ecoartspace benefit- first meeting

On Saturday November 22, Amy Lipton and Tricia Watts held their first ever ecoartspace benefit committee meeting in NYC. The meeting took place at Artist's Space thanks to Chrysanne Stathacos, Education Director there, and included 18 ecoartspace friends and supporters. Many good suggestions were made for proceeding with an event to take place in 2009, celebrating ecoartspace's 10th anniversary as an organization. One good suggestion was to hold a few cultivation events such as public programs in order to familiarize the public with our name. Ecoartspace has been providing programs and curated exhibitions for other institutions (see list below) for the past 9 years, but not under our own name, leading to a lack of awareness about who we are. These winter/spring events will culminate with a fundraiser art auction (CALLING ALL ARTISTS!), date to be announced soon, so stay tuned.

Ecoartspace has held programs or collaborations with the following organizations:

Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA - The Canary Project, Brooklyn, NY - Exit Art, NYC - Central Park Arsenal Gallery, NYC - Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA - UN World Environment Day, San Francisco, CA - PS 122 Gallery, NYC - Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, CA - Carriage House Center on Global Issues, NYC - The Nature Conservancy, NYC - NYC Audubon - Nurture New York’s Nature - Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon NY - The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY - Ecovention, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH - Greenmuseum.org - Americans for the Arts, Public Art Network, Las Vegas, NV - Forest Art Wisconsin, Native/Invasive, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), NYC - Ecotopia at International Center of Photography, NYC - Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA - Samuel Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz, NY - Public Art Network, Austin, TX - Rockland Center for the Arts, Nyack, NY - EcoMetropolis Conference, NYC - CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY - GardenLAb, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA - Laguna Art Museum, CA - Cal Poly Pomona, CA - Art Science Collaborations, Inc., NYC - Arroyo Arts Collective, Highland Park, CA - Riverkeeper, Garrison, NY - The New York Open Center, NYC - Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CA - Pomona College Museum of Art, CA - University of Oregon, Eugene, OR - Terra Nova Nature & Culture, NYC - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY - University of California, Irvine - Saint John's Hospital, Santa Monica, CA - Manhattan Youth, NYC - The Earth School, NYC - University Settlement Camp, Beacon, NY - IPSEC, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition.


Habitat for Artists

This past summer ecoartspace sponsored artist Simon Draper and his Habitat for Artists Project at Spire Studios in Beacon, NY. Several artists living in the Hudson Valley were invited by Draper to participate in this site-specific, collaborative exhibition project. Draper, who has long been working with concepts regarding habitat/shelter in his own art provided each artist with a basic 6ft. by 6ft. shed, to be used as a workspace for the duration of the show, which closed in November.

Ecoartspace’s relationship with Draper evolved from summer 2006, when Amy curated an outdoor exhibition at Abington Art Center’s Sculpture Park in Philadelphia titled Habitat in which Draper participated with his shed “Private Reserve”. This work remains on view and acts as a shelter and contemplative space for the viewer. For Draper, the work also functions as a metaphor for his personal art making activity and provokes larger questions regarding marginal spaces, artists as pioneers in developing neighborhoods and communities and the ongoing migration of artists from these places they helped to nurture and create.

In this new project, Habitat for Artists, the sheds literally functioned as temporary studio spaces. The question becomes, in a time of escalating prices for artist’s workspace and as artists flee Manhattan and Brooklyn in search of more affordable workspace such as in the Hudson Valley region - how much space does an artist need to create their work?

Each artist involved in the project adapted their shed to suit their own needs. The sheds came outfitted with simple openings, doors, windows and skylight. As much as possible, the materials used in the creation of the structures consisted of reclaimed and re-used components. Artists included in the HFA project were Chris Albert, Richard Bruce, Sharon Butler, Kathy Feighery, Marnie Hillsley, Matthew Kinney, Sara Mussen, Steven Rossi, Dar Williams, Grace Knowlton, Matthew Slaats and Simon Draper.

Welsh-born artist Simon Draper has lived and worked in the US since attending Cooper Union in the 80’s. He moved to the Hudson Valley in 1996, where his work has become focused on the humble architecture of the lean-to shed. An endlessly adaptable form, Draper has applied his ingenuity in fashioning them out of surplus and discarded materials—at times, including his own previous work.

On Sept. 9, HFA artist Dar Williams' held a CD release party for her new recording, Promised Land at Spire Studios in Beacon as a fundraiser for several regional non-profits represented at the event including Ecoartspace, Scenic Hudson, The Beacon Institute, Hiddenbrooke, Clara Lou Gould Fund for the Arts, Hudson River Healthcare, Farmworkers Fund and Flying Swine Live Theater. The artwork in the new Promised Land CD booklet was on display for the event, which includes the HFA artists as well as Maureen Beck, Val Clark, Aidan Draper and Grey Zeien. Before singing a few new songs, Dar spoke about the collaborative effort that brought this project together. John Cronin of the Beacon Institute and Erin Riley of Scenic Hudson also spoke about the environmental work their organizations are doing in the Hudson Valley.

Andrew Revkin's recent NY Times blog post: