Salon series is for those seeking 'hindsight, insight, or foresight'

Narrowsburg, N.Y. The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance offers free events in January, February, and March on a wide range of themes that include art books, jazz, childhood fort building, a paper-cut shadow show, and storytelling.

| 21 Jan 2020 | 02:55

The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance's Winter Salon Series offers free arts events on Saturday afternoons throughout the winter.

"Whether it's hindsight, insight, or foresight they seek, our 2020 winter Salon Series encourages our audiences to connect and look back on the familiar, experience a transformation, and see the work with fresh eyes,” says Matt Carpenter, DVAA's Performing Arts Director.

All salon events will take place at 2 p.m. in the Krause Recital Hall, on the second floor of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, 37 Main St., Narrowsburg, N.Y.

Admission is free; donations will be appreciated. Seating is first-come, first-served basis. The schedule is subject to change, so call ahead to confirm each event. More information is available by calling 845-252-7576 or visiting

Childhood fort building

The series kicks off on Jan. 25 with photographer Ellen Brooks and book artist Stacy Wakefield discussing their collaboration on "Constructed Comfort," a book about the primary architecture of childhood fort building. The book presents two series of artworks by Brooks with which Wakefield created a limited-edition, riso-printed book. The collaborators will discuss the concept of artists’ books and show some favorite examples. They will also present the photographs and drawings of forts from the book. Participants will be invited to remember their own childhood forts and contribute to the ongoing project.

Piano jazz

Jazz pianist and music educator Billy Lester will give a concert on Feb. 22. Lester belongs to the family tree of jazz pianists connected to Lennie Tristano, who planted the seeds for free-jazz improvisation. Studying with Tristano’s protégé Sal Mosca for 16 years, Lester creates original compositions from variations on classic American songs' chord changes. His playing is gentle and probing, yet solid enough to carry strong melodic lines. Come hear what the online magazine Slate chose for its list of the best jazz of 2019, observing, “Lester ambles into uncharted alleys and wormholes while retaining an unassuming lyricism, and that’s rare." Jazz Times praised Lester’s sound as "spirited, compelling, purposeful, and technically accomplished piano jazz.”

Paper-cut shadow show

On Feb. 29 is “Long/Gone,” an immersive paper-cut shadow show by Philadelphia printmaker, shadow puppeteer, and paper-cut artist Erik Ruin. More than 100 feet long, “Long/Gone” is a single intricately cut piece of paper that flows freely from image to image, while narratives and scenarios drawn from classic works of literature, from Homer to Dante, emerge, collapse, and spill over and into each other. Philly Voice calls it “stark, intricate and wondrous – Ruin’s paper-cut art combines the enthralling fantasy of a storybook with the prismatic, fragmented beauty of a stained-glass window.” Multi-instrumentalist and composer Jesse Sparhawk will provide a live soundtrack on harp.

Eclectic music

Kevin Graham, a Narrowsburg-based multi-instrumentalist, wiill perform on March 7. His improvisations are influenced by many styles, including jazz, classical, folk, and world music. From playing in East Village clubs as a teenager to working as a studio musician in his 20s, Graham has collected many techniques and has put them all together for his debut solo show. Looping live with his six-string ukulele, electric guitar, fretless bass, vocals, and various percussive instruments, Graham will perform a mix of eclectic musical motifs and melodies with improvised rhythms and solos. He pursues a balance between musicality and virtuosity, emphasizing emotional impact to build a composition in the moment.

Jonathan Charles Fox

The series wraps up on March 28 with Jonathan Charles Fox and his sidekick, Dharma the Wonder Dog. Fox will regale audiences with stories culled from his colorful life. An award-winning columnist, author, photographer and self-proclaimed bon vivant, he is known for his blend of humor, pathos, and “self-serving ingratiating joie de vivre.” “I never really know what I’m going to say until the audience shows up, since they are an integral part of the experience,” Fox said. “I may be in the driver’s seat, steering my way through my memoir, titled ‘Life in the Past Lane,' but there will surely be bumps in the road, twists, and turns, and it’s possible some hazards will show up in the rear view mirror. At some point, it will all screech to a halt, or simply crash and burn."

The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.