First Friday welcomes spring


B y Jaime Thomas

It’s finally spring, and April First Friday will celebrate that theme in various ways.

As fishing season approaches, the Slate Valley Museum will display Vermont artist Rachael Laundon’s fish relief sculptures.

“Being from a long line of ladies who love to fish I too became hooked on the sport as soon as I pulled my first bass out of Lake Champlain. Fish are sleek and lovely creatures and their form lends itself to endless combinations of color, texture and pattern,” Laundon said of her work in a release. She uses wood, copper, acrylic paint, texture mediums, and re-purposed objects to develop each individual character.

Kate Weller, executive director of the museum, hopes that this exhibit will better connect the outside landscape with the museum.

“We hope that visitors who come in April to fish in the Mettowee will also plan to come into the museum to see Ms. Laundon’s fish relief sculptures and also learn about the local slate industry and the cultures that made their homes in the Slate Valley of New York and Vermont,” she said.

Across the bridge at the Pember, Merck Forest and Farmland Center will be showcasing winter’s the year’s first crop. Representatives will be giving out samples of and selling Vermont certified organic maple syrup. They will also offer samples of their farm-grown pork and lamb, and they’ll talk about Merck’s products, programs and syrup.

As far as artists, there will be three, as usual.

Karin Vollkommer will show her felted animal and carved people figurines. Vollkommer has previously made a name for herself with magnets made out of paintings of Upstate New York farm scenes and billboards. She is also known for her vintage collage work and prints beginning in the Saratoga Springs area.

“It is fun to watch folks see me “out of context” from my Saratoga art scene.  They think they recognize me, but I am felting instead of painting. Being creative does not start and end with painting, fiber art or sculpture for me it is ongoing with all that I see in life,” Vollkommer said.

Also on display will be Jeff Anderson’s equine photography. Anderson lives in Granville and said has been a professional photographer for 15 years, and his “rich life experience comes through in his signature style known as ‘Portraiture in Motion.’”

Teresa Loomis will show her hand-painted furniture, and Allen Bogart will provide musical ambience on guitar.

For more information about the 7 to 9 p.m. event, call the Slate at 642-1417 or the Pember at 642-1515.

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