on each side brightened the barn’s interior. The light must have been welcome in the era of the Vanderbilt Farm—an unusual luxury for a barn—but it was a problem for theater producers, who had to control the lighting inside. The windows were blackened and covered, but even this would not entirely darken the theater during a matinee. By the time I came to work at the theater, almost 20 years after Marjorie Gateson performed there, the roof was in such poor condition that pinholes of sunlight glimmered over the audience like the constellations at a planetarium show. On rainy days, intrepid patrons would arrange themselves around splattering buckets in the aisles and tarp-covered rows of seats—and they’d have to listen hard to hear the actors through the thunderous noise when heavy rain fell. Despite the challenges of the building, anyone who visited the Playhouse can attest to its grandness. Two massive cupolas at the apex of the roof drew your eyes upward and then along the easy sweep of the rooflines to the adjacent structures on each side, yet the roof didn’t crowd the sky. Hopkins was well known in his time for barn design, and for countouring his buildings into the land that surrounded them. The stone tower at the center of the courtyard was added later and became a distinctive landmark. It featured a Seth Thomas clock, so the Vanderbilts’ cows
and horses had the luxury of knowing that their feeding and pasturing times were accurately kept by a clock designed and built by America’s oldest clockmaking company. Nearly every theater company that produced plays there adopted the tower or its weather vane as a logo. The native gray stone walls formed an octagon that swept upward and inward to the white louvered woodwork beneath a shake roof that was topped by a bell (later stolen by looters in the aftermath of the fire), a copper cap, and a weather vane. A slate ledge around the base of the tower almost insisted that visitors sit there to take in the surroundings. Eleanor Roosevelt, a regular visitor to the Playhouse, called it “a delightful place to spend an evening. I cannot think of a more delightful setting than these old Vanderbilt barns, with the clock tower in the middle of the square, where you buy your tickets, and the buildings all around.” FROM BARN TO BRECHT In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt heard a rumor that the county was considering building a jail on the property, so he wrote directly to Elmer Van Wagner Sr., who lived next to the farm, and asked him to buy it. He did, from Frederick Vanderbilt’s niece, and continued operating the farm until the end of the decade, when he sold it to a group led by Richard Harrity, a one-hitwonder playwright from New York, and Elizabeth Campbell Crane, a wealthy investor from Texas whose main role seemed to be underwriting the good life in New York for Harrity and his associates. Conversion of the barn into a performance space began under Harrity, with the stage going up in 1952 or `53, but little else was done and no shows ever took place. Crane finally grew tired of paying Harrity’s tab at Sardi’s, and in 1953 decided to sell the theater. One of Crane’s associates was the well-respected Broadway stage manager George Quick, who spread word that the unfinished barn was up for sale. Among Quick’s friends was actress and singer Susan Johnson, who had toured in the road show of “Brigadoon.” Johnson’s understudy on the tour was Polly Jo McCulloch, an aspiring actress with an uncertain future on the stage but with an independent income. Both McCulloch’s and Quick’s names appear as producers in the 1954 playbill. Few West Virginians in the 1940s would have recognized the name Polly Jo McCulloch, but many enjoyed listening to the popular radio personality “Side Saddle Sue” and her bluegrass band, Rattlesnake Hogan and His Ridge Runners. McCulloch, who came from a prominent banking family in Beckley, West Virginia, wanted to become an actress, and by the early 1950s had gone to New York and landed a role in the touring company of “Brigadoon.” Now 83, she told me in a telephone interview from her home in Ancramdale, “I knew I was never going to be more than an understudy.” So, when George Quick proposed opening a summer stock theater, she bought the place for $30,000 and threw herself into the work. “I happened to have the money,” she said, almost dismissive of the cost, which turned out to be a bargain. In today’s dollars, McCulloch would have spent about $240,000, less than the current median home price in Hyde Park. She and Quick were determined to make a success of the theater. They finished raising the stage and laid a concrete floor in the milking parlor, converting it into a lobby. They turned the clock tower into a box office and set up a business office in the carriage barn. Installing the 500 theater seats required over 6,000 screws in an age long before power screwdrivers. With many recollections of the Playhouse still vivid, Polly took special pleasure in describing a visitor who showed up one hot afternoon in a dusty car—“a knock-kneed, pigeon-toed woman.” “I said, ‘My God, that’s Eleanor Roosevelt!’” She added, almost confidentially, as if Mrs. Roosevelt might overhear us, “I came from a Republican family, where she was never mentioned.” “How do!” said Mrs. Roosevelt. She was there to buy tickets. While Polly was delighted to have the former First Lady’s patronage, she began a practice that confounded the theater’s owner, and is best described by Polly’s ex-husband, Hilary Masters. “Mrs. R (as we called her) would buy a season’s subscription, at the reduced rate, and then use them all in one night—guests and her different grandchildren. Strictly against the policy. But who would say no to her? She wasn’t using her ‘position’ so much doing so, but acting within the Hudson Valley nobility’s attitude about such matters.” “But what could we do?” Polly asked rhetorically.
