Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery
May 1-November 1, 2015
Erastus Dow Palmer (1817–1904), Imogen, 1874, Cast bronze by F. Barbédienne, founder, Paris, France, OL.1981.642, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
Thomas Cole (1801–1848), View of the Protestant Burying Ground, Rome, c. 1833–34, oil on canvas, OL.1981.17, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), Cayambe, 1853, oil on paper mounted on canvas, OL.1981.22, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
This season the Sharp Family Gallery features a range of the artwork and objects transferred from the first floor of the main house to accommodate the installation of Olana’s 2015 exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home, guest curated by Stephen Hannock and Jason Rosenfeld. These highlights from collections deinstalled for River Crossings will be on display in the Sharp Gallery from May 3 –November 1, 2015.
The gallery provides visitors with the opportunity to examine closely a selection of paintings, sketches, and decorative arts that may otherwise be somewhat obscured within the historic interiors. Church’s sketch Cayambe from his first trip to Ecuador in 1853 was recently cleaned in the Paintings Lab and then reframed by Eli Wilner & Company. Freshly conserved, the blue highlights in the snow gleam under the heavy cloud. At 18,996 feet Cayambe and the “grand snow peaks” as Church called them, were often shrouded by weather of their own. Church’s ability to render weather and light is also demonstrated in The Hudson Valley in Winter from Olana, a brilliant winter day with lofty white clouds, and Twilight, A Sketch, a vibrant sunset study for Church’s masterpiece Twilight in the Wilderness (Cleveland Museum of Art).
Church was an avid collector and the array of decorative arts he placed in the Court Hall is almost overwhelming; a few of the most interesting objects are displayed in the Sharp Gallery. One of a set of eight chairs with a carved back inspired by Chinese design is a perfect example of Aesthetic Movement furniture. Imogen, a sculpture by Church’s great friend Erastus Dow Palmer (1817–1904), is one of many works by Church’s fellow artists in the house. A Spanish maiolica plate with luster decoration normally brings sparkle to the darker areas of the Court Hall, and the tabouret table would have provided both shimmer and geometric pattern.
The Olana Partnership and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation work in strong collaboration to preserve and conserve the Olana collection at the highest museum-level standards. Many of the collections on display have been cleaned and preserved with the support of The Olana Partnership, and other works removed for River Crossings are currently in the New York State Conservation Labs for research and conservation.
Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site
May 3-November 1, 2015
We are excited to announce our 2015 exhibition, River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home, presented in partnership with the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, featuring contemporary art installed directly into the historic spaces and landscapes of the two historic sites. The exhibition is curated by the artist Stephen Hannock and the art historian Jason Rosenfeld, PhD. Artists in the exhibition include Chuck Close, Gregory Crewdson, Lynn Davis, Don Gummer, Jerry Gretzinger, Valerie Hegarty, Angie Keefer, Stephen Hannock, Charles LeDray, Maya Lin, Elizabeth Murray, Thomas Nozkowski, Martin Puryear, Cindy Sherman, Sienna Shields, Kiki Smith, Joel Sternfeld, and Elyn Zimmerman.
Click here to read the River Crossings press release.
Click here to visit the River Crossings website.
Click here for the CBS Sunday Morning segment.
This exhibition is organized by The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, The Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Major funding for River Crossings was provided by The Moore Charitable Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, New York State’s Empire State Development and the I (HEART) NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative, Tiger and Caroline Williams, Ed Herrington, Inc., The Bay & Paul Foundations with Chairman David Bury, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, the Columbia County Tourism Department, Jennifer Krieger, and Chas Miller. The companion book and related public programs were funded by Tiger and Caroline Williams, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Trustees and staff of The Olana Partnership wish to recognize the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey; Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation Ruth Pierpont; Regional Director, Taconic Region Linda Cooper; former Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites John Lovell; Acting Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites Mark Peckham; and Olana Site Manager Kimberly Flook.
With additional support provided by public funds from the Museum Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.
