Upstate Art Weekend Journeys
For the Tastemaker
Calling all lovers of Earl Swanigan and Inness! Elegance isn’t only reserved for Out East or Litchfield. Indeed the aesthetics of the Hudson Valley are more rustic than Caroline Rohm, but for those who crave an injection of rural luxury in your art adventure, there's a cluster of cool in the southern Catskills to satisfy those who live ‘a curated life.’ Whether it’s unique finds for the home, consciousness-expanding sculpture, or converted art barn on a farm, those who seek the chic will find it all here.
Head first to Rock Tavern, NY, where Art on Bull Farm mixes ancient and contemporary works for “Mother Earth: Nature, Nurture and Fertility” in an 1856 federal-style stone country house for a mise-en-scene of Martha Stewart’s dreams. Down the road in West Cornwall is Storm King Art Center, where newly unveiled is Wangechi Mutu’s must-see outdoor fountain, as is last year’s landscape feat by Sara Sze.
Installation view, Mother Nature, Art on Bull Farm
Menashe Kadishman, Suspended, 1977, at Storm King Art Center
Hasbrouck House, a luxurious 18th-century Dutch Colonial stone mansion in Stone Ridge with a large 1920s pool that also has invited artist Jordan Tinker to exhibit his heavily gessoed animal sculpts throughout the 55+ acres of the hotel’s manicured grounds and native landscape.
Get breakfast and check out Color Wheels where 7 NYC women artists hang together “in a large rental truck” in front of Mill & Main Provisions in Kerhonkson for a pop-up exhibition exploring approaches to color. Just north of Kerhonkson, the artsy farm shop and maker showcase Ravenwood mounts the all-womxn group exhibition “ReGrowth: Emerging Anew & Expanded” filled with unique finds not found elsewhere. As you head towards the Ashokan reservoir, its imperative to first stop by Stoneleaf Retreat, the genius loci of Upstate Art Weekend and Helen Toomer’s artist residency, where a solo exhibition by Las Hermanas Iglesias focused on their 'Commiserates' series is on view, alongside works from STONELEAF alumnae Priscilla Aleman, Liz Collins, Lizania Cruz, Joy Curtis, Leah Dixon, Tamar Ettun, Liz Ikiriko, Langdon Graves & Macon Reed, plus Rebecca Reeve opens her studio. Then head to Boiceville where the River Valley Arts Collective at the Al Held Foundation is housed in a stunning studio barn that rarely opens to the public. For this occasion, Andrew Lyght’s intricately carved wooden panel drawings are inside the barn while outside are new sculptures by Hudson valley artists—open for guided tours on Sunday only.
Andrew Lythe at the RVAC Al Held Foundation
Patricia Fabricant, 11211, one of the artists participating in Color Wheels
For the Experiential
Land and space lead to great things, and no we’re not talking about James Turrell! The Hudson Valley has mountains (Catskills!), valleys (Oblong!), and reservoirs (Ashokan!) that any artist, whether studio painter or landscape interventionist, would be impossible to ignore. Heck, that’s the bounty of this place. With the imposing beauty of nature and the scale of space, a slew of projects and organizations have popped up that really make for an experience. The kind that lingers in your mind and ignites your feed. During Upstate Art Weekend, activist and participatory projects round out the sensorial visual experiences for this gesamtkunstwerk country journey.
Start in Saugerties, where over 37 years, Harvey Fite carved the sculpture park Opus 40 out of the earth itself, using on-site bluestone to create 6.5 acres of swirling earth sculpture that work in harmony with the natural landscape. Then head to River Hill Art Residency in Ulster Park for “And Ain't I A Women,” the fruits of Lindsay Adams’ May residency, accompanied by a “Take Two” performance at 4 pm, where a seminal jazz album will be played and then re-interpreted live in full. End the evening with Kingston-based art event organizers Cygnets Way who’ve staged a mini-fair outside Lite Brite Neon Studio, featuring the collective’s signature neon works.
Lindsey Adams in her studio
Lite Bright Neon Studio
The Spring Fountain at Opus 40
Hotel Kinsley, Kingston, where accommodations span across four historic buildings: a 1680s Georgian manor, to an 1870s townhouse filled with AbEx exhibition posters (and has a special Upstate Art Weekend deal).
