Time and Time Again

An exhibit of 12 digital photo collages – blended images of historic and contemporary photographs – will be on view at the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown’s (HSM) Annual Meeting Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Old Halcottsville Grange Hall, Main Street, Halcottsville (just off Route 30, between Margaretville and Roxbury).

T and T agn, lake swtz smlr

Lake Switzerland, Fleischmanns, then and now

 “Middletown: Time and Time Again,” by photographer and artist Michael Musante, will be previewed at this event before going on longer display at a local venue to be announced. The project, a visual investigation into the effects and consequences of the passing of time, was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group.

The Halcottsville Fire Department Auxiliary will prepare a locally sourced autumn meal of cider-glazed chicken cutlets, green beans, baked potato, corn chowder, red cabbage salad and apple crisp. Luncheon begins at noon. Reservations are required as space is limited. Call HSM Treasurer Marilyn Pitetti at 845-586-2860 to reserve your seat before Oct. 15.

A business meeting will follow lunch and will include election of HSM Executive Committee members, a report on the group’s activities over the past year, and an exciting announcement about future plans. Memberships will be taken or renewed, and those attending will have an opportunity to suggest programs and activities for the coming year.

Michael Musante will be present to discuss the “Time and Time Again” project. The Deposit artist is a native of New Jersey and a graduate of the Pratt Institute where he majored in photography and minored in graphic design and architecture. He served as staff photographer for a number of studios in New Jersey and New York and has exhibited at galleries and art shows throughout the region, from Rockland County to Cooperstown. He is a member of the Catskill Artisans Guild in Margaretville.

Each photo digital collage in this exhibit is assembled from two images, an old and a new photograph of the same scene. The process is the result of three principle steps. First, a historic photograph or photo postcard of a known location is found and scanned into the computer. Next, the exact point of view of the first photo must be found within inches and a new image is taken using a digital camera. Finally, the old and new photos are perfectly sized and aligned in the computer, as if on tracing paper. One image can then be revealed through the other, thereby creating a juxtaposition of old and new.

HSM President Diane Galusha said the organization is proud to have sponsored this remarkable project.

“This is an ideal way to make history relevant in a very visual way — to actually ‘see’ the buildings that we pass without a second glance, to understand that others, now gone, have lived in, worked in, passed by these same buildings in their own time,” she said. “The community can only benefit when its residents recognize that they are part of the continuum of this place, and that it is in all our best interests to protect and preserve the physical spaces that connect us to the past.”

For more information on the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, and to view dozens of historic images, visit www.mtownhistory.org

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