Many of our hill towns were unmercifully clobbered by hurricane Irene. What to do when the water is rising? Head for the hills? Although a high tide floats all boats, It only sinks some homes... Rita Schwab, one of this month's solo artists, was among those whose homes were wrecked. The Arts Upstairs August theme of Meadows & Mountains sums up the uneven fates driven by wind and rain. Now that the power is back on, I will reflect on the muddy MissEsopus river and the bouyant artist community that lives along her banks.  Despite many dire rumors, Phoenicia was not washed away... a phoenix rising from the mud.

-Dave Channon



Rita Schwab's solo room show called "Square Deal" hinges on irony. MissEsopus pebbles are imbedded in the glistening fresco, while the same creek pebbles and silt were imbedded in her house, wrecked by the flood.

This grouping is called "Blue Skies"

There is still time to buy some of her panels and it would be a great help to her recovery.

We hope to stage a closing party for her show in the next two weeks.


The angst in Addison Cook's "Untitled" howls as loud as Schiele's "Scream".

Even the bent wire hanger wails on the nails.



Bronson Eden tangles with demons and damsels in this graphite and bas relief called "The Dancer'



Erica Minglis serves a seven layer cake of erotic confection called "High on You".

Absolutely no calories involved in the satiation of this desire.



Ellen Miret crafts her seven layers into a many tiered looking glass with as many tears, titled "The Mystic's Lament".


This is one fungus fugue by Christina Nalty. She calls it "Mushrooms".



Noble uses house paint to dribble and swizzle extacy like cake icing into the exactly right configuration. this one is ominously labeled "Easter Bunny Massacre".



Jesse Owen leaps out of the box and flies very high on "Tone on Lexington Hostel in the Rain".

The building melts and is re-crystallized into montage.



Lizz Smith packs a mighty wallop into truly tiny canvasses. Here is "Fury".

Her solo room show goes way beyond meteorologic logic to include portraits as well.



Alix Hallman Travis riffles on the Native American translation of Shandaken... a place of rushing water.

In this case "Running Water".




Valerie Owen knows that it is always 11 AM somewhere in the world.

So you can still get a breakfast special in her "Manhattan Coffee Shop".





April Yakowitz sums up the tortured feelings many of us are having right now in her scarred and burnt looking "Torso".

Some are sweeping up the dust, some are shoveling the mud, or clearing downed trees and power lines.

Some are giving water, food and shelter.

My deepest thanks to the people who travelled from all over the country to help us get over the crisis.

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