Thursday, October 29, 2009

Volunteering At the Arts Center by Patty Foley

"It was one of the Adirondack Theme Shows, and a young girl - maybe junior high school age - dropped off her entry.

As they left, her father - who had driven her to Old Forge (that's how young she was)- came back in, to say that it was her first entry in an art show and - if it was going to be rejected by the judge - maybe it would be better to just take it home right then.

That entry was accepted, and it won a first prize, and seeing that girl’s face when the award was announced is something I will never forget.

That’s why I volunteer my time to The Arts Center. Even though I can’t paint, or draw, or sculpt, I can still be part of that magic."

-Patty Foley
Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors

Explore Volunteer Opportunities at the Arts Center/Old Forge

The Arts Guild of Old Forge would like to encourage anyone interested in volunteering.
We have many opportunities available for individuals who would like to help.
Some of the many areas in which volunteers are needed are:
Host/Hostess/Front Desk, Ticket Sales, Craft Fair, Tennis Classic,
Plein Air Paintout, Brochure Mailings, Culinary Preparation, Antique Show,
House Tour, Serving Food, Exhibit Set-up/Take Down, Workshops, Auction,
Central Adirondack Take-in, and Data Entry.
If interested please contact the Arts Center/Old Forge at 315-369-6411
or email

Sunday, October 18, 2009

23rd Annual Northeast Quilts Unlimited

The exhibition will run until November 11
Quilts from all over the United States adorn the walls of the galleries in the Arts Center/Old Forge. This juried display will have over $1,700 in cash and prizes awarded to the quilts and wall hangings that have been carefully selected by this years judge Molly Waddell, NQACJ.  Several associations have been invited to exhibit during this years show including the Rochester Area Fiber Artists (RAFA), an eclectic group of textile divas from Rocheser, New York, who work in many techniques, but are keen to use fiber as their media of choice. The Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) will display contemporary work that explores and expresses aesthetic concerns common to the whole range of visual arts. The Mohawk Valley Embroider’s Guild of America will present  brilliant needlework composed of a wide array of techniques and styles from traditional needlework to contemporary designs and methods. The North Country Chapter American Needlepoint Guild  is sure to increase your appreciation and interest through the fine works that they will display . Paintings from Syracuse artist, Dan Bacich are sure to create a dialog as they hang beside the array of quilts.  

“Moonlit Evergreens” is a beautiful work by Kris Gregson Moss. Her materials are varied and include cotton, dressmaker fabric, felt, yarns, trims, beads, and wood. She says that “Moonlit Evergreens is what I imagine might be seen at night in the Adirondacks. Experimenting with triangular shapes creates trees and quilting in the background. The variety of materials and techniques culminating with being hung from an apple stick is indicative of the fun in my art work.”               

Nancy DiDonato , of Diamond Point, NY created this stained glass inspired piece, “Entwined”. Nancy purchased a book, “Creating with Stained Glass” that featured the work of artists Tom Adolph. Instead of becoming a stained glass artists she applied the techniques using her skills in quilting. She used batik fabrics as “glass”, multiple layers of machine satin stitching to represent the leading, and iridescent sheer background fabric to represent the luminosity of sunlight. The end result is a piece that has allure of stained glass, but the warm, and tactile nature of a quilt. 

Dan Bacich Artists Statement:
While quilters have frequently drawn inspiration from the work of painters, I believe my paintings provide ample proof that the reverse is true as well.  There are many common“threads”: the eclectic palette of patterns and colors, the subtle geometry of composition, the meticulous eye for detail and the careful hand wrought execution to name just a few.  I am grateful to Michele deCamp for first suggesting the exhibition opportunity and to Barbara Getty for having the artistic insight to recognize the merit of the pairing. It is both an honor and a privilege to celebrate my favorite season in an Adirondack setting.

to learn more about Dan Bacich visit

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Plein Air Paint Out Reflections from volunteer and Committee member Ken Thibado

Last Saturday, I relieved Joan Spring from her chilly post at The  

Green Bridge.  I actually didn't recognize her, she was stored so  

deeply in her hooded winter jacket.  Joan had volunteered to stand at- 

the-ready to inform the public about the artists The Arts Center had  

invited to Old Forge for the weekend.  Guide book in hand, and an  

improvised schpeel about the auction silently rehearsing itself, I now  

tucked myself into tweed, and stood at the ready.

