The artistry of Woodstock
1969's historic music festival put Woodstock on the map, but the town's art roots stretch back to the beginning of the 20th century. Our Vince Gallagher paid a trip to the Colony of the Arts.
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WOODSTOCK, N.Y. -- When you hear the name "Woodstock," you first thought might be of the famous 1969 music festival, but of course, it's also the a town. A town that's also been known as the "Colony of the Arts. To find out why, we started out at the Woodstock Artists Association.
"This building was built around 1921 and we've had shows here ever since and it's been a great way for artists members that have been involved in the community to show their work," said Emily Jones, an exhibitor.
Many other communities have similar offerings, but when visiting Woodstock the art atmosphere is almost immediate.
"There's a sizeable number for big national shows like the Whitney and the Carnegie, and things like that and 30s and 40s era, a majority of those artists were from Woodstock," said Jones.
There were also plenty of local writers and poets. Then came the transition to music in the mid-sixties.
"A lot of people think simply because Bob Dylan lived here for a few years, but it was really Albert Grossman, who has Dylan's manager, who brought his whole operations to Woodstock and built a recording studio and Bearsville record and the Bearsville complex," said Richard Heppner.
Richard Heppner is the Woodstock town historian. Even after this classical musical period, he says music is still relevant today. After the passing of local favorite Levon Helm, there's even been a revival of sorts
"With Levon Helm and his comeback and his Rambles it really has brought a new sense of music to Woodstock," said Heppner.
And yes, that whole artsy vibe in general is still here today
"Because there has been so much creativity in the past and in the present day that I think it probably attracts more people here,” said Jones.
When visiting some places of interest, the Brydcliffe Historical site and the Woodstock School of Art stand out, among others.
"So there are a lot places where art is still found and it's very plentiful, there's a lot of small galleries in town, and Woodstock ifs full of art,” said Heppner.