Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The catamount People's museum ran out of lives

After 6 years of public space service to the village of Catskill, the Catamount People's Museum has been layed to rest... It was de-installed in late october 2016.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cat Spring Clean Up Day May 2nd 10 am

Come on out and welcome the flowers back!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hudson Valley Magazine Catamount Museum Contest

Where in the Hudson Valley Contest: “Purr-fect Place” Cat-Shaped Roadside Museum

An unusual artwork doubles as a local museum

Imagine coming upon this 15-foot-high feline while driving through a small Valley village — it would probably take your breath away. This cat-shaped structure has been perched in its place since 2010, and resides in an aptly named part of the region, the tops of its ears level with the neighboring buildings.
The idea for the unique edifice came from Matt Bua, a Brooklyn-born artist and builder who has since settled upstate. “I wanted to build something for the village, and I wanted a challenge. I had never built anything animal-shaped before,” said Bua. “And they like cats in the Catskills.” Indeed: Several local businesses and organizations helped to sponsor the project, as did the New York Foundation for the Arts.
The kooky kitty — complete with a nose, whiskers, and two paws — appears to be lounging. Bua built the structure using scrap wood and tree branches for the body; the eyes (which can be illuminated at night) are made from old plates and light bulbs. Inside this trailer-sized lynx is a collection of items that celebrate the people and history of the local area: Artifacts are protected in glass cases; maps, paintings, and sheets of historical information are displayed on the walls; and a mummified cat hangs out in the rafters. A mixture of donations from the community and local historical organizations, the shack’s contents transform it into a laid-back museum of sorts, and make it a pleasant roadside stop.
Do you know which town is home to this creative cathouse? Submit your answer in the form below; the first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

Where in the Hudson Valley...?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saturday August 31st 4-8 pm Potluck-Cleanup- and Music

Potluck and acoustic sounds from likes of
Tom Skirimbas, Harry Matthews, and Brian Dewan.
Come out and add something to the People's Museum located
 at 21 west bridge street in Catskill NY

Friday, August 16, 2013

Catamount gains 10th LIFE!

Cat museum gains a 10th life

By Kyle Adams Hudson-Catskill Newspapers | Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:15 am
CATSKILL — The Catskill Village Board Wednesday night granted a group of concerned citizens four months to turn the Catamount People’s Museum into a lasting monument that the village can be proud of.
The museum, a giant walk-through cat statue on West Bridge Street made of recycled wood and other materials, was threatened with demolition this month after local business owners complained that it had become rundown, overgrown with weeds, a hangout for young people after dark and a fire hazard.
A group that coalesced in recent weeks to save “the cat” approached the village board Wednesday night to discuss ways to turn the installation from a nuisance into an attraction.
“As somebody who’s been living and working in Catskill for a while now, I feel really strongly about this and I would be really sad to see it go,” said Harry Matthews, a central figure in the group. “All it might need is just a little bit of positive clean-up.”
The cat was created in 2010 by Catskill-based artist and builder Matt Bua. It was intended as a one-year installation, but kept up due to community support, according to Village President Vincent Seeley.
“I believe that what Matt has created could be a really iconic image of what Catskill is, bringing in tourists and showing that Catskill is a place of and for art,” said Matthews. “We really feel strongly about it.”
A Facebook group, “Save the Cat in Catskill,” has 55 members and Matthews said it’s “growing every day.”
Matthews and others who turned out to support the cat, including Bua, asked for the opportunity to address the board’s concerns — to clean it up, add more gardens, possibly add lights to discourage night-time loiterers, improve signage, and so on.
“We have a group of concerned people that would really love to see it stay and are really willing to donate and volunteer time to, on a weekly basis, to go in there and do whatever’s necessary,” said Matthews.
The village board was supportive, agreeing to give the group four months to make improvements and demonstrate a commitment to maintaining it.
“What is option B?” asked Trustee Jim Chewens. “We take it down and we have an empty lot, and now we really have a problem because everyone walks away from it. And then we start screaming that the property owner isn’t keeping it cleaned up. Right now, it seems we have your attention, we have a group of 60-some people who are willing to go over there and take care of it.”
Despite complaints that the installation attracts young people late at night, Catskill Chief of Police David Darling said he has never received a report of an incident there.
Trustee Joseph Kozloski suggested that the cat should function as a kiosk, where visitors can find up-to-date information about what to do and see in Catskill. He initially suggested the four-month reprieve, adding, “If it goes back to what it was, then I’d say it’s time to come down.”
Matthews and Bua both agreed that it should and could be a unique access point for visitors.
“It was created as a piece of art, but it’s managed to stay a little longer and become part of the community,” said Matthews. “And now, we as art lovers and artists and a community, need to be sure that it stays a kiosk where information can be found and it’s welcoming. Now that it’s evolved, let it evolve.”
The group plans to organize a major clean-up in the first week of July.
To reach reporter Kyle Adams, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3323, or e-mail kadams@thedailymail.net

Friday, June 7, 2013


Special Thanks to Emily Truitt and Portia Munson for planting the  Flowers:

The Cat is Happy!

