The Georgi on the Battenkill Community Park is already known to Shushan and Salem residents as a beautiful, mystical sanctuary. The Park is surrounded on three sides by the Battenkill, filled with lovely gardens, and is beloved by many. Now, the public is invited to not only experience the magic of the Georgi, but the wonder of its mythical Fairy Inhabitants as well!
Fairies in the Hamlet “Fairies in the Hamlet” is an outdoor installation of fairy houses and gnome homes, as well as related activities and performances. Contributing local artists will create sites representing fairy homes and scenes related to these mythical creatures and their dwellings.
Exhibits remain in place through mid- July of 2016. All installations should be created with natural and organic materials and built to sustain varied weather and outdoor elements. The topic is wide-ranging, and can be explored with a variety of mediums: glass, wood, landscape/floral, stone, natural fibers, acorns, seeds. Variations such as “water nymph” or “gnome” also provide an opportunity for diversity. Installations may be located at the water’s edge, in a tree stump, or could be a fairy ring on the lawns of the Park.
The Georgi Community Room will be serving as a Gallery, showcasing Fairy Houses and Doll Houses for sale, as well as additional works of art and creativity by our contributing artists.
The fairy tradition in literature begins in the 1380s, with Chaucer and Gower. The implication (particularly in the preamble to The Wife of Baths Tale) is that people used to believe in fairies, but don’t do so any more. However, the fairy mythology as a consistent set of beliefs (dancing in rings, living in hills, the rule of a queen, and so on) is itself created by the writers who claim to be recording its final echoes. The creative synthesis which the poets, from Chaucer to Shakespeare, made out of English and French traditions was developed in the Tudor period to include tricksters of the “Robin Goodfellow” type as well as the familiar spirits of cunning men, and domestic spirits like the “brownie”.
An open call to local artists was released in the fall of 2015. Collaborations are in place with local businesses and artists. Floral designer, Laura Dunham will bring her creative, living sculpture ideas and create a full installation. Serena Kovalosky has also committed, bringing her talent for creating masterpieces from natural materials such as gourds, collaborating Chung Ah Park is also known for working with gourds, pottery and natural materials, and has created miniature gourd houses that exemplify this medium. Business owner, Robyn Scutt of Faerydale Consignment, has been creating small Fairy Houses and installing them in the Salem downtown area. She plans to contribute and may possibly display her smaller works.
A “Firefly Walk” is planned for the evening of June 20th. As the sun sets on the Solstice, a celebration including Susi Shoes Dancers and the Mettawee Players will commence in a Luminary Launch. The myth of fantastical creatures surrounding us in nature has been perpetuated throughout the ages. These beings capture the hearts and minds of old and young alike. This exhibit has the possibility to bring that curiosity and fascination forth along the banks of the Battenkill at the Georgi. Washington County and its surrounding communities have an abundance of talented artists that will be invited to invoke their “muse” and create “Fairies in the Hamlet” in 2016. Visitors will experience the mystical world of fairies through musical, visual and folk-art presentations.
Installation Artists: Sponsored by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council
Serena Kovalosky was born and raised in rural upstate New York and developed an early appreciation for nature, spending much of her childhood exploring the woodlands surrounding her home She was inspired to work with organic materials after seeing a collection of lacquered and finely carved gourd pottery from Olina, Mexico and decided early in her career to bring the traditional “craft” of working with natural materials to the level of fine art. She traveled to London, England to study techniques of gilding with gold, silver and copper, which would lend a certain sophistication to her finished pieces. In 2004, Kovalosky returned to her hometown of Whitehall, New York to create a new body of work that would reflect the organic forms, natural textures and earthy tones of the woodlands of the Northeast.
“I am inspired by the powerful connection between the natural world and our ancient roots as humans. Working with organic forms and materials conjures memories of how the earth smells when it rains and the sounds the trees make in the wind. I bring these emotions into my artwork because nature is the world’s greatest storyteller.” - SK
Chung-Ah Park is a native of Seoul, Korea, studied at Yonsei University in Seoul and at University of California at Berkeley. She has been making crafts for the last twenty five years, starting with sewing and weaving, and then moving on to black ash splint basketry, pastel drawing, gourd craft, and ceramics. She is mostly self-taught, but names Bliss McIntosh, Black Ash basket maker, Virginia McNeice, a painter, and Joan Duff-Bohrer, a painter as teachers who influenced her the most.
She says about her creative process, “I have had many wonderful teachers over the years, and I am stimulated and inspired by all art forms, past and present, but my biggest inspiration comes from nature itself. I like to convey the beauty of the colors, shapes, textures, and patterns of both living and non-living things. I hope each piece will be enjoyed by someone who sees the natural beauty in it.”
She lives in the scenic farmland of Washington County, NY.
Laura Dunham - Owner
The Flower Shop @ Laura’s Garden
207 Main Street - Salem NY 12865
One of my earliest memories is of a summer morning - my brothers, sisters and I toiling away in the vegetable garden while friends rode by on bicycles, laughing and waving. Over the years, my love for growing never faded although I couldn’t always afford to indulge. So, I learned to grow and divide and gather seed - continuing to build my stock and giving away what extras I could bear to part with. Then, a friend suggested I could sell my extra plants. A way to actually pay for my habit? Perhaps now I could stop hiding flats of annuals and pots of perennials from my husband!