NO ROOM AT THE INN The son of Chicago poet Edgar Lee Masters and a successful novelist in his own right, Hilary Masters, now 80, is a professor of writing at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1953, he was a struggling New York press agent and had worked that winter at a theater in York, Pennsylvania, where he met George Quick, who mentioned that he’d met the woman who bought the old Vanderbilt stables and he was going in as coproducer. Quick later recommended Masters to Polly McCulloch to handle publicity for the new summer stock theater in Hyde Park. Masters was already married when he came to work at the Playhouse, but he and Polly fell “madly in love,” he said, and after he drove to Nevada for a divorce in 1955, they got married. One of Masters’s publicity coups was arranging for Life magazine to include the Playhouse as part of a spread on straw-hat theaters around the circuit. His surprise when a car appeared at the front gate while he was working in the business office echoed Polly’s experience with the former First Lady, but with a difference. A white female reporter got out of the car with an AfricanAmerican photographer named Gordon Parks. Masters panicked. “Where am I going to put them up?!” he recalls thinking. Before they had passed through the gates of the property, he was on the phone to motels in Hyde Park, all of which declined to have Parks stay with them. Masters saw through the excuse offered by owners and managers that guests would complain, but he had no time to argue. Finally, he called the minister at St. James Church, just a short walk from the theater. The minister wasn’t home, but his wife also refused to have Parks stay in her home. Embarrassed and flustered, Masters said he “lied like crazy” to Parks and the reporter, saying all the motels were booked. Parks knew better, but he “was really cool,” Masters added. They ended up staying in a Poughkeepsie hotel. Still, Hilary Masters remembers those years as “very pleasant.” Hyde Park was small; he and Polly made friends easily, and “politics didn’t seem to matter much.” They generally got along with their neighbor, Elmer Van Wagner Sr., though they occasionally tussled over the use of the narrow private road that accessed the Playhouse from Route 9. Masters laughed as he recalled that once Van Wagner had “a couple of drinks...he’d be better.” They produced eight or nine plays each season for the first three years, inaugurating the new theater with “Gigi” on June 14, 1954. Among the plays were “Pygmalion,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and “The Contrast.” Masters and Quick assembled a resident company of professional actors, designers, and technicians and brought in stars like Marjorie Gateson and silent-film star Buddy Rogers for the leading roles. Hilary Masters recalls that coming out of silent films, Rogers had trouble remembering his lines. He was a handsome man—“beautiful,” Masters called him—and was married to Mary Pickford, who was exceptionally jealous and called often to make sure that the early groupies who surrounded Rogers were kept at bay. “How’s my boy doing?” she’d ask Masters. Another “Buddy,” an apprentice named Buddy Reynolds, had his professional acting debut on the Hyde Park stage the following year playing a convict in a French penal colony in the recent Broadway hit comedy “My Three Angels.” Joanne Woodward thought well enough of the apprentice to introduce him to her agent, and he later gained fame as Burt Reynolds. The company’s “resident ingénue,” according to Masters, was Joselyn Brando, Marlon’s sister, who had been blacklisted and quietly found work at the playhouse. Plays ran Tuesday through Saturday, from mid-June through late August, and Polly remembers doing good weekend business—though neither she nor Hilary recall doing exceptionally well. Hilary said they had a lot of trouble getting attention, and even all these years later, there was a hint of bitterness in his voice as he called the Poughkeepsie Journal “awful,” devoting much more attention to the established theaters in Fishkill, Woodstock, and Danbury. FADE TO BLACK Polly and Hilary Masters actively ran the Playhouse from 1954 through 1956, but by then they had children, and Polly’s enthusiasm for the theater faded, Hilary said, as she turned her attention to her family. They had decided not to raise their children in NewYork City, but Hilary chuckled as he said that no one wanted to hire a press agent in Hyde Park, so he turned to journalism and in 1956 founded the Hyde Park Record, which later became the Hyde Park Townsman. 6/08 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK 39
They built a house near the theater, and George Quick took over day-to-day management of the theater. Later, they leased the theater to several successors, eventually selling it in the late 1960s to Albert Ward, an advertising executive who had been tied to the quiz show scandals of the 1950s. Subsequent owners included actor Eddie Bracken in the early 1970s, with Peter O’Rourke as the theater’s producer. Dottie LaClair and Jean Morsbach, both New Yorkers in the ad business, purchased the theater in 1973 and sold it to Biff McGuire in the late 1970s. McGuire donated the theater to the Hyde Park Festival Theater Corporation about two years before its destruction. Over the 33 years of the theater’s operation, many hundreds of performers, technicians, designers, and apprentices worked there. The list of celebrities who performed is extensive (see box), but that list leaves uncounted and uncredited all those who were part of the story both offstage and onstage during those three decades. I recall, for instance, eating dinner from a Styrofoam container on the Playhouse lawn between the matinee and evening performances of “Fiddler on the Roof ” in 1971. Probably 50 people surrounded me, also eating and wandering about, many in costume, some, like me, dirty from backstage work, but only two names from that show made the Playhouse celebrity list—Mike Kellin, a talented and well-known actor who now shares Marjorie Gateson’s fate; and the show’s director, “Frank” Coppola. The life that so many others brought to the theater remains an untold story. One such story is that of Abraxas Resident Theater (of which I was a part for the `74 and `75 seasons), a nonprofit company assembled from professional off-Broadway talent (some of whom used pseudonyms because of their Actors’ Equity memberships) and regional amateurs. None of their names would make the list. The demands of the building itself were exhaustive. A plant of that size requires large reserves of cash for everything from landscaping to roof repairs (and it always needed repair). Gate revenue and sponsorships never came close to covering the costs for most who operated there. NONE DARE CALL IT ARSON My first question to Patricia Graf, when I spoke with her by telephone in Hyde Park, was “How did the fire start?” I expected a simple answer, but she responded with a question of her own: “Do you want the official story or the rumor?” Anyone who ever set foot inside the Playhouse knew that from the hemp fly system over the stage to the shake siding, it would go up faster than dry kindling. (It astounds me today to think that we used to smoke inside when we were working—or partying.) The fire started late on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 28, 1987. Brad Lynch, who lives in the Masters old house behind the Playhouse, recalled that the place “went very fast.” He could feel the heat from his house and remembers the transformers on the utility poles exploding. His ex-wife, Nina Lynch, was driving home from work in Poughkeepsie at the time and was stuck in traffic. Firemen had run a half mile of hose across Route 9 and down to the Hudson River, which caused a major traffic tie-up. When she saw smoke up ahead, she knew what it was. “Only one thing could smoke like that,” she said. “The Playhouse.” Charles Belcher has lived across from the Playhouse for 50 years and used to run the theater bookstore. He saw smoke when he arrived home from teaching at Poughkeepsie High School and called the fire department. “I was among the first that called it in,” he said. According to Belcher, “The fire came down both sides [of the Playhouse complex]. On the east side, they didn’t save anything….On the other side they had a lot better luck.” It wasn’t entirely luck. Biff McGuire was then the artistic consultant to the theater, and he’s still grateful to a plumber named Joseph Dudeck, who told firemen to direct the blaze away from his residence. McGuire and his wife, actress Jeannie Carson, lived in the southwest wing, but they were in Seattle at the time of the fire. A group of students from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) had been repairing the roof on the southeast wing of the building. Bob Kampf, then principal of BOCES, said the students had worked through the morning but were gone by noon. He went straight to the Playhouse when he got word that it was on fire. “It went up like a tinderbox,” he said. He later agonized over the question of whether his students might have inadvertently started the fire, perhaps by leaving an electrical tool in the sawdust (one possibility sug40 COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK CHRONOGRAM 6/08
gested by Graf), but after a thorough review he concluded that they hadn’t. “No way,” he said, “that they could have been responsible for the fire.” “Kid mischief,” Belcher declared, was the cause. Asked to explain, Belcher referred me to his former neighbor, Howard Warren, who I reached in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where he and his wife Maryellen now live. Warren recalled neighbors heading for the theater when they realized it was burning. “When my wife and I were later going toward the Playhouse, everyone was going that way except one elementary-type youngster who was riding a bicycle away from the Playhouse. It seemed suspicious to us.” I asked what was suspicious, and Warren pointed out that the boy was going away from the theater and not toward it, and that he was “riding rapidly.” Neither Warren nor his wife saw the boy do anything at the theater, though the inference that he had still persists among the Playhouse’s neighbors. I asked Biff McGuire, now 82, what he knew about the fire’s cause when I spoke to him at his home in Los Angeles. When he arrived in Hyde Park, he said, “I also was told many different things. One was of a young man coming home from school. He stopped to smoke in the breezeway, then was either playing in the sawdust and threw a match in or put the cigarette out in the sawdust and couldn’t stamp out the flame, and then ran away. That was one of them. Several others were off-thewall. That one piece kept coming up.” McGuire said that no one seemed to think it was arson but rather that the blaze just got away from the boy—if that’s what happened. Did McGuire ever see an official report on the fire’s cause?
