I suppose one could call it a pet peeve. I do not care for reporting on events happening in the region that have come and gone by the time you read this. I tend to gravitate toward covering opening …
I suppose one could call it a pet peeve. I do not care for reporting on events happening in the region that have come and gone by the time you read this. I tend to gravitate toward covering opening nights, opening receptions and grand openings, in order to give you all an opportunity to go, see and do what I write about, if for no other reason than to hear about your humble opinion, since it’s likely more interesting than mine.
In addition, a good part of my job is to encourage folks to sally forth into the world of art, literature, music and theatre, not only to enjoy all of those wonderful things, but also to support the very vibrant artistic community that peppers the landscape here in New York and across the bridge in Pennsylvania. If it’s already come and gone I feel a little bit “Nyah-nyah.” You know, like “I saw it and you didn’t; nyah-nyah.” It’s not cool.
That said, such was the case over the last few days. It began innocently enough: I had plans to make the schlep (it’s really not that far, I’m just being dramatic) out to the Catskill Art Society’s (CAS) Laundry King art and performance space in Livingston Manor, NY. I wanted to catch author Wayne Hoffman reading excerpts from his newest and highly personal book, “The End of Her: Racing Against Alzheimer’s to Solve a Murder.”
Hoffman, who splits his time between the city and the country, has written three novels. “Hard” and its sequel “An Older Man” are both published by Bear Bones Books, while the Stonewall Book Award-winning “Sweet Like Sugar” is published by Kensington Books.
Even if you missed the event (nyah-nyah) “The End of Her” is available at One Grand Books in both the Manor and Narrowsburg. I’ve yet to read it, but it’s on my nightstand, and I have plans to sit down in the near future with Hoffman for an honest-to-goodness interview coming soon to a newspaper near you.
Meanwhile, I grabbed the opportunity to hear him read said excerpts to a packed crowd, and answer questions from the audience. He was with associates Chana Pollack and Myra Mniewski, who were both on hand to discuss their participation in the years-long research process as Hoffman sought the truth lurking behind the lies. The chapter I heard was riveting and I cannot wait to read the entire book.
What I didn’t know was that Aaron Hicklin, writer and publisher of Grand: The Journal of One Grand Books, was also scheduled to read a selection of his own work, titled “On Ukraine.” The piece was culled from the journal’s summer edition, which is now available in both bookstore locations.
I also learned that Hicklin has had years of experience as a war correspondent. He wrote this spellbinding piece upon returning recently from Ukraine, where he heard first-hand fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking stories of Ukrainian’s daily life in the war-torn region.
Speaking of things you may have missed and I was unaware of, the Laundry King just concluded a month-long exhibit of artist Trey Speegle’s work. Titled “It’s Not My Fault,” it featured super-sized “paint by numbers” pieces, which elicited a surprisingly emotional response from yours truly.
A quick peek at the CAS website informed me that at this exhibit “Trey Speegle will present a collection of sardonic and playful paintings on the occasion of CAS’s Pride program, in celebration of LGBTQIA+ month.
“Using one of the world’s largest collections of vintage paint-by-number paintings,” the description continued, “Speegle uses humor, affirmations and word play that resonate with a broad, pop appeal.”
I loved my paint-by-numbers projects as a kid, and Trey’s giant “versions with a message” were/are amazing, IMHO.
Speegle has collaborated with Stella McCartney, Squarespace, and Anthropologie Home; in 2014, he created a mural in Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthy America.
Another city mouse/country mouse, he divides his time between Jeffersonville, NY and Merida, MX, where he has art studios.
“Sorry you missed it (nyah nyah)” I scribbled in my notes. “Wish you were here.”
The good news? In 2016, Regan Arts released Trey’s book, titled “Transform Your Life with Color by Number,” which is available at (you guessed it!) One Grand Books. It’s chock-full of black-and-white vintage designs, and I can’t wait to start coloring inside the lines.
All in all, these are things that you may have missed, but there’s so much to see and do in the Upper Delaware River region, nobody can do it all. Trust me—-I’ve tried.
Fun Fact: According to the Macmillan dictionary (dot com) “nyah-nyah” is a “very informal interjection” used especially repeatedly, to show feelings of superiority or contempt: “You’re stupid, nyah-nyah-nyaaahh.” Found in many different cultures, children use the sing-song “nyah-nyah, nyah-nyah-nyah” to taunt one another. I promise not to do it again.
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