Joan pointed out Ingrid Van Slyke, working away at her easel, and  

mentioned that another artist was parked at the other end of the  

bridge.  Without haste, Joan then made a break for her vehicle and  

escaped into the cold morning, no doubt with the heater pinned on high.

I introduced myself to Ingrid and couldn't help but notice that she

was visibly freezing.  Ingrid forced a frozen smile and returned her  

focus to the pastel landscape in front of her.  Eventually Sandy  

Hildreth carried her easel, filled with oil paints, and positioned  

herself next to Ingrid.  As an excuse of chivalry, I offered to get  

the girls warm coffee and a snack from Artist Headquarters, at  

Niccolls Memorial Church.  Both refused, and being only a gilded  

gentleman I deserted them to track down a coffee and bagel.

Upon my return it was apparent Ingrid was nearing completion on what

turned out to be her second pastel of the morning.  In the meantime  

Sandy had laid down her entire background; gray skies, dark blue  

water, and burnt orange foliage.  I, for my part, picked up wind-blown  

Plein Air guidebooks with Lexi (the yellow lab from down the street).

Around one-thirty Ingrid packed up her pastels, promised to return  

once she was warmed through, and headed to Niccolls to frame up her  

landscapes.  Sandy began to correct her painting to match the now  

brighter circumstances of the warming day.  I ate part of my bagel.   

Lexi stared at me while I ate.

Throughout the day we continued like this.  Sandy maneuvered through

a changing scene.  Lexi was loaded into a car and returned to her  

home.  At one point Sandy's paint pan was absconded by the wind and we  

scraped up oil paint from the road surface.   People walked and drove  

by.  I stumbled through my Plein Air schpeel numerous times (never  

saying it the same way twice no matter how hard I tried).  I picked up  

more wind-blown brochures.  Ingrid Van Slyke returned, as did Lexi.  

By the end of day both artists were no longer standing.  The wind  

which had toyed with the artists earlier, now had knocked them to the  

ground.  Sandy Hildreth had folded up the legs of her easel and was  

crouched diligently before her painting.  Ingrid Van Slyke on the  

other hand was kneeling, almost in fetal position, over her last  

pastel landscape of the day.  Visibly suffering, it appeared that as  

though she was using the guardrail to break the force and bite of the  

wind.  Oncoming traffic steered around her position, and without  

seeming to take notice of them she'd turn her head to glance out at  

the Moose River.

Sandy's painting was sober and beautiful, not a bad compliment to


an afternoon that had treated her so grimly.  Later on, Sandy Hildreth  

would frame that painting in gold and donate it to the Arts Center  

auction that signified the end of this year's Plein Air Event.  It  

would be among one of the highest earners in the auction.  She smiled  

Sunday night as an auctioneer coaxed the assembled crowd to bid higher  

and higher, reminding them that it was selling for well below its value.

In the end The Plein Air Artists raised over ten thousand dollars


The Arts Guild of Old Forge.  McCauley Mountain played excellent host  

to the very successful event, as did Niccolls Memorial Church, and The  

Old Forge Fire Hall.  Artists, volunteers and staff spent the late  

evening of Sunday plotting out the second annual event over soup and  


It's easy to wax poetic over artists battling changing light, or  

embattled organizations raising enough support to survive, or  

supportive volunteers pitching in to pull off the unpredictable.   

However, it's important to remember.

