Monday, March 31, 2008

Your Post Title Here......*

black and blue: the birth of an art fair.
There is now some general information on the SiteLines website. Schedule and admission information mainly. Details are slim, but we now know there will be a video lounge curated by Bart Bridger Woodstrup, a couple of panel discussions and an invitational exhbition accompanying the fair.

On the Sitelines site, I found a link to the Electric Windows event that will be taking place on the same weekend. Details for this project which is being sponsored by Open Space Beacon, the Beacon Art Supply, and Sabotaz 80 are also forthcoming, but the gist is that 24 street artists from all over will be invited to create work on vinyl that will be mounted in the windows of 1 E. Main St., the former Electric Blanket factory. As I understand it, the pieces will be created and installed all on the same weekend, and then the pieces will remain on view for 12 months. Heads up: there may be a need for assistance in housing some participating artists for the weekend. Keep it in mind; if you have a place in your heart and possibly on your couch, you too can make the difference in some artist's day.
Open Space will be hosting a companion exhibit of work by artists that will include: Ron English (NYC), Above (San Francisco), Ripo (Barcelona), Lady Pink (NYC), Michael De Feo (NYC), Jim Darling/Tina Andersen (Los Angeles), Rick Price (Beacon), Peripheral Media Projects (Brooklyn) and Dan Funderburgh (Brooklyn) and many more...

*I tried coming up with something cute. I just don't have it in me tonight.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Erections at Spire Studios prove to be small yet satisfying

Simon Draper squaring up the structure that I'll be working in and on.

Earlier this week, the first of the Habitat for Artist structures went up beside Spire Studios' parking lot. These two structures, will be joined by several more at the Spire site while a few others will be erected in Peekskill and elsewhere in Beacon.
The structures will serve as temporary workspace and experiential sculptures for the next six weeks. The temporary studios will be "opened" for public viewing from May 16-18 concurrent with other events taking place that weekend.

For those involved with the assembly and use of the structures, as I am, this project is part social sculpture and part residency/retreat all without having to leave home for an extended period. Above, I mentioned my view of these structures as experiential sculptures as the work within, which is defined by the limitations of the structure, will shape the appearance of the structure for reasons regarding both form and function.
The element of social sculpture that is engendered by the project is partly embodied by some of underlying environmental and economic issues relevant to how and where work is done in society. While not entirely "green," the structures are largely created with reclaimed materials, which in turn will be reused again in future incarnations of the project. The underlying question raised by this project is how much or little does an artist- or anyone else -need to work or live effectively to his/her own purposes. This question is pertinant to both the ecological and economic footprint of each of us develops conciously or not.

Openings tonight in Garnerville and at Dorsky Museum

The group exhibition The Society for the Preservation of Artistic Diversity: A Celebration of 4 Years of the Crit Group opens tonight at the GAGA Arts Center in Garnerville, featuring the work of Joanne Howard - Pam Marchin - Chris Randolph - Lynn Stein - Joel Carreiro - Polly King - John Rosis - Jackie Shatz - Laurie Steinhorst. The exhibit runs through May 4, and a reception will be held tonight from 5-8pm.
Here's a map and directions to GAGA.

Also tonight, The Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz is opening three exhibitions: Beat and Beyond: Photographs by Allen Ginsburg, A Discerning Vision: 25 Photographs from the Collection of Howard Greenberg and Reading Objects 2008.
The three exhibits open this afternoon with a reception from 4-6pm. The Beat and Beyond and A Discerning Vision exhibitions run through June 22 and Reading Objects will run through August 31.

Last weekend to see Huber, Smith and Zansky at Van Brunt Gallery

Monday March 31 is the final day to check out Van Brunt's current exhibits by Thomas Huber, Ed Smith and Michael Zansky.
Below is a review of Thomas Huber's work by Dawn-Michelle Baude.

