Monday, November 30, 2015

December Exhibit

Rebecca Tocci

Rebecca Tocci - Artist Statement

"I am a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Art and have been working in the photo industry for over 20 years. I currently work as a portrait and fine-art photographer out of my studio in Pawling. My work can be seen in various galleries here in the Hudson Valley, as well as in private collections throughout the United States. I have also been featured in several publications, most recently in the Hudson Valley News. My current work focuses on capturing moments of exquisite light and the simple beauty of everyday life in nature, landscapes or cityscapes." 

If you would like to see more of my work, please see my website...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November Exhibit

Karen Madden
Fiber Artist
Rock and A Soft Place Studio 


"I have worked with fiber since I was a girl, inspired by my mother and grandmother who were accomplished seamstresses and upholsters.  My mother taught me to make my own clothes and to use fiber and fabric for interior design in furniture upholstery, draperies, and d├ęcor accents.  My enjoyment of working with fiber has grown over time and I have a deep appreciation for my mother’s influence on what I do today.

As an fiber artist of my own design, I have the freedom to transcend boundaries of traditional fiber art and welcome in new and creative ways of utilizing materials and techniques.  I begin most of my designs with wool because of the earthy nature of it.   Wool is a renewable resource and has been used for clothing and adornment for thousands of years.   Using it as an artistic medium highlights its versatility.  As man-made fibers become more exotic, incorporating them into my designs adds a modern element of color and texture.  To challenge my boundaries of creativity, I break away from traditional techniques by adding non-fiber materials such as metal, stone, beads.  Many would consider these materials inharmonious with soft fiber, but I see them as a way to add depth and dimension to my wall hangings.

Inspiration for my designs comes from the world around me.  An idea might spring forth from the view on a hike or from a conversation with a friend.  The challenge I have is to make the idea come alive in fiber.  I invite people to enjoy my work for the beauty that I see in it as I’m creating it.  Fiber is an insulating material which brings warmth to my soul and energizes me and I work to extend that warmth and energy into each of my pieces.

My studio, located in Poughquag, NY, is called “Rock and A Soft Place” which I share with my husband, Bob who is a stone sculptor."

Follow me by liking Rock And A Soft Place Studio on FaceBook at:

And see more of my work at:

Contact the artist for more information:
All works are for sale

Monday, September 28, 2015

October Artist

Lauren Clark
"A life in the Arts is a great life!  

Coming from a family of Artists and Art lovers, having Art as an every day part of life seemed very natural.  From my early days toddling around the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the beginning of my formal art training at the High School of Art and Design, I thought everyone had the same love and interest in the Arts.

There seemed to be no other career path for me but to become an Art teacher.   While continuing my Art studies at the University of Louisiana and the City University of New York, I did large scale figurative works inspired by my father’s photography as well as my photography and graphics background.  Over the years I have had the good fortune to have been mentored by Hope Irvine, Fred Daspit, William Moreland, Sherman Drexler and William Noonan; all wonderful artists and inspiring teachers.

I started my teaching career as an instructor in a Reading Through the Arts program at the Cloisters, later becoming a New York City Art Teacher and college Art Education instructor.   Throughout my career I also remained involved in Community Arts organizations in Northern Manhattan as well as professional Art Education organizations.  During that time I exhibited my artwork in the Metropolitan Museum of Community Arts Gallery and at Gallery 12 in N.Y.C.

Always a New Yorker and never wanting to be far from the Hudson River, I have retired to the Hudson Valley where I continue my interest in Community Arts as a Board Member of the Barrett Art Center/Dutchess County Art Association.  

Celebrating the beauty of nature that surrounds me; my current focus is landscape and still-life.  I work in oil, colored pencil and other media.  I have most recently exhibited at The Gables, The National Arts Club and at the Barrett Art Center.

My studio is near Poughkeepsie and I can be reached at:"

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

September Book Sale

September 4th & 5th
Friday, September 4th
12:00pm - 4:00pm
Saturday, September 5th
10:00am - 4:00pm
Early Bird Preview
Friday, September 4th  ||  10am-12pm
$10 admission

It's almost time for the third Friends of the Library Book Sale this year!

