Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bill Pettit - Artist in Residence Reception 5/6

University Club Announces Sixth “Artist in Residence”

Bill Pettit to Exhibit Work from May-August 2016


In addition to paintings by Jonathan Bradley Morse and Walter Launt Palmer and sculpture by Terri Boor, the Living Room, Lobby and Dining Room of the University Club of Albany have long featured works from a variety of local artists.

From May – August, the University Club will present a solo exhibition of the works of William O. Pettit III, who will serve as the Club’s sixth Artist in Residence.

A Meet the Artist Reception will be held on 1st Friday, May 6 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the National Register-listed University Club at 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The reception is free and open to the public as part of the University Club’s participation in 1st Friday, the arts walk that showcases the lively art scene in downtown Albany. Guests are invited to stay on after the reception for live music in the Grille Room with Off the Record, the Capital District’s only rock n’ roll lounge band, from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Scheduled to run through Friday, August 26, the exhibition will be on view during public and special events at the Club, and by appointment with the artist, who will receive an honorary membership in the University Club for the duration of the show. Previous Artists in Residence were Ken Ragsdale, Channing Lefebvre, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Joleen Button and David Hinchen. Their work spanned many artistic disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, paper-craft, and photographs.

The proprietor of Pettit Design Studio, Bill Pettit has served for 14 years as the president of the Washington Park Neighborhood Association. While much of his work is inspired by the natural landscapes of the Hudson Valley and New England, the University Club exhibition will highlight his portraiture.

He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and attended Middlebury College. He teaches painting classes at the Albany Art Room and at the Urban Scholars Program for middle school students in the Albany School District at Siena College. He has a collection of more than 180 volumes of the same book, Moby Dick. Most editions are in English, but some are printed in Japanese, Chinese, Latvian, Icelandic and a number of other languages.

Pettit’s work has been exhibited at the Way Out Gallery in Rensselaerville, New York, an artist-run art gallery space bringing contemporary art to the Helderbergs in southern Albany County. He was a featured artist at the Upstate Artist Guild on Lark Street in 2009.

His interest in the fine arts extends beyond his own work, as he often hosts salons in his home to showcase the work of other artists. Pettit frequently donates artwork to benefit local not-for-profits, including Historic Albany Foundation’s BUILT and the Washington Park Conservancy’s September Splendor.

The Artist in Residence program furthers the University Club and Foundation’s commitment to promote the use of the historic Clubhouse as a venue for performing and visual arts as well as cultural events. It builds on the success of the October, 2011 Athletic Annex Exhibition curated by local artist Chip Fasciana. For 9 days, the University Club’s former fitness annex was transformed into a “pop up art gallery” with an exhibition featuring some 20 local and regional artists. The Athletic Annex Exhibition was part of MoHu – the Mohawk Hudson Art Festival featuring theatre, dance, music, visual and random acts of art throughout the region.

This event is presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc., and one need not be a member of the University Club to attend. The 501c3 Foundation which was formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming presented by the University Club Foundation is provided by AT&T. For more information call 414-3555 or visit www.universityclubalbany.com.


Author Darryl McGrath discusses "Flight Paths" - Tue. 5/3


University Club hosts Reception, Presentation and Book Signing 


Author and journalist Darryl McGrath will discuss and sign her book, Flight Paths: A Field Journal of Hope, Heartbreak, and Miracles with New York’s Bird People (SUNY Press, February 2016) on Tuesday, May 3 at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany at 141 Washington Avenue.

Many people know there’s a nesting box for Peregrine Falcons on the Dunn Memorial Bridge, but few know of the great, historic rescue effort that kept this bird from disappearing from our skies.

A meet the author reception will begin at 6:00 with the presentation commencing at 7:00. A book signing will follow the program, and books will be available for $20, which includes tax. The program is free but reservations are required and may be made by calling the Club at 518-414-3555; by sending an email to ellen@universityclubalbany.com; or on the Club’s website at www.universityclubalbany.com. Co-sponsored by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and the Audubon Society of the Capital Region, the event is sponsored by the University Club Foundation and one need not be a member of the University Club to attend.