Julie Delfs is an artist, wife and mother, professional freelance floral designer and a small business owner--not necessarily in that order. Her business, Arrangements, has been serving the floral needs of local businesses and residential clients in the Capital District for over 15 years. Services include providing fresh flowers, installing and maintaining annual plantings, interior plant spaces and perennial garden planning, just to name a few. She loves paint, power tools, hot glue, recreating and recycling. Extreme crafting and treasure hunting are just some of her many passions. Learning new art forms or teaching a paint-n-sip class are also some of her favorite hobbies. She is also a student, teacher, lover of nature, food, art and wine--also, not necessarily in that order.
Adrian Sweeney as been an Arts Educator at the North Bennington Graded School (Now No. Benn. Community School) for decades. She is retiring literally days before the Fairies exhibit opens. She has a series of whimsical illustrations, and will be collaborating with Helen and Mitch Greene on a book about Fairies. She is participating in this event not only as an installation artist, but as a workshop host as well, running a “make your own fairy house” session.
Helen Greene’s fairy houses are enchanting creations, small structures made from natural materials such as rocks, twigs, moss, acorns, shells and bark. Greene is retiring this year after having been an art teacher at Bennington and Monument Elementary Schools since 1998. Photographs of them will form the core of children’s book about fairies and fairy houses that she hopes to publish, along with poems about fairies by her husband, Mitch Greene, and drawings of fairies by Adrian Sweeney, who has been teaching art at the Village School in North Bennington since 1992.
Robyn Scutt, owner of Faerydale
Consignment & gifts in Salem NY has joined our team of artists. Robyn has
loved fairies since a child but her real passion for fairies started as a
graphic designer. Robyn has thousands of online graphics made, but her favorite
to create have always been the fairies. After having children, Robyn didn’t have
as much time to spend on graphics anymore, Robyn enjoyed spending all of her
time with her children, she decided to leave her nursing job and start her own
business. Robyn opened a fairy themed consignment shop. Over the last 5 years
she has raised her children in the shop, was able to expand not only her store
but the fairy section as well and is now able to create beautiful fairy gardens,
houses and special fairy gifts. Faerydale is now a very popular fairy shop in
the area, featuring a large amount of fairy items as well as a huge selection of
very nicely displayed consignment items. Each summer, Robyn has a fairy house
hunt on main Street, with a fairy activity packet, free to all customers young
and young at heart. Robyn is thrilled to be a part of fairies on the hamlet at
the Georgi and looks forward to seeing you all there!
works with themes inspired by nature, memories, dream symbols and poetry fragments. Mary plays with shifting scale and metamorphosis...for example a dried carrot becomes a figure flying through space. Her work has been shown at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge MA and is part of the Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center Public Collection.
Heather Bellanca is a graphic designer that is contributing her talents and
creating a Fairy Photo Vista. Her handpainted photo station allows for
folks to get that Fairy Selfie!
Karen Pillsworth has performed in libraries, camps, churches, parks, schools, historic sites and at festivals. She is regularly featured at Mohonk Mountain House and has shared her stories on WAMC National Public Radio. As Storyteller Laureate, it is Karen’s honor and privilege to share her stories at events throughout the city and helping raise funds for various organizations.
Siri Allison is a Salem NY resident, storyteller and member of Story Circle ,a storytelling group that presents themed storytelling performances at Proctor’s and Fort Salem Theater.
Nancy Marie Payne With over 40 years teaching experience and over 12 years as a professional storyteller, Nancy Marie Payne specializes in researching and creating commissioned historical pieces. She also enjoys sharing stories from life, fairy tales, stories of strong women, legends and humorous stories.
Nancy has performed and led workshops in schools, libraries, historical societies, museums and storytelling and writing conferences including Albany’s First Night, Story Sundays at the Glen Sanders Mansion, Word Plays at Proctors, the Clearwater Festival, and Underground Railroad conferences. She has been involved in both the production and performance sides of Riverway Storytelling Festival and Tellabrations, yearly venues for storytellers in Albany, NY.
Nancy is a member of the League for Advancement of New England Storytellers (LANES), Story Circle of the Capital District, and the Interfaith Story Circle of the Tri-City Area. She is listed with BOCES Arts and Enrichment.
Lady Celia/Fairy Ladyslipper Ladyslipper shares classic fairy stories while in character as a fairy. She also hosts workshops on making fairy wings, fairy dance and movement, role playing and other crafts. Find her at the Georgi on Saturday as she regales her young audiences with tales of fellow fairy folk such as Rumplestiltskin or the Elves and the Shoemaker.
Workshops and Storytelling sponsored by Stewarts.
Heather Bellanca is creating a Fairy Photo Vista (put your head in the hole, take picture as a fairy).
Fairy Ladyslipper (Celia Van Buskirk) in the Park – continued presence, story time, make fairy wings
11a :Build a Fairy House in the Park – Adrian Sweeney
1 PM: Sponsored by Battenkill Bookstore – Fairy Story Reading – Connie Brooks
2 PM: Siri Allison/Word Circle – Story Time
June 19, Sunday:
11a: Build a Fairy House in the Park – Adrian Sweeney
1 PM: Karen Pillsworth-Story Time
3 PM: Nancy Marie Payne storytelling
Items in our Community Room include Fairy and Doll Houses, additional pieces created by our Artists and more...for sale!
Monday, June 20 Evening Firefly Walk and Luminary Launch: Sunset estimated at 8:40 PM
Gallery: Open at 6PM.
Mettawee Theater Company and Susi Shoes Dancers: Arrive 7:30, Lead Firefly walk/dance/promenade at 8:30-40
General Public invited to participate, ALL please wear “fairy” attire or festive gear. Luminary launch at sunset.