On Friday, September 4th, there will be an Early Bird/Dealer's Preview from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. At the Preview, buyers can have first pick of the books for an entrance fee of $10. After 12:00pm on Friday, there will not be an entry fee. On Saturday, September 5th, the sale will take place from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

This will be the Friends' third sale in the "Book Cellar", the new location in the lower level of the Kent Public Library. The new "Book Cellar" can only accommodate 49 people at a time, so buyers who come at an especially busy time may have to wait their turn to enter.  At prior book sales there has been a steady stream of over 200 customers, but since they did not come all at the same time no one has yet had to wait.  Buyers will have a choice of two entrances, the front library entrance or the back lobby Book Nook entrance which faces the back parking lot and leads directly to the Book Cellar/Program Room area.

Almost 5,000 gently used books will be for sale at bargain prices. These newly donated books have been carefully sorted through, and only the best will be offered for sale at this location. The Friends have received several major donations, and the shelves of the "Book Cellar" have been completely restocked. At this sale,  readers will find books on all topics, with unusually large sections of music, science fiction, and children's books.  Most hardcovers are priced at $2.00 each, with paperbacks at $.50 each or 3 for $1.00.  Buyers are encouraged to bring their own bags or boxes to carry the books home.  The Friends' canvas  bags will also be available, at $10.00 each empty or $25.00 filled with books of your choice, excluding special books.

Can't wait for September?  Are you going away for the Labor Day weekend?  The Kent Library's "Book Nook" is open throughout the year on Saturdays from 10 to 2:30, and Wednesdays from 10 to 6.  It has just celebrated its tenth anniversary offering high quality books at very low prices. The "Book Nook" has also been completely restocked. The Friends will  be holding a final big sale in the "Book Cellar" on November 6th and 7th. 

Volunteers for both the "Book Nook" and the big book sales are always needed.  Please contact the library at 845-225-8585 if you are able to help.

Monday, August 3, 2015

August Exhibit

Paul Kmiotek
Kmiotek Art Works
Award Winning Pen and Ink Artwork by Paul Kmiotek

"Like most kids, I started drawing at a very young age. One of my earliest memories is of drawing a picture of my father with his hair straight up and flat on the top (the epitomy of style back then). I continued to draw (mostly cars and monsters) through high school, and into the years following graduation (mostly flyers for my band at the time – The Torpedos). But in all of that time, I’d never taken any formal lessons. I consider this to be a clear case of nature over nurture, as my father is an incredibly gifted watercolor artist.

After high school (and a couple of misspent years in college) I began my first career – as a draftsman – and after several years toiling at that, I began my second career – as a zookeeper. During this time, my talents were utilized by my employers – illustrating operations manuals for the former, designing enclosures, graphics, and t-shirts for the latter – and usually for very little money. Recently, I decided that maybe it was time to start up Kmiotek Art Works, and try to put my alleged talents to work for myself.

Although I’ve drawn a few cityscapes, the subjects of most of my artwork are naturalistic – either animals or landscapes; themes that appeal to my lifelong love of nature. I’ve worked in several media; pastels (too smudgy), watercolor (too runny), pencil (not dark enough), etc., but I like pen and ink the best. Although it’s not a very forgiving technique, I’m drawn to its permanence and depth.

I consider myself to be kind of an illusionist. By simply scribbling, in a process of tightly controlled chaos, on a blank piece of paper with a fine-point pen, I can trick the observer’s eye into seeing what I want it to see; a jaguar peering from beneath a bush, a barn falling into disrepair, two men chatting on the street, etc.

My work has been displayed, among other places, at the Ridgewood Art Institute, the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, the Belle Levine Art Center, The Flywheel Gallery, and the Lake Carmel Arts Center. I’ve been commissioned by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Aerco International, The Komodo Dragon Species Survival Plan, and The Wildlife Care Center of Belize.  I currently live in the Hudson Valley with my beautiful wife and two awesome children."

Some of my artwork can be viewed on my website:  

and on Etsy:
To keep up on events, like me on Facebook:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Exhibit

Susan Bores

Nature's Jewels
Photographs by Susan Bores

On display July 1-31, 2015; Artist Reception Saturday, July 11th, from 1:00-3:00pm at the Kent Public Library. 

