THE ZADOCK PRATT MUSEUM COLORING BOOK

The Zadock Pratt Museum has just released a coloring book for adults, essentially a collection of historical quilts accompanied by text and drawings that provide a unique perspective of the region’s settlement history. Inspired by the 2018 exhibition titled “Undercover Stories,” the book was partly funded by The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation and The Nicholas J. Juried Family Foundation. All text and drawings are by Suzanne M. Walsh, who curated the exhibition.

© Zadock Pratt Museum

Coloring books for adults have been around for decades but have become quite popular in recent years, as a stress relief activity. In 2015 Crayola launched its own line of adult coloring books, for the first time in its more than a century history. The company also expanded its variety of colored pencils and markers, including the ones with extra fine tip, to fit a wider range of projects. Coloring a book is not only a relaxing activity but it’s also a means of self-expression and a creativity jump-starter. Some users frame their artworks to display and share with family and friends. The richness of possibilities is motivating.    

The Zadock Pratt Museum’s Collection of Twenty-Six Catskill Historical Quilting Designs is more than a coloring book. It’s also a reflection of Early America coded in the quilting designs of the women who moved to the region which eventually became the Schoharie and Greene Counties of New York State. In a note prefacing the book, Ms. Walsh explains: “the women of mixed Palatine and Dutch heritage arriving in Schoharie Kill in the 1700s found themselves living during the time when the screams of the mountain lion were a chilling reminder of just how wild this frontier outpost really was; nonetheless, with brave hearts and steady hands they cut and stitched their quilts with the astonishing skill and imagination they passed to their descendants. Some of their legacies are found in this book today.”   

Quilting has been described by scholars as “the art of necessity.” When textiles were scarce, women patched old blankets, coverlets, and table runners with cloth they had available and ready to use. European settlers brought this practice to the New World, and it flourished here and took on a new life. A utilitarian activity at first, quilting did eventually become an American folk art.

According to Lisa J. Allen who writes about the history of quilting in America, “In the 100 years between 1750 and 1850 thousands of quilts were pieced and patched, and many of them are preserved. Many of these quilts were so elaborate that years were spent making and quilting them. It is no wonder they are cherished as precious heirlooms and occupy honored places in homes and museums. Those early quilts provide a glimpse into the history of quilting as well as the history of the United States.”

American Folk Art Museum in New York City has an impressive textile collection, and has begun the New York Quilt Project to locate, document, preserve, and create an archive for New York State quilts. Dr. Jacqueline M. Atkins, a curator who worked at the Folk Art Museum, wrote the introduction for the The Zadock Pratt Museum Coloring Book, and shared “the thrill of the hunt, as one is never sure just what new and exciting quilts, patterns, and designs will turn up in addition to renewing acquaintances with many old favorites.”     

Among the 26 quilts included in the book, our favorites are the Japanese Fan (a 19th century feed sack quilt), Honeycomb (a coverlet dated 1929), and the Friendship Quilt (dated around 1850s). The Japanese fan motif became popular in the U.S. after the Centennial International Exhibition that took place in Philadelphia in 1876, as related by Atkins; Catskill artisans quickly incorporated the motif in their work. The Honeycomb quilt block known by other names as well, most notably Hexagon, but also Mosaic or French Rose, may be in fact one of the oldest known quilt blocks in America. The Friendship Quilt was created by several women as a solace for a loved one who would move West. Each block was sewn in secret by a friend or a relative who signed their name in ink or embroidered it on their finished block. During the 1850s it became popular to embroider the name rather than sign it in ink, a practice that would help historians date the quilts.   

© Zadock Pratt Museum

The Zadock Pratt Museum’s Collection of Twenty-Six Catskill Historical Quilting Designs can be ordered by phone at (518) 299-3395, email at prattmuseum@hotmail.com, or mail at Pratt Museum, PO Box 333, Prattsville, NY 12468. For questions about this project, you may contact Suzanne Walsh at (518) 937-6120 or suzanwal5@aol.com. All funds go to support the Museum’s mission. To learn more, visit zadockprattmuseum.org.

Literary Festival Postponed

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Writers Unbound, Seventh Annual Catskills Literary Festival, scheduled for April 26, has been postponed.

The program included:

12:30 p.m.—Poetry Reading hosted by Sharon Israel / Featured Poet Jared Daniel Fagen

1:30 p.m.—Publishing Panel moderated by Simona David / Group Discussion Addressing the Latest News and Trends in Publishing
Panelists include Leslie T. Sharpe (author and editor), Carrie Bradley Neves (editor), Andrew Flach (publisher, Hatherleigh Press), Brett Barry (publisher, Silver Hollow Audio)

2:00 p.m.—Keynote Address with Beth Lisick, author of the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool

3:00 p.m.— SPARK! with Lilly Golden and Lorrayne Bolger
The Roxbury SPARK!:Art and Literary Magazine is the student-run magazine of Roxbury Central School. In its sixth year, this publication showcases creative works of students in fifth through twelve grades, including paintings, drawings, photographs, poems, short stories, and even novellas and plays. SPARK! is produced by the students, for the students, to display, publish, and archive their work. The process of experimenting with writing, workshopping projects together and encouraging fellow student writers and artists makes the journey as meaningful as the final publication.

