Essential Events

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Victoria Crowned Pigeons, a watercolor by Allen Blagden, is one of the works in the exhibition “Marking the Moment: The Art of Allen Blagden.” February 12 – April 16 at The Hyde in Glens Falls.

Nature Meets Art

Two artists exhibiting at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls this winter explore the natural world—albeit in very different ways. Contemporary realist painter Allen Blagden is renowned for his paintings of birds, animals and people, as well as for his landscapes of New England and the Adirondacks. His painting style has been compared to that of American realist painters Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth. At the Hyde from Feb. 12 to April 16, Marking the Moment: The Art of Allen Blagden includes about 50 works, mostly watercolors, surveying his distinguished career. Cleveland-born artist Lorna Bieber composes complex, many-layered photo murals and photo montages of the natural world with more of an abstract bent. By manipulating iconic images from publicly sourced media, she recasts them into dream-like and elegiac images. Her exhibition Lorna Bieber: Forces of Nature runs until May 14 in the Hoopes Gallery.

The Hyde Collection is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. General admission is $12, $10 for seniors. Free for members, children under 12, students and active U.S. military and their families. For more information, visit hydecollection.org or call (518)792-1761.

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Regina Carter appears as part of the New York State Writer’s Institute lecture series on Feb. 11.

 Get Cultured

The winter and spring lineup for the New York State Writers Institute free lecture series at University of Albany is out, and it features some heavy-hitters from the worlds of literature, art, film and history. Most notably, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor—the third woman and the first Latina to serve after being appointed by President Barack Obama in August 2009—appears at UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena for the speaker series on April 4 (reservations required). Other highlights include physicist, oceanographer and BBC television personality Helen Czerski on Feb. 9; journalist Nancy Jo Sales on Feb. 16; jazz violinist Regina Carter on Feb 11; a film screening of Sacco and Vanzetti with commentary by director Peter Miller and film editor Amy Linton on Feb. 24; Diane Ackerman, bestselling author, poet, and naturalist on March 7; playwright Dael Orlandersmith on March 20; and internationally renowned painter David Salle on March 23. For a full listing, visit albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/programpages/vws.html.

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From left, Caroline Freeman, Richie Saunders and Shannon Bush at last year’s Black and Gold Masked Ball. Photo by Cathleen Duffy

Take the Marrakesh Express

Over 500 people in black, gold and decorative masks filled the Hall of Springs last February for Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s annual Winter Ball, their first event of the season. Dubbed the “Party of the Century: A Black & Gold Masked Ball,” the gala was inspired by the lavish black-and white masquerade ball staged by novelist Truman Capote in 1966. It raised over $50,000 in support of the SPAC. This year, SPAC’s Junior Committee—young area professionals who help SPAC with fundraising and outreach—are at it again. On Saturday, March 4, they host The Winter Ball: Passport to Morocco from 7 until 11 p.m. The Hall of Springs will be transformed into the rich landscape of the kingdom of Morocco. Guests are encouraged to dress in formal attire befitting the theme. There will be live music by Funk Evolution, traditional fare by Mazzone Hospitality, a photo booth, a grand raffle and more. Tickets are $100 (a price that increases to $110 after Feb. 20). For more information, visit spac.org/events/2017/03/04/spac-winter-ball-passport-morocco.

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Tim Reynolds plays Putnam Den on Feb. 12.

Legends of Rock Appear

The Putnam Den, a live music club a block off Broadway, hosts some top-notch acts this late winter and early spring. Tim Reynolds, a long-time multi-instrumentalist and lead guitarist for Dave Matthews Band, brings his solo show to the Den on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. (tickets $30). Reynolds will be celebrating the release of a solo acoustic CD That Way, inspired by years of absorbing many different genres of music—from the 1970s rock and roll of the Beatles, Genesis and Yes to the classical music of Bartok and 20th century string quartets. Canadian heavy metal heroes Anvil—who first formed in 1973 and are said to have influenced many notable heavy metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica—slogged it out for decades in semi-obscurity before the charming 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil raised their profile and led to bookings at major music festivals and a second wave of success. They appear on March 3 at 9 p.m. (tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show). Another legend performs on March 11: Melvin Seals, a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years. The highspirited Seals played Hammond B-3 organ and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years, helping to pioneer what became known as “Jam Band Music.” Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of show. For more information and tickets, visit putnamden.com.

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After Marc Kenyon, left, hangs a bucket on a tree at Adirondack Gold Maple Farm, visitors listen for the first drop of sap. Photo courtesy of Persis Granger.

Celebrate Spring, Sweetly

Interested in learning more about our region’s burgeoning maple scene? Not far from Lake George, the town of Thurman is home to Warren County’s four largest commercial maple operations: Hidden Hollow, Valley Road, Adirondack Gold and Toad Hill. Watch sap being gathered and boiled during Thurman Maple Days, which takes place over three weekends in March (March 11-12; 18-19 and 25 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) when the four maple farms offer free talks, tours and product tastings. A pancake breakfast is available at Valley Road Maple Farm every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Toad Hill offers wagon rides across a covered bridge and into their sugar bush. Three neighboring farms Nettle Meadow, Martin’s Lumber and Peru Llama—will also welcome guests. Download a map and detailed guide at thurmanmapledays.com.

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Get ready to swing, clog and jig at the Dance Flurry on the weekend of Feb. 17. Photo by Lawrence White.

Swing Your Partner 

For three festive days in the heart of every Saratoga Springs winter, lovers of all things dance-related converge on downtown Saratoga Springs for The Flurry, a festival of traditional dancing and music over President’s Day weekend. Whether you prefer contra, swing, Cajun, Latin or clogging—you’ll find an opportunity to groove at the Flurry, held at Saratoga Hilton & City Center and several other downtown venues. This year’s event kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 and runs until 9 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19. Over 300 musical artists, dance callers and storytellers are set to perform, including Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, M’Bemba Bangoura and Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble. Tickets are available online at flurryfestival.org or at the Saratoga Springs City Center lobby during the festival. (Full festival tickets as well as individual day tickets are available for purchase.)