xxxPhoto: Baby Foxes by T. Dinchuk What is Sinterklaas? We are honoring our Dutch heritage by recreating customs that the settlers from Holland brought to the Hudson Valley. The Dutch people who came to here over 300 years ago brought a celebration with them that was already a deeply rooted part of their traditions. The ritual was simple enough. Each year on December 6 (that's the Dutch tradition, ours begins the first Saturday after Thanksgiving as we bid farewell to Sinterklaas sailing off to the Netherlands from Spain), a town resident dressed up as Sinterklaas (that is, elegantly garbed in a bishop's tall hat, red cape, shiny ring, and jeweled staff). Mounted on a white steed, this Sinterklaas would ride through town knocking on doors late at night. He would be accompanied by his long-time sidekick, the Grumpus. Also known as Black Peter, the Grumpus - a wild looking half-man, half-beast character - rattled chains and threatened to steal away the naughtiest children in his big black bag. And for those "less bad" he had switches for exacting lesser punishments! And for the good children - Sinterklaas and the Grumpus would deliver a bag of goodies. Over the years, as towns developed and houses grew closer together, Sinterklaas' ride turned into a Parade that still happens in Holland to this day, and is the most popular of all Dutch holidays. What is the meaning of the Crowns and Branches that are made by and carried by the children in the Parade? Since St. Nicholas loved children so much, it makes sense on his name day that children, who at all other times of the year are the least authoritative people in society, are turned into the most powerful for just one day. Children are crowned kings and queens! The birch rod-the indispensable instrument of medieval education- is transformed by the power of imagination and art into a symbol of empowerment and love. The birch rod becomes the Royal Scepter, a symbol of creative power in the hands of today's children. Open House: November 30, 12-4pm on Sinterklaas Arrival Day Reception for the Artists: December 7, 5-8pm-First Saturday in Kingston Show runs November 30 - December 21, 2013 Contact: Nancy Donskoj mailto:Donskoj@verizon.net 845-338-8473
Nov. 30-Dec. 21 Kingston, N.Y. - The Storefront Gallery at 93 Broadway is pleased to present a group show of the honored animal for this year's Sinterklaas Celebration: The Fox. The exhibit will open on November 30th with an open house between noon and 4pm during Kingston's Sinterklaas Arrival Day. The reception for the artists in the show will take place on December 7th from 5-8pm during Kingston's First Saturday's art walk. For the past several years, the Sinterklaas committee has chosen a different animal each year to honor. The Horse, The Crow, The Turtle, and The Dancing Bears have taken their place in past parades. This year's honored animal is the fox which is often depicted in many folk lore tales as a symbol of cunning and trickery. But for this day he will be transformed into a guide. "Where all the worlds become one And Wholeness warms you like the sun" (from the Blessing of the Fox by Gigi Alvare) An image of the fox will be stenciled on flags for people to carry in the parade to escort Sinterklaas to his tug boat and journey across the Hudson River. The artists inspired by fox and are honored to create a piece for the show at The Storefront Gallery are Dick Crenson, Priscella Dervan, Tom Dinchuk, Stacie Flint, Richmond Johnston, Michael Lalicki, Sarah Greer Mecklem, Elin Menzies, Elisa Pritzker,Jacquie Roland, Roberta Sickler, Susan Whelan and Carol Zaloom. The work will be in a variety of media and styles. Gallery hours are Saturday 1-6pm and 24/7 through the storefront windows. Also by appointment. Or visit http://www.thestorefrontgallery.com/. For more information, call 845-338-8473.