Artist in Vacancy Exhibit Highlights Newburgh Architecture September 30

Artist in Vacancy Exhibit September 30Newburgh Community Land Bank presents two Artist-in-Vacancy exhibits this week. The first exhibition, organized by Laura Genes, involves work done on-site for the larger RUPCO project around 39 Johnston Street in Newburgh, NY by craftsmen at Affordable Housing Concepts. The architectural installation at 39A Johnston will showcase the new restoration work alongside original architectural details. In addition to highlighting the skilled work done by the workmen onsite, this presentation of the old and the new side-by-side hopes to spark conversation about the value of architectural character and the will necessary to upkeep it. 

Times Herald-Record reporter Leonard Sparks recently featured local craftsmen and the crew’s initiative to recreate and replicate moldings and interior finish trim in a make-shift woodworking studio at 39 Johnston. This exhibit is an opportunity to see the building under-construction and witness the handiwork of the craftsman helping to rebuild Newburgh.

The installation will be open for visitation from noon to 6pm on Saturday, September 30 and will be followed by a lecture by Andrew Linn of BLD, an architect and historian who will be presenting about the legacy of AJ Downing, a pioneer of American architecture. With the help of the Newburgh Community Land Bank, Andrew Linn, Jack Becker and Laura Genes have produced a text about Downing and how his works fit into a larger American canon. This essay has been formatted into a poster and will be available for guests to take home with them. 

The second Artist-in-Vancacy exhibit, GRNASFCK, by Coleen Tuite and Ian Quate will embrace 122/123 Lander from 1 to 6 p.m. on September 30. Click here for more on the artists and their outdoor installation. Come meet the artists over backyard BBQ. Both events are free and open to the public.

ABOUT THE VENUE, 39 JOHNSTON STREET, NEWBURGH: Former home to Newburgh photographer Jacob Ruben, and author of many historic Newburgh Postcards, was a vacant building for many years until the Newburgh Community Land Bank acquired the building from the City. After environmental rehabilitation and stabilization work, the building was transferred to RUPCO as part of a larger 15-property scatter site development utilizing Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and construction lending from Sterling National Bank, to restore the neighborhood in pockets. The effort will establish 45 new apartments for low-moderate income individuals and their families. The rehabilitation is currently underway, with the first series of homes available in Winter 2018 and the remainder rolling out through Summer 2018. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Laura Genes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and educated in New York City. She studied architecture at the Cooper Union. Through the use of photography and installation, she describes a human element of the built environment, which is otherwise absent from technical plans and sections. By forcing the body back into structures, the permanence of both forms is put into question. The built form takes on the vulnerability of human-nature and the human body adopts the monumental qualities of a landmark. Both architecture and humans are made to perform in specific time-scales and lifespans; in the case of both, neglecting that destiny is the only way to carry-on. Laura makes work to ask: how can structures preserve our poetry and how can we lend our poetry to structures? Find out more about the exhibit here.

Artwork Inspired by Social Justice Issues focus of Lace Mill Art Exhibit

Lanette Hughes painting abstractOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and coincides with artwork focused on human rights, domestic violence, and world hunger. This is Lanette Hughes’s social activism movement in the form of an art show. This exhibit will take place in all three Lace Mill galleries, 165 Cornell Street, Kingston on October 7 from 3-8 p.m.

Hughes will show 30+ paintings reflecting social issues; all of which, upon their sale, will benefit local organizations that deal with human rights issues. Local nonprofits slated to receive artwork sales include Family of Woodstock, New Paltz, Kingston, Ellenville; the Darmstadt Shelter; Caring Hands Soup Kitchen; Clinton Avenue Methodist Church; MyKingstonKids; O+ Festival; Safe Harbors; and RUPCO. Global organizations include Women in Black and The Haitian People’s Project.

Hughes’ pieces directly relate to real life events. Her abstracts convey deeper messages without being overly explicit. Many pieces depict victims physically harmed, though the paintings don’t graphically portray clear wounds or detailed damage. Each portrayal speaks volumes about issues that are underneath the surface of so many lives — including her own — and nobody would know just by quick observation.

For example, “Human Beings are Not Created for Target Practice” has military undertones. The message conveys a simple thought: if military personnel were stripped of their uniforms, would enemies still shoot them? “Women Running” features women fleeing from human trafficking groups, a worldwide issue that defies ethnicity, gender, and age. Another piece portrays children affected by nerve gassing bundled in blankets; only their faces show, their bodies eerily shrouded mummification-style.

