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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Wurtsboro Art Alliance celebrates Woodstock

The guitars of Mamakating

By Patricio Robayo - staff writer

Members of the Wurtsboro Art Al- liance channeled the vibes of the 60s as they painted the Guitars of Mamakating that will soon adorn every hamlet in the town.
While Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association's (SCVA) Peace Doves are being installed and unveiled, the Wurtsboro Art Alliance (WAA) wants to join in the county's celebrations.
Very soon every hamlet in Mamakating will be “rocking” a WAA guitar that was painted by their members during a pour event that happened on May 19.
WAA Board President Kitty Mitchell said after she saw the SCVA doves being announced, she knew she wanted to do something for Wurtsboro to honor the historic festival.
Using the public art work projects like the “Catskill Cats” for inspiration, she sought out an iconic symbol for Woodstock, the guitar.
“I started thinking more on the lines of the Woodstock Anniversary and remembering Wurtsboro was also greatly affected by that weekend,” said Mitchell.
She first thought of just having the wooden guitars displayed in the Village of Wurtsboro.

However, after having a chance meeting with Mamakating Town Supervisor Bill Herrmann in Wurtsboro's G-Mart supermarket and telling him of the idea, he wanted the guitars for not only the village but the whole town.
“Next thing I knew we were commissioned to create guitars for the hamlets in the Town of Mamakating,” added Mitchell.
To paint the guitars, the pour paint technique was used.
Instead of using the classic tools of painting, WAA artists dripped and poured the paint on the guitars and used skewers and pieces of yarn to mix and move the color around.
“Since I knew pour painting resulted in such funky, groovy paintings, we thought it would be a great fit for the occasion,” said WAA Recording Secretary Carolyn Vest who uses this method in her artwork.
On the day of the event, the sun stayed out long enough for some guitars to dry outdoors before they were moved indoors.
“To have local artists contribute to Mamakating's celebration of its past and present is a great expression of community,” said Vest.
“It was a win/win project for both the Town and the Wurtsboro Art Alliance, celebrating the Town and the 50th through art,” added Vest.
Village Guitars
Besides the Guitars of Mamakating, the WAA will also create a set of unique guitars that will be displayed at participating businesses in the Village of Wurtsboro in July.
Then in August, they will return to the gallery for a special group show that will honor and celebrate the Woodstock Festival.
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