Unison Arts Center


Photographing the Nude in the Studio and Sculpture Garden
Oct 16 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Photographing the Nude in the Studio and Sculpture Garden @ Unison Theater | New Paltz | New York | United States

Photographing the Nude in the Studio and Sculpture Garden with Dan McCormack

Dan McCormack, Ulster county photographer and head of the photography program at Marist College, will lead a workshop for beginning to advanced photographers. We will work with a nude figure model in the studio and outside in the sculpture garden if the weather permits. In the studio we will work with “hot lights”. The photographers will take turns directing the model. When you are not directing you may also photograph as long as you don’t interfere with the photographer who is directing. We will be shooting with or without props depending on your vision. Bring your camera, many rolls of film, extra batteries, extra memory card, tripod and props that you find might be interesting for the model to work with, i.e., fabric, hats and boots.
Please pre-pay at the office, online, or over the phone at 845-255-1559. Preregistration is important — we will cancel a program if there are not enough pre-registrations.

40th Anniversary Celebration – POSTPONED
Nov 5 @ 6:00 pm – Nov 6 @ 6:00 pm
40th Anniversary Celebration - POSTPONED @ Unison Theater | New Paltz | New York | United States

The members of Unison’s Board and Gala Committee have decided to postponethe 40th Anniversary Celebration until this coming spring.
This decision was reached for many reasons including a large number of competing events in the community and the reconstituting of Unison’s Board,

By spring the new Board of Directors will have had time to plan new directions for Unison’s future. We are optimistic that with this new energy that future can be bright and successful. We will plan an event for early spring to celebrate the new Unison and also its 40 years of service to the Mid-Hudson Valley community.

Your continuing support will insure Unison’s success for many years to come.

Actors & Writers: “An evening of Poetry” with Adam LeFevre
Nov 12 @ 8:00 pm
Actors & Writers: "An evening of Poetry" with Adam LeFevre @ Unison Arts Center | New Paltz | New York | United States

Actors & Writers Unison’s theatre-troupe-in-residence, is a 22-member company of film, TV, and theater professionals, all of whom reside, at least part-time, in Ulster County.

Sponsored by

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Gallery Reception: Claire Lofrese & Shanti Grumbine
Nov 13 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Claire Lofrese and Shanti Grumbine

Paintings and works on paper by Claire Lofrese and Shanti Grumbine will be on display at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, New York from November 13 until December 12, 2016.


Claire Lofrese’s displayed work uses divisions or grid in various forms (a recurrent device in much of her artwork) – but adds landscape into the mix. Landscape has always been a presence in her work even when the work is more abstract in appearance.

A formal device such as the grid, in combination with an image, provides a dichotomy: geometry and randomness, structure and gesture. Some of her work has been divided into vertical panels, resembling Asian screens other pieces are divided into horizontal bands. These combinations enable her to explore tension and movement in a balanced whole.

She was brought up in the Hudson Valley and after many years in New York City and a few in southern California, made her home in Beacon NY. The Hudson Valley landscape is a large influence on this work. These works are not of specific places in her surroundings, but are “a remembered image or the retained feeling of landscape. With this as a starting point, I then make decisions related to texture, color and style. These pieces could be of many other locales and in that way I hope that they resonate with the idea of landscape rather than a depiction of it.”


Shanti Grumbine transforms appropriated print media through paper cutting, collage, sculpture and printmaking.

She explains that “in the 70’s, Felix Gonzalez Torres advocated, “As cultural producers we should be very aware of what the culture is doing. We must read the newspaper…” and that the New York Times was his “greatest source of inspiration”. While the New York Times served as a daily touchstone for me, a struggle with neurological Lyme Disease left me grappling with focus, word recall and short-term memory making it very difficult to stay engaged and informed. Since I strive to make work that is authentic and honest, I decided that if I could no longer take information in, I would remove it. That initial intimate performance of redaction with an X-ACTO knife on a newspaper page intrinsically moves beyond the personal and gestures toward themes of censorship, marginalization, bias and subjectivity and has galvanized my projects for the past 5 years. This act serves as a source for my collages, prints, textiles and wall relief.

