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By Cornelia Seckel
ART TIMES April 2007

It has been quite a month with Spring almost here, winter back in full force and now back to Spring. We have all been feeling the pull to begin new creative works, to begin planting, and to use the energy we’ve stored up during the winter.

On March 5, I accompanied Raymond J. Steiner to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he had been invited to give a lecture entitled “The Art Students League, William Merritt Chase & Robert Henri” as part of their exhibition “Painterly Controversy: William Chase and Robert Henri.” Well over 100 people attended this morning lecture and Steiner was extremely well received, especially when he voiced his comments about trusting their own judgment when it comes to feelings on art. There are still some copies of Raymond’s book The Art Students League of New York: A History available. You can take a look and order online at www.arttimesjournal.com or give a call here at the office.

Raymond J. Steiner speaking about
“The Art Students League, William Merritt Chase & Robert Henri” at the Bruce Museum

Just a few weeks later, both Raymond and I were invited by a group in Freehold, NY to speak about how ART TIMES began and the specific nature of Raymond’s writing. The Connoisseur Club is made up of collectors and artists. This group of 20-plus men and women meet each month and invite various people to speak with them about their expertise. I expect Raymond will speak to this group again and this time about art criticism. Yet another lecture is coming up in June for Raymond at the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Ave. in NYC. Open and free to the public, this will be an opportunity to hear Steiner’s reflections on criticism in general, and art criticism specifically.

Chilli Bowl Fundraising event for
the Womens Studio Workshop, Binnewater, NY

For the past 10 years the Womens Studio Workshop of Binnewater, NY has had a Chilli Bowl fundraising event which often raises the organization over $15,000. Nearly 25 different restaurants donated chilli. When one buys a bowl —made by members of the pottery workshop under the supervision of Marybeth Wehrung and members of the communty who attend a Clay Day sometime in February— they are entitled to a bowl of chilli. Usually 700 people attend this event with that many bowls sold. WSW is a visual arts organization with specialized studios in printmaking, hand papermaking, ceramics, letterpress printing, photography, and book arts. Artists are invited to work at WSW as a part of their Fellowship Program, Artists' Books Grants, Residencies, Internships, or to learn new skills in our Summer Arts Institute and community workshop series. For more information: www.wsworkshop.org.

Several newsy items: Now in its 10th year and to celebrate "National Museum Month," Bank of America's Museums On Us™ program is providing free access, during the month of May, for each Bank of America or MBNA cardholder and a guest to 85 cultural institutions on the East and West coasts, including museums, historical sites, and science centers. Check and see if any of the cultural institutions in your area are part of the program at www.bankofamerica.com/museums  • As of April 1, the former City of Newburgh Police Satellite at 317 Liberty Street will become a place where the community can go for art exhibits, live music jams, meetings, and other programs. Ramona Torres, proprietor and curator, is a renowned photo-artist who resides in Newburgh. She expects that at River Art Emporium one may find a movie night, a meeting of a book club, a friendly game of cards, a game of chess or checkers, or even a scrabble tournament. Her vision is to make Liberty Street Corridor the center of the arts and cultural community and the gallery an outlet for local artists to gather, learn, display, and sell their work.  Opening such a space has been her dream as it allows her to display her own artwork while supporting all of the arts.

Slaves working the plantations in the South helped give "birth to the blues," using songs from Africa and from church gospels. Foreground (l to r): Rob Barnes, Cicily Daniels, Juson Williams. Background: Carole Troll at Capital Rep, Albany, NY. Photography by Joe Schuyler

It was a fun-filled evening at Capital Rep, a regional Theater in Albany, NY, when I attended the Opening Night Performance and regional premiere of “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” directed by Alan Weeks. Pre-show music by Azzaam Hameed and an exhibition of Jazz-themed paintings by Wren Panzella set the stage for this musical revue. This history of the Blues originated as an educational outreach project of the Denver Center Theatre Company and was so stimulating to the students that their parents wanted to know how they could see it. Subsequently it was produced as a play in San Diego then the Alabama Shakespeare Festival before going on to Broadway opening at Lincoln Center in 1999, and then moving to a commercial run at The Ambassador. The band, with musical director David Malachowski, was outstanding. Sexy, rich, heartfelt, and playful are adjectives that can barely do justice to the performances by equity members Rob Barnes, Cicily Daniels, Jonathan Rosen, Julie Tolivar, Carole Troll and Juson Williams. The enthusiasm and individuality of each character shone through as each performed solos, interacted with one another, and rendered harmonies that were sweet and smooth. The show will run through April 7. For more information go online: www.capitalrep.org The next show at Capital Rep is “The Crucible” and will run from April 27 — May 26.

Kurt Daw Dean, Fine & Performing Arts, Suny New Paltz & Katherine Worthington-Taylor viewing one of her grandfather's paintings at the Dorsky Museum's exhibit “Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen”

The exhibition “Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of charles Rosen” at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (SUNY, New paltz) will be on view until May 20. (See online review by Raymond J. Steiner on our website www.arttimesjournal.com) The opening reception was crowded with the general art-loving public, collectors, artists, and friends of Katherine Worthington Taylor (Rosen’s granddaughter and source of much of the ephemera as well as a number of paintings). A lecture by Brian Peterson (author of the accompanying catalogue) from the James A. Michener Art Museum, where this exhibition originated, preceded the opening. He spoke about Rosen, his life, and gave some thoughts on why artists change their style — something this audience already knew. Rosen had been part of a group of artists in New Hope (Pennsylvania) before going to Woodstock to teach at the Art Students League’s summer sessions in 1918.

That is it for now. For those of you planning summer events keep in mind that we will again combine our July and August issues. The advertising deadline is June 19th and as always, the calendar and opportunity listings deadline is the 12th. Our website www.arttimesjournal.com is growing in popularity and filled with good resources and information — check it out!

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