“My hope is that more artists will contribute (to the larger conversation), to include in their work social awareness for change,” says Hughes. “I’d like to see a whole day, week, or month, when artists everywhere do a whole show on a particular social issue.” She also hopes this art show stirs local activism by providing curiosity about what goes on behind the scenes in lives of our acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends.

Throughout the exhibit’s run, speakers will talk about relevant issues that affect communities. Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development at RUPCO, will speak on “Housing, Creative Placemaking, & Community Development” on October 7 at 4:30 p.m. “Aligned with social justice, ‘creative placemaking’ is the proposition that arts and cultural expression, joined with housing, helps to energize community and revitalize disinvested places for minority and disenfranchised populations,” Kempe says. Poet Nancy Smith follows at 6 p.m. with readings from her works that concern human rights.

Filmmaker and veteran Marty Klein will talk about veterans’ issues on October 14, showing his film entitled, “Why Can’t We Serve.”

All artworks are for sale, with 75% of the proceeds donated to organizations that support social justice efforts. The artist retains 25% to cover material expenses associated with making the artwork. Painting prices are negotiable, with no reasonable offer refused. For more information, contact Lace Mill artist-resident Lanette Hughes at (845) 532-3538 or visit her Facebook page LK Hughes.

Lace Mill resident-artists collaborate, artists receptions, gallery exhibits Aug. 5

Dirty-Laundry-lefttoright-Bisio-Lockhart-Cardenas-CulpepperAn integral part of MADKingston’s First Saturday attractions through the City of Kingston, The Lace Mill hosts three artist receptions this Saturday, August 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at 165 Cornell Street. Resident-artists at The Lace Mill will collaborate on three distinct shows in three distinct onsite galleries. Artist receptions are free and open to the public this weekend.

The first exhibit titled Dirty Laundry appears in The Lace Mill’s East Gallery and Mezzanine. Resident-artists Dawn Bisio, Dan Cardenas, Chelsea Culpepper, and Aaron Lockhart will be showing their multidisciplinary works, featuring several mobile or suspending pieces, mostly made from fabric, plaster, and other objects sculpted together. Through immersive installation, drawing, and sculpture, Dirty Laundry investigates ways of navigating public and private spaces, personal histories, discreet eccentricities, social taboos, and cultural schisms. “Dirty Laundry is the happy result of a community of artists coming together. I wanted to do a dynamic show about secrets and lies, identity and privacy,” says Dawn Bisio. “As our fraught relationship to privacy continues to evolve, these works are a reflection of our precarious disposition in an increasingly porous world.” Her husband and world-renowned recording artist Michael Bisio will entertain gallery visitors with live bass music that evening. For separate viewings of Dirty Laundry through August 19, contact Dawn Bisio at (845) 616-7133 for more details.

Lace Mill resident-artist James Martin with The Watercolor ExhibitJames Martin, another Lace Mill resident-artist, is curating The Watercolor Exhibit with an opening reception also from 5 to 8 p.m. in The Lace Mill Main Gallery and Boiler Room. The Watercolor Exhibit features some of the region’s best watercolor artists including Claudia Engel, Staats Fasoldt, James Martin, Naoko Oshima, Kazuma Oshita, Susan Silverman, Charlotte Tusch, and Lexi Williams. The group will showcase mixed abstract and realism art. Private viewings of The Watercolor Exhibit are available through August 26; contact James Martin at (347) 387-6874 for more details.

Lace Miller Lexi Williams curates the third show with assistance from neighbor James Martin. Entitled The Yellow Spot Tickle Dot Exhibit, this show’s opening reception is also open from 5 to 8 p.m. in The Lace Mill’s West Gallery. This family affair highlights folk art and photography from Williams, her family, and friends. Martin is thrilled to have all three shows happening at the same time. “Rarely do we have all three galleries used at the same time—I know it’s going to be powerful.” Private viewings of The Yellow Spot Tickle Dot Exhibit are available through August 26; contact James Martin at (347) 387-6874 for more details.

Built in 1903, The US Lace Curtain Mill boasted a long history as a major 20th-century employer and fine lace fabricator. RUPCO purchased the vacant shell, boarded up for the better part of three decades, in December 2013, setting in motion adaptive reuse of the historic building with a vision for creative placemaking. A community block party in August 2016 celebrated the opening of 55 apartments of affordable living preferenced for artists, officially anchoring the City of Kingston’s artistic community at the north end of Cornell Street. In addition to residential space, The Lace Mill shares 8,000 square feet of public gallery space as cultural activity centers open to its residents, local community and visiting public audiences. The Lace Mill has received six prestigious awards for design and historic preservation including Preservation Action’s “Best of 2016” and NYSERDA’s Trailblazer Award for housing the City’s largest solar array (160Kw).