The Restaurant at Hotel Kinsley's flagship former bank building
Begin in Hurley, at The Swimming Hole, an idyllic, progressive residency preserve, where six artists are participating in “Animal Well-Being,” an exhibition dedicated to the plight of animals. Then nearby in Shokan, METATEM at Hinterland, an artists’ co-op, there’s an immersive, interactive exploration of how humans make sense of the world through sensation. Finally, in Marbletown’s Cultural Activism International Project’s We Do: SURFING THE APOCALYPSE, be part of the art piece that through communal song transforms an apocalyptic multimedia installation.
View from The Swimming Hole's lookout tower
For the Serious Collector
While the Hudson Valley might not be the next 26th Street for blue-chip sales, don’t dismiss the Upstate vortex as lacking in world-class artists with representation in New York, LA, and London. In fact, some of New York’s finest dealers have decamped or extended their galleries with secondary outposts. The area also touts homegrown operations that now sell out their booths at NADA and Art Basel. All to say, the persistent perception that multi-million works don’t move upstate might still have some truth to it, but artists who are working the global market and sell at primary for real money are transacted up here all year round. Emphasis on the "all-year round". Upstate, the Hamptons this is not. For those seeking to expand their collections with some of contemporary art’s most coveted names, or those on whose walls hang their holdings, make time to consider these Hudson Valley outposts. Maybe someone will finally get access to an Al Freeman.
Begin in Beacon. Dan Colin performs at Analog Diary Saturday at 2 to celebrate their inaugural exhibition, featuring Al Freeman Jr. and 14 other artists. The new collaborative gallery comes from the minds of Derek Eller, Abby Messitte, Katharine Overgaard, and Franklin Parrasch. In the same building is Paola Oxoa’s Mother Gallery which brings together Zoë Buckman’s embroidery and Vanessa German’s assemblage of female statues for “We Flew Over the Wild Winds of Wild Fires,” a “reclamation of the ancestral.” Down Main St. at Fridman Gallery, Alina Grasman celebrates the famed modernist home Haus Schminke in paintings depicting interiors from the house, alongside audio approximations of the accompanying room tones by Daniel Neumann.
Alina Grasman, the festivities begin, 2022
Analog Diary, installation view, What a Long Strange Trip
Mother Gallery, installation view, We Flew Over the Wild Winds of Wild Fires
Head to Newburgh where the other side of the Hudson houses a few fledging galleries with a sharp eye for talent like artist-run Elijah Wheat Showroom, currently home to a 2,500-pound free-standing plaster cast of a theater curtain by Ian MacMahon, which he will shatter against the concrete floor Sunday at 7 pm (tickets required). Visitor Center presents Angelo Filmeno, also on Galerie LeLong’s roster, in a solo exhibition of vibrant landscape embroidery and watercolors that “juxtaposes exquisite beauty with the unnerving undertones of climate change’s repercussions.”
Angelo Filomeno, night and day (day), 2021, at Visitor Center
Ian McMahon, Momentary Event, 2022, Elijah Freeman Showroom
Starlite Motel, Kerhonkson, a freshly-renovated (and pink!) 1960s classic—think glamping but for mid-century motel nostalgia, run by artist Vera Farminga, who’s also installed the property as a public art site.
Starlite Motel, Kerhonkson NY
Drive across the river to Germantown to Alexander Gray Associates, whose eponymous founder in fact is a Woodstock native, for the 25-year survey of Harmony Hammond's monotypes opening this weekend, tracing the development of her approach to the medium between 1997 and 2022. Also in town is the special collaboration for the occasion between the furniture maker Michael Robbins Studio and artist Glen Fogel in an autobiographical exhibition permeated by their close friends and families.
Michael Robbins Showroom
Subliminal Horizons, Installation view, Alexander Grey Associates, Germantown (2021)
Then head north about 30 minutes away is the budding art town of Kinderhook (where Jack Shainman’s The School already is). Guess what: September has moved from Hudson! For Upstate Art Weekend, Kristen Dodge’s outfit to represent overlooked artists unveils its new Knitting Mill home with two exhibitions from Reginald Madison, “My flaws are my pets” and Odessa Straub, Real-Puss Molting Center. Bill Arning Exhibitions also has come to town, and for his debut show in July is “Reunion - a gathering,” of eight Hudson Valley artists who emerged with the curator during his first decade at White Columns.
