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Home Made Theater Wins “Best Community Theater” in New York
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Home Made Theater (HMT) has been awarded the title of “Best Community Theatre” by NY Theatre Guide, as part of their 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards. Voting was held online, with thousands of ballots cast from across New York State.
“There are so many theater companies that are worthy, so we are certainly very honored,” said Stacie Mayette Barnes, Producing Manager at HMT. “It’s recognition of all the hard work we put in. The work of our 180 volunteers each year, the work of directors and designers – everyone involved put together a product we’re very proud of.”
According to NY Theatre Guide, the awards are designed to honor local performing arts, entertainment and education organizations for their creativity, talents, and contributions across New York. Home Made Theater was one of five theaters nominated for the award. Other nominees included Central New York Playhouse in Syracuse, Clocktower Players in Irvington, Olean Community Theatre, and Ghent Playhouse.
Now in its 31st season, HMT got the news about the award during the opening week of their production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Barnes noted how HMT will be using their status as “Best Community Theatre” to raise awareness for HMT’s shows and draw to attention to what the company is all about.
“We’re very excited about this award. There must be people out there who believe in us and took the time to vote,” continued Barnes. “HMT is a unique blend of professionals and those working in theater for the first time. We try to give everyone involved a great experience. We’re proud of the quality of the work we do and proud to give our audiences some terrific entertainment. I want to thank everyone for voting for us, and invite everyone to come check us out in the state park – you won’t be sorry!”
Going on right now at HMT is their production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams. Show times are February 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and February 21 and 28 at 2 p.m.
For more information about Home Made Theater, visit homemadetheater.org.
Seeing the Light: Exhibit Gives Hope to Homeless
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Spring Street Gallery brought together nearly 100 artists and performers for its “Darkness/Light” exhibit, which opened with a reception on February 6. The exhibit and reception, which nearly 500 people attended, raised money and awareness for Code Blue Saratoga, which provides shelter, food and other necessities to those who are homeless during winter’s harsh weather conditions.
“Darkness/Light” is the second open-call exhibit that Spring Street Gallery has held to benefit Code Blue. “The Blue Show,” presented in January 2015, raised thousands of dollars for Code Blue. In donations alone, “Darkness/Light” has already raised $1,500 for Code Blue, and art sales are still going on.
Maureen Sager, Executive Director of Spring Street Gallery, said ““These open-call shows for Code Blue have been really inspiring; first, because of the incredible artwork that people create to fit the theme of the show, and second, because everyone – the artists and the audience – get to demonstrate how our community pulls together to help others.”
“There is something for everyone in this show,” said Belinda Colon, Installation Manger at Spring Street Gallery, who, along with her daughter Charlie Gleeksman, also contributed artwork to the show. Colon led a team of volunteers in hanging the dozens of pieces of artwork for the exhibit. “It’s really exciting to see such an outpouring of creativity from our community.”
The artists involved in the exhibit, which were given about a month to craft a piece after given the theme of darkness and light, were very enthusiastic about creating art for Code Blue’s cause.
“We live in such a lovely town, and it’s hard to know that some of our fellow residents struggle to stay warm and fed,” said poet Marilyn McCabe, whose work is displayed at the exhibit. “That 100 artists chose to offer up work to help out the Code Blue program is inspiring, and a good antidote to cynicism about the state of the world. I was happy to be a part of it, and to experience through this colorful and diverse show all the interesting work people are up to.”
“Darkness/Light” had an open-call submission process, and attracted artists from all ages, backgrounds and genres. From dance, music and poetry to photography, painting and fiber arts, the show features a wide range of imagination and originality, all developed out of a passion for a great cause.
Mary Ellen O’Loughlin, another artist involved in “Darkness/Light” said, “What I find so thrilling about Spring Street Gallery’s exhibition to benefit Saratoga’s Code Blue program is that it brings together artists of all abilities to not only demonstrate their skills in a comfortable and supportive environment, but also to consider the conditions some in our community endure during these cold months. As I thought about this year’s theme, I reflected on the relationship of darkness and light, and chose to depict the promise of hope from hopelessness.”