Coachman’s House Gallery
Coachman’s House Gallery June-November 2015
Throughout the 2015 summer and fall season, The Olana Partnership gave nine Bard College students the opportunity to participate in a “research-based” artist residency program. On their first day they were given a box of unknown objects and materials that had been assembled by The Olana Partnership staff; all of these poems, photographs, and historic documents surfaced from Olana’s collections and circled around the theme “Trees, Art, and Tourism”. Throughout the summer, the student artists were on-site creating art, conducting individual research, and were available to visitors for questions and conversations. While the exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home was taking place in the Main House the Olana staff recognized the Mystery Box: Student Artists at Work exhibition would coincide and reinforce how history can inform contemporary art-making. At the gallery opening on September 5, 2015, ephemeral performances of sound and movement took place – they existed and evaporated within Olana’s centuries old structure. These works were performed in part by the Bard Art Students Collective which encompassed eight of the student artists; Blood and Shit by Ezra San Millan and Cullan Powers, wade weight wait by Serena Caffrey and Susannah Yugler, and Ghost in a Shell by Denis Blumin and Kai Mote. The BASC’s works included a music composition titled Jupiter Falling by Ethan Evans and a creative writing work The Church of Quiet Collaboration by Marion Albers which were installed in the Coachman’s House Gallery. Paris McGarry created a solo exhibition titled Don’t Forget to Send Photos including a moving image piece, mixed media photographs, and a graphic map installation.
This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Bard College.
Olana’s Ridge Road-One Day Only
September 19, 2015, 1-5pm
The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM are pleased to co-present a third iteration of their award-winning exhibition event Groundswell. Hundreds will converge at Olana State Historic Site for site-specific performance and works and in sound, installation, broadcast, and movement.
We are delighted to announce the 2015 participating artists who reflect on and react to Olana and its integral viewshed as an ambitious and early environmental work:
John Cage Trust with Seth Chrisman
Rain date: Sunday, September 20, 2015
For more information and tickets click here.
Olana welcomes volunteers and interns.
Olana values the participation of volunteers, and welcomes individuals who are interested in volunteering. Without the time and various talents of Olana’s volunteers many projects and activities would be impossible. Volunteers at Olana immerse themselves in the lives of Frederic Church, his family and the other artists of the Hudson River School. They become familiar with the architecture and landscape design of Olana and the Victorian past by participating in a variety of interesting and absorbing activities ranging from conducting house tours to gardening to teaching. Olana is pleased to offer volunteers free admission to the house and grounds and to selected lectures and activities. The Olana staff also organizes special trips and social events to show appreciation for giving to our organization. There are many ways that volunteers can participate including giving tours, working with field trips and school groups, helping with special events, and assisting with a range of office related projects. For more information email about upcoming opportunities.
High School Students
Olana can help you fulfill your community service requirements. Opportunities for high school students seeking community service credit are also available. Projects include assistance with special events, program preparation and cleanup, basic research, data entry, etc. For more information email to inquire about upcoming opportunities.
Curatorial Department Interns
Interns in Olana State Historic Site’s Curatorial Department work on projects related to the collections and the main house at Olana. Projects might include research on a collections item, research related to a future exhibition in the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery at Olana, helping with the furnishing of the second floor, collections management, changing the displays on the tour floor, writing an article for the news letter and other curatorial tasks. The intern would receive a good introduction to the daily workings of the Curatorial Department. The Curatorial Department would be happy to supply any documentation necessary for he intern to receive college credit. Applicants must be college students or further along in their academic pursuits and should be prepared to commit a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester, 120 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume via email.
Museum Education Intern
Interns in Olana State Historic Site’s Education Department work on special projects relating to Olana’s public or school programs. Most projects focus on an aspect of educational resource development in one or more of a wide variety of media for web and/or print distribution. Possible projects include: development of lesson plans and classroom resources for schools; development of educational materials for use in on-site programs; development of materials for distribution via social media channels, i.e. Facebook, Flickr and YouTube; or development and implementation of hands-on programs. Project assignments will be tailored to intern skills, objectives and availability as much as possible. The Director of Education will work in conjunction with university or college staff to coordinate requirements for credit. Applicants should be prepared to commit a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester, 120 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume via email.