A painting by Michael St. John at Bill Arning
September's new space at the Kinderhook Knitting Mill
For the Talent Scout
Surely it’s well known that the Hudson Valley is home to many an artist. Presently and in the past, too. And where there are artists, there is talent. We know plenty of you are always on the prowl for prospective art stars (or just really good work flying under the radar). Well, the infrastructure to support the next wave of great artists has arrived in the Hud; and during Upstate Art Weekend, behold the places to find some of the more interesting creative minds at work! And all conveniently clustered in the sister cities Catskill and Hudson.
Commence in Catskill where young artistic energy is clustering together, including Jaqueline Cedar’s Good Naked, which gallery takes over the Catskill Octagon for “Odd Angles,” a 10-artist exhibition inspired by the historic building’s unusual geometry featuring Natalie Beall and Max Rezdow. Then to Hudson River we go, where sits Beattie Powers Place, an 1840s historic home with lush gardens, opens its doors for a photography and embroidery exhibition by Michael Goldberg, Matt Hill, and Richard Saja that runs across the property (and a reception is slated for 2-5 pm). Head into town where Chicago-based collective Co-Prosperity debuts new works by Victoria Martinez at their Catskill satellite where at 6 pm is a reception. Her Hudson Valley residency with the collective works towards an upcoming major solo exhibition at Produce Model Chicago Cultural Center. Sitting on the Catskill Creek is Foreland, the sprawling arts complex and artist studios opened last summer by Stef Halmos, that this year has on view the newly formed Foreland Gallery Coalition’s first set of exhibitions curated by Situations, New Discretions, Document, and JAG Projects. However, on Saturday night is the “Artist Party” that starts at 9:30 pm (tickets $35 here), co-hosted by NADA with a DJ performance by Tschabalala Self and Mike Mosbyand—and one of the hottest tickets in town.
Beattie-Powers Place, Catskill
RVAC at Foreland1
Co-Prosperity, Central Hudson Gas' Electric Co. Building
Nathalie Beale, Pitch Peg, at Good Naked
Glenn Falls House in Round Top, the hipster getaway known for its pool parties and as a retreat for NYC art people.
Glen Falls House, Roundtop
After a morning dip in the famous Glen Falls pool, head to Hudson for a slew of unique environments with next-gen exhibitions, including the artist-run (with Jesse Greenberg’s JAG Projects) Hudson House presents “Red Herrings for the Category Spell,” a group rebellion against categorization curated by Drew Gillespie of the collective Bobo. Pamela Salisbury Gallery presents 6 different women artists: solo shows of Shari Mendelson, Portia Munson, Jennifer Coates, and Phoebe Helander, and a duo of Valerie Hammond and Kiki Smith. In anticipation of the annual 10-day arts festival in August, The Hudson Eye exhibits new paintings by Lawre Stone in a 3rd st. storefront as part of their Window on Hudson series. At the reclaimed 19th-century factory Basilica, area artists Sean Desiree, Bob Braine, and Alison McNulty seek sustainable solutions through craft-adjacent disciplines in “All Hands.”
"All Hands", outdoor installation at Basilica Hudson
Portia Munson, Star Hibiscus, 2009, at Pamela Salisbury Gallery
"Red Herrings for the Category Spell" at Hudson House poster
Lawre Stone, "Window on Hudson" series presented by the Hudson Eye
A Weekend Trip by Foot
So you don't have a car or can’t seem to get access to one. It happens! Supply chain issues are all too real. That doesn't mean Upstate Art Weekend is off the table. Au Contraire. In fact, north of the NYC border, Metro North runs smoothly and connectedly to the major towns of Beacon and Newburgh wherein lie great institutions, need-to-know galleries, and curious upstart art concepts. For Upstate Art Weekend, a slew of special projects has rolled into town that is quite site-specific. Plus, this journey includes a ferry ride (the same one Alexander Hamilton frequently used when he was camped in Beacon).
