Tuesday, September 30, 2008

400 square - brings more photography to Beacon's Main St.

I stopped into 400 square, the day after its grand opening earlier in the month. Photographer and recent Beacon transplant, Rob Penner opened the photography gallery located at 149 Main St on Second Saturday, September 13. As manner of introducing himself, and his work to the community, the gallery's first exhibit "Remains of the Day", a selection of Penner's own photographs of discarded packaging will be on exhibit until early November.
Rob will be offering digital printing and retouching services as well as possibly holding photography workshops in the space. Rob said he expects exhibits to run for about six weeks, with November's exhibit featuring Beacon photographer Ronnie Farley.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spirit of Beacon Parade

For those of you wondering, The Spirit of Beacon Day Parade is on for today, beginning at 1pm. Thus far, the rain has not materialized and the chance of it hitting has been diminishing. As of 8:30 am, word is that the parade is going on as planned for today.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

On for this weekend.

I'm coming out my cave, having been thoroughly engaged with a heavy workload for the last couple of weeks... so I have a little catching up to do on several fronts.

Anyway, here are a few things on tap for this weekend.
It was announced yesterday that due to the forecast for rain today (which has yet to appear here in Beacon), the COTA event in New Paltz has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Sept 28.

There are two events tonight:
Hermitage is hosting the opening of Mario Lemos: "Aura of Invincibility." (here's a personal aside. As fate would have it, just this week I've taken on the habit of pronouncing the word invincible with a lisp, rendering it invinthible. This cracks me up.)There will be an opening reception tonight from 6-9 pm.

Open Space is hosting Outre Autre - 2 hours of DJ music and 2 hours of videos by Joey Daytona. Below is some footage from the project. The event will run from 6-10pm

Tomorrow, weather permitting, the Spirit of Beacon Day Parade will be happening. This year, Artists at Large which, in the past brought us the Hudson River School Fish heads, and the Tools with legs has teamed up with students from one of the Beacon Community Center's programs, illustrating large scale renditions based on the kids drawings of what they want to be when they grow up.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Eye Candy Friday: Uh Omer

This weekend's selection is CNN Concatenated, 2002, a work by Omer Fast. The pause/inhalations make this work for me.

Fast is among the artists whose work is included in A/V heavy exhibit "The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art", opening at the Hessel Museum at Bard College on Sept 27, 2008. There's an opening reception for the exhibit on the 27th from 1-4pm.
Hito Steyerl will be giving a lecture titled "Documentary Uncertainty" at 2pm on the day of the opening.
The following day, Sept 28, from 1:30-2:30, a panel discussion, "Problems of Realism" will be held featuring TJ Demos, Carles Guerra and Hito Steyerl.
On Oct 4, at 1pm, Andrea Geyer will be giving a performative slide lecture in Weis Cinema, located at the Bard Campus Center.

The Greenroom will be on exhibit through Feb 1 2009.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Images from Second Saturday Sept 13

Part of the crowd at Van Brunt with Richard Butler's lazy eyed diver looking on.

Despite all that was going on, we did not make it to many places on Saturday. We started out at Go North for the group show on abstraction. I've come to understand why any future framers contracted to frame any of Robert Brush's works on paper might want to wear rubber gloves. The selection of the 10 artists in the exhibit was divvied up between the three gallery partners, and it wasn't until all the work arrived that any of them knew what the show was going to look like. Given that randomness, the work is pretty cohesive.

We then stopped in to Van Brunt for the Hudson Valley invitational. I actually didn't make it all the way back to see the third room. I was expecting a show much more densely installed than it is, which is good given the 30 some artists included in the show.
Works by Eleanor White, left, and Gabe Brown on the right.

Folks, including the artist, gathered around Jaanika Peerna's video work at Van Brunt.

Greg Slick and Angelika Rinnhofer flank a painting by Ryan Magyar at Go North.

Abstract Endeavors at Go North.

A sample of the Peace Pals exhibit of postcards lining Main Street's storefront windows.