SOME CELEBRITIES WHO APPEARED AT THE HYDE PARK PLAYHOUSE Walter Able Count Basie Sid Caeser Kitty Carlisle Imogene Coca Dennis Cole Francis F. Coppola (director) Robert Culp Olivia de Haviland Sandy Duncan Duke Ellington Joan Fontaine Henderson Forsythe Marjorie Gateson Kermit Goel Betty Grable George Grizzard Uta Hagen Noel Harrison Glenda Jackson George Jessel Alan Jones Van Johnson Mike Kellin Stan Kenton Margo Kidder
Sam Levene Ann Meara Bill Murray Barry Nelson Pat O’Brien Eleanor Parker Estelle Parsons Don Perkins Nehemiah Persoff Molly Picon Christopher Reeve Burt Reynolds Buddy Rich Jason Robards Buddy Rogers Hayden Rorke Lillian Roth William Shatner Ann Shoemaker Bobby Short Ann Sothern James Taylor Vivian Vance Eli Wallach James Whitmore Joanne Woodward Patricia Graf contributed to this list
PHOTO BY T. HEUPLER, COURTESY PATRICIA GRAF/HYDE PARK FIRE DEPARTMENT
ABOVE: A SUSPICIOUS FIRE DESTROYED THE HYDE PARK PLAYHOUSE ON APRIL 28, 1987. PREVIOUS SPREAD: AN UNDATED PHOTO OF THE COURTYARD OF THE PLAYHOUSE, MOST LIKELY FROM THE LATE 1950S.
“Never!” he responded firmly. “I could never get any information at all.” He added, “I had asked many times and eventually gave up because there were so many conflicting stories.” Patricia Graf never saw a report either. No doubt contributing to rumors that the fire was suspicious were these comments by Dutchess County Undersheriff David Cundy in the Poughkeepsie Journal, May 15, 1987: “We haven’t ruled out that it may have been accidental, but we believe it looks more like arson.” So, what is the “official story”? I directed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the Town of Hyde Park in November of last year and learned that Detective George Brazzale of the Sheriff ’s Department and Walter Horton of the Arson Team were in charge of the investigation in 1987. I was referred to the Dutchess County Arson Team and the Dutchess County Sheriff ’s Department for more information, specifically, to John Murphy of the Department of Emergency Response and Sheriff Adrian Anderson. I filed FOIL requests with both to obtain a copy of the arson report. As of this writing, Sheriff Anderson has not responded to my FOIL request or to my e-mails. Murphy followed up promptly, and we exchanged several e-mails, but his last one, on January 3 of this year, sums up the conclusion. He simply stated, “We have no records in our possession to provide to you.” The bold print was his, no doubt partly to correct an earlier e-mail in which the “no” was omitted, but I also gathered from this and other e-mails that he was becoming impatient with my continuing inquiries. Still, I was astounded that the county had no public records of a fire of this magnitude and the destruction of what many considered a landmark. The “official story,” then, is that there is no story. In addition to the question of how the fire started, one is left wondering why there are no records of a fire that, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal, brought
nine fire departments and 150 firemen to Vanderbilt Lane on April 28, 1987. “It was kept a mystery to us,” Biff McGuire declared. No witnesses and no report. Rumors based on hearsay and inference are all that remain—and persist. An unfortunate legacy for a place that so many remember with such fondness. EXEUNT I spent four arduous and unforgettable summers at the Playhouse—two seasons as an apprentice and technician during the “star package” years of Peter O’Rourke, when plays featuring TV and movie stars came through every week and big bands like Count Basie’s and Lionel Hampton’s performed on dark nights; and two with the Abraxas Resident Theater company, in every capacity from producer and designer to actor and director. Almost anyone who has ever worked in summer stock will tell you that it was some of the hardest work they’ve ever done and some of the most fun they’ve ever had. From apprentices and staff to actors and technicians, everyone squeezes into one roller-coaster car for a dizzying and exhausting three-month ride. Like Marjorie Gateson, the Playhouse has slipped into history, but its tradition continues in the memories of those who worked, performed, and attended plays there—which in some ways is fitting, for that’s also the nature of live theater. Once a performance is over, it’s gone, and all we have is how we remember it. Still, said Polly Masters, “I’d love to do it again!” Bob Sommer’s novel Where the Wind Blew is forthcoming this month from the Wessex Collective. He has written widely for literary, scholarly, and commercial journals, including Hudson Valley magazine, which published his first story in 1975. Sommer is also a regular contributor to the Kansas City Star. He grew up in Hyde Park, but now makes his home in Overland Park, Kansas, where he lives with this wife Heather. 6/08 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK 41
42 PORTFOLIO CHRONOGRAM 6/08
ARTS & CULTURE CHRONOGRAM
John Dugdale, I Could Not See To See, cyanotype, 1994. PORTFOLIO, p.44
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Portfolio John Dugdale
John Dugdale was an extremely successful commercial photographer, doing high-end advertising work for clients like Bergdorf Goodman, Ralph Lauren, and Martha Stewart. He was, that is, until a series of strokes, along with CMV retinitis (an AIDS-related illness) took away most of his sight. Now totally blind in one eye and with less than 20 percent of his vision in the other, he looks upon the loss of his sight as a sort of gift—unable to continue with commercial photography, he has spent the past 15 years dedicated to his artistic vision, which is indelibly attached to the (comparatively) slower pace and craft-intensive processes of the 19th century. Now known for his luxurious cyanotypes and large-format, gently lit albumen and velvety Van Dyke prints, Dugdale has turned adversity into an opportunity for ﬁerce independence. While in recent years he’s depended on assistants to help focus his large-bellowed view camera, he’s now undertaken to devise a system of premeasured cords and cables to allow him to work alone in the studio of his lovingly restored Stone Ridge farmhouse, which itself feels like a portal to the 19th century. A selection of Dugdale’s work is featured in “The Camera Always Lies,” the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s second Regional Photographic Triennial, opening on June 14 and continuing through August 17. (Full disclosure: I curated the exhibition.) (845) 679-9957; www.cpw.org. —Beth E. Wilson