Marketing and Development Intern
The Marketing and Development Intern will work closely with development staff to advance marketing and development objectives for the organization which includes upcoming exhibitions, events and programs. The intern will gain valuable hands-on experience in a nonprofit advocacy organization while improving their communication and organizational skills. Responsibilities will include research, writing, editing and project management for a nonprofit whose mission is to advocate for Olana State Historic Site. The Development and Marketing Communications Manager will work in conjunction with university or college staff to coordinate requirements for credit. Applicants should be prepared to commit a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester, 120 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume via email.
We offer an after school program, or Saturday programs, specifically designed for after school groups, civic groups, and special interest clubs. These include (but are not limited to) 4-H, Girl Scouts of the USA & Boy Scouts of America, as well as high school art clubs. In each case, The Olana Partnership will adjust standard content for club interests. For example, we have programs for Scouts to earn Architecture & Landscape Architecture badges. We have content specifically for high school art clubs, and we have a special tour just for 4-H groups.
Each program has been designed to link directly to the goals of the youth organization. Our programs encourage youth to consider overall themes of preservation & conservation, creative problem solving, and how history fits into innovation. The following programs are designed to serve Scouts 3rd grade and up. These programs are scalable to create appropriate challenges for Troops with multiple age levels. The programs below are designed to enable a 2 ½ hour program onsite and cost $10 per person. (Please note: Olana’s current program offerings are not appropriate for Daisies or Cub Scouts; although one hour house tours are available for this younger age group).
The Art of 2-D to 3-D and Back Again
See 2 rooms in Church’s House Olana, and then take a hike while discussing issues of architecture and landscape architecture. Then the group will end up at the Wagon House where Scouts will turn a Church sketch into a three-dimensional paper model.
To download the after school visit inquiry form click here.
Persian Influence and Geometry at Olana See 2 rooms in Church’s House Olana, and then take a hike while discussing issues design and what inspires cultures to pick certain design motifs. Scouts will spend the afternoon in the Wagon House Education Facility working with drafting tools/rulers and Persian design examples (as well as their sketch books) to create original compositions and repeating forms.
To download the after school visit inquiry form click here.
From Sketch to Study to Painting
Studying Frederic Church’s method from en plein air to studio. See 2 rooms in Church’s House Olana, and then review a packet of Church’s studies and sketches youth will take notebooks and drawing boards into the landscape to make art and notations in the style of Church. Groups are encouraged to take their en plein air studies and sketches home to continue painting.
To download the after school visit inquiry form click here.
Olana’s educators strive to generate authentic learning experiences for all ages through inter-disciplinary study, play, and exploration, thereby inspiring the preservation and conservation of all aspects of Olana’s picturesque site.
Deep Air Art Series: Geography and Gender Deborah Poe and Kazumi Tanaka
Sunday March 8, 3-5pm
$5 per person; Ages 10 and up
Poet, artist bookmaker, curator, and professor Deborah Poe and visual artist Kazumi Tanaka present their art and in turn explore complex issues of geography and power (gendered, nationalist, and resource-based) while staying deeply committed to beauty. Each artist has at times explored nature and commerce, western and non-western thought, domestic work and objects, as well as the “fabric” of life, textiles. This afternoon encourages audiences to get caught up in the “transformation of things” and in keeping with Olana, as a sanctuary and historic domestic space, we will be provoked and inspired by artists who focus their critical inquiry on the domestic sphere with images and words that resonate with and into the natural world and expand these resonances outward globally in their social implications. Please join us for this second of several events designed to use the Wagon House Education Center and grounds of Olana to highlight artistic practices and conversations about ecology, local geography and landscape. This event is curated by artist and poet, Lee Gough. Each speaker will present for about 20 minutes, followed Q&A, conversation, tea and cake.
