One corner of the new Artists in the Park Gallery at the Bear Mountain Inn
Artists in the Parks Gallery Adds Original Art to
Historic Bear Mountain Inn
Please Join the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and Guest Services
Friday, February 24th, 2012
6 p.m. ‐8:30 p.m.
The long awaited reopening of the historic Bear Mountain Inn guest rooms on February 18th will be enhanced by the new Artists in the Parks Gallery, a collaboration between Guest Services, which manages the Inn complex and the Artists in the Parks, a program of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. AiP is a group of dedicated and talented artists working in a variety of mediums, all sharing an inspiration and love for the outdoors. The group creates their individual pieces within the 20 parks and eight historic sites managed by the Commission.
AiP is thrilled to have a home gallery where they can exhibit and sell their paintings, photographs and woodwork. The public is welcome to join many of the artists at an opening reception on Feb 24th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30pm. A cash bar will be available.
Inspired by the beauty of the Palisades parks, local artists in partnership with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission created Artists in the Parks in September 2008. The group has shown and held “plein air” paint‐outs at various locations in Rockland and Orange counties. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of their artwork, donated to the Palisades Parks Conservancy, has resulted in thousands of dollars offered by dozens of artists.
“The opening of a gallery at the Bear Mountain Inn is like a welcoming home to the group. It’s a dream come true,” says Lita Thorne, founder and president of AiP. “In four years we’ve painted, photographed, and sculpted in rain, snow, scorching heat, and bitter cold, and had the time of our lives. Being able to display and sell our work offers important exposure to our artists, will drive traffic to our AiP website, and helps to sustain their passion. We could not be more pleased,” Thorne added.
Situated at the base of Bear Mountain and overlooking the shores of Hessian Lake, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is an early example of a monumental rustic park lodge of a type that became common in state and national parks. It was designed in 1915 by the New York City firm of Tooker & Marsh, in a style influenced by the Adirondack Great Camps. Palisades’s park employees crafted the stone and timber structure using materials found within the surrounding park. Its proximity to city and suburban dwellers has, in its 100 years, given millions of people a chance to experience the rustic tradition close to home. The Inn, listed on the National and New York State Register of Historic Places recently underwent extensive renovations to return its original rustic splendor.
“From the outset it was our desire to furnish the renovated Inn with original artwork inspired by the magnificent Hudson Valley. This is easier said than done,” commented Michael Morris, Managing Director of the Bear Mountain Inn. “Our partnership with Artists in the Parks is important. It not only gives us a dedicated group of talented artists to draw from, but it also exposes their work to a large audience who appreciate – and will hopefully purchase ‐ original art."
Susan E. Smith, Director of Cultural Resources and Development for the Palisades Interstate Park Commission adds “I am thrilled that Michael Morris of Guest Services has provided space for one of the original design tenets of the Bear Mountain Inn rehabilitation ‐ a gallery for our local artists, a place where the public can enjoy and purchase the work that has been inspired from the scenery and natural materials found nearby. Through their vision, our visitors can see the beauty that has been preserved for generations to come. And now they can bring a little bit of it home with them.”
Combined with many rustic style furniture pieces created in the 1920s and 1930s, the Inn once again has the feel and look of a park lodge. In its early years, the Bear Mountain Inn displayed artwork and crafts from local artisans. AiP is delighted to have a part awakening this tradition as the Inn’s second century begins.
The work is curated by AiP members’ collective efforts and will change on a rotating basis. “The first year is going to be very special one for us,” says AiP Chairman of Exhibits and Events Bruce Thorne, “and you’ll not want to miss a single exhibit, each one promising to be more exciting than the last!”
For further information about this event please call 845‐781‐3269 or send an email note to: info@ArtistsInTheParks.org.