Ethnicity, Emotion and Work at the Dorsky

Selections from the Center for Photography at Woodstock Artists-in-Residency program were on display this past Wednesday at the Dorsky Museum.

The show, titled “Race, Love and Labor” was put on to celebrate 20 years of partnership between the Dorsky Museum and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. The collection features works from 21 different artists.

“We’re really proud to have been able to store this collection of work for this time period,” Sara Pasti, director of the Dorsky Museum said.

The show, which has been on display since Aug. 27 of this year, was curated by Sarah Lewis, a guest curator. According to Pasti, Lewis was brought in because of her expertise in photography as well as her interest in ethnicity and its representation in the art world.

“She was the perfect person to look at the work … she was the qualified person to put together the works that were both strong photographic works but also told a story about these artists experience in Woodstock and what it meant to them,” Pasti said.

This collection has also been studied by photography classes from local schools in the area, such as New Paltz High School and Highland High School.

This is the initial reason why the Center for Photography at Woodstock and the Dorsky became partners almost 20 years ago. The Dorsky provids safe keeping of the works donated from the Center of Photography at Woodstock and because the Dorsky is an educational institution, it is allowed to use the works for educational purposes.

“It was one of those win-win situations where everybody benefits,” Pasti said.

Although there was a low attendance on this past Wednesday, Nov. 12, the show has brought in approximately 1,000 visitors a month. This includes photography and art history classes that come to study the work.

“We’ve seen it decline in people … it was definitely busier in the beginning of the semester,” Steven Ruggiero, a fourth-year history major and employee at the Dorsky said.

Despite the low attendance, a few dedicated students came to the Dorsky to admire the work.

However, Kimberly Rou, a first-year photography major was more connected to the show, she saidthat it was “definitely powerful. I enjoyed the newspaper prints about the black panther party.’”

The recent low turnout is something that will hopefully be temporary, as there is much gain from studying work from local and renown artists from the Center for Photography in Woodstock.

“In addition to the historic value of this residency, I think that the works are just extraordinary art works, so I would encourage the students to come see this beautiful work before the show comes down”’ Pasti said.

“Race, Love and Labor” is on exhibition until Dec. 14 at the Dorsky Museum of Art. Admission is free for students and the museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.