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Kashinski new head of Arts Collective

By Jason Kaplan


The Cornwall Local

November 20, 2019


The Cornwall Arts Collective is just over a year old and has a new chairperson at the helm. Rebecca Kashinski was nominated for the position, in September, and she graciously accepted the title formerly held by Jay LeRoy, founder of the Collective.

“I think this is a really great idea Jay came up with,” Kashinski said. “I really wanted to see it move forward. It was unfortunate he had to step back from it, but I was definitely willing to take up the reins and try to see where we can go from here.”

Kashinski, a member of the Arts Collective since it started, went to school in Pennsylvania where she became certified in fine art and concentrated in photography. Nine years ago she moved to Cornwall and has lived here ever since. For several years she worked for the Cornwall Public Library while continuing to take photographs on the side. A few years ago she decided to become more involved with photography. She’s a member of the Orange County Arts Council and her work has appeared in a number of shows.

“I really like that you can take this moment, whatever that moment is, and just freeze it in time forever,” Kashinski said of photography. “There’s not ever going to be a moment like that again. You can try to repeat the scene, but somehow it will be different from one shot to the next. I like the idea of preserving history, preserving art, preserving life.”

Over the last year, the Cornwall Arts Collective has doubled its number of members. Kashinski said 20 members is a good base comprising a variety of different artists such as painters, photographers, visual artists, performing artists, and crafters. Members don’t necessarily have to be artists either; they can just be art supporters.

The Collective had been meeting once a month on Thursdays, but the group is trying to nail down a specific date each month to meet. Meetings typically entail the discussion of individual projects, exhibit opportunities, as well as what the group can do moving forward. The members are currently organizing an art show at 2 Alices for January.

Kashinski said she’d like to see the Collective partner with the Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce to bring more art events to Cornwall. She suggested organizing an art walk in the spring or summer and having artists match up with local business owners to have their work put on display.

If all the cards fell into place, Kashinski said, “It would be great if the collective had a space in town to hold exhibits and demonstrations, workshops, lectures, open mic nights, and music nights.”

The Cornwall Arts Collective is currently seeking new members to sign up for next year. A yearly membership fee helps publicize future shows, create buttons with the Collective’s logo, and other incidentals. To register, visit

Library to host Arts Collective show

By Jason Kaplan


The Cornwall Local

May 3, 2019

When the Cornwall Arts Collective met after the holidays the members discussed what they wanted to accomplish during the year. One of the goals was to hold group shows. From 1 to 3 p.m., on May 11, the Cornwall Public Library will host an artists reception to kick off the art exhibit.

The exhibit, which will be on display from May 3 through June 26, will feature the work of eight area artists. About 18 pieces, of varying media, will be on display. The exhibit will
include photography, acrylic and oil paintings, mixed media pieces, and ink.

The theme of the exhibit, “The Natural World,” gives the artists an opportunity to interpret the world around them in many ways, from representational to abstract.

“The title of the group show was decided through a group poll,” said Arts Collective founder Jay LeRoy.  “Other potential themes included ‘dreams’ or ‘literature’ but eventually we decided ‘nature’ was more accessible while still allowing for a broad range of interpretation.”

The show at the library won’t be the last for the Arts Collective. Another group show is scheduled at 2 Alices Coffee Lounge, in Newburgh. It will run from July through September and will feature a general showcase of members’ artwork.

For more information and to support the Cornwall Arts Collective, visit, or follow the group on Facebook and Instagram.

The group welcomes all artists, whether or not they are residents of Cornwall. It is in this open spirit that Cornwall Arts Collective works to cultivate greater appreciation of the arts, and to value those who create it.

Shoppers buy into supporting local business

By Jason Kaplan


The Cornwall Local

November 30, 2018

Retailers had their day, banking billions of dollars during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not to be forgotten, however, are the local businesses who had a day of their own.

Small Business Saturday was held Nov. 24, and as in the previous six years, residents came from near and far to participate in the Shop Hop. Thirty-three stores, in the town and village, as well as the Cornwall Arts Collective and the Cornwall Historical Society participated.

Like every year, the importance of shopping locally was the main theme.


“It’s what keeps our economy thriving and makes us a desireable place to live,” said Jennifer Vanderberg, who has participated in the shop hop for four years along with her daughter, Grace. Vanderberg said she has friends who own businesses on Main Street.

Lois Raymond and Dale Conklin, two of the 30 crafters who contribute product to Creative Gifts and More, said shopping locally allows customers the opportunity to purchase a variety unique, hand-made gifts.

“There’s a lot of talent in Cornwall and around Cornwall,” said Jay LeRoy, organizer of the Cornwall Arts Collective. “It’s [the Shop Hop] a chance for exposure not only for the collective, but the artists as well. I would love it if people would buy original art from artists because it makes for a more unique gift than something mass produced in the store. It supports local artists and keeps money in the local economy.”

Corie Cronin heard the message loud and clear. The Newburgh resident decided to participate for the first time this year because her family had done it in the past. She said it was important to her to keep the community going by not patronizing the big box stores.

The Shop Hop also provided the opportunity for the over 120 participants to visit all the locations and have their card stamped in order to be eligible for the grand prize - a basket containing gifts from all the businesses involved.

Vanderberg said she’s completed her scorecard every year, but has yet to win the grand prize. Her strategy was to visit all the shops in the town then the village, finally ending her day at Jones Farm where she and Grace could warm up with cups of hot cider.

Scorecards are still being collected and the winner of the grand prize will be announced soon.

Art Collective continues to grow
By Jason Kaplan


The Cornwall Local

October 19, 2018

The Cornwall Arts Collective is picking up steam and already has its third monthly meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 at The Shops at 277 Main.

The fledgling group is slowly growing and already has 12 members from the New Windsor/Cornwall area. So far the collective is made up of photographers, painters, illustrators, graphic designers, and crafters, but organizer Jay LeRoy said the arts encompass more than just visual media.

“I think most people have a narrow idea of what consists of art,” he said. “It’s open to jewelry makers, metal workers, glass blowers, fashion designers, poets, writers and more.”

The collective accepts any artist and is not limited to those who live in the immediate area.

Meetings are open to those interested in learning more about the collective or who may be considering joining.

During September’s meeting, the group discussed how artists can use social media to promote themselves and their artwork.

“The Internet is like the great equalizer,” LeRoy said. ”You don’t necessarily need to have an agent or a gallery to represent you. It helps, but now with the Internet, artists can take their careers and promotions into their own hands to get stuff out there to people they might not be able to reach otherwise.”

Getting people to visit social media sites requires artists to be full time self promoters. Artists have to know the right hashtags to use to increase traffic, as well as network with the right people.

Also discussed was funding for artists. LeRoy said websites like Patreon, Kickstarter, or GoFundMe allow art aficionados to fund an artist’s project. The benefit is a physical or digital reward, or possibly receipt of exclusive content not found anywhere else.

“I think in this day and age where everything is so mass produced, people just take it for granted and they don’t appreciate how much time and effort, resources, and money goes into making artwork,” said LeRoy.

Finally, the collective began making plans for art events next year. Some ideas being tossed around include a public art installation, art shows for members, as well as an art walk or some sort of art festival. A field trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art is also being planned and would be open to members and non-members.

The next meeting’s agenda will include finalizing details for the Nov. 24 Shop Hop Artists Alley. The collective will be on the scorecard and artists will have their work for sale in front of The Shops at 277 Main in Cornwall.

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