Artists to the rescue

WAAM in Woodstock hosts Arts for Ulster auction this Saturday

by @ Paul Smart
July 15, 2010 10:02 AM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Arts for Ulster exhibition that has been up at the Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum (WAAM) for the past month, and culminates in a live auction on Saturday, July 17 of more than 60 contributed pieces benefiting over 50 local not-for-profit organizations, may not be the most stunningly cogent or cathartically memorable show that anyone has seen in the area. But it seems to be stacking up quickly as among its most effective, in terms of both the way in which it has brought such a wide spectrum of visual artists together in one room and the manner with which it has connected those artists, and the very concept of all visual arts as a key component of our upstate culture, with new audiences.

Consider it a show that, more than aesthetics, is about the currency of culture and its importance as an economic force as well as a type of entertainment, of civilized education. Look at it as an adding-up of all that talk in recent years about the region’s growth as a center for working artists and cultural tourism, as well as, hopefully, a gateway to further recognition and action in these areas.

Organized by WAAM and UlsterCorps, a countywide resource organization dedicated to fostering a culture of volunteerism, collaboration and service founded in January 2009, the idea behind Arts for Ulster was both to demonstrate the ambitions of the county’s much-touted arts community and to help raise funds for local not-for-profits through art sales and the publicity generated by the event: 50 works, 50 artists, 50 causes – although the Artists’ Association’s executive director Josephine Bloodgood later noted that the actual number of pieces hung ended up creeping closer to 60.

The result is a mixed show with some great work by some of our best artists with careers beyond our borders, from Judy Pfaff and Richard Segalman to Joe Concra and Gillian Jaggers, mixed in with a number of key talents who show only locally. As a result, the breadth of creation is what strikes one seeing the show as a whole, as well as the individual uniqueness of every element here. It’s hard to conceive of any of these pieces not selling, especially given the fact that each is tied to a great not-for-profit in need of whatever funds accrue – as well as the take-home benefit of being able to get a great work as a result of one’s giving.

The Arts for Ulster Live Auction fundraiser takes place this Saturday, July 17 from 6 to 10 p.m., with auctioneer James Cox keeping the bidding and banter lively, following a classical guitar performance by Liam Wood. All the art will be visible each day, prior to the event itself, for anyone interested in making bids.

WAAM galleries are located at 28 Tinker Street in the center of Woodstock. For further information on this great event, call (845) 679-2940 or visit, or try either (845) 481-0331 or

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