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Noteworthy happenings in the Hudson Valley

Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vassar College Photo Exhibit Preview, “150 Years Later"
By Robert Lachman

This year marks the 150th anniversary of  Vassar College. Founded as a woman’s college in 1861, Vassar became coeducational in 1969 and is one of the preeminent private colleges in America. To help celebrate this anniversary, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is presenting a special photography exhibit beginning January 28th entitled “150 Years Later: New Photography by Tina Barney, Tim Davis and Katherine Newbegin.”

A show of diversity

Art Center Curator, Mary-Kay Lombino, wanted to show off modern campus life and she wanted to do it with photographs. “I’m curator of photography here and the Loeb center is one of the few places you can go to see photography in the area,” Mary-Kay says. “The idea of the show is diversity and forgoes the typical view of Vassar people usually see.” She is excited that the three commissioned photographers focused on aspects of campus life that hide beneath the surface.

Three photographers, one show

The show explores Vassar today with each artist portraying different aspects of the Vassar experience. Barney shot intimate student portraits,  Newbegin found the hidden spaces beneath the surface and Davis portrayed the chaos and humor behind campus life. “They have pieced together a portrait of Vassar that reveals as much about the artists’ interests as it does about their subject,” Mary-Kay explains.“150 Years Later” is on display at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY. The exhibit runs from January 28th to March 27th. For more information, call 845-437-5632.

Winter Road Trips:
Heritage Site Guidebook: A good way to fight cabin fever this season

Our Hudson Valley Life readers are always looking for good road trips. They tell us they want excuses to pile into the car and visit some interesting places, rather than sit around the house this winter. The new Heritage Site Guidebook offers 100  historic places to visit in the Hudson Valley! The guide is the brainchild of The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. The featured sites are organized geographically and according to themes such as “Art,” “Environment,” and “the Revolutionary War.” The goal is to encourage visitors to explore not only the places shown in the guidebook, but also the communities they encounter along the way. Tourism officials are hoping the guidebook will give the Hudson Valley’s $4.7 billion dollar tourism economy a boost this season. The guidebook costs $9.95 plus shipping and handling and can be purchased through the web site: Hudsonrivervalley.com.

Back pain remedy
By Roanne Patterson, HV  Life staffer

The halsa wellness acupressre mat is an odd-looking item that's longer and wider than most torsos. The Swedish designed mat is for home use. It can be positioned on the floor or bed. Getting onto it is a bit tricky, but once you’re lying flat on your back, there's a feeling of support that’s pleasant. This writer, who does suffer from occasional back pain, could feel the blood flowing with each passing minute. According to the product description, the mat has 8,820 spikes to stimulate the user’s acupressure points. It promotes a sensation of warmth that can feel rejuvenating.

The mat is new on the market, but this healing accoutrement has its roots in India where spike mats were first used 5,000 years ago by fakirs and yogis to release physical, mental and emotional blocks.

In search of a second opinion, this writer took the mat to a chiropractor, Dr. Michael Raucci of Walden. He says it should be called the “pressure points mat” rather than “acupressure.” That’s because the pressure from the spikes is uniform, whereas acupressure is specific and targeted to a particular spot.According to the manual that comes with the mat, it “can be used by anyone who wants to increase their energy levels and live a healthier life.” It’s recommended that the mat be used on bare skin and for about 10 minutes a day. The halsa welness mat sells for $39.95 and can be purchased online at stuffjunction.com.

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