“Darkness/Light” is currently on display at Spring Street Gallery, located at 110 and 112 Spring Street, and is open to the public.
For more information about Spring Street Gallery, visit springstreetgallerysaratoga.org. To learn more about Code Blue Saratoga, visit codebluesaratoga.org.
Following her Heart: Stroke Survivor Advocates for Heart Health
SARATOGA SPRINGS – According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, more than all cancers combined. Tammy D’ercole, a stroke survivor, knows all too well the reality women face when it comes to their cardiovascular health. February 1 marks ten years since her open heart surgery and stroke, and now, D’ercole is dedicated to sharing her story and being the voice of advocacy for women everywhere.
On January 30 2006, Tammy D’ercole was having a night out with friends, when she noticed blood after using the restroom. After going to the hospital and getting a CAT scan, doctors discovered a very large tumor on her heart, known as an atrial myxoma. Though it was benign, she needed open heart surgery immediately. During the surgery, D’ercole suffered a massive stroke, causing an acquired brain injury (ABI). For the next few months, she not only had to recover from heart surgery, but also had to relearn how to walk and talk.
“The hand of God is through my whole story,” said D’ercole. “I was intubated and on life support, very close to death. For me, the process of recovery is what gave me this appreciation for life. It made me understand the fragility of life. I was very selfish and self-centered, all about consumption rather than contribution. Now, it’s about what I can do to give back, what I can do for other people, and what I can contribute to society as a whole.”
However, this was not D’ercole’s first experience with stroke and heart problems. When D’ercole’s daughter, Catie, was a newborn, she was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a four part congenital heart defect, and underwent open heart surgery when she was just six weeks old. She later suffered a stroke at age two. Despite sensory and attention issues, Catie, just like her mom, is a true survivor.
“I have a spiritual approach to life that I didn’t have before the stroke. The heart opens up and spirituality pours in,” said D’ercole. “My physical heart has changed obviously, but my emotional and spiritual heart has changed way more.”
The last several years for D’ercole have been all about outreach and bringing awareness to women’s heart health. She has begun writing about her journey and even participates in talk radio shows throughout the country. She uses social media to connect with and mentor other survivors, and also to spread information about heart disease and stroke.
“That’s what my passion is now, getting involved in advocacy and bridging the gap between the family and the patient,” explains D’ercole. “I had to learn to advocate for myself. The patient can’t always explain to you how they feel. But I’ve been the patient, and I’ve also been the caregiver. I’ve played both roles. Last year on Facebook I wrote, ‘I hope to be an advocate someday,’ and someone replied, ‘You already are.’”
D’ercole is currently working toward going back to school and getting her degree in social work to get even more involved in peer mentoring. She is also working with The Giving Circle, a non-profit that helps those in need both locally and globally. Mark and Kelly Bertrand, the founders of The Giving Circle, have invited D’ercole to Uganda with them this June to help with their outreach programs there.
D’ercole, who has a permanently cupped or “clawed” hand from her stroke, explained what this trip would mean to her. “A lot of kids over there have sickle cell, which is the cause of a lot of strokes. I can’t even imagine walking onto African soil someday and seeing a child with a hand like mine. I can’t even imagine. It’s going to be amazing. This claw is the outward sign that my stroke was really bad. It’s not going to work ever again. But what I’ve learned is to embrace this as merit that I’m telling the truth and I know what I’m talking about when I advocate for you. This is my badge. This is what makes it real.”
February is American Heart Month and Friday, February 5 is National Wear Red Day, part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. D’ercole plans on dying her hair bright red and “dancing in her red cowboy boots” for the occasion.
“Go Red for Women raises awareness for women to learn about their hearts. It’s teaching women to teach other women about heart health. It’s a ripple effect,” said D’ercole. “My big thing is to get the statistics out there. I think it follows right behind the Pink Ribbon campaign. Early detection is so important in breast cancer, and it is in heart disease too. There are a lot of things women can do; they just don’t know what to do. Women don’t go out and see a cardiologist every year for a heart check-up. But prevention is so much better than treatment after the fact. If we can prevent heart attack and stroke, we don’t have thousands of women being disabled for the rest of their lives.”