JOHN DUGDALE ON HIS WORK The historical record When the daguerreotype came out, it was called a mirror of life. I think that one of the miracles at the time for people was to see an exact likeness of themselves on this little mirrored jewel that they’re holding in a case. Maybe over the years, photography has been understood as this perfect representation. That’s why it’s not painting, and maybe it was easy for people to expect that. I think that people expect extreme clarity and perfect representation in a photograph because of the way it started. People on the whole, outside of the art world, people expect photographs to look like themselves. Painting is ﬁltered through somebody’s eye and hand, right through their body onto the canvas. A photograph is meant to be a mirror, in most people’s understanding. That obscure object of desire I always have trouble deﬁning “subjective” and “objective.” In that photograph of my mother, I couldn’t have been objective, because she’s my mother. I’ve been intensely involved with her in some way shape or form for 48 years. If I was Diane Arbus I probably could have been extremely objective. I end up being in love or falling in love with most of the people I photograph—that’s pretty subjective, right? It’s not possible for me to not be subjective. I wouldn’t describe photography as objective in more general terms, either. The light entering the lens and hitting the ﬁlm makes it a kind of screen for me. It’s as though that’s how it is etched into my mind, not that it’s blocked by the ﬁlm receiving it. Because of my sight, the camera is like me, it’s like my eye. I want to look for that place where my subjective relationship to the object or the person comes across really clearly, which is why I think my pictures are so popular. People respond to them in a really primal way, because they’re emotionally accessible. [I like] allowing my emotion and my experience and history with the people that I photograph to pass right through the camera into me and onto a piece of paper. Since everybody sees everything completely differently anyway, there’s nothing less truthful than a photograph of
44 PORTFOLIO CHRONOGRAM 6/08
somebody. Two people can look at the same person and see somebody different; you can look at the same color ﬂower, and it looks different. So there is no “truthful” or “untruthful”—there are so many variables to every situation, ﬁltered through human experience and mind. How could it be any less or more of a lie? Beauty is blind A long time ago, I stopped encountering stuff in the world. The things that are ﬁxed in my mind, what makes them appear are words, or relationships. When people hear that I have a visual impairment, they say, “How can you be a photographer?” Because the ﬁrst thing that people think about in general when you say that is not about setting up tableaux in the studio; they think about walking around outside and catching something beautiful. That’s certainly not what I am able to do, nor did I ever really want to do that. When I look back on the history of my own photography, when I was 11, I set my sister up under a grape arbor and told her to act like Venus de Milo. At 11, I didn’t even think about going to photograph the spectacular car in the driveway, or kids playing ball or whatever, it was about creating something. People automatically assume that you go outside and look for things, rather than looking inside, and then making them. I use the camera like a canvas, to create the stuff that inspires me, like my mother (who’s like a novel in her own right), or ﬂowers. People say that daffodils don’t really smell, but I’m not sure what they’re smelling, because to me they smell like fresh air. I can still see them in a blur with my eye, but when I sniff the thing, or I hold it, it becomes much more real. In the age of mechanical reproduction I’m actually shying away from [high technology]. As I’m trying to work alone in the studio now, I’m trying to eliminate the use of the computer. There’s another very beloved picture of my mother and I, where she’s holding me against her chest, that was in my ﬁrst book. I went to Italy and showed that picture, and a woman wanted to know if it would be okay to use it to make billboards about
Alzheimer’s. It so took me aback, I had to think about it—I always want to help with anything the way that I can, but in the end I said no. I couldn’t imagine seeing that intimate picture of my mom blown up, by the highway, all over Italy. It seemed to devalue the picture, not in a monetary way, but it took away the intimacy. I want to stay on the other side of the superfast cutting of images on TV in commercials and videos, and the omnipresent barrage of images. It makes me cringe when I think of being a part of that. I think people are craving not-that. But they can’t be away from it, because that’s all that’s presented now. I think at this point I’m very much a conscientious objector. But I don’t think that people can just choose not to participate. You can’t divorce your art from the current moment completely. I grew up on Bugs Bunny, “The Munsters,” and every other thing that was on TV then. Once that stuff gets etched into your mind, it’s permanently in there, you can’t erase it. It inevitably becomes part of your work. Now when I go to my mom’s house, with the TV on, I have to look away, because the commercials make my head hurt, how quickly they move. How much faster can things get sped up, before they become abstract? I don’t want to watch that anymore—it makes me feel nauseated. Seeing slowly (again) For the last three months, I’ve experimented with making the best Van Dyke brown that was ever made. It’s been a slow process, with the same image over and over again, because each test looked at a different variable, to compare the results. People are now making 80 shots of the same thing in one session with a digital camera, and then picking from all of them, instead of choosing and framing with your eye. I love the idea of using photography as a medium to slow things down. People in the 19th century were excited to go six miles an hour on the railroad. It’s all really relative. You look at the work from then, and it’s no wonder it’s so quiet and peaceful. I consciously am trying to keep that alive. That’s what I love.