Catamount People's Museum Days Numbered

Village turns eye to the West Side

By Kyle Adams Hudson-Catskill Newspapers | Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:30 am
CATSKILL — With several initiatives underway to reinvigorate Main Street, the village of Catskill is beginning to turn its attention to other areas, starting with West Bridge Street.
Village officials held a meeting late last month with business owners and other interested parties about what steps could be taken to make the street more vibrant and attractive for businesses, consumers and residents.
“Main Street is on the move,” said Village President Vincent Seeley. “We’ve got things moving in, we’ve got a couple new shops. So probably by the end of the summer, we’re going to start moving over and aim our focus on West Bridge Street again.”

As part of the West Bridge Street clean-up, the Catamount People’s Museum — the walk-through wooden cat sculpture — will be coming down. Catskill-based artist and builder Matt Bua built the museum in 2010 from scrap wood and recycled materials, and said he’s okay with the idea of taking it down. He plans to save the head, if only for himself if he can’t find another use for it.
“If that’s what they want, that’s fine,” he said. “It’s had a good run.”
Bua said he would also be happy to be part of a conversation about what will replace the cat, if anything.
The meeting late last month was spurred by concerns brought to the village board from those living and working on Main Street, said Seeley.
“We’ve received several complaints from business owners and landlords on the West Bridge corridor,” he said. “The atmosphere was not conducive to business, let’s put it that way.”
Both village officials and business owners hope these reforms, and possibly more to come, will begin to change that. Business owners welcome the village’s efforts but are reserving applause until they see some results, putting the burden of change more on the national economy than on any individual revitalization effort.
“I think as the economy turns, we’ll see more interest, the entrepeneurial spirit will start blooming again,” said Remaley. “You’ll see people come in who want to open up different kinds of shop and stores.”
And West Bridge Street is just the beginning, said Seeley.
“In planning for the future, we need to start to focus on the back streets and not ignore them,” he said. “We’re going to continue doing this. We’re going to go street by street in the village.”
To reach reporter Kyle Adams, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3323, or e-mail kadams@thedailymail.net.

and a response by Harry Matthews:"Taking down" the Catamount Peoples Museum on west bridge street would be, i believe, an act of shortsighted vandalism in the name of un-thought out "progress that would do more to move Catskill backwards not forwards. "The Cat" has become an iconic image of the village, something that draws in tourists and artists, as well as business to the village, and something that should not only be preserved, but should be fought for. As Matt Bua is an internationally known artist, as well as a local resident, having a piece of his work on display in the village should be a center piece of pride for us all. Maybe all that is needed is a little bit of weeding and planting of perennials to "dress it up" a little. To remove this beautiful sculpture, that is well built and not a hazard to the public, would only tell the community, the greater Hudson Valley, and the world, that Catskill does not have a vision for the future, that artists (particularly local ones) are of little concern to the village, and that creativity and artistic beautification are incongruous with care for our, and growth of, our community. "Don't kill the Cat!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

MICRO-mini- GARLIC festival November 10th noon to 4 pm

Come on out and celebrate the big wooden cat and garlic. We'll promise you'll be going home smelling different than when you arrived!  noon to 4pm  Saturday November 10th! bring some! Take some! eat some! Smell Some 
Special thanks to Emily Truitt for garlic-a-fying the Cat

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Big Cat Young Person's Museum in Progess

New Young Person's Meseum set to Open October 1st
Come out and help thatch this creature!
More details to follow...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Little Big Cat:
A Hand-Built Young People’s Museum


*** Free Summer Art Program ***
Open to All Catskill Area Youth Ages 10-18

What? You know that big cat made out of wood on Bridge St. in Catskill across from the pizza place? That’s the Catamount People’s Museum and this summer there’s going to be an “off-spring” >>>The Little Big Cat Young People’s Museum!<<<

Join local artists Matt Bua and Laura Anderson this summer for a weeklong Building Intensive where we’ll create a smaller cat, next to the big one, made out of things found and discarded. You’ll learn how to use hand-tools, how to select and connect materials and how to design and build a unique sculptural structure.