Kenosis is an ancient Greek noun for emptiness or an emptying. In my project Kenosis, I utilize the erasure and excision of the New York Times newspaper to elicit a sacred experience of the everyday. By physically removing content, I make space for what has been censored in media as well as what is lost in the translation of experience into words. I reference ancient narrative formats such as commemorative paper cutting, illuminated manuscripts, medieval musical scores and stained glass. In this particular series, I wanted to create a pixelated effect by hand. In cutting away content from images of conflict in the Middle East in a gridded manner, I inadvertently created patterns that also look like the geometric designs and Kufic calligraphy present in Islamic architecture.

I created Redacted during a month-long residency at Women’s Studio Workshop last summer. For this series, I use cut newspaper pages as stencils for screen prints. The pages act as sliding doors that reveal and obscure appropriated images from international and environmental crises. Small redacted and inverted advertisements hover like ghosts in their respective slots; I am reclaiming these luxury items, imbuing them with significations of legacy and value.”

An Opening Reception with the artists will be held on Sunday, November 13 from 4pm to 6pm.

Judi Jaeger & Bob Reid – “extraordinary connection to the songs they sing and to each other..”
Nov 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Judi Jaeger & Bob Reid  - "extraordinary connection to the songs they sing and to each other.." @ Unison Arts Center | New Paltz | New York | United States

Judi Jaeger’s Canadian background, striking vocals and intelligent songs and Bob Reid’s California folk/pop/R&B upbringing and his own original tunes equals an intimate evening of exquisite harmonies & meaningful music!

Postponed: Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine
Nov 19 @ 8:00 pm
Postponed: Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine @ Unison Arts Center | New Paltz | New York | United States


Due to injury, we are unable to present this show at this time. We intend to reschedule it, but for the moment we will refund the price of tickets already purchased. Thank you for your understanding.

A completely new show!
Performance poetry from two great talents, new, original, and wildly entertaining. An engaging reminder of what a pleasure words can be.

Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine, who are “biologically incorrect, fiscally challenged, and barely fundable,’’ stop off in New Paltz for their annual night of words and wisdom.

Not to be missed!

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the new York State Legislature.

Actors & Writers: “What You’ve Brought” by David Smilow
Dec 10 @ 8:00 pm
Actors & Writers: "What You've Brought" by David Smilow @ Unison Arts Center | New Paltz | New York | United States

Actors & Writers(A&W), Unison’s theatre-troupe-in-residence, is a 22-member company of film, TV, and theater professionals, all of whom reside, at least part-time, in Ulster County.

This evening A&W will present a new work written and presented by David Smilow and other members of A&W.

Imagine an Antiques Roadshow episode originating as much from the Twilight Zone as a local town, and you’ve got some idea of what’s in store with ” What You’ve Brought”, a new work by David Smilow.  Join Actors & Writers as they rummage through a trove of eclectic objects, oddball owners, and the bizarre tales linking them. This will be an evening that proves yet again, people show up with the strangest stuff. And we’re not just talking about antiques.

Sponsored by: This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Chanting with the Spirit Brothers Band
Dec 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Chanting with the Spirit Brothers Band @ Unison Arts Center | New Paltz | New York | United States

Please join Joseph Jastrab,  Ned Leavitt, Robert Bard and guest percussionist (Spirit Brothers Band) for an uplifting morning of chanting.

Come and share a morning of beauty and spirit. We will find devotional grooves that are at times ecstatic and at times deep and meditative. Come, come “whoever you are” — raise your voices with us in calling out the Holy Names and invoking the presence of spirit. Chants may come from many traditions including Sanskrit Kirtan, Native American, Sufi and Ancient Christian.

Sponsored by Sandra Smiley

Iain Machell Exhibition Closing Reception
Apr 29 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Iain Machell Exhibition Closing Reception

Iain Machell’s show is up from now through April 29, with a closing reception on Saturday, April 29, 5-7pm.


