Events and Happenings

UPCOMING:

Saturday October 16th 5pm – 9pm

Eternal Conundrum, by John Zoccoli

Free (though donations are really appreciated)

Collar City Mushrooms, in conjunction with Bliss Arts, will be hosting our 3rd art and music event. There will be Paintings by John Zoccoli, Live Music by Kenyatta Huges poetry by Jose Perez, a variety of Culinary Treats made with Collar City Mushrooms grown Fungi, and who knows what other treats that may materialize.

John Zoccoli

About John Zoccoli:
My artwork expresses the parts of me that I find difficult to articulate in any other way. Discovering this talent has not only provided me with an outlet to express myself, it has given me an identity. The gift of my innate talent in art is a blessing, and I have worked hard to develop my natural ability into a skill, one that I am proud of. My art has opened many doors for me, metaphorically, and actually. Art has allowed me a safe space to deal with the various traumas I have endured and allowed me to transform my pain into beauty. I have touched the lives of many with my art (using it to give back to loved ones, various life affirming organizations, and more). This gives me a sense of fulfillment like no other and offers me the opportunity to transcend the limitations of being a prison inmate. When people view my art, they do not judge me by the worst thing that I ever did. Through my art, others see the real me—not the stereotypes and stigmas attached to being in prison. Through my art, I can inspire others, touch their hearts, raise money for organizations, and, in a small way, make the world a more beautiful place. I was arrested as a teenager, in 1995, and subsequently sentenced to 25-to-life. Adjusting to living out a sentence that was longer than the life I had lived was difficult. I struggled to find my way. The harm I caused others and my family left an emptiness inside of me. Although I knew I could not undo what was already done, I decided that I could not continue down a path of negativity, or allow prison define me. Making a choice to be a light in a dark place, my transformation began with art. Through creating art, I not only found a way to express myself, I discovered my calling in life—my purpose. I realized that, far from the thugs and gangsters I had idolized as a teen, I was an artist. While I have always had a natural ability in art, my art would not have the depth and meaning it has without education. In 2006, I earned a Certificate in Ministry and Human Services from the CMHS program sponsored by Rising Hope, I earned my BA with a focus in Mathematics from Bard College (class of 2015) and a MPS from New York Theological Seminary (class of 2017). Currently, I am learning the world of digital media and loving the possibilities it offers. I have won several awards for my art. I’ve had work featured on the cover of the Bardian Magazine. I have created cover art for many books including illustrations for Out of the Wilderness, as well as all of the illustrations for my self-help book Johnny Landed on His Feet: A Guide to Becoming your Golden Self:. At this stage in my life, I am dedicating much of my time and talent to various life affirming organizations, teaching others, and doing my best to “be the change I want to see in the world.”

https://zoccolidesigns.com/prints/ols/products?page=3

John Zoccoli on PBS Brief but Spectacular:

https://www.pbs.org/video/brief-but-spectacular-1626293874/

Jose Perez

About Jose Perez:
Jose A. Perez, MPS landed in prison at 16 years old and quickly learned that living in a men’s maximum security prison would take some strength to survive. He found that writing poetry, would be the catalyst for change he needed to not only survive but also thrive. Poetry was a source of healing and coping with a difficult transition as a teen. He draws inspiration from the trauma filled world he lived in as a child and also from the works of Kahlil Gibran, Emily Dickinson, Allen Ginsberg, and Nasir “Nas” Jones. During his time incarcerated, Jose led the Harvest Moon Collective Poetry group under the tutelage of beat poet Janine Pommy Vega, where poetry workshops were used as a space to find ones voice and improve ones craft. Jose spent 20 years incarcerated and went to earn his AA from Bard, his BS from Nyack College through HudsonLink, and capped his academic career with a Masters in Professional Studies from the New York Theological Seminary.

