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First Friday, Fiftieth Birthday at Nyack Village Hall

Bill BatsonNyack Village Hall hosts an exhibition of sketches and short essays by local author and artist Bill Batson excerpted from the Nyack Sketch Log, Batson’s weekly feature on NyackNewsAndViews. The exhibition begins on Friday and runs through December 1.

The first Friday of the exhibition coincides with two other significant dates: the monthly First Friday celebration of the arts in Nyack and Batson’s 50th birthday. The public is invited to attend a opening reception on Friday, September 6 at Nyack Village Hall, 9 North Broadway from 5:30-7p.

For the last two years, Batson has created a digital encyclopedia of Nyack, New York.  Some of the landmarks he has featured are well known while others have been salvaged from obscurity. His sketches have included the Nyack homes of painter Edward Hopper, Actress Helen Hayes and author Carson McCullers.

“I believe that the unexamined place is not worth living in,” says Batson. “But with our well preserved progressive and cultural traditions, I have discovered in two years of careful examination, there are few spots as sweet as Nyack.”

Batson also serves as the Artist-in-Residence at the Nyack Chamber of Commerce’s weekly Farmers’ Market. The Map and Guide of Nyack that he illustrated for the Nyack Chamber will be on display at the event.  In June 2012, Batson curated the world’s first Flash Sketch Mob which invited 100 artists to create a composite landscape portrait of Nyack.

“Bill Batson has managed, in each and every drawing, to cherish Nyack history, piece by piece,” said Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White. “His Nyack Sketch Log column reminds us every week what is so special about the village now and the village of days past. As we gather for public meetings and conduct the business of the village, his work will remind us of where we have come from and keep us mindful and protective of our shared history as we move forward.”

September is the third “First Friday” event where downtown shops are turned into showcases and galleries for local artists. In addition to Batson’s work, the September event also features Before I Die, a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space. Everyone is invited to chalk their own personal bucket list on a wall, completing the phrase, “Before I die, _________.” The first Before I Die wall was created by artist Candy Chang on an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood after losing someone she loved. Over 300 Before I Die walls have now been created in over 20 languages and in over 50 countries, including Kazakhstan, Portugal, South Korea, Denmark, Australia, Kenya, Argentina, and South Africa.

Nyack Farmer's Market

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