This year’s NADA Hudson – the big New Arts Dealer Association arts fair running for a second time around this Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29, at the magnificent Basilica Industria site near the train station and riverfront in Hudson – opens its show of 48 artist projects presented by several dozen key galleries and contemporary arts spaces from around the nation with a Friday night performance by legendary No Wave guitarist/composer Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. All in all, the hipster event – which brought a new cutting-edge sense of currency to the entire Hudson Valley arts scene – seems to be doubling in size this time around. It promises to become not only an annual event, but also something of a bulwark for even-larger contemporary arts events over the coming years.
In the contentious, anti-definitive spirit of the day, however, NADA is emphatically advertising the fact that unlike Art Basel, Miami or the big cultural splash that hits the New York piers and other parts of the city each March, what’s transpiring this weekend is not an art fair, “but rather a site-specific project organized by the New Art Dealers’ Alliance.” Look, like last year, to be surprised, challenged, delighted, perplexed and likely coming away from everything with a new sense of Hudson the city and the Hudson Valley, the region.
“The project builds upon the character of a historic venue, the Basilica Hudson, and showcases contemporary sculpture, installation and video,” reads the cool Minimalist text accompanying the fair – so similar in style to the white lab coats to which so many modern artists are taking when performing alongside their politically and socially opinionated installations and presentations. “This year, galleries will present one piece by one artist within the Main Hall, as well as outdoor projects and a looping video program.”
As special additions this year, NADA will be offering free tours of the Basilica installations, inside and out, designed specifically for children ages 5 and up on Sunday, July 29 at 12 noon and 2 p.m.; RSVPs are requested to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also in conjunction with the Basilica-centered events, the Hudson cultural community has planned various of its own events, from studio tours and indoor/outdoor concerts and performances to two centralized alternative arts-fairlike exhibitions for the entirety of the weekend. And Amtrak has actually lowered prices for those planning to come up from New York City.
Among the events going on that are more Hudson-centric, and the local artists involved in them, are a whole pile of established and emerging Hudson Valley artists, exhibiting under the title “A Native Hill: Artists of the Valley,” at Henry Hudson Studios at 726 Union Street; a pop-up gallery at Sketch at 701 Warren Street; various transmission arts events occurring on the community radio station WGXC (90.7 FM); and an entire map full of events occurring throughout town. The latter will include concerts by the likes of Brian DeWan and others, lectures and presentations on local ecology and radio arts, and more being thought up and planned on an hourly basis all this week.
Further exhibits opening this weekend include Echoplex, featuring new works by Anna Casper and David Aron and a special acoustic performance from the So So Glos, running from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 at MEGAGEM, located at 17 North Fifth Street; special photography, prints and art auctions at Stair Galleries, located on Warren Street; and the city’s usual run of great gallery shows at Carrie Haddad, John Davis, BCB and other sites around town.
Combined with Hudson’s usual weekend crowd-watching elements and evening fun (hey, Loudon Wainwright III’s playing Club Helsinki next Thursday, August 2!), plan to make a full day if not a weekend of it. Last year it was great; this year should be better.
NADA (New Arts Dealer Association) takes place free of charge at Basilica Hudson, located at 110 South Front Street near the train station in Hudson this Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (212) 594-0883 or visit www.newartdealers.org for information. Lee Ranaldo plays alongside Warhol Factory legend Gerard Malanga at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 27 at Basilica for an attendance fee of $20 per person. For more on everything else going on around town over the weekend, visit the Hudson Independent Artists Trail blogsite, also available on Facebook and Twitter, at http://hudsonarttrail.tumblr.com.