Artists will display work at Grist Mill

— File photo by Cameron Miller

A tradition: The Rensselaerville Historical Society is opening its fifth annual art show on Friday. With 25 local artists displaying their works, this will be the largest show yet. Here, at an earlier show, Jeff Carter, who lives in Maryland, admires watercolors by Robert Lynk of Rensselaerville and Delmar.

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Rensselaerville Historical Society is hosting an art show, starting this weekend, at the Grist Mill on the hamlet’s Main Street.

Twenty-five artists will have their works on display. 

“The show is free although donations are always welcome,” said Rose Kuhar, a historical society member who chairs the art show.

The show started five years ago, she said, when Doug Riter, who spent his growing-up summers in Rensselaerville, visiting his grandparents, wanted to honor them with a show of their artwork.

So that first show featured just the work of Henrietta and Warren Riter. Henrietta Riter had been instrumental in founding the historical society, Kuhar said.

Every year since, Doug Riter along with Geoffrey Hall have hung the show. Hall lives in New Orleans where he works on scenery for films, said Kuhar; like Riter, he had visited his grandparents in Rensselaerville.

The historic Helderberg Hilltown has a population of less than 2,000. Asked how it was that more than one out of every 100 residents is an artist, Kuhar said, “We have a lot of New York City people with second homes here.”

The requirement for being in the show, she said is: “All of the artists have lived in Rensselaerville at some time in their lives.”

The show is mixed media, Kuhar said, with photographs, paintings, and collages exhibited. “We have several repeaters and several new,” she said of the artists.

The show will also feature a youth section where four young people will display their work.

The historic Grist Mill is large and the artwork will be “spread out for social distancing,” Kuhar said.

Usually, on summer weekends in Rensselaerville,” Kuhar said, “There’s always something going on — things are bobbin’.” But this year, with coronavirus restrictions, “There’s nothing,” Kuhar said.

So she is hoping the show will be well attended — “but not too many at once” to stay within public-health guidelines for people staying six feet from one another.

Normally, Kuhar said, the Friday-night opening is busy and, during the other hours, “people wander in and out.”

The show runs on Friday, July 24, from 4 to 8 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26 from 2 to 4 p.m.; on Wednesday, July 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1 and 2, from 2 to 4 p.m.

All are welcome. Visitors must follow state health regulations and wear face coverings.

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