Hop the train from Grand Central up the Hudson River to Beacon, where Dia Beacon is but a short walk from the station. This summer, the temple to Minimalism has mounted exhibitions of Sam Gilliam’s early Drape paintings (closing soon), Jo Baer, Melvin Edwards, and Andy Warhol, alongside the foundation’s acclaimed permanent installations until 8 pm during their final “Midsummer Evening.” Down the main drag, on the corner of North Ave. and Main St., The Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation presents its first public art installation of the Fluxus movement video pioneer’s Meta-Marcel: Window (Flowers). The River Valley Guild has a special RVG Showcase of artist objects for sale, in collaboration with Beacon Open Studios. KuBe, for Kunsthalle Beacon, is a high school-turned-international emerging art center that houses 48 studios and Ethan Cohen Gallery’s 3 current solo shows and 2 group presentations, one each for both local and African artists. Hop Ferry To Newburgh for site-specific art foundation Strongroom’s latest installation where Faxt Friend Liz Nielsen encases Newburgh’s Dutch Reformed Church in a Forcefield of blue light each night starting at 8 pm.
Installation at KuBe
Past River Valley Guild Market
Sam Gilliam, Double Merge, 1968, at Dia Beacon
Emil Alzamora installation at KuBe, The Glass House
"Forcefield" by Liz Nielsen, presented by Strongroom
At the Shikego Kubota Video Art Foundation
Hop on the train back to NY, then hop right off again in Cold Spring to catch the shuttle or a taxi to the beloved (and free) Italian art center Magazzino for its current exhibition of “Gilardi: Tapeto-Natura” and its permanent installation of Arte Povera works. Magazzino also has collaborated with visionary designer Russell Wright’s Manitoga for a site-specific installation of Formafantasma in the property’s Dragon Rock Garden. The compound is a short taxi away in Garrison, which while you’re there, a must-go is to JDJ gallery’s Ice House location that has on view three new works by Athena LaTocha of lead sheets molded from surrounding boulders.
Athena LaTocha, JDJ Gallery Ice House
Magazzino Italian Art
Manitoga, the Russel Wright Design Center
Gilardi, Tappeto-Natura at Magazzino Italian Art
Go West, Friend
Now, we know Upstate is a hotly debated term. Native New Yorkers might argue the line begins above Westchester, though most people in the state (including the Governor) say Albany is, at minimum, where the line begins. Metro-North, meanwhile, holds firm that it’s Poughkeepsie, where their trains end. Why does it matter? Well, the boundaries are pretty porous, and ever-extending, and so with a crop of credible projects that popped up in the Western Catskills or even further towards the Finger Lakes, it makes sense Upstate Art Weekend took them in. For those up for a beautiful drive and adventure, these art events really caught our eye. Praise those dipped gas prices, eh?
Head up 87 about three hours to the northern end of Greene County, where the Catskills escarpment drops off and the Catskill Creek (and its many swimming holes) is the region’s best summer dipping destination, hands down. But we’re here for the art, so start in Acra, where Wave Farm offers tours of their 11 outdoor sound installations, including by Heidi Neilson and Harry Dove-Robinson, Soundcamp, Patrick Quinn, and then Saturday at 3 artists-in-residence Aaron Dilloway and Victoria Shen perform with their new hacked 8-track tape player instrument, "Inhaled Yowls Machine.” Afterward, about 20 minutes away is East Durham, where Karen Schaupeter’s curatorial and programming platform, Ed. Varie, stages an outdoor exhibition in an “atmosphere similar to a yard sale.” At 6 PM, Schaupeter is opening up the estate of artists to the Upstate community with a sunset dinner, prepared by the Ed. Varie family. Tickets and RSVPs are required.
p.s. If you have time to kill between events, may we recommend the swimming hole behind Furlong’s.
Ed. Varie stages an outdoor group exhibition
Greenville Arms 1889 Inn transports to the turn of the century with English gardens and a Queen Anne revival manor and carriage house chock full of antiques.
Greenville Arms 1889 Inn
Get up and get to Osmos Station, in Stamford, where Cay-Sophie Rabinowitz has a physical project space for her roving platform, with its publishing arm, curatorial platform, and artists and estates representation. For their summer outing comes Santiago De Paoli's post-surrealist paintings, which abstractly evoke bodies by incorporating found objects. There is an opening reception at 6 pm with the artist, food, and fanfare. However, if you’re rolling on the Sunday wave, stop off for lunch at Half Acre, a brand-new seasonal restaurant in Stamford dedicated to “slow food” and highlighting the full agricultural spectrum of the Catskills. Then round out your Sunday sojourn at Hawk + Hive, in Andes, which is hosting a reception all weekend for works by local artists and Zachary Lank’s uneasy, dream-like paintings where beekeepers move through vibrant flower-filled fields.