Charlotte Tusch

charlotte-tusch-painting-in-her-lace-mill-apartmentEXHIBITION OF WORK: PAINTINGS & JAZZ
November 5 – November 30

Boiler Room Gallery at The Lace Mill
165 Cornell Street, Kingston
First Saturday Artist Reception and Musical Ensemble
November 5, 5-8p.m.

This marks the Lace Mill’s first participation in First Saturday, a monthly event when galleries throughout Kingston have opening receptions with featured artists. Musicians include bassist Michael Bisio and saxophonist Michael Monhart.

“Being self-taught I enjoy the challenge and the exploration of the various mediums that are available to create with. I have always been fascinated by the play of light on nature.

“The modern master Will Barnet was a great inspiration. I knew him well and he mentored me in a way that taught me freedom. Other influences are the color field painters such as Rothko, Kelly, Lewis, and Jenkins, among others. Abstraction has been the direction of my work for decades – I find it honest and perpetually changing, just as we all are.

“The art I create is my attempt to clarify the world I live in. I use a variety of mediums and approaches to my work. I pour, move, and use a pallet knife and brushes to create. The canvas takes on form and color as I work and there is always a sense of mystery. My influences and inspirations are the color field painters such as Rothko, Kelly, Lewis, Jenkins and etc. Abstraction has been the direction of my work for decades; I find it honest and perpetually changing just as we all are. My paintings are molded by the emotional, intellectual and aesthetic experiences of my life. What is conveyed is the integrity of the moment.

I have been a working artist all my life in various mediums and approaches. Early on in my 20’s I did constructions and dioramas where I created small scenarios that pertained to everyday life and the social atmosphere that was present during that time. I showed my work at the Sally Hawkins’ Gallery in Soho, NY and also exhibited throughout NJ where I was living at the time. I became tired of the process and started to free myself by using paint as a vehicle to express feelings in gesture and color. I enjoy the immediate response that I received when I work this way and continue to do so. I found that simplicity, color, line and gesture were enough, and the rest was up to the observer.”headshot of C. Tsuch Scherer

C.T.S painting 1 C.T.S painting 2


Informational Session for Solar Energy Grants

Are you tired of high electric costs? Is solar energy a project you wish to learn more about? Do you want to install solar on your home?

Join us for an informational session on Tuesday, April 5. We’ll talk about the solar grant program to assist households with energy efficient upgrades including renewable energy alternatives. RUPCO is o0wrking in partnership with Ulster County to administer its Community Development Block Grant Funding (CDBG).

This informational session is free and open to the public. Please RSVP with or 845 331 9860 ext 220.2016-CDBG-Solar-Flyer


Home Away From Home

Lazo_MTS1My mother took me to El Salvador for the first time before I was old enough to talk. Every summer she would pack us all up – my two siblings and I – and we would journey to my favorite place in the world. El Salvador is heat and more heat, it is living with sweat and dirt, it is bugs on bugs on bugs. It is hammocks and rubber rocking chairs, pupusas and pollo campero, it is where my family lives; it is home. How it is that a country that I wasn’t born in, that I wasn’t raised in, could be my country? For me, it just is.

The word “home” doesn’t always have to be taken so literally. My home lies in the memoires of happier times when I, my two older siblings, and six cousins would journey to our parents’ home country for the summer. Home is about being together. We made friends, played games, scraped our knees and ankles and arms. We ate our favorite food – tamales, carne asada, tortillas, choco sandia, arroz, jocotes, the list goes on – and walked around barefoot on the dirt road in front of my abuela’s house. We showered with cold water and got bit ALL over by pesky mosquitos and mutant ants. We went to the beach and played in the black sand where we caught tiny crabs by the rocks. We withstood torrential rains, mini earthquakes, and even a sandstorm where my brother lost a shoe and a neighbor lost a roof. Best of all, we exploded all. Kinds. Of. Firecrackers! All of our free spending money went to buying various types of “cohetes.”

ILazo_Boat1 am proud to have a connection to my people and I am joyous that I have my memories to fall back on. My home matters to me because in its shelter, I became the person I am today. Though there are less of us who visit at a time now, and less places for us to visit due to the rising gang violence that is taking place, El Salvador holds a really special place in my heart. It is my sanctuary. It is my home. Away from home.

Emily Lazo is RUPCO’s Editorial Assistant to Communications. She is a student at SUNY New Paltz double-majoring in English and Communication and Media with a concentration in Intercultural/Interpersonal.

NYSERDA Names The Lace Mill a Trailblazer

KevinOConnor-GuyKempe-ChuckSnyder300x214At the 2016 ACI New York Regional Home Performance Conference in Saratoga Springs, NYSERDA honored The Lace Mill with its Low-rise Residential New Construction Program Trailblazing Project Award. Each year, NYSERDA recognizes projects of merit incorporating innovative approaches to energy efficiency, usage, and application. Projects recognized have effectively demonstrated an Integration of Advanced Solutions to achieve High Performance in the Low-rise Residential New Construction Program in 2014/2015.