An Article about Kenyatta Huges from his time working with Carnegie Hall:

https://www.carnegiehall.org/…/2020/12/11/Raise-All-Voices

About Bliss Arts:
Bliss Arts encourages inspiration and wellness through the practice of Yoga and Reiki, and through Arts events, exhibits, workshops & performances. Founded by the creative practice of Maria Cristine Diotte. – facebook.com/blissartsny

Sorry you Missed it:

Saturday September 4th 5pm – 9pm

Mushrooms, Deadbeat Duo, and Art

Denise Parent and Mike Johnson from the Deadbeats will be playing some Grateful Dead Tunes. We’ll be Tie Dying, and providing pizza from DiFamiglia and Mushroom tea! This will be the last day to See Armando Soto’s Artwork displayed at the farm, and to meet the artist! DJ Stark Raving Mod will be spinning some tunes during set break and for eth after party. MeatyMax Vegan Meats will also be doing a popup of their delicious new vegan products, and the mysterious Charlatan Fraud will be entertaining everyone with his prognostications and dream criticisms!

Charlatan Fraud

Free to attend! (Donations are encouraged and appreciated!)

Armando Soto’s paintings reflect Taino, Nuyorican and Jazz cultures. Many works are for sale, and prints will be available as well.

About Armando Soto:
Born in New York City, Armando Soto is a graduate of Pratt Institute NY. He received his BFA in Painting, Drawing and Art History. He also studied Bilingual Special Ed. at the Bank Street School of Education NYC.
For many years, he taught in lower Manhattan for a community organization called Arts Resources for Teachers and Students which collaborated with teachers in developing art projects within the school district.
He is a collaborative member of the Action Alley Project in which a mural was created with the artworks of children of the Troy Area United Ministries with the color and arrangement of the artist. He has also assisted with art projects at Public School 1 in Troy.
His recent show, “Los Tainos Through Nuyorican Eyes,” featured a retrospective of his work at El Taller Boricua, a Puerto Rican Art Workshop in East Harlem, New York City.
He has been featured as an Artist Educator at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. From September to October 2014, he was in an art show called Points of Entry Through Folkloric Expressions, which showed an exhibition of his work based on the Indigenous people ( Los Tainos) of Puerto Rico and the Folkloric influences in his art works.
His work is consistently shown at the Martinez Gallery in Troy NY which had an exhibition called Nuyorican Pilgrimage in March 2016, and has displayed his work at the New York State Museum.
Currently, Armando monitors the Open Studio and teaches Abstract Painting and Studio Concepts at the Arts Center in Troy NY.
As an Independent artist, he also teaches privately at the Ilium Building in Troy NY and presents art workshops throughout the capital region.

Sunday September 12th 2pm – 4pm

Poetry and Prose Open Mic

This Long Standing Poetry and Prose Open Mic hosted by Nancy Klepsch and Dan Wilcox will now be held at Collar City Mushrooms! Mushroom Tea and Snacks will be available by donation.2 poems or 5 minutes of prose! Come for the mushrooms, stay for the poetry!

Sunday August 8th 12p – 3pm

DJ Stark Raving Mod will be spinning some groovy tunes and Tie Dying! We will also have a few other crafts (coloring pages / paint)Kid FriendlyBring your own material to dye $5
Tie Dye a plain white T (add $3)
just hang out and listen to tunes, drink Mushroom tea, and eat snacks: FREE!

Sunday August 7th 2pm – 4pm

Poetry and Prose Open Mic

This Long Standing Poetry and Prose Open Mic hosted by Nancy Klepsch and Dan Wilcox will now be held at Collar City Mushrooms! Mushroom Tea and Snacks will be available by donation.2 poems or 5 minutes of prose! Come for the mushrooms, stay for the poetry!

Thursday August 19th 6pm – 8pm

Poetry and Prints

Collar City Mushrooms and Bliss Arts NY are kicking off the creation of limited edition prints of a select number of Armando Soto’s pieces with an evening of poetry.We will have two featured poets and an open mic for poetry / prose.

Armando Soto’s paintings reflect Taino, Nuyorican and Jazz cultures.
An exhibit of his work is currently being displayed at Collar City Mushrooms until the beginning of September.

