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Art Beat

100 percent art: the first issue of 200 Proof Magazine.

ART FORUM: “The goal of 200 Proof Magazine is to provide a quarterly forum for the dissemination of quality art and literature from the Capital Region and beyond.” With this ambitious mission statement, a new, large-format publication makes its debut. The spawn of Jordan Greenhalgh’s Chase Factory (don’t ask what a Chase Factory is, they don’t even know), 200 Proof Magazine is put together by present and past students of UAlbany, College of Saint Rose and Hudson Valley Community College. Matthew Bishop is editor-in-chief; Naomi Kriss is literary editor. If you can get your hands on a copy (and you’ll need both hands, it’s big) you’ll find an impressive mix of art, poetry and fiction. You can see the art featured in issue no. 1 on display at Albany’s Uncommon Grounds through the end of January; promotional copies will be available, we are told, around town in coffee shops of all shapes and sizes. Also, the magazine is cosponsoring Lunchboxed, a single day showing of lunchbox art, at the Rathbone Gallery at Albany’s Sage College campus on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 5 to 10 PM. For info about obtaining copies (the magazine will eventually retail for $4) or having your art featured in 200 Proof Magazine, send an e-mail to: twohun dredproofsubmissions@yahoo.com.

HAVE YOU GOT THE FUNK? Another big hello to a new, slightly bigger-than-pocket-size glossy quarterly titled 20 Pages of Funk. (Apparently, it’s a new year and everyone’s got the publishing bug.) According to the first article in the magazine, founder and advertising director Toby Silvermann explains that he felt “scorned” by the mainstream media—namely, Albany’s Times Union—and decided to create 20 Pages of Funk for “the underground DJs.” What will the curious reader find on these 20 pages? Articles on DJs, dance, new CDs, fashion, art and underground clubs in Prague. (Prague?) Pictures of young, attractive people making faces. There’s even a snap, on page 11, of Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings. (Hey ladies: Shake it like a Polaroid picture.) Also in Silvermann’s opening “declaration of principles,” so to speak, is what sounds like a DJ declaration of war on musicians: “It seems like cookie-cutter bands emerge daily, here to bore us all with their new twist on something old. . . . Bars and clubs need to hire more dj’s. We are cheaper and have less equipment.” Me-ow. Visit them on line at www.20pagesoffunk.com.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE MORE TIME: You thought we were already into the new year. Nyet. Not by the old Russian calendar, anyway. The Pleshakov Music Center (544 Warren St., Hudson) will host their third annual Russian New Year Old Style party on Saturday, Jan. 17. There will be Russian gourmet food and a variety of interesting beverages, including a flaming punch. A balalaika and bayan duo, dressed in traditional costumes, will perform folk and dance music. There’s a purpose to the party, too: It is intended to kick off a fund-raising effort to preserve both the center, founded by Vladimir Pleshakov and Elena Winther, and its collection of rare musical instruments. Tickets aren’t cheap—$100 per person—but, then again, maintaining a performing arts center and a number of antique pianos isn’t cheap either. For reservations, call 671-7171.

NEW FICTION: Area author Eugene K. Garber has been acclaimed by the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, as well as some guy named William Kennedy. Tonight, (Thursday Jan. 15), Garber will read from Beasts in Their Wisdom, his new collection of short fiction, at 7:30 PM at the Arts Center of the Capital Region (265 River St., Troy). Garber, a UAlbany Professor Emeritus (English department), has won numerous awards for his work, which has been described by Kennedy as “provocative . . . vividly written and full of surprises.” In addition to the reading, there will be a display of artwork by Lynn Hassan, whose paintings are included on the cover and throughout Beasts in Their Wisdom. The reading presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call 273-0552.

—Shawn Stone

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