The website pickyourown.org “provides local listings of pick your own (also called U-pick or PYO) farms in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other countries.” Its New York crop harvest calendar shows the “Most Active” period for picking pears as August 10-August 31, and for picking apples from August 27-October 15.
Another reminder that the harvest season for picking pears and apples in upstate New York is not far off is a summer exhibit at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, a non-profit organization, located in downtown Troy (Rensselaer County) in upstate New York, which houses studios for pottery, culinary arts, jewelry, woodworking, painting and drawing, printmaking, stained glass, and more.
The artist, Deborah Bayly, teaches painting at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, and a collection of still-life oil paintings straight from her classroom at The Arts Center is on exhibit this summer. “Summer Pears and Apples” (through August 23) in the Center’s upstairs balcony gallery features six painters and also includes a masterful painting by Deborah Bayly.
Bayly is a remarkable painter whose art “centers on the declining family farms of Upstate New York and the disappearing architecture of the rural and industrial landscape.” Her biography on The Arts Center’s website also notes that her intent is to “paint with beauty” and that “contemporary representationalism is not dead.”
Artist Bayly’s work is also very familiar to art lovers in the Capital Region of upstate New York as a result of the inclusion of her paintings and pastels in the Agricultural Stewardship Association’s (ASA) annual art sale and exhibition, Landscapes for Landsake. This art sale and exhibition is the largest fundraiser of the year for ASA, “a nonprofit, community-supported land conservancy dedicated to protecting local farmland and working forests from encroaching development.”
Participating artists donate 50% of the purchase price of their works to ASA, which over the past 31 years has conserved 157 properties and 27,500 acres in Washington and Rensselaer counties in the Upper Hudson River Valley. This praiseworthy land trust’s goal is to conserve 30,000 acres by 2023.
Back in 2020 when the annual in-person exhibition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, it nonetheless was held virtually and thankfully it had even a greater geographic reach and continuing success. In that virtual show, ten of Bayly’s paintings were included.
This coming fall, ASA’s Landscapes for Landsake 21st annual sale and exhibition will be held October 8-9, 2022, in-person in the historic barn at Maple Ridge, 172 State Route 372 in the hamlet of Coila, just west of the Village of Cambridge (Washington County). And in addition, the sale and exhibition will be online October 8-31, 2022.
Last year’s exhibition featured 58 artists including Deborah Bayly. At the in-person exhibition at Maple Ridge in 2021 approximately 180 works of art were on exhibit. And last year, on-line, over 600 works of art by the participating artists were viewable and available for purchase.
(Frank W. Barrie, 8/18/22)