The Featured Poets for the evening:

Julia Soto Lebentritt (“Leben” for short) is a writer with a background in arts administration. As the director of a Poetry/Theatre/Dance Series in Hartford, CT, she worked with Allen Ginsberg, John Cage, Maureen Owen, and Peter Schuman’s Bread and Puppet Theatre. Her published poetry appears in literary journals and chapbook collections. She favors spoken word and shared experiences. Known for her celebration of language as music and the revival of oral traditions (especially lullaby practices), her “Melting Poet Trio” in NYC featured a world percussionist, jazz singer, and the poet herself in original works exploring the deconstruction of lyrics and playing with sounds and syllables as poetry. The fire hydrant is a very important object in the life of Julia who was born in Troy, NY, where they were (maybe still are) manufactured. Now she is most famous for bringing artist Armando Soto home with her to live in Troy since 2000.

Victorio Reyes Asili. Victorio is an activist and author who teaches writing at the University at Albany. As a poet, former Hip Hop artist, scholar, and social activist, Victorio Reyes Asili focuses his research towards expanding established conceptions of literary poetics to broaden the representation of marginalized voices and the work of artists that utilize poetry as a platform for questioning stations of power. He is the winner of the Phyllis Hurd Liston Prize presented by The Academy of American Poets. His creative work has been published in a wide range of literary journals including The Acentos Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, Word Riot, and Obsidian. His poetry on Hip Hop and other matters has been anthologized in the following collections: It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop, Black Lives Have Always Mattered, and Chorus—A Literary Mixtape. He also is a former executive director of the Albany Social Justice Center.

Plus you! Bring a poem or two to share!

Armando will be in the house and rumor has it he may share a poem or two as well! We are working on making prints for a few of his paintings and they will be made into limited edition prints that will be available for purchase.

About Armando Soto:
Born in New York City, Armando Soto is a graduate of Pratt Institute NY. He received his BFA in Painting, Drawing and Art History. He also studied Bilingual Special Ed. at the Bank Street School of Education NYC.
For many years, he taught in lower Manhattan for a community organization called Arts Resources for Teachers and Students which collaborated with teachers in developing art projects within the school district.
He is a collaborative member of the Action Alley Project in which a mural was created with the artworks of children of the Troy Area United Ministries with the color and arrangement of the artist. He has also assisted with art projects at Public School 1 in Troy.
His recent show, “Los Tainos Through Nuyorican Eyes,” featured a retrospective of his work at El Taller Boricua, a Puerto Rican Art Workshop in East Harlem, New York City.
He has been featured as an Artist Educator at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. From September to October 2014, he was in an art show called Points of Entry Through Folkloric Expressions, which showed an exhibition of his work based on the Indigenous people ( Los Tainos) of Puerto Rico and the Folkloric influences in his art works.
His work is consistently shown at the Martinez Gallery in Troy NY which had an exhibition called Nuyorican Pilgrimage in March 2016, and has displayed his work at the New York State Museum.
Currently, Armando monitors the Open Studio and teaches Abstract Painting and Studio Concepts at the Arts Center in Troy NY.
As an Independent artist, he also teaches privately at the Ilium Building in Troy NY and presents art workshops throughout the capital region.

Saturday July 17th 5pm – 7pm

Collar City Mushrooms Music and Creativity Celebration!

Free (though donations are really appreciated)

Collar City Mushrooms, in conjunction with Bliss Arts, will be hosting another in person art and music event. There will be Paintings by Armando Soto, Live Music by Jeanine Ouderkirk, and a variety of Culinary Treats made with Collar City Mushrooms grown Fungi.

