The Dorsky Museum opens Race, Love, and Labor: New Work from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Artist-in-Residency Program on Sept.6


The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz presents Race, Love, and Labor: New Work from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Artist-in-Residency Program, an exhibition of new work from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s (CPW) Artist-in-Residency Program. Curated by Sarah Lewis, the exhibition will be on display at the museum from Aug.27 through Dec. 14, 2014, in the Sara Bedrick Gallery. The public opening reception is Sept.6, 5–7 p.m.

A special panel discussion with Lewis, CPW Executive Director Ariel Shanberg, and artists LaToya Ruby Frazier, Tommy Kha, and Deana Lawson, will be held on Sept.27, at noon, in the Student Union Building, Room 62/63, on the SUNY New Paltz campus.

Since 1999, nearly 100 artists of color working in the photographic arts have created vital images during summer residencies at the Center for Photography in Woodstock. Participants in the Woodstock Artist-in-Residency Program donate one or more prints to CPW’s permanent collection, forming a corpus that captures the shifting currents of contemporary photographic practices. Lewis, an acclaimed author and art historian, has curated a selection of outstanding photographs, video, and artist books from the collection, which is on long-term loan at The Dorsky Museum.

“A reflective look at the collection shows that a critical function of photography, through a vast range of aesthetics, is the labor of becoming and the work it entails—on the land and within our inner worlds,” says Lewis. “This exhibition includes a range of such photographs, from pictures by LaToya Ruby Frazier, whose fierce portrayals of the consequences of work on well-being and human dignity sears the soul with a light that Walker Evans could have never anticipated, to images by Deana Lawson who expertly shows a hard won self-possession through her pioneering portrayal of nude forms.”

The 20 artists whose work is featured in the exhibition are: Endia Beal, William Cordova, Isaac Diggs, Caleb Ferguson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Nikita Gale, Gerard H. Gaskin, Eyakem Gulilat, Tommy Kha, Kathya Maria Landeros, Deana Lawson, Alma Leiva, Yijun Pixy Liao, Gina Osterloh, Dawit L. Petros, Tim Portlock, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Xaviera Simmons, Joanna Tam, and Preston Wadley.

CPW’s artists-in-residence are encouraged to break new ground and deepen their commitment to their photographic practices. The support of CPW’s dedicated staff—all artists themselves—facilitates this creative process. For many of its participants, WOODSTOCK A-I-R marks their first workspace residency experience—a time in which they are singularly recognized as an artist and given the time, space, and means to be one. After their CPW residency, participants have gone on to show substantial bodies of work at the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and other prominent venues.

Race, Love, and Labor: New Work from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Artist-in-Residency Program is the latest in a series of exhibitions presented by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art drawn from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s permanent collection. These exhibitions have their genesis in The Dorsky’s longstanding relationship with CPW, which began in June 1995 when CPW delivered 895 photographs on long-term loan to the SUNY New Paltz campus. Since then, the collection has grown to more than 1,800 objects.

A fully illustrated, 66-page catalogue will document the exhibition. The catalogue includes a curatorial statement by Lewis, and texts by Dorsky Museum Director Sara Pasti and CPW Director Ariel Shanberg. Designed by William van Roden, the catalogue is published by The Dorsky Museum and distributed through SUNY Press. Major funding for the publication is provided by the Howard Greenberg Photography Endowment at The Dorsky Museum.

Sarah Lewis is a cultural historian, curator, and a Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African American Studies. She received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an M. Phil from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. from Yale University (expected fall 2014). She held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Tate Modern (London) and is the author of the acclaimed book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (Simon & Schuster). Her second book project, focused on the role of photography in the exposing the fiction of racial categories, is under contract with Harvard University Press. Her essays on race, contemporary art and culture have been published in many journals including The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, and in publications for the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli. She has served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee and as a Trustee of Creative Time, The CUNY Graduate Center, the Brearley School, and the Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts. She lives in New York and Cambridge, Mass.

Through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, supports and enriches the academic programs at the college, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara.

Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, and Intersessions.

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit, or call (845) 257-3844.