Spreading Holiday Cheer at Roost Studios

In the spirit of the holidays, Roost Studios Gallery invited one and all to its second annual Holiday Gala and Art Show.

The modestly sized, brightly lit gallery was teeming with artists and guests alike on Dec. 2. People stood around, chatting and admiring 180 works of art made by 86 artists. 

Artworks ran the gamut from landscape paintings, pastel and watercolors to sculpture, photography and glass jewelry. There were also wood pieces, silkscreen work, collages and various styles of drawings.

Roost Studios, the nearly 2-year-old non profit organization, is tucked away on a second floor space on Main Street. Its mission is to foster community for local artists by presenting their work and offering programming and connections. 

In that spirit, its holiday showcase accepted work from anyone who submitted, as long as it fit the size requirement of roughly 11×14 inches. Those works are on display and on sale at the gallery until Jan. 7, 2018. The prices range from $50 to $200.

“One of the purposes [of the Gala] is to be a truly inclusive community event,” said gallery director Marcy Bernstein. “We include all submissions as long as they’re not [offensive.]”

Bernstein emphasized that Roost Studios offers great opportunity for SUNY New Paltz students to display their work; the Holiday Art Show is just one of the gallery’s monthly exhibits. The nonprofit also offers discounted prices for students for its workshops, which include tai chi, poetry and ballet.

Roost Studios also offers a membership program. Member artists who attended the Gala shared insights into their work and appreciation for the organization.


Roost Studios Second Annual Holiday Gala and Art Show

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Photos by Briana Bonfiglio

Member artist Martin Davis said he was meandering around town one day, climbed the stairs to Roost Studios and was impressed by what he saw. He thought joining the organization was worth it for the price and calls it “one of my best career moves as an artist.”

Three of Davis’s acrylic pieces were on display: “South of the Bridge,” “From the Walkill to the Flats” and “She Dwells Deep.”

Local artist and Roost Studios member Adrienne Schorr’s mixed media monoprint piece, “Injustice for Some,” addresses the mistreatment of Native Americans. It was inspired by the film “Windriver,” which horrified and moved her to create the artwork.

Member artist Ward Lamb submitted three acrylic landscape paintings to the show, one depicting Lake Minnewaska. The Goshen-native plans to move to the area because of the tight-knit art community in and surrounding New Paltz—and the hiking. His pieces included “Minnewaska Lake,” “Lowers Hudson Farm Scene” and “Mohegan Island House.”

Like Lamb, other artists depict local scenes, such as Glenn Werner’s digital photograph “High Falls, New York,” Maureen Rogers’s watercolor “Pine Road New Paltz” and Deborah Stubecki’s photo “Huguenot St.”

Member artist Michelle Michalko’s “Untitled” is a silkscreen piece that took days to print. The process involved six steps of exposing different colors to light. The finished product sports the phrase “Humans are going to be damned for what they have done to the world.” The piece reflects Michalko’s frustrations about the country’s political state.

“I wanted it to look like a retro-sci fi-world’s going to end-vibe,” she said. “It’s a little morbid, but it’s real life.”

This diversity of work and personality filled the gallery from 6 to 10 p.m. Bernstein noted that the Gala was a community effort, thanking its sponsors: The Village Tea Room, Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits and Krause’s Chocolate. Fifty-five local businesses also donated goods and services that were auctioned off at the event, with all proceeds benefiting Roost Studios. 

“We’re really trying to encourage everyone to support local artists, support [the livelihood of] artists, and also to support the arts organization because we provide so much, not just exhibition, but other arts as well,” she said.