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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 9, 2008

Wines a la Arte to showcase Altamont’s rich and diverse art community

By Kristin Casey

ALTAMONT – Natives are not surprised that a rich and diverse art community thrives in and around this hillside village, nestled at the foot of the Helderbergs just fifteen miles from downtown Albany.  But for the rush of newcomers to the area and those livingoutside Altamont, the number and variety of art forms being produced by artists, many known for their work far beyond this region, is not common knowledge.

For this reason, the Altamont Free Library and the Beckmann family, owners of the Appel Inn, are hosting Wines a la Arte on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Appel Inn, 590 Route 146, just east of Altamont. The event will showcase over 30 local artists, displaying examples of their work, providing an opportunity to meet the artists and experience their work.

Guests also will be able to participate in a silent auction of select artists’ works and a wine-tasting with local wine experts Greg Giorgio and Ted Neumann, featuring fine red and white wines with an artistic theme, and complemented with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Located in a beautiful country setting, the Appel Inn was established in 1765, and provides a unique and historic venue for the event.

Of the 30 artists participating, a broad range of art will be showcased.

Carly Wright, a studio jewelry designer who works in sterling silver and enamel, uses the ancient technique of champlévé, a process of inlaying enamel in recessed areas of metal. Wright markets her jewelry at upscale retail craft shows throughout the Northeast and wholesales her work to 75 galleries nationwide through the American Craft Council show in Baltimore.  Her work can be found in galleries from Nashville to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe.

Dietrich Gehring is a fine arts photographer, specializing in landscapes as well as horticultural and agricultural subjects. A selection of his landscapes and agricultural images are part of the permanent collection at the Albany Institute of History and Art, and his fine art prints are sold through galleries and exhibitions. Gehring’s photography has included a study of Jamaican migrant workers at home and abroad and documentation of the transition of agriculture in Soviet Russia from collective farms to private enterprise. His latest body of work, a whimsical collection of images of garden gnomes at work and play in natural settings, will be on display at a Czechoslovakian museum.

David R. Miller, recognized as a leading architectural photographer, graphic designer and digital artist for the past 35 years, will also have his work on display. Clients for his fine-art photographs and illustrations include architects, contractors, editorial magazines, corporations, galleries and private collectors.

Mark Van Wormer, who teaches photography at the Emma Willard School, will display works from his regional and international travels.

Ron Ginsburg will showcase photography of a variety of area scenes.

Johanna Martin, a photographer formerly of Altamont, will present samples of her work.

Allan Ditton will show pieces of his high-fired stoneware pottery, featuring matte-textured, terracotta-colored glaze. His work is shown in over 50 galleries nationwide, including 10 of the top 100.

Lars Turin, who retired as an art teacher in 2007, is now focusing on his own art, and showing his fine pottery, ceramic sculpture and functional pieces in galleries in Albany, Troy, and Saratoga.

The Altamont area also boasts a number of well-known painters of oil on canvas and watercolors.

Ed Cowley, a long-time Altamont resident and celebrated artist, who chaired the University at
Albany Art Department from 1955 to 1975, has been well-known for many years for his oil paintings of Altamont, friends and family, as well as his stained-glass pieces.

T.E. Breitenbach will be displaying “Proverbidioms IV: Who Missed the Boat?”, a six-foot-wide painting that whimsically brings to life over 200 cliches and sayings.  The piece is over six feet wide and has not been exhibited outside of the studio for 16 years.

Laura Provo-Parker (Marshall), an oil painter, has been described by Pablo Helguera of the Guggenheim Museum as among painters “who create abstract spaces of a highly evocative nature.”

Paul David Kocsis, formerly of Altamont, is known for his colorful and striking surrealistic and abstract oils.

Loretta Martin, also a former Altamont resident, will feature abstract landscapes.

Mary Ann Brock, Betsy Whitlock and Joan Johnson, watercolorists, often paint together, with Brock known for capturing unique local scenes and buildings, Johnson for her Maine and local settings, and Whitlock for her botanicals.

Melanie Jakway will also be showing a nature study in watercolor, as well as an oil pastel landscape.

The DuBrin family of Altamont has a long history of artistic talent, and a variety of their artistic talents will be on display, including watercolors by Carol, pen-and-ink prints by Jane, copper enamel by Kerry, photography by Robin, sampler and crewel work by Susie, and oil paintings by the late Edwin Sanford and Marie DuBrin.

A medley of other art works will include:

Tom Kryzak’s metal sculptures, including pure metals and mixed medium (metals with stone, wood, glass and fabric);

—         Forest Byrd’s political cartoons and illustrations; his prize-winning work appears weekly in The Altamont Enterprise;

—         Joan Benson’s decorative art; she is known for her colorful painting on functional pieces; and

—         Anne Cartmell and Barbara Quackenbush’s art quilts.


Admission to Wines a la Arte is $25 per person and reservations may be made by calling 861-6939.  All proceeds will benefit the Altamont Free Library’s train station renovation.

Editor’s note: Kristin Casey is the development coordinator for the Altamont Free Library.

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