By Pat D’Antonio
If you ever get a chance to meet gallery@rhinebeck artist, Jen Bulay, it will be your pleasure.
Jen is not what anyone would call a “tortured artist.” Fun, full of life, generous and sweet Jen is always a pleasure to have around, and so is her work. Jen does what she calls “semi-abstract” encaustic paintings. Encaustic paint uses wax instead of oil or water as a base fro the paintings. This leads to work with great texture and feeling as anyone seeing Jen’s work will attest to.
Born in Rhinebeck and raised in Milan, Jen attended Red Hook Schools and except for stints and colleges in Rhode Island and Scranton Pennsylvania has spent her life here in the Hudson Valley. She started painting early. “My mom heard about a teacher, Brynna Carpenter, who was living nearby with her parents at the time. She had many students over the years. When I was still very young, she invited me and her other students to participate in a show at her gallery in Kingston.
Jen first attended Salve Regina College in Newport Rhode Island. She chose Salve Regina originally because she wanted to major in art restoration. After a semester or two, Jen figured out two things that changed the path of her career. One, she hated restoring other artist’s paintings and two, she wanted to create her own work, so she changed majors and graduated with a degree in Studio Arts.
Jen told us, “When I graduated college I worked in several galleries, and I was Studio Manager at RD Design, a graphic design firm in Milan. When I couldn’t see staying there long-term, I decided to apply to the graduate program for Painting at Marywood University in Scranton. When I got there, I assumed I would take painting classes at some point, but one of the second-year students explained to me that I was not allowed to take any painting classes because Painting majors painted alone in their studios and were theoretically experts in painting by now. I ended up taking a bunch of electives that had nothing to do with painting, but the great thing was that about half of my credits were earned by painting alone in my studio.”
“I began working on encaustic paintings from my imagination, which became more and more abstract. My style of painting developed primarily as a response to the medium itself, ie, painting alone in a room with encaustics. “
After receiving my MFA, I did many do-it-yourself shows, hanging my own work and putting on my own receptions. I became secretary of the Red Hook Community Arts Network and participated in many shows there. I began exhibiting my own work at The Gallery at Rhinebeck 2016-present, and in 2017 I also exhibited at the Artist Showcase and Sale at the Rhinebeck Jewish Center and Fall for Art, hosted by the Jewish Federation of Ulster County.
Jen loves working in encaustic, “Many artists in the Hudson Valley are using encaustics, and the results can look surprisingly different. Both 2D and 3D artists love to experiment with it. With encaustic, there is the constant tension of deciding when or when not to manipulate the medium. While “happy accidents” occur daily, I constantly strive to execute fully-realized concepts by adding both personal and formal content that is fresh and evocative. “
At the gallery, we look forward to anything Jen brings in to show knowing that it is going to be interesting, imaginative and beautiful.
Check out Jen Bulay at thegallery@rhinebeck or see her work online at;
By Pat D’Antonio, Executive Director, thegallery@rhinebeck
Public art can cause quite a stir, as local artist and gallery@rhinebeck charter member Franc Palaia found out this summer with his mural celebrating Hyde Park at the corner of Route 9 and
Pine Woods Road.
Before he was even done painting he was creating a bit of traffic and drivers slowed down or even stopped to see what he was doing to a formerly blank white wall.
“I had been eyeballing this beautiful blank white wall for years on my way from Rhinebeck to Poughkeepsie and I finally decided to act before someone else did. So I tried to track down the owner of the building but all I could find out is that the owner of the building where my potential public canvas was, also owned the Eveready Diner down the road on Route 9.
So I wrote to the diner, called, tried to email with no response at all. In passing, I mentioned my desire to paint this wall with my friend and local Hyde Park artist Carl Grieco. Carl just kind of looked at me and said “Oh for crying out loud, I know the owner. It’s Teddy Vanikiotis, and he’s there early every morning, you just have to stop by.” Well, this had never crossed my mind and I thought, of course, I should just go see the guy. “
Franc would soon discover that the most unlikely people can become a “Patron of the Arts” and Teddy Vanikiotis is just that type of person.
