The new art exhibition of the Paltz Historical Preservation Commission is now on display at the library

Marcy Bernstein, executive director of the Roost Gallery, was one of the judges of the art exhibition sponsored by the New Paltz Village Historic Preservation Commission and the Elting Memorial Library. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Each year, the New Paltz Village Historic Preservation Commission calls for nominations “for works of art that focus on and draw inspiration from historical landmarks, landscapes and architectural details local and region, and explore the theme of preservation and life in a historical context. . “Its fifth annual art exhibition is currently on display in the Ron Steinberg Reading and Meeting Room at the Elting Memorial Library.

“We are very pleased with the nominations this year,” Library Director John Giralico said last Saturday, as members of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) board of directors prepared to release the identity of the works. award-winning art. HPC chairman Tom Olsen agreed, saying the 2019 nominations were “at an extremely high standard overall. I don’t envy the judges.

This year’s judges were Marcy Bernstein, Josephine Bloodgood and Anne Galperin. Bernstein, Executive Director of Roost Studios, joined in praising the 37 works presented this year. “The quality of the work is incredible. The bar is set very high this year, ”she said.

Bernstein prefaced his announcements of the winning entries with a description of the criteria applied by the team of judges. The first question to be answered, she said, was “Does the work really express anything about the history of the region?” Noting that “history” could refer to aspects of the natural world, in addition to human habitation, or a crucial point where the two intersect. The second criterion concerned the artist’s point of view and the way in which he expressed himself, whether literally or metaphorically. Finally, she said, the judges were looking at technical skills and “the interesting use of materials … how they put things together,” such as color, line, texture and composition “and” unique voice. that shines through ”through the artist’s process.

This year, prizes were awarded in three categories: Painting, Drawing / Mixed Media and Photography. William Powe took second and third place in the photography category for Hallowed be thy name, a backlit black and white rendering of a lighthouse, and Misty morning, a ghostly sight of horses in a field. The first place in photography was awarded to New Paltz Black, a downtown scene of street characters illuminated by window displays, presented by Agnès Devereaux. The former owner of the Village TeaRoom, on the verge of leaving the HPC board and the main wrestler of the delicious appetizer spread at the grand opening, also received a painting of the TeaRoom from Kamilla Nagy as a thank you for her services to community.

In the Drawing / Mixed Media category, third place went to Katherine Gray’s Home! a pastel over watercolor wash that Bernstein described as an “interesting point of view” from a “private corner” of the porch of a historic house. Second place went to Reservoir approach, Judy Stanger’s vibrant, purple-dominated pastel of a Catskills scene that could have been transplanted from the American West. Bernstein judges unanimous in awarding first place to Maureen Rogers Nyquist Harcourt Shrine, an extremely detailed winter wetland scene rendered in soft graphite lines.

With so many high-quality entries, the paint was by far the most difficult category to judge. In third place was a wintery watercolor by Mira Fink of the original Lower Main Street structure housing the Roost Studios, Fire room: Flatiron Building. “He captures a specific time of year – there is a coldness in everything.” Second place went to watercolor by Mary Ottaway Mohonk from Pine Road, in which bright bursts of red and yellow foliage frame the dark tunnel of the roadway. “The tower is there, but it’s not the main character,” Bernstein said approvingly, citing the light, energy, lyricism and “musical quality” of the painting.

This landscape painting by Cami Fischer won the Best in Show award.

Lana Privitera, who won the Best in Show award at the 2018 competition, this year won first place in the Painting category for her watercolor Back of Maison Hasbrouck – “from behind, not in front,” noted Bernstein. The judge praised the “high level of craftsmanship” and the “spontaneous” quality of the work, in which the shadows of the trees play on the contrasting textures of the stone wall and the wooden shingles. The Best in Show award went to another painting, a large oil on canvas in many shades of spring green by Cami Fischer, Lenape Lane: Gatehouse Road to Mount Mohonk, which, according to Bernstein, captures “not only the appearance of a place, but its spirit”.

The fifth annual HPC art exhibition will remain on view during library hours until May 4, giving visitors a glimpse into local colors – and form, line and texture. In the words of Marcy Bernstein: “Who better to appreciate the value of what we have here, and why it should be preserved and appreciated, than artists?

Aurora J. William

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