Exhibition features environmentally-themed work of 24 Hudson Valley artists

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz will open the annual Hudson Valley Artists exhibition, titled “Hudson Valley Artists 2009: Ecotones and Transition Zones” at 5 p.m. in the Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery on June 13. The show will be on view until Sept. 6 and is the first in a series of five major art exhibitions in the museum’s Art & The River project extending through December 2009, which coincides with New York State’s Hudson 400th celebrations.

Ecotones and Transition Zones has been organized by museum curator Brian Wallace, and will feature artwork, performances, gallery talks and other activities from 24 area artists from the mid-Hudson Valley that connect global issues such as sustainability, ecological awareness and bioethics to the Hudson River Valley landscape.

Featured artist and artist groups include:
• Michael Asbill, Accord
• Robert Capozzi, New Paltz
• Robert Capozzi / Lorrie Fredette / Dylan McManus / Laura Moriarty / Jill Parisi (New Paltz / West Camp / New Paltz / Kingston / High Falls)
• Ryder Cooley, Chatham
• Dick Crenson, Pleasant Valley
• Simon Draper / Habitat for Artists, Cold Spring
• Dana Duke, Roscoe
• Beth Humphrey, Saugerties
• Heather Hutchison, Saugerties
• Tanya Marcuse, Barrytown
• Susan Miiller, Sparrowbush
• Wayne Montecalvo, Kingston
• Itty Neuhaus, Fishkill
• Franc Palaia, Poughkeepsie
• J. Gilbert Plantinga, New Paltz
• Emily Puthoff, Kingston
• Jill Reynolds, Beacon
• Ryan Roa, Newburgh
• Camilo Rojas, Millerton
• Thomas Sarrantonio, Rosendale
• Ida Weygandt, Germantown

“In selecting the artists in the show,” said Wallace, “I wanted to play off the emphasis of art in and of the region and to show that there is an emphasis on the environment in historical styles of art such as Hudson River School painting as well as in the art being produced by the artists among us now. “

Wallace added that New Paltz is an ecotone, a place where overlapping natural and social ecologies – the river and the mountains, the cosmopolitan and the rural – exist in fragile tension. “These artists work in their own mini-environments and there is a great diversity among them even as they take from and share ideas with other artists.”

One component of the exhibition, Habitat for Artists, will offer temporary studio space and a collaborative exhibition project in repurposed structures in several locations in New Paltz. There will also be a benefit concert for Habitat for Artists and ecoartspace with Dar Williams and Nick Panasevich at 7 p.m. in McKenna Theatre on June 27 (tickets are $35 for front row and $25 for all other seats); a fishing trip and Wallkill River talk with artist Michael Asbill at 5 p.m. on June 28; and two evenings of gallery talks followed by artist performances: on July 23 beginning at 5:30 p.m., four exhibiting artists will discuss their work, and at 7 p.m., exhibiting artists Ryan Roa and Darren Jones will present their “Jones and Roa Expedition” project; on August 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m., four other exhibiting artists will discuss their work, and at 7 p.m., exhibiting artist Ryder Cooley will present her “Singing Tree” performance.

Ecotones and Transition Zones events conclude at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 in the Dorsky Museum with a Community Roundtable on the Habitat for Artist project.

Suggested admission to The Dorsky Museum is $5. For event details, reservations, accessibility, or directions, visit www.newpaltz.edu/museum or call (845) 257-3844. Beginning Saturday, June 13, 2009, The Dorsky Museum will be open from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (closed Mondays, Tuesdays, national and university holidays).

The Art & The River project is supported by funds from M&T Bank, Jacobowitz & Gubits, Timely Signs of Kingston, Inc., the Friends of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art; and The State University of New York at New Paltz. Additional support for Ecotones and Transition Tones has been provided by New Paltz GreenWorks and the SUNY New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education, and Outreach.