Former Phoenicia gallery owner Tim Slowinski now runs
the Limner Gallery in Hudson. Woodland Valley resident Tom Luciano
makes the cross-river commute to his art/antique store Historical
Materialism. Andrea Cabane has shown artists she's discovered
in Hudson at her gallery in Phoenicia.
Posie Strenz of Mt. Tremper opened the Posie Kviat Gallery with
a partner, Cynthia Fetty, on Hudson's Warren Street in May 2009,
and it's still going strong, stocked partially by artists she's
met at The Arts Upstairs in Phoenicia and other places on this
side of the river.
Strenz is the manager of a Hudson building that lost a gallery
last year, and she had the idea to put her friends' paintings
in the window while trying to find a new tenant. It got her
thinking. She was contacted by Fetty, a Saugerties resident
who wanted to start a gallery in Hudson but was hesitant to
run it by herself. "We gelled," Strenz recalls. "We
had a couple of long talks. It's not often that someone you
feel a good connection with comes along, and you feel like you
can trust them and work with them."
Despite the recession, she made a decision to go in with Fetty.
"It's better to try something than not do it and regret
you didn't when you had the chance," she muses. "We
went into it knowing we could stop if we needed to, since we
both have families and need to contribute to paying the bills.
But it's gratifying, going to visit artists' studios, learning
about their histories, seeing their bodies of work and being
able to share that with other people. Of course, in the long
run, you have to make sure you don't lose your shirt."
Work has been selling, and slowly but surely, the gallery's
reputation is growing. Strenz partly attributes its success
to the complementary nature of her partnership with Fetty. "We
have different kinds of tastes, but that works well," she
says. "Cynthia has more of a modern art school kind of
eye. She likes new and unusual media and has contacts from pretty
far afield. My eye is geared more toward sharing the wonderful
artists we have in this area. People come in excited to see
new media, and there are people who are thrilled to become acquainted
with artists from the area they wouldn't necessarily see-and
they can find a great piece of art to take home."
She described how the gallery came to share her first name:
"Cynthia was going to be the main director. I didn't want
my name on it. Her husband's name is Kwiatkowski, which means
'flower' in Polish. Cynthia suggested the name because it has
two flowers. According to a Polish artist, Olek, who showed
with us, Posie Kwiat means 'planting flowers'. Cynthia changed
the 'w' to a 'v' for graphic reasons. And I love gardening,
too. Maybe we're planting flowers, and a lot of the enjoyment
is in the process. It would be nice if we get to the point of
culling flowers from the garden, but if not, that's okay too."
Locals who have shown at Posie Kviat include painters Ric Dragon
of Chichester, Anique Taylor of Phoenicia, Dave Channon of Shandaken,
Robert Selkowitz of Ashokan, Lora Shelley and Mary Ann Erickson
of Saugerties. The gallery's craft show included Mt. Tremper
potter Sally Rothschild and ceramacist Astrid Nordness. Pat
Horner of Willow is featured in the current show, which opened
on February 20.
Strenz brought in an artist friend from Brooklyn who doesn't
get much attention in New York City but is more successful in
California. "A New York City buyer walked in and bought
a couple of his paintings," says Strenz. "The city
is so packed and intense, people's work can be overlooked. But
when you bring them to Warren Street, and city people are up
for the weekend, they're more relaxed-it's a different kind
The gallery made a big splash with a three-part event in October,
when Strenz's husband, music writer Tony Fletcher, had just
published his book, All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from
Streets of New York, 1927-1977. Fletcher read from the book
at The Spotty Dog Books and Ale, while the gallery held an opening
for "Redux", with all the artists they'd shown in
their first six months. Then Fletcher deejayed music from the
era of his book at Jason's Upstairs Bar.
For the long haul, Posie Kviat does need more buyers, but so
far, says Strenz, "We've had a lot of positive feedback,
even from people who've been in Hudson a long time. We've brought
a different vision and new blood. It's been a nice welcome."
Posie Kviat Gallery is located at 437 Warren Street in Hudson
and can be contacted at (518) 653-5407. Also see their website,