Thomas Huber at Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon
Informed art-goers won't want to miss Thomas Huber's show at the Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon. Who, after all, would want to pass up a chance to experience work that testifies to an emergent cultural moment? It's not, after all, an easy time-either on the planet or in the art world. But as the agendas of postmodernism slip further and further into the background, some qualified form of optimism is literally taking shape in visual arts. We don't have any choice, really, except to go forward. And although the data isn't all in yet, it's clear that Thomas Huber is among the artists riding the new wave.
Huber's show features small-to-medium format mixed-media paintings. The picture planes of the major pieces are dense, but their warm, collaged surfaces are openly seductive. Huber wants texture, the matt and the rough, so that the physicality of the work moves more than the eye. Unschooled viewers might glance at the canvas, register an emotion, and move on. Pity. Huber's works open slowly, layer by layer-moving from abstract to representational, expressionistic to voyeuristic, beautiful to weird.
One of the most gripping pieces in the show, a medium-format diptych entitled "Orchard," appears almost decorative at first glance. Painted in creams and whites with some touches of Granny Smith, the surface layer is sensuous, inviting. Elliptical forms seem to loll on a floating plane, perhaps enacting a kind of lazy cell division. New worlds are forming-or morphing-in these paintings. And they are curious worlds, indeed. A lady's purse dangles from a missing arm. Some sort of urn pours liquid underneath a bubble. Is that a Petri dish inside the cloud? Is it a Petri dish? Is it a cloud? And what about all those pots and pans?
Huber is fascinated with receptacles of all kinds-they lodge in the various layers of his palimpsests, ready to catch and hold attention as liquids swirl over, under, around and through the image. These ready receptacles favor sexual interpretation-the cosmic soup that gave rise to life on our planet as well as to our more intimate and habitual transfer of liquids. The receptacle metaphor extends even to the writing, since the words on Huber's canvas are referential vehicles of content. In "Orchard," a little scribble of text is talking about… an orchard? The titles of Huber's paintings slyly recline within layers of transparency, a "Where's Waldo" of discovery.
To achieve suggestive viscosity, Huber uses various inks and oils, plaster and paints, waxes and varnishes, drawings and transfers, so that the layers flow into one another, and in and out of images. The figuration always seems on the verge of a potential announcement-of recognizable environments, of life itself. With all this liquidity of image and material, and commitment to life sciences and ecology, it's not surprising that Huber's work shuns slick and mechanistic, highly controlled surfaces in favor of something a little more gestural and messy. Like many of the works in the current 2008 Whitney Biennial, Huber's exhibition attests to a nascent creative moment that requires just that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Karlos Carcamo at Dean Project: LIC, Lincoln Center, Dubai

Halloween 2007: one half Elvis, one half Johnny Cash, one half Hugo Chavez =
Karlos Carcamo, 110% Artfiend.
photo by Angelika Rinnhofer.

I've been waiting for a reason to use this photo.
Karlos is participating in two events this week with Dean Project. From March 20-May 10, his work will be part of a preview of "Exporting Pop; A Western Fantasy" a group exhibition curated exclusively for the Kuwait Art Foundation Limited, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The exhibition will be on exhibit in Dubai from Sept 25 to Nov 8. A reception for the exhbition preview will be held on Sat, March 29 from 6-9 at the gallery, 45-43 21 St Long Island City (adjacent to PS 1)

Karlos' work will also be featured at the Dean Project booth (booth #21) at the Scope Art Fair at Lincoln Center beginning today and run Sunday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ahh Spring, Part 3: In Print in in the Media and in the Air

Here's a round up of things that have crossed by desk.
As we were heading down to Philly for a quick errand, we heard WDST morning dj's Gattine & Franz talking with Poughkeepsie Journal's music columnist John Barry about Joe Bertoluzzi's Bridge Music Project. Joe's has been garnered many moral supporters for his project, and his is working with a marketing class at Marist to create the pr campaign. The biggest hurdle remains the financial one, with Joe estimating $1M to execute the project as planned in 2009 for the Quadricentennial celebration of Henry Hudson's sailing of the Hudson River.
Also in the POJO this week. The enjoy section features an interview with Leigh Wen whose work is on view at the Beacon Institute through July. Leigh will be giving a talk at the Beacon Institute on April 26.
Last week's Enjoy focused on the current exhibit at Vassar's Francis Lehman Loeb Art Center Out of Shape: Stylistic Distortions of the Human Form which features selections from the collection of Ken and Vicki Logan. The exhibit will be on view until June 8. Artist Layla Ali is scheduled to give a talk on April 25 at 5pm and a reception for the exhibit will be held at 6pm after the talk.

Angelika Rinnhofer's photos can be found inside and on the cover of the Mar/April edition of Italian photo magazine ZOOM. You can view a pdf of the magazine spread at Paul Kopeikin Gallery's website

2006, FSC certified birch plywood, vinyl, wool, foam, casters, 52.5 x 48 x 51 inches, photo Tom Moore

James Westwater has a book out now on his Plywood Chateaux. With contributions from Steven Evans, Zane Fischer, Ryan Schulz, Naomi Sachs, and photograpy by Tom Moore, the book is available through and locally at Burlock, Relic and the Dia:Beacon bookstore. The Plywood Chateaux have been featured on the Treehugger blog, and the Shedworking blog, and they'll be included in an upcoming book called Shedworking in July. Check out the video by Tom Moore of a chateau being constructed.
I'll get more into James' project shortly. It's uncanny how the trajectory of James' work, given his forthcoming exhibit at Van Brunt will include "Homeless Chateau" which started out as "Chateau for Homeless Artist" evokes so many of the same issues that are broached with the Habitat for Artists project that Simon Draper is conducting.
It's one of those great moments of synchronicity. I say that just because prior to being present when Simon's HFA was born, I found myself dreaming of building a small self contained isolated structure within our apartment in which to meditate or work in extremely small scale.

Last item in the air; it seems that Collaborative Concepts is working to secure an exhibition space down in Peekskill in which an invitational show will be held later this year providing it all comes together.