“I thought he’d be too busy for me or just not interested. He owns five diners, a few strip malls and he’s a pretty busy guy, but he surprised me by being very interested in creating a public art piece celebrating Hyde Park”.
“He’s a very polite, almost shy guy”, Franc said, “but we talked it over and he was very interested”.
Franc then did a photo collage mural design to show to Vanikiotis and soon won his approval. Franc told us that most of his work is historical in nature as anyone visiting Poughkeepsie, and across New England and takes a look at the eight murals that he has painted over the last 25 years.
“I also told Teddy that if we do this right, you will be a town hero, and I meant it”.
And the reaction from the town has been overwhelming. “50 or 60 people a day were stopping, getting out of their cars coming up to shake my hand and say that they had been waiting for 20 years for someone to do something like this.”
“I’ve had to make prints of the work because so many people from Hyde Park requested them. We had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and in the rain, 60 people showed up, so I wasn’t wrong when I told Teddy people would appreciate it. “
Public art comes in many forms but always livens up any city or town where it appears. In Philadelphia, home of what many feels is the best art museum in the country, there are over 3500 outdoor pieces of public art, from murals to pop art installations to sculpture in plazas and lots across the city. In Poughkeepsie and Kingston, public art beautifies downtown areas and explores the culture and history of the Hudson Valley from the past to the present.
Franc Palaia’s mural in Hyde Park is at the corner of Route 9 and Pinewoods Road just north of the Eveready Diner and south of the Post Office. Stop by and see it, but you can take your time, it will be there for a while.
photographer: Harvey Silver
Lisa Pinto is a brilliant portrait painter who lives with her family in Red Hook, New York. While you might not find Lisa’s work hung beside Whistler or John Singer Sargent, I believe her work conveys the spirits of her subjects as fine as any of those legendary portrait artists.
You see, one of Lisa’s artistic passions, is her focus on animals. She paints beautiful portraits of animals of all types and has created a demand for commissioned portraits of client’s pets. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for her to capture the essence of pets where their expressive faces and personalities tell a story on canvas. Her love for animals and their welfare is another reason for Lisa’s devotion about her subject matter.
Lisa told us, “My love of animals naturally drove me to think about trying to capture the personality of these creatures in portraiture. It all started with photography as I traveled around the country and photographed farms, pastures, barns and the farm animals in those scenes. Those photos became paintings, people really liked them and in time, began coming to me asking, ‘Would you paint a portrait of my pet?’ So it just sort of took off as a part of my art career as the go-to pet portrait artist. I’ve done everything from cats and dogs to goats and llamas. All animals have personality and soul and the owners that love them really appreciate immortalizing them in an art form.”
Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Lisa’s work at thegallery@rhinebeck or The Studio Views Tours knows what a special artist she is. Her artwork can be found in many private residences. For several years, Lisa participated in the “Art Studio Views,” a tour of artists’ studios in Northern Dutchess County, and locations such as Starr Library, The Enchanted Café, and local art shows. From 2009-2012, she was on the steering committee of the Red Hook Community Arts Network. Lisa is a charter member of thegallery@rhinebeck, and we are very proud to have such an important artist in our group.
You can see Lisa’s work on display at the gallery. Contact us to commission a portrait, or view more of her artwork on our web page galleryrhinebeck.org
SOMETIMES YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE UNTIL YOU NEED IT
By Pat D’Antonio
Nick Busco of Woodstock has been photographing the famous and not so famous in the world of rock and roll for over 30 years. The recent passing of rock legend Chuck Berry sent Nick scrambling to his files, knowing, just knowing that in there somewhere were terrific portraits of Berry. He was right. Beautiful low light candid shots of Chuck Berry on stage. Berry had a notoriously prickly personality and shouted down many a photographer off the stage in his decades of performing. But Nick, with years of practice being unobtrusive and a quick shot, got Berry at his best. Colorful, poised and, at least from these brief moments, smiling.
“It was New Year’s Eve and Berry was opening for Tom Petty in San Francisco and contrary to reputation he seemed to be having a great time and the crowd loved him” Busco told us.
