Windsor Window on the Arts a welcome respite

Reviewed by David L. Schriber

The fourth annual Windsor Window on the Arts took place on the village green Saturday, Sept. 17. (It was a welcome break from the depressing scenes of devastation from recent flooding. In that regard,Windsor village fared somewhat better this time than five years ago.) The day opened bright and sunny as volunteers paraded puppets from the now-defunct Binghamton First Night around and amidst the various artists, then fastened the puppets to stand sentinel over the relaxed and cheery crowd.

A wide variety of artists attended this juried show, representing the graphic, ceramic, textile, metal, performing and folk arts. Music groups performed in the gazebo for folks seated in folding chairs on the lawn. We liked Dan Burdick’s opening bluegrass and folk rock guitar vocals. Some of our other stops:

Ugandan-born Deo Lutwama’s oil painting celebrated saturated deep primary colors typical of African art. We bought a delicate blown-glass pumpkin from George Kennard, a Corning glass blower and private artisan from Burdett. Photographer and digital artist Michael Musante from Deposit displayed examples of faded, torn or water-soaked photographs he has restored, recovering most of their original content (something probably many folks would find useful after our floods). Owego oil painter Bob Merwin’s paintings fortunately survived the flooding in “the coolest small town in America.” Also from Owego we found Angie Gray, whose hand-cut paper silhouette art we’ve enjoyed previously. Newark Valley weaver Denise Tarbox, dressed in period costume, spun at her wheel. Having experimented with segmented wood turning many years ago, I could appreciate the fine woodcrafts of Endicott’s Richard Nolan. Intricate designs of another kind adorned Mia Sohn’s Ukrainian pysanky eggs.

Two blacksmiths demonstrated their craft, one with a modern gas forge, the other, Nanticoke 40-year veteran blacksmith Gary Hinman, cranked a hand bellows on his charcoal fire, its woody smoke beckoning the curious from across the green. On the north side, aromas from the food court attracted the hungry. A small farmer’s market along Main Street offered produce. Winding our way past the community house’s children’s activities, we found the funky folk art we were hoping to see again this year – Justin and Devan Whitaker’s JunkYard Friends from Horseheads, a whole menagerie of whimsical critters made from recycled tools and metal scrap. We saw lots of new creations, such as Sally the Snail, made from a pump body and a couple of box wrenches. Spinning flowers made from box fan blades were in abundance.

There also were historical presentations, chef demonstrations, and an EPAC dance preview. As last year, this arts festival was well planned and organized. Shuttles were available for those who couldn’t find parking nearby. Security was evident. This year’s expanded complimentary program featured photos and thumbnail biographies of the artists.

The Windsor Window on the Arts showcased a growing variety of local artists as well as some from afar – Susquehanna, Pa.; Rochester, and Clifton Park (near Albany).

This event will be an annual must-visit.

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Judges John Brunnelli and Nancy Ryan chose the following winnters for the juried show at the fourth annual Window on the Arts festival:

Best of show

Bill Walsh and Barb Consentino (wood/mixed media)

Fine arts

First  place: Bill Mutch, Midcoast Photo Service (photography)

Second place: Glenda Blake, Greenboat Designs (oil, colored pencil)

Third place: Felix Eddy (pen amd ink, acrylic)

Fine crafts

First place: Lise Bouvet (fiber art, jewelry)

Second place: Chris Pettingill, CP Studios (clay/ceramics)

Third place: Frank Evangelisti (wood turning)

Honorable mention

Mia Sohn (Pysanky, wax-resist on egg)

Justin Whitaker and Devan Whitaker, Junkyard Friends (metal sculpture)

Laurel Nugent Burgin (blacksmith/potter)

4 Responses to "Windsor Window on the Arts a welcome respite"

  1. I don’t know when you were there, but the day started out far from bright and sunny. It was chilly and foggy until well after noon. Your choice of artists and crafters to cite is arbitrary and unfair to the many you omitted, especially those who won the prizes. And for some reason you seem to have completely ignored Binghamton artists and those who are members of the BCAC. Frankly, this is a lousy review. Our local artists deserve better.

  2. cyberbassdave

    The sun at parade time around 10 a.m. did fade to overcast several hours later. As to choice of artists mentioned, as I stated, these were some that attracted my personal attention; obviously, others will have different interests. I made no attempt to list all 46, nor to judge them, nor to limit mention to one community or to the judges’ favorites or to those who are registered individual artists with the BCAC. The attempt here was to celebrate a nicely growing, well organized, family-friendly arts event with a wide variety of art forms making a positive contribution to our regional arts scene.

  3. I understand the difficulty of reviewing an event like this, but I still maintain that it is not fair to arbitrarily pick some artists for comment but not to acknowledge those who won awards. And you do seem to make a point of highlighting artists from everywhere but Broome County. Since this the blog of the Broome County Arts Council, I think it would have been appropriate to at least mention the BCAC members who took part in the show. It does little to encourage the arts in the county when the artists in the county are ignored by the Arts Council.

    Having lambasted you yet again, let me say that I did agree with some parts of your review. The organization of the event was outstanding and the participants were especially well treated. The venue was very pleasant and well laid out. However, I do wish you had mentioned that, unlike what is so often the case these days, the music was appropriate to the event and not too loud.

  4. Greetings,
    I am Sharon Warnock, co-Director of Window on the Arts. Let me first start with a list of the winners.
    Fine Arts 1st place: Bill Mutch, photography; 2nd place: Glenda Blake, Greenboat Designs oil & colored pencil; 3rd place: Felix Eddy, pen & ink, acrylic.
    Fine Crafts 1st place Lise Bouvet, fiber art & Jewelry- 2nd place Chris Pettingil, CP Studios Clay & Ceramics- 3rd place Frank Evangelisti wood turning-
    Best of Show Bill Walsh & Barb Consentino Wood/mixed media; Honorable Mention: Mia Sohn- Pysanki (wax resist on eggs) Justin & Devan Whitaker- Junkyard Friends , metal sculpture, and Laural Nugent Burgin blacksmith & potter.
    All of their names will be published in our local paper (The Windsor Standard). In addition to that they have been added to our website, and on facebook.
    I want to thank you David for the lovely review. I for one really appreciate that you found it well organized, as it took an entire year of hard work with having many new committee members getting to know the ropes, and one another. Several of us had our houses ruined by the river just several days before the festival, mine included, but we really found that the festival had to go on in spite of what had happened. Everyone in our group worked very hard to assure that all would enjoy themselves. I was personally very grateful for the nice weather, and yes it was a little chilly and foggy in the a.m., typical fall morning, but the fog burned off, and it warmed up with a nice mix of sun & clouds. The important thing is it didn’t rain! I am sure that all whom you mentioned will appreciate your nod, and those that you didn’t shouldn’t be offended, as everyone who participated and provided us with a bio and photo were put in our very beautiful program! I hope both of you will join us for our 5th annual next year.