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.

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