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Friday, August 30, 2013

Beacon Bits -- "Three Graces" of Beacon

 
The "Three Graces" in Greek mythology (i.e., referred to as the Charites, and also known as the Gratiae in Roman mythology) were said to be goddesses of charm, beauty, and creativity. I was reminded during the second Saturday celebration of the tenth anniversary of RiverWinds Gallery that we have our very own "Three Graces" here in Beacon: Linda T. Hubbard, Mary Ann Glass and Virginia Donovan. 
Virginia, Linda and Mary Ann (left to right)
As partners and co-owners of RiverWinds, they opened their doors at 172 Main Street, representing 12 artists in 2003, just months after DiaBeacon came to the waterfront in the renovated Nabisco factory. The gallery now shows up to 45 diverse artists who hail from the Hudson Valley. Beacon's "Three Graces" are all accomplished artists in their own right; Linda is a photographer and supporter of the arts, Mary Ann is a photographer and workshop creator, and Virginia is a painter and jewelry designer. In addition, Linda Hubbard was instrumental in founding the Beacon Arts Community Association (formerly called BACA, now known as BeaconArts), as well as Art Along the Hudson, and has been awarded several honors for her involvement and support for the arts. And Mary Ann hosted a workshop in a Tuscan villa last year and has a pictorial blog, which I follow, featuring her stunning photos that highlight the beauty of the valley.
 
 
 
Some food for thought:  Inspiration and prescience are special gifts. Being present at the right time and taking advantage of an opportunity takes intuition but the ability to succeed also takes foresight and planning. But being a visionary takes faith to move ahead and proceeds with grace. Beacon is fortunate to have had the artistic and entrepreneurial talents of these three women who wanted to connect to the artistic revival happening in Beacon and to leave their own legacy as they moved into the developmental phase of life where one looks to practice generativity. One could call them "muses" as  well --- the goddesses of inspiration for the arts. But whatever they are called, we are also being called to find the inspiration to follow our bliss, make our mark, and follow our destiny. It is great to have so many wonderful goddesses to be our role models. Thank you Linda, Mary Ann and Virginia!




Make an inspirational visit to RiverWinds Gallery the next time you stroll along Main Street

 
 



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beacon Bits -- Magical Moments

One of my favorite Sunday afternoons in July was spent visiting Gwenno James in her Beacon studio at 17 East Main Street (formerly known as Fabrications), which features her one-of-a-kind fashion and silk and cotton fabric creations to wear and for the home. It was an enchanting visit that was full of colorful visual delights made even more enjoyable because Gwenno is as lovely as her name sounds and as beautiful as her lilting Welsh dialect. The only thing missing was a spot of tea, a plate of Welsh cakes and Caerphilly!
 
 
Gwenno was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, a university town located mid-Wales on the Western coast, which has an electric railway that travels to the summit of the hills overlooking the bay (reminiscent of our own Mt. Beacon Incline Railway!) Having been to Wales in 2004, including an overnight stay in Aberystwyth, Gwenno graciously indulged my need to share my travel photos that I loving put together in a compact album. Wales (Cymru) is a magical country of castles and natural wonders from north to south that may not be a popular travel destination, but for those who have had the pleasure, the joy of sharing the experience is a time of revelry by revisiting the wonders of it all, without needing to pronounce the odd combinations of consonants that culminate in new sounds! Who knew that Llandudno was pronounced 'klandidno'. (I will admit that I've harbored the fantasy that we would have world peace if everyone in the world had to learn how to speak Welsh!)
 
Gwenno left Wales to study art in London and then on to NYC, but found her way up into the Hudson Valley, as one might suspect, given her upbringing in a most natural and lovely environment. While she teaches in New York, her heart is in her Beacon studio where she deftly defines color and shape into delicately hand-dyed fabric creations to wear -- scarves, vests, shawls -- and to adorn the home -- lampshades , pillows and wall hangings. Gwenno's couture clients have included Henri Bendel's, Victoria's Secret and West Elm.

Gwenno's color sense and practical craftsmanship for wearable works of art can work into any woman's wardrobe or home d├ęcor. She is open to collaboration with any customer for a unique and customized order that will accessorize or complement an existing wardrobe. Gwenno devotes all of her time now in Beacon fabricating her creations rather than organizing workshops for those who wanted to learn silk screening and marbling techniques. While I only wish I had been a participant, I think I will leave the art and craft of these fabric prints to the Gwenno's skillful eye that brings a bit of Wales to us in Beacon!

 
Some food for thought: Personal authenticity is a wonderful state of being. When you find yourself in the company of someone who is doing what they love, love what they are doing, and are very good at doing it, it is a blessing. We all strive to become who we were meant to be or to find where it is that we should be.  Not all of us travel great distances to do our life's work. It takes courage and heart to move miles away from home to live into one's destiny. And we are the better for it when we cross paths with someone who has done just that. Especially when we can share magical moments together. Thank you Gwenno!
 
We'll Keep a Welcome
 
Far away a voice is calling
Bells of memory chime
Come home again,come home again
They call through the oceans of time

We'll keep a welcome in the hillside
We'll keep a welcome in the Vales
This land you knew will still be singing
When you come home again to Wales

This land of song will keep a welcome
And with a love that never fails
We'll kiss away each hour of hiraeth
When you come home again to Wales

 We'll keep a welcome in the hillside
We'll keep a welcome in the Vales
This land you knew will still be singing
When you come home again to Wales

  This land of song will keep a welcome
And with a love that never fails
We'll kiss away each hour of hiraeth
When you come home again to Wales

We'll kiss away each hour of hiraeth
When you come home again to Wales.
Lyrics from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net">eLyrics.net</a>
 


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Beacon Bits -- Old News

Summer seems to be flying by. I see that I had no posts in July; there just wasn't enough time to do everything and write about it too. So I thought some highlights were in order. The next several posts will showcase some of what happened in Beacon betwixt and between the heat wave of the summer of 2013.
 
Second Saturday in July was the last for Gallery 508, owned by Jens O. Bille, a Danish-born artist who designed for Georg Jensen, and his wife, Betty Ann Lopate. They operated a very special and successful gallery on the East end of town for a couple of years before Roundhouse came to town. They featured works by Jens - handcrafted jewelry and landscape paintings reminiscent of scenes from Babette's Feast, filmed in the coastal areas of north Denmark - as well as local artists who were showcased in monthly exhibitions - Christine Hartman and Barbara Koffsky among them, and an assortment of antique sculpture and porcelain collectibles. For those who will miss seeing Jens in person, have no fear. He will continue to be a presence in Beacon and online for all his patrons.
 
 

 

Some food for thought:
It's always hard to say goodbye to friends. Even when goodbyes are not really goodbyes. Transitions and changes come in all shapes and sizes. The familiar turns into the unfamiliar, we adjust, and we eventually get used to the idea that the old has passed and the new has arrived. We habituate to the old and we adapt. to the new We crave novelty in order to broaden our repertoire. The cycle is a natural way for us to move on. We are the better for it. We take the 'old' with us and never lose it. So long as we appreciate it when we had it, we will never long for what was. We will accept what is. And become what will be.