Armchair Travel Series: Hermes Mallea and Caribbean Escapes
Saturday March 14, 3-5pm
$5 per person; Ages 10 and up
Join designer and author Hermes Mallea for a nostalgic celebration of the glamour of warm-weather destinations in the Caribbean and Florida, from the great estates of ambitious patrons to the most exclusive resorts of the mid-twentieth century. His new book, titled Escape, is perfect eye candy for those who want to imagine the life of Frederic and Isabel who went south for most of the winter. Through iconic photography capturing the cultural mood at the moment when social codes relaxed from the formality of the Gilded Age to the spontaneity of the jet-set era, Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour takes the reader inside a world of beach parties and costume balls set in lush tropical landscapes, of rarefied resorts and fairy-tale private estates. You will feel warmed as Mallea focuses on Jamaica in his talk. Lecture followed by Q&A, cake and tea.
Deep Air Series: Jonathan Skinner and Ecology, Language, Spoils of the Landscape
Sunday, March 22, 3-5pm
$5 per person; Ages 10 and up
Explore the environment, history and literature with professor and writer Jonathan Skinner. Jonathan Skinner, a 2011-2012 fellow with Cornell Society for the Humanities, founded and edits the journal eco-poetics; his poetry collections include Birds of Tifft (2011) and Political Cactus Poems (2005), Spoils of the Park (2012) and his essays on urban landscape and poetics have appeared in numerous anthologies. Skinner’s work has taken up the idea of planned landscapes of Church’s contemporary, Frederick Law Olmstead. He has written and lectured extensively and generatively on eco-poetics, and poetry and watersheds. A former Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College, Skinner teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies and in the Writing Program at the University of Warwick in England. Please join us for this third of several events designed to use the Wagon House Education Center and grounds of Olana to highlight artistic practices and conversations about ecology, local geography and landscape. This event is curated by artist and poet, Lee Gough. The lecture on Sunday is followed Q&A, conversation, tea and cake.
Contemporary Art in Historic Spaces: Curator Pieranna Cavalchini
Saturday April 4, 3-5pm
$10 in advance; $12 at the door; Pre-registration highly recommended; Ages 15 and up
Join us for a lecture by Curator Pieranna Cavalchini, the Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston; one of the first historic sites to feature contemporary art in the context of historic interiors. The contemporary program at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is living proof of the timelessness of art and of the life force that runs between the art of the past and the art of the present , and Ms. Cavalchini is considered a curator whose work in this area is always breaking new ground. As Olana prepares to install contemporary art inside and outside Olana in the summer season, this lecture is a first step in developing a vocabulary to speak of the inter-play between historic sites interpretation, and contemporary art. Her talk will be followed by Q&A and tea and cake; join us while we explore history of this practice to imagine the future. Pre-registration is encouraged by preceding Thursday.
School Field Trip Programs
Land as a Canvas: Voices from the Land
FOR: PreK-1st Graders (This program can work with a number of Special Education groups)
Frederic Church considered Olana (the house and the landscape) his greatest work of art. In this ½ day field trip, students will visit one room inside, tour the building exterior, and enjoy a short hike in the landscape. After exploring, students will make art from found materials in Olana’s landscape. This project originates from the Education & Information Resource Center (EIRC.org) and is designed to turn simple materials, like sticks and leaves, into art supplies, encouraging students to invent in nature.
Core Learning Standards in Art and Science:
Children are active learners. We approach this age group knowing that learning is through purposeful play. During this field trip we encourage participation, involve multiple contexts, and engage the senses that help children explore their environment. The youth will also use materials/props in novel ways to represent ideas, experiment to further his/her knowledge; use multiple approaches to layer clarity and further his/her knowledge Participants will learn based on observations and manipulation of things and events in the environment, and at the end of the experience students will see more than one solution to a situation.
For field trip inquiry form click here.
ICEBERGS & CLOUDS: Real and Representational
FOR: 2nd-4th Graders
Frederic E. Church was interested not just in the art of nature, but also in the science of nature. During this day long visit students will begin by touring parts of the house in order to study Frederic Church’s paintings and drawings of clouds and icebergs. Then, students will hike on Olana’s carriage paths making their own observations about clouds and ice, ending in the Wagon House Educational facility for more hands-on study and art-making.
Core Learning Standards in Science & Art:
Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science, travel and art. Students will develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing, creative process. They will ask “why” questions in attempts to seek greater understanding concerning objects and events they have observed and heard about. Drawing from Standard #6 in Science, students will use models as representations of objects, structures, or systems, used in explanation or design. They will analyze, construct, and operate models in order to discover attributes of the real thing; they will discover that a model of something is different from the real thing but can be used to study the real thing, moving between representation and the natural world.