ABOVE Clockwise from upper left: Table Top with English Brass, 1998; The Silent Lines of Lips and Face, 2000; Petals, 1997; My Spirit Tried to Leave Me, 1994. OPPOSITE Self-Portrait with Ancestor, 1994.
6/08 CHRONOGRAM PORTFOLIO 45
Lucid Dreaming BY BETH E. WILSON
BUST OR BOOM?
IT’S UP TO US TO DECIDE
If you think the question “What is art?” can only produce an arbitrary response these days, just think for a minute about “What is real estate?” Both art and real estate are cultural constructs, but for my money, the whole real estate thing is much more artificial, by a long shot. That it lends itself (pardon the pun) to greater and greater levels of speculative abstraction—and disastrously so, witness the whole subprime mortgage meltdown—reveals something telling about who and what we are now. It seems there’s not much “real” about “real estate” after all. It’s looking more and more like the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost. Our economy, long propped up by (and addicted to) the fiction of endless expansion, is now running aground on the very real limitations of energy and food supplies, and the capacity of natural systems to recuperate the damage that we inflict upon the planet. While it’s important for us to figure out meaningful, ecologically sustainable political and economic strategies to address the critical challenges facing us, an important aspect of what we need to do now involves what George Bush the First once called “the vision thing.” And there are artists involved in at least three different exhibitions going on this month who are working on just that. Interestingly, the specter of real estate hovers close by each of the shows. Chris Gonyea asks the question pointedly at The Livingroom with “FOR SALE: Kingston, Past, Present, and Future?” Assembling work that ranges from historically significant drawings and paintings by Woodstock artists Austin Mecklem, Charles Rosen, and Louis Wolchonok to photographs, paintings, and prints by contemporary artists, including Nancy Donskoj, Lynn Woods, and Gonyea himself, the show addresses the issue head-on, ironically labeling each work with contrasting “assessed” and “true market” values. Gonyea’s intention is to create a space for dialogue about where Kingston is, politically, artistically, and economically—a goal at least partially achieved when the show opened last month with a special reception for Tom Hoffay, the recently-named alderman for Kingston’s Second Ward, bringing together uptown businesses and residents to discuss common concerns. The ultimate doctrine of American real estate, manifest destiny, figures in the very title of “LAND! From the Post on the Prairie,” organized by painter Sean Sullivan with support from Rosendale’s small but always innovative no_space gallery. Set up in two adjacent storefronts on Route 209 in Ker46 LUCID DREAMING CHRONOGRAM 6/08
honkson, Sullivan’s starting point for the show was Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous “frontier thesis,” first presented in a lecture at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The enormous fair was organized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, and what was then widely understood as the continuous march of progress made by the European settlers in the intervening years. Turner took the occasion to mark the symbolic closing of the American frontier—the massacre of Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee in 1891 representing something like the final vanquishing of the country’s indigenous people—and noted that the frontier experience played a key role in defining the “American” character. The continuous confrontation between European culture and the wilderness of the frontier had produced a uniquely American set of values, he held, and as successive generations had moved further and further across the continent, literally and figuratively away from their European source, they had grown more violent, more individualistic, more distrustful of authority, less artistic, less scientific, and more dependent on ad hoc organizations they formed themselves. In broad terms, the further west, the more American the community. One might read “globalization” as the ultimate economic extension of this thesis beyond the borders of the nation itself. And now, 115 years after Turner first formulated his thesis, we’ve reached the point at which we’re running out, physically and metaphorically, of open territory to feed into the seemingly endless maw of the economy. In its place, Sullivan sees the new “post on the prairie” as the realm of imagination itself. He’s invited a great group of artists to participate with him in this show, making a range of aesthetic, sociological, and historical connections between Turner’s thesis and today’s challenges of open space, development, and the environment via painting, sculpture, installation, and video. Laura Moriarty has contributed an installation that includes an antique-looking drafting table, odd found objects, an old manual typewriter, and her signature encaustic paint-cum-sculptures, embracing a heterogeneous, bricolage aesthetic to provoke a sort of historicized aesthetic response; multitalented sculpture and furniture designer Jonah Meyer brings a new video and a series of watercolors made on a recent trip out to the American West itself. A number of the works in the show play on the image of the broad-but-empty expanses of the plains, which might be read as either a metaphor for cultural and spiritual depletion,
ABOVE: AUSTIN MECKLEM, ENGINE ROOM AND BUNKERS, OIL ON CANVAS, 26" X 36", 1934 OPPOSITE: SARAH CONRAD FERM, THEY HAVEN’T SPOKEN IN YEARS, TEMPERA, WATERCOLOR AND ACRYLIC, 15" X 22½", 2008
or as an opening up of new territory for the imagination. Visit the show and decide for yourself which way you’d like to go with that. Down in Beacon, and running through the rest of the summer, master shed builder Simon Draper has come up with a brilliant extension of his ecologically-inspired “right-sizing”’ aesthetic with “Habitat for Artists,” taking place in the parking lot of Spire Studios and sponsored by Ecoartspace. Draper has been making physically and metaphorically rich work for some time, creating modest, site-sensitive structures out of reclaimed materials (often including his own paintings). He’d reached a point with the work, as he told me, where he could “see [him]self going on, building sheds occasionally here or there, or I could get back to the immediacy, the point of the idea, by opening the concept up to other artists.” Working with the motto “How much/how little/ the space to create,” and thinking explicitly of the toll taken by the wave of real estate speculation in Beacon in the wake of Dia:Beacon, he’s built a group of small sheds that will serve as improvised studio spaces for himself and 10 other artists over the summer. Small enough that they slide under the radar of local zoning and permitting requirements, each artist is personalizing and using the sheds to reflect his/her own interests and needs. Dar Williams will be writing and occasionally performing music in one, Kathy Feighery will focus on making drawings (to get away from toxic solvents used in oil painting during her pregnancy) in another, and so on. With limited amenities, the artists are restricting/rethinking their use of media, resorting to battery-powered hand tools, or even depending on the illumination provided by local street lamps passing through the translucent corrugated plastic panels of the roof to do their work by. Recognizing the limited nature of our resources, Draper’s project emphasizes the importance of resourcefulness instead. The compelling aesthetic (and ultimately, political/ economic/ecological) question raised here is: How much can you go a long way with? In this extraordinary project, sustainability is transformed into a visionary aesthetic in its own right—as it must be, if we are to cope with the challenges ahead. “FOR SALE: KINGSTON, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE?” ON VIEW THROUGH JUNE 30 AT THE LIVINGROOM, 45 NORTH FRONT STREET, KINGSTON. (845) 338-8353. “LAND! FROM THE POST ON THE PRAIRIE,” ON VIEW THROUGH JUNE 30 AT KERHONKSON GENERAL, 323 MAIN STREET, KERHONKSON. (845) 658-9709; WWW.NO-SPACE.COM. “HABITAT FOR ARTISTS,” ON VIEW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30 AT SPIRE STUDIOS, 45 BEEKMAN STREET, BEACON. (917) 743-8275; WWW.HABITATFORARTISTS.BLOGSPOT.COM.
