Updated: May 25, 2021
It could be said that Sloatsburg Plein Air, Sunday, May 16, 2021, included coast to coast artistic talent!
Thirty-six artists participated from Pasadena, California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and our regional corridor North and South! Increased artist participation marked the fourth year of this growing and popular event in our historic village. Artists painted at various scenic and historic Sloatsburg sites, with vistas of the Ramapo River a popular destination.
At Harmony Hall, a gallery display of the late artist Elizabeth Bush Schmidt, daughter of village historian and Friends of Harmony Hall (FOHH) trustee, Harrison Bush was presented in the double parlor. The rich history of important early 20th century American artists who lived and worked in Sloatsburg was represented in the dining room, by the works of Edith Varian Cockcroft, George Macrum, Earl Gordon, and Kerwin Williams. Cockcroft, Macrum and Gordon were founding members of a 1930’s Sloatsburg artist colony. Their small cottages survive to this day along Ballard and Academy Avenues.
The changing weather which included sun showers and wind gusts, only added to the atmosphere of the Plein Air experience and the front porch of Harmony Hall provided shelter and the opportunity for conversation with friends old and new. The FOHH are presently launching a Not Just a Front Porch Campaign to fully restore this significant original architectural feature of the mansion! Thus far, the FOHH have raised $20,000 of the $89,750 goal. Let’s make “meet me on the front porch of Harmony Hall” a reality in 2021! The anticipation and potential for future events, hosted on the restored front porch of Harmony Hall, was truly evident the day of Plein Air!
Artists expressed their gratitude for the many acts of hospitality and welcoming atmosphere around the village. Gallery attendees included visitors from White Plains and South Jersey who learned of the event in the Lohud “Best of the Weekend”
feature. FOHH trustee, artist, and teacher Tenley Escoffery designed and produced thoughtful welcome gifts for the artists which were presented to them upon their arrival. Harmony Hall guests received small colorful sketchbooks and note cards with an image of Harmony Hall. Famed Hudson River School painter Jasper Cropsey was known for his prolific sketchbook content and Tenley’s beautifully conceived gift to guests was a relevant and inspiring homage to the great 19th century Plein Air painters!
Participating artists will return to the great lawn of Harmony Hall on June 19, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for Juried Art Show and Summer Solstice festivities. This is a free event and all are welcome.