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Thursday, 23 July 2015 15:31

Painter Shares her Talents with Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Artist Janet Broussard is traveling from her home in Texas to the Spa Fine Art Gallery on Broadway in Saratoga Springs for an artist reception and a live painting demo on Saturday, July 25. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the artistic process and what goes on in the artist’s head as she works.

Beginning in the afternoon and going until the evening, visitors to the Gallery can watch Broussard finish several paintings and also ask her questions. Broussard acknowledges that “as an artist, it can be hard to explain your work,” so this demo allows viewers to see Broussard in action and how she creatively develops a painting into a finished product.

Keeping in line with her impressionist style, Broussard focusses on light and shadow as well as emphasizing surface texture and line-quality. Broussard paints every day and her usual method is to apply the paint thickly, often letting it dry before she breaks up lines with the end of her paintbrush to give each painting a sense of “movement and energy.”

“Sometimes while working on a painting it’s like a good book, you can’t put it down,” Broussard said. “When I’m done with a painting I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.”

Broussard discovered in grade school that she wanted to be an artist and always had a passion for horses, continuously drawing them until she got it just right. Her love of horses is obvious through her work as is her fascination with painting still-life objects. She began painting still-life fruit and vegetables after working in conjunction with a restaurant that was promoting “farm to table” eating.

“Still-life forces you to see 3D shapes and flatten them out. This took a while for me to grasp actually. Once you see a still-life as a series of shapes, it becomes much easier to give them form and mass visually,” Broussard explained.

Besides still-life and equestrian, Broussard also likes to paint landscapes and architecture. On her weeklong visit to Saratoga, she plans on painting some of the local landmarks and scenery in the area.

“I’m really looking forward to coming to Saratoga. Just getting to know the area and soaking up the atmosphere. I guess I’ll be the quintessential tourist with a camera,” Broussard joked. “There are gorgeous mansions, beautiful parks, like Congress Park. It’s such a picturesque town.” 

In regards to advice for aspiring artists, Broussard said, “Find an artist you like and copy their work. See how they mix and apply paint and really try to understand their process. If you do that, it’s almost like studying with them.” 

Janet Broussard’s reception and live demo are free and open to the public. From 6 to 9 p.m. there will be champagne and refreshments served. Broussard’s artwork will also be on display and available for purchase. For more information, please call 518-587-2411 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thursday, 16 July 2015 16:44

Hats Off Festival

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The much-anticipated Hats Off Festival will take place next weekend, Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 in downtown Saratoga Springs and at the Saratoga Race Course. This exciting event celebrates the opening weekend of the track with live outdoor music that brings people from all over to Saratoga. This yearly event is hosted by The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor, the New York Racing Association (NYRA). Both nights of entertainment are free and open to the public with bands performing from 7 to 11 p.m. 

Thursday, 16 July 2015 16:39

Art in the Park

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Art in the Park, sponsored by WEXT 97.7 and The Laffer Gallery, takes place Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Congress Park. The event is free and open to the public and features a fine art show, music, dance, food, activities for kids and more.

The fine art exhibit is curated and presented by Saratoga Arts. More than 40 artists will be on-hand, displaying, discussing and selling art in a wide variety of media, including drawings, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, sculptures, photographs, and print-making. “Best in Show” and “Honorable Mentions” awards will be presented at 12 p.m.


Saratoga Arts collaborated with the GLOBE School for “The Art Zone” community arts project, open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Individuals and families can contribute to the creation of a Chinese dragon throughout the day using color wheels and calligraphy. Children are then invited to join the dragon as it parades past the exhibits at the end of the day. There will be also an Art in the Park scavenger hunt for children of all ages.


Schedule of Performances:


Nacre Dance Company


11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.

Nacre Dance Company will be performing excerpts from some of Isadora Duncan’s most famous dances on the grass in the park as part of their upcoming show “Isadora Duncan – Revolutionary.” Each performance is 20 minutes long.

Erin Powers


1 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Erin Powers will show off her acoustic, contemporary folk sound. Having played at many local cafes, coffee houses and open mics in the Capital District, Powers has been compared to Natalie Merchant and Sarah McLachlan.


Dan Johnson


2 p.m.

A songwriter from northern Vermont, Johnson has spent years playing and promoting shows at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany. With his band, The Expert Sidemen, he has released two original albums. This performance will bring together the sounds of jazz, bluegrass, honky-tonk and alternative country.

Michael Jerling


3 p.m.

Born in Illinois but now a resident of Saratoga Springs, songwriter Michael Jerling will share his baritone voice along with his skills on six and twelve string guitars, harmonica and mandolin. 


