Mystery and intrigue appeal to me, and so I anticipated the opening of last week’s Springs Mystery Art Sale with increasing excitement. From the reports of over 350 well known artists contributing small works to be sold anonymously alongside the works of the students for only $20 each, it was obviously an opportunity that no art lover should miss. So, I determined that I would get there promptly at 4 p.m. last Wednesday when the doors of Ashawagh Hall would be open. I delighted all day in the thought that I would be one of the lucky first viewers to really take my time to decide which small maybe masterpiece would be mine to claim.In retrospect, I was foolishly naïve. Approaching Ashawagh Hall at exactly 4:03 p.m., there was not a single spot on either side of the forked road, nor in the church lot for me to park. Throngs of people were lined up on the Green way beyond the veteran’s memorial, and more crowds were making their way to get into the queue. Bright orange banners and T-shirts sporting question marks everywhere added to the charm and excitement.
Although as a general rule, I reject long lines whenever possible, the energy I felt on the grounds of Ashawagh Hall that afternoon had me cheerily waiting to gain entrance. I was impressed by the large number of teacher-parent volunteers all wearing badges, and the bright, proud faces of the children, also waiting in eager anticipation to get inside.
Forty-five pleasant minutes later, I was at the threshold where I purchased just one red dot, and I’ll admit that the pressure was on to claim my piece. The artwork was displayed in groups under the names of great masters whose styles were emulated. The body of work was amazing, and I had no idea how talented our budding young artists really are. Finally, I placed my red dot beside a work under the Rothko section and left the hall uplifted by the entire experience. I was sure my work was by a student, but I was pleased with my choice and was happily anticipating Sunday’s revelations. This event that raised money to fund artists as mentors for our youth was a brilliant idea and wonderfully executed by all who participated. It made me feel truly proud of our little community and the big way we embrace the arts.
Up next at Ashawagh Hall, is the annual spring show by members of Photographer’s East this Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4. Participating photographers are Bill Alves, David Gilmore, Randy Hendler, David Johns, Loretta Lobec, Yvette Milavec, Bruce Milne, Joseph O’Haire, Chris Randall, Joan Santos, Dainis Saulitis, and Fred VanderWerven. The reception is Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
The Pollock-Krasner House, located at 830 Springs Fireplace Road, can be visited by appointment only during the month of May. Set on spectacular Accabonac Harbor, a visit here is always a treat for the senses. A docent for the past few years, my friend Yvonne enthuses about how rewarding it is for her to impart to the visitors each season a flavor of the unique slice of life that once flourished at the home and studio of this renowned late artist and his wife. “I just love being in that incredible environment,” Yvonne said. For those who are interested in training to be a docent at this special venue, call 324-4929.
The opening exhibit at the Pollock-Krasner House is “Color and Time,” featuring small oil paintings by abstract artist Roy Newell. Each piece has been reworked over the years, in some cases decades, by the artist, and is noted for highlighting his “consistency of vision.” This show will run from May 1 through July 26.
“Cleaning out your closets? Left over yard sale items? Don’t need it anymore? Don’t Throw It Away!” read a flier that caught my eye posted outside the Springs General Store. “Donate It and Support a Local Team,” the flier read. Pictured on the flier were five girls in swimsuits, members of the East End Synchro Swans, who are holding a sale to raise funds this Saturday and Sunday at the Springs Community Presbyterian Church at 5 Old Stone Hwy. They would appreciate donations and are willing to pick them up. Sounds like a great cause! To donate, call Jaci Winthrop at 604-2432 or email Meg Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are now in the season for tag sales and estate sales, so be sure to add this one to your list. The sale is on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As I’m about to end the column, I had a call from Ashawagh Hall reminding me to come pick up my piece of mystery art. Whether it turned out to be by a professional or an extraordinarily talented artist, I already knew that I loved what I had selected. I was truly thrilled to have been able to participate in this small way. As it turns out, I am the proud owner of a work on paper by Jennifer Cross! Thanks to all the artists (students and professionals) and the dedicated teachers and volunteers. It was an extra special, highly successful event whose proceeds will go a long way toward keeping the arts thriving at our little school. Until next time, happy week all!