3:30 p.m.— New Release with Anique Sara Taylor, author of Where Space Bends (Finishing Line Press), forthcoming in 2020

4:00 p.m. — The Bounty of Books Raffle, with a prize of ten selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover Contest will be announced.

Keynote Speaker Beth Lisick is a writer, actor, and the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool. Her work has been published in various magazines and journals, including Best American Poetry. She co-founded San Francisco’s Porchlight storytelling series, traveled the country with the Sister Spit performance tours, and received a Creative Work Fund grant for a chapbook series with Creativity Explored, a San Francisco studio for artists with developmental disabilities. Beth has appeared in films that have screened at Cannes, Sundance, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Her first novel Edie on the Green Screen was just published by 7.13 Books. Beth is a resident of Brooklyn and West Hurley. Her website is bethlisick.com.

The festival will be re-scheduled.

Learn more at writersinthemountains.org

 

Adapting to a Post-Coronavirus Economy: Keep a Journal

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Brands will adapt and lifestyle will change in a post-coronavirus economy. Morgan Stanley anticipates the U.S. GDP will shrink 30% in the second quarter due to record unemployment caused by Covid-19. Restaurants, retailers, museums and other organizations have laid off staff while consumers have cut spending on travel, dining out and entertainment. Creative minds are already at work envisioning a post-coronavirus society. Politico surveyed 30 thinkers who shared their predictions on what changes we may see in our lifestyle, technology, health, economy, and government. Research is accelerating to diagnose and treat those affected by the pandemic.

The U.N. has invited content creators around the world to come up with innovative messages to inform communities about Covid-19 and help stop the spread of the virus. Six key areas of interest were identified: personal hygiene, social distancing, knowing the symptoms, global solidarity, myth-busting and donation.

We are inviting our followers to keep a journal to record the changes they see in their lives. We can help publish a book, whether be poetry, memoir, essays, or illustrations, etc. Write or make art for the sake of history, but also to help process the changes all around.

Stay safe, and practice social distancing.

Catskill Mountain Story Festival

 

Catskill Mountain Story Festival

Presentations by Writers in the Mountains and Silver Hollow Audio, including a Food Panel with chef Bryan Calvert from Binnekill Tavern, author of “Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates.” 

Catskills Visitor Center

Mount Tremper, New York

June 15, 2019

 

HOW ART IS MADE: IN THE CATSKILLS – Book Talk at BLINK Gallery

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2018, 1 – 3 PM

BLINK GALLERY, 454 Lower Main Street, Andes, New York 13731 

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Author Simona David will talk about her latest book How Art Is Made: In the Catskills (2017), and provide insights into a long-standing tradition that dates back to the days of Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church.

How Art Is Made: In the Catskills pays homage to the place where American art was born through a series of conversations with creatives who live and work in the Catskills.

The book explores various artistic choices, what inspires and moves the artists, what draws them to their discipline, what materials they use, how they approach a new artistic project, how they deal with setbacks, and how they celebrate success.

Artists featured in the book include sculptor Brian Tolle, known for The Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City (2002), and more recently for Miss Brooklyn and Miss Manhattan, two replicas of Daniel Chester French originals that sit on the façade of the Brooklyn Museum – Tolle’s replicas were installed on Flatbush Avenue by the Manhattan Bridge in December 2016. Like many contemporary artists, Tolle maintains a studio and works in the Catskill Mountains.

To learn more about Art in the Catskills, visit artinthecatskills.com. To learn more about Simona David, visit simonadavid.com.

BLINK GALLERY celebrates the creative spirit that resides within all artists with a focus on women artists. Learn more about the gallery’s mission at http://blinkandes.com/.

 

Newly Opened Writers’ Residency in Roxbury

Roxbury, an international destination in recent years given its wildly popular attractions The Roxbury Motel and Plattekill Mountain, is now home to a Writers’ Residency, newly opened by writer Annie DeWitt and photographer Jerome Jakubiec. The three-day residency program includes accommodations, meals, workshops and manuscript review by DeWitt, who teaches writing at Columbia University and is the author of White Nights in Split Town City, greatly reviewed by The New York Times.

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© 2018 Simona David

The residency, which opened on July 11, hosted an inaugural Editors’ Panel on July 13, featuring Jonny Diamond, editor in chief of LitHub, and Tracy O’Neill, author of the acclaimed novel The Hopeful and editor of the literary journal Epiphany. Diamond and O’Neill talked about the submission process to literary journals.

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© 2018 Simona David

Read full article in Chronogram to learn more about this marvelous retreat in the Catskill Mountains.

