Arts

Arts

Extraordinary Leaves and LayersAs you are cruising along the Adirondack Coast this fall, peeping at the magnificent colors, you are bound to admire the awesome scenery this historic valley displays. Man has been admiring and coveting this valley for centuries. From early European exploration, through conflict, and settlement, this fertile valley and its resources have been sought after and fought over. There are layers upon layers of American...
I met with a longtime Depot Theatre person to discuss the new 2017 season. Beth Glover has an excellent vantage point to view all the upcoming productions.This busy actress appears in local venues, on and off Broadway, and on the West Coast. Theater, small films, and television provide a varied backdrop for her work, even from backstage, such as serving as a stage manager for Depot Theatre's production of "SHOUT! The Mod Musical."What to love"I...
Champ Day is drawing near, and once again the residents of Port Henry are gearing up to celebrate their hometown lake monster, Champ. This annual bash at the “Home of Champ” keeps getting bigger, and this year is shaping up to be some fun doin’s.Champ Day is Sunday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a special kickoff to Champ Day - “The Return of Champ Day Movie Night!” - which will take place on Wednesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Come by the...
Is your holiday shopping incomplete? Still in search of that perfect gift for that special someone? Let me give you some ideas for gifts that will stay with the recipient forever, do not require assembly or the additional purchase of batteries, and won't have you standing in a long checkout line. As an added bonus, they're easy to wrap! We are talking experiences, of course, and the Lake Champlain Region has a wide variety to offer —...
As we approach the holiday season, there are two specific events I look forward to every year. In fact, missing either one of these makes the season incomplete for me. I encourage you to add these events to your holiday “list of things to do”- have them become a part of your holiday tradition. Canadian Pacific Holiday TrainEvery year, in late November — this year on November 27 — the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train of Lights winds its...
It can be fascinating living within the pages of a history textbook. Mention “Ticonderoga” and practically every American nods as they recall their early history lessons in school. Students are appropriately taught that activity along this vast lake was critical to the independence, colonization, and development of the entire U.S. I admit, learning that in a classroom setting did little for my appreciation and understanding of those significant...
It’s coming fast. Summer is an action packed season filled with events, tours, parades, concerts, performances, and festivals, and it all starts Memorial Day weekend on the Adirondack Coast. There certainly will be something going on to entertain you. Let me give you a few brief highlights of what's happening this summer, but by no means will this list be all inclusive. Check the events calendar for more options and opportunities. Where...
It can be fascinating living within the pages of a history textbook. Mention “Ticonderoga” and practically every American nods as they recall their early history lessons in school. Students are appropriately taught that activity along this vast lake was critical to the independence, colonization, and development of the entire U.S. I admit, learning that in a classroom setting did little for my appreciation and understanding of those significant...
I admit to being a treasure hunter. I like to seek out unique and creative items both around the region and when I travel. In fact when traveling to distant locations, searching for a treasure is always included on the itinerary. The hunt is often a bit challenging in unfamiliar territory, but it definitely adds to the experience. The perfect item won’t be found sitting on the shelf among the labeled t-shirts and shot glasses. It must be unique...
It’s that time of year when those of us who like to think of ourselves as gardeners are itching to dig in the dirt. Though weeks from actually being able to do that, we daydream in anticipation, begin a little planning, and make our shopping lists. Now that most snow cover has left, the sun is a little stronger and days are a bit longer, I wander among my flower beds scrutinizing for signs of life and wondering what might return this season. For...
There is something about the Adirondack environment that appeals to artists of all genres and speaks to all nationalities. The abundance of natural scenic beauty seems to enhance the art, providing a perfect backdrop or environment. That is how a young celebrated violinist, Ivan Galamian, found it when hearrived in Elizabethtown to visit his friend, renowned Russian cellist, Gregor Piatigorsky.  A Little BackgroundGalamian was Armenian...
I hate shopping. Don’t get me wrong; I like HAVING things, I just don’t like the tedious process of selecting the items I want from the dauntingly numerous racks and shelves of other things. I’m this way, I have self-diagnosed, because a large percentage of my younger years were spent tagging along behind my mother, who is a Super Shopper. In fact, my disdain for the activity might really be a defense mechanism that evolved from a fear of...
A very dear friend of mine once referred to Port Henry as “the San Francisco of the Adirondacks.” Very amusing, huh?  Well, this Village does sit on a hill and overlook the bridge and a bay. Also in common with its west coast cousin is that its “downtown” is developing a pretty hot art district and some unexpected and delightful public art displays. So, where the real San Francisco may be known as the “city for art” on the west coast; I’m...
