Troy is not so far away. On the other side of the Hudson River it’s only three and a half hours. We drive there for Shelley Valachovic’s art opening, “Living with Nature,” at the Clement Art Gallery on Broadway in downtown Troy.
“Troy is comin’ back. and it’s doin’ it on its own.” According to Tom Clement. He and his brother, Ray, run the gallery/frame shop on Broadway near the Soldiers and Sailors monument. Formerly Lucy’s Lunch Counter, the brothers bought the building and moved their father’s camera/frameshop buisness to this prime location years before the Troy Renaissance. They are the nicest guys in the world and big supporters of the arts.
Last night was “Troy Night Out.” The opening was really well attended and sales were brisk. It was treat watching new people discover Shelley’s work. “She is the real deal” according to Jimmy, the owner of the Beat Shop, Troy’s premier record shop.
Shelley showed her watercolors of wildflowers and woods plants and the miniature pine needle baskets she weaves. She even had some of the originals from her her illustrated, “A Year in the Woods” book. The show through April 26.The Clements had this brief bio on their announcement:
“My interest in plants and nature probably originated unsurprisingly from my grammar school days when my family lived on the edge of a suburb, right here in the capital region, surrounded by reclaimed farmland and a whole lot of woods.
After graduating from New York State University College at Buffalo in 1974, I spent two years studying Printmaking and Photography at the Lake Placid School of Art, which increased my passion for the mountains and outdoor life. For several years thereafter, I traveled in the Colorado Rockies, Texas, Cape Cod, Philadelphia, and New Orleans acquiring a diversity of experience that influenced my work as a printmaker.
In the mid 80’s I returned with Pete to the Adirondacks where we built our first cabin out of hemlock poles and cordwood. Fifteen years later (after the tree fell through and crushed the house) we moved to a more remote spot off the grid and built another cabin much like the first where we now live. We have a wood stove, garden, outhouse, a small solar panel, and catch rain water from the roof.
Since settling in the Adirodacks my focus quickly shifted from a broad view of changing landscapes to a more intimate study of the woodland plants surrounding us. Changing my media to accommodate this new perspective I now draw and paint trees, wildflowers, sticks, moss, and all sorts of forest debris in all seasons when and where I find them.
We stayed with Rich and Denise, Troy royalty, and stopped by Jimmy’s record shop on the way out of town. I picked up a double Impulse lp of Chico Hamilton’s Great Hits.