New local artists exhibit stresses environmental activism

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:04

Orange County, N.Y. - For six months, people have been gathering on small farms, historic sites, and open spaces with the Wallkill River School to capture our dwindling vistas in paint, and in the hearts of the artists. Now, the artists’ works are on display in three locations throughout Orange County to give people a chance to purchase these works, and raise money for the organization that preserve our bucolic charm. The Wallkill River Art Gallery is the regions only plein air gallery, and is located in New Windsor at 357 Old Forge Hill Road. The exhibition runs from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, with a reception and “end of the season” party on Nov. 19 from 3 to 6 p.m. Expect lots of food and fun this eclectic and lively group of artists! This exhibition showcases the Wallkill River School, including the professional demonstrating artists like Pine Bush’s Gene Bove, and scholarship recipients like Port Jervis junior, Errol Smith. The exhibition features works done at all the sites visited during the 2006 painting season. There are professional plein air artists like Mary Evelyn Whitehill presented next to artists like Neil Granholm who is taking his first landscape painting workshop with the school. This is a great opportunity to see how different artists interpret the same scene in their own way. Harriman artist Bruce Thorn painted the Wallkill River in Montgomery with thick strokes of oil paint similar to Van Gogh, while Rock Tavern artist Marge Morales painted the same scene in subtle strokes of watercolor. The Wallkill River School combines plein air (French for outdoors) painting with environmental activism to save small farms, historic sites and open spaces. Workshops run from May through October, in Orange & Ulster Counties, on Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m., until noon, with a group critique and picnic of locally-grown foods. All sites are handicapped-accessible, with restroom facilities, and childcare provided with advance notice. Participation is open to all, with an extensive scholarship program available to diversify participants and instructors. Workshop participants have the opportunity to study one-on-one with the region’s most talented emerging artists, and be part of an encouraging peer group. Enjoy gourmet local food picnics, good company, and high-quality art instruction at our area’s most breathtaking open spaces.