The Union Arts Center is Back

We are happy to report that the Union Arts Center in Sparkill is alive and well. Back in 2011, Piermont resident Simon Basner restored the historic brick structure, which was built in the late 1800s, and created the Union Arts Center as a home for a variety of creative endeavors. Chef Kevin Reilly along with partner Maria Santini, who own and operate Roost, an American-styled brasserie, leased the building just as the Covid virus was taking off. With renovations completed four months later including the installation of a live-fire charcoal grill, Roost moved around the block into the Center’s first floor. Throughout the pandemic, the restaurant stayed open offering a complete menu and signature drinks for takeout. Their new space with its high ceilings, large garage-style opening in front and outdoor dining just beyond is well suited now that it is considered safe for dining out.

With their successful restaurant in hand, the pair turned their attention to bringing happenings back to the Union Arts Center with events planned for the second-floor gallery space. September saw the return of live music with jazz performances from renowned musicians in a cabaret-like atmosphere with drinks and small bites. Mid-September a photographic show opened. Glorious Impressions, presented in collaboration with Rockefeller State Park Preserve, features the work of professional photographers Bobbi Land, Lee Varis and Michael Graber. The show runs until November 1 and can be viewed during the hours Roost is open or by appointment (call 845-359-0258). A new art show will open on November 3, running through January 31. "Perspectives," Photographs by Mitch Eiss, is in Gallery One and in Gallery Two, "Abstracts," Acrylics with Mixed Media, by Eileen Karadashian will be featured.

As for music in this acoustically enhanced space, there are classical performances coming up Sunday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the Sparkill Concert Series of Union Arts Center. The first on October 24, is a two-piano extravaganza, featuring three pianists - Vassily Primakov, Natalia Lavrova and Oxana Mikhailoff and two pianos, a lot of great music. For this event, Vassily and Oxana invited a very special friend and colleague, also a Juilliard graduate, Natalia Lavrova, to play part of the program dedicated to ballet. The program includes:

M. Glinka. Overture to the opera "Ruslan and Lyudmila".

A. Borodin. Polovtian Dances from the opera "Prince Igor".

P. Tchaikovsky. "Swan Lake" Two Piano Concert Suite.

F. Liszt. Reminiscences de Don Juan.

P. Tchaikovsky. "Nutcracker" Concert Suite • A. Chasins. Fledermaus Fantasy.

G. Anderson. Carmen Fantasy

On November 14 at 3:00 pm, the legendary Jerome Lowenthal will be performing. American pianist Jerome Lowenthal has been a Juilliard faculty member since 1991. He has received prizes in international competitions in Brussels, Bolzano and Darmstadt, and has appeared with major orchestras throughout the U.S. He premiered solo music by Rochberg, Capanna, Reise and Rorem’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and has played duo recitals with Denis Brott, Itzhak Perlman, Ronit Amir and Ursula Oppens. Tickets are $35 in advance (email and $45 at the door.

After spending an afternoon enjoying beautiful music, you can just pop downstairs for a delicious meal and perhaps try the signature cocktail, the Smoked Rooster, made with Roost’s homemade Limoncello. Roost is at 11 Union Street, Sparkill. It is closed Tuesdays.