Once built, The Young People’s Museum will house a collection of materials found and created by young people in the Catskill Area including; drawings, photos, maps, zines, interviews, special objects, sound recordings, etc. Through these displays visitors will get to view the talent and creativity of local youth and get to experience stories of what this area looks like through their eyes. You can start working on your submission to the Museum now or you can come to one of several Create and Collect Events throughout the summer (TBA). You could also work with Matt and Laura to create a collection event of your own.

Sunday, July 3rd 5-7pm @ The Catskill Community Center, 344 Main St.

Building Intensive
(lunch and cold drinks provided)
Monday- Saturday, July 11th-16th, 9am-2pm @ 21 W. Bridge St.

Creation and Collection of Display Materials
Throughout the Summer, Dates, Times and Locations TBA

Opening Celebration
September, Date and Time TBA

How to get involved: Contact Laura Anderson (570-560-0463, lalarky@gmail.com) or Matt Bua (917-291-7404, mattbua@gmail.com) to sign up and come to the Orientation on July 3rd.

*This project made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the NY State Council on the Arts, administered through the Community Arts Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts.*

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Halloween Party 2010

Photos by Sam Sebren
clockwise from top left-ish: Dharma and Brian playing some sweet fall songs, Kara's Mom and Dad reading poems, Max and Miles carving it up, (Middle)Daisy boy and Flemming Man, Matt and Stick Sellers, John Peters cranking out skull Masks, Bottom right: Tom Echo Plexing Echo, Matt Face Painting , Laura Face Painting,

Clockwise from the top left: Dharma sketching pumpkin, Laura and Dillon get the rocket stove going, Quinn and her new blue mask, (2) Rob Hervey and his Yidakey, Matt sporting Carrie's "Lamb" Mask. Middle image: Marsden Joy's donated mummy-fied cat, The Face Painted Ones and folks, more good folks bench warming

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday October 30th Halloween Party

What do you like most about Halloween?
Bring It! Tell It ! Show it!

Come out to the Halloween Party at the Catamount People's Museum on Saturday October 30th
from noon till the ghost all wake (around 10)

21 west bridge st
Catskill NY 12141

more details at


Made possible with a grant from the Harpo Foundation, power from Dimensions North, PA supplied by WGXC Hands on Community Radio
and all the fine Halloween enthusiast's in the area

Cara's Human Sized Rooster Gang
Rob Herbey's Yidaky(or as the westerns call it:didgereeedoooooo)
Carrie Dashow's Scary Dream Notary Booth
john Peter's Krampus Creature
Stick Sellers aka Sam Sebren
Kara Gamblor and her Witchy Mom...5 little pumpkins
an appearance by 31 Down

WGXC Hands on Community Radio, will be present for the earlier part of the day

-Costume Making
-Pumpkin Carving (Pumpkins courtesy of Story Farms Nursery)
-A Cauldron of fine Stone Soup
Costume Critiques and Dialogues

Bones-A-Drone- Come drone with us...
Scary Story Galore
Halloween Jams
Smoke N Mirrors

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hollow's Eve Inside the Belly of the Wild Cat

Saturday October 30th Hollow's Eve Party
noon till the Ghost all wake

Details and Participants to Follow

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Toll Free( Call from any Pay Phone that you find , that works)

1 877 679 4283

Press # 1 to leave a story about the past
Press #2 to talk about the Future

System set up by 31 Down Radio Theater

Opening Day Shots

The last visitors emerge from the belly of the Kitty.

Charles B. Swain (Greene County Minority Historian) makes a visit and talks "Mountain Lions" amongst other things

Rob and pooch at kiosk-bench #2

Rob typing furiously(maybe a near death story) but the typee couldn't keep up

Kara listening to Carmen Borgia

Alex and the Visionary Drawing Building Book

Pat and the music, inside the cat

Bradford, The Pencillina, and Harry performing the "Almost Rain Song"

echo and milo demonstrate the stick chair is great for 2

Heini Aho and Sebastian Ziegler's "Cat face" in the bush...just add water and watch it grow

Charles Rogers tells us about the hunting skill of the Cat and the Egg Building at the Empire Plaza

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kara Gamblor's Opening Day thoughts

I once looked up the word museum. I remember it as being defined as a place for musing. I was amused by the obvious I had overlooked in the word morphology. Matt Bua's Catamount Museum also made me reexamine things I had never overlooked, but a new lens/perspective gave fresh vigor to the simple beauties of different types of wood that grows naturally in the area of Catskill, N.Y.

Sitting in a chair made of sumac and ash trees, with a bit of maple thrown in here and there, I was surprisingly comfortable...a chair which is also sort of a cat foot...sort of...rising over my head is a roof made of handmade shingles..the ceiling rises above in a rounded peak, where the bobcat's head is on the outside. A work area and study is nestled deepest in the structure, bookshelves with books on the history and lore of the Catskills. An old typewriter sits there, and I watched a 7 year old in wonder trying it out..so weird for me. I typed up a story of the one time I saw a bobcat, right near the town of Catskill. Other people told other cat tales. One I read was about a cat which was adopted by a local business and became "cat A". They already had a "cat B", so I guess the cat was replacing a former cat....