In the late 1970s, the peregrine falcon was heading toward extinction, a victim of the pesticide DDT. Flight Paths tells the story of how a small group of New York biologists raced against nature’s clock to bring these beloved birds back from the brink in record-setting numbers.

In a narrative that reads like a suspense tale, Darryl McGrath documents the rescue project in never-before-published detail. At Cornell University, a team of scientists worked to crack the problem of how to breed peregrine falcons in captivity and then restore them to the wild.

McGrath interweaves this dramatic retelling with contemporary accounts of other at-risk species. She worked alongside biologists as they studied these elusive subjects in the Northeast’s most remote regions, and the result is a story that combines vivid narrative with accessible science and is as much a tribute to these experts as it is a call to action for threatened birds.

Darryl McGrath worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 20 years, and has written for the Times Union, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. She taught journalism and narrative writing at the University at Albany for 10 years. She is a lifelong bird enthusiast who saw some very remote parts of New York state while reporting her first book, Flight Paths. She lives in downtown Albany, where she sees peregrine falcons from her back windows, but she has a special love for some out-of-the-way canoeing spots in Rensselaer County. She is at work on her second book, which will be a compilation of the writing of her late husband, Times Union editorial writer Jim McGrath.

The University Club of Albany Foundation is a 501c3 corporation formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming at the University Club is provided by AT&T.
For more information about the University Club, visit www.universityclubalbany.com.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Grapes of the Hudson Valley - Talk & Tasting - 4/19



New York’s Hudson Valley has long been known as the birthplace of American viticulture, with roots dating to the 1600s. For centuries, the region’s terroir has tested both viticulturalist and wine maker alike, spawning advances in cold-weather breeding, grape growing, and winemaking techniques.

On Tuesday, April 19, author and winemaker J. Stephen Casscles will discuss and sign his book GRAPES OF THE HUDSON VALLEY and Other Cool Climate Regions of the United States and Canada (Flint Mine Press, June 2015) at the National Register-listed University Club at 141 Washington Avenue from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Casscles will share his first-hand knowledge both in the vineyard and in the cellar to appeal to vineyardists and wine drinkers everywhere who enjoy the cold-weather grape varietals that are gaining popularity today.

A meet the author reception and wine tasting presented by Hudson-Chatham Winery will begin at 6:00 with the presentation commencing at 7:00. A book signing will follow the program, and books will be available for $30.

GRAPES OF THE HUDSON VALLEY is a practical guide for those who have an affinity for hybrid grapes and wines. Casscles’ grape descriptions cover the common labrusca and French-American hybrids popular in northern America, as well as some forgotten varieties, and even vinifera that can be successfully grown east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

The book presents key information on winter hardiness, vigor, fruit productivity, and wine quality, and is a valuable companion for budding vineyardists, seasoned growers, and wine makers who share cool climates and short growing seasons. It will also appeal to wine drinkers everywhere who enjoy cold-weather grape varietals, properly fermented and in their glass.

Stephen Casscles comes from a fruit-growing family rooted in the Hudson Valley since the 1870s. Casscles’s own fruit-growing experience began in the 1970s, when he also produced his first wines. In 1990, he established a four-acre vineyard, Cedar Cliff, in Athens, NY, where he has concentrated on identifying, growing, evaluating, and propagating heirloom grape varieties that were first developed in New York in the mid-nineteenth century. Casscles has been the winemaker at Hudson-Chatham Winery since 2008.

There is no cost for the program but reservations are required and may be made by calling the University  Club Foundation at 518-414-3555 (please note new number); by sending an email to ellen@universityclubalbany.com; or online. The event is sponsored by the University Club Foundation and one need not be a member of the Club to attend.

Guests at this event are invited to dine at the University Club following the program. Please indicate the number in your party when you make your reservation so the Club can accommodate your seating request. Cash or credit cards will be accepted.