"Photography has been a creative pursuit and source of excitement, dating back over 35 years to my first Polaroid. I tend to see life as a photograph – a moment in time – often framing up a scene or deconstructing it. While subject matter may be varied, nature often takes center stage. My inspirations are many and even contradictory. I enjoy the challenge of capturing the decisive moment, as well as a more constructed composition. I seek to reflect realism, as well as the painterly. Whereas the whole can be captivating, I am often drawn by a segment, with the resulting image a more abstract one.

The exhibition, “Nature’s Jewels,” sponsored by the Friends of the Kent Public Library, brings together images taken from nature that inspire, resemble, or are inherently jewels. As an avid home gardener, my eye is drawn to color combinations, luminosity, iridescence, texture and structure. The latter is a key component where the lure may be the overall form or an emerging arrangement of elements or patterns. In turn, these qualities often influence my jewelry design and construction. I pause for the color change of fall leaves and sunsets, branching of trees, shimmer of bee wings, sculptural milkweed pods and anemones shedding seeds like pearls. I am entranced by patterned butterflies in dance, the texture and curvilinear form of a luna moth, and a praying mantis striking a pose. I hope my photographs will engage the viewer to enter and attain a sense of discovery from their natural surroundings.

My formal education has included photography, as well as art history and management at Purchase College and the International Center of Photography."

Contact the artist:

All photos are for sale.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Become a member!

The Friends Annual Membership Drive
Would you like to be a Friend of the Kent Public Library?
Basic annual dues are only $10 per member from June 30th, 2015 until June 30th, 2016. Members may choose to support the FRIENDS further by selecting from additional membership options:
$15.     Novel Friend
$20.    First Edition Friend
$50.    Rare Friend
$100.  One of a Kind Friend

To become a member, drop by the library and ask for a FRIENDS brochure or click here to download a printable form that you can mail in at your convenience.

What do the Friends of the Kent Library do with your membership money?

  • Sponsor the Library's Museum Pass Program
  • Run The Book Nook (open Wednesdays and Saturdays)
  • Host four large book sales throughout the year in The Book Cellar
  • Sponsor monthly art exhibits through Art at the Kent Library
  • Contribute funds for library programs and equipment
  • Support the teen program: Battle of the Books
  • Co-sponsor the Summer Concert Series at Arts on the Lake
This past year:
  • Contributed funds for the renovation of our new Book Cellar/Program Room
  • Purchased iPads and stands for the Children's Area
All of these contributions are made possible by our members. We look forward to continuing to support the library and community.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June Exhibit

Kent Nature Almanac
Photo Competition

The winning images of Kent Nature Almanac Photo Competition are on exhibit at the Kent Library this month. Photographers were asked to submit a maximum of three photos. The images were judged on artistic merit and expression of the nature and beauty of Kent.   Many of the pictures are immediately recognizable scenes from around town, others are abstract art. After the month long show, the photographs will be exhibited in the lobby of the Kent Town Hall. 

The exhibit opens June 1st and ends June 30th. It is sponsored by Kent Conservation Advisory Committee. Charged with the preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural environment of our town, the all-volunteer committee also conducts programs and hikes, maintains a natural resource inventory, and publishes the monthly nature almanac. 

Click here to subscribe to the nature almanac and to learn more about the Kent Advisory Committee:

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 23rd Book Sale

Saturday, May 23rd
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Our next book sale is right around the corner!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's first book sale in the "Book Cellar" a success.

On Friday, May 22nd, there will be an Early Bird/Dealer's Preview from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. At the Preview, buyers can have first pick of the books for an entrance fee of $10. The main sale will take place on Saturday, May 23rd, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Buyers can get to the Book Cellar through the front entrance of the library or through the back entrance which faces the parking lot. The new space can only accommodate 49 people at a time, so buyers who come at an especially busy time may have to wait their turn to enter. At the April book sale, more than 200 customers perused throughout the day, but no waiting was necessary.

Around 4,000 gently used books will be for sale at bargain prices. Unless otherwise marked, hardcover books will be available for $2.00, paperbacks 5 for $1.00, children's books 2 or 6 for $1.00, and CDs and DVDs are just $1.00 each. There will be some collectable and first edition books at higher prices.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Exhibit

Cara Farquhar

Everyday Beauty
Oil Paintings by Cara Farquhar

"As far into my memory as I can recall, I have been fascinated by the beauty and the mystery of the world around me.  As a child, I remember delighting in the currents of flowing water, watching animals and tasting sharp flavors and smells; as an adult, a constant observation and participation in the omnipresent mystery of the world continues to inspire me with an enthusiasm for living and creating.  When I observe something, I often wonder about how I could record my experience through a creative process so that  I will remember the glory of that fleeting moment. 

