The "celebrity" events are focused around shows opening at the Woodstock Artists' Association & Museum, where New York City art star Will Cotton is curating "Poetic," and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, unveiling its latest in annual demonstrations of "Photography Now."
Cotton, who grew up in New Paltz and whose shows of giant Photorealist paintings regularly sell out at the influential Mary Boone Gallery in New York City, will draw from WAAM member submissions to try to establish a sense of the lyrical in the main gallery's classic space. For the past year, Cotton has been increasingly involved with the key arts organization, holding lectures and now stepping further into the breach, as it were, with his new curating chores.
Opening alongside the Cotton show at WAAM will be a solo show by Alex Kveton, "Call and Response: 16 Artists Respond to 16 Young Poets," a collaboration among WAAM members, the Woodstock Library and the WAAM Education Program, and a show of work from local elementary school students. Another kids' show, featuring work by "Zephyr," will be opening at the Woodstock Library that same afternoon.
Over at the newly renovated Kleinert-James Arts Center - run by the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, which still operates the colony from which the town has adopted its chosen moniker - an annual members' show will be curated by local gallerist and artist Christina Varga. Varga will also be holding an opening for a new exhibit of local Outsider artists at her own gallery, down Tinker Street by the Cinema headed west from the center of town, later in the evening.
Finally, photowise, will be three new openings: At CPW, one of the region's (and nation's) leading centers for the medium, "Photography Now 2008" brings together the work of nine cutting-edge young artists using photography in their work. All are curated by Darren Ching, the visionary creative editor at Photo District News. In the space's solo gallery, a simultaneous show, "Doppelganger," will explore identity issues in the work of New York artist Cornelia Hediger, who also serves as her own model.
Over at the more intimate streamside Galerie BMG on Tannery Brook Road, rising photographer Jeri Eisenberg will be showing a new series of her increasingly close-up leaf portraits, all waxed texture and colored light, titled "Bokeh." The word is a Japanese term for the "subjective, aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image" - a good way of describing Eisenberg's large diptychs, triptychs and other ephemeral works. Perfect for spring - all of it.
For further information, visit www.woodstockartsconsortium.org.