Armando Soto

About Armando Soto:

Born in New York City, Armando Soto is a graduate of Pratt Institute NY. He received his BFA in Painting, Drawing and Art History. He also studied Bilingual Special Ed. at the Bank Street School of Education NYC.
For many years, he taught in lower Manhattan for a community organization called Arts Resources for Teachers and Students which collaborated with teachers in developing art projects within the school district.
He is a collaborative member of the Action Alley Project in which a mural was created with the artworks of children of the Troy Area United Ministries with the color and arrangement of the artist. He has also assisted with art projects at Public School 1 in Troy.
His most recent show, “Los Tainos Through Nuyerican Eyes,” featured a retrospective of his work at El Taller Boricua, a Puerto Rican Art Workshop in East Harlem, New York City.
He has been featured as an Artist Educator at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. From September to October 2014, he was in an art show called Points of Entry Through Folkloric Expressions, which showed an exhibition of his work based on the Indigenous people ( Los Tainos) of Puerto Rico and the Folkloric influences in his art works.
His work is consistently shown at the Martinez Gallery in Troy NY which had an exhibition called Nuyorican Pilgrimage in March 2016, and has displayed his work at the New York State Museum.
Currently, Armando monitors the Open Studio and teaches Abstract Painting and Studio Concepts at the Arts Center in Troy NY.
As an Independent artist, he also teaches privately at the Ilium Building in Troy NY and presents art workshops throughout the capital region.

Jeanine Ouderkirk

About Jeanine Ouderkirk and John Colonna:

Jeanine Ouderkirk is a vocalist, pianist, and woodwind specialist, performing and teaching music in the  Capital District since 2008. Originally an instrumentalist, Jeanine’s journey of the voice has brought a new sense of musicality and connection to the heart and soul of performance for the people. A soloist, accompanied on the piano or guitar, the singer explores the styles of Jazz, Soul, Pop, Rock, and Classical. Ouderkirk is the Pre-K through eighth grade music teacher at the beautiful Saint Gregory’s School and in the thirteenth year of private instruction. Studies for a Bachelor’s of Music Business and Master’s of Music Education at The Crane School of Music brought Ouderkirk eventually to explore improvisation and jazz vocal techniques with Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon at the CircleSinging sessions at Omega Rhinebeck. For more information on Jeanine’s work as a clinician of CircleSinging as well as a performer and educator and for more information, visit: www.jeaninemariemusic.com

John Colonna is a virtuosic and lyrical pianist who mixes many influences into a unique and vibrant sound.  He studied classical piano as a child and teenager and was seduced by the power and simple beauty of rock music.  Soon his interests turned to jazz and he graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Jazz Composition.  After performing across the country in a variety of venues and genres, he attended New York University to study with Don Friedman, the late great jazz pianist.  Since receiving his Master’s Degree from NYU he has performed with his own group (the John Colonna Quartet), the Blake Fleming Trio, Renaissance Church in Harlem and teaches at SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick college.  He has also been active playing with Chinese rock and pop musicians such as Vivian Fang Liu, Theresa Carpio, Rose Liu, Eric Moo, Wu Hongfei, Kevin Lin, Shino Lin and Candy Lo.

http://www.jeaninemariemusic.cm/band

About Bliss Arts:
Bliss Arts encourages inspiration and wellness through the practice of Yoga and Reiki, and through Arts events, exhibits, workshops & performances. Founded by the creative practice of Maria Cristine Diotte. – facebook.com/blissartsny

Saturday July 24 1pm – 4pm

Artist workshop with Armando Soto

Have you ever thought of making a drawing from an outdoor setting or from an interior space? We know that there are many ways of drawing, some use, pencils, charcoal, others use markers, and ink.  In our current workshop we will be using the scissors as a drawing tool. The scissors in combination with paper that are basic tones of black, white, and gray the student will guided through concepts of balance, arrangement and composition and have a better understanding of ideas and concepts on a picture plane.

Fee: $45.00 per student, Materials included 

Sunday July 11th from 12pm – 3pm

DJ Stark Raving Mod will be spinning some groovy tunes and you’ll be able to create some tie dyed creations! Bring your own cloth, or buy a plain white T-Shirt for an additional cost. Attending the event and hanging out is free… Tie Dye costs 5$

There will be plenty of mushroom tea to drink!

May 22nd 5pm – 7pm

A workshop by Bliss Arts NY

Email blissartsny@gmail.com to register or to ask any questions.