Milling about outside Van Brunt, we heard of a new apartment gallery that was opening that night. The new joint is called Floor One Gallery. It's located in a cool live/work space at 17 East Main St.- just on the farside of the creek from Main St. Ty Marshall and Derek Bryant recently opened moved to Beacon. It's the kind of DIY, maximizing resources kind of effort that I really respond to. The spirit was good as was the food. Floor One will be open on 2nd Saturdays and by appointment at other times. The joint has a myspace page now with a more extensive website coming soon.

The living room, dining room, kitchen/gallery, Floor One.

Ty Marshall's work at Floor One.

A funny response to Tacita Dean's Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS (in three movements) to John Cage’s composition 4'33? with Trevor Carlson, New York City, 28 April 2007 which was on view at Dia:Beacon until just recently.

A stunning discovery through the telescope in the back yard of Floor One.

There were so many other things going on on Saturday, but we just didn't make it.....we did catch a glimpse of the Film Flam on the way home, and the long awaited opening of the wine bar next to the old Feel Design space.

Some images from Dar Williams' CD Release Party at Spire Studios, Sept 9, 2008

A bird's eye view of Dar's performance. Simon Draper is 'thinking' to the right.

One could say that holding an exhibit or event at Spire Studios is like putting lipstick on a pig, but as one draws closer to examine the effects of such a lurid application, one could catch oneself thinking, 'Man this lipstick wearing pig is looking mighty fine'. It could happen.
It might not be right, but it don't feel wrong, and one could come to the conclusion that one could have one hell of a time with this pig, briskly gussied up as it is. This might not be a universal truth, and it might reveal a bit too much about me. The point stands, though, that although this raw space shares less in common with a converted industrial loft in SOHO than with a cobbled together structure in a Palestinian refugee camp, when there's work on the wall, the lights go up, and there are people populating the corners, there's a sensation of relaxed, jovial warmth that is not duplicated anywhere else in town.

The space is inherently apotheosis of a beautiful exhibition space, but when I was speaking to Dar after her performance, she felt it was the natural place for her to hold CD release, given the humble, open, and organic qualities of the space which makes things happen there. Back in the early days when Spire Studios and Bulldog Studios were pretty new, BCF President Sam Yanes quipped about the informality of Spire and how even some of the studios had doors. This was true-a few artist's studios did lack doors for quite awhile, but what it did have that was generally absent from Bulldog, was a warm, inviting collegial environment. I'm partial. I had a space at Spire for three years, and the quirky aspects of the joint appealed to me immediately. Last week's event felt like a homecoming of sorts as that vibe present at so many of the parties and get togethers in the past was back.

The place has never been as packed as it was for Dar's performance, and the food provided was excellent. It was a great night.

Scenic Hudson was among the non profit groups represented during the evening.

After the crowd thinned, I photographed some of the artwork:

Sharon L. Butler's work on the left, the hanging sculpture on the opposite wall is by Maureen Beck.

my piece is on the left. Richard Bruce's and Marnie Hillsley's works are behind those people.

Sara Mussen's work in the background, Simon Draper's on the right.

(l-r) Simon Draper, Val Clark, Kathy Feighery.

Of course the focus of the evening was the release of Dar William's CD Promised Land, but it also served as a closing shindig for the Habitat for Artists project which has been parasitically habitating in the parking lot of Spire all Summer. Many of the artists involved in HFA have artwork featured in the liner notes of Promised Land. Though HFA will be closing this chapter of the project, a form of it will be present at the COTA (Celebration of the Arts) in New Paltz on Saturday, Sept 27 where it will be interfacing with another batch of artists, including Kathleen Anderson and Grace Knowlton who will have work inhabiting two of the PODS which will be making the trip North. Sharon L. Butler, whose been chronicling her experience of working in one of the habitats gave a final reflection on her Two Coats of Paint blog, last week. Andrew Revkin mentioned the Habitats in a post on the NY Times Science page that related to the economical and ecological effect of the small footprint.

