On Saturday, Sept. 6 the Dorsky held an opening reception for its two exhibits “Dick Polich: Transforming Metal into Art” and “Race, Love, and Labor: New Work from The Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Artist-in-Residency Program.”
Hundreds of guests attended the evening event—drawing students, faculty, college administration members and many locals from neighboring counties.
Although “Race, Love and Labor” curator Sarah Lewis was not in attendance, she said she was honored to be the exhibit’s