The University Club of Albany Foundation is a 501c3 corporation formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming at the University Club is provided by AT&T.
For more information about the University Club, visit www.universityclubalbany.com.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Midnight in Berlin - Author Talk with James MacManus - 4/22

University Club Foundation, English-Speaking Union Host Talk & Dinner 


British author James MacManus, Managing director of The Times Literary Supplement, will discuss and sign his latest historic novel, Midnight in Berlin (Thomas Dunne Books - April 19, 2016) on Friday, April 22 at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany at 141 Washington Avenue.

James MacManus’ other novels include The Language of the Sea, Black Venus and Sleep in Peace Tonight. In 2006, his film script about the life of British journalist George Hogg, based on his novel Ocean Devil, became a major motion picture titled The Children of Huang Shi starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. For more information, please visit www.jamesmacmanus.com.

A meet the author reception with light fare and cash bar will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:00 and the program commencing at 7:00. The cost for the reception and dinner is $30, or simply attend the talk at 7:00 p.m. A book signing will follow the program, and books will be available for $24 courtesy of The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Club at 518-414-3555; by sending an email to ellen@universityclubalbany.com; or online with a credit card or PayPal. The event is sponsored by the University Club Foundation and one need not be a member of the University Club to attend.

Midnight In Berlin is set in Germany in the spring of 1939. Hitler is preparing for war. Colonel Noel Macrae, a British diplomat, plans the ultimate sacrifice to stop him. The West’s appeasement policies have failed. There is only one alternative: assassination. The Gestapo, aware of Macrae’s hostility, seeks to compromise him in their infamous brothel. There Macrae meets and falls in love with Sara, a Jewish woman blackmailed into becoming a Nazi courtesan.

Macrae finds himself trapped between the blind policies of this government and the dark world of betrayal and deception in Berlin. As he seeks to save the woman he loves from the brutality of the Gestapo, he defies his government and plans direct action to avert what he knows will be a global war.  Inspired by true events, Midnight In Berlin is a love story set against a world on the brink of war.

The event is co-hosted by the Albany branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, a non-profit, non-political membership organization whose mission is to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in an expanding global community. It sponsors and organizes educational and cultural programs for students and teachers and provides lectures, social events, and travel opportunities for its members. The Albany Branch is one of 68 located throughout the United States and is part of a global network of ESUs in over 50 countries around the world. Visit www.esuus.org for more information.

The University Club of Albany Foundation is a 501c3 corporation formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming at the University Club is provided by AT&T.

For more information about the University Club, visit www.universityclubalbany.com.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lessons From a Bestseller - at NYS Museum 4/2


Steve Berry, NYT Bestselling Author, Kicks off  National Book Launch with “Lessons from a Bestseller” at the New York State Museum in Albany


Writer’s Workshop will mark release of The 14th Colony


Steve Berry, a master of thrillers with a historic twist, will launch the national tour for his latest book, The 14th Colony (Minotaur Books, April 5, 2016) in Albany with a writer’s workshop at the New York State Museum on Saturday, April 2, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This event is sponsored by the New York State Museum and the University Club of Albany Foundation with support from the New York State Writers Institute; the History Department of the University at Albany, SUNY; Historic Albany Foundation and Partners for Albany Stories.

Lessons from a Bestseller will take place in the Huxley Theater on the first floor of the New York State Museum at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany, and a selection of military artifacts from the museum’s collections dating to the 18th and 19th centuries will be on display for participants.

The workshop covers all aspects of fiction writing from structure and point of view to dialogue and character, and much more. The material is also appropriate for memoir, creative non-fiction and historical writing. Steve Berry’s wife, Elizabeth, executive director of International Thriller Writers, will lead a session at the workshop on the Business of Publishing.

The cost for the Writer’s Workshop, which includes refreshments, is $75. Books will be available for purchase and signing for $25, courtesy of the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. Reservations may be made by calling the University Club at 518-414-3555 or online with a credit card or PayPal.

Berry is an author and philanthropist whose foundation, History Matters, raises funds for a wide variety of historic preservation projects around the world. He is a fixture on the New York Times bestseller lists with 20 million books in print in 40 languages in 51 countries.