It looks like Simon is back to blogging about HFA after a period of being knee deep in organizing all Summer. Finally, you have until the end of the month to view Simon's contribution to the Windows on Main St Exhibit at the Exit Drake Realty office in Beacon (412 Main St). As it happens, the Realty office is moving to Fishkill, and they will keep remnants of Simon's project up through the end of September, when the move happens. Some of the undercurrents of the HFA project are emphasized in the fliers marketing the Hab's alongside the the 'real' properties available through the agency. This WOMS piece has been particularly successful because is has the dual nature of a self standing piece and at the same time a reference and a document of another concurrent project in the community. Secondly, the seamlessness of piece in the windows gave pause to people stopping to look at the offerings, prompting some to enter the office and investigate what was going on. Finally, Simon's WOMS project reached a level of collaboration with a Main St. business that hasn't happened in any previous incarnation. Not only was Exit Drake willing to participate, but the staff seemed to really respond to the inherent humor of the work, and Nancy Rosaler, one of the realtors became integral to the creation of the work, collaborating with Simon on the wording of the marketing pitches for each structure.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eye Candy Friday: Nature Morte, Anime

This is a beautiful take on the classic, symbolically loaded still life by Sam Taylor-Wood, entitled "Still Life" from 2001. Thanks to Ms A, I saw this originally at, but the embed is, of course from your tube.

So that is the Nature Morte, Anime. If you'd like to watch the Nature Morte, Re-anime, check out Taylor-Wood's
"A Little Death" from 2002. Equally stunning, and upon watching it again tonight, newly disturbing. Must've been something I ate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Clara Gould Art Fund, Hudson Invitational Exhibit and Talk at Van Brunt....and touching hands.....

Van Brunt Gallery and the Howland Cultural Center are hosting an event to launch the Clara Lou Gould Fund for the Arts. This fund, named for Beacon's previous Mayor of 18 years, Clara Lou Gould, under the auspices of the Community Fund of Dutchess County and BACA, will "fund Beacon projects not generally supported by other area arts organizations, including individual artist’s projects, unique exhibitions, performance or public art projects, arts education programs, and community projects that promote area artists and arts activities and that draw attention to the valuable role of arts and culture in our community." Tickets for Friday's event are $100. For more information, and to order tickets online, click here.

Part of the events for the evening will include a preview of the Hudson Invitational exhibit at Van Brunt. The exhibit, which is being presented by Van Brunt Gallery in association with Curcio Projects, and which is co-curated by Jennifer Mackiewicz, relates to the Sitelines Art Fair program that was scheduled for last May but cancelled shortly before.
The art fair was/is intended to highlight contemporary art venues, both commercial and non profit, active throughout the Hudson Valley.

The panel discussion that is accompanying the Hudson Valley Invitational Exhibit is scheduled for Sept 14 at 3pm - at Van Brunt Gallery - and it will touch upon the topic of the present and future of the arts in the Hudson Valley.

The discussion will be moderated by Almanac Weekly Art Critic Paul Smart. Participating panelists include: Benjamin Krevolin, board president of the Dutchess County Council on the Arts, Norm Magnusson, known for his allegoric paintings, his faux historic roadside signs, and his website, Tom Roe, founder of Wave Farm in Greene County and a leading proponent of the new Transmission Arts movement, currently on view at the SUNY Purchase's Neuberger Museum. Also on the panel are Sparrow, author/poet/critic, Robert The, Kingston-based conceptual and book artist with a background in philosophy, Christina Varga, Woodstock gallery owner and Brian Wallace, curator at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY-New Paltz. The panel will be streamed live on free103point9 Transmission Art Radio via a link at, or tune in by pasting into your media player. to have

I've written a bit in previous posts about how I though the art fair could potentially set certain conditions serve to feed and connect the region's artists and venues in a way that would bridge the distance between the HV art communities. By that I mean that the corollary events and projects that would pop up around a successful fair might create a gravitational force that would draw more people into a collaborative relationship. I'd heard of gripes about why this thing was happening in Beacon. Why not? Of course, there's no reason that it couldn't happen in Peekskill, Hudson or Kingston, it just never has. Of course it hasn't happened in Beacon yet either. A possible remedy to assuage this griping might be to organize the fair as a series of contemporaneous events that would be happening in a number of communities up an down the river. However, I think it would prove to be a poor strategy for it would simply disperse the energy of such an event over such a large footprint as to dilute the potential impact of a shared moment and place and it would reinforce the art community breach as exists now. If maximum impact, participation, and variety desired effects, I think a better solution would be to hold such an event in a different city every year. Logistically, this would be more difficult, but the potential for collaborative creativity, as well as dynamic, evolving presentation could create that cultural gravity and excite and equally dynamic of artists/venues to participate. To some extent, the concept would be that of an annual nomadic convention, or model of the Olympic Games.