At first I was a little stymied when I started thinking about today's blog in which I'm focusing on “funky towns, things, places.” No surprise to readers that I tend to see the Lake Champlain Region more as world-class, not really “funky," but after I looked up the word “funky” and read one definition: fashionable in a way that is unusual and shows a lot of imagination, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about and headed toward Wadhams. ...
A couple of short weeks from now we will be reflecting on where the summer went. Not that summer will officially be over, but once students head back to school options for even mini-vacations and family outings get restricted. An opportunity for a final bash of summer fun is waiting for you and your family in the Town of Moriah over Labor Day Weekend. The Village of Port Henry and Town of Moriah have been celebrating Labor Day for 126 years!...
The Lake Champlain Region is vast, extending approximately 75 miles north to south and 30 miles east to west. Obviously first time visitors, or even repeat visitors, never see it all. I don’t think I have. It’s easy to get caught up in the scenic beauty or focus on one unique feature and pass right by many other opportunities without knowing. Therefore, though not exactly “secrets,” here are a handful of tips regarding some lesser-known facts,...
Environmental InfluenceThere is something about this Champlain Valley that inspires artists of all genres. Far be it from me to understand precisely how and why, though I suspect it has a lot to with the abundance of scenic beauty, incredible vistas, the flora and fauna. One feels connected with the earthy natural elements here. Mother Nature continuously flashes a new colorful canvas, sculpture, song, perfume or performance for us to enjoy...
Hooray for Diversity! Wandering through the communities along the Adirondack Coast it is easy to be awed by the natural beauty. It happens all the time and it is one reason I love entertaining first-time visitors. They rave about the scenery. There is a great diversity and contrast: flat open water, rolling farm fields, heavily wooded areas, and of course the great sky line of the Adirondack Mountains. Views are never boring. Diversity adds...
TwoThis week’s blog topic is “TWO” and I have been searching for inspiration ever since the assignment. This has had me thinking like Noah for days. The Lake Champlain Region has an abundance of everything. Where are the important twos I should be blogging about? Distracted by having to thaw water pipes twice this past week and continually having to search for my second glove, I began to feel plagued by twos. It finally hit me. Like the missing...
Here in the Adirondacks our mailboxes are beginning to bulge with daily arrivals of seed and plant catalogs. If we have yet to begin thinking about gardening, these daily arrivals ignite our thoughts of growing flowers, vegetables and fruits. Of course these seed purveyors are well aware it would require a jackhammer to turn any soil in our region right now, but they fully understand the whole process.I love receiving these wish-books. As I gaze...
ABOVE: The Essex Inn, decked out in full holiday decor.North Country Christmas weekTiconderoga throws open its doors during the 5th Annual North Country Christmas Celebration, this year from November 29 - December 7. With a heck of a host of events every single night during the week, you’ll want to get a room in Ticonderoga for a couple of days, or the whole week. A sampling of the North Country Christmas events are: Annual Tree...
The Holiday SqueezeWe are approaching what I often refer to as the “holiday squeeze.” Everything can get a bit stretched - time, wallets, energies, and even belts. We look forward to all the traditional festivities and delivering the perfect gift to everyone on our list. The next few weeks can make us a bit anxious as we attempt to squeeze everything in. During this season we also want to be a little self-indulgent. It is the holidays after all...
It’s so easy to fall in love with the Lake Champlain Region. I see it on visitors’ faces all the time. “It’s SO beautiful here,” say many first time visitors that walk through the door at the Lake Champlain Visitors Center. The site distance and scenic beauty are captivating; awesome really. The level plane of the lake, juxtaposed against a back drop of the Adirondack Mountains offers an incredibly visually appealing contrast. When you combine...
You know that panic you feel when your mother-in-law is on her way to visit and your house is a mess?Sometimes the situation is overwhelming, so you just dust the obvious surfaces and hide stuff under the bed. And sometimes that panic inspires you to look at the situation from a different perspective, and it leads to real progress. Lucky for us, artist Linda Smyth takes the latter approach.  The CanvasMoriah is located on the...
As the sun slants a little more to the South in late summer, we begin thinking about the change of the seasons and our fall events. Of course, there are still several summer events not to be missed. Here are some of the highlights for the next few weeks.Get lost in the Corn MazeFort Ticonderoga still has a full schedule of historic events that are sure to both educate and entertain you. The Fort’s famous Heroic Corn Maze opened last weekend as...
