RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts

I’ll Never Be an Art Critic

Full disclosure: I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks now. I just can’t think of the right things to say. I’m pretty sure that the stuff I’ve said so far is pretty dumb. However, it is late in the day on Saturday and I need a post. Let’s see what my editing skills are up to.

At the beginning of May, I went to the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts in Little Falls, NY for the exhibit opening of “From the River to the Sea with David Burns.” Dr. Burns is an MD who took up painting and is very good at it. He says, “An artist could be anyone who is attentive to his surrounds; notices when a common scene becomes caught in an uncommon light.” I really liked the exhibit.

I confess that I feel kind of cool when I say to people, “I’m going to an exhibit opening at the arts center.” I don’t know why exactly. I’m not cultured; I’m barely housebroken. I don’t think I’m a snob. I mean, I’m not one to do things because they are “culture,” whatever that means. However, I do like looking at art. I like talking to other people who like looking at art. And sometimes they serve refreshments at these openings.

Ah well, I think the question of why I like saying I’m going to an exhibit opening is one best left for half-baked philosophy on Lame Post Friday. Right now, I would like to give a shout-out to Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts.

I walked around the gallery at least three times, admiring each painting, trying to decide which was my favorite. Of course I couldn’t decide, but I think I liked best the pictures of old buildings from the area. “Old Stone Schoolhouse” was a particular standout. I wish I knew some good art critic-y things to say like “beautifully observed” or… OK “beautifully observed” is the only one I can think of. This is kind of like when I taste wine and all I can think to say is “yummy.” These were some beautiful pictures.

I did enjoy the elegant refreshments. I would have liked to ask for the recipe for the scones but felt a little self-conscious doing so. Then I felt a little silly for enjoying the food when the point of the day was the art.

The exhibit runs through June 21. I plan to return return one afternoon to look at the pictures again, when there will probably be fewer people there. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday 12 to 3 p.m. For more information on the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts you can visit their website at www.MohawkValleyArts.org, and you can Like them on Facebook.

More Saturday Adventures

To return to my Saturday adventures: after breakfast and returning my book to Frankfort Free Library, my friend Tracy and I drove through Ilion into Mohawk to the Mohawk Antiques Mall, where 4PetsSake Food Pantry was holding an indoor garage sale.

The place was hopping, but we managed to find a parking space. We went to the indoor garage sale first, admiring some antiques we walked by to get there. It was fun looking at the various vendors.

We got into quite a nice conversation about art with the guy from Riverstone Sculptures. Tracy recognized his unusual style from some pieces she had seen at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. He told us how he looks for different shapes, utilizing things such as automotive parts and items from the hardware store. I asked if they had a website, which led to a discussion about computers (they are not online).

We moved on to where the 4Pets Sake people were selling food.

“We could have had breakfast here,” I said. If you read Tuesday’s post you may remember that we refrained from having ice cream for breakfast. Hot dogs for breakfast, however, I would find quite acceptable.

Instead I bought some cookies, a plate of Italian ones and some chocolate chip that were three for a dollar. Tracy ate one of those and I piggily had two (I did mention I was up three pounds as a result of the weekend). We saved the Italian ones.

After that we went into the regular Antiques Mall and looked around. We met the owner of the mall. He was pleased to welcome an out of town visitor. He told us about an Elvis impersonation contest planned for May 10.

“Tracy would be interested in that,” I said. “She loves Elvis.” I like Elvis too and immediately made a note of the date.

We also checked out the Factory Outlet Store. A lady handed us a coupon good for one day only. We did not make any purchases, although Tracy was tempted by some vests. Perhaps on a future visit.

We were very pleased with our visit, which was only one of our planned adventures for the day. The Mohawk Antiques Mall is located at 100 E. Main St., Mohawk, NY. For more information you can visit their website at www.mohawkantiquesmall.com. For more information on 4PetsSake Food Pantry, visit their website at www.4petsakefoodpantry.org. Both are also on Facebook.

There’s the Bridge!

Yesterday (Saturday) I set out with my friend, Phyllis, intent on having a Mohawk Valley adventure. I guess you could say we had one.

We headed to Little Falls, intending to visit the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. For one thing, I knew I could purchase post cards there. I don’t often drive to Little Falls, but how hard could it be? Then again, this is me we’re dealing with.

We drove out State Route 5, which goes right into Little Falls. Perfectly familiar. And then it didn’t look so right.

“I think I’ve driven past my turn,” I said. “Oh, wait, no I didn’t.” And then I did. Oops. Well, at least I knew where it was now.

Little Falls seems to be all one way streets, but I found a place to make a left turn, went up a hill and waited at a stop light to make another left going back towards my turn. That was a steep hill. My SUV acted like it was going to roll backwards as I moved my foot from the brake to the gas, and I don’t drive a standard. Just to give me another challenge, the guy turning right from the opposite direction stopped directly in front of me to pick up a passenger. The guy couldn’t have gotten in at the light, I suppose.

No matter, we were headed towards the bridge I wanted.

“Go right where that blue car went,” Phyllis said. I couldn’t see exactly where the blue car was going because of a big truck in the way. From where I was sitting, it did not look like the turn. I was past it when I realized it was so the turn.

“Can I make a U turn here?” I asked, fully intending to do so anyways. However no signs forbid it, so I guess I was legal. I almost got in the wrong lane and missed the turn again, but Phyllis was watching and directed me.

Once I got on that bridge, everything was easy.

“I’m going to write my blog post just about the drive here,” I told Phyllis. So I did.

At Least I Left the House

I know, running errands is not the same thing as going running. I’m impressed with myself that I left the house at all, so those that are more dedicated and tougher than I, oh well, it’s nice for you, that’s all.

