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.