By Garnette Arledge
The Andes Society for History and Culture Hunting Tavern Museum rang with laughter, creativity and theater-by-the-stream from August 16-20. I watched the campers, ages seven to twelve, romp outside from the big windows of Andes Books across the street. What a delight to hear the joy and fun they all seemed to be enjoying over there.
Artist and Coordinator Roshan Houshmand, an Andes resident who teaches art at SUNY Delhi, brought together nationally and internationally-renowned artists who shared their expertise and materials with budding artists. The youngsters spontaneously planned, wrote, directed, made costumes, programs, ushered and starred in their own creative theater production. The audience included me, as I couldn’t resist joining in the whoosh of creativity across the street. I longed to be one of the lucky thirteen registered campers. But instead, was a staid member of the delighted audience of parents and townsfolk who found their names on reserved seats by the stream-theater.
“They just decided to do it,” laughed Roshan. We were both impressed with their creativity at taking charge of the play, as they were also busy every minute with the art workshops. Interns assisting the staff artists were Sally Davis, who made an agreeable pony in the play, and Anita Lanziero.
I particularly loved watching from the bookstore windows the first afternoon, a Monday, Roshan leading a troupe of young artists very, very carefully across Route 28 and up the hill to do landscape painting. They carried their drawing boards and charcoal and then went inside to paint as it was raining. Was there perhaps a budding Monet or Picasso among them? Each afternoon they participated in Pooh Kaye’s creative movement and video workshop. The first morning Roshan had led them in bookmaking that was enjoyed so much they declined to stop for snacks. Peter Yamaoka started the clay project also that first day. I’ll bet all the participants slept well that night.
They better have, for the rest of the week was packed with activity. Metal embossing and wire sculptures with Gerda van Leewen; Tie-Dye with Nat Thomas; Clay Projects with Peter Yamaoka:; Nature Rubbings/Collage and Self-Portrait Painting with Roshan while they continued to work on their videos with Pooh Kaye, as well as theater, painting and book-making projects using beads, ribbons, glue, paints, and canvas board to make book covers.
The final art show of the individual student’s work and the play by the stream was held that Friday afternoon at the Hunting Tavern. I was amazed at the talent shown and the amount of artwork that each camper had done. It was truly a burst of creative energy unleashed in the campers under the talented direction of the teachers and leader.
The program was funded in part by the New York State Council on the Art’s Decentralization Program administrated in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group, The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, Kabinett and Kammer, Sixty One Main Gallery, Andes Art & Antiques, Delaware Trading Post, Marlys Hann, Diana and Rich Johnson, and Ron Guichard. The Andes Society for History and Culture sponsored the grant. For next year’s program information, or to take adult art classes with Roshan Houshmand, call 845-676-3895.~