The Dorsky begins first in series of three Spring Creative Conversations

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art will begin the first in a series of three Creative Conversations with museum innovator David A. Ross, who will be discussing “The Miscreants of Taliwood” with the film’s director and award-winning Australian painter George Gittoes at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in the Nadia & Max Shepard Recital Hall at College Hall. The event is free and open to the public.


Creative Conversations: Winter/Spring 2010 joins artists, musicians and museum professionals in collaborative, informal presentations and discussions and is organized by The Dorsky Museum and funded by the SUNY New Paltz Campus Auxiliary Services.

Following a screening of "The Miscreants of Taliwood," Ross will interview Gittoes, who will discuss his experiences directing the documentary, which does not conform to the traditional rules of the medium, with the creator being a passive observer.

The film takes the viewer on an extraordinary journey to another forbidden zone – the remote Tribal Belt of the North West Frontier of Pakistan. Gittoes gathers an astonishing cast of characters, as they dodge the anti-entertainment forces, and are caught in the current of events that are turning back the clock on the digital age. "This was a theater of terror, and I had a front row seat," said Gittoes.


Gittoes is an artist first and sees it as his duty to bend the rules and experiment to give his vision a maximum effect. At times, “The Miscreants” comes across as a documentary within a documentary, but it is this series of layers within the film that makes it such a memorable experience.

Ross’ career highlights have included curatorial and senior leadership positions at the Everson Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, and the University Art Museum at UC Berkeley; and directorships at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum, and at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Ross was also the co-founder and president of the Artists’ Pension Trust (a pioneering financial planning program for working artists), has lectured at various universities across the country, and has served as juror and commissioner at a broad range of international shows and exhibitions.

After spending a year as a private art dealer working in New York City and London, Ross has returned to the not-for-profit sector, and is now a member of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

George Gittoes, one of Australia’s foremost figurative painters, has won a number of prestigious awards, and has been invited to represent Australia in major international exhibitions and artist residency programs. In 1997 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contribution to the Arts and International Relations.

For the last decade and a-half, Gittoes has been working in areas that are usually the reserve of journalists. His work catches the complexity of individual circumstance, of human frailty, empowerment and survival, against a backdrop of world issues. They are images about both ‘the moment’ and ‘the big picture’.

Taking a global approach to his work as an artist, Gittoes works from many locations throughout the world, and bases himself in studios in Sydney and New York. He presents his work in multi-media exhibitions that include photography, drawings, paintings and DVD-Video installations.

March Conversations

Continuing the Creative Conversations this March, the Dorsky will also host trumpeter/composer Ben Neill and visual artist Bill Jones at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 6, at the Black Box Theatre in the Fine and Performing Arts Center. Ben Neill and Bill Jones will present “Night Science,” a set of future dub jazz and interactive video for Neill’s newly created “mutantrumpet.” Dubstep beats and bass lines meet the otherworldly sonic explorations of Neill’s newly redesigned electro/acoustic instrument. Jones provides the video imagery, a black and white urban dreamscape inspired by sci-fi noir films such as Godard’s “Alphaville.”

On Tuesday, March 9, at 6 p.m. in the Nadia & Max Shepard Recital Hall at College Hall, David Rothenberg and Jaanika Peerna present their work on the collaborative piece “Tangitan,” based on the novel “Magic Numbers” by Siberian novelist Yuri Ryktheu, about a traveler who sails to the Arctic to reinvent his life. The video footage was shot by Rothenberg on his trip to Spitsbergen as part of the sailing residency aboard The Arctic Circle ( and brought back to the Hudson Valley, where Peerna has been working to assemble the material as a video art piece. The sound is a combination of live underwater recordings of sailing icebergs and live computer-processed clarinet.

For more event details, reservations, accessibility or directions, visit or call (845) 257-3844. The Dorsky Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.