Artist Rodney Alan Greenblat, world famous for his whimsical, vibrant, and fun artwork, is the owner/operator of the Rodney Shop boutique, one of the many artist-run boutiques on Main Street in Catskill, NY. His interest in art began as a young child and he was propelled into the arts world with his first “gig” doing an illustration for his school PTA handbook at the age of 11.
As a sculptor and painter, his work became an integral part of the East Village Art scene of the 1980s, where he had several one person shows at the legendary Gracie Mansion Gallery. In 1985 his large sculpture “Ark of Triumph” was featured in the prestigious Whitney Museum Biennial exhibition.
In the 1990’s Rodney took on another title, and published four children’s books published by Harper Collins. Uncle Wizzmo’s New Used Car, Aunt Ippy’s Museum of Junk, Thunder Bunny, and Slombo The Gross.
When newer technologies started to revolutionize the video game industry, he became the artistic force behind the best selling game for Sony Playstation called “Parappa The Rapper.” This led to a whole line of products distributed in Japan, and a weekly animated television series. Rodney is known as one of the world’s top character designers.
Rodney is a great example for artists everywhere, especially younger artists. He is a living breathing example of how a passion for the arts can lead to many options beyond the stereotypical “starving artist” if that talent and passion is nurtured and supported.
Article by Ashleigh Kinsey
ACE and the Center for Economic Growth have concluded our 2018 Creative Economy Roundtable Tour.
This six-county tour, held in February and March 2018, brought more than 700 attendees to Capital Region cultural institutions and creative agencies for open discussions on our regional identity, business challenges and opportunities, and everything related to our region’s Creative Economy. At the sessions, facilitators also shared new data showing the economic contributions from the creative industries, one of the largest and most dynamic regional employment sectors.
Special thanks to our event partners Fingerpaint and WMHT Educational Telecommunications, our event designer 2440 Design Studio, and our hosts: Overit, WMHT Educational Telecommunications, the Hyde Collection, Proctors, SPAC’s Hall of Springs, and Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House. ACE and CEG also thank the many local companies who provided refreshments for our Roundtable Tour, including Berben & Wolff’s, [forged], Fort Orange Brewing, Mazzone Hospitality, Sunhee’s Farm and Kitchen, and 22 2nd Street Wine Co.
Check out great coverage from this event! WAMC: “Catskill’s Role Ramps Up in ‘Creative Economy’” | Hudson Valley 360: “Lumberyard to Start Construction in Two Weeks”
Catskill is in the midst of a Creative Economy boom, with new restaurants, a tap house, boutiques and galleries, a performing arts complex, and reimagined historic sites. ACE recently went “Behind the Scenes” at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and LUMBERYARD in one of the coolest little villages in the region.
We met at LUMBERYARD for a tour and heard the exciting plans for the four-building complex that will house some of the most innovative programming and partnerships north of NYC, including the first-ever residency program with the renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music.
After that, we visited the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and learned about the innovative reinterpretation of the artist’s 1815 home. The Thomas Cole site has employed multimedia installations within the authentic historic spaces in innovative and engaging new ways. ACE members saw the paint chips that were a product of a paint analyst’s task of discovering wall colors in Cole’s time; stencils that helped recreate the hand-painted border by Cole; and stencils that the Cole estate’s floor cloth designer used to hand paint the entryway floor cloth from an historic design.