Art in Commons action heating up

Margaretville —The popular multi-arts series “Art in Common” is running strong each Saturday, with music, art, hands-on crafts demonstrations and literary events lined up, along with refreshments, and tastings of wine, local brews and cheese. All events take place on Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. in Margaretville’s Main Street Commons building.

On Saturday, March 7, the Longyear Gallery, will hold a reception for a group show opening. As with all Art in Common events, refreshments will be offered and other Commons shops and galleries, including the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild, will be open for shopping and browsing.

On Saturday, March 14, you can rock to the homegrown sounds of the Catskill Mountain Boys. As a special treat, the popular Cooperstown brewery Ommegang ( will be offering tastings of its Belgian-style brews.  The Catskill Mountain Boys, Henry Hermann, Todd Pascarella, John VanBenschoten and newcomer Van Watson, have crafted a well-seasoned blend of rhythm, swing and Catskill mountain music. Hermann and VanBenschoten, longtime members of the former bluegrass group Aurora North, have roots many generations deep in Catskills family farm culture, where life was always steeped in music. Another Aurora North veteran, Pascarella, settled in the area years ago and brings an eclectic musical background to the mix, and the group has recently welcomed Van Watson. Maine Black Bear is donating some local flavor to the event, a home-style Catskill mountain gumbo, and Peter and Carol Molnar have graciously donated lodging space for the Ommegang visitors.

You can try your own hand at some artistry on Saturday, March 21, as fine craft artisans lead demonstrations of work in pottery and glass. Robin Bruck-Tanner of Loving Earth Studio has long created functional works of art, created to be part of everyday life. She will be demonstrating how she adds embossing and textures (many inspired by nature and weaving) to the clay forms as she works with them, usually on a traditional potter’s wheel. (You may be able to get your hands in mud as well!)  Larry and Rhonda Epps have been “hooked on glass” since they took a class together on stained glass some five years ago. Since then, they have broadened their glass artistry to encompass fused glass and lampworked bead making. During their demonstration, you’ll get to see the various types of glass beads they offer at Catskills Guild shop actually being made. Carlyle Bradford also works with her hands with one of nature’s oldest forms of ceramics: concrete! Her demonstration will show you how she molds this organically mixed stony material into functional works of art inspired by nature. On the same day, concepts of “Collage” will be the focus of Longyear Gallery artists Nat Thomas, who has long worked with dying and quilting fabrics, and Ellen Wong, a multi-media artist who taught collage as a NYC school teacher. As always, refreshments will be on offer throughout the events.

Finally, on Saturday March 28, Joanne Michaels of JMB Publications will lead a discussion about publishing your own writing. You can enjoy a local cheese and wine tasting while Michaels addresses such topics as how to prepare before approaching a publisher, whether to self-publish and if you should seek an agent. While telling the “inside trade” story behind several of her own works,  Michaels will also address your particular concerns or questions and steer the discussion towards the needs and interests of her audience.

Each “Art in Common” event starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday with refreshments and businesses and galleries open for browsing and shopping during the events. For more information call 586-3443.