Monthly Archives: July 2024

The AMR Artists’ Open Studio Tour

I went to the first open artists’ tour weekend in 2012 when it was run by founder Alix Travis and I later visited Alix’s art studio. It was a fascinating peek behind the scenes of the art scene here in the Catskills. At the time, I realized that there were hundreds of creatives like Alix, honing their craft in these mountains and I wanted to be one of them. I took watercolor classes with Alix and joined her plein air group. 12 years later Upstate Dispatch Studio is participating in the tour, in its 10th anniversary year, opening its doors like 60 other artists across Delaware County in the Catskills. Originally, it was only Arkville, Margaretville, Roxbury, so it was named “AMR”, but now the tour has expanded and includes eight towns: Bovina, Andes, Fleischmanns, Halcotsville, and Denver-Vega.

The aim of the tour is to connect people through art, and provide a vibrant cultural life for all in the Catskills and I’m so honored and pleased to be included.

Please visit me in my studio at the following dates and times.

Time: 11am – 5pm

Dates: Friday July 26th, Saturday July 27th & Sunday July 28th, 2024

Address: The Commons Building, 785 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Margaretville, NY 12455

Maps are available at The Commons Building at Upstate Dispatch and at the other businesses in the building: Longyear Gallery, Bea Ortiz, Lisbeth Firmin, Honeybee Herbs, Carolann’s Cuisine and The Catskills Artisans’ Guild.

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The Knotweed Project

When I first began to explore Jake’s farm, Lazy Crazy Acres, in that winter of 2020, I noticed what looked like old, dead bamboo by the river – very tall beige rods with those distinctive horizontal ridges – but it was actually Japanese Knotweed, a member of the buckwheat family. This imported Japanese ornamental is everywhere and is as exceptionally difficult to eradicate as any living pest like the emerald ash borer or hemlock wooly adelgid. It’s a problem because it’s so incredibly voracious, growing by feet in a day, and its roots can destroy the foundation of a house. The stems can grow up to 15ft tall, and they block natural light for any other plant beneath it. The plant quickly takes over large areas and smothers everything on the forest floor below and disrupts wildlife habitats. It has beautiful large spade-shaped leaves with their deep blood-red stems, all shooting from hollow green bamboo-like rods.

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