Through the act of creating, I feel connected to the long history of human experience.  The primordial urge to express the human condition, with it's impermanent nature, has been experienced by human beings since we left images on the walls of caves 40,000 years ago.   The pull to record the mystery and beauty of our experiences is one of the most consistent and enduring human impulses throughout history.  This creative connection across generations fascinates me and always makes me wonder about those who came before me and those who will carry the torch into the future.

I believe that inspiration abounds in the universe around us.  There are scores of beautiful scenes, people, moments and experiences to be observed every minute.  When I engage in my human creative urge, I am reminded to observe the world around me, and within me, more closely, to dig deeper into the well of human experience.  I create artwork in order to live and experience my individual human life more completely.

I have always enjoyed drawing and watercolor painting, but my formal educational training is in the medical field."

Contact the artist:
Member of the Reflectionist Painters, of Kent, NY      

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 18th Book Sale

Spring Book Sale!
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Friends will be holding a Spring book sale from 10 am to 4 pm on April 18th! The sale will be held in the newly renovated Book Cellar and program space located in the lower level of the Kent Library.

Instead of a single sale in May, there will be four book sales throughout the year in the Book Cellar!

Buyers can get to the Book Cellar through the front entrance of the library or through the back entrance which faces the parking lot. The new space can only accommodate 49 people at a time, so buyers who come at an especially busy time may have to wait their turn to enter.

Around 4,000 gently used books will be for sale at bargain prices. Unless otherwise marked, hardcover books will be available for $2.00, paperbacks 5 for $1.00, children's books 2 or 6 for $1.00, and CDs and DVDs are just $1.00 each. There will be some collectable and first edition books at higher prices.

On Friday, April 17th, there will be an Early Bird/Dealer's Preview from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. A $10 entrance fee will be charged to come and buy books during the Friday preview. The donated books have been carefully sorted through and only the best will be offered for sale at this location!

We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Exhibit

Tom Kavana

The Unseen Seen

Photos by Tom Kavana

"My ambient goal in portraiture is to find ways to make other people more real: to encourage a viewer to consider the face of a stranger, and to really look. What is it we imagine we see there, in the other? Ultimately, we are looking only at ourselves. But in the process, we practice training our eyes and hearts to look more deeply at the others around us. We consider their natures, we speculate about their stories, their happinesses and sufferings, and in so doing we practice generating compassion in ourselves. One cannot really consider the reality of another person, I think, without accruing some kind of responsibility for them."

Feel free to contact me with comments or questions.        

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March Art Exhibit

John Colantuono

"Art is self expression allowing me to show things the way I see them, let my imagination form different ideas. For me it's losing myself in the color, the emotion and movement that I use while painting."

Contact: (845) 855 - 1676    /

Friday, January 30, 2015

Program Room Artist Display

Paintings by three local artists are on display in the new program room at Kent Public Library! 

Fine Art Oil Paintings by Bea Gustafson 

"There is an energy and beauty in all of nature which is a never ending source of inspiration for me. I try to translate that onto my canvas, giving homage to the bounty before me. I enjoy painting my landscapes en plein air as well as in my studio, working from photographs and sketches.

I want to tell the viewer a story, share my experience with them. In the translation from nature to canvas, I seek to discover nature’s truth and give life to a painted image by understanding the rhythms and pulses behind the appearances and the best is the feeling of being an integral part of it all. I am most successful with a painting, if I can evoke and emotional response from the viewer."
Bea Gustafson / 914-204-0846

 Doreen O'Connor 

"I have been drawing and painting as long as I can remember and got my degrees in Art Education. After teaching for two years, I went back for my Masters but found a job I loved in a historic house museum. I stayed in the museum field for twenty years while always painting on the side.

