Philippe Petit, Peter Schickele & Jane Bloodgood-Abrams to receive “The ASKar”

The ASK Award for Artistic Excellence and Innovation, nicknamed “The ASKAR,” designed by Katharine L. McKenna, fabricated by Scott Kolb.

The Art Society of Kingston (ASK)’s upcoming gala at the Steel House on Saturday, May 19 honors three very different artists: Philippe Petit, the “poet laureate” of the highwire, most famous for his extraordinarily daring highwire walk between the tops of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, who is also an accomplished juggler, author, lockpicker, chess-player and motivational lecturer; Peter Schickele, the prolific composer, genre-crossing musician, author, radio host and satirist whose fictional creation P. D. Q. Bach is a household name (and believed by some to be actual progeny of J. S. Bach); and Kingston’s own Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, whose luminous landscapes of mountains, rivers and valleys have been exhibited throughout the US and in Italy, Austria and Germany, earning her an entry in Who’s Who in American Art.

But having a chance to chat with each of these uniquely talented individuals (plus viewing a painting by Bloodgood-Abrams) and benefiting ASK isn’t the only reason to attend the gala, which will be held from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the restaurant, located in a former foundry, on the Kingston waterfront. There are hors d’oeuvres, dinner, a cash bar and a silent auction starting at 5 p.m. And there’s a variety of entertainment, starting with the crooning of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by a singer from the Woodstock Youth Theater. The swing dance combo Got2Lindy will perform one of its high-octane dance routines to a 1940s Big Band recording; and the Castaway Players, the Saugerties-based theater group of mainly young people that’s brimming over with energy and talent, will perform a scene from an upcoming musical. Brandon Chrisjohn will wind up the entertainment by creating a painting set to music, with the finished product auctioned off.

For tickets and reservations, visit




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