6/08 CHRONOGRAM LUCID DREAMING 47
galleries & museums THE ALDRICH CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
FLAT IRON GALLERY
GO NORTH GALLERY
258 MAIN ST., RIDGEFIELD, CONNECTICUT (203) 438-4519.
105 SOUTH DIVISION STREET, PEEKSKILL (914) 734-1894.
“Elizabeth Peyton: Portrait of an Artist.” Comprehensive exhibition of photographs. June 22-November 1.
“Landscapes.” Oil pastels and watercolors by John Plunkett. June 6-29.
469 MAIN STREET, BEACON GONORTHGALLERY@HOTMAIL.COM. “Ketta Ioannidou: Mutant Nature.” June 14-July 6.
“Serge Spitzer: Still Life.” Through July 13.
Opening Sunday, June 8, 1pm-5pm.
Opening Sunday, June 22, 3pm-5pm.
ANN STREET GALLERY
143 MAIN ST, BEACON 765-2199.
140 ANN STREET, NEWBURGH 562-6940 EXT. 119.
“Dispatches from the Frontlines: 12 Women Photojournalists.” June 14-August 9.
“100 AD.” Solo exhibition of artist Michael Zansky. Through June 7.
ART IN THE LOFT MILLBROOK WINERY, 26 WING ROAD, MILLBROOK 677-8383. “Art in the Loft: Spring 2008.” June 14-29. Opening Saturday, June 14, 5pm-7pm.
ART SOCIETY OF KINGSTON 97 BROADWAY, KINGSTON 338-0331. “Cosmic Blooms: New Paintings by Franz Heigemeir.” June 7-30. “In Pursuit: The Third Annual Kingston Senior Scholarship Show.” June 7-30. Opening Saturday, June 7, 5pm-8pm.
ATHENS CULTURAL CENTER 24 SECOND STREET, ATHENS (518) 945-2136.
museums & galleries
“Lenswork.” Works by Greene County Camera Club. Through June 10.
Opening Saturday, June 14, 4pm-8pm.
THE FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER
“Tides.” Works by Emily Hassell. June 21-July 13.
“Facebook: Images of People in Photographs from the Permanent Collection.” June 26-August 10. Opening Thursday, June 26, 5pm-9pm.
GAS 196 MAIN STREET, POUGHKEEPSIE 486-4592. “Jose Acosta Art Extravaganza.” Through June 15. “Gassed Up!” Group exhibition presented by Long Reach Arts. June 21-July 13. Opening Saturday, June 21, 5pm-8pm.
GALERIE BMG 12 TANNERY BROOK ROAD, WOODSTOCK 679-0027. “Josephine Sacabo.” Photographs from “Nocturnes” and “Geometry of Echoes.” Through June 30.
“Remove the Landmark.” Work by Cannon Hersey and Aaron Yassin. June 21-August 9.
“Now We Are Six.” Through June 8.
Opening Saturday, June 21, 5pm-9pm.
THE BEACON INSTITUTE
THE GALLERY AT ARTEMIS
199 MAIN STREET, BEACON 838-1600.
33 BROADWAY, KINGSTON 339-2494.
“Works of Leigh Wen.” Paintings. Through July 8.
“Queenie Ann Garsuta & Matt Becher.” Hindu deities and Japanese folk-art meet street art. June 4-July 2.
CATSKILL COMMUNITY CENTER
Opening Saturday, June 7, 6pm-8pm.
344 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL (518) 943-4950.
“Sk8 Art.” Works by Coulter D. Young III. Through June 28.
HERMITAGE 12 TIORONDA AVENUE, BEACON 765-1650. “Awake at Night.” Works by Christian Toscano. Through June 8.
HUDSON OPERA HOUSE 327 WARREN STREET, HUDSON (518) 822-1438. “Doug Clow.” An exhibition of his series of small scale, oil on linen paintings. June 14-July 12. Opening Saturday, June 14, 6pm-8pm. “Dress.” Photographed, sculpted, collaged, and painted dresses by artists Karen Bamonte, Mimi Czajka Graminski. Through June 7.
HUDSON VALLEY CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART 1701 MAIN STREET, PEEKSKILL (914) 788-0100. “Works by Chris Jones.” Through August 17.
“Enlightened Views.” Recent paintings by Robert Trondsen. Through June 29.
THE IO GALLERY 131 KENT ROAD SOUTH, CORNWALL BRIDGE, CONNECTICUT (860) 672-6631. “New Young Guns Show.” Through June 1.
JOHN DAVIS GALLERY 362 1/2 WARREN STREET, HUDSON (518) 828-5907. “La Wilson: Witness Assemblage.” June 19-July 13. Opening Saturday, June 21, 6pm-8pm. “Works by Ben Butler.” Sculpture and large monoprints. Through June 15.
84 TEN BROECK AVE, KINGSTON 331-3112.
“Mixed Images.” Group exhibition celebrating five years of Photo and Encaustic workshops. June 7-July 19.
11 MAIN STREET, NEW PALTZ 255-1099.
Opening Saturday, July 12, 5:30pm-7:30pm.
“The Camera Always Lies.” Regional triennial of the photographic arts. June 14-August 17.
GARRISON ARTS CENTER
“Works by Annie Internicola.” Paintings from Chronogram illustrations. June 8-30. Opening Sunday, June 8, 6:30pm.
