Posts Tagged With: coffee beanery

Amsterdam Photography Club

For those that may be interested, Amsterdam does have a Photography Club!  It is a very informal group with varying skill levels from beginner to pro.  There is always something new to learn at the Amsterdam Photography Club.  After just a few meetings, your photos will improve dramatically!  The club is moderated by Dr. Albert Fraser. There are no fees or dues to pay.

The club meets the first Thursday of every month, 6PM at the Coffee Beanery on Wallins Corners Road (across from Lowes).

This Thursday, September 6, at 6PM, professional commercial and landscape photographer Edward Smathers will be giving a presentation. Ed was the principal photographer in the newly published “Waterfalls of New York State,” a guide to over 100 waterfalls, beautifully photographed, mapped and described. This book is not only a great guide to finding the falls, it is also a beautiful coffee table book. Ed’s wife Jessica Painter is also a professional wedding photographer.

In honor of Ed’s presentation, I am posting my 1985 photo of Awosting Falls, located just outside of the Village of New Paltz in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve on the Shawangunk Ridge. It pales in comparison to Ed’s waterfall photography. I’m looking forward to getting a few tips to improve my technique. You should too!  Everyone is welcome to join our little group.


Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Outdoors, Photography, Technology | Tags: , , , ,

R2-D2, it is you, It Is You !

By day they are real estate agents, blueprint makers and highway department employees but when they clock out they become Storm Troopers, Boba Fett and R2-D2.  Chris Simonds, Bob Thayer and Tim Harris are members of Garrison Excelsior, the 501st Legion of Upstate, New York. They pride themselves as being the World’s Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization, specializing in Star Wars characters.

This group paid a visit to a full house of the Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance monday night at the Coffee Beanery in Amsterdam, New York along with a working replica of R-2D-2 operated by remote control with all the authentic sounds, lights and movements you would expect. The handmade costumes sanctioned by George Lucas, are incredibly detailed down to the scratches and wear marks seen in the original movie versions.

Garrison Excelsior participates in Comic-Con conventions and make charitable appearances for Star Wars fans young and old. Chris Simonds R-2D-2 Unit even made an appearance on the Today Show in New York.

After a presentation explaining how their passion is turned into real costumes using ordinary equipment and some made to order parts from specialty shops, the costuming trio held a hands on demonstration followed by a question and answer period.

A big shout out to Jessica Murray and the Mohawk Creative Alliance for arranging this extraordinary presentation!

The Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance is advocating for the use of City owned property at 305 East Main Street  as a Community Art Center. With the large number of members that attended last night’s event, they are going to need a larger meeting space!

Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Entertainment, Photography, Technology | Tags: , , , , ,

Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance

The Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance is a local group of artists, writers, musicians and photographers who have met the second two Mondays of every month for the past two years at the Coffee Beanery in the Town of Amsterdam. The group was formed by Carol Jordan and Jessica Murray who serve as Vice President and President of MVCA, for the sole purpose of creating an Art Center for the Amsterdam community.

I heard about the group last year and had the good intention of becoming a member but never got around to it. That was until Carol Jordan sent me an email insisting that I come to their meeting (she’s the strong-arm of the group).  I complied and found a wonderful group of like-minded people who shared ideas in a thoughtful and meaningful way.  The group is led by Jessica Murray who holds a Fine Arts degree and is educated in Art Therapy. Murray was also primarily responsible for creating a business plan and the bylaws for the groups incorporation.  She is very focused on the art community and presents creative challenges for the group to complete each month which consist of a themed exercise to be completed in each person’s specific media. Whether it be writing, photography, painting, acting or even dance, all the presentations are discussed by the group members.

Last week, members of the MVCA met with Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane to discuss the Mayor’s proposed Community Art Center in the former Church building on East Main Street and Vrooman Ave that now serves as the 5th Ward polling place. It was recently vacated by St Mary’s Hospital staff who were using the building as a mental health outreach center.  The building at 305 East main Street has 3,567 square feet of usable space and a playground behind it that would serve the community well.

MVCA encourages everyone in the Amsterdam community to support Mayor Thane with her vision of a community Art Center in the City’s building at 305 East Main Street.

Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Media, Photography, Politics, Technology | Tags: , , , , ,

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