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 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 is a very nice place to see and hang out in, and let your freak flag fly next to the red white and 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