23 GARRISON LANDING, GARRISON-ON-HUDSON 424-3960.
KENT ART ASSOCIATION
“Boustrophone.” Diana Carulli. Through June 22.
“Kent Art Association Founders’ Show and Summer Members Show.” June 1-July 6.
21 SOUTH MAIN STREET, KENT, CT (860) 927-3989.
201 BROADWAY, TROY (518) 272-6811.
“Suzanna Frosch’s Sculptures & Constructions.” Through June 22.
“Ab Ovo (From The Egg).” Ten Painters in Tempera. June 27-July 23.
GCCA CATSKILL GALLERY 398 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL (518) 943-3400.
Opening Friday, June 27, 6pm-9pm.
“The Food Show.” Works by Gary Shankman. Through June 14.
323 MAIN STREET, KERHONKSON 658-9709.
“Gardens and Trees.” Group exhibition exploring gardens and trees in all media. June 21-August 2.
“Land! From the Post to Prairie.” Project by Laura Moriarty, Jonah Meyer, Judith Hoyt, Wayne Montecalvo, Sarah Conrad Ferm & Sean Sullivan. Through June 30.
6 ROCK CITY ROAD, WOODSTOCK 679-2255. “An Abstract Vision.” Works on canvas and paper by Barbara Adrienne Rosen. Through July 7.
CUNNEEN HACKETT THEATER 12 VASSAR STREET, POUGHKEEPSIE 452-7067. “1st Artist Member Juried Exhibition.” Through June 30.
DANBURY RAILROAD MUSEUM 120 WHITE STREET, DANBURY, CONNECTICUT (203) 778-8337. “The Railroad Legacy.” Works by John Fleming Gould. Through December 31.
THE GALLERY AT R & F
59 TINKER STREET, WOODSTOCK 679-9957.
CLEMENT ART GALLERY
1 SOUTH DIVISION STREET, PEEKSKILL (914) 734-9095.
246 HUDSON STREET, CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON (845) 534-5278.
384 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL (518) 947-6732.
161 MAIN STREET, BEACON 440-7584.
Opening Saturday, June 14, 5pm-7pm.
H ART GALLERY
CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY AT WOODSTOCK
“A Notion to Sew.” 19th century needlework of Hylah Hasbrouk and her daughters. Through October 31.
HUDSON VALLEY GALLERY
“(Ado/Obso)lesence.” Works by Emilie Baltz, Carrie Elston, Asya Reznikov and Emily Orling. Through June 14.
Opening Saturday, June 21, 6pm-9pm.
6 BROADHEAD AVENUE, NEW PALTZ 255-1660.
Opening Saturday, June 14, 5pm-7pm.
Opening Thursday, June 12, 7pm.
“Cat-n-Around Catskill Cats of 2008.” June 21-July 14.
VASSAR COLLEGE, POUGHKEEPSIE 437-5632.
BASILICA INDUSTRIA 110 SOUTH FRONT STREET, HUDSON (518) 828-0131.
Opening Saturday, June 14, 6pm-9pm.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES CHRONOGRAM 6/08
Opening Saturday, June 21, 5pm-7pm.
Opening Friday, June 6, 5pm-7pm.
“Sculpture on Main.” Through June 14.
KINGSTON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
“Search for the Sublime.” Oils and pastels by Michelle Moran. June 21-August 2.
105 ABEEL STREET, KINGSTON WWW.KMOCA.ORG.
Opening Saturday, June 21, 5pm-7pm.
“SuperNature.” Faux taxidermy installation by Jessica Tamson. June 7-30.
GCCA MOUNTAINTOP GALLERY
LE PETIT MUSEE
5348 MAIN STREET, WINDHAM (518) 734-3104.
151 FRONT STREET, HOUSATONIC, MASSACHUSETTS WWW.ARTSMODERNE.COM.
“Journeys in Clay 2008.” Annual juried clay exhibit featuring fine crafts, utilitarian objects and sculptures. June 14-July 26.
“ART: Nothing Larger Than 3” x 3”. Works smaller than 3” x 3”.” Through June 28.
Opening Saturday, June 21, 2pm.
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 53)
museums & galleries
Consultations by Gail Petronio Internationally Renowned Psychic Over 20 years Experience Sessions In-Person or By Phone
6/08 CHRONOGRAM MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
museums & galleries
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES CHRONOGRAM 6/08
(845) 688-5897 s firstname.lastname@example.org s www.jankscraft.com
come in now for a tune-up FULL LINE OF ALL NEW 2008 MODELS AVAILABLE
845-679-2122 93 Tinker Street, Woodstock www.overlookmountainbikes.com
museums & galleries
Showroom Locations Fishkill Brewster Kingston Catskill 845-896-6291 845-279-8075 845-331-6700 518-947-2010 www.nssupply.com www.nsbathclassics.com
Creators of Fine Gold and Diamond Jewelry
An inspired collection
of wearable art
14k Palladium White Gold and Silver Mokume Gane by James Binion
Master goldsmiths specializing in custom design, antique restoration and remounting.
Master Goldsmith Bruce Anderson
Gemologist Bruce Lubman Necklaces Earrings Bracelets Timepieces Accessories
21 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY 12498 | 845-679-3775
20 West Market St. Rhinebeck, New York (845) 876-4585 hummingbirdjewelers.com 6/08 CHRONOGRAM MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
March 8â€“July 8, 2008
spend 5-days in ecstatic community with
Ponte Vecchio 5 ÂŠ 2007 Leigh Wen
Artist Leigh Wen portrays the powerful
UPCOMING ARTIST TALK
forces of water and nature on a grand
Saturday, June 7, 2 p.m. Leigh Wen and her artistic process
scale in her work. A Taiwan native educated in both Taiwan and America, Ms. Wen feels the ebb and ďŹ‚ow of both cultures. â€œThe ancient philosophies of my homeland, which teach selfdiscipline and selďŹ‚essness, collide and
Weekdays Saturdays 2nd Saturdays Sundays
9â€“ 11 â€“ 11 â€“ 12 â€“
5 5 8 5
Special thanks to SEDORE & COMPANY for their sponsorship of this exhibit. Artist talks made possible by HUDSON VALLEY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION.
alienation, and desire.â€?
