Kristin Dalton ‘00 receives 2010 Reiss Award, Piano donated to HVS Music Program
by George Riley
Kristin Dalton, a 2000 Hawthorne Valley graduate, received this year’s Henriette Reiss Award for artistic endeavor at the 18th-annual Arts Celebration held on Saturday, May 29th, at Space 360 on Warren Street in Hudson.
A special feature of this year’s event was the “unveiling” of a gift of a Yamaha CP300 electronic piano, donated to the school’s music program by an anonymous past recipient of this award. Faculty member Eric Muller accepted this generous gift on behalf of the school, and gave the audience a highly entertaining “tour” of some of the capabilities of this remarkable instrument. He noted that this professional yet portable instrument will greatly enhance the school’s ability to provide musical accompaniment to events such as plays and graduations, as well as expanding the music program’s offerings for student musicians. The piano has a plaque attached which reads: “Bridging Worlds through Music – A Gift towards Music Education Inspired by the Henriette Reiss Award – In Memoriam William A. Ward”. In the fall there will be a special benefit concert to celebrate this gift.
Another highlight of the evening’s festivities was the screening of the award-winning short film “Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn” starring Joanna Merlin and directed by Ragnar Freidank. The annual Henriette Reiss festivals feature the artistic process itself as their theme, and this year the creation of a film was the focus. The director was present to discuss the making of this film, and a lively discussion followed the screening, with audience members commenting on the sense of the quiet beauty of everyday life conveyed by the film, and the remarkable relation between the actor and the camera.
The Reiss Award has been instrumental in furthering the artistic path of many young artists, and this year’s award was presented to Kristin Dalton by Seamus Maynard ’95, who received the Reiss Award in 2006 and has since launched a successful acting career. He spoke of how this award provided him with a confirmation of the validity of his artistic path at a time when the risky nature of such an undertaking was all too apparent.
Ms. Dalton’s primary artistic discipline is painting. She has worked as a painter in Wisconsin and Seattle, where she attended Cornish College of the Arts. In 2008 she returned to Columbia County and enrolled the following year in the Free Columbia painting course with instructors Laura Summer and Nathanial Williams. She is currently managing a gallery at Basilica Industria in Hudson.
In accepting the award, she referred to her desire to foster an arts community in Columbia County, and pledged to “pass on” this gesture of recognition to other struggling young artists. Some of her paintings were also on display at Space 360.
The warmth and hospitality which pervaded this event was enhanced by the gracious welcome offered by Ted Pugh as MC, and the event concluded with a friendly social gathering accompanied by magnificent refreshments by Julie Gale.