This Friday, July 22, Upstate Art Weekend returns for its third and largest edition of programs across the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. More than 145 participants have signed on in eight counties, encompassing over 100 exhibitions and 50-plus artists’ studios opening to the public. The full program and a map designed by Mosa Tanksley, spanning Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Woodstock, and elsewhere, are available to view online.
Founded by Helen Toomer of Stoneleaf Retreat in 2020, Upstate Art Weekend’s first and second annual events brought in 23 and 61 venues, respectively. As we continue to navigate loosening COVID-19 protocols, artists are sharing their personal spaces for the first time in years, with out-of-town visitors more willing to make the trek.
“Upstate Art Weekend is about community, collaboration, art, and the outdoors, which are essential to our well-being,” Toomer said in a statement. “We are thrilled for our third year and cannot wait to connect more visitors with the arts Upstate.”
Exhibition spaces range from museums and galleries to sculpture parks and residencies in historic homes. Returning venues include Storm King Art Center, Female Design Council, and Art Mamas Alliance, while new participants Basilica Hudson, Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre, and Swivel Saugerties accompany more than 50 artists from Beacon Open Studios. Organizers encourage visitors to create an itinerary of their own using Google Maps.
Stoneleaf is hosting a mixed-media exhibition by inaugural Peggy Toomer Family Residency recipients Las Hermanas Iglesias and an open studio with Rebecca Reeve. Other highlights include MOTHER’s latest Zoë Buckman and Vanessa German show, Dia: Beacon’s retrospectives on Melvin Edwards and the late artist Sam Gilliam, a live performance and installation by Khadija Baker at Glasshouse, the Hessel Museum’s Black Melancholia and Martine Syms: Grio College (highlighted in Hyperallergic’s summer art guide), and Lindsay Adams’s And Ain’t I a Woman solo show at the River Hill Art Residency.
Other spaces are more interactive and environmental. The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is hosting a film program by Tessa Hughes-Freeland along with an outdoor sculpture exhibition. An eco-surrealism show on the historic Goshen Green Farm pairs with tours of its produce and pigment gardens. Athens Cultural Center is displaying botanical textiles by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond and welcoming visitors to open studios of local seniors in residency. And at ArtPort Kingston, visitors can play a round of mini golf at Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski’s Secret Project Robot Country Club.
Upstate Art Weekend is open this Friday through Sunday from 12pm to 6pm, with admission pricing dependent on each space. A public reception and supportive event will be held at Stoneleaf’s Kingston location on Friday from 3pm to 6pm, with all proceeds going toward the residency. And on Sunday, July 24, a finale event featuring artist Ian McMahon will take place at Elijah Wheat Showroom in Newburgh.
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