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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 13, 2010

Park to be named for the Schillings
Desolation Road opens in Altamont

By Jo E. Prout

ALTAMONT — A public hearing for a photo shop and community art gallery will take place next Monday, town code enforcement officer Donald Cropsey told the village board last week.

Also, the board agreed to name the Maple Avenue park after the Schilling family, just weeks after a split vote by the board about creating a new, expensive sign for the Benjamin M. Crupe Bozenkill Park.

Desolation Road

Desolation Road Photo Studio owner Jim Miller received planning commission approval last week. He hopes to open by June 4, Miller told The Enterprise, to “create a community art space where local artists can sell their media.”

The studio is housed in the former pharmacy at 182 Main Street. The property has been vacant for about 15 years, Miller said. “I’m just leasing from the current owner,” he said.

The 1,250-square-foot former shop was cleaned up by the owner, and Miller has been doing renovations for the last three weeks, he said.

“I’ve re-Sheetrocked, and put in molding to make it a little bit more usable,” Miller said.

Miller, a photographer, worked in the commercial finance industry and sales before turning to art.

“My story is one of re-invention,” he said. He used savings to “do something that was a little more socially redeeming,” he said. The art space will benefit the village, he said, and bring people into the village, thereby helping other local businesses.

Miller’s website, www.desolationroadphoto.com, showcases his own art. While he will shoot weddings, he prefers to show his own photography.

“I mostly do commercial events or fine art shows all over the Northeast, in Philadelphia, and Westchester County. Throughout the Northeast is what I’m concentrating on,” he said.

Artists who work with ceramics, metal, wood, oils, and even quilts are welcome to contact him, Miller said.

“There’s no limit to what I can do if people are willing to consign their work,” he said. Prices in the gallery can range from $5 to $2,000, he said.

He hopes to begin hosting events, like a juried art show or a high school or middle school art show.

“I’m looking for artists, if anyone is interested in selling their work,” Miller said. He can be reached at 312-0310.

New park name

The board voted unanimously to name the park at 149 Maple Avenue after the Schilling family. The resolution came mere weeks after a split vote over the costs incurred for posting an appropriate sign at Benjamin M. Crupe Bozenkill Park on Gun Club Road.

Trustee William Aylward said that the Parks and Green Space Committee voted in April to rename the park after former trustee Phyllis Schilling and her family.  The park, which was made into tennis courts in the 1960s, was reinvented as a community space with a playground more than five years ago.

Schilling has served as a village trustee and as the village gardener, and is still active in Altamont.

“She became the ‘beautification trustee,’ ” Aylward told the board. “It’s a wonderful way to honor a wonderful woman and her family.”

Asked if she were aware of the decision, Schilling told The Enterprise, “I heard a rumor. It’s true.” Schilling said that she was very pleased, but that other people are also involved with the park.

Other business

In other business, the board:

— Agreed to hire Germaine Rexford as a part-time seasonal laborer for Bozenkill Park for up to 20 hours per week at $12.36 per hour from May through October; and

— Agreed to hire Tim McIntyre Jr., the superintendent’s son, and Chris Le Clair as part-time seasonal laborers for the department of public works at $8.75 per hour. The board also agreed to hire Chet Ferriero as a seasonal laborer at $8.50 per hour. Each will work June through September.

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