An Art Installation and Benefit for Greene County Council on the Arts
One uninhabited farmhouse. Enter ten artists and their unique perspective.
Hosted By Nancey Rosensweig and Daniel Arshack, the 58 Snake Road Exhibition four day exhibition, was a wonderful success and helped raise funds for the benefit of GCCA, too. Over 150 patrons attended the Meet the Artists reception, generously sponsored by HOUSE Hudson Valley Realty, on August 12. The following day over 40 patrons came to view the art installations “housed” in the late (circa 1880) empire period brick farmhouse. Word spread about town and the following weekend proved to be as just as successful with over 150 more visitors, many traveling from beyond the Hudson Valley to see “58 Snake”. Special visitors included brother and sister Steve Ruzzi and Martha Ruzzi who grew up in the farmhouse, were happy to return with their families to their beloved Catskill home and were moved by the ten artists’ reaction to the rooms so familiar to the Ruzzi’s at a different time. The August afternoon light was perfect for illuminating the artwork displayed about the rooms graced with 10 foot high ceilings, sweeping stair cases and hallways, linoleum floored and stenciled wall papered bedrooms and two story’s of white painted porches enclosed by rows of windows.
GCCA is extremely grateful to GCCA Board Member Nancey Rosensweig, who conceived this event, and husband, Dan Arshack for hosting 58 Snake Road Exhibition. A special thank you to Nina Matis & Alan Gosule and Heather Jassy for their underwriting support to the 58 Snake Road Exhibition. Thank you to James Male, HOUSE Hudson Valley Realty for sponsoring the Meet the Artist reception. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and everyone who came to view 58 Snake. THANK YOU. All”Meet the Artist Reception” photographs by Chuck Pierce Photography.
All Photos Chuck Pierce Photography
The artists, many of whom are Greene County residents, were Andrew Cannon, born in Redlands, California in 1988. He moved from Los Angeles to New York in 2015 to get a master’s degree in fine art from Columbia University. He currently lives and works in East Harlem. His mixed media works were displayed in bathrooms near vintage porcelain fixtures, his textures cohabited with the crackle and rusted porcelain.
Tasha Depp-The third floor bathroom hosted two of Tasha Depp’s water wreckage paintings. In a large painting hung over the bath tub, a tangle of fishing nets covered with barnacles is painted into a beautiful murky green ocean. Across from this, a smaller work weaves together a tattered vinyl flotation ring found after Hurricane Irene, with a painting on canvas, both inscribed with graphic droplets and large letters. Another room on the third floor recalled ghosts of the past. The geometric linoleum and fifties still life wall paper are stained and aged, providing an appropriate setting for paintings about memories. Tasha also repurposed two landscape paintings that she found hanging in the house. She painted what is missing into each painting. Find them somewhere in the house!
Lauren Drescher, who currently resides in the Pyrenean Mountains of Southwest France, London and Auckland, NZ, employs different practices including drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation and artist books. Resulting from a lifetime of pan-cultural observations, her print work freely juxtaposes elements of natural history with a range of personal symbols, usually in order to suggest hidden connections. Her prints of snakes, bats, fox and other non-domesticates were exquisitely displayed against the tattered and stained walls.
(l-r) Work by Andrew Cannon, Lauren Drescher, Tasha Depp
Enrique “Kico” Govantes reveals “For over 35 years I have been using the form of the cup as a metaphor for our relationship with and our dependence on water. What used to be a grueling daily task of acquiring water is now accomplished simply by turning a handle on a sink or in a shower to access the most essential element for human existence. The stick figures I’ve made for decades have a cup shape at their center, from this form the head, arms and legs sprout and I use the figures in a narrative fashion. My piece for this exhibition is painted directly on the walls and molding of a closet. The figures are coming out of the closet, literally, and metaphorically call on all of us, especially given the recent political attacks on our basic freedoms, to exercise the courage it takes to come out of our own “comfort” closet to insure the continuation of the values in which we believe.” Govantes displayed a group of new abstract paintings that grew out of the stick figure pieces of the last six exhibitions.
Valerie Hammond maintains a fluid artistic practice, distinguishable for her organic approach and deft interaction with different mediums. In all of her work, there is play between the material and the immaterial, the physical and the spiritual: the dichotomy between what is seen and the sensation it provokes. Two of her pieces, Visitor I and Vistitor II juxtaposed and reflected the same huge gilded framed mirror in the side parlor. Her delicate prints of butterflies and other insects graced the front living room.
Jared Handelsman’s photographs were displayed along the white washed walls of the back porches. Minimal in tones of black, browns, greys and whites, their quiet presence called for the viewer’s calm. Handelsman states I’ve always been amazed by the way “still photography” captures motion. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I made a series of family portraits with silver paper exposed with a hand held flashlight which display a sense of motion. I’d lay the paper on the floor in our house and we’d take turns laying on the photo paper and standing by flashing the flashlight.
(L-r) Kico Govmnates, Valerie Hammond, Jared Handelsman instalation
About her work Laleh Khorramian offers “I blend the cosmological thinking of ancient cultures with my own imagined worlds, synthesizing them into “histories” that are both futuristic and ancient. All of my work can be described as a search for worlds beyond the concrete, material one around us. I use the ordinary to portray the epic: like using found objects to create elaborate patterns, to suggest a code or a message — a meaning that is not intended to be discovered. Or to magnify details of paint marks to depict colossal architecture that I depict in stories I film. Two pieces from her series, The Special Agents, constructed with monotypes (oil on polypropylene) were displayed illuminated by the natural light.
Portia Munson states “A concern for the environment is an overarching theme in all of Portia Munson work. More than twenty of Portia Munson bird prints created over the last eight years were mounted in the central hallways. In these pieces, lifeless but beautiful birds are surrounded by vibrant flowers from her gardens and the surrounding fields and woods. These compositions are reminiscent of mandalas that in Eastern religious practices represent the universe. The prints were made by scanning flowers and found dead birds. Inspired by the color and structure of the flowers and birds, Munson arranges them together in concentric compositions. The flowers that surround the birds are gathered by Munson on the same day that she finds the birds, recording that particular moment in time.” Many of the birds in this work have been donated to the Natural History Institute at Columbia-Greene Community College, Hudson, NY (William Cook, PhD, director).
(l-r) Laleh Khorramian installtion, Portia Munson installation
Kiki Smith is known for her multidisciplinary practice relating to the human condition and the natural world. She works with a broad variety of materials in her sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing and textiles. Smith has shown in numerous solo exhibitions worldwide including over 25 museum exhibitions. Her series of paintings reflected the afternoon light like small shards of glass.
Emma Thomas is a multi-media artist who is exploring ties as an investigation of space where absence becomes presence. Mainly focusing on sculpture and printmaking, she is currently completing her MFA at Columbia University.
(l-r) Kiki Smith installation, Emma Thomas sculpture
GCCA is extremely grateful to GCCA Board Member Nancey Rosensweig, who conceived this event, and husband, Dan Arshack for hosting 58 Snake Road Exhibition. A special thank you to Nina Matis & Alan Gosule and Heather Jassy for their underwriting support to the 58 Snake Road Exhibition. Thank you to James Male, HOUSE Hudson Valley Realty for sponsoring the Meet the Artist reception. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and everyone who came to view 58 Snake. THANK YOU.
Photos of 58 Snake before installation-courtesy of GCCA.