We have arbitrary concerns, differing viewpoints, and very real  

carnage that dip and dive into our individual lives.  Regardless of  

what else happened in October of Two-Thousand and Nine, Old Forge was  

subject to something only slightly less ancient than our existence.   

It was recorded visually by artists.  That, as it turns out, is no  

small deed.

I'll never forget Ingrid Van Slyke, hunkered against foul wind and  

oncoming traffic.  Her tiny frame desperate to escape to a heated  

interior, while her stoic artistic pride refused to surrender.   

However, remembering that day has been made easy for me.  My wife, a  

new patron of the arts, Sabrina Thibado, bid on and won Ingrid's last  

pastel from Saturday, October Tenth, Two-Thousand and Nine.

Plein Air Reporter,

Ken Thibado.

Reflections on the Plein Air Paint Out from Nancy Ness, Participating Artist

It seemed like a good idea when I signed up for the plein air paint out at the Old Forge Art Center. As the time approached, my negative imagination took hold. Suppose it's cold and rainy; what if it's windy; will the art sell given this poor economy; will people peer over my shoulder, talk and make me crazy; will I fail to do something decent; will...

So, it was a bit rainy and cold but I found a great spot under the overhang at the golf club. The golfers were curious, friendly but way more interested in playing golf then watching me. My pastel turned out ok and actually sold. Most of all, it made sense to me to support the arts especially given this economy. After all, galleries and art centers work hand and hand with us artists.

The morning of the Paint Out, my husband ordered me to have fun. Somewhere on the drive up, I deciding to follow his order and did.

Nancy Ness

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reflections on the Oct. 20009 Old Forge Plein Air/Paint Out

by Loretta Lepkowski


Wow!  I think the Old Forge Plein Air/Paint Out this past weekend (Oct. 3 &4) went well despite the finicky weather.  Invited Artists registered at the Fire Hall’s meeting room where they also got a bit of breakfast and packed their lunches. An artist gift bag was included along with a copy of the Guild booklet.  They arrived individually or in small groups from Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Lake Placid and other local areas.  What fun meeting one another and chatting with such wonderful artists!  The artists spread out in five different locations in Old Forge area including McCauley Mt.  Equipped with their easels and paint supplies, they set up to capture the colorful fall scenes outside in public view. I was humbled to be in the presence of such celebrated and capable artists like Drayton Jones , Giorgina Talarico, Debra Burrington, Martin Scoville, Milton Franson and others I missed seeing painting on site

I managed to produce two small paintings -  one on Saturday, of an older gentleman reading while sitting in my lawn chair with the background of the Moose River and fall foliage. I happened upon him and liked his hat and coaxed him to pose for me. This was painted in a loose style, as I was concerned that he was getting chilled. (I’m still trying to learn how to paint people and he was kind to sit for me).  Later, I learned that he was a strong supporter of the Arts Center.  On Sunday, I arrived by noon after the morning rain.   Some of my relatives form Syracuse came to Old Forge.  After meeting them at the Arts Center where they took in the National Watercolor Show and introducing them to staff, volunteers and artists;  I had 2 hours left to paint.  In a panic, I tried to think of something or somewhere to paint and pulled in the Enchanted Forest parking lot.   I was happy to find a spot behind the ticket booth to set up my easel and proceeded to quickly paint an old friend, Paul Bunyan, surrounded by lovely colors.  It got brisk and the clouds constantly changed the lighting, but I was able to finish it in the nick of time for submission to the Arts Center by 4pm.  I titled it, “I found my Man”….

or “Paul Bunyan” -  for a bit of humor.    

            For a fun and exciting day to see beautiful art work available for purchase that has been completed in this Plein Air/Paint Out, please consider coming to McCauley Mt. On this Sunday, Oct. 11th.  The silent Auction will begin at the McCauley Mt. lodge at noon and the Live Auction will start at 5pm.  Food and music will add to the festivities.  You might also consider riding the chair lift up the Mountain for a scenic view.  Hope to see you there!