' Coyote Moon Vineyards - Coyote Moon Celebrates Clayton Culture with Tribute to Cinnamon Teal
Coyote Moon Celebrates Clayton Culture with Tribute to Cinnamon Teal
Coyote Moon Celebrates Clayton Culture with Tribute to Cinnamon Teal
Teresa Farrell

This July, carvers, artists, and wildlife and art enthusiasts alike gathered in Clayton for the 46th annual Thousand Islands Museum Decoy and Wildlife Art Show. The show, a Thousand Islands tradition, celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship of duck decoy carving as well as its connections to the area’s heritage and history. Decoy carving has been part of the Thousand Islands tradition for generations, thanks to the long-standing popularity and importance of waterfowl hunting in the region. The Thousand Islands Museum, with its commitment to celebrating local artistry, culture and heritage, features a permanent decoy exhibit that includes the Best of Show winner from each year’s event.
Coyote Moon Vineyards owners, the Randazzo family, have supported the museum and the weekend’s events for many years. Thousand Islands Museum President Tom Humberstone says the museum is grateful for the Randazzo family’s support, from Mary’s Best of Show paintings to providing the venue for the Shore Dinner that kicked off the weekend’s festivities to other contributions in the past. “They’re very generous people,” Humberstone said. “Coyote Moon supports us heavily, and that has helped us be very successful.”
Since 2009, local historic landmark artist Mary Randazzo has created a painting of each year’s winning decoy and donated the print to the museum. That painting is also featured on the label of Best of Show, a special limited edition wine that Coyote Moon releases each summer in honor of the previous year’s winner. Gary Doviak’s decoy, Cinnamon Teal, won in 2013 and is depicted on this summer’s Best of Show bottle.
It’s fitting to have an artist so closely in tune with this unique region to paint the winner of such an iconic local contest. Mary’s historic landmark art focuses on iconic Thousand Islands scenes, which she says have always provided inspiration to her. The Thousand Islands Bridge, Clayton Opera House, Calumet Island, and of course Round Island’s iconic Frontenac Post Office have all appeared in Mary’s artwork, and in turn, on the labels of Coyote Moon’s award-winning wines. Each painting offers a glimpse of the spirit of the river, including its rich and multilayered tradition, and it’s a passion for both the art and the area that allows Mary to convey that spirit in her work. Painting these local scenes is a way to both honor and preserve the iconic heritage and culture that permeates this region. With their intricate artistic details and foundations in a long standing local tradition, painting each year’s winning decoy has provided Mary an opportunity to grow and expand her horizons as an artist, as well as providing an opportunity to support the museum and its commitment to preserving the area’s much-loved heritage.
The weekend’s celebration of local heritage didn’t stop at decoys. A crowd gathered under the event tent at Coyote Moon on Friday night of Decoy weekend for the Fourth Annual revival of the Traditional Thousand Islands Shore Dinner, a traditional meal served up by third-generation Thousand Islands fishing guide Jeff Garnsey and his wife Julie, who are also actively involved with the Thousand Islands Museum. The traditional shore dinner includes a first course of salt pork sandwiches with red onion and Thousand Islands dressing on white bread, followed by fresh caught fried fish, garden salad, corn on the cob, salt potatoes, and fried French toast for dessert. The large crowd at the vineyard enjoyed this delicious and authentic meal alongside live music and plenty of excellent company and conversation, as anticipation built for the next day’s festivities at the show, including the announcement of this year’s Best of Show winner, which will be depicted on 2015’s Best of Show label and available at next year’s event.
Prints of Cinnamon Teal, along with prints of a variety of Mary’s other paintings, are available at both Clayton Coyote Moon locations: the vineyard on East Line Road and the wine and craft beer lounge on Riverside Drive in the village, as well as online. If you missed the Shore Dinner, be sure to stop by for the next event, Coyote Moon’s annual Bluegrass in the Vineyards Festival, on September 5-7th, featuring live music from renowned bluegrass musicians, family-friendly fun, food, camping in the vineyard, and of course, award-winning wine., For more information on Mary’s artwork, special events, or to find out more about all there is to experience at Coyote Moon, visit coyotemoonvineyards.com.
Post By:   Christina Shanley