I was invited on a group outing on Saturday. My ride came to pick me up at 10:10 and I was ready for anything as a full day was planned. We took a ride through the beautiful New York countryside to the home of Harry Lazare where we were greeted by Harry and his rescue dog and most of our party and looked around in his 2 car garage studio where the walls are adorned with some of the most unique "Assemblages of Natural and Found Materials" created by Harry while we waited for the rest of our large group to arrive.
Once we were all assembled Harry began his talk about his education, art, health and life. It is amazing to hear how his work comes together ~ almost like magic the individual pieces call to him and after a time he is ready to nail down and hang up his work.
His studio is very organized despite all of the odds and ends he has gathered for use when the time comes. All of his pieces are made out of found objects and people randomly drop things off they think he may be able to use and he gathers things himself as well. He also has many pieces going at once.
|Future work of art?|
|work in progress|
|Harry Lazare describing some work to Tess and Paul|
It was great fun and very interesting meeting such a unique man with such an amazing vision. I will never look at mixed media art the same way! It was an amazing time and I was happy to be included on such an interesting adventure!
This was only phase one of our day which Tess had planned. We all said our goodbyes and 11 of us in six cars headed down the long hill of a driveway with a view so far reaching the mountains in the back looked almost invisible as they will do!
Our next stop was the Fields Sculpture Park and Architecture at the Omi International Arts Center on Route 22 in Ghent, New York which was just a short drive down some country roads and across both lanes of the Taconic State Parkway ~ which crossing is an adventure in itself!
Tess did a wonderful job of getting all of us there and we arrived and overwhelmed the two person lunch station which offered some delicious soups, salads and sandwiches as well as some fresh peach pie and chocolate chip cookies at reasonable prices and adequate portions.
We all ordered our lunches and the eleven of us squeezed cozily at one table and chatted about Harry's art and this and that while we anticipated the arrival of our food. The day was perfect as the weather was not too hot and there was a beautiful breeze.
A few people left before touring the wonderful Sculptures as they had other obligations. My friend and I caught up to part of our party who had gotten ahead of us in time to say goodbye before they departed and we never did catch up with Steve and Jean who were ahead of them!
It was a really large place with pieces all over many acres. I cannot even begin to estimate how large it is. Some of the installations were in the fields, some in the woods along the paths and we found the pond a couple of times from various angles.
The art was diverse and varied. One of the pieces which I found interesting was done in the 1960's ~ it looks like something out of alien! Of course we did not have a map when we began. My friend thought he picked one up in the stack of papers but we had walked by them when we came in not noticing until we had finished and procured one ~ better late than never!
Omi International Arts Center is a gem hiding in the middle of nowhere! I would recommend it, as they have food, but you can bring your own as well and have a picnic, they offer free water ~ which is unusual this day and age, it is peaceful, beautiful and appealing ~ I did not get nearly enough pictures and there were many more sculptures than what I have presented here. It is also child friendly and a good way to tire out the kids!
You would think that this would have been a full day for most people. You would be right! By the time we walked the fields and went back inside the reception area to use the restrooms, check out the indoor gallery and find out what Omi stood for (it is the name of the town ~ too small to make the map), we opened up the car to cool it off, looked at a map and programmed the GPS ~ hate them and love them, I had a quick smoke and we headed down the road.
We had no idea which end was up when we pulled out of the main driveway, thankfully the GPS did not get us lost and we were soon in Austerlitz, New York at the Historical Society where there was a day of music until 6 and then Contra Dancing after that.
There we found some musicians in the yard playing a nice melody I remember from my Grandparents, as we walked over to the barn where music was wafting out the doors and about 50 people were seated and listening. It was like going back in time the only thing modern was the clothing.
We left there and stopped at the Circle Museum Sculpture Park on Route 22 in Austerlitz, New York. http://cargocollective.com/circlemuseum I personally have driven by this place many times over the course of my lifetime, but had never stopped. Today we stopped.
There were so many sculptures it was amazing, all made of various objects welded together and most pieces were large. We walked around only to discover a upper field of sculptures along with the other four areas of work to look at.
The artist was on the premises and was inside the building where there were also paintings of his on display. We had a wonderful conversation with the artist regarding his inspiration, and life and the welding process and soon there were others stopping so we took our leave to head to Great Barrington where there was a Summerfest happening for the first time in I think 20 years.
We found a parking spot which was amazing in itself, considering all of the people on Main Street in Great Barrington. The minute we got out of the car we heard music ~ drumming to be exact ~ so we walked over to the stage to check out the tail end of the Berkshire Bateria http://www.sambaland.com/the-berkshire-bateria/.
We walked over to the Mahaiwe Theatre to see if anyone was around as my friend volunteers there and I have as well once. http://www.mahaiwe.org/HOME No one was around so we used the restrooms and went in pursuit of more music.
While we were wandering around, we decided to beat the rush and grab some food at the Gypsy Joynt as of course we had burned to much energy and needed to refuel and the food was great last time we were there. We grabbed a couple of outdoor seats and began people watching as we waited.
Amazingly, I won the contest. My friend should have known more people and I am surprised he did not considering he is out in the world way more than I am. I, however, recognized people from my days in West Stockbridge at the Video store, along with people I used to wait on at Friendly Restaurant which was my first real gig in the mid to late 80's.
After we ate we wandered down to find the next closest stage for music and hit the end of a show which Static was performing and my friend was fortunate enough to capture not one but two shirts which they were blasting out of a cannon into the crowd! I just love a good souvenir to mark the day!
We checked out Whiskey City on the stage, another country band on another stage ~ and wandered down the road again, my friend required some frozen yogurt so I saved some seats while he went in to get himself a treat. I had already eaten more than I do in two days so I passed but I did sample and it was good if you like it but I am love regular ice cream better.
Interestingly enough, there was Palm and Tarot readers directly in front of the table and I inquired how much a reading was. I am not a sucker, but I have always been interested in that sort of thing so I decided to give up $10 to have my palm read ~ a new experience for me.
It was good, but not all good. My niceness came up, my love of nature and the earth and my spirituality was right on the money. So was the heavy heart and the burdens I carry financially. There was a silver lining as I was told that I had suffered enough and that positive changes, which were already around me were going to keep coming and a possible grandchild in my future!
It was all good and well worth the splurge of cash. We all have to eat! One of the women lives a few blocks away from me, but the one which did my reading was a young girl from Schenectady. I left feeling satisfied for sure!
We did the loop again and it was getting on 8:00 p.m. by that time with a 45 minute drive back home. With the sun going down it was beginning to cool off and my jacket was in the car and I was totally exhausted after all of the walking, information and food so I called it quits and my friend agreed so we headed back to the car where I found a cool black scarf on the sidewalk.
Not the kind of find Harry would use for his display, but one which I could definitely put to use! We made a stop for gas and were soon at my residence where we parted company and my son greeted me as if I had been gone for a week instead of a day! I am blessed to be loved.
We hung out and talked about my day, watched some t.v. and parted company ~ me for sleep land and he for his computer. It was one long and totally awesome day! I hope you enjoyed it although it was more like a book than a single entry. I am tired all over again just reliving it! Good thing I only have things which I want to do instead of have to do today!