In his latest book, The 14th Colony, Berry asks the question, “What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office?” The answer is nothing short of total political chaos. Steve Berry’s trademark mix of fact, fiction, history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller. Kirkus Review writes, “Cotton Malone of the Magellan Billet, the Justice Department’s elite intelligence group, once again yanks the U.S. back from the precipice of annihilation.”

Steve and Elizabeth Berry have traveled the world researching Steve’s many books, and saw the effects of dwindling funds dedicated to preserving our heritage. They launched History Matters to assist communities around the world with historic preservation. The foundation supports the cost of their travel and he accepts no appearance fee.

Known for his meticulously researched best-selling thrillers with a historical twist, in Lessons from a Bestseller, Steve includes personal instruction on both fundamentals and advanced techniques applicable to everything from fiction to non-fiction, including suspense, memoir, romance, literary fiction, history and so much more.  Steve is a consummate presenter with an upbeat and encouraging style.  Steve knows how to keep readers turning the pages and buying books. He will share in an easy-to-understand manner all the important aspects about the craft of writing, including:


  • The Four “C’s” of Writing - How to structure books for maximum impact.
  • Point of View and Dialog - How much dialog should there be, and how it should be included.
  • 12 Rules of Writing - The rules Steve learned during his early years that give writers the basic information they will need to craft their own story.
  • The Business of Publishing - International Thriller Writers’ Executive Director Elizabeth Berry joins Steve to explain how to promote your work to agents, editors and publishers.

Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the program will start at 9:30 a.m. sharp and run in 50-minute segments with 10-minute breaks, concluding at 1:30 p.m. The Berrys will be available after the workshop for questions.

The University Club of Albany Foundation, a 501c3 corporation, was established in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property. A portion of the proceeds from Lessons from a Bestseller will support heritage tourism efforts in the City of Albany.

 In 2012 and 2013 Steve’s devotion to historic preservation was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve their spokesperson for National Preservation Week. Among his other honors is the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the 2013 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award given by Poets & Writers; the 2013 Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and the Silver Bullet, bestowed in 2013 by International Thriller Writers for his philanthropic work.

History Happy Hour - Friday 4/1

Steve Berry, NYT Bestselling Author, Kicks off National Book Launch with two events at University Club, New York State Museum in Albany


History Happy Hour, Writer’s Workshop will mark release of The 14th Colony


Steve Berry, a master of thrillers with a historic twist, will launch the national tour for his latest book, The 14th Colony (Minotaur Books, April 5, 2016), at a History Happy Hour on Friday, April 1 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue. One need not be a member of the University Club to attend.

The History Happy Hour will be followed by “Lessons from a Bestseller” at the New York State Museum on Saturday, April 2, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by the New York State Museum, and more information on the writer’s workshop is online.

Berry is an author and philanthropist whose foundation, History Matters, raises funds for a wide variety of historic preservation projects around the world. He is a fixture on the New York Times bestseller lists with 20 million books in print in 40 languages in 51 countries.

In his latest book, The 14th Colony, Berry asks the question, “What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office?” The answer is nothing short of total political chaos. Steve Berry’s trademark mix of fact, fiction, history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller. Kirkus Review writes, “Cotton Malone of the Magellan Billet, the Justice Department’s elite intelligence group, once again yanks the U.S. back from the precipice of annihilation.”

History Happy Hour is the 4th in a series of popular events presented in partnership with the Museum Association of New York (MANY); Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center; and Partners for Albany Stories (PASt); and sponsored by the Albany Institute of History & Art; Historic Albany Foundation; Friends of Schuyler Mansion; Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area; and the City of Albany Office of Special Events and Cultural Affairs. The event is hosted by the University Club of Albany Foundation.

History Happy Hour includes a Meet the Author reception at 5:30 p.m. with savory hors d’oeuvres followed by a talk featuring Berry’s well-known wit and historical insight at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person in advance, $25 at the door. Books will be available for purchase and signing for $25 courtesy of the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. Reservations may be made by calling the University Club at 518-414-3555 or online with a credit card or PayPal. Books may also be reserved / purchased in advance.