Ahh Spring, Part 2: May Daze in Beacon

Months of speculation and talk have been leading up to the SiteLine Art Fair scheduled to happen here in Beacon on May 16-18. This art fair being organized by Carl Van Brunt of Van Brunt Gallery and Robert Curcio, one of the founders of the Scope Art Fair, will feature galleries and art institutions located along the Hudson Valley. The Sitelines Art Fair is mentioned in a recent discussion between Curcio and Leah Oates at NYARTS. There is no information as of yet on the Siteline website, but I do understand the event will indeed be happening, although perhaps not in the old Tallix Foundry building as originally planned. Stay tuned for information as it becomes available, both regarding Siteline, and other projects and events that are being scheduled to coincide with the art fair.
One such co-incidenting project is
Habitat for Artists, a collaborative project conceived and curated by Simon Draper and sponsored by Ecoartspace, Curator Amy Lipton. The project consists of the construction of artist studio/sheds that artists will work in, and modify to fit their needs for a month leading up to the SiteLine Fair when the'll be open for viewing. These artist habitats will be placed in locations around Beacon including outside Spire Studios, and outside of the SiteLine locaton. Thus far, confirmed participating artists include: Dar Williams, Christopher(me)Albert, Matt Kinney, Marnie Hillsley, Sara Mussen, Lori Nozick and Roy Staab
Below is a video of Simon constructing a structure for musician and neighbor, Dar Williams.

Also coming up in May, Spire Studios will be hosting a
group show set to open the weekend before, on Second Saturday.
The folks at
Open Space and the Beacon Art Supply are concocting a window based project on the East End of Main St. I don't have information on dates and details yet, but I'll be posting that soon.
I'm considering holding a wee project here at maykrhq to coincide with the Fair Weekend. Stay tuned.

Of course, all of this revolves around the fifth anniversary of Dia:Beacon which will be observed with the annual Gala being held on May 17 ( the museum will close at 2pm that day.) Additionally, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will be giving a pair of performances on Sunday, May 18 at 2 and 4:30 pm. This pair of performances is the third in a series of works presented in different galleries of the museum. In Sept 07, a work was staged in the Warhol Gallery, and in January of this year, two stages linked by a narrow passageway traversed the De Maria Galleries. Alistair Macaulay penned reviews of each (1 and 2) performance for the Times.

Ahh Spring & Fair Weather

Storm King opens for its 2008 season on April 1st. There is no exhibition information for this year on the Storm King's website, but Tyler Green has reported that the Center will be hosting an exhibit of Sol LeWitt sculpture beginning on May 14.

This year, the coming of Spring also means the onset of NYC
Art Fair Week, and the Armory Show is charging $30 for entry. Whawa wHa What? But, if you get nine or more of your friends together as a group, tix are just $15. I would hope someone would stage a group formation booth outside of the show where people could gather together, and once the requisite 10 heads were assembled, the ad hoc group could enter the show, and demand the group rate.
Also on the dockets for the dates of March 27-30:
Bridge - $10, Scope - $15, Pulse - $15, Volta - $10, Art Now (has a fancy website, and a nice map showing proximity to Volta and Red Dot, but no admission price info.), Red Dot - $12, DiVA - free (runs from today through the 30th)
I'm planning on attending the Art Bloggers panel discussion hosted by Red Dot, which will be comprised of some of our -er- my favorites:
Moderator: Joanne Mattera, painter, Joanne Mattera Art Blog. Panelists:
Edward Winkleman, Winkleman Gallery and Edward_Winkleman blog; Carol Diehl,
painter and critic, Artvent; Paddy Johnson, blogger, Art Fag City; C-Monster,
freelance writer whose identity will be revealed at the event; Sharon Butler,
artist/writer/professor, Two Coats of Paint.
This discussion is scheduled for 11am on March 30. There are several other talks on the schedule that day as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Poetry reading March 22 7pm at Hermitage

Hermitage will be hosting an event featuring Jeffrey Yang reading from East Slope, a recent Ugly Duckling Presse publication of Chinese translations from the Sung Dynasty poet Su Shih. Also featured will be a performance of live ink and brush paintings on paper by Hu Renyi.

The event begins at 7pm. Hermitage is located at 12 Tioronda Ave. for more information, call (845)765-1650.

Art Tarts

Alejandro Dron forwarded me a link to this odd site. Fast women, loose cars and tapping some fine art booty, that's leading a life of affluence and influence is all about. Perhaps Eliot could have been saved from a world of hurt if his browser had taken him to this Emperor's Club page .

