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I Shop Small

One of my favorite destinations in Little Falls, NY is the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA).  I knew the Selective Eye, the MVCA gift shop, would be a good stop on my Shop Small Spree the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Side Note:  Shop Small Spree is my name for my day last Saturday.  I don’t know if the official name was Shop Small Saturday or Small Business Saturday or even Shop Local Saturday.  I suppose I would look these things up if I was a responsible journalist, but oh well, here we come to the ugly truth about me.

And I just remembered, I can’t write about this before Christmas!  What if I bought a present there for somebody who reads my blog? I’m not saying I did.  Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.  In fact, already I’ve said too much.

Nevertheless, I need a blog post today and I’ve already typed in this many words.  I can mention one thing we saw at MVCA.  We went into the gallery, where they were setting up their next exhibit, a Student Art Show,which is to open on Saturday, Dec. 5 and runs to Dec. 24.  The show was open to any students who had taken a class at MVCA in the past year.  Just imagine!  If I would have taken a class, I could have submitted a work!  Definitely something to think about for the future.

There will be an opening reception for the show Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.  I have attended openings there before and enjoyed them.  I’ve talked to other art lovers, and sometimes the artist speaks about his or her work.  However, to really appreciate the works I prefer to go when the gallery is less crowded.   I hope to do that sometime before the 24th.  For another reason, I can shop some more at the Selective Eye.

While looking at MVCA’s Facebook page to confirm the dates of the exhibit, I noticed an event called “Bedazzled” will take place Saturday, Dec 19 from noon to 4 p.m.  It is a sale of gently used jewelry, purses, scarves and other items.  Sounds good to me!

Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts and the Selective Eye are located at 401 Canal Place, Little Falls, NY, phone number 315-823-0808.  For more information you can visit their website at  You can also Like them on Facebook.

Further note:  I did just a little kind of, sort of research… OK, I typed stuff into the search bar in Facebook and learned that many communities held events Saturday with any number of titles utilizing some of all of the words Shop, Small, Local, Business, and Saturday.  Whatever you call it, it’s a good thing to do.  You can have a lot of fun, and you can buy some good stuff.



A Quick Stop at the Art Gallery

I have been meaning for some time to make it to Cogar Gallery at Herkimer County Community College. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when the college is open. Therefore, the best thing for me to do is go straight there after work. So I did.

The exhibit I saw was an alumni show, McCann and Ingerick, Photographer and Painter. Debbie Ruane Sullivan Ingerick graduated in 1979, Carolynn McCann Dufft in 1981. I had meant to go to the opening reception on Oct. 4, but alas, did not make it. However, sometimes it is easier to appreciate the art when one walks around the gallery alone.

The show features a variety of works from realistic to more abstract. As I have said before, I don’t know from art styles and I’m nobody’s art critic. I just like to look at pictures. I spent a while walking around and looking at the pictures before I perused the list of works. Then I went back to look again at some of the works whose titles that caught my eye.

My favorite was “We Are The Light in the Storms of Life” by Ingerick. It showed a lighthouse on a hill surrounded by water. I also enjoyed a series of six photographs by McCann called “Bette’s Bench.”

I may go back and look at the exhibit again. It is on display through Nov. 4. And I’ll watch for future exhibits to go see. I wonder if the college offers a course on art appreciation, so I can write more impressively about these things. I’ll have to go to and see.

Adirondack Landscapes at MVCA

Full Disclosure: I’ve started this blog post three times and wasn’t happy with any of them. I’m going to go with my third first paragraph and reserve the right to write further posts on the subject.

Another note: I know protocol for news writing is to refer to someone by first and last name the first time you mention them, then by last name only. It did not feel write to talk about Wilcox. To me he is Frank and that is how I refer to him. I hope that’s OK.

I was disappointed that I could not find a friend to accompany me to the exhibit opening at Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA) last Saturday. However, I did not want to miss the opening reception for Frank Wilcox’s “Landscapes Old and New.” I figured I would find people there to chat with and I hoped to hear Frank talk about his work. I was right on both counts.

As I walked around looking at the paintings, I chatted with a few people. One was another artist, Pamela Menotti. I mention her, because she gave me a card about her own exhibition, “All Aboard: Train Paintings in Pastel,” at the Kirkland Town Library in Clinton, NY from Nov. 1 to 30 with an opening reception Nov. 8 from 12 to 2 p.m. I carefully tucked the postcard into my notebook and returned to perusing Frank’s exhibit.

The exhibit features landscapes of the Adirondacks. Last fall at MVCA’s Annual Great Art Giveaway, Frank talked about the sense of place in his art. He wanted people to look at his paintings and say, “I’ve been there,” or somewhere like there. I like that idea, because one thing I love is to look at art and say, “I wish I was there.” Looking at the paintings Saturday, I said, “I’ve been somewhere like there,” several times, and “I wish I was there” about practically every work.

The new landscapes were the Adirondack Ikons, inspired by an ikon that was given to Frank, and by music by the British composer John Tavener. An ikon is a visual representation of a spiritual idea. Ikons traditionally use specific colors. Frank used these colors in his Adirondack Ikons. He talked about the colors and the inspiration of the music. He suggested we return when the gallery is less busy to study the paintings while listening to the music that inspired them.

After his talk, Frank answered questions, which I enjoyed very much. He talked about his work methods habits, his background and more. I didn’t ask any questions, but when I see him again I have one. Has he ever considered writing a book about his art?

The exhibition is on view at MVCA, 401 Canal Pl., Little Falls, NY through Nov. 22. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12 to 4 p.m. I encourage everybody to go check it out. For more information call 315-823-0808

I’ll Never Be an Art Critic

Full disclosure: I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks now. I just can’t think of the right things to say. I’m pretty sure that the stuff I’ve said so far is pretty dumb. However, it is late in the day on Saturday and I need a post. Let’s see what my editing skills are up to.

At the beginning of May, I went to the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts in Little Falls, NY for the exhibit opening of “From the River to the Sea with David Burns.” Dr. Burns is an MD who took up painting and is very good at it. He says, “An artist could be anyone who is attentive to his surrounds; notices when a common scene becomes caught in an uncommon light.” I really liked the exhibit.

I confess that I feel kind of cool when I say to people, “I’m going to an exhibit opening at the arts center.” I don’t know why exactly. I’m not cultured; I’m barely housebroken. I don’t think I’m a snob. I mean, I’m not one to do things because they are “culture,” whatever that means. However, I do like looking at art. I like talking to other people who like looking at art. And sometimes they serve refreshments at these openings.

Ah well, I think the question of why I like saying I’m going to an exhibit opening is one best left for half-baked philosophy on Lame Post Friday. Right now, I would like to give a shout-out to Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts.

I walked around the gallery at least three times, admiring each painting, trying to decide which was my favorite. Of course I couldn’t decide, but I think I liked best the pictures of old buildings from the area. “Old Stone Schoolhouse” was a particular standout. I wish I knew some good art critic-y things to say like “beautifully observed” or… OK “beautifully observed” is the only one I can think of. This is kind of like when I taste wine and all I can think to say is “yummy.” These were some beautiful pictures.

I did enjoy the elegant refreshments. I would have liked to ask for the recipe for the scones but felt a little self-conscious doing so. Then I felt a little silly for enjoying the food when the point of the day was the art.

The exhibit runs through June 21. I plan to return return one afternoon to look at the pictures again, when there will probably be fewer people there. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday 12 to 3 p.m. For more information on the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts you can visit their website at, and you can Like them on Facebook.