Category Archives: art

Glitter and Be Gay: Art in Newburgh, New York

McCorkle, Dividing Plant Cell at Anaphase

The word came to us from Rome. No, not that one, but rather Rome, Georgia. Mery Lynn McCorkle, an artist who resides there presently, alerted us to an exhibit at Ann Street Gallery, in Newburgh, New York.

I’ve been wanting to see McCorkle’s work “up close and personal” ever since I first became aware of it. I mean, how does she paint with glitter? Along with, what the heck is she doing in Rome, Georgia? (I’ve actually visited there, in an earlier incarnation—and come to think of it, a marvelous soprano, Jamie Barton, hails from there as well.) But still. Here’s a video that will explain it all to you.

McCorkle’s work was part of a group exhibit, Interaction of Colour. As the gallery explained, the exhibit “looks at the various ways that contemporary artists make use of color in their work.”

Included in Interaction of Colour are over forty works by fifteen artists: paintings, drawings, sculptures and installation works. Each artist’s work chosen for its expressive and chromatic qualities, as well as, for being visually stimulating. These qualities combined, help to drawn the viewer in and create the opportunity for an even greater appreciation of color’s symbolic, cultural and historical meanings.

Virginia Walsh’s curation (Walsh shown here with artist Judy Thomas) is to be credited with collecting together an astonishing array of creative approaches, allowing each work full, individual expression at one and the same time as they engage in reverberant conversation. In addition to McCorkle’s works in glitter and acrylic on rag paper,

Schmitt, Light as a Feather

Conny Schmitt used vintage book paper for her collages and assemblage,

Christensen, Detail

Hilary Christensen “painted” vivid landscapes out of meticulously arranged plastic buttons and toys,

Emmerson, detail

and Susan Emmerson transformed Tyvek with acrylics.

Thomas, Cadence

Judy Thomas’s two works hung in vibrant loops, one filling an entire gallery. The stated materials were pex and nylon/lycra, but that hardly told the story. Thomas came in to the gallery while we were there, so I asked about the materials she used, and what a story it was! It all started, as I recall it, with trying to find a sort of container for others of her creations, and she came up with women’s tights—because they stretch two ways. Who knew? Thomas, an irresistible force of nature who hails from Osceola, Iowa, invited us to her studio, regaling us with a local tour and stories about her works along the way.

I have been through Osceola in another earlier incarnation, and it turns out she and McCorkle crossed paths while both were in Brooklyn, so the dots among us all connected in all sorts of scintillating—or should I say glittery, coiling—ways.

The exhibit is on view through October 14. If you’re not able to get there “live,” there are several samples of the works on exhibit on line here. For information on Dmitri Kasterine and his photographs of Newburgh (included in the slideshow), click here.

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Listening List

Leonard Bernstein, Overture to Candide



Leonard Bernstein, Glitter and Be Gay, from Candide, sung by Barbara Cook


Credits: The sources for the quotations may be found at the links in the text. The photographs, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.

An Operatic Apocalypse: The Drumf and the Rhinegold at Turn Park Art Space

Yesterday we took a day trip to West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, lured by the chance to hear two of our favorite singers, Lucy Dhegrae and Ariadne Greif. Well, OK, also, we’d missed earlier performances of The Drumf and the Rhinegold, and it was way past time to make up for that cultural lack. Continue reading

In an English Plague Village

Eyam Hall (from back garden)

Our book on the Peak District in England’s Midlands says of Eyam that “it will forever be known as the ‘plague village.’” As the story goes, the plague arrived in Eyam in 1665

In the house now known as the Plague Cottage . . . then occupied by a travelling tailor, who inadvertently introduced the plague to Eyam in a parcel of flea-infested cloth from London. The rector of Eyam, William Mompesson, persuaded most of the inhabitants to stay and seal off the village, even though many died from the disease. . . . [Simon Kirwan, Peak District Villages, pp. 44-45] Continue reading

In Sicilia: Imagination Unbound

Museo Regionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Belmonte-Riso, internal courtyard

Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

On our return trip from Siracusa to Palermo, we could see, off in the distance, a great flat-topped mountain, covered with snow. When, later, we consulted our map, we realized it must have been Mt. Etna. Continue reading

In Sicilia: First Days in Siracusa

Cattedrale di Siracusa

As we’d decided not to rent a car, we traveled cross-island to Siracusa via a big, comfortable bus. In Siracusa, we were once again lucky in our lodgings: a light-filled apartment with views of the Ortigia Harbor. First on our list was on-foot exploration, with the sole required stops to see the Burial of St. Lucy, by Caravaggio (1571-1610), and to visit the local market. Continue reading