Surreal at SAW

By Patrick Daley

Chronicle Staff Writer

June 11th, 2015

Have you ever gotten the feeling that you're stuck in a dream? Inside a Movie? I was feeling that way much of the day this past Saturday at Salem Art Works' Sculpture Park party. 

A few friends and I made the 45-minute drive from Glens Falls toSalem to see the North & South Dakotas perform, check out the revamped sculpture park and camp at the 120 acre art center that formerly operated as a dairy farm. Despite some high winds and cool temps, the setting had the roughly 200 visitors' spirits high.

With the North and South Dakotas' tight country harmonies issuing from beneath a massive abstract sculpture by Mark di Suvero and the setting sun coloring the hills of Washington County ("God's Country," as my brother says) and the Green Mountains of Vermont, i thought, "is this real life?'

Following the concert, we warmed up to our fellow campers (hailing from Troy, Schenectady, Clifton Park) around a large fire and then a group of us followed the train tracks to the Salem Tavern, where we shot pool and listened to a SAW artist spinning vintage records. I felt like i was at Martini's Bar in It's a Wonderful Life

Sunday morning was pleasant, and SAW staff cooked up a hearty breakfast of bacon, waffles. home fries, eggs and fruit in the communal outdoor kitchen. All told, we spent very little money and had a whole lot of fun. we made friends from far away as switzerland, Australia and England. 

It still fells like most visitors to SAW are somehow "in the know." And as much as I'd like to keep it for myself, I owe it to SAW founder and director Anthony Cafritz, julia Johnson (my Chronicle point person) and the entire SAW staff to tell you, Chronicle readers: Get out to Salem Art Works.

Make the beautiful drive out for a special event, or a pop in to the Cary Hill Sculpture Park on any given day, year round, from dawn until dusk. just call ahead if you want to camp or if you'd like a tour.