Look around. See anything new and different? Did you happen to notice the appearance of a 15-foot-tall, 3,500-pound metal rocking horse at the newly renovated Lace Mill factory on Cornell Street? Big Boy was created by Brandon Bultman, one of 34 artists who have works displayed around town in the Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) 2015 Kingston Sculpture Biennial, a major exhibition of public art pieces positioned in various outdoor and indoor locations, now through October 31.
When ASK opens its doors for a First Saturday on August 1, the reception will celebrate the largest Sculpture Biennial in a decade. More than 40 works will be on view in two areas of Kingston: the Historic Rondout Waterfront District – the traditional anchor for the Biennial and the center of Kingston’s nightlife – and Midtown, an area in transition with a significant low-income population and a number of shuttered storefronts on Broadway, one of the city’s main streets.
“In focusing on Midtown, it is the goal of the exhibition to continue the development of Kingston’s growing art scene, to encourage foot traffic and to cast a renewed light on the neighborhood,” says Biennial curator Bennett Wine. “Some unusual art will be seen in unexpected places and is sure to catch the eye of the seasoned art aficionado as well as the uninitiated viewer.” A resident of West Kill, Wine is the recipient of a guest fellowship at the Danish Royal Academy of Art, a fellowship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned an MFA from Columbia University. He has also been a professor of Art History at SUNY-Columbia/Greene. He was first involved with ASK’s exhibition as an artist featured in the 2009, 2011 and 2013 Biennials.
Wine’s task as curator has been to choose works to display and decide where they should go. Many of the sculptures on view will be site-specific, with some addressing Kingston’s present conditions and others exploring its history. Installation sites include the Hudson River Maritime Museum, the Lace Mill, T. R. Gallo Park, the King’s Inn, the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, the Ulster Performing Arts Center, Destination Ireland & Beyond, ASK, the Rondout waterfront and the Kingston Police Station.
The artists with pieces included in the exhibition this year are Sarah Anderson, Lauren Barnes, June Bisantz, Brandon Bultman, Alan Danielson, Jean-Jacques Du Plessis, Nathaniel Foley, Oki Fukunaga, Ben Godward, Dumitru Gorzo, Frederick Hayes, Emma Hendry, David Horvitz, Katy Itter, Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen, Ellie Krakow, Ben La Rocco, Madison LaVallee, Niki Lederer, Virginia Lopez, Iain Machell, Chris Manzione, Carl Marin, Anthony Heinz May, Lara Nasser, Antonella Piemontese, Naomi Safran-Hon, Daniel Sinclair, Barb Smith, James R Southard, Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, Matt Taber, Clare Torina and Quinn Wolff-Wilczynski. A detailed map with numbers and locations that correspond to signage near each piece will be available at ASK.
ASK is a regional arts center located in the Historic Rondout Waterfront District in Kingston, and is the originator and organizer of the Kingston Sculpture Biennial. The event has been presented every two years since 1995. ASK offers a diverse array of visual arts exhibitions, performances, workshops, classes and other programming for the benefit of artists, art-lovers and the community of the Hudson Valley and beyond.
2015 Kingston Sculpture Biennial opening reception, Saturday, August 1, 5 p.m., free, Art Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston; (845) 338-0333, https://www.askforarts.org.