Ms. Wenâ€™s work is supported by grants from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation, Inc. and New York Foundation for the Arts.
museums & galleries
mingle with Western notions of ego,
Â…Krishna Das Â…Mickey Hart Â…Wah! Â…Donna De Lory Â…Tracy Vernon Â…Shivananda Thomas Amelio Â…Toni Bergins Â…KDZ: The Kripalu Drummers Â…Melina of Daughters of Rhea Â…John de Kadt Â…Nanapowe Drum Group
sacred music festival
199 Main Street, Beacon NY 12508 www.thebeaconinstitute.org
stockbridge, massachusetts 800.741.7353 kripalu.org/sacredpulse
845.838.1600 or email@example.com
Just 60 minutes from the Hudson Valley.
FULL SCHEDULE OF PERFORMING ARTS YEAR ROUND
SCULPTURE AND PAINTINGS
STORM KING ART CENTER 500 Acre Outdoor Sculpture Park & Museum An enchanting realm where art and nature meet. SPECIAL EXHIBITION SOL LEWITT Open Wednesday through Sunday until November 15 Closed Monday and Tuesday Self-guided tram tours available daily 12:00 noon â€“ 4:30 pm
Call for directions and calendar of events â€“ 845-534-3115 87 Marshall Street
North Adams, Massachusetts
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES CHRONOGRAM 6/08
M GALLERY 350 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL (518) 943-0380. “It’s About Light: Exploring the grand Hudson River Experiment with Contemporary Tools.” Vincent Bilotta. Through June 30.
MARK GRUBER GALLERY NEW PALTZ PLAZA, NEW PALTZ 255-1241. “Painting the Town.” Local color of New Paltz. June 17-July 16.
James Westwater June 7 Ð July 7
Opening Tuesday, June 17, 6pm-8pm.
MICHAEL NELSON GALLERY 115 PARTITION STREET, SAUGERTIES 534-4563. “pH7: Seven Photographer’s Perspectives.” Through June 20.
MIDDLETOWN THRALL LIBRARY DEPOT STREET, MIDDLETOWN 341-5454. “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World.” June 4-July 25. Opening Tuesday, June 10, 7pm-8:30pm.
MILDRED I. WASHINGTON ART GALLERY “Teachers as Artists.” Works by local high school teachers. Through June 13.
MILL STREET LOFT GALLERY 455 MAPLE STREET, POUGHKEEPSIE 471-7477. “Juxtapositions.” Painting and printmaking by Todd Poteet. Through June 17. “Ladybug Girl.” Sketches and paintings by David Soman. June 21-July 25.
DUTCHESS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, POUGHKEEPSIE 431-8610.
Opening Saturday, June 21, 2pm-5pm. “Todd Poteet: The Tie That Binds.” Paintings and prints, large and small snapshots of daily life. Through June 17.
MILLBROOK GALLERY AND ANTIQUES 3297 FRANKLIN AVENUE, MILLBROOK 677-6699. “Works by Michael Davidoff.” June 7-30.
Peter Iannarelli ArtistsÕ reception: Saturday, June 7, 6-9pm
Opening Saturday, June 7, 5pm-8pm.
6423 MONTGOMERY STREET, RHINEBECK 876-6670.
w w w . v a n b r u n t g a l l e r y. c o m
“Photographic Artistry on Canvas.” Photographs by Joel Weisbrod. June 4-July 15.
460 main street
Opening Friday, June 6, 5:30pm-7:30pm.
gallery hours: thurs-monday 11-6, or by appointment
MORGAN LEHMAN GALLERY 24 SHARON ROAD, LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT (860) 435-0898. “Paintings by Robert Andrew Parker.” Through July 6.
MUROFF KOTLER VISUAL ARTS GALLERY SUNY ULSTER, STONE RIDGE 687-5113.
museums & galleries
MONTGOMERY ROW SECOND LEVEL
“Future Voices 3.” Through June 13.
NICOLE FIACCO GALLERY 506 WARREN STREET, HUDSON (518) 828-5090. “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things.” Curated by Renee Riccardo. June 7-July 12. Opening Saturday, June 7, 6pm-8pm.
ORANGE HALL GALLERY ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, MIDDLETOWN 341-4790. “Middletown Art Group Annual Spring Exhibition.” Through June 15. “Over the Rainbow.” Journey oil & pastel paintings by Joyce V. Garrett. Through June 15.
ORIOLE 9 17 TINKER STREET, WOODSTOCK 679-5763. “Paintings by Stacie Flint and Linocut Prints of Karen.” Depictions of life in NYC. Through June 17.
THE PEARL ART GALLERY 3572 MAIN STREET, STONE RIDGE 687-0888. “Eternal Egypt.” Encaustic and collage by Astrid Fitzgerald and photography by Sarite Sanders. Through July 6.
PEARLDADDY GALLERY 183 MAIN STREET, BEACON 765-0169. “The Best Medicine.” Paintings and sculpture by Edie Nadelhaft. Through July 6.
PRITZKER GALLERY 257 SOUTH RIVERSIDE ROAD, HIGHLAND 691-5506. “Sacred Ground: Held in Trust.” Preserved lands of the Hudson Valley in pastels by Marlene Wiedenbaum. June 1-30. Opening Sunday, June 8, 3pm-6pm.
PROCTOR’S THEATRE 432 STATE STREET, SCHENECTADY (518) 346-6204. “Lori Lupe Pelish: Quilted Wall Hangings.” Through June 30.
RIVERFRONT STUDIOS 96 BROAD STREET, SCHUYLERVILLE (518) 695-5354. “Skidmore Alumni Show.” Through June 28.
6/08 CHRONOGRAM MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
PRINTED MATTER Group Print Exhibition
Tatana Kellner; Silkscreen on Fabric; Untitled
Dennis Cady Monica Church Peter Cody Tatana Kellner Taryn McMahon Jacquelyn Strycker Caitlin Wheeler Erin Woodbury Melinda Yale Artists Reception Saturday, June 21 6-9 pm
museums & galleries
June 21st through August 2nd
845-562-6940 x 119 Thurs-Sat 11am-5pm or by appointment
(IRING (AAKON TO FRAME YOUR ART
104 Ann Street Newburgh, NY 12550
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES CHRONOGRAM 6/08