For field trip inquiry form click here.
The Art of 2-D to 3-D and Back Again: Art, Land, and Architecture
FOR: 3rd-7th Graders
Frederic E. Church spent his career turning three dimensional views into two dimensional paintings; and sketches and architectural drafts into buildings and landscapes. How does one translate between 2D and 3D? During this day-long visit, students will begin by touring parts of the house in order to study specific relationships between art, design, and architecture. Then students will hike on the carriage paths making observations in each setting, ending in the Wagon House Educational Facility to turn a Church sketch into a three-dimensional paper model.
Core Learning Standards in Science & Art:
Students will study and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment; and recognize the historical development of ideas in science, travel and art. Students will develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing, creative process. They will ask “why” questions in attempts to seek greater understanding concerning objects and events they have observed and heard about. Drawing from Standard #6 in Science, students will use models as representations of objects, structures, or systems, used in explanation or design. They will analyze, construct, and operate models in order to discover attributes of the real thing; they will discover that a model of something is different from the real thing but can be used to study the real thing, moving between representation and the natural world.
For field trip inquiry form click here.
Islamic Design: Persian Influence and Geometry at Olana
FOR: 4th-8th Graders
Frederic E. Church and his family travelled extensively in the Middle East in the 1860s. His home, Olana, was designed and built just after this trip—so the Hudson River Region boasts a rare glimpse into designs of ancient Persia! During this day-long visit students will tour Olana; then, with sketchbooks in hand, students will hike and sketch geometric designs that combine nature and geometry. Students will spend the afternoon in the Wagon House Education Facility working with drafting tools/rules and Persian design examples (as well as their sketch books) to create original compositions and repeating forms.
Core Learning Standards Art, Mathematics, and History/Social Studies: Students will be asked to observe and analyze designs in terms of geography, shape, proportion, and repetition in a confined border. Students will then formulate problems and solutions from everyday situations seen in regional interior design and architecture. These observations will be translated from a picture/diagram to a numeric expression and then back again. Students will present this design problem verbally, geometrically, and graphically. Students will use a number of tools to develop mathematical proportions and clean geometric compositions. Students will also link their experience to the cultural dimensions of art, they will analyze and study art, and they will make decorative art designs based on certain tools, geometric repetition, spatial parameters, and geographic sensibilities.
For field trip inquiry form click here.
From Sketch to Study to Painting: Studying Frederic Church’s Method from en plein air to Studio
FOR: 6th -12th Graders
Frederic E. Church created dozens of studies and sketches outside in the landscape before creating his masterpiece canvases inside. Students will tour Olana, hike the grounds, and study Church’s en plein air art. During this day-long visit, students will take notebooks and drawing boards into the landscape to make art and notations in the style of Church. Then they will choose their favorite drawing and make a study from the sketch, and groups are encouraged to take their en plein air studies and sketches home to continue painting.
Core Learning Standards in Art and History:
Students will explore art to understand the social, cultural, and environmental dimensions of human society through a series of activities that expose the inherent relationships between land, shaped land, and how a culture has been influenced by art works. Students will be actively engaged in making art but in order to make they will follow the following core development steps: analyze, interpret, develop, and refine artistic works of art.
For field trip inquiry form click here.
The Extra Credit Project: All Ages
The Olana Partnership promotes the idea that learning is a lifelong pursuit and that students benefit from learning in museums and the classroom. We offer students from any school district within 50 miles of the site, free entrance to any of our public programs if their teacher is willing to give “extra credit.” This program applies to all children grades K-12 and applies to any of Olana’s public programs that take place during the school year (even during breaks, but excluding summer). Attendees will receive a special voucher for proof of extra credit; students should make reservations in advance of attendance and teachers can look at up-coming programs by clicking here.
