A Call for Art, and Artists

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This painting, by Susan Nowogrodzki, now hangs at the front of the Co-op

Some people have churches; some go to the gym; others do yoga. But certain folks in our Honest Weight community practice and live for art. I myself am one of these people, but there are a lot of us at the Co-op—more than you might even guess. This is our community and we need to express how important art is for our Co-op. We need to call for art, for artists, for musicians, for mosaic artists, for works of art large and small, in every possible medium and color.

How can we do this?

We have already begun with the Honest Arts Committee.

A Profile of the Honest Arts Committee. Recently formed by Board Member Saul Rigberg, the Honest Arts Committee has been off and running at a breakneck pace since its inception a few months ago. A retired public utilities and project activist lawyer, Saul and his wife Chris moved to the Albany area from New Jersey in 1986. They immediately became Co-op members and have been active ever since. Saul formed the Honest Arts Committee because he believes you can break down political barriers by incorporating music and art in the general conversation of the Co-op. Another one of his goals is to restore what he saw as the creative environment and welcoming personality of the old store. The Arts Committee has already begun this restoration. During its very short life, the Arts Committee has created an art gallery in the hallway, had its first arts show, hung large paintings by Susan Nowogrodzki in the front of the store, produced the Earth Day event including some great live music, started to re-decorate the break room for the employees, and contributed to the Summer Solstice event with face painting, Irish step dancing and a well-attended drum circle on the patio.

What’s Next For the Honest Arts Committee?

On the upcoming agenda for the Honest Arts Committee is a project of mosaic tile work to decorate the retaining wall of the auto shop facing our parking lot. This project will begin its initial phase by decorating the bases of the lot’s light poles. The Arts Committee has already begun collecting donations of tile and is looking for help in this area. We need colorful porcelain plates, pottery fragments, and ideas. We also need artists, potters, mosaic tile workers, and members who are just interested in joining our endeavor.

The Arts Committee’s next show will come this fall. It will be called “Gatherings.” In conjunction with the Marketing Department, we are putting out a call for art submissions that reflect this theme. We will select the works that will be displayed, as we have limited space and are anticipating an overwhelming response. Our theme, focused on gatherings in the fall season, conjures incredible images of abundance, warm summer endings, and vibrant, brilliant colors. For our show, we will gather baskets of the ripest fruits for wonderful get-togethers around the harvest tables! We look forward to our members’ submissions.

We also now are in serious need of large works of art. Both the Managers and Staff alike have given us an overwhelming positive response to the work that has been displayed so far. Some departments are requesting that we hang large works in their departments. So, please, send in your large works for display.

Music is food for the soul and a grand part of overall enjoyment of life, so we want to bring more music into the life of our Co-op. We have created a major breakthrough by having live music at the Co-op on a regular basis. Help us continue on this musical path. If you play a musical instrument, sing solo, and/or make music with a group, and would like to share your music at the Co-op, please contact us. Listeners are also wanted! We need your participation!

In this whirlwind time of seeming uncertainty, there seems to be a great need for all of us to gather round and embrace each other. We, the Honest Arts Committee, feel the best way to achieve this goal is through the arts. Please join us. Be vulnerable and show us what you’ve got. Let us share in your creative souls!

To participate, contact the Honest Arts Committee by e-mail at honestartscommittee@honestweight.com, or contact Saul Rigberg directly at eckrig@aol.com or by phone at 518-528-3450.

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Richard Clandorf, who has a BFA in lighting and set design, has been an antiques dealer for most of his adult life. Richard has owned antique stores in Manhattan and Upstate New York, and for the last 35 years has produced antique shows up and down the East Coast. He now lives in East Chatham, New York, and is actively involved in singing, cooking, and creating works of art. Richard, as a member-owner of Honest Weight, is active with The Co-op Voice and the Honest Arts Committee.