Dorsky Museum Showcases New York Innovators

Curators from statewide art foundations are celebrating Hudson Valley artists with a new exhibit that premieres at the Dorsky this fall.

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art debuted an inventive exhibit on Wednesday, Aug. 30, giving a number of Hudson Valley artists a new place for their art to live.

The exhibit, titled “Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts / New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships,” presents an array of pieces of various artistic styles from 20 artists at different critical points in their careers. The pieces utilize all different art forms, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and even pieces that combine multiple mediums.

“NYFA is a non-profit agency that gives grants to artists throughout New York state…” said Sara Pasti, the Neil C. Trager director of the Dorsky Museum, who also serves as chair of the SUNY Council of Museums and Galleries. “And one of the best ways to let artists who live upstate know about NYFA is to send an exhibit of work around so more communities could become aware not only to the grants that are available to artists, but to the artists that live within their communities who have received these grants. One goal of this exhibition was to build awareness of this program and of the support it grants to artists.”

SUNY New Paltz is the first stop and current home of this exciting exhibit, but it will travel throughout the state until the spring of 2020 to seven other museums and galleries on SUNY campuses such as SUNY Cortland, Alfred University, SUNY Plattsburgh, Stony Brook University, and Westchester Community College. 

“NYFA and SUNY are both statewide organizations, so by bringing the two together, we made a great partnership to travel the show,” Pasti said. “The great thing is that among the SUNY museums and galleries, we’ve been talking about how to collaborate and share exhibitions. There have been one or two exhibitions that have traveled to other SUNYs. Now, hopefully this perpetuates a sort of tradition, so that when we have exhibitions that we think will be interesting all across the state, we will now have a mechanism for sending them.”

The exhibit was curated by Judith K. Brodsky and David C. Terry with the assistance of Madeline Scholl. The interim curator is Ursula Morgan.

“There are lots of great ways to celebrate this great work,” Morgan said. “It’s really exciting for us because this is artwork that speaks to all different kinds of people.”

Over the last 30 years, over 4,000 artists have been supported by NYSCA/NYFA Fellowships, branching out from just visual arts and including mediums like literature and performance. 

“NYFA gives fellowships to artists other than visual artists, for example there are musicians and playwrights and fiction writers and composers that have received fellowships,” Pasti said. “We’ve tried to bring in other NYFA Fellows in our list of programs as well, such as one program we’ll be having a reading by a NYFA Fellow… some of the upcoming artists even live in Ulster county, which helps bring awareness to the NYFA Fellowships to more than just visual arts.”

Sarah Kisiel, a second-year electrical engineering major, found the exhibit to be eye-opening.

“I really enjoyed the use of motion and water,” she said in regards to a video clip that was played in the back of the exhibit featuring a woman’s feet kicking in a gray watery substance. “I loved the way it was all caught on camera. I do my best to visit the Dorsky as often as I can for new exhibits, and I’ll definitely be heading back soon.”

The opening ceremony for the exhibit is Saturday, September 9th from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibit will be on display at the Dorsky until Nov. 12, 2017.