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.
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