Fine is the line between the lovely young thing selling sexual favors and the desperate artist pitching his/her deepest inner most essence in a visual form. Unfortunately the for the artist, there's a decidedly different marketability between the two commodities, and it's not in the artist's favor.
Fortunately, there are some maykrs within our discipline who venture forth in the face of such indifference, creating their work in an unapologetic and uncompromising way; like this guy. So unique is his form of practice, and so obviously committed to this aesthetic program is he, that I think he'd certainly scoff at any suggestion that he pander to some patron or audience by, say, using brushes or putting on some pants.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Arts as Impetus for Successful Redevelopment Pt. 2 at HVCCA March 30

On March 30, HVCCA will be hosting a second panel discussion examining Art as Impetus for Successful Redevelopment. The panel will be held from 4-6pm with a reception to follow.
The panel will be moderated by Janet Langsam, Executive Director of the Westchester Arts Council and former Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York.
Panel Participants are Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, and at New York University. Ralph DiBart, City re-development consultant and currently Executive Director of the New Rochelle BID. For more information on the talk,
click here.

I attended HVCCA's first discussion on this subject held on Oct. 5, 2007. That talk was sparsely attended, but it did draw individuals from a range of Hudson Valley communities on both sides of the river.
Panelists in that discussion included Maider Bilbao, the museum's artist in residence at the time, who gave an enlightening account of the effect of the Bilbao Guggenhiem on the cultural life of Bilbao. From Maider's point of view, the economic effect of the tourist draw of the museum has primarily focused on the tourist sector, and there has been little benefit to the broader cultural or even economic activity in the city.

Also on the October panel were Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz, Art Consultant & Director of Works of Art for Public Spaces and Linda Lees, Founder of Creative Cities International. I really wanted to hear more from Ms. Lees as I felt she has a particularly strong comprehension of the mechanisms within these processes, unfortunately there wasn't enough time for her to really dig in. The most clarifying and striking thing she said was that it is the development of culture, which may include the arts, but not only the arts, that can bring about a successful redevelopment of a community. It's an easy, cliff notes assumption, particularly after Bilbao, to think that all a community need do is plop an art institution in its midst and let the healing begin. Any such endeavor, if it's intended to turn the fate of a city must take into account the existing population, and work to create programs and institutions that serve that population in addition to drawing visitors with destination attractions. Both Maider's reflection on Bilbao from a local artist's viewpoint and Linda Lees comments demonstrated the nuanced complexities of revitalizing communities.
Conversations on this subject are difficult. At once, it's a fascinating topic, and a potentially frustrating one. There are now and have been many groups of people in stagnant cities around the country placing their hopes on such a culture/art centric strategy for the betterment of their own situation and that of their respective cities. The topic is interesting from an analytical standpoint, but when coupled with the peoples' hope and desperation for improvement, such a discussion becomes stunted by the pressure of frustration and impatience. Frustration flared at one point during the Oct. panel as a couple of Peekskill residents vented about Peekskill's intransigent government and that city's long floundering attempts to engender an art driven economic renaissance.

This art thing simply is not a panacea, and in some locations perhaps, hope may float, but art don't. That's where Linda Lees comments on the development of cultural institutions that are both attractive to visitors and new residents, but support the traits of the community as it exists.
I just get this sense that some folks think, well, if it worked there, it's gotta work here. Well, no not necessarily, and perhaps that city whose success on which their basing their expectations may not be as successful as expected for those anticipated reasons.
I equate this to people who read Malcom Gladwell's book The Tipping Point and come away with the empowered sense that "Yes, I understand the dynamics of trends, and I know I have the power to make this such and such trend happen for me." I enjoyed the book greatly, and reading it makes you (me) feel like everything is so clear and obvious. I see references to the book made to tout the potential of one scheme or another, but I've yet to see the roster of companies which have boomed or trends that have skyrocketed precisely because the producers of those efforts applied the examples from the book to engineer series of conditions to make the right bubbling processes happen.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Doin' it for the kids

I got home after work on Friday, and caught a bit of a broadcast on ch. 22 of the presentation Palani Mohan gave to students at Beacon High School. I caught just the last several minutes of the talk, in which he fielded questions from the students and adults in the audience. Questions to Mohan moved from his photography and the process of publishing his book to his experience of living in Asia, and how much it costs to fly there. Kudos to the Beacon City School District and Fovea Exhibitons Gallery for developing this educational outreach program. For students to be exposed to critical current events from around the world through the first hand words and images of the photographers who have been there is a rare experience that one would expect would be restricted to schools in very large cultural centers of the country. The fact that this program is available to the students of Beacon, and in the frequency in which these talks occur, is a distinction in which the community can take pride.

This item in the Poughkeepsie Journal on March 12 is very cool. I think one of the generally unheralded benefits the city receives from Dia:Beacon is the extensive education program developed by the museum with the Beacon School District for the students of Beacon. A long standing component of the program entails yearly projects where visiting artists work with teachers and students in the various grade levels to create broad installations inspired by trips to the museum for display in and around Beacon

The POJO article by Michael Woyton highlights a current project by seventh graders at Rombout Middle School. The students worked with visiting artist Kirsten Mosher and their art teacher Edmund Trad to develop a piece after looking at the work of Sol LeWitt at Dia. The photo accompanying the article shows about 15 students standing shoulder to shoulder along three walls of a corridor wearing white t-shirts, each adorned with about a six inch tall single horizontal orange stripe. The orange stripe is located on each shirt so as to create a single line at the same height running from student to student regardless of the height of each student.