Four projects received awards. The Lace Mill is an historic and adaptive re-use of an industrial property originally constructed in 1903 which created 55 affordable rental units, preferenced for artists.  It was built utilizing water-to-air heat pumps, Energy Recovery Ventilation, Condensing Boiler with a Cooling Tower, and precision air-sealing techniques. Worthy of The Trailblazer, The Lace Mill hosts Kingston’s largest solar array (160kW) which net-meters rooftop solar-electricity production against the building’s common area energy usage. RUPCO also incorporated extensive building science in addressing energy-efficiency measures while adapting the century-old building to residential space and adhering to strict historic preservation requirements.

Additional award recipients included

  • netZero Village, the first phase of a two-phase project, with 72 units completed.  It was built utilizing Passive House design principles, Air Source Heat Pumps, passive ventilation, as well as Solar Electric and Solar Thermal.
  • Tilly Lofts,  a gut rehab of a Ladder Factory which created 62 luxury apartments.  It was built using industry leading technologies: Geothermal Heat Pumps, Combined Heat & Power for hot water and electric generation, heat recovery ventilation and Solar Electric.
  • 951 Pacific Street,  a new construction project comprised of a 3-unit building Passive House Institute US Certified.  It has a super-insulated air-tight shell, German engineered R9 triple pane windows, Energy recovery ventilation, and ductless mini split Heat pumps for heating and cooling.

Pictured above are RUPCO’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connor, VP of Community Development Guy Kempe, and Director of Construction Chuck Snyder.

Prudence Nelmes, Fiber Artist

Headshot of Artist Prudence Nelmes“I cannot remember a time when I did not have a needle of some kind in my hand. I have always been interested in handmade items, sometimes knitted, sometimes crocheted, woven, or sewed.

I was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, but after World War II, I married and traveled to other states. Tarrytown, NY was where I learned to rug hook. As I raised four children, I was interested in handmade clothes. When we moved to Maine in 1970, quilting was going strong with the Bicentennial Celebrations.

I joined a quilt guild and was fascinated by the variety of patterns and their history. So began my career of quilting. I learned a different form of quilting with every class I took. I loved matching colors and creating something of my own by following a pattern. I was even invited to make a square for Kennebunk, Maine’s Bicentennial quilt in 1976.

Prudence Nelmes' Flower workThen came teaching. I loved presenting a pattern and seeing each pupil create something totally different, all their own. We attended quilt shows and displayed our creations. A trip to Amish country influenced the next phase of my work as I began using more applique. On a trip to California, I learned the Quilt-in-a-Day method, which I later taught in a quilt shop. A trip to Hawaii is where I learned their unique quilting style. This led me to another form, the Baltimore Album Quilt, taught by a teacher from Washington, D.C.; the entire quilt is hand-stitched. For me, for the past 40 years, quilting has brought joy, new friends and the chance to be creative.”


First-time Homebuyer Orientation Classes for 2016
Homeownership counselor Francisca Castellanos greets first-time homebuyers.Have you ever dreamed of owning your own home? Want to know if you qualify for a mortgage? Come learn about the basics of homeownership at the RUPCO First-time Homebuyer Orientation from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Attend one of the following free workshops open to the public:
Monday February 22, 2016
Wednesday March 9, 2016
Monday March 21, 2016
To register, contact Maru Gonzalez at 845.331.9864 ext. 220, by email at, or register online.
RUPCO is the region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, affordable housing, and community development programs aimed to provide opportunity and revitalize communities. For 35 years, RUPCO has worked to create homes, support people, and improve communities through supportive housing and related programs. RUPCO is one of NeighborWorks America 240 community development organizations. In 2015, RUPCO helped 75 first-time homebuyers to achieve their dreams of homeownership, bringing over $10 million in first-time mortgages with local lenders to the area. For more information on RUPCO, visit
What Home Means To Me

Susan Cagle, guest blogger “Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” ~ The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius IV, 43

As in a swiftly flowing river, we are led along by life and time whether we like it or not. In order to not just survive but thrive, we try to create as much stability and certainty as we can in an uncertain world. Home is a bulwark in the midst of all of the uncertainty.

My relationship with the concept of home is a strange and multi-faceted one. My parents were missionaries and musicians in a small Christian sect. They had 10 kids, of which I am second oldest, and as we came along, we were added to the family band. We travelled around the world singing and performing, each of us born in a different place (Aruba, where I was born, London, Miami, New York, Texas, Puerto Rico). We have lived in every kind of structure you can imagine. During our London stay, we had a beautiful three-story house with a rose-filled garden in the back, one of my favorite places we ever lived. We lived in hotels en route of our travels, in vans and buses that my father would gut and convert into campers, in a Swiss chalet at the top of the mountains with a view of a cascading waterfall and lake, and in trains and buses that would take us to the next town.

