Updated: Jun 19, 2021
I rarely plan or strategically hunt for specific hand painted, hand forged, or thought-twisting crafty wonders. I prefer to just happen upon them…discover them as they come in unexpected places…the tucked away and the just waiting to be noticed. Like during a casual let’s-see-what-we-see walk in Kingston, a lazy day slower-than-60mph road trip through Cold Spring, or a let-me-see-what’s-near-me-app check-in while strolling Woodstock…you might describe my experience with the arts as simply…just by chance! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve stood in meters-long lines at the Louvre and elbow mingled on the rooftop of the Met of absolutely divine proportions…but where I feel the most authentic vibe of the artistic kind is always in the unplanned…in the local.
Hudson Valley never ceases to amaze me how artfully connected it is. It’s full of I-think-you-are-interesting art forms I nearly always uncover during my “jojo” outings in the Valley. Some by well-knowns...the oh-so famous, others by those just getting started or in the moment types, and some well…just-don’t-care-to-let-us-know-who-they are…which makes me want to know them even more! Regardless of their status in or out of the art community, the Hudson Valley is home to the colorful, free form, painted, mosaiced, and sculpted…HV you got art!
This isn’t an art trail guide per say, but “wander”-ful notables to consider while in and around some of the area. Pieces to look for nearby, think about, snap, share, research later (always surprising and many times quite fascinating), and maybe they will even inspire your own inner creator to…well, ahhh…create!
“Love Knot” …Love? Why “knot”! It’s a sculpture, it’s a bench…it’s definitely thought provoking and intended to be interactive. Its bright true-red tone and highly polished surface caught my eye while wandering about the village square in Woodstock, NY. It’s reason for being? Spread a little love? I learned that it’s much more significant than that!
Artful Creator: Ze'ev Willy Neumann
Where it is: On the lawn of Marie’s Bazaar in Woodstock, NY and a second identical “knot” is on the corner of Main and Market in Saugerties, NY…can you say, “twinning?”
"Merlin" …is a mosaic creation extraordinaire! Located in the opposite direction of the “Love Knot” and across the square, stand several over-sized human-shaped conspicuous figures…propped up and purposefully posed into position. The made-me-look pieces are comprised of hundreds and hundreds of miniature kitschy knick-knacks – chippy ceramic things and very familiar figurines - all cemented and glued together precisely into shape. It was quite curious and amusing at the same time. I couldn’t help giggling a bit as I zoomed in on some funny particulars while grabbing several dozen pics.
Artful Creator: Paul's Mosaics
Where it is: At the entrance of the Village Green Bed & Breakfast in Woodstock, NY
Magazzino Italian Art…is monte bella! Italian for “warehouse,” Magazzino is a clean-lined, cleverly-laid-out-one-level museum and research center focused on Italian contemporary art in the US. I came across the bright white well-appointed structure in between an early afternoon wine tasting (when in Rome!) and an early dinner in Cold Spring. If you appreciate the way-out modern type (can you say, “neon?”) in a more traditional setting…this is a must…inside and outside. (They have donkeys! Dominick, is that you?!)
Artful Creator: Co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu
Where it is: Route 9 in Cold Spring, NY
O+ wall murals…is art with a great big heart. During a sunny-around-the-block stroll through Kingston’s historic district, I encountered the most beautiful, emotional-charged larger-than-life murals…they were “hug-a” and magnificent! After a bit of google sleuthing, I learned these were four of fifteen murals organized by “O+” (pronounced, “O Positive”) A not-for-profit organization centered on building long-term relationships between creatives and health & wellness providers…I had no idea!
Where it is: “Bilancia” is at 73 Crown Street, “Pronkstilleven” is at 289 Fair Street, “Survivor Love Letter” is at 40 Thomas Street, “The Hobgolbin of Old Dutch” is at 72-98 Crown Street
“Seven Generations” …is one of those made-you-think pieces of genius. Standing amongst dozens of buttery-yellow daffodils, the hubs and I couldn’t help but notice the seven-piece matte black steel installation sitting solo on a small patch of green in Warwick, NY. “Look!” Live and in person was the famously, some-what-controversial piece forged by the hands of a worldwide contributor. It was both beautiful and message heavy.
Artful Creator: Frederick Franck
Where it is: On Hallow Ground, between Forester Ave. and Park Ave. in Warwick, NY…more of the famous artist can be experienced nearby at Pacem-In-Terris.
Whether you plan an art-filled getaway to the Valley with these or throw it to the wind to see what it may bring you…explora’ forwa’ shurwa’ cause…Hudson Valley you got real art!