Who: Pre-K through 12 grade, homeschooling groups, college and university students, as well as adult learners
What: Field trips linked to the NY State Common Core Curriculum & NYS Learning Standards linked; programs focus on authentic learning experiences and Place-Based education models
When: Available Tuesday- Friday throughout the school year
How Much: $10 per student (2 free teachers per group, additional staffing at $10 a person) ($7 for ½ day field trip; and $2 for just a house tour/$9 per teacher/chaperone)
How to bring a group to Olana: Visit the website and complete the online inquiry form or, if you do not have internet access please call Amy Hufnagel at 518-828-1972 x105 to determine program and date for your group. Once a date has been identified, leaders can download the online form and confirm their reservation by returning the required registration form to us via email or by fax to 518-828-1793. No inquiry is considered binding until the registration form is received at Olana. Field trips are available all year long Tuesday-Friday.
Recommended Length: Arrive onsite by 9:15am- depart @ 2:15pm (can arrive and depart at slightly different times based on school day and travel time!)
Maximum & Minimum Group Size: Field trips must have 12 students to qualify for field trip pricing, busing, and scheduling. Groups cannot be larger than 40 students/adults at one time. We require 2 adults from the school to match our staff for grades 3-12; lower grades and special service visits require mutual agreement on staff/chaperone to student ratios.
Assessment: Students will, in most field trip scenarios, make original works on paper and engage in observation, modeling and information collection, and question asking. Teachers are encouraged to assess students on the following criteria: was a student engaged, and did the student listen, state, differentiate, solve challenges, and generate materials while at Olana. Teachers can download an assessment outline if interested in formalizing their assessment of students while they are working onsite. Students are also encourages to use teacher directed self-assessment.
Required Items: Bag lunch, good walking shoes and outdoor weather clothing (Students will eat lunch onsite and we have no vendor options).
Funding Support Ideas: Grants are available for field trips to Olana. Click here for more information.
The following sites also providing funding for schools: DonorsChoose, Target, and community foundations such as the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley serving Dutchess, Putnam, and Ulster counties. The Olana Partnership has busing support funds available based on need and on a first come first serve basis. Each school can receive up to $100 per bus. To apply the school must send a one page letter of request, on school letterhead, and an invoice or PO from the busing company to The Olana Partnership, attn.: Amy Hufnagel, Director of Education or email.
Museum Shop: Students will have moments to shop for souvenirs of their visit to Olana. The Museum Shop on a Cart will have items for $5 or less. Students should plan on bringing cash and ideally no more than $5 so that they can select one item.
What about the weather? These visits will happen rain or shine; there may be some slight revision to the outside components based on heavy downpours, but groups should be prepared for being outside regardless of the weather.
Contact/Questions: Amy Hufnagel, Director of Education; 518-828-1872 x105 or email.
OPTIONAL PRE/POST VISIT CLASSROOM RESOURCES
Pre-K through 12 grade, homeschooling groups, college and university students, as well as adult learners
Olana’s Ridge Road
September 13, 2014
September 22, 2013
Photo by Antoine Lutens
Olana’s 250-acre landscape was originally designed in response to its essential and spectacular views–the “Olana Viewshed”–by Hudson River School artist Frederic Church. On September 13, during this one-day exhibition event, audiences will explore the property’s undiscovered roads and naturalistic scenes as they encounter each project site. Picnicking will take place at a breathtaking clearing, which overlooks the Hudson River, the Catskill Mountains and beyond. The event will culminate with a performance by celebrated composer and artist William Basinski.
Groundswell installations and performances will be sited along Olana’s historic Ridge Road. When Church created this road, he famously wrote: “I can make more and better landscapes in this way than by tampering with canvas and paint in the studio.” While passing through native woodlands and recently restored meadows, participants will interact with the artists and Olana’s background elements, which include: the distant mountains of Vermont and the nearby City of Hudson; the Mount Merino hillside which was protected by Scenic Hudson; the site of the regional St. Lawrence Cement battle; the original property of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School and Church’s teacher; high voltage power lines with blinking support towers which cross the Hudson River along a route which might soon be expanded throughout the Hudson Valley; the site of the famed Catskill Mountain House, America’s great wilderness hotel, which disappeared in flames in 1963; and Blue Hill, which Church painted and which has recently been threatened with a larger communications tower along its ridgeline. Since the 1970s, when a massive nuclear power plant was rejected because of Olana’s iconic views, Olana has represented a particularly American mix of art and environmentalism.