This piece created by these students is amazing. It really hits at the core of the challenging concepts that are presented by the work exhibited at Dia. This project develops a sensitivity to one's environment and the moments that are created as we move through it.

Since students are forming the art themselves, "it enables them to feel part of the artwork," she said. Beacon resident Zack Ericson, 12, said the process of creating the different artworks was interesting. "You can take a space and create a new space," he said, of the striped T-shirts.
We could take this classroom and make it into seven different rooms," Ericson said. Hena Kalola, 13, of the Town of Wappinger, is looking forward to her next visit to Dia:Beacon, when the students will exhibit the art they've created.
Trad said it was important for his students to experience something other than traditional art such as landscapes. The use of space and how art can fit into it is something the students have embraced, he said. The experience will help students connect conceptual art with their surroundings, Trad added.
"The students are acting in it," he said.
Mosher said the art project helps develop students' language skills because they have to verbalize how they want the art to turn out.

The article alludes to the fact that the Rombout students' piece will be displayed soon, and I'm anxious to see it. Broadening their perceptions of their world, how they make connections, and how, as beings relating to other beings, they are engaged in the complex and dynamic form of collaboration that is a society are the benefits these kids are receiving, whether they're immediately conscious of it or not.
Opening the sense of possibility of altering one's space - of one's reality, that's a visceral process. You can't teach that in a lecture, but being able to witness and process abstract concepts through the poetry of an orange stripe linking students in a class can be powerful. The power really lies in the student's investment in that process of creating that poetry. Here's where the "my kid could do that" or "Christ, it's just a plywood box" comes in. It's sometimes less the resulting object than the involvement of creating that plywood box, which challenges the maker's notions of value, talent, art, beauty, etc. that breaks ground within the mind to be able to make powerful connections between the process of creating a "thing" and shaping one's life. These are difficult concepts, but witnessing the cause and effect inherent in the push and pull of conceiving an idea and trying to manifest that idea in some form is what the practice of art is. It's problem solving at it's most elemental form.
I applaud both of these programs which are offering the students of Beacon an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the world and equipping them with the ability to reflect on their roles within it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Polani Mohan book signing at Asia Society tonight

Fovea is co-sponsoring a talk and book signing by Polani Mohan tonight at the Asia Society and Museum at 725 Park Ave, 8th Fl in Manhattan.

Presented by Asia Society Online, Asian Social Issues Program, and Fovea
Date: March 11th 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: New York Asia
Society and
Museum, 725 Park Avenue, 8th Floor, New York
Cost: $10
members, seniors,
students (w/ID); $12 non-members

Buy Tickets Online
Phone: 212-517-ASIA

Selected photographs from Mr Mohan's exhibition in Beacon will be on view in the Asia Society's lobby through the end of the month.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Super Soaker Second Saturday- March 8 2008

A torrential downpour at 7pm had me gearing up with slicker, rubbers and such for my trek along Main St. However, by the time I left the house fifteen minutes later, the rain had stopped permanently, and we were left with a dry but gusty evening for the vernissageago-go.

Below is a sampling of images taken at the various sites I stopped in. There will be some more posted on maykr's flickr page - just give me a few more days.
Above: folks at Fovea Exhibitions Beacon Gallery(I'm tempted to begin implementing an abbreviation for typing purposes) for Palani Mohan's opening of photographs documenting the interactions of man and elephant in Asia. Below: Palani Mohan.

I started at Fovea where I sadly learned from Kirsten Kucer of the recent death of Walter Castle. I'll do a separate post on this soon, but I can hardly imagine a Second Saturday without the ubiquitous Walter.
Black and White: an invitational exhibit of artwork that fits that bill at bau.

Terry Micheal's photographs at Mt. Beacon Fine Art.

From Fovea, I stopped into bau which had an appealing salon -style installation of b/w work. I really didn't examine any individual pieces. I rather enjoyed the overall effect. Mt Beacon Fine Art opened an exhibit of Terry Micheal's photographs printed on canvas.
I ventured on passed Iron Fish Trading Co. where passersby were treated to a silent storefront screening of Austin Powers.
Mark Roland's feature presentation at Iron Fish.

Sometimes I just inadvertantly miss things, and this weekend two such things were: A. spacing out on the opening at Ann St. Gallery in Newburgh of "Women's Work" featuring Nina Katchadourian, Elizabeth Mackie,Kathy Moss, Andréa Stanislav, and Kazumi Tanaka and B. Beacon Institute's opening of Leigh Wen's water paintings. One of Leigh's paintings is on the cover on this month's Chronogram. I was intrigued by the cover image, but I never read the accompanying piece. Anyway, the gallery was closed by the time I passed by, but there's plenty of time to catch the exhbit as it's running through July 8. Women's Work will be on exhibit at Ann St. Gallery through April 19.

Lou Patrou's prints at Pearldaddy.

