Pember Library

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Archive for the 'Events' Category

Pember Presents: The Magic of Slate by Judy Buswick

Posted by Ardyce on 3rd September 2014

September 21, 2014
2:00 pm

BuswickJoin us at the Pember Library September 21 at 2:00 PM for The Magic of Slate. Images of slate art from around the world will be featured in this Power Point presentation, as will some actual examples collected by authors Judy Buswick and the late Ted Buswick. Though solid and easily split, slate can be fashioned so that it appears fluid and delicate. In many ways slate stands the test of time and provides artists with a remarkable medium.

When Massachusetts writers Judy and Ted Buswick started researching how ordinary slate was used in artwork, they found more than they’d expected. Years ago, Judy painted on slate roofing shingles and the couple had admired beautifully carved slate gravestones near their home. But who knew that international artists were using slate to make jewelry, wall friezes in the European Union Council Building, outdoor figures of stacked slate, or land art installed from Australia to Scotland?

The Buswicks’ book titled Slate of Hand: Stone for Fine Art & Folk Art includes works handcrafted by quarrymen in Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and North Wales, as well as the fine arts of celebrity sculptors Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, and Phillip King and renowned stone carver Nicholas Benson of the John Stevens Shop.

Ted and Judy spent three years interviewing artists who live in the slate quarrying areas in Wales, Cornwall, Canada, and eastern seaboard states from Maine to Virginia. Research continued with museum curators at Barbara Hepworth’s home and studio in St Ives (Cornwall) and Isamu Noguchi’s Garden Museum in Long Island City. Then Scotland’s Andy Goldsworthy opened his impressive “Roof” exhibit of domed Virginia slate at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The Buswicks couldn’t have been happier. “We had a wonderful time meeting artists, but also learning about quarrying in Wales, Maine, New York/Vermont, and Pennsylvania,” says Judy Buswick. “We saw creativity at its best.”

“We know people expect there’s not much to talk about when slate is the topic, but the art work we found goes from wafer thin to monumental in size, spans a range of color, and presents both polished surfaces and riven textures.” Whether museum installations or decorations on a hearth, slate has inspired artists around the globe.

The Magic of Slate is presented in conjunction with the Slate Valley Museum’s Slate as Muse National Art Exhibition which runs from June 6 to November 7, 2014. Nineteen artists from throughout the U.S. offer innovative reflections on slate not only in sculpture, but also in painting, photography and mixed media. Nicholas Benson, featured in the Buswick’s book, created a work of art especially for the Slate as Muse exhibition.

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council.

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September First Friday

Posted by Ardyce on 3rd September 2014

September 5, 2014
7:00 pm
September First Friday
7-9 PM, Friday, September 5
September First Friday on September 5 at the Pember Library and Museum in Granville, NY will open the fall season with the work of three local artists, live music and food.
Artist Christopher Smith of West Rupert, Vermont, will be on hand with his eclectic creations. From the surreal to the whimsical in block printing, oils and Gouache, Smith’s work runs the gamut of style and form. “I like to keep it interesting,” He says. “There is never a dull moment in my studio.”
Chris graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and studied art and architecture in Rome for a year. He has shown throughout the Northeastern U.S. in his 30 year career as illustrator and fine artist.
Artist and author Ann Duncan will feature her unique series of rustic paintings and appliqué’s on bark, and mounted on bark. She will also be showing acrylic paintings that feature angels and have copies of her latest book ‘Buried Alive’.
Duncan is a former weekly newspaper publisher and public relations expert and is currently known as Annaleigh, a radio personality at WVNR/WNYV.
She lives in Poultney, Vermont with her husband and menagerie of dogs and cats.
Ginger Lindgren of North Hebron, NY will round out the program with her acrylic paintings of animals and flowers on rocks – her “rock art” as she calls it. Jennifer began painting in 1997 as a hobby, and soon found her colorful work in demand with the public.
She hand picks and evaluates each stone for its purpose, letting the stone inspire her creation.
Musician Phil Hoyt of Granville, NY will be performing. Phil describes his music as original traditional country, with an old-time sound. Phil has played at First Friday before and we are happy to have him back.
Across the footbridge that evening, the Slate Valley Museum, will be hosting Exploring Slate as Craft. Displays of handcrafted slate items from home décor to horticulture and more. Local slate workers and craftsman will participate and present examples of their work. Refreshments available.
First Friday is the first Friday of every month. Hours are always 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


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Book Club

Posted by Ardyce on 28th August 2014

September 23, 2014
1:00 pm

The book club will be reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.


From Goodreads:

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

Discussion Questions
1. When Cecilia finds the letter addressed to her from her husband, “To be opened only in the event of my death,” she is tormented by the ethics of opening it. Do you agree with her ultimate decision? What would you have done?

2. Consider the title The Husband’s Secret. Several characters in the book have secrets they hold on to that they eventually reveal. Felicity and Will share the secret of their affair to Tess; John-Paul guards his secret from Cecilia until he is forced to admit it. What are the ramifications of their secrets? Is secrecy is ever warranted and justifiable?