AMR Open Art Studios Tour 2018

AMR 2018 Catskill Mountain Guide Ad

AMR (Andes – Margaretville – Roxbury) Open Studios Tour 2018 will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 28 – 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with close to thirty participating artists in the Central Catskill Mountains. Artists working in all media and artistic disciplines – painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, ceramicists, furniture designers and textile artists – will show their creative spaces, and demonstrate and talk about their work. Located in a bucolic scenery, all studios provide a unique experience for visitors to explore the area and learn directly from the artists.

Launched in 2012, AMR Open Art Studios Tour has grown into a major cultural attraction, as open art studio tours have become more and more common all over the country. Studio visits trigger questions that aren’t often asked in formal settings such as galleries and museums, and allow for a more intimate interaction with the art work. Building on a century-long tradition that started with the Hudson River School, contemporary artists continue to be inspired and moved by the region once known as America’s First Wilderness, and what we refer to today as the place where American art was born.

Participating artists this year include Adam Cohen, Amy Masters, Ted Sheridan, Alan Powell, Lisbeth Firmin, Ellen Wong, Peter Yamaoka, Gerda van Leeuwen, Frank Manzo, Helene Manzo, Tabitha Gilmore Barnes, Gary Mayer, Barbara Alyn, Oneida Hammond, Ken Hiratsuka, Roshan Houshmand, Agnes Freas, Esther de Jong, Lesley Powell, Rosamond Welchman, Robert Axelrod, Deborah Ruggerio, Gary Mead, Anthony Margiotta, Rebecca Andre, Patrice Lorenz, Sharon Suess and Gail Freund. All artists will show works in progress and finished works, sell, and give lectures and demonstrations. Art writer Simona David, author of “How Art Is Made: In the Catskills,” will be on site and talk about the tradition of making art in the Catskills, and highlight some of the current trends and accomplishments.

“The canvas is now my stage,” says multi-disciplinary artist Lesley A. Powell. After years of working as a choreographer, Powell found her fascination for movement transposed into color and lines whether be in watercolor, oil or collages and depicting both human body and natural environment. As a choreographer, Powell’s interest revolved around the dancer’s ability to change the performance space. As a visual artist, she focuses again on the human body, and on her love of nature. Dancers are often present in her paintings as are circus scenes and nudes.

Ellen Wong, who has participated in the AMR Open Art Studios Tour every year since its inception, was initially trained as an abstract painter, but fell in love with the Catskill Mountains scenery, and that changed everything. “To capture the sound, the movement of the water and the energy all around me, I found myself inventing new ways to move paint on the canvas, I had to keep moving, finding a fluidity in the paint and vitality in brush strokes that I had been striving for,” she says. This year during the Open Art Studios Tour, Wong will be showing recent works as well as some of her earlier landscapes depicting nature at the center of her creations as muse, teacher and guide.

Painter Deborah Ruggiero will participate in the AMR Open Art Studios Tour for the first time this year. “Through a variety of media and techniques I hope to encourage the viewer to look a little more closely at nature’s intricate beauty at different times of the day, changing with the seasons to experience and savor the essence and beauty in nature,” she says. “Whether it’s in the solidarity of a rock formation or in the delicacy of the flower petals that bloom in the spring for only a short period of time, there’s a magnificent canvas to experience every day. All one has to do is take the time to look, see and experience,” she adds.

Textile artist Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes, who has participated in the AMR Open Art Studios Tour every year since 2012, loves talking about and demonstrating weaving in her Catskill Mountains studio where she operates an AVL DOBBY professional loom. “This tour brings friends and visitors to my studio where we discuss what weaving is all about, how I specifically source local wool and alpaca fleeces to use in my products and tapestries, and how the studio views of the Catskills offer constant inspiration for my choice of colors and art themes. This is a fun time to meet others, and also to be inspired by the works of my fellow tour members.”

Mark your calendar for AMR Open Art Studios Tour 2018, a self-driving tour experience through the region’s most scenic vistas. Detailed brochures will be made available at all area’s businesses.

For more information, visit www.amropenstudios.org and www.facebook.com/amropenstudios/.

The AMR – Andes, Roxbury, Margaretville – Open Studios Tour 2018 is funded by the Delaware County Department of Economic Development – Tourism Advisory Board and The Lindsay A. and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, and by the 29 participating artists and their 35+ community business sponsors. Additional community support from the Longyear Gallery (Margaretville) and the MARK Project (Arkville).

 

Art in the Catskills 2018 Events

How Art Is Made

4/29 Writers Unbound Literary Festival, Union Grove Distillery, Arkville, NY

6/23 Catskill Interpretive Center Book Festival, Mt. Tremper, NY

7/28 – 29 AMR Open Art Studio Tour, Halcottsville, NY

8/19 Blink Art Gallery, Andes, NY

9/8 Zadock Pratt Museum, Prattsville, NY


Look for our news releases to learn more about upcoming events.