I spent some time speaking with Pearldaddy proprietor Andrea and artist Lou Patrou whose prints are on view there. One of Lou's drawings is featured in Chronogram's Parting Shot this month.

I then stopped into the bCOOP space which was quiet, but it seemed some dj action was about to get going.
Above and below: artwork at bCOOP (specific artwork details to come shortly)
On to Jeff Caramagna's boldy hued paintings at Go North. I dig much of this work, particularly the volcano and cactus paintings. There's a level of rawness within the seemingly clean flatness that exudes a liveliness. When paired with Erica Hauser's homemade truck cookies of two months ago, Jeff's color coordinated, custom printed M&M's are setting a precedent for Go North's exhibition-themed treats that can only result in disappointment (for this writer,at least) at the first exhibition with no such accompaniment.
Above and below: Jeff Caramagna at Go North.

Above: Open Space's steamy window with mobile installation by Patrick Winfield.
Below: a few folks at Open Space.

A detail of one of Patrick Winfield's poloroid photomontages.

I was expecting this Second Saturday would coincide as it has in years past with the annual, City Council-contested Pub Crawl, which is actually happening next year. Actually the two events parallel each other in many respects, and in fact I did witness a bit of curbside vomiting rounding the bend on the East End. I don't think this nausea of art opening related, I just hope Jacqueline didn't find an unpleasant surprise in front of her store on Sunday.

Open Space still had a crowd as the opening for Patrick Winfield wound down and preparations were being made to move the party over to the Piggy Bank. Check out Open Space's opening pics. The crowd at Zahra's spilled out onto the sidewalk as usual, and maneuvering inside was difficult for fear of being impailed on any errant spikey protrusians on the walls or other people's attire.

Above and below: Zahra Studio's take on "kinetic art". Barbara Doherty's leather
and rubber Primitive Occult Adornments.

Above and below: Kulan part 2 at Hermitage.

Hermitage, inviting as usual, sported new works from the collaborative efforts of Jon Beacham and Kensie Duffy.
Earlier, as I passed by the now closed Chthonic Clash, I was surpised by a partially blocked window, a large projection inside and cryptic flyers pasted to the window. I headed back over there after leaving Hermitage. In what turned out to be the highlight of the evening, Shawn Trail and John Cason transformed the former coffee joint into a transy-lounge/audiovisual meditation. The guys created a collaborative video and audio piece called Special Treatment. The setup consisted of two separate screens, forming different viewing spaces for the two unsync'd versions of the forty minute piece. I can't quite describe the soundtrack of ambient and rythmic noises and music because it was so enveloping. The imagery was at times abstract flourishes of light and color and at times visuals of city scapes and the activites therein. There was a short section depicting a window washer moving between windows, doing his job in double time that mesmerized me somehow. There was just a trickle of folks that came in through the evening, and the guys didn't do much to promote it, but I could have sat there all night. Part of the appeal of the installation, beside the entirely comfortable atmosphere of the scene was that this piece was happening - utilizing a space that currently (unfortunately) is without a use at the moment. The fact that this location is in a sort of commercial-use limbo, sitting dormant and this piece filled that void with art for a short time is what much of it is about for me - the Use and re-Use of our home environs to share what we do with each other.
Special Treatment by John Cason and Shawn Trail at Chthonic.

I stopped in briefly at the Next Step Party at the Piggy Bank, watched Dan Weise and Tom Moore do a little live painting while the DJ's spun and took the long walk back home.

Tom Moore and Dan Weise at the Next Step at the Piggy Bank.

On the walk home: after just short of a year, the restaurant Tonique has closed its doors.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Photography of Robert Rodriguez Jr at Marlboro Free Library

Robert Rodriguez Jr. will be exhibiting his landscape photographs in the community room at the Marlboro Free Library for three weeks beginning tomorrow. There will be a reception tomorrow from 3-5pm.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Grant me the strength

A Beacon contingent was on hand to receive a number of grants from the Dutchess County Arts Council at a potluck ceremony on Thursday night, March 6 in Kingston. The DCAC administers the funds in Dutchess and Ulster Counties for the NY State Council on the Arts Decentralized Program. The program funds community arts projects sponsored by non profit organizations.
Almost fifty programs and projects from the two counties received funding from this grant program. The ceremony was sort an informal Oscar ceremony set before a backdrop of savory and sweet dishes arrayed in casseroles and tin foil. The only thing really lacking was the orchestra keeping the acceptance speeches to the utmost brevity. That said, It was interesting to hear of all the efforts and energy being put forth by many people to enhance the cultural life in our slice of the Hudson Valley.
Jennifer Mackewiecz and I accepted the grant given to BACA as the sponsoring organization for this year's Windows on Main St which will be held in August.
Donald Kimmel of Flying Swine was on the scene Thursday night. Flying Swine received funding for an upcoming autumn performance of "Savage in Limbo" by John Patrick Shanley. The play is set in the bar and the performance will take place this fall in the long anticipated wine and beer bar that should open in the coming months by Jim Svetz, owner of the Muddy Cup.
Beacon artist Rick Price and Gigi Fris of the Beacon Sloop Club were on hand to accept funding for a mural that Rick will be creating that for the Sloop Club. The mural will depict scenes of the of the environmental legacy of Pete Seeger, the sloop Woody Guthrie and the activities of the Sloop Club. Rick is in the process of planning the composition. Upon completion of the mural in the coming months, it will temporarily be installed on the side of the building that houses the River Winds Gallery. The Sloop Club is hopes to find a future permanent home for the mural closer to the waterfront, possibly somewhere at the Long Dock development.

