Editor’s letter

Our annual arts issue says it with music as many of our stories consider the soundtrack of our lives and history. 

That’s literally the case with “Caramoor at the Burns:  Movies Musicians Love” — a collaboration between two of our cultural powerhouses, the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville and the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, in which Caramoor musicians selected movies based on their soundtracks for a Burns film series. Lost-to-time pieces are the underpinning of  “Music of the Gilded Age in the Hudson Valley,” a sabbatical project by Dutchess Community College associate professor Christopher Brellochs (Mary’s story); “Six,” the upcoming Broadway musical about the half-dozen wives of Henry VIII; and Ballet des Amériques, a Port Chester-based troupe that mixes the sights and sounds of the Old World and the New.

There’s plenty of art in our “Artistic Fascinations” issue — “Sparkling Amazons: Abstract Expressionist Women of the 9th St. Show” at the Katonah Museum of Art (see our opening essay); “J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors From Tate” at the Mystic Seaport Museum (Phil’s story); and profiles of Cybele Maylone (Phil again) and Robert Wolterstorff, executive directors of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield and Bruce Museum in Greenwich respectively.

Barbara visits the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts as part of her Tennessee tour. Mary talks with fiber and metal artist Karen Madden, who shares the Rock and A Soft Place Studio in Poughquag with husband Bob, a stone sculptor we profiled exactly one year ago.

But we’re sure you’ll agree that there are few more unusual artists than cover subject Meghan Spiro, a Hudson Valley food stylist/photographer by day who has transformed her harrowing firsthand experience with domestic violence into arresting
photo-based works of art that dare you to look away.

As usual, we expand the transformative power of art to embrace other disciplines. There’s the art of food (Jeremy’s profiles of Kelly Dantas of Chocoylatte in Cos Cob, Navjot Arora of Sambal Thai & Malay restaurant in Irvington and Port Chester coffee roaster Jason Richter; Olivia’s conversation with Krystina Murawski, founder of Noomi gourmet peanut butter in Mamaroneck.) The art of home design (Mary’s take on Nordic-flavored studio Eleish van Breems, which now has a retail shop in its hometown of Westport). The art of fashion (a gorgeous new Thames & Hudson book on controversial couturier John Galliano that by its very omission begs the question:  Can we separate artistic work from an artist’s personal flaws?) The art of breeding puppies (Robin’s Pet Portrait of John and Denise Jacobus of Ideuma Creek Farm in Unadilla, New York, who raise Australian Labradoodles.)

The art of conversation (Gregg’s Q and A with comedy writer and Katonah native Ben Mandelker, who turned talking with fellow funny man and friend Ronnie Karam about cable reality shows into the trending podcast and performance tour “Watch What Crappens.”) (Only in America, folks, only in America.)

Each month we have a conversation with you in our WAG Wit question of the month. This one, from Bob — Would you pose nude for an artist? — was a particular challenge for some of you shy guys, who demurred. It’s a question that I myself don’t mind answering. I would’ve been happy to pose au naturel but only for the Impressionists in the 19th century as I think they alone would’ve been able to capture my, ahem, Renoir-like essence.

A 2018 Folio Women in Media Award Winner, Georgette Gouveia is the author of the “The Penalty for Holding” (reissued Sept. 25 by JMS Books), a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist, and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re part of her series of novels, “The Games Men Play,” also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes at thegamesmenplay.com. On Oct. 30, JMS Books publishes her psychological thriller “Burying the Dead.” Her revised and expanded “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” will also be published by JMS in November.

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