$25 RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Participate in a painting workshop with artist Amara Issel in which we will be exploring with acrylic paints and mixed media. Cost: $25 Participants are welcome to bring either a canvas or a piece of sturdy cardboard, acrylic paints and paint brushes, and any materials that might be fun to use such as string, glue, tissue paper etc.
If you do not have a canvas or materials, just let us know and we will have some for your use. All are welcome to attend, including beginners.
Space is limited so please contact us beforehand if you plan to attend. Covid precautions will be taken. Masks required.

Amara Issel is currently showing an exhibit of paintings at Collar City Mushrooms through the month of May. You can view the exhibit any time during Collar City Mushrooms’ normal business hours.
Many of the paintings are for sale.

About Amara Issel:
Statement: Art is necessary to inspire others. It is a way you communicate a feeling.
I was raised in Lima, Peru in a family that really appreciates Art. One of my uncles used to paint everything about seascapes, and I used to watch how he painted, while he used to record my voice. I have always been surrounded with color pencils, crayons, and Art books since I was a little child.
I consider Art as part of me, a way to express myself with vivid colors, like my vivid dreams.
I am connected with our Mother Nature and all that she has to offer for my inspiration. Being in contact with Nature, whether hiking or kayaking, is a way for feeling the existence of why I am here, and it brings me peace, happiness and restores my sense of seeing things.
I taught myself to paint portraits at first. I currently reside in upstate New York; when I visited Lake George and the Adirondacks, I wanted to paint landscapes because the images last in my mind for weeks, and maybe this was the starting point to my own self-discovery experience with painting landscapes

Collar City Mushrooms first Art, Music and Tasty Mushroom Treat Extravaganza!

May 1st from 5pm to 7pm

Collar City Mushrooms, in conjunction with Bliss Arts, will be hosting our first in person art and music event. There will be Paintings by Amara Issel, Live Music by Mr. Days Band, and Culinary Treats by Lansinburgh’s own Dave Chaiken and Corrine Carey made with Collar City Mushrooms grown Fungi.

Guests will be required to wear masks, eat in designated areas, and move through the farm in small groups in order to adhere to Covid Precautions.

About Amara Issel:
Statement: Art is necessary to inspire others. It is a way you communicate a feeling.
I was raised in Lima, Peru in a family that really appreciates Art. One of my uncles used to paint everything about seascapes, and I used to watch how he painted, while he used to record my voice. I have always been surrounded with color pencils, crayons, and Art books since I was a little child.
I consider Art as part of me, a way to express myself with vivid colors, like my vivid dreams.
I am connected with our Mother Nature and all that she has to offer for my inspiration. Being in contact with Nature, whether hiking or kayaking, is a way for feeling the existence of why I am here, and it brings me peace, happiness and restores my sense of seeing things.
I taught myself to paint portraits at first. I currently reside in upstate New York; when I visited Lake George and the Adirondacks, I wanted to paint landscapes because the images last in my mind for weeks, and maybe this was the starting point to my own self-discovery experience with painting landscapes.

About Mr. Days Band:
3-Piece band from upstate NY with Jam, Rock, Country, Folk, & Funky vibes. Infinitus demo out now https://mrdays.bandcamp.com/album/infinitus

About Dave and Corinne:
Dave Chaiken and Corinne Carey are Lansingburgh residents who love the availability of fantastic local produce, dairy and meats from the Troy area. Dave is currently with the Capital District’s most prominent hospitality company as a corporate executive chef; he loves playing guitar, crafting with wood, and restoring their 140-year old Victorian home. Corinne is a public policy lawyer by trade and a radio producer for the Hudson Mohawk Magazine, which can be heard on our local community-supported radio station WOOC 105.3 FM. She’s also an avid flavor creator whose love of regional cuisines stems from her time living and traveling in Central America, India, and Morocco. They’ve been married for 11 years with their anniversary on our opening night’s event!

About Bliss Arts:
Bliss Arts encourages inspiration and wellness through the practice of Yoga and Reiki, and through Arts events, exhibits, workshops & performances. Founded by the creative practice of Maria Cristine Diotte. – facebook.com/blissartsny

There is no fee to attend, but donations will be appreciated!

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