I think my stupid cold is reaching its climax and I will begin the slow road back to health tomorrow. I had a dreadful headache for most of the day. the worst thing about being sick was that I had several potential Mohawk Valley adventure waiting for me. A sleigh ride in Meyers Park, a craft fair and bake sale in Mohawk, an open house at Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, the Herkimer County Historical Society’s gift shop open on Saturdays for December, and the annual Roast Beef Dinner at Christ Episcopal Church. All to be enjoyed by people other than me!

I watched a movie and crocheted, practiced “feed a cold,” and tried unsuccessfully to nap. At last I took a hot shower, and that seemed to help. I hadn’t meant to do anything, but I actually felt like putting on real clothes and making the attempt.

My plan was to get out of the house, pick up a prescription that was waiting for me, and make it to the roast beef dinner for take-out. When I saw that my beloved schnoodle, Tabby, was waiting for me on the landing of the stairs, I reconsidered. It seemed too cold to let her wait in the vehicle while I did my errands, so I thought it was not unreasonable to take her for a walk before I left.

The sun was just about to go down after a cloudy day. I don’t mind the gloom. I enjoyed the neighbors’ Christmas lights as usual, as well as the sight of bare trees against the grey sky. We only went around the block (Tabby’s idea). I grabbed my purse and got out the door before I could change my mind.

My errands did not take me long. I was especially happy about the roast beef. For one thing, I like to support the church. Even more importantly, Steven went back to work after lunch thinking I would not make it there, and I didn’t have any other bright ideas for supper. Won’t he be pleased, especially when he finds I even got dessert?

Mohawk Valley Art

Saturday afternoon I drove to Little Falls, NY, with my friend Tracy to attend an art opening at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA).

I’ve stopped in at MVCA before, most recently in September during the Garlic Festival. Regular readers may remember that I won two lovely pieces of art at the MVCA Art Giveaway in October. This is the first opening reception I’ve been to. I hope it will not be the last.

The exhibit was “People and Places in My Travels” by Deborah Rosato. I was enchanted by “Christmas in Old Forge,” which MVCA shared on its Facebook page. The other watercolors and pastels in the exhibit did not disappoint. Ms. Rosato was on hand to answer questions about her work. I didn’t have any questions; I just took it all in.

Tracy and I chatted up Kevin Mihaly, the executive director. He mentioned volunteer opportunities. I am interested in that, if it could work out. For one reason, I might get some blog posts out of it.

We also talked with Frank Wilcox, one of the artists who had donated work to October’s Art Giveaway. I also knew Mr. Wilcox because he was in the play Strike Story, which was presented in Little Falls’ Black Box Theatre and at Ilion Little Theatre.

I later noted in MVCA’s Calendar of Events, “Art Matters,” that he will be teaching a 10-week class in Mixed Media beginning in January. MVCA offers a number of art classes. I had said at the Art Giveaway that I was inspired to create something. Perhaps a class is in my future.

After looking at the exhibit and enjoying some of the refreshments, Tracy and I went into the retail section, The Selective Eye. Art, jewelry, clothing, postcards and more are available for purchase. I bought some postcards when I was there in September. They didn’t have any new ones this time.

I was really happy I had made it to the art opening. I was also pleased I had picked up the Art Matters Calendar of Events, so that I can take advantage of other events. For more information on MVCA, you can call 315-823-0808, visit their website at www.MohawkValleyArts.org, or Like their Facebook page.

Supporting the Arts

Friday night Steven and I supported the arts in the Mohawk Valley.

Doesn’t that sound fancy? It was a little fancier than our usual Friday night activities (sit around in sweatpants and order pizza is our favorite). We attended the Annual Art Giveaway of the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA).

I recently Liked MVCA on Facebook, which is how we found out about the giveaway. The center posted a beautiful picture, and I started making immediate plans to try to win it. Unfortunately, Steven had to work till 6:30, and the event began at 6. I could have made my way to the arts center in Little Falls, NY, to look at the art and purchase tickets, but did not manage it for one reason or another. Regular readers will not be surprised to hear that I didn’t even have my act together to look at works online and do things by mail or over the phone.

So I went to Francesca’s Banquet in Ilion, NY by myself, with Steven promising to join me as soon as possible. I gave my $5 donation to get in, spent another $5 on 50/50 tickets, made my usual lame joke about how the ticket doesn’t tell you how long to “Keep This Coupon,” then went on to look at the art.

I purchased a book of ten tickets for $30. It was set up like a Chinese auction; you put your ticket into a bag next to the piece you liked. Thirty-five works of art were offered. I figured if there weren’t ten I liked, I could put in multiple tickets for my favorites, like I do at regular Chinese auctions. Of course there were more than ten I liked, but I do have to watch my budget, so I put in for my ten favorites.

Then I realized I had missed a gorgeous soft-sculpture frog at the very end. Steven collects frogs. A few years ago, we had purchased a raffle ticket for such a frog at the arts center in Little Falls, but alas, did not win. I went back to where they were selling tickets and bought just one more ticket.

I saw a few people there I knew. I chatted them up as well as a few new people. There was a table of light refreshments and a cash bar. I indulged in a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and nibbled some cheese and vegetables.

Soon they began to draw for the artwork. Some of the artists were present and said a few words before the ticket for their piece was drawn. They spoke about their views of art in general or their method of working or the story behind that particular piece. I was fascinated. I kept telling people I was inspired and was going to take up an art so I could donate a piece next year. People were very gracious about it; nobody said anything like, “Yeah, like you’re going to be as good as that in a year or less!”

I ended up winning two very beautiful pieces. I was so excited! Steven will have to re-arrange some things on our walls to make good places for them. In the meantime, I’m watching the MVCA Facebook page for their next fundraiser.

For more information on the arts center, visit their website at www.mohawkvalleyarts.org/.