Thursday, 16 July 2015 16:35

SPAC Hosts Annual Ballet Gala

SARATOGA SPRINGS —Saturday, July 11, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and New York City Ballet (NYCB) hosted the 2015 annual Ballet Gala, The Empire Ball. Primary fundraiser for the ballet’s residency, the evening featured sophisticated parties in the Hall of Springs and on the lawn which culminated in two Saratoga premieres. This year’s Gala theme, “21st Century Choreographers,” was celebrated with the premieres of Justin Peck’s “Belles-Lettres” and Alexei Ratmansky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” as well as the return of Christopher Wheeldon’s “Mercurial Manoeuvres.” The evening also included a special tribute to the Gala’s co-chairs, Neil and Jane Golub, for their dedicated support of SPAC for over 30 years. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The seventeenth annual Solomon Northup day takes place Saturday, July 18, in Filene Recital Hall at Skidmore College from noon to 4 p.m. To celebrate the free event, there will be speeches, musical performances and more.

Solomon Northup is now known universally due to the 2013 film based on his memoirs, “Twelve Years a Slave.” Born a free man in New York, Northup was lured away from his home in Saratoga Springs in 1841 by two men who convinced him to travel to Washington, D.C. to play the violin in their circus. Once there, Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. He did not regain his freedom again until 1853, after suffering years of abuse in the slave trade.

Skidmore graduate Renee Moore, a project and community outreach coordinator, originated Solomon Northup Day in 1999 to raise awareness of his captivating and tragic story.

The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Cheryl J. LaRoche, Ph.D., an archaeologist and American studies professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. She is the author of “Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance” and has been a consultant for the National Park Service, the Smithsonian and other museums.

Don Papson, co-founder and past president of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association, will also be speaking. He is co-author of “Secret Lives of the Underground Railroad in New York City” and won a 2012 leadership award from the Underground Railroad Free Press.

Music is an important part of Solomon Northup Day, as he was a gifted violinist. Performing this year is Jazzage, featuring native of Saratoga Carol Daggs singing and playing piano, James Daggs on double bass, and Billy Arnold on percussion.

Books by LaRoche and Papson and CDs by Jazzage will be on sale at the event. For more information, visit skidmore.edu/solomon-northup-day/.   


Thursday, 09 July 2015 15:40

UPH LIVE! Music Series Lineup

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Universal Preservation Hall (UPH) has announced the lineup for its second annual LIVE! Music Series. UPH is continuing the jazz theme from last year and will feature four internationally known acts each month from July until October. This year, UPH is partnering with Caffè Lena for the opening and closing performances in the series.

“UPH has been called ‘Saratoga’s living room’; it’s a comfortable, community space that’s perfect for gathering. With this series, you get to see high level shows at an intimate venue,” said Corey Aldrich of 2440 Design Studio and the producer of the LIVE! Music Series. “For this year, the collaboration between UPH and Caffè Lena is unprecedented. I’m excited about raising money for both simultaneously.”


Benefits from the series will go toward the historic preservation of UPH through continuing renovations and development. The two collaborating performances will also help Caffè Lena achieve its goals of expansion and remodeling.


“My big focus is how mission-oriented collaborations like this can move shoulder to shoulder in the creative economy to create value for the community,” said Aldrich. “We’re working together rather than apart to create unique, one-of-a-kind experiences. I always say, if you are interested in something we have here, you better come see it because chances are, it won’t be back again.”


The 2015 LIVE! Music Series schedule:



July 17 –David Amram and the Dylan Perillo Orchestra (Collaboration with Caffè Lena)


                Held at Universal Preservation Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.

                $25 in advance/$30 day of show at venue

August 22 – Giancomo Smith and Friends

                Held at Universal Preservation Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.

$20 in advance/$25 day of show at venue

September 19 – The Dan Brubeck Quartet

                Held at Universal Preservation Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.

                $25 in advance/$30 day of show at venue

October 2 and 3 – The Howard Fishman Quintet (Collaboration with Caffè Lena)

                Held at Caffè Lena. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.

                $30 in advance/$35 day of show at venue



Event tickets can be purchased in advance through Brown Paper Tickets at brownpapertickets.com or going to universalpreservationhall.org. Events produced in collaboration with Caffè Lena can also be purchased at caffelena.org. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Shakespeare Company, Saratoga’s longest running professional theater, is hosting its fifteenth summer of free outdoor plays in Congress Park in downtown Saratoga Springs. This year, the company has expanded its performances to three shows on three different stages by partnering with Skidmore College.

Running from July 21 to August 2 in Congress Park is the production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Shows will run Tuesdays through Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. To celebrate Saratoga Springs’ centennial, this production will be set in 1915 Saratoga and will integrate ragtime music and dance into this classic play.

“Everyone involved is really enjoying the language of this play. There’s a lot of word play, rhyming verse and wit,” said David Gerard, associate artistic director for the company. “The setting in 1915 also makes it a great period to costume for. We’re having a lot of fun with this. It’s just a terrific company of actors this year.”

In “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” King Ferdinand and his companions have promised to seclude themselves from women for three years in order to study and fast. However, their oath is threatened when the Princess of France and her ladies come to stay at the court. Love and comedy combine for a unique, fresh take on the Bard’s famous play.

“Our audiences like the comedies,” said Girard. “The best part for me is having the audience be a part of the show. We invite the audience into the conversation to establish a relationship with them and build a connection. It makes the play come alive.”