For more information about the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women campaign, visit heart.org and goredforwomen.org.
It’s Almost Time for Chowder!
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Celebrate a delicious Saratoga tradition with the 18th Annual Chowderfest, set to take place on Saturday, February 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with over 80 businesses participating this year. Chowderfest is part of Saratoga’s 19th Annual Winterfest, happening February 5 to 14. Over 30,000 people enjoyed Chowderfest last year, and more than 115,000 samples of chowder were served.
Visitors can pick up a ballot from any participating business, taste the chowders, and vote for their favorite. Each sample of chowder is $1 and paid directly to the establishment. Visitors can sample as many different types of chowders at as many locations they would like. After tasting and voting, valid ballots can be turned in to the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center and the lobby of The Saratoga Hilton from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or voting can be done online at DiscoverSaratoga.org. Winners will be announced inside the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. on the day of the event.
Visitors can also bring their four-legged family members, as there will be participants serving chowder just for dogs. The popular Dog Chow Down will take place at 1 p.m. at the Saratoga Downtowner Motel on Broadway. Mayor Yepsen’s dog, Sasha, will be there to pick the winning chowder.
Family-friendly events will be happening around town, including the Kid Zone activities at The Saratoga Hilton with free admission. Impressive ice sculptures, sponsored by The Ice Man and Prestwick Chase at Saratoga, will be displayed at the Visitor Center for guests to check out.
For $10 each, Chowderfest attendees can purchase an official long-sleeved Chowderfest T-shirt (2XL size shirts are $12). T-shirts can be purchased at The Saratoga Hilton.
Music will be provided by The Jockey 101.3 at the top of Caroline Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with WEQX providing music from 2 to 4 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., WGNA 107.7 will be at the Saratoga Downtowner Motel Parking Lot, Fly 92.3 will be on Henry Street, Q 103.5 will be outside the Saratoga Springs City Center, and Rewind 105.7 will be inside The Saratoga Hilton at the T-shirt distribution area. Providing all day entertainment at the Visitor Center is DJ Tim from Capital Disc Jockeys, who will be playing music and hosting a photo booth from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Free Park and Ride Shuttles are available that run back and forth from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Upstate Transit Shuttles will run from the Wilton Mall at Saratoga at the Park and Ride near Dick's Sporting Goods store to the post office downtown. Shuttles will also run from the Saratoga Casino and Raceway at the Crescent Avenue entrance at the CDTA/MegaBus parking area (look for signs) to Congress Park.
For a list of participating chowder outlets, Winterfest events and further details, visit DiscoverSaratoga.org/Chowderfest or call 518-584-1531.
SCT Ventures down the Rabbit Hole: “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” to Premiere February 5
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Children’s Theatre is currently preparing for “Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” an enchanting and charming adaptation of the classic Disney film and the novels “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll. There will be three performances taking place at Saratoga Music Hall, with show times on Friday, February 5 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, February 6 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Follow Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and all your favorite characters as they trek through the strange and outlandish Wonderland, complete with plenty of musical numbers and laughs to keep audiences captivated the whole way through.
Kelsey Dodd, 8, who plays Alice (there are two other Alices as well – tall and tiny Alice) is thrilled to be able to play such an exciting, silly role.
“It’s amazing that I’m so young and I got the lead! It’s been really fun,” she said. “When I’m looking for something to do, I’ll practice my lines, even during recess. When I was researching for my role, I learned you just have to be confident in yourself.”
Maddie Pohl, who plays Mathilda, Alice’s older sister, is equally excited about her character and mentions also how SCT has helped her overall. “Acting with SCT helps with making more friends, even out of the acting world. It also helps with confidence and my imagination.”
Directing “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” is renowned soprano opera singer Irina Petrik, from Kyiv, Ukraine. Petrik is an honor graduate of the historic Gliere Music College in Ukraine and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has performed as a soloist and guest artist with National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Lowell House Opera at Harvard, Festival of United Nations and many, many more.