In the spirit of cross community interaction, a panel talk was held last Saturday as part of the recently completed 2008 Windows on Main St. project. The talk, which looked at the aspects of artists working in the public sphere, covered WOMS in context with the Peekskill Project, represented by Michael Natiello, and the 10x10x10 project in Ellenville with the creator of that project Judy Sigunick . The talk was scantily attended, and virtually all in attendance were either on the panel, or in some way affiliated with the projects discussed, but what occured, was an excellent discussion about the artists' experiences of working among the public in traditionally non art locations. Basically was a sharing of the obstacles, the rewards and the discoveries common among the projects. It was also enlightening to learn about the artists' activities that so closely parallel one another, demonstrating some wonderful affinities.

The fact that Sunday's talk at Van Brunt will be streamed live on the internet (thanks to Free 103point9)alone is exciting. I'd like to see more talks/art events in the area streamed or otherwise shared more profusely online. It's hard to make it out to too much, and there's not a lot out there that represents the goings on in the various communities. I wish there was more.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Art Handler's Ball - volunteers needed

Jill Reynolds has stepped up to coordinate a volunteer crew that can prepare and install the Peace Pals Postcard Exhibit. Some 3500 postcards created by children from around the world are going to be on exhibit in storefronts along Beacon's Main St from Sept 13-28.

To that end, Jill is planning a mega art handler party - a party so mega, that it will traverse two evenings and a Saturday morning.
Volunteers are needed to help mount the postcards on foamcore boards, then install them in the storefronts. The work party is planned to take place in Beacon on the evenings of Thursday Sept 11 and Friday Sept 12, and if needed, Saturday morning.

If you have some time and would like to help out, email me at info (at), and I'll pass along the vital information.
I'd imagine that the skill set required is not so high that the average concientious citizen that can level a line and who has a working knowledge of Velcro would be prevented from helping out. The more the merrier.
If the party gets out of hand, remember that friends don't let friends hang artwork drunk.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Second Saturday in Beacon NY, Sept 13, 2008

There's a bit of what's planned for this coming Second Saturday, Sept 13, 2008.

First, there's the Beacon Film Flam, as I have mentioned in the previous post.
That will be happening on the West end of town, down in the middle stretch of Main St. (at Cedar St.) the Handmade Cavalcade rolls in with vendors setting up shop from 1pm-8pm at Main St.
Also, opening on Saturday, a storefront window exhibit of postcards created by children from around the world as part of the PeacePals International event happening in Beacon.

The Openings:

Go North Gallery 6-9pm : A group show titled Abstract Endeavors, with work by: Anne Beck, Aaron Sing Fox, Clinton Wilkins, Jim Goss, Marisa del Pozo, Matt Kinney, Robert Brush, Ryan Magyar, Unju Lee, and Vincent Pidone. Go North is turning 2yrs old this month. This exhibit, which runs through Oct. 5, is a curatorial collaboration by the three partners, Karlos Carcamo, Gregory Slick and Joe Millar.

bau 6-9pm: bau 45: Grey Zeien, The Comix, Paintings 2008. Read the Press Release here. The exhibit runs through Oct. 5.