8 years of formal art training took Iain Machell from Portsmouth College of Art in England and Grays School of Art in Scotland to a Master’s degree in Sculpture at the University at Albany, State University of New York.


His drawings, book projects, and sculptures have been shown at The Drawing Center, The Sculpture Center, Artists Space and The Center for Book Arts in New York City. Installation projects have been shown at the Dieu Donné Gallery in New York, the ARC Gallery Raw Space in Chicago, the Islip Art Museum Project Space on Long Island, and the Contemporary Outdoor Sculpture at Chesterwood exhibitions in Stockbridge, MA.  His drawings are on view in the Pierogi Gallery flat files in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and handmade books can be seen in the flat files at Dieu Donne Gallery in Chelsea.


One of Machell’s books can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art/ Franklin Furnace/  Artist Book Collection. In Summer 2015 he completed an Artists Residency at the Platte Clove Preserve in the Catskill Mountains, NY and his most recent solo show was in 2015 at Cross Contemporary Art in Saugerties NY.


Machell teaches studio art and currently holds the position of Professor & Chair of the Art, Design, Fashion, Music, Theatre & Communication Department at SUNY Ulster (State University of New York), Stone Ridge, NY.  He was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012.  He has been a Visiting Artist and Lecturer to a variety of colleges and universities including Parsons School of Art, University of Massachusetts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ball State University.




Machell investigates, through drawing, sculpture, and photography the troubled relationship between humans and the physical landscape.


“Machell, a Brit living in New York State’s Hudson Valley, has been engaged in observing the battle between the human condition and the natural world for many years.  The new drawings challenge the ideals of the romantic Hudson River painting school to a duel at dawn- with pistols not rapiers.  He mines his British artistic legacy and unearths some more meaty influences on his current work, going back in time to the symbolic and distorted landscape sketches of Samuel Palmer; the gothic drama of Turner; the ominous chiaroscuro of Constable.  From more recent times he doffs his cap to some more British landscape giants- the Welsh Coal Mine and London bombing drawings of Graham Sutherland, and the land art investigations of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton.


When asked what the core focus of his new work was Machell would only say “Looking, looking, and looking some more”.  In his landscape images nature is not something to worship and aestheticize, it is under threat, dark and dangerous, and needs to be appeased because something is definitely wrong.”              Chicky Farquhar, ART Underbelly UK

Galumpha at the McKenna Theater, SUNY New Paltz
May 6 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm


Ticket Price Options

$25 General Admission

$20 Unison Members, Seniors, New Paltz Faculty and Staff

$10 Students and any child taking up a seat.

Open Seating

Co-sponsored by Unison Arts Center and the Fine and Performing Arts Program of the State University of New York at New Paltz

Galumpha has won the Moers International Comedy Arts Prize.  That says a lot.  Irreverent and quirky, Galumpha guarantees to entertain with pattern-breaking choreography, gravity-defying lifts and balances, and a refreshingly self-effacing approach to Modern Dance.  Combining stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy, and inventive choreography, Galumpha brings to life a world of imagination, beauty, muscle and merriment. The three performers create a sensory feast of images, drawn together into a seamless whole, consistently bringing audiences to their feet. Galumpha is a triumphant mix of art and entertainment, offering world-class, award-winning choreography that is equally at home on the concert stage, at a comedy club or at an outdoor festival.

Galumpha has performed at more than 2000 venues in 30 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, at venues such as The Kennedy Center, The Kravis Center, the Singapore Arts Festival, the Shanghai International Arts Festival, on Broadway at the New Victory Theater, London’s Southbank Center, the Spoleto USA Festival, the First World Dance Festival in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Tollwood Festival in Munich, Germany to name a few.

“Their strength, agility and underlying grace is unflagging and amazing”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Extraordinary feats of athleticism and lyrical beauty”

San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Endearingly oddball brand of movement magic”

Los Angeles Times