The Lake Champlain Region is alive with events this time of year. Whether it’s a cultural, historic or community event you're looking for, you're covered. Dinner and a show One of my husbands and my favorite summertime activities is to take the drive to Westport for a production at The Depot Theatre. If you’re arriving from any other community in the Adirondacks, it’s a gorgeous drive this time of year in late afternoon. Located in the...
Early summer in the Lake Champlain Region brings entertainment and events for all. Historic events, festivals and numerous arts events fill the calendar.Fort Re-enactmentsFort Ticonderoga leads the charge with several historic events throughout the season. The Fort is a bustling place during the warmer months with reenactments and living history demonstrations, as well as special Fort tours. June 21st and 22nd brings a Living History weekend....
In my youth the mention of history would make me wrinkle my nose. That was during the school years of course, when I related history to a classroom setting with nothing but a boring memorization of strange names and odd dates. On Lake Champlain, I was living in the birthplace of America and enjoying history on a daily basis, but did not connect the dots. Textbooks aside out of the classroom, the historic sites of our Lake Champlain Region were...
Serendipity!Centrally located within the Lake Champlain Region, resting on the banks of the Boquet River, is the little hamlet of Whallonsburg. This hamlet is within the Town of Essex, about 4 miles from their NHR collection of houses and the Essex to Charlotte ferry dock. A central focus within this hamlet is The Whallonsburg Grange and what is happening there will surprise you.The Grange building itself is about 100 years old. It flourished in...
February events in the Lake Champlain RegionThe Lake Champlain Region is gearing up for a busy February, with historic re-enactments, concerts, rock climbing and snowshoe hikes for starters.Ice and rock climbing talkWinter Climbing will be the subject of the CRUX Climbing Center's event on February 4th. Famous Adirondack ice and rock climber and author, Don Mellor, will be on hand along with Mark Scott to discuss ice climbing technique in the...
In the past, I’ve not thought a lot about Essex, NY as much of a destination after Columbus Day but tonight is making me rethink that notion.This Thursday evening finds me at the Belden Noble Memorial Library in Essex for a poetry open mic night led by Essex’s own George Davis--Rosslyn Redux author and storyteller.There are about a dozen writers here who have braved the cold to listen and share their words. I am especially excited that my co-...
How lucky is the Lake Champlain Valley?Unbelievably. We may live 5 hours or so from NYC but we are always learning of a new talent who has decided to settle in this quiet and picturesque valley.For about a year now, I have been hearing about one such resident--composer/trumpeter, Taylor Haskins.According to his website, Mr. Haskins is being hailed as one of the most original new voices on the trumpet today. Downbeat magazine declared him...
This is my first silent movie with a live accompanist and I know for a fact that it won’t be my last. This evening’s event finds me at Willsboro School where the Champlain Valley Film Society (CVFS) is hosting renowned pianist/organist/film historian Ben Model and two Charlie Chaplin movies: “A Dog’s Life” and “The Kid.”Ben Model is one of the USA's leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silent movies at the...
It is a quintessential autumn day, slightly past peak, sunny and warm enough to walk around with just long sleeves yet there is a slight crispness to the air. It is Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day weekend, one of the busiest weekends of the year in the North Country.I am celebrating by taking a ride to Ted Cornell’s Art Farm (aka Crooked Brook Studios) in Westport, NY. This blog is more or less a continuation of a blog on Ted’s slide...
Tonight I am attending “Songs to Remember” or Vagabonding—Reminiscences, Songs, Stories and Poems of Marjorie Lansing Porter.  The evening evolves into a tender history lesson, an enchanting musical journey, and a moving and nostalgic tribute to one of the founders of this museum in Elizabethtown who also happened to be the foremost collector of North Country Folklore and folk songs.Adirondack History Center Director Margaret Gibbs...
Some of our historic events in the region offer up an opportunity to learn while doing. A perfect example is this weekend's Festival of Nations (Sept. 20 - 21) at Crown Point Historic Site on Lake Champlain.  The Crown Point Historic Site is home to the ruins of two forts of the 18th century - the French Fort Frederic (1734) and the British Fort from 1759.  Fort Frederic was built when the French claimed the Lake Champlain Region....
I found out last night that there is a new art gallery in Keeseville. Two prominent artists from the North Country were glowing with praise and encouraging me to go and check out the opening on Friday evening.So, here I am on Front Street in Keeseville and I am pleasantly surprised by this New-York-City-like façade and interior space that I am about to enter.Clark Davidson is the gallery owner and main artist on display this evening.  ...