Guests are invited to stay for an after-party with music from Geo Doody in the Grille Room from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Geo plays the music from the 1940s to today, a mix of Rock, Pop, R&B, and Irish Pub Standards. He’s a self-described history nerd – perfect for History Happy Hour!
Steve Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, have traveled the world researching Steve’s many books, and saw the effects of dwindling funds dedicated to preserving our heritage. They launched History Matters to assist communities around the world with historic restoration and preservation. The foundation supports the cost of their travel and he accepts no appearance fee.

The University Club of Albany Foundation, a 501c3 corporation, was established in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property. A portion of the proceeds from the event will support heritage tourism efforts in the City of Albany.

In 2012 and 2013 Steve’s devotion to historic preservation was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve their spokesperson for National Preservation Week. Among his other honors is the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the 2013 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award given by Poets & Writers; the 2013 Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and the Silver Bullet, bestowed in 2013 by International Thriller Writers for his philanthropic work.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Meet the Author of Kill Jeff Davis: The Union Raid on Richmond, 1864 - 3/29


University Club Hosts Talk & Signing with Bruce Venter


Historians have largely neglected the story of Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick’s 1864 raid on Richmond, Virginia – ostensibly organized to free some 13,000 Union men held at Libby Prison and on Belle Isle. Now, recently-uncovered primary sources paint a different picture of what really happened on those wet, snowy days in February and March more than a century and a half ago.

On Tuesday, March 29, author and historian Dr. Bruce M. Venter will discuss and sign his book Kill Jeff Davis: The Union Raid on Richmond, 1864 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016) at the National Register-listed University Club at 141 Washington Avenue from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

A meet the author reception will begin at 6:00 with the presentation commencing at 7:00. A book signing will follow the program, and books will be available for $25.

RSVP


In this detailed and deeply researched account of the most famous cavalry raid of the Civil War, Venter describes an expedition that was carefully planned but poorly executed. A host of factors foiled the raid: bad weather, poor logistics, inadequate command and control, ignorance of the terrain, the failures of supporting forces, and the leaders’ personal and professional shortcomings. Venter delves into the background and consequences of the debacle, beginning with the political maneuvering orchestrated by commanding brigadier general Judson Kilpatrick to persuade President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to approve the raid. Venter’s examination of the relationship between Kilpatrick and Brigadier General George A. Custer illuminates the reasons why the flamboyant Custer was excluded from the Richmond raid.

The purported goal of the controversial Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond (February 28–March 3, 1864) was to free some 13,000 Union prisoners of war held in the Confederate capital. But orders found on the dead body of the raid’s subordinate commander, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, point instead to a plot to capture or kill Confederate president Jefferson Davis and set Richmond ablaze. What really happened, and how and why, are debated to this day. Kill Jeff Davis offers a fresh look at the failed raid and mines newly discovered documents and little-known sources to provide definitive answers.

In a lively narrative describing the multiple problems that beset the raiders, Kill Jeff Davis uncovers new details about the African American guide whom Dahlgren ordered hanged; the defenders of the Confederate capital, who were not just the “old men and young boys” of popular lore; and General Benjamin F. Butler’s expedition to capture Davis, as well as Custer’s diversionary raid on Charlottesville.

Venter’s thoughtful reinterpretations and well-reasoned observations put to rest many myths and misperceptions. He tells, at last, the full story of this hotly contested moment in Civil War history.
A veteran of 26 years of service in the Albany City School District, Bruce Venter is president of America’s History, LLC, a tour and conference company. This company is best known for its highly successful annual conference on the American Revolution. Bruce is a past president of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, has written articles for Blue and Gray and Civil War magazines and lectures frequently on Union cavalry topics. He will be leading a Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid tour in April for America's History.

There is no cost for the program but reservations are required and may be made by calling the Club at 518-463-1151; by sending an email to ellen@universityclubalbany.com; or on the Club’s website at www.universityclubalbany.com. The event is sponsored by the University Club Foundation and one need not be a member of the Club to attend.

The University Club of Albany Foundation is a 501c3 corporation formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming at the University Club is provided by AT&T.

For more information about the University Club, visit www.universityclubalbany.com.