“I love working with the kids,” said Petrik, who, along with her extensive performing, is a voice professor at the College of Saint Rose. “SCT has a particularly great group of families and parents that really value the importance of art in the community. I’m happy such an organization exists.”
This summer, from August 1 to 20, Petrik will be reprising her role as director at SCT for the teen troupe summer camp performance of “Pirates of Penzance.”
“Summer camp is a great way to get introduced to, and fall in love with, theatre,” added Petrik. “When kids are on stage, their inhibitions are gone. Their imagination and energy is so pure at this age. It’s like theatre magic to me, it’s make believe. It gives them a sense of freedom, and they get immersed in it.”
Tickets to “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” are $10 for those ten and up and free for children under 10. All tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information about the show or Saratoga Children’s Theatre, visit saratogachildrenstheatre.org.
Saratoga Veterinary Hospital Provides Paramount Care
WILTON – When you take your pet to the veterinarian, you expect them to be treated like family. The doctors and staff at Saratoga Veterinary Hospital do just that and then some. The priority at Saratoga Veterinary Hospital is to make pets and their people as comfortable as possible, which is evident right when you walk in the door and see how cats and dogs have different waiting rooms, easing stress for both kinds of pets. With a staff of 25 dedicated veterinarians, vet techs, assistants and receptionists, this is a hospital that is devoted fully to the wellbeing of your furry or feathered family member.
The owners of Saratoga Veterinary Hospital are Dr. Chris Brockett and his wife, Dr. Leisa Brockett. Both attended Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and began working at Saratoga Veterinary Hospital in the mid-nineties after graduation.
When asked why he chose to become a veterinarian, Dr. Brockett replies, “Well it’s the classic answer for most veterinarians and that’s ‘I never made the conscious choice.’ My parents told me from as long as they could remember that’s all I wanted to do. It never changed.”
The Brockett’s purchased the business in 2001 from Dr. Sofarelli, who built the hospital with his father in 1971. All three doctors continue to work together, and they recently welcomed a new veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Sterling this past year.
As people continue to get closer with their animals, the veterinary industry continues to grow. When Dr. Chris Brockett graduated high school, there were only 26 veterinary colleges in the country and they were very hard to get into.
“Back then, veterinary medicine was more geared toward production animals, such as cows. Over the decades, dogs and cats became more around the family and eventually, part of the family,” said Dr. Brockett. “50 years ago, dogs were with us, but he was outside in the dog house. You might’ve had a cat, but it was outside. Flash forward 50 years, your dog sleeps in the bed with you and cats never have their little feet touch the outside. It’s a very different dynamic now between humans and their animals, people care for those animals at a much different level than we did many years ago. As that has occurred, there is now higher demand for care for them.”
Dr. Brockett sees around 6 or 7 patients on a slow day, or up to 20 on a busy day. He mentions how the hospital provides care for all sorts of pets, such as hamsters, snakes, birds, reptiles, and years ago, even a monkey. However, 99 percent of the patients coming in are of course, cats and dogs.
“The coolest thing to me is that first visit with a puppy when there is a young child in the office,” added Dr. Brockett when asked about his favorite part of the job. “They’re to the moon happy because mommy and daddy finally did it, they got him the puppy. They’re bouncing around the room, thinking it’s the greatest thing. I’m hopeful as we go through the process that we impress on that child the importance and gravitas of the care of that pet. I’ll have them listen to their pet’s heart on the stethoscope, just getting them involved and thinking ‘this is so neat.’ That’s the best part of any given day to do that.”
Not only do the veterinarians and staff truly love and care for each animal as individuals, they are dedicated to showing how Saratoga Veterinary Hospital provides the upmost care. Saratoga Veterinary Hospital is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), an accreditation that only 12% of veterinary hospitals across the country have. Every three years, AAHA makes a visit to Saratoga Veterinary Hospital and examines every aspect of the business, from how they clean to how they perform surgeries. There are 19 categories that must be passed, such as anesthesia, housekeeping, dentistry, safety, diagnostic imaging, and many more, in order for a hospital to earn the AAHA Standards of Accreditation. Saratoga Veterinary Hospital has passed every single one.