Audiences can not only look forward to “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in Congress Park, but they can also see the company perform “The Comedy of Errors” August 6 to 8 at 6.p.m. at Skidmore College’s Suzanne Corbet Thomas Amphitheater.

Though it is not Shakespeare, the company will also be producing “Shipwrecked!” a play about a Victorian gentleman who turns seafaring wanderer. This will be held indoors at the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater’s Blackbox Theater at Skidmore College from August 5 to 9. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. with the Sunday matinee beginning at 2 p.m.

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “The Comedy of Errors” are all free shows while “Shipwrecked!” is $20.15 for adults and $15 for children, seniors and the military. For more information visit saratogashakespeare.com, Saratoga Shakespeare’s Facebook page or call 518-528-1677. 


STILLWATER – The Saratoga National Park and Battlefield, located between exit 4 and 32 in Stillwater, is hosting a free, family event showcasing the making of common items before the industrial revolution. Artificer’s Weekend will show visitors how tools and goods were made in the eighteenth century this Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12.

An artificer in the eighteenth century was a tradesman who worked with armies to provide needed supplies to soldiers. Armies in the American Revolution were towns on the move and included important craftsmen like blacksmiths, farriers, tailors, chandlers and tinsmiths.

At the event, visitors will see how blacksmiths made and repaired iron and steel products, how farriers made horseshoes and took care of horses’ health and how tinsmiths made and fixed cups, bowls and lanterns. There will also be tailors, who sewed soldiers’ uniforms, and woodworkers who built boxes, benches and tool handles, plus many more jobs that were required for a successful army. 

Event is free, but battlefield entrance fees apply. For more information about this or other events, please call the visitor center at 518-670-2985 or go to www.nps.gov/sara. 

Thursday, 09 July 2015 14:51

Award-Winning Flower Show This Weekend

SCHUYLERVILLE – The Schuylerville Garden Club will have their annual flower show this weekend, July 11 and 12, at the Saratoga Town Hall. For the last two years, The Schuylerville Garden Club has won the Standard Flower Show Achievement Award from the Federated Garden Club of NYS. This year’s show is called “Home is Where the Heart Is” and will focus on that theme in their floral designs.

There will be a plant, glove and bake sale as well as a benefit table where guests can win great prizes in a raffle. Prizes include gift certificates to various florists and flower arrangements such as hanging baskets.

Proceeds from the raffle will go towards scholarships to send children and teens to Camp Colby in Saranac Lake. Camp Colby prides itself on teaching campers about environmental preservation and human impact through science, games and exploring the natural world. Proceeds will also go toward the “Dollars for Scholars” program at Schuylerville High School and to funding the future of the garden club.

In the horticulture section of the show there is an extensive annual, perennial and bulb display that cannot be missed. At the exhibit, there will be a special focus on geraniums.

The “home” theme will be carried out in the floral design display where contestants compete in nine categories. Some of the categories include “Grandma’s Drapes,” “Welcome Home,” and a miniature display called “Doll House” that shows off a favorite place in the home using tiny items like dollhouse furniture. Winners are selected for each category and an overall award will be given for design excellence.

There is also a photography contest with three categories: “A View from My Garden,” “Close-ups” and “Creatures that Visit the Garden.” This year, there were 30 entries and those who attend get to vote for their favorites.

On Sunday, July 12 at 2:30 there will be a lecture and demonstration on container gardening. Stacy Simmons of Brookside Nursery will discuss and show how to make the home’s entryway beautiful using potted garden plants.

“Those who attend get to see artistic displays but also get to see and learn things they can grow themselves,” said Liz Gee, president of the Schuylerville Garden Club and chairman of the show. “This show has something everyone can enjoy, not just garden specialists.”

This weekend event is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Saratoga Town Hall at 12 Spring Street in Schuylerville. For more information please visit schuylervillegardenclub.org. 


Thursday, 09 July 2015 14:35

Double M Rodeo Now Open Every Weekend

BALLSTON SPA – This summer, the Double M Rodeo will be held every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. at 678 Route 7 in Ballston Spa off exit 12 on I-87. Open for 50 years, the Double M Western Store is celebrating its 37th year of the rodeo.

Like previous years, there will be bull and “bronc” riding, where participants try to stay on the saddle of their bull or horse for at least eight seconds. They are then judged by how long they stay on, their body position and form and how much the animal bucks.


There will also be barrel racing and roping events such as team roping and breakaway roping for women where the goal is to rope the steer with the fastest time.


“It’s a great event for families and even single people. Some people come every week,” said Cindy Martin, who runs Double M with her husband Wayne. “It’s a park-like atmosphere with open-seating. It’s really a comfortable environment.”


For those who come early on Friday nights, there is line-dancing from 6 to 8 p.m. under the pavilion. This “barn dance” is presented by Kevin Richards from 100.9 The Cat who will give the dancing instructions.

For those who want a drink, a burger or some BBQ there are concession stands available. There are no coolers and no dogs allowed at the rodeo.


Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. Group rates and season passes are also available. Parking is free. For any questions please call Double M at (518) 885-9543. 


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