Fall in the Lake Champlain Region brings with it a calendar full of events to celebrate the season.  From festivals to historical re-enactments, the region's events will keep you occupied during a weekend outing or longer stay.Farmers' markets abound and so do their wares during this harvest season.  The Lake Champlain Region offers farmers a long growing season and farms are numerous here. Willsboro, Elizabethtown, Ticonderoga and...
I’ve written about art openings in Essex, NY before but I continue to be awed by both the natural setting and the amazing artwork that ends up in this little gallery with its real-life natural backdrop of Lake Champlain.Tonight’s opening is titled Reflections and so many meanings of that one word are included in this exhibition which features the diverse work of exhibiting members of the Adirondack Art Association of Essex. The artists of the...
It must be summer in the Adirondacks because everywhere I turn there is another arts event going on. So much is packed into our summers that it’s impossible to get to everything.My passion is of course, is theatre, so it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to not only see a great play but get to listen to the actors talk about the play and their roles afterwards.That’s why today I am back at The Depot Theatre in Westport, this time to see their...
Here it was mid-July and hopes of seeing my garden produce looked rather bleak.   Though our wet spring and early summer did wonders for my lawn, my vegetable garden was pathetic.  My green thumb skills  did not measure up to the challenges of recent weather.    Out of two packages of green bean seeds, I could boast 5 plants that have yet to blossom.  Most of the planted squash seed never...
It’s opening night of the 35th annual season of the Depot Theatre in Westport and the lobby is a buzz. Tonight we will be treated to a world premiere of a new musical and the writers themselves, are among the excited audience members. We are told this by the Depot Managing Director, Angel Wuellner, in her curtain speech to us before the show begins.The show we will premiere is “Route 66” which has been advertised as a new romantic musical comedy...
The Adirondack History Center Museum offers to keep your Tuesdays evenings filled all summer with the Elizabeth HW Lawrence Summer Lecture Series. The series begins July 9th at 7:00 PM with naturalist David Thomas Train's lecture Fire Towers in the Adirondacks.  He will cover the history and current fire tower issues of removal, retention and restoration.   Continue to mark your calendars for the following Tuesday night lectures, which...
The Essex Theatre Company (ETC) in Essex, New York, is gearing up for another summer season of theatre.This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Emily Madan, director of the first show this season,"Much Ado About Nothing."Emily has been acting since 2001 and started directing when she was in college at SUNY Plattsburgh. This is her fifth production as director. She was recently seen on the stage at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in the...
The historic Hand House in Elizabethtown often boasts classical music in the stately drawing room where Piano by Nature's grand piano resides.But this evening the house is rockin' with ragtime from renowned pianist Ethan Uslan. According to the program, Mr. Uslan is one of the hottest names on the ragtime/traditional jazz scene today. He has performed on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion" as well as in various concerts and festivals nationwide....
  I can't remember when I first saw the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse. I lived only about 3 miles away from it from the time I was 2 until I was about 7, so it had to be during that period. What I do remember is looking up at the 55' high structure with its elaborate granite base, towering columns and ornate stone carvings and thinking; "this is a castle, not a lighthouse". Thanks to the Grimms brothers, I envisioned dragons...
Summertime in the Lake Champlain Region brings with it celebrations, festivals, historic re-enactments and so much more. From festive celebrations to historical offerings with a seasonal twist, the Lake Champlain Region's events will be sure to keep you occupied during a weekend outing or lengthier stay.In May our area attractions open for the season - Fort Ticonderoga, Ausable Chasm and most all of the historic museums are ready to welcome the...
The 2013 performance season has not yet begun at The Depot Theatre but this May evening brings together a gathering of art and theatre lovers. It is a reception for artist Gharan K. Burton whose colorful and provocative paintings are displayed on the lobby walls of this lovely old multi-purpose building.I arrive early enough to take my time and absorb each atmospheric piece. The artist is present and happy to discuss his work and technique with...
I arrive at the Wadhams Library early for an evening that celebrates the art of Edward "Ted" Cornell and his Art Farm at Crooked Brook Studios. I've blogged about Ted before in the context of a documentary about NYC's Public Theatre icon Joseph Papp. Ted worked at The Public Theatre with Papp long before settling into his artist life in the Adirondacks.The Wadhams's librarian sums Ted up perfectly tonight introducing him as "a Renaissance Man"...