“I think everybody should do it,” said Dr. Brockett about the accreditation. “You take so much away from it. It elevates the quality of what you do. It’s important because it keeps you practicing at the very highest level. The bar is very high and you have to work to meet it. It shouldn’t be simple.”
To stay current on all aspects of veterinary medicine, Dr. Brockett is part of the Capital District Veterinary Medical Society. Dr. Brockett has also served for a decade with the NYS Veterinary Medical Society, serving as president in 2014. Part of his role in the society is to help educate other veterinarians in the state, but also to engage with the legislature about laws that affect how animals are treated. Dr. Brockett stays on the cutting edge of his field, and when he’s with a four-legged patient, he not only demonstrates how knowledgeable he is, he shows a deep compassion and kindness towards the animals one can only hope for in a veterinarian.
“We strive to form that bond the best way we know how. It’s establishing trust and living up to our end of it,” said Dr. Brockett. “We spend a lot of time on the phone with our clients. They call in and 95% of the time, we’re back to you that day. Even if it’s about something like switching kinds of food. You’ve got to take that time. You can’t be so busy being a doctor that you can’t be there for the people.”
For more information about Saratoga Veterinary Hospital, visit saratogavethosp.com.
Death Wish Coffee Wins Commercial in Super Bowl!
ROUND LAKE– Death Wish Coffee, the local coffee roasting company with the proclaimed, “strongest coffee in the world,” beat 15,000 other businesses in the QuickBooks’ Small Business Big Game Competition for a free commercial during the Super Bowl next Sunday, February 7. With 14 employees based out of Round Lake, this is a huge step for a company of this size.
“We are going to be reaching a national audience quicker than we ever thought imaginable,” said Eric Donovan, Production Manager at Death Wish. “It’s really exciting. Immediately, we knew we had to do a lot of planning to meet demand. It was also dumbfounding; we put in so much work to make it happen and our efforts paid off. I’m proud of our team.”
Donovan continued, “We had so much support from the community and our fans. We just want to thank everybody that’s been behind us, we can’t thank them enough. It’s an underdog story. We beat out businesses with way more customers. We’re the smallest business ever to have an ad in the Super Bowl.
Death Wish Coffee is all organic, all fair trade and all kosher. It has twice as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee and a bolder, richer flavor. And with over 110 million viewers for the Super Bowl, it looks like soon the whole world will know it.
For more information about Death Wish Coffee or to make a purchase, visit deathwishcoffee.com
The Man, The Myth, The Music: Author Launches New Novel at Northshire
SARATOGA SPRINGS – W.B. Belcher pieces together a story of music, folklore and reinvention in his debut novel, “Lay Down your Weary Tune,” which is set to be launched at Northshire Bookstore on Tuesday, January 26 at 6 p.m. Belcher will be discussing his new novel as well as signing copies. The book launch will be followed by a reception at Caffé Lena.
“Lay Down your Weary Tune” follows the story of up-and-coming writer Jack Wyeth and his experience uncovering the truth about Eli Page, an elusive musician that is more myth than man. Taking place in the fictional town of Galesville on the border of New York and Vermont, Jack tries to uncover the truth about the obscure musician, while at the same time learning about himself and his own past in the process. Matthew Quick, author of “The Silver Linings Playbook” called it, “a heartening, timeless, and stirring song for the perfectly broken. Beautifully thrownback. Open-handed. True. W.B. Belcher is my kind of writer.”
Belcher gleaned inspiration for the novel from rock legends, and the concept of who musicians truly are when they’re not on stage. “It was about the idea of a very public person having on layers of masks and personas,” said Belcher. “In the end, who is that person really, behind the mask? You can see it with someone like David Bowie. It’s this idea of reinvention, not just once, but over and over again until you get away from your core self, and that’s what I wanted to show.”
