This Weekend in the Catskills…

  |  July 30, 2015

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice
Inaugurated in 2010, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice celebrates the human voice through performances in all genres: opera, choral and chamber music, poetry, theater, and more. This year the festival is dedicated to American music. The main event, a performance of the opera Of Mice and Men by Carlisle Floyd, will take place Saturday, August 1 at 8 pm at the Parish Field, the festival’s main stage. Floyd himself will be directing this production. Earlier in the day, from 10 to 11 am, the composer will address the public and talk about his opera at Mama’s Boy Café. Another great presence at the festival this year is mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade who will appear on Friday evening during the American Classics: Live and In Person program at the Parish Field. For full program, go to


Photo courtesy of Saratoga Race Track

Saratoga Race Course & National Museum of Racing
The historic Saratoga Race Course, built in 1863, is the country’s oldest continuous racing track and in fact the oldest sporting venue of any kind. The race takes place every summer throughout the months of July and August. Nearby there is the National Museum of Racing, founded in 1950, which houses an impressive collection of equine art and trophies honoring the long and rich tradition of horse racing in America. In addition to its permanent collections, the Racing Museum also organizes temporary exhibitions and other events. During the racing season in July and August it’s open every day, from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information about the Racing Museum, visit For more information about the Race Course, visit


Image courtesy of

Bright Hill Literary Center / Jan Harrison Solo Art Show
Kingston based artist Jan Harrison is showing some of her latest works at the Bright Hill Literary Center’s Word & Image gallery in Treadwell, opening reception Sunday, August 2 at 3 pm. The exhibit called Visceral Voices speaks about the artist’s lifelong interest in animal figures and the human interaction with nature and landscape. It will remain on view through August 28. Harrison’s paintings, sculptures and installations have been shown internationally in numerous art shows. The artist is the recipient of several grants and fellowships. For more information, visit

Gary Mayer's "Zu Rampages" acrylic painting

Gary Mayer’s “Zu Rampages” acrylic painting

The Commons Building / The Urge Unchecked Group Show
The Commons Building in Margaretville is hosting a group show called The Urge Unchecked curated by artist Gary Mayer. Thirteen painters including Mayer as well as Lisbeth Firmin, Brenda Goodman, Christine Hughes, David Fox and others are shown in this exhibition which represents an eclectic mix of styles and approaches. Originally from Detroit, Mayer, who is also an illustrator, does large, acrylic works. His Zu Rampages is included in this show (pictured above). Painter and printmaker Lisbeth Firmin is showing three of her recent works Reading Beckett (20″ x 30″ oil on wood panel, 2015), City Pool (20″ x 30″ oil on wood panel, 2015), Couple, Chinatown (16″ x 16″oil on wood panel, 2014), and an earlier work Old Man Sleeping (10″ x 10″ gouache, 1998). The show remains on view through August 18. To learn more about Lisbeth Firmin, visit


Couple, Chinatown, Lisbeth Firmin (16″ x 16″ oil on wood panel, 2014). Image courtesy of

About Simona David

Simona David is a writer living in the Catskill Mountains, New York. She is the author of Art in the Catskills (3rd edition, 2016), available on and Kindle. For more information, visit

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