Busco came by his second career as a live rock show photographer almost by chance. He was taking photos of his college theatre production with the Pentax he just purchased from a classmate. This helped him get his chops together for low light shooting and the type of film he would later use. Nick started regularly attending and shooting concerts but was just another kid in the crowd watching the show from the cheap seats. But that all changed when he was introduced to a local Boston video production group that shot video in Black & White for bands that would come into town and work the local venues. This involvement got him very focused on photographs and video shoots from right on stage.
Busco said, “This was the very early days of live video recording, using little Sony black and white recorders and selling the tapes back to the bands at small venues like the Bottom Line in New York and Paul’s Mall, and the Orpheum in Boston.”
It was when he then got hired as a touring roadie and he started making a name for himself in the music touring business that his access and reputation as a photographer really took off. He realized that he had the best seat in the house to record performancesby James Taylor, Tom Petty, Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt, John Hall, Chicago, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Joanie Mitchell, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Cliff, Robert Palmer, Pink Floyd and Queen with Freddie Mercury.
For the next 30 years Nick has continued to take timeless, inspiring candid photos of rock
stars in the wild. To see Nick’s Chuck Berry photos and others. Visit us at thegallery@rhinebeck, 47 East Market Street in downtown Rhinebeck, N.Y.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
By Pat D’Antonio
While we are very proud of our work establishing thegallery@rhinebeck as a first class art destination and tourist attraction, we didn’t do it alone. Along with our great volunteers and the support of the people of Rhinebeck, the Chamber of Commerce and area arts groups, we want to point out some businesses who’s support and services were critical in our early success.
Many in the general public will have never heard the name Cigarbox Studios but they are an amazing resource for businesses and home owners alike. While primary in the business of theatrical scenic building, Cigarbox also works on museum installations, gallery design and construction and business interiors. They also have a big heart and a generous public spirit. Hearing our plans and our limited resources, Cigarbox’s owner Gary Rausenberger stepped up with a plan exceeding our expectations in quality and style at a price the gallery could afford.
The gallery cannot thank Gary and his team enough for making a beautiful space even better. To find out more about Cigarbox Studios go to www.cigarboxstudios.com
All the beautiful display space in the world won’t work unless you can really see the artwork in detail. That requires specialized lighting equipment and design. Again thegallery@rhinebeck scored a stroke of luck with a high end design firm right in our backyard.
Ledspin, nationally recognized experts in lighting for museums, galleries and custom environments happened to be located right around the corner in Rhinecliff NY.Formerly of Washington D.C. where the principles, Jeff Versakos and Joanne Leffeld worked on museum projects for the Smithsonian and National Museum of Natural History. Since relocating back to the Hudson Valley the team has done displays for the Baseball Hall of Fame, the International Gem Tower, the Brinton Museum and Wilderstien in Rhinebeck .
Again, working with what we had, we got more than anyone could have expected. Service, design and consulting beyond expectations.
Anyone with any flair for design, be it for your home, business or office should give Ledspin a call and let them light up your lives. www.ledspin.com
Advanced Window Solutions
The Sun might give life but UV rays can be a killer. Damaging artwork, carpeting, upholstery and even interior paint you have to protect your valuable artwork from the sun.As anyone who has been to the gallery knows we have a lot of large windows and a lot of sunlight pouring in. This limited our ability to show the members work the way we wanted.
And last, but far, far from least, we come to an indispensable local resource. Creating any business or organization in a new town you need to know the local terrain. I had only been living in the Hudson Valley mere weeks before beginning building the gallery@rhinebeck and without help with local knowledge we would’ve sunk.
Luckily, again, we found that resource right across the street at Cale Communications. Marybeth and Tom Cale are respected local residents with strong ties to Rhinebeck and the greater Hudson Valley.The took us under their wing, introducing us to the area residents and businesses and we to them. Be it connecting us to the community or getting our name out to the press all over the valley we would not be where we are today without their help. They were simply an invaluable resource. If you want to be friends with your community and have the community befriend you back, first, make friends with Tom and Marybeth Cale of Cale Communications. www.calecommunications.com