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Music for the eyes, art for the ears

April 19, 2012

Here in the Upper Delaware Valley, variety is indeed the spice of life. This past week served up a perfect menu, since The River Reporter’s “Where and When” section was riddled with choices. Fascinated (yet horrified) by that woman known only as “Danielle” who spent $50,000 to clone her dog (www.andersoncooper.com), I realized that simply being called a dog from time to time does not qualify me for cloning. Yet. Therefore, schedule in hand, I made my selections and headed out.

Having missed out on one or two stellar (so I’m told) exhibits at the Catskill Art Society (www.catskillartsociety.org) over the winter months, I was determined to catch their newest installation, the annual Sullivan County High School Art Show featuring student work from participating schools in Eldred, Fallsburg, Liberty, Livingston Manor, Monticello, Roscoe, Sullivan West and Tri-Valley.

Meandering through the exhibit, I was reminded of Pablo Picasso’s words: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Chatting with a few students at the show, I became convinced that this should not be a problem for some of these budding geniuses. Seventeen-year-old Zac Parc, representing the Roscoe Central School District, had concerns that seemed (IMHO) very grown up already. In keeping with state and nationwide concerns, Parc expressed dismay over funding cuts and the effect they have on the arts. “Roscoe’s program has been compromised” he told me, while pointing out some of his work. “Without enough supplies to meet the demand, fewer courses were offered this year, which is a disappointment for all concerned.”

Tri-Valley’s Sidnye Orion was happy to report that although threatened, her school’s program was going strong “for now.” A senior with her eye on a career in fine art, Orion takes her work—and responsibility as an artist—seriously. As a visual example of that ethic, and solemn “music for the eyes,” Sidnye chose “Human Struggle” as the theme for a series of paintings for her senior year, and is grateful that her instructor, Mr. McAssey, “gives us a wide berth” in how students choose to express themselves through their art.