Monday, August 31, 2015

1st Friday with Jeff Strange - 9/4

On Friday, September 4, Jeff Strange returns to the University Club by popular demand! Join us following the reception welcoming Artist in Residence Joleen Button for the after party in the Grille Room!

A founding member of internationally-known Irish folk band Donnybrook Fair and longtime member of The Newports, Jeff is known for his on-stage patter and energetic performances incorporating a broad selection of Irish, rock and original music. He recently debuted a new Irish musical, "Find Your Way Home," written with Jimmy Kelly, at the Fingerlakes Theater Festival.

Jeff will play in the Grille Room from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. The performance is free and dinner will be served until 9:00 p.m., please call 518-463-1151 for reservations. Seating is limited and Jeff is very popular - call ahead to avoid disappointment!

On the first Friday of each month, as part of the University Club’s celebration of 1st Friday, one need not be a member to enjoy live music, dinner and dancing in the Grille Room, dress is casual, and cash and major credit cards are accepted. Come be a part of the downtown arts walk that showcases Albany's thriving and lively art scene!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

U Club Announces 4th "Artist in Residence"

Joleen Button to Exhibit Work from September - December

In addition to paintings by Jonathan Bradley Morse and Walter Launt Palmer and sculpture by Terri Boor, the Living Room, Lobby and Dining Room of the University Club of Albany have long featured works from a variety of local artists.

From September through December, the University Club will present a solo exhibition of the works of Joleen Button, who will serve as the Club’s fourth Artist in Residence.

The exhibition will open with a Meet the Artist Reception on Friday, September 4 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the National Register-listed University Club at 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The reception is free and open to the public as part of the University Club’s participation in 1st Friday, the arts walk that showcases the lively art scene in downtown Albany. Guests are invited to stay on after the reception for live music in the Grille Room with founding member of Irish folk band Donnybrook Fair and longtime member of The Fabulous Newports, Jeff Strange, from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. RSVPs are appreciated. 

Scheduled to run through Monday, December 28, the exhibition will be on view during public and special events at the Club, and by appointment with the artist, who will receive an honorary membership in the University Club for the duration of the show. Previous Artists in Residence were Ken Ragsdale, Channing Lefebvre, and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. Their work spanned many artistic disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, paper-craft, and photographs.

The Artist in Residence program furthers the University Club and Foundation’s commitment to promote the use of the historic Clubhouse as a venue for performing and visual arts as well as cultural events. It builds on the success of the October, 2011 Athletic Annex Exhibition curated by local artist Chip Fasciana. For 9 days, the University Club’s former fitness annex was transformed into a “pop up art gallery” with an exhibition featuring some 20 local and regional artists. The Athletic Annex Exhibition was part of MoHu – the Mohawk Hudson Art Festival featuring theatre, dance, music, visual and random acts of art throughout the region.

A single mother of three girls and local artist, Joleen Button possesses profound inspiration and appreciation of this world. Particularly, she is charmed by common peculiarities of life such as existence, beauty, desire, and the passage of time.

Joleen’s fine art subject matter and style stems from her life experiences and studies at The Sage Colleges in Albany and Parson’s School of Design in Paris, France. Her portfolio consists of a variety of work such as still life, landscapes of the Hudson River Valley, abstracts, and portraits in oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings and drawings as well as photography, graphic and fashion design.

“Since early childhood I have had awareness that I am an artist, having possessed a passion to express and exhibit my awe, appreciation, and curiosity of this world,” said Button. “I was born in the Midwest, and at a young age my family relocated to Upstate New York. It is here my creativity flourished with the support of family.”

Button has been a part of the local arts community for nearly a decade, through producing, teaching, or exhibiting. Her works have been showcased in galleries, vacant spaces, restaurants, local publications and television and have received honors and awards. Apart from exhibiting art, she has worked as a freelance graphic designer, a personal assistant to established national and international artists, and as an art and graphic design adjunct professor. For information about commissions of landscapes, still life, or portraits, visit .

This event is presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc., and one need not be a member of the University Club to attend. The 501c3 Foundation which was formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming presented by the University Club Foundation is provided by AT&T. For more information contact the University Club at 518-463-1151 or online at


Explore History: Be Revolutionary! Monday, 9/28

Meet the Author of The Battle of Hubbardton, Sip Nine Pin Cider

University Club Hosts Talk & Tasting on Monday, September 28

The last major land battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Yorktown, began on September 28, 1781. But without the earlier Battle of Hubbardton in 1777, the fledgling United States might have failed in their quest for independence.

On Monday, September 28, the University Club of Albany will host an evening of early American history and beverages. Author and historian Dr. Bruce M. Venter will discuss and sign his book The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved America (April 2015, Arcadia Publishing) at the National Register-listed University Club at 141 Washington Avenue from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.; and Nine Pin Cider Works of Albany will pour samples of hard cider.

The tasting and meet the author reception will begin at 6:00 with the presentation commencing at 7:00. A book signing will follow the program, and books will be available for purchase courtesy of The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza for $19.

The battle of Hubbardton was perhaps the loss that saved the war for the patriots. British and German troops ran into stubborn rebel resistance at Hubbardton, Vermont, on July 7, 1777. After easily capturing Fort Ticonderoga, Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne pursued a retreating Continental army under Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair. In the fields and hills around Hubbardton, a tenacious American rear guard of about 1,200 derailed the British general’s plan for a quick march to Albany. The patriots, under Col. Seth Warner, left the British and Germans bloodied, though they claimed a tactical victory. Burgoyne and his weakened force ultimately surrendered at Saratoga on October 17, 1777, paving the way for a French alliance which ensured American independence.

A beverage that quenched the thirst of many a revolutionary citizen was hard cider. More than two hundred years later, cider’s popularity has rebounded along with craft beers and spirits. Nine Pin Cider Works crafts delicious Nine Pin New York Hard Cider at 929 Broadway using farm fresh fruit sourced from orchards in Albany, Saratoga, and Columbia counties. Founder Alejandro del Peral includes apples grown from seed on the del Peral family farm. Nine Pin Cider Works will pour samples of their signature cider, as well as seasonal and experimental blends. The Club will be offer specialty cocktails made with Nine Pin Cider, including the “Warehouse District” featuring Ironweed Rye Whiskey from Albany Distilling Co.

A veteran of 26 years of service in the Albany City School District, Bruce Venter is president of America’s History, LLC, a tour and conference company where he leads Revolutionary War tours. This company is best known for its highly successful annual conference on the American Revolution. Bruce is also 1st vice president of the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond and was 1st vice president of the Goochland County Historical Society. He frequently lectures on the Revolutionary War, including at Fort Ticonderoga’s American Revolution Seminar. He is also known for his character portrayals of General John Burgoyne and Charles Earl Cornwallis.

There is no cost for the program but reservations are required and may be made by calling the Club at 518-463-1151; by sending an email to; or on the Club’s website. The event is sponsored by the University Club Foundation and one need not be a member of the Club to attend.

The University Club of Albany Foundation is a 501c3 corporation formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming at the University Club is provided by AT&T.

For more information about the University Club, visit .