 In 1990, I started a decorative painting business, "Wildflowers" where I do murals, tromp l'oeil and faux finishes. I have enjoyed the variety and creativity of the work but am now doing more painting and exhibiting for myself. Nature has always been my main inspiration. The lower Hudson region and the farm I live on in Poughquag provide more subjects than I have time to paint."
Doreen O'Connor /

Fine Artist Oil Paintings 
Mary Elizabeth Smoot-Souter, Oil Painter 

"As I began painting form life, classical training from the model revealed complexities in drawing and form. Studying from old masters and life size casts that were seized from the basement of the Metropolitan and donated to the N.Y. Academy was an amazing access for students studying realism in the 90's. Design and compositional ideas from Maitland Graves have influenced my work and color theory elements suggested by Joseph Alber's. Turn of the century painters such as John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla's powerful use of direct painting and color is insurmountable. Commanding light and shadow patters is something I love in Rembrandt and Vermeer and the quiet sincerity of Chardin's still-life paintings. My work is traditional in technique and style but reveals a personal, contemporary realism of the 21st century!"
Mary Smoot Souter

Friday, January 16, 2015

About Jeanette Rodriguez

Art Director, Friends of the Kent Library

"Nature has always been a fascination of mine. It’s no surprise that I see reflected in my art nature’s serenity and spirit which I deeply feel from within. My Alcohol Ink paintings replicate connections and relationships that compose our world. My compositions project a surreal quality and calmness in an abstract dream-like landscape form. I find myself drawn to the blazing colors of sunsets, the tranquility of a flowing river. I want to capture that kind of beauty; like a soft summer breeze.

My journey as an artist has been one of transitions as I’ve explored and experimented with different mediums in art. I graduated with a B.F.A. degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. After spending twenty years as a Graphic Designer, I decided to return to creating in a traditional form. Working with paints, 3D collage, clay, wood, metals, jewelry and glass. I also taught jewelry design and ink painting workshops in New York City and on The Big Island of Hawaii. Over two years ago, I became the Curator at the Front Street Gallery in Patterson, New York; where I dream-up the exhibition themes including: “Windows of My Soul”, “In the Stillness of Trees”, “Flow” and “Reflection”, to name a few.

Four months ago I was asked if I would be interested in becoming the Art Director for the Friends of the Kent Library in Kent, New York. I am honored to be of service, to provide monthly displays of other local artists whom have been exhibiting their work for years and some who are sharing their creations for the first time. Being an artist can have its challenges: rejection from galleries, rejections from publications, I can relate as I’ve been there. However, my work has been exhibited around New York and published in the Society of Illustrators Annual, other publications, and I have won awards.

My art is an expression of my humanity and my spiritual growth; it helps me to live consciously and courageously with compassion; whether it's curating exhibitions, teaching workshops, painting or selecting artists to exhibit their work at the Kent Library, it's ‘all’ inspiring to me. If along the way I awaken the spirit within others; than my work is done! I am a firm believer that inspiration comes in all forms. May your journey as an artist be one of your true nature."

The Friends of the Kent Library envision the library as a cultural center of the town of Kent and have supported ongoing exhibits of local artists in the library. In the past 5 years, over 60 local artists have had one-person shows at the Kent Library. These exhibits last for a month and are seen by approximately 300 people daily. The Friends work in cooperation with Arts on the Lake, community artists and other arts organizations. The Friends are pleased to welcome Jeanette Rodriguez as the new director of the program!

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Art Exhibit

K.A. McNally-Frake

K.A. McNally-Frake is originally a native Southern Californian but has been living in New York for the last 14 years. She was always interested in drawing and has worked in oils, watercolors, and acrylics. She is mostly self-taught, taking a few classes here and there.

After raising three daughters, with time on her hands, she walked into a Reflections class at the Arts of the Lake in Kent Lakes, NY and met Alex Shudi. It was he who encouraged her to try new avenues and experimentations in painting. With his encouragement, Mrs. McNally-Frake developed a whole new approach and look to her work. There is no set design when she starts out but as the painting begins to "speak", there comes a form of communication with it. 

Mrs. McNally-Frake gets her inspirations by using bold colors and strong line movement and then goes with the flow of the painting as it evolves. This way of painting has allowed her a free form of expression, exploration and great satisfaction. Using colors and composition in such a way, she is able to fill up the canvases with fun energy and movement.

For prices and more information, contact: