The long awaited reopening of the historic Bear Mountain Inn guest rooms on February 18th will be enhanced by the new Artists in the Parks Gallery, a collaboration between Guest Services, which manages the Inn complex and the Artists in the Parks, a program of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. AiP is a group of dedicated and talented artists working in a variety of mediums, all sharing an inspiration and love for the outdoors. The group creates their individual pieces within the 20 parks and eight historic sites managed by the Commission.
AiP is thrilled to have a home gallery where they can exhibit and sell their paintings, photographs and woodwork. The public are welcome to join many of the artists at an opening reception on Feb 24th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30pm. A cash bar will be available.
Inspired by the beauty of the Palisades parks, local artists in partnership with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission created Artists in the Parks in September 2008. The group has shown and held “plein air” paint‐outs at various locations in Rockland and Orange counties. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of their artwork, donated to the Palisades Parks Conservancy, has resulted in thousands of dollars offered by dozens of artists.
“The opening of a gallery at the Bear Mountain Inn is like a welcoming home to the group. It’s a dream come true,” says Lita Thorne, founder and president of AiP. “In four years we’ve painted, photographed, and sculpted in rain, snow, scorching heat, and bitter cold, and had the time of our lives. Being able to display and sell our work offers important exposure to our artists, will drive traffic to our AiP website, and helps to sustain their passion. We could not be more pleased,” Thorne added.
Situated at the base of Bear Mountain and overlooking the shores of Hessian Lake, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is an early example of a monumental rustic park lodge of a type that became common in state and national parks. It was designed in 1915 by the New York City firm of Tooker & Marsh, in a style influenced by the Adirondack Great Camps. Palisades’s park employees crafted the stone and timber structure using materials found within the surrounding park. Its proximity to city and suburban dwellers has, in its 100 years, given millions of people a chance to experience the rustic tradition close to home. The Inn, listed on the National and New York State Register of Historic Places recently underwent extensive renovations to return its original rustic splendor.
“From the outset it was our desire to furnish the renovated Inn with original artwork inspired by the magnificent Hudson Valley. This is easier said than done,” commented Michael Morris, Managing Director of the Bear Mountain Inn. “Our partnership with Artists in the Parks is important. It not only gives us a dedicated group of talented artists to draw from, but it also exposes their work to a large audience who appreciate – and will hopefully purchase ‐ original art.
Susan E. Smith, Director of Cultural Resources and Development for the Palisades Interstate Park Commission adds “I am thrilled that Michael Morris of Guest Services has provided space for one of the original design tenets of the Bear Mountain Inn rehabilitation ‐ a gallery for our local artists, a place where the public can enjoy and purchase the work that has been inspired from the scenery and natural materials found nearby. Through their vision, our visitors can see the beauty that has been preserved for generations to come. And now they can bring a little bit of it home with them.”
Combined with many rustic style furniture pieces created in the 1920s and 1930s, the Inn once again has the feel and look of a park lodge. In its early years, the Bear Mountain Inn displayed artwork and crafts from local artisans. AiP is delighted to have a part awakening this tradition as the Inn’s second century begins.
The work is curated by AiP members’ collective efforts and will change on a rotating basis. “The first year is going to be very special one for us,” says AiP Chairman of Exhibits and Events Bruce Thorne, “and you’ll not want to miss a single exhibit, each one promising to be more exciting than the last!”
The Inn anchors Bear Mountain State Park, the flagship of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission’s 28 state parks and historic sites. Its extensive facilities include playing fields, picnic groves, rowboat docks, a swimming pool and bathhouse, hiking trails including the first segment of the Appalachian Trail, an ice skating rink, basketball and volleyball courts, the Trailside Museum and Zoo, and the magical Bear Mountain Merry‐Go‐Round and pavilion.
Guest Services, Inc. (GSI), a private hospitality company dedicated to excellence in food, hotel, resort, and recreation services, is the management company for the Bear Mountain Inn & Conference Center. For more information, visit http://www.visitbearmountain.com.
Artists in the Parks (AiP) is a program of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) that positions artists as essential partners in the conservation, education, and community initiatives of parks. This program creates opportunities for creative growth and public exposure for local artists, and encourages artistic exploration of the Palisades region. In all that we do, we aim to nurture a love, understanding, and respect for the natural world.
AiP is a group of dedicated and talented artists working in a variety of mediums, all sharing an inspiration and love for the outdoors. The group creates their individual pieces within the 20 parks and eight historic sites managed by the Commission. Reception Will Take Place February 24th, 2012, 6 p.m. ‐8:30 p.m. In four years we’ve painted, photographed, and sculpted in rain, snow, scorching heat and bitter cold, and had the time of our lives. Being able to display and sell our work offers important exposure to our artists, and sustain our passion...."
Palisades Interstate Park Commission administers 28 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State parks and historic sites, please visit http://www.nysparks.com. For information about the New Jersey section of the PIPC please visit http://www.njpalisades.org, and for more information about the Palisades Parks Conservancy and the Palisades Interstate Park parks and historic sites, please visit http://www.palisadesparksconservancy.org
The Palisades Parks Conservancy, Inc., the charitable partner of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, is a free-standing federally registered non-profit corporation exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations may be made over our secure Web site at palisades.exhibit-e.com/donate/ or by mailing to Palisades Parks Conservancy, Bear Mountain State Park, Administration Building, Bear Mountain, NY 10911. For more information, please call us at 845-786-2701 or send email to admin(at)palisadesparksconservancy(dot)org
For further information about this event visit http://www.artistsintheparks.org.
Artists in the Parks • Lita Thorne, President • 314 Harriman Heights Road * Harriman NY 10926
845‐781‐3269 or info(at)ArtistsInTheParks(dot)org.
For more information about Bear Mountain Inn visit http://www.visitbearmountain.com 55 Hessian Drive,
Bear Mountain, NY 10911 or please call (845)786‐2731.
For more information about the Palisades Interstate Park Commission or the Palisades Parks
Conservancy, visit http://www.palisadesparksconservancy.org