On a table was raw sweet corn (YUM!!)(courtesy Story Farms), peanuts in the shell, some bakery(river street bakery of Catskill), and water. A catch as catch can spread that was quite sustaining....;)

If you get up to the Catskill area, or Hudson...it is a very nice place to see and hang out in, and let your freak flag fly next to the red white and blue..it is a free country, right? Freedom is free in the Catamount Museum. No admission charge:)

Weeds lay underfoot and I thrilled to see a barefoot child with mud smeared over his foot running around, taking the risks in stride. The children were mesmerized into silence as Bradford Reed began his performance. Accompanying him with throat singing a guy in whose back yard Bradford built his first pencilina. It was amazing, with huge paisley clouds rolling across the sky as Brad played..calling the rain, unfortunately. Two songs. Short and swweeeet.

As I drove home through sunshowers, I came upon a lovely rainbow.

Wish you were there!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

September 4th Opening Day 12-6 pm

The Catamount People's Museum
21 West Bridge st
Catskill NY 12414

Opening Celebration: Saturday, September 4th 2010, noon to 6 pm

Performances by Bradford Reed and his Amazing Pencilina
and Carmen Borgia

Live broadcast from 2-6 pm by the WGCX radio crew

A handmade People's Museum has been constructed in Catskill, NY in the form of a lounging bobcat. The museum is built using discarded tree branches and cut offs from local mills. The interior houses a collection of materials and displays celebrating the people, stories and history of the Catskill Mountains. Content for displays are collected from both historical organizations and the surrounding community. The museum has a unique focus of seamlessly blending the stories, visions and personal collections of residents with the voices of historians. The folk legends, urban myths and favorite, almost forgotten tide bits on display make this new public space a place to soak in what this area is really all about.

Do you have a favorite story your grandfather told you? An old photo of the area that you really like? A memory of a building that once stood? A little known gem from the present people should know about?Seen a bobcat lately? A reason this area is special to you? A vision for the future? Bring It! Tell It!

Sponsors and Support: The project is sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts(NYFA) and made possible with a grant from the Harpo Foundation. Special Thanks to the Village of Catskill, Catskill Valley Pools, Dimensions North LTD, Tony Fallon's Hardware Store (Cairo) Skip Kelly's Lumber(Cairo), West Side Villa Pizzeria, WGXC Community Radio, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Purple Mountain Press, Hope Farm Press, Black Dome Press, NY-NJ Trail Conference,Story Farms and River Street Bakers.

for mail in Submissions please send to :

Catamount People's Museum
po box 581
catskill ny 12414

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, December 6, 2009

As seen from behind

Open air view from behind

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

side view sketch

Illustration of the open quality of the back side of the structure

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

first sketch

From Wikipedia:

While the meaning of the name ("cat creek" in Dutch) and the namer (early Dutch explorers) are settled matters, exactly how and why the area is named is a mystery. Mountain Lions or "Catamounts" were known to have been in the area when the Dutch arrived in the 1600s[2].

The most common, and easiest, is that bobcats were seen near Catskill creek and the present-day village of Catskill, and the name followed from there. However there is no record of bobcats ever having been seen in significant numbers on the banks of the Hudson, and the name Catskill does not appear on paper until 1655, more than four decades later.

Other theories include:

* A corruption of kasteel, the Dutch sailors' term for the Indian stockades they saw on the riverbank. According to one Belgian authority, kat occurs in many place names throughout Flanders and has nothing to do with cats and everything to do with fortifications.[citation needed]

* It was to honor Dutch poet Jacob Cats, who was also known for his real estate prowess, profiting from speculation in lands reclaimed from the sea.

* A ship named The Cat had gone up the Hudson shortly before the name was first used. In nautical slang of the era, cat could also mean a piece of equipment, or a particular type of small vessel.

* It has also been suggested that it refers to lacrosse, which Dutch visitors had seen the Iroquois natives play. Kat can also refer to a tennis racket, which a lacrosse stick resembles, and the first place the Dutch saw this, further down the river in the present-day Town of Saugerties, they gave the name Kaatsbaan, for "tennis court," which is still on maps today.

The confusion over the exact origins of the name led over the years to variant spellings such as Kaatskill and Kaaterskill, both of which are also still used, the former in the regional magazine Kaatskill Life, the latter as the name of a town, creek, clove, mountain and waterfall.