Claverack, New York
Business/Growth | Hard news | Local culture
18 September 2019 01:08PM
Betsy Miller


GHENT –Architect Robert Venturi called it “a shed”. It’s just a room with vaulted ceilings and lots of light attached to the side of an early two-story farmhouse. Something loads of residents would do, or have done, when moving to the country.

What’s different is the add-ons – including a 30-foot high façade of a Chinese pagoda, and the oversized letters adorning the balcony at the back of the house. They spell out LINCEOWITZ – a melding of the names of owners, Simon Lince, creative director of a design agency, and artist Cary Leibowitz. Then there is the life-size rendering in red, of a fireplace on one wall – providing plenty of whimsy and inspiration but maybe not all that much warmth.

Warmth – and energy, are the reasons for the Open House being held at LINCEOWITZ on Sunday, September 22nd between 2 and 5PM. TSL, an art and performance space in Hudson, is committed to pulling the plug on conventional power sources. Ninety-five solar panels are slated for installation on the roof of their Columbia Street building by the end of November. If the calendar flips over to 2020, solar incentives disappear so there is some urgency in raising the $75,000 needed. And that’s what this fundraiser is all about. Advance tickets can be purchased at https://timeandspace.org/calendar/linceowitz/. Those who attend will receive ‘LINCEOWITZ swag’ – a mug specially created for the occasion by Leibowitz.

Supporters will get a personal tour of the property by the co-owners who will delight in showing off their collections. (Leibowitz is a self-described hoarder.) Two hundred photographs of groups taken in front of Mt. Vernon might prompt reactions. Or several two-foot-high plaster statues of former presidents on display above an 18th century molded archway. Odd upholstery choices (Grandma Moses, anyone?) and the juxtaposition of original plaster with neon lighting take this living space to another level. Refreshments provided by co-hosts Verdigris Tea and Talbott & Arding will offer a bit of respite from the eclectic furnishings that includes Clark Gable’s backgammon set and Oprah’s sofa.

“Venturi called the addition a decorated shed,” Cary Liebowitz explained. “The façade outside was included in the plans as ‘a trellis’. We are nothing more than ‘gentlemen with a folly.’” Also, masters of understatement.

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