by Alan Galowitz

Our Artisan Paths show was only slightly dampened by the threat of rain. At The Painted Cow, headquarters for the affair, Pat Matakas was working magic with her artificial flowers. How wrong I was to consider artificial flowers tacky. Pat makes their creation into an art. She gathers her flowers at the Sixth Avenue wholesale flower market in New York City and spins arrangements that are unbelievably lovely. She lives and works in her house near Perch Lake, and ships her wares nationwide.

Further down the path John Hopkins, Sarah Gilbert and James Litaker showed their paintings in the Hopkins barnyard. It was a wonderful setting for original art.

Large craft installations such as Art Reed’s glass- blowing works, Rich Johnson’s giant woodworking shop and Ken Hiratsuka’s sculpture studio, where he carves massive two ton works from granite, were also part of the tour.

Few people in town know that there is a bronze sculpture foundry hidden in the woods, just a few miles north of the Andes Village. The Tree of Life Foundry quietly melts bronze and pours it into casts to make Rodin- like statues. Some of the world’s leading sculptors come to Andes to supervise the casting of their work. It was part of the tour and an awesome spectacle.

Tours of the Hunting Tavern’s art and history displays were given and well attended

While all of this was going on, at the Andes’ Library the band played on. Jesse’s Backyard Orchestra serenaded visitors while refreshments were served inside. Exhibits of the work done by participants in the Eyes and Ears on Andes series were shown.

All in all, the show highlighted Andes as an ideal environment for artists and crafts people. Here they can enjoy plenty of room with the peace and quiet needed to do their best work. We expect more of them to settle here and add to the local color.

Activities in Andes were planned and supervised by Bill Piervincenzi with Lesley Gray, Bonni Canavan and John Gregg. Beth McGuire of The Catskill Mountain Crafts Collective coordinated the event in the participating communities. ~


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