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Contemporary Catskill Watercolors

  • Catskill Center 43355 Route 28 Arkville, NY, 12406 United States (map)

Contemporary Catskills Watercolors will be on display at the Erpf Gallery October 24, 2015 through January 8, 2016 (open M-F 9 am - 4 pm, all other times by appointment), and will feature the Catskill paintings of Michael Mendel. An Artist’s Reception will be held on Saturday, October 24, from 2-4 PM, at the Erpf Center in Arkville.  

Michael Mendel, born in Berlin, Germany (1934) together with his parents Elizabeth and Julius, fled the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler in the fall of 1938, coming to America in 1940 by way of Holland and Cuba. A graduate of The City College of New York ('56), Mendel made art and design his career. He opened his own graphic design studio in 1979 and his 30 years of creative work on LP jackets covered all musical genres, designing the packages for top recording stars in not only Rock, but in Pop, Classical, R&B, Country & Western, Broadway Cast recordings and Motion Picture Soundtracks. He created record album covers for artists like Etta James, Tony Bennett, Gladys Knight, The N.Y. Philharmonic, The Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, Yardbirds, Donovan, Box Tops, Tommy James, Beach Boys, and hundreds of others. Soundtrack LP’s included "The Godfather" and "Serpico." 

As a watercolorist, Mendel's work has been labeled as "representational." He has participated in group exhibitions at The National Arts Club in New York City, Lyme Art Association Old Lyme Connecticut, Woodstock Arts Fair and The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit in lower Manhattan. Mendel winters in Riverdale, New York and summers at his 100 year-old farmhouse in the Delaware County village of Fleischmanns. His paintings focus on everyday objects, views and activities from the Catskill region. 

When describing his watercolor work, Michael Mendel explains, “I don't actively try to connect with nature when I paint, nor do I invite viewers to have an out-of-body experience when they look at a specific painting. There are no hidden meanings or messages in my work. What you see is what I saw! I'm a simple guy with a few tubes of paint, a couple of brushes and decent quality, long-lasting watercolor paper. However, 100% of the time, the subject matter of every painting I create is of something that I've witnessed, experienced and really enjoyed looking at. 

Before starting a new painting I always ask myself, "Will someone else enjoy this scene as much as I do?" And then I'll ponder, "Will it stand the test of time?" If I respond YES to these simple questions, I will proceed!”

Catskill Paintings is on display through January 8, 2016. The Erpf Gallery is open M-F from 9:00-4:00, all other times by appointment. For more information, contact the Catskill Center at 845-586-2611,, or visit