June 15, 2011

Salaam Warren Street

Saturday evening, Hudson New York was still tinglng after the festivities of earlier in the day, when it celebrated the Elks Flag Day Parade.  Forest green Portosans lined the boulevards, and small American flags adorned the tops of parking meters.  Candy and gum wrappers and the splayed remains of firecrackers dotted the sidewalks.  The convulsions of fireworks could be heard downtown.

We went to the Hudson Opera House for a show about the main drag, Warren Street.  Some forty artists participated, and several works have lingered in my memory. At the core was “The Warren Street Project,” a striking black and white series of documentary photographs of historic buildings by Lynn Davis.  I remember seeing them originally at the Mark McDonald Gallery. There, along the periphery of the upstairs balcony, I enjoyed contemplating hundred of her photographs, engaged by their quiet definition of the built environment of this once grand city.  If they are not in a book, they should be.

imageWhen you enter the show at the Opera House, you are confronted by a sculptural critter that admits you into its kaleidoscopic snout, a fun and mesmerizing installation by Bruno Pasquier-Desvignes.  There is Dan Rupe’s technicolor portrait of the first place I ever ate in Hudson, the Columbia Diner.  In those days, all of Hudson appeared in shades of grey. A small, lovely watercolor called “Space 360” by Nancy Hagin captures the essence of an elegant brownstone.



imageimageimageAnd of course, there is a streetscape by Earl Swanigan, Mississippi transplant and Hudson artist.  His painting, populated by walking dogs, is a special part of Warren Street on the block of his studio.image
Filled with visual treats, the real Warren Street, looking down to the river, continues to be a view from the past—especially at dusk.



June 2011