If there’s any constancy to the contemporary art scene of the Hudson Valley over the past few decades, it may very well be in the hardworking form of curator, author and academic Linda Weintraub, who has put together this summer’s blockbuster regional exhibit at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY-New Paltz. Titled “Dear Mother Nature: Hudson Valley Artists 2012,” the show is set to open this Saturday, June 23 from 5-7 p.m. Mikhail Horowitz, Gilles Malkine and Charlie Kniceley will perform “Exit Gaea, in a Gurney,” a “poetic/musical satire on the geopolitical divisions of the planet,” at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. that evening.
Put together with an eye to the emerging field of eco-arts, the Dorsky show is part of a series of informally related exhibitions including: the Greene County Council for the Arts’ “Whale Oil to Whole Foods” compendium, co-curated by activist artist Christie Rupp; a Cornell Cooperative Extension show opening at that entity’s Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra on July 7; and the “Beautiful Garbage” exhibit, curated by artist Portia Munson and opening at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Kleinert/James Art Center on July 7 from 3 to 6 p.m.
“Visitors to ‘Dear Mother Nature’ will encounter many offerings to Mother Nature, a compelling metaphor that visualizes the critical condition of the environment today,” says Weintraub. “This metaphor inspired 42 accomplished Hudson Valley artists to create artworks expressing heartfelt apologies, gratitude, prayers, sympathy, consolation, honor and assistance to Mother Nature, who even receives a reprimand from one artist for being so willful. The urgency of the artists’ environmental messages inspired many of the artists to add ‘audience participation’ to their creative practices…Such richly diversified artistic offerings provide opportunities to smile and to weep. I hope visitors will return often to enjoy the interactive performances, gallery talks, workshops and participatory ceremonies that are planned.”
The show will remain on view until November 3. Participating artists include Paul Stewart and Mary Anne Davis from Columbia County; Angela Basile, Donise English, Susan Osberg, Gina Palmer, Susan Quasha, Raquel Rabinovich, Karl Volk and Riva Weinstein from Dutchess County; Jim Holl, Claudia McNulty and Portia Munson from Greene County; Joan Bankemper, Leila Goldthwaite, Daniel Mack, Meadow and Laura Soles from Orange County; Jaanika Peerna from Putnam County; Kathleen Anderson and Polly Giragosian from Sullivan County; Barbara Bash, María Cristina Brusca, Khem Caigan, Trina Greene, Jan Harrison, Tatana Kellner, Claire Lambe, Allison Leach, Barbara Leon, Ellen Levy, Laura Moriarty, Leslie Pelino, Elisa Pritzker, Michael X. Rose, Christy Rupp, Suzy Sureck, Diane Teramana and Sherry Williams from Ulster County; and Lisa Breznak, Leslie Miller and Ilse Schreiber-Noll from Westchester County.
Upcoming events tied to “Dear Mother Nature: Hudson Valley Artists 2012” include a July 21 gallery talk with Weintraub, Munson, Green and Stewart and an origami art demonstration by Lambe; an August 25 gallery talk with Weintraub and a ceremonial meal to be prepared and shared with artist Mary Anne Davis; and weekly events throughout September and October.
The Dorsky is located at the center of the SUNY-New Paltz campus. For further information call (845) 257-3844 or visit www.newpaltz.edu/museum.