Stephanie Heimann and Ronnie Farley of Fovea Exhibitions Beacon Gallery received funding for an upcoming exhibit called Women on the Front Lines scheduled to open on May 10 and run through July 6.
Given the amount of territory the DCAC covers, and the number of artists living and working in the county, very few of those artists are actually members of the council. I can attest to the eager efforts and intentions of the Council's board and staff to effectively serve as an advocate for artists' interests and exist as a relevant resource for the area's artists. As artists, we represent a substantial portion of the stakeholders within the constituency that the Arts Council serves, and through membership artists can help shape how culture and the arts in our area are developed.
I encourage all artists living and working in the area to consider joining the DCAC, particularly "contemporary artists" whose work exists outside of traditional contexts of art and who feel that their interests are not necessarily served by the activities of the Council. It is through the feedback support from such artists that the Council's benefits artists can be further developed.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Second Saturday Openings March 8 2008

It irks me when the days slide by and I post info on an upcoming opening just a day or two beforehand, particularly when I receive the information in a timely manner from the artist or gallery. I just can't always get the job done when I'd like. Sorry folks.
But here it is; that which will be opening this Second Saturday of March 2008 -as far as I know at this point in time.

From 4-8pm
Fovea Exhibitions Beacon Gallery will be opening the exhibit of photographs by photojournalist Palani Mohan "Vanishing Giants - Elephants of Asia." Mr Mohan will be traveling from Malaysia for the opening. While here he is participating in Fovea's education and outreach program in the community. The opening will also be the US launch on Mr. Mohan's book on Asian Elephants. Fovea is co-sponsoring a presentation by Mr Mohan at the Asia Society in NYC on March 11 (more on this soon.)

Photomontage by Patrick Winfield

Open Space will be returning from a monthlong hiatus with an exhibit of poloroid Composites by Patrick Winfield. Composite is the name of the exhibit. I stopped in last weekend as Patrick was beginning work on a window installation. The reception runs from 6-9pm.
I just learned that thanks to Open Space, Beacon Art Supply and the Piggy Bank, another Next Step party will be happening on Sat. starting at 10pm. El Jef[f]e, The Super + Shainfu and Break Beats will be providing music.
bau will be opening an exhibit called Black and White. I imagine this will be a group show, but I'm not sure. Reception, as always, from 6-9pm.
Hermitage will be continuing exhbiting collaborative work of Jon Beacham and Kensie Duffy. Part 2 of Kulan includes more pieces from the collaboration. Jon has been slowly adding to and altering the exhibition, and I spied some subtle differences in the installation during a short visit on Sunday. In fact, I know that things go on the walls, run their course and then come down without regard for needing to be seen. Things are created and are received at their own pace in this place and you know that as a visitor you are tapping into a process that is fully independant from reliance on your gaze to validate that effort. I find this very redeeming and contrary to the general gallery experience. By the way, this month's Chronogram has a
small piece on Hermitage, and the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog gives a mention also.

Jeff Caramagna "The Shark"

Go North will be showing Jeff Caramagna's Cryptogeometry. Jeff's moving a some very large canvases into the space, so, Let the claustrophobia commence. I'm anxious to see the effect these large graphic pieces have on the gallery, and since leaving Spire Studios a year ago, I haven't had a good dose of maddenly loud reggae rising up from below my feet, perhaps the boys can have Jeff place a thumping boombox banging away in the basement. It'll truly make me feel at home.

Barbara Doherty's Primitive Occult Adornments

Don't forget the "Black Light District"- Primitive Occult Adornments in Leather and Rubber by Barbara Doherty at Zahra Studio. Gallery Director, Vanessa Tellez is describing this as a gothic leather circus. Nice. I can't verify this, but in an ironic turning of the tables, I hear that Dakin Roy might be appearing as one of the evening's models.
Finally, I received a call from Frank Ritter the other day saying that bCOOP will be open and having another event on Saturday. I don't know the details, but you can stop in at 4 S Chestnut (around the corner from Subway.)