Belcher came up with the idea for the novel during his MFA program, as he was grappling with the choice of whether he wanted to get into playwriting or fiction, a time in his life where he was evolving and finding himself as a writer. “Lay Down your Weary Tune” took him eight years to write, going through many drafts and edits, fitting for a story so immersed in change and personal growth. Belcher calls “Lay Down your Weary Tune” a “late coming-of-age story,” one that is deeply engrained in the context of music.
“Once I dug in, I knew I had to have a main character as a folk music icon and a narrator that is connected to the music. I wanted to dig deeper into the folk music inspiration behind this. Music that tells a story, music that has had a great impact over the last 60 years or more,” said Belcher. “The narrator is enthralled and obsessed with this kind of music. It’s the lens in which he sees the world through.”
Belcher has his own distinct connection with music, including a connection with local music hotspot, Caffé Lena. Belcher is on their board of directors, and has helped with grant writing and developmental work. He’s fascinated with Lena’s history, and is passionate about its success. Belcher is also the Director of External Affairs at The Hyde Collection, the historic art museum in Glens Falls, where he is involved in communications, fundraising and marketing.
“Lay Down Your Weary Tune” will be released on January 26 at Northshire, and after that, can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, IndieBound.org and at Battenkill Books in Cambridge.
For more information about the book launch celebration, visit northshire.com. To learn more about W.B Belcher, visit his website at wbbelcher.com.
21st Annual Frost Faire This Weekend
STILLWATER – The 21st annual Frost Faire will take place Saturday, January 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Battlefield at Saratoga National Historical Park, located on routes 4 and 32 in Stillwater. All activities are free and take place around the Visitor Center.
This activity-packed event is inspired by Frost Faires in 18th century England during the “Little Ice Age,” a period which brought colder temperatures to Europe. On Saturday, Frost Faire goers can enjoy tubing down the Visitor Center hill (snow permitting), horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s crafts and games, including 18th century toys for kids to play with, and contra dancing for all ages. As part of a small Revolutionary War encampment, there will be cannon and musket firings, as well as a bonfire and complimentary hot chocolate to warm up.
At 12 p.m., there will be a nature and scavenger hunt led by Adirondack guide William Clark. Clark will lead the group to the beaver pond, where he will teach about tracking and traces of animal activity. Pinecones and candy will be hidden for the scavenger hunt. Afterwards, found pinecones can be brought to the museum store, where they can be exchanged for a $10 gift. There will also be natural artifacts from the park’s archives on display at Frost Faire.
“People in this community have a national park in their backyard and this is a great way for people to discover the park through winter fun,” said Gina Johnson, Program Manager at National Park Services at Saratoga National Historical Park. “It’s a way to beat cabin fever – people can get out of their houses and go somewhere to have a good time. It’s a fun day to come and discover nature and history.”
Johnson noted how her favorite part of the Frost Faire is the horse-drawn carriages. “It’s the best way to see the park. The whole ambiance of the carriage rides is terrific,” she said.
This is also a special year for Saratoga National Historical Park because it’s National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. Saratoga National Historical Park is just one of 400 national parks, and it will be hosting all sorts of centennial events and activities this year, so be sure to stay tuned.
Frost Faire is sponsored by the Town of Stillwater and Friends of Saratoga Battlefield. For more information about Frost Faire or other events at Saratoga National Historical Park, call the Visitor Center at 518-670-2985, visit nps.gov/sara, or go on Facebook and Twitter @SaratogaNHP.
Sharing the Healing Waters: A Visual Exploration of the Mineral Springs
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Rebecca Kane has a profound connection with the mineral water springs in Saratoga, and a gift for capturing them with her camera. When viewing one of Kane’s photographs, it’s difficult not to be moved by them. The quiet and peaceful springs burst with life in vivid, swirling color. The deep reds of the rust and the luminescence of the moving water make the springs seem alive, hence the name of Kane’s collection: Rebecca Kane Living Waters. Now, Kane wants to show the beauty of our springs to an even bigger audience by attending the largest international art show, Art Expo 2016.