Van Brunt Gallery 6-9pm: Hudson Valley Invitational. A group show including the work of 30 artists: Chris Albert, John Allen, Emil Alzamora, Gabe Brown, Robert Brush, Richard Butler, Richard Deon, Laura Moriarty, Alison Moritsugo, James Murray, Franc Palaia, Jaanika Peerna, Fawn Potash, Lyndon Preston, Eliza Pritzker, Molly Rausch, Angelika Rinnhofer, Robert Rodriguez, Jr., Christie Scheele, Charlotte Schulz, Michael Sibilia, Ed Smith, James Westwater, Eleanor White, Tony Moore, Simon Draper, Rieko Fujinami, Lowell Handler, Matt Harle, Thomas Huber, Peter Iannarelli, Gary Jacketti, Steven Jennis, Grace Knowlton, D.Dominick Lombardi, Susan Magnus, and Norm Magnusson.
There is a panel discussion to accompany this exhibit scheduled for Sept 14 at 3pm, and on Friday, Sept 12, a fundraising exhibition preview fundraiser will be held at the gallery to benefit the nascent Clara Lou Gould Art Fund (More on all of this in the next post).

Zahra's Studio 6-10pm: Silencio, work by Oni Satki which is on view through Sept 30.

Open Space 6-9pm: work by Ric Stultz rafa jenn Joe Pimentel through Oct. 5.

400 Square - starting at 5pm. This is the inaugural opening of this photography gallery that will be located at 149 Main St. Photographer Rob Penner is opening the gallery, and the first exhibit will be comprised of his own work. Not knowing of the history of the name, Penner was planning on naming the gallery The Beacon Project space. When he learned that the name had already been used, he chose another name. (The Beacon Project Space was the exhibition space of the Beacon Cultural Foundation and was also the location of the foundation' offices from 2002-2004, until the organization moved to the old Beacon High School at 240 Main St, and the Project Space atrophied.)

pearldaddy 6-9pm: Lucie Tatarova: Fractal PeopleSoft Sculpture, Print, and Textile Creations From Prague, through December 7.

Beacon FilmFlam, Saturday, Sept 13 noon-10pm

Billed as "An arts-crafts-puppet village and outdoor film festival", The Beacon FilmFlam will be taking place on Saturday, September 13 from noon to 10pm. Taking place in the grassy lot on the corner of Main St. and Cross St (across from Hudson Beach Glass), an arts village with arts and craft vendors, music and puppet shows will be inhabiting the space until 6pm. The film festival is scheduled to take place beginning at 7pm (dusk). All the pertinent information can be found at the website above. FilmFlam is a cooperative effort of the Beacon Artist Salon and Fovea Exhibitions.

A little local bloggage

Jen Bradford is the subject of a Q&A profile (#259, in fact) on Norm Geras' normblog
Vanessa Tellez, the curator of the gallery at Zahra's Studio has started a blog ( ) that will be populated by all things in the area relating to 'alternative art', defined by Vanessa as 'usually sub-culture' and generally having a dark theme such as, but not limited to: "Custom S&M paraphernalia, Restriction themed Porcelain, Straight-up Character Painting, Self-loathing expression, Tarot, Graffiti, Native American Porn Star Pop Art, Asian Fetish pen and ink, and much more."

Friday, September 05, 2008

Swimming Cities curbed by cops

I promise this will be the last post on the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea. Today's NYTimes is reporting that the flotilla was stopped by police in New York Harbor yesterday and was issued summonses for two of the boats for lacking appropriate safety gear. The group was escorted to its destination in LIC by the Coast Guard yesterday.
The Gothamist has a brief interview with Swoon about the project.
KSW blog has a description of the perils of navigating near the mouth of the Hudson.

Eye Candy Friday: Giacometti's Nose out on Exit 5

It's been awhile, but one of the treats Tyler Green bestows upon his readers occasionally is his series of posts on visual rhymes shared by different art pieces.
I felt certain that I had the perfect rhyme to a work of art right across the river in Orange County, and I ached for the opportunity to photograph it and send it along to Tyler the next time he made a call for readers' rhyme submissions. This wonder of nature I'd long since marvelled at was a chipped, rusted segment on the North side of the I-84 overpass at Exit 5 near Montgomery, NY that conveyed not some dubiously oozing shadow-likeness of Christ or Mary, but rather, that of the more refined vision of Alberto Giacometti's sculpture, the Nose.
I finally took that photograph last November. It seems my mind completed this rhyme much more profoundly than the true relationship proves to be and looking at them together, I see the rhyme is a bit forced. Indeed, my overpass discovery has more of the gesture of a Muppet in profile, than the surreal terror of Giacometti's piece, but I will continue to feel The Nose whenever I have to head out that way to pick up a Penske truck.