Ok, I'm in a rush out the door, so I'll try to flesh this out later, and provide pics.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

DCAC workshop on internet marketing for artists and small organizations, March 15

The Dutchess County Arts Council will be holding a seminar on Arts Marketing and internet social networks on March 15 at Suny New Paltz, in Lecture Center 110, SUNY New Paltz, 75 S. Manheim Boulevard, New Paltz, NY. Driving directions are available online at
The program will be an all day affair lasting from 9:00 to 5:00 with a panel discussion in the morning and in the afternoon, an opportunity for hands on computer time, to create profile pages in a number of the social network sites. Attendees are encouraged to bring a disc with images of artwork to upload during the hands on session.
The fee for the program is $30 for DCAC members and $40 for non members. The fee includes a continental breakfast and box lunch. Registration deadline is March 7. A registration form is available at or by calling the Dutchess County Arts Council at 845-454-3222.
The workshop will provide an overview about these popular sites, what their strengths are, how to include them in marketing strategies, and other practical
issues involved with file sharing, messaging, viral marketing, e-chatting, blogging, and more. This full-day program will feature a panel discussion in the morning and an afternoon hands-on session where participants will have an opportunity to develop a page of their own. Represented on the panel will be the Children's Media Project, individual artists Matthew Slaats and Christopher Albert, as well as marketing specialist Dean Temple of Drake Creative, and attorney, Gary Schuster, Esq. of Jacobowitz & Gubits, LLP.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Karlos Carcamo at PS 122 Gallery

I neglected to post information on Karlos Carcamo's opening last night at PS 122 Gallery in NYC. Hey, it happens. Karlos is showing with Jake Selvidio and the exhibit will be on view through March 23. Karlos sent me images from the opening last night and mentioned that several Beacon folks made the trip to attend, for which he is grateful.
PS 122 Gallery is located at 150 First Ave in NYC. tel 212.228.4249
I spy Peter Iannarelli, Greg Slick, Eleanor White and Karlyn Benson.

Drawing Revealed video screening, March 6, 2008 in Garrison NY

There will be a screening on March 6 of the accompanying video to the Drawing Revealed exhibition held in January at the Garrison Art Center
"Drawing Revealed: Artists in Conversation" will be screened at the Depot Theatre in Garrison at 7:30pm. There is a $5 admission and the filmmakers and featured artists will be in attendance for a discussion afterward. Here are the details.
The Drawing Revealed exhibit was written up by Ben Genocchio in the NY Times, and by Beth Wilson in Chronogram who in the same column also mentioned Van Brunt Gallery's Little Big Things exhibit.
A write up of the Times writeup of the exhibit appeared in the PCNR in early Feb.

Field Trip to HVCCA: portfolio review, delivering mags

Thanks to everyone that dropped off magazines and catalogs yesterday. I the mags down to HVCCA today, and passed the mags on to an appreciative Chris Jones, the museum's artist in residence for the next several months. I spoke to Chris for a while on his process of creating his work and the transformation of his collage materials. I snapped these photos in his studio space in the museum's upper level gallery where he's been working for the last two weeks. An exhibit of work created during Chris' residency will open on May 18. So stay tuned. An earlier post, included an image of a collaged motorcycle sculpture made by Chris. There's a much more readable image on his home page, just click the link under his name above.

Several pieces of different scale are in the early stage of development. Playing on the textures in the magazine imagery, some pieces are already taking on uncanny, decidedly un-paper characteristics.
The collection of materials will continue, so keep saving your magazines over the next several weeks, and I'll make another run down to Peekskill on March 30 for the museum's next panel discussion -more on that later. If you have magazines you want to pass along, let me know or take them down to the museum yourself.
I was at HVCCA today to attend the portfolio review day. Nearly 100 artists had an opportunity to get 15 minutes of one on one time with one of six reviewers. I saw several familiar names on the posted lists of review time slots and reviewer assignments.
I'm interested to hear how beneficial this event was for other attendees. Please feel free to comment below. I've never participated in one of these types of reviews and it's sort a blur to me. I think as with any good critique group, it helps to have clear questions you'd like answered in mind, and I didn't have any off hand. The main thing I came away with is an intent to refine the way I speak about my work, particularly with a very short opportunity.

Images from March 1 opening at Van Brunt Gallery

Here are some images from last night's opening at Van Brunt Gallery.

Michael Zansky's photographs and rotating googley eyed Washington head.

Sculpture and prints by Ed Smith on left and Thomas Huber's hexagonal paintings.

Thomas Huber and Michael Zansky standing in front of Ed Smith's work.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Legend of the Headless Art Foundation

image from Disney's "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" via Azathoth's Abode on the Plateau of Leng

Was it mere coincidence, or a knowing form of artworld commentary that the TNT network broadcast Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow last night just hours after Tyler Green served up a heaping MANscoop about Jeffrey Weiss stepping down as head of the Dia Foundation after nine months? Given the film is shown every three weeks on the network, the incident must surely be coincidental if not poetic. As I've only ever seen snippets of the film, and I've never seen the end, I don't know how fully fitting the analogy might be.
Anyway, Carol Vogel reports on the story in this morning's NY Times. Weiss told Vogel that he feels he was ill suited for the job, and it took him astray from the academic and curatorial activity he holds dear.