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
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
Cat museum gains a 10th lifeBy 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 email@example.com
Posted by matt at 2:17 PM
Monday, July 29, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!"
Posted by matt at 4:43 AM