Visitors to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside on Sunday, May 13, 2007, can enjoy a different kind of gift for Mother’s Day—watching art being created while dining on festive lunches in a picturesque, outdoor setting. The event, which begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., features more than a dozen artists scattered around the romantic grounds creating new works on site.
Artists-on-the-Hudson provides visitors with a rare opportunity to view the process of art being created and to ask the artists questions. In addition, children and adults are invited to borrow art materials provided by Sunnyside, which is owned and operated by Historic Hudson Valley, to create their own works. Besides watercolor supplies, Sunnyside “then and now” paper is available, which features a reproduction of an 1850’s painting of Sunnyside on one side, and a hand-drawn “frame” on the other side waiting to be filled with current views of Sunnyside. Visitors who bring a camera can capture their loved ones posing inside a life-size picture frame.
Artists taking part include Kevin Cook of New Paltz, Lynda Fassa of Tarrytown, Margaret Leveson of Brooklyn, Helene Manzo of Brooklyn, Costanza Baiocco of Manhattan, Ronnie Levine of Tarrytown, Elaine Friedman of New Rochelle, Phyllis Tarlow of Hartsdale, Betsy Leitzes of Irvington, and Jan Aiello of Croton.
New this year, children can take part in an interactive discovery hunt, learning what Washington Irving loved about Sunnyside, and finding their own favorite details of the lush landscape.
Linda Russell and Friends will be on hand serenading visitors with songs of love, children, motherhood, and spring. The Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Arts Council are hosting a crafts table that will allow children to make tokens of affection for the women in their lives.
Visitors are welcome to dine among the lush, whimsical landscape designed and planted by Irving, considered America’s “founding father of literature.” Festive lunches from Geordanes Market in Irvington can be ordered in advance, providing an easy and welcome option for lunch.
Menu options include gourmet sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, and for dessert, key lime tarts and chocolate chip cookies. Picnic lunches, which will be delivered to Sunnyside on Mother’s Day, may be reserved with a credit card by calling 914-631-8200 ext. 618. The full menu can be downloaded at www.hudsonvalley.org.
At 4 p.m., the artists’ work will be displayed in Sunnyside’s courtyard and all are invited to a lemonade and cookie reception.
The event pays homage to Sunnyside’s prominence in the 19th century as a symbol of the American Romantic movement and American home life. That time period’s renowned landscape designer and tastemaker Andrew Jackson Downing touted Sunnyside as worthy of emulation by the middle class, and so it was often featured in a variety of media, including print and paintings. The cottage was coined “America’s Home” and it appeared on everything from cigar boxes to sheet music.
Admission to Sunnyside is $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and students 18-25 with ID; $6 for children under age 5; and free for HHV members and children under 5. Artists-on-the-Hudson is held rain or shine. For information visit www.hudsonvalley.org. Washington Irving’s Sunnyside is at 89 West Sunnyside Lane in Tarrytown, one mile south of the Tappan Zee Bridge, off Route 9.