“I need to get this work out in front of the world,” said Kane. “The springs are known all over the world, and now I’m able to bring it in front of the world in a visual sense, able to talk about the springs here, what they mean, the healing properties, just everything that Saratoga Springs is.”
Kane began her journey into photography when she was very young. Before moving to Clifton Park, she lived in rural Charlton, and would photograph the fields and woods she would walk in. Taking these photos opened up Kane to a whole new place of exploration, made her feel less isolated in her rural town, and in her words, “opened up a storyline” for her. “It made me feel less alone. Since then, I’ve never stopped shooting,” Kane explained.
Childhood was also when Kane began developing a bond with the springs in Saratoga. She would go to the park and play in the geysers with her family. As an adult she reconnected with the springs when she moved back to Saratoga in 2001. She began collecting the water and using them during mediation. This was during a point in Kane’s life where she was experiencing a lot of personal turmoil and going through a very difficult time.
The day Kane decided to take her first photograph of the springs was a stressful one. Her son was getting ready to go off to college and her daughter was beginning fourth grade at a new school. After she dropped her daughter off at school, Kane had an intuition to keep driving.
Kane reflected, “It was just a hard morning. Something told me to keep driving and I ended up at Old Red Spring. I had my camera in the car. My higher self told me to get out and take a picture, so I did. That was the first picture of history.”
Ever since, Kane has expanded her collection to other springs such as Hathorn Spring, Old Iron Spring, Polaris and many more. It’s striking how no two photos look the same, even if they were taken at the same time, at the same place.
“When people see my work I want them to experience something they’ve never experienced before,” said Kane. “They’re drawn to it because of the color, the texture. It all has to do with the energy of the water in the picture. It’s the splashing, dripping, bubbling of the waters. These works need to be where people can feel it and be energetically moved by them. They’re healing. It came from a place of healing and they are healing.”
Rebecca Kane Living Waters is presently displayed at AMP Gallery on Broadway, Roosevelt Baths and Spa, and at Pangea Restaurant in South Bennington, Vermont. She is open to anyone who wants to purchase her work, such as private collectors, as well as other galleries; she would also love to see her work in hospitals, medical spas and other places of healing, where she feels they could help people in times of illness or recovery. It’s important to note that all of Kane’s pieces are waterproof due to their aluminum backing, as well as easily cleaned for sterile environments.
“The healing industry is huge. A big part of the healing process is what people surround themselves with. We have this magic right here in our backyard, and I’m excited to share them. This is about so much more than me being an artist,” said Kane. “This has purpose, it has a place, and it has meaning. I want to be able to make a difference. There’s a reason I’m meant to be here.”
The next step for Kane is to get to Art Expo 2016 in New York City, an opportunity of a lifetime for her to finally share her passion and love of the springs with others. However, the cost of the trip is pricey, so with help from AMP Gallery, Kane has set up a fundraiser to get her Living Waters collection to Art Expo called “Off the Wall with Rebecca Kane.” Raffle tickets are $50 each to enter into a drawing to win one of Kane’s pieces in her Living Waters collection, a value of up to $1200. As only 100 tickets are being sold, there is a very good chance of winning. When someone purchases a raffle ticket, they also get a $40 print signed by Kane, so the ticket nearly pays for itself.
The winner of the raffle will be announced at the Off the Wall Celebration Event on Saturday, March 12 at AMP Gallery. Tickets can be purchased at AMP Gallery or by going on Kane’s website (listed below).
“This whole journey to get to Art Expo, even getting the funds to get there, is part of the experience. Once I got accepted I thought this is one way I can get my work in front of a lot of people at one time. I felt like I couldn’t afford not to do it,” said Kane. “The sooner I get this out there, the sooner it can do good.”
For more information about Rebecca Kane’s Living Waters collection, or to purchase a raffle ticket to help her get to Art Expo, visit her website at RebeccaKaneLivingWaters.com. If any corporate benefactor is interested in sponsoring Kane, she can be contacted through her email and phone number listed on her website. She will list all corporate sponsors on her page.