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October 30, 2014
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Word of the day: ephemeral

The white space is “just as important as the color” in Joyce Pommer’s work, left, juxtaposed with Edward Evans’ color-filled acrylic pieces, now on exhibit at the Alliance Gallery in Narrowsburg, NY.
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox


Words. Can’t get enough of them. My ongoing love affair with language continues to flourish as I constantly strive to find new ways with which to describe my adventures here in the Upper Delaware Valley. Although today’s word is no stranger to me, it cropped up repeatedly over the last week, and so I decided to flip through the dictionary, lest I be using it improperly.

Ephemeral—(adjective): Lasting for a very short time. Fashions are ephemeral… Having a very short life cycle (chiefly of plants).

Seeking a bit more, I turned to my BFF (the Thesaurus) for clarification, where I found: transitory, transient, fleeting, passing, short-lived, momentary, brief, short; temporary, impermanent.

Ephemera takes many forms: letters, paintings, even (gasp!) newspapers and the words written in them. The natural world is no stranger to this concept either, always changing, rarely stagnant, and capricious by definition. Checking in with Wikipedia, I noted that water was an overall theme in Wiki’s interpretation, which states that “An ephemeral water body is a wetland, spring, stream, river, pond or lake that exists only for a short period following precipitation or snow melt.”

Heeding these words, I took a quick dip in the lake, grabbed a leash, tossed the still-wet wonder dog into the truck and headed out the door in anticipation of “Art in Bloom,” one of three exhibitions debuting consecutively at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) in Narrowsburg, NY. While two of the installations are on view through August 3 (www.artsalliancesite.org), the third was (by definition) ephemeral, and it is already gone. Curated by Jane Luchsinger, the group exhibition coupled the talents of local artists and floral designers, who according to Luchsinger, “were paired up by drawing names from a hat” and was “inspired by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts yearly shows based on the same theme.” The program said that “each arrangement is a visual interpretation of a painting or sculpture, which is also on display. The arrangements do not mimic the art, but designers use the palette and theme as the basis of their floral composition.” Judging by the huge turnout and the (IMHO) incredibly successful endeavor, I can only imagine that “Art in Bloom” will return next summer and therefore give the artists, florists and general public a fresh (and fragrant) opportunity to check in again same time/next year.

While the flowers may be gone, the other two exhibits—Richard Gubernick’s “Amusing the Muse” and “Spatial Pathways,” featuring the works of Joyce Pommer and Edward Evans—are certainly well worth a visit, and I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Pommer, who told me that her goal is to have “the viewer’s eye move with the piece” and that “the white space is as essential to the overall experience as the space occupied by color and design.” The artist’s statement gave further elucidation, stating that “I do not start with a preconceived idea or plan. The space comes alive through the colors, shapes and layers that work their way into, around and through the space.” By showcasing Pommer’s work, paired with Evans’, gallery director Rocky Pinciotti once again shows a discerning eye, and although ephemeral in nature, these artworks will be around for a while. So make hay while the sun shines, go to the DVAA, and see for yourself.

Meanwhile, on the banks of the glorious Delaware River, Dharma and I attended the opening night of the fourth annual celebration of music, “Under the Moon in Callicoon,” as the few remaining fireflies flickered, undoubtedly drawn to “Shift” and “Swoosh” aka “Light Expo,” who lit up the night with their fiery display in conjunction with musical performances by the highly entertaining Elizabeth Rose (www.elizabethrosemusic.com) and Brewster Smith. They were followed by the ever-popular Doug Rogers and Hoy Polloy (www.facebook.com/doug.rogers). While Dharma cavorted with her four-legged pals, I schmoozed with friends, snapped some pics and basked in the glorious experience that this concert series (www.callicooncreekpark.blogspot.com) provides. Volunteer-driven and incredibly bucolic (another fine word) this series is not to be missed and only here for a short while, so I would advise checking it out. The website suggests that one “bring a friend, get comfy in a chair or spread a blanket; there’s nothing like a concert under a River Basin sky,” and I heartily concur. It also suggests that we could “come early to help set up” or “stay late and help with clean up; it’s really more fun than it sounds.” I did neither, but would like to next time, since none of it happens magically and the fine folks who work tirelessly to create the concerts for all to enjoy could certainly use the help (even from me). With a nice variety of upcoming concerts scheduled, and with summer being fleeting, I plan to be under the moon in Callicoon a few more times. “Momentary, brief, impermanent and short-term?” Let’s get out there and do as much as we can!