Story and photographs by Susan Brink
The late afternoon sun, combined with foliage at its peak, made the drive to Maple Ridge Farm in Coila a perfect amuse bouche for Friday’s Preview Party of the 11th annual Landscapes for Landsake art exhibition and sale.
Curator Serena Kovalosky cohesively celebrates the rich diversity of styles and media of the 35 regional artists showcased in the multi-level barn-turned-gallery. She explained, “As I was talking with the artists about their work, I’d ask about a particular barn in their painting or photograph, and they’d reply, ‘Oh, that barn doesn’t exist anymore.’”
That sparked the idea to create the beautiful and poignant “Tribute to Barns” in the small gallery below the main exhibition area. Rummaging deep into each artists’ collection in search of barns and silos from the past and present, Kovalosky began to appreciate the profound symbolism that each disappearing barn represents – the end of yet another small farm, a way of life that the Agricultural Stewardship Association is striving to protect.
Landscapes for Landsake is a much-loved fundraiser for the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA), and as executive director Teri Ptacek stated, “For the past 11 years, the Landscapes show has been a wonderful way to bring people together, share our appreciation of our community’s working landscapes and talk about the need to protect them. As our largest fundraiser of the year, the show has really helped our farmland conservation efforts.”
Artists generously donate 50 percent of their sales to support ASA’s farmland conservation work. This year’s artists include: Gigi Begin, John Begin, Jean Clark, Donald Cook, Ian Creitz, Richard Dubin, Julie Duggan, Ann Fitzgibbons, Jenny Horstman, Tom Kerr, Clarence King, Karen Koziol, Adriano Manocchia, Leah McCloskey, Virginia McNeice, Annie McNeice, Bob Moylan, Cliff Oliver, Donna Orlyk, Harry Orlyk, Leslie Parke, Leslie Peck, Crickett Polis, Dawne and Dean Polis, Steven Sanford, Roland Stevens, Arlene Targan, Mark Tougias, George Van Hook, Hannie Eisma Varosy, Susan Wadsworth, Tracy Wall, Regina Wickham and Helen Young.
Since its founding in 1990 by area farmers in an effort to protect agricultural land and ensure a future for farming in our region, the Agricultural Stewardship Association has worked with farmers and their families to protect 14,165 acres on 92 properties in Washington and Rensselaer counties.
Landscapes for Landsake is on view at Maple Ridge Farm, 172 State Route 372 in the hamlet of Coila, just west of the Village of Cambridge today (Monday, October 8) from 12noon-4pm. Admission is free.