The river rolls on. When I was 12, we lived in a school bus that my dad converted into a camper. We would park on the a New York City side street and sleep. In the morning, we would wake up, unload our instruments, and busk on the street corner. I remember looking out of the window early in the mornings and watching the river of businessmen and women rushing to their jobs on their morning commute with their nice clothes and briefcases. In southern Germany, my little brother was born in Mainz. I was around age 5. Near where he was born, we lived at the top of a snowy mountain in what could only be called a ski resort. My mom and older brother, with me in tow, would sled down the hill to go to the main town below to buy supplies. It was scary, with a lot of trees on the hill on the sled down. Other times, and times less scary, we would live in hotels along our tour and performing route, with simply whatever we had on us — our instruments and our backpacks. In my teens, I started stuffing civilian clothes into my guitar case, so that I could have something to wear that wasn’t a costume. It was my attempt at being like a normal person during the times we weren’t performing.

When I finally left the family band at the age of 21 and struck out on my own, I experienced a tumultuous reconciliation of the two extremes of my developing environments. There was a necessary acclimation period to living in just one place. Although I do like to travel, visit different countries and places, and meet new people, having a home base allows me to fulfill the wanderlust that I have been imprinted with since birth. This desire will never go away, along with the certainty that — at the end of the day, at the end of whatever periods of curiosity I fulfill — I can come back to a checkpoint, a stable environment where I feel safe. Having a home base has been my guiding star, the prime directive of my life, the thing that is my ballast in a river strong and swift.

When we look at the history of mankind, we see that progress towards higher and more intricate thought processes and motivations, as compared to a more instinct-driven lifestyle, developed once we embraced the concept of a stable home. We experienced the kind of progress where subsequent generations could build upon the storehouses of knowledge of previous generations. We created concepts, morals and societies. Having a home is a necessity for growth, development and the manifestation of intricate interior qualities. When you are wondering where you are going to sleep and how you will shelter yourself, you cannot create beauty and make a long-lasting imprint. Unhoused, you are a frightened, scrabbling creature with basal thoughts led by instinct alone. But when you have a place you can call your own, you know you where you will end up at the end of the day. Your days are connected. You can bring your head out of survival mode and think about creation, beauty and adding higher qualities and concepts to this world.

RUPCO is doing the best work that one can do on this earth. Helping those who cannot afford a place to live to have a place they can call their own. Providing resources and information to people interested in owning their own home, being the last bastion between many and homelessness. I am honored to have been a part of RUPCO in their mission to strengthen homes, communities and lives.

Susan Cagle is RUPCO’s Assistant to Communications and a student at SUNY-Ulster majoring in computer science.

A Perspective on Homelessness

IMG_3695Imagine living in an apartment with two windows which were constantly covered with blinds, no kitchen, a small bathroom, all the size of a walk-in bedroom closet.  Most people would think this impossible in Ulster County, New York.  But it was the life I was living ten years ago.  I used to dread my bike ride home from the local fast food restaurant, to sleep on my uncomfortable futon, and to wake up hungry, depressed and alone in the dark.

I got stuck in this living situation after leaving home at a very early age.  Forced to leave an abusive family, after getting my ass beat and then locked out of the house one too many times, I decided that sleeping on whatever couch I could find was much better.  In my opinion, this is the untold story of homelessness.  Many people believe that the homeless are drug abusers who are too lazy to get and keep a job. In many cases, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Many young people are forced to leave home because living on a couch is better than being abused.

Now flash-forward ten years, and I find myself working an internship for RUPCO, a nonprofit organization that helps provide affordable housing in the region.  RUPCO believes that housing is a critical component of improving communities and providing people with better lives. This bedrock of comfortable, safe and affordable living is what drives positive impacts throughout a person’s entire life.

A few weeks ago, I saw the difference that RUPCO makes first hand while on a tour of an affordable housing project on Cornell Street in Kingston, called The Lace Mill.  I was standing in one of the smaller units in the building, but it didn’t feel small at all.  This beautiful studio apartment has seven 12-foot windows, a full kitchen, and all the space that a single person would ever need. The most impressive part was that it was similar in price for what I was paying to live in a closet.

From that moment in time forward, I knew that RUPCO was making a difference and I was glad to be a part of it. Even though I am the part-time intern, I realize that being part of a company like this is a very fulfilling career path and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.  I encourage those who can, to volunteer or donate to a nonprofit like RUPCO; they deserve all the help that they can get.  From this experience, I’m continuing to learn why “Home Matters.”

Dan Hanson is RUPCO’s Communications Assistant and a student at SUNY-New Paltz.