Proceeds benefit The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC-FM.
This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC-FM.
Jane Carver’s performance and sound-based works are fueled by an interest in the accumulation and decay of sound, as well as the relationship between melody and memory. At Groundswell, Carver will work in collaboration with conceptual artist Mckendree Key, whose practice centers around architecture and space. Key’s ongoing project The Den Transaction is an experiment in space as a commodity in Brooklyn, NY.
Artist Ellen Driscoll explores history, resource consumption, and material lineage in her sculptures, drawings, and installations. Recent projects imagine a ghostly and chaotic future through sculptural landscapes, constructed out of translucent, plastic bottles. Driscoll serves as Program Director of Studio Arts at Bard College.
Michael Garofalo is a sound artist, musician, and senior producer for the national public media project StoryCorps. At Groundswell, Garofalo will work with Laura Ortman and Bryan Zimmerman. Laura Ortman, a composer, multi-instrumentalist, visual and installation artist, has co-founded and performed in groups including The Dust Dive, Stars Like Fleas, and the all-Native American orchestra, The Coast Orchestra. Sound and visual artist Bryan Zimmerman’s work takes shape in performance, photography, collage, and installation, consistently exploring overlooked and undervalued human geography, land use, and outdoor culture.
Hélène Lesterlin founded Studio Reynard in 2012 for her work as director, performer, artist, curator, and instigator of collaborative projects; current works include a medieval puppet satire, as well as a solo dance disguised as a lecture using the archives of the Woodstock Historical Society. At Groundswell, Lesterlin will work in collaboration with Jack Magai, choreographer, dancer, and founder in 2006 with Lesterlin and Margit Galanter of Emergent Scores Lab (ESL), a weekly meeting of improvising time-based artists. His work deals with the battle for our attention between ideas and sensations. The current idea is “nature revives the tired modern soul.”
Man Forever is a exploratory percussion project helmed by drummer John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most critically acclaimed and versatile collaborators. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has comprised an exciting roster of guest performers.
Marian Schoettle constructs mobile scenarios with clothing and props that explore the experience of the self in relation to social, political, and physical environments. Her ongoing project ‘post industrial folk wear and commodities’ explores the theme of (dis)integration.
The Panama Canal at 100
The Mint Museum
November 1, 2014-February 1, 2015
“Fern Walk, Jamaica” by Frederic E. Church, c. July 7865, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 12 1/4 x 13 1/4 in., OL.1981.73, Collection Olana State Historic Site
Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100 opens in fall 2014, the centennial of the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, and brings together selected examples of the work of the three most important American artists to draw and paint the construction of the canal, printmaker Joseph Pennell and painters Alson Skinner Clark and Jonas Lie, for the first time. Providing a rich context for these works is a handful of paintings by nineteenth-century American artists including Frederic Church, Martin Johnson Heade, and Louis Remy Mignot, all of whom visited and painted in South America, as well as works by such American artists as Julien Alden Weir, Ernest Lawson, and George Bellows, who painted images of factories and industry in the popular styles of their day. Interspersed with the approximately 50 paintings and prints is a variety of ephemera—photographs, books, newspapers, and other period material—that address the broader public perception of the canal and its impact.
As 2014 marks the centennial of the opening of the canal it provides a perfect opportunity to both reconsider these historic works of art and to reflect upon the canal’s impact over the past one hundred years. Thus, in conjunction with the exhibition the Mint has commissioned a new short story by the award-winning author Anthony Doerr and a new work of art by renowned contemporary artist Mel Chin. These fresh perspectives on the canal and its legacy are particularly meaningful in light of the fact that an effort to significantly expand the canal is currently underway, and is tied to the development of many projects in the continental United States, such as the construction of an intermodal transportation hub at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.
Panama Canal at 100 is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue containing an essay by exhibition curator Jonathan Stuhlman, the new work of fiction by Doerr, and images relating to Chin’s commission along with an interview with the artist about the piece. For more information click here.