Albert Giacometti, The Nose. via

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The round up

For fear of missing anything that's flown in my inbox recently, I'm combining them in one post: has posted an interview with Emil Alzamora on his work, life as a sculptor in Beacon, NY, his love of the Piazza, and how making art is like taking a crap - a sentiment shared by Martin Creed (actually, Creed refers to it in this interview, but the previous link manifests it in visual form.

Eleanor White is taking part in a three person show along with Erin Walrath and Natasha Cohen at the Art Barn in New Fairfield Ct. The Art Barn is located on the former estate of Louise Nevelson There's an article in the Stamford Plus about the exhibit. Pieces of Her opens Sunday, September 7 with a reception from 4-7pm. The exhibit runs through October 4.

In case you're interested, Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea
made it to Manhattan on Monday.

Hyde Park Townsman has an article on Matthew Slaats' Hyde Park Project, the culmination of which which is now being set to coincide with next year's Hudson River Quadricentennial events. Also, Matthew's interactive project for WOMS 2008, Call and Respond will continue through Sept 13. Call 845.228.8918 to pose a question or respond to a question.

Simon Draper is the featured artist in the Sept 08 issue of Chronogram, which chronicles, in own words, his humble beginnings as a wee Welshman to becoming the Prof of the Privy and formulating the creative juggernaut that is Habitat for Artists.

Charlotte Schulz's work is included in a group show at the Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco. The exhibit, Voices of Metaphor: More Stories, opens Saturday Sept 6 and runs through October 18. Other artists included in the exhibit are: Amy Cutler, Fay Ku, Shazia Sikander, Ruth Marten, Liliana Porter, Yuka Yamaguchi, Yelena Yemchuk, Rachell Sumpter, Baseera Khan, Crystal Liu, Henry Darger, Rob Matthews, Sara Stites and Seonna Hong.
Charlotte will be present at the opening reception which takes place on Saturday from 4-6pm.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Windows Panel Talk, Saturday Sept 6 1pm

This is the final week of WOMS 2008.
On Saturday, September 6 at 1pm, a panel discussion will be held at the Howland Public Library (313 Main St.) to coincide with the closing of the exhibit. The discussion will revolve around the artwork of the WOMS project, and aspects of art sited in situations outside of the isolated gallery setting in other projects like Ellenville's 10x10x10 and the Peeksill Project.
WOMS 2008 participating Theresa Gooby and Steven Walls will discuss their projects, and previous WOMS artist and current Peekskill Project participating curator Michael Anthony Natiello will speak about his experience in both projects. 10x10x10 curator, Judy Sigunick will discuss the nature of her project in Ellenville.

The discussion is free and open to the public.

sponsored by:
BACA, Rhinebeck Savings Bank, The Ann and Abe Effron Fund of the Community Foundation of Dutchess County.
This project is made possible (in part) through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, administor of public funds through NYSCA's Decentralization Program

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dar Williams Promised Land CD Release Party at Spire Studios in Beacon, NY, Sept 9 2008, 6-9pm

Spire Studios will be hosting a CD Release Party for Dar Williams' new album Promised Land on Tuesday, Sept 9 from 6 to 9pm. Here's a interview with Dar about the album. The CD release party will double as a sort of closing event for the Habitat for Artists presence at Spire, which ends at the end of the month. Dar's got a habitat of her own down at at Spire, and artwork of some fellow Habitat for Artists is featured in the CD liner notes (the artwork will be on exhibit inside Spire).
Dar will be performing a sampling of music from the album which will be on hand for purchase that night.

Gallery Talk: Denise Markonish at the Dorsky Museum, Sept 4, 7pm

Denise Markonish, MASS MoCA curator and juror for exhibit, Hudson Valley Artists 2008: The Medium is the Message will be taking part in a conversation about her work and her approach to creating the exhibit.
The talk will be held Thursday, September 4, at 7:00 pm in the Chandler Gallery at the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY. The Medium is the Message will be on view through Sept 7th.