3. Tess has suffered her whole life from crippling social anxiety. How has this made everyday situations a challenge for her? Why has she never confronted her problem? Why doesn’t she tell anyone about it?

4. The Berlin Wall is referred to throughout the novel as Esther works on her school project. And in fact, we learn that Cecilia met John-Paul on the day the Wall finally came down. What does the Wall signify in the book?

5. Grief is a major theme in the novel, and many of the characters have suffered as a result of their losses. How has grief affected Rachel? Rob? Tess? John-Paul? How do they each cope? In what ways have their lives have been irrevocably altered as a result of their grieving? Do you think people can fully stop grieving and move on with their lives?

6. The concept of guilt also plays a major role in the novel. Rachel feels that because of a brief flirtation with Toby Murphy she was absent when Janie died. John-Paul continues to sacrifice things that he loves, out of guilt for what he did to Janie. It seems that these characters have never been able to recover from the feelings of guilt caused by their actions. Yet at the same time, other characters in the book do not appear to feel guilt in the same way. Consider Felicity and Will. Do they have remorse for their affair? And does Tess regret her fling with Connor? What determines how guilty one feels-is it the situation, or is it determined by the individual’s character?

7. Tess and Felicity have a history of making snide comments about other people. Tess realizes this only once she is out of the comfort zone she’s shared with Felicity for so many years. How has such negative energy affected her relationships with others? Do you think she and Felicity are actually cruel, or is there another reason for their unkind behavior?

8. Ethics and morals are important themes in the book. Discuss how John-Paul, Cecilia, Tess, Will, and Rachel have each done something they would not have thought possible. Have you ever acted in a way that seems entirely out of character? How did you feel? Does love cause people to do things they wouldn’t normally do?

9. Consider the notion of betrayal in this book. Which characters have betrayed someone they love? Are their acts of betrayal premeditated, or are they unplanned decisions that become regrettable actions? When one person betrays another, can that person be forgiven? Or is the damage irreparable?

10. The novel is narrated in third-person and in past tense. Given the intense focus on three women, why did the author choose to tell the story from this point of view? How does this perspective add a sense of mystery and foreboding?

11. Cecilia has been married to John-Paul for fifteen years and has three children with him. Until she opens his letter, she seems to trust him and believe him to be the wonderful husband and father she’s always thought him to be. But when she discovers his terrible, sinful secret, she begins to question him. How well can one know one’s spouse? Is it possible to ever completely know another person?
(Questions issued by publisher.)


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First Friday

Posted by Ardyce on 27th August 2014

September 5, 2014
7:00 pm
October 3, 2014
7:00 pm
November 7, 2014
5:00 pm
December 5, 2014
5:00 pm


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Pember Museum Commemorates Passenger Pigeon on 100th Anniversary of Extinction

Posted by Ardyce on 27th August 2014

September 1, 2014
10:00 am
What if you knew the precise time of death of the last dinosaur?  Or of the last Dodo Bird or Saber-Tooth Tiger?  Well, we are in possession of just such a colossal piece of information about the extinct Passenger Pigeon, once the most abundant bird of North America.  Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon died at 1 PM on September 1, 1914 at Cincinnati Zoological Garden.
The Pember Museum has prepared a special exhibit to commemorate the Passenger Pigeon on the one-hundredth anniversary of its extinction. One of only a handful of museums in possession of Passenger Pigeon specimens, The Pember has three birds (one on loan to another museum) and six Passenger Pigeon eggs in its collection.
“From billions to zero, the extinction is a cautionary tale that needs to be told,” asserts Bernie Hoffman, the Pember Museum of Natural History’s educator.
All our specimens will be on display, along with graphics that chronicle human involvement in the extinction.”  
There were voices who warned over a hundred years ago that enthusiastic slaughter of the passenger pigeon would lead to its demise, but this notion was not taken seriously.  Even conservationists could not counter the wide-spread opinion that since these birds existed in the billions, nothing could endanger their numbers. It took until 1973 for the Endangered Species Act to become law.
The Passenger Pigeon must not be confused with the ordinary rock pigeon, or the carrier pigeon (also a rock pigeon).  The rock pigeon is a European import, while Passenger Pigeons lived on this continent prior to Native Americans.  It had a sleeker appearance, a longer neck, and was more colorful, than the city-dwelling rock pigeon.  They migrated in flocks that have been estimated in the billions – blackening the skies for hours to days as they passed overhead.  A diet of nuts and acorns also made survival difficult when settlers began clearing the land of trees and forests to serve as farmland.  But their numbers dwindled most prodigiously as a result of unrestrained hunting.  Within forty years the Passenger Pigeon was hunted to extinction.
The extinction did awaken public interest and brought about a conservation movement.  This resulted in new laws and practices that protected other species – including the American bison, which nearly suffered the same fate.
The Pember Museum – not normally open on Mondays or holidays,  will be open on Labor Day, Monday, September 1, from 10 – 3 to mark this special event.  “Parents and teachers are especially encouraged to come with their children and students, to learn about this gregarious bird, its habits, appearance, and abrupt demise,” declares Hoffman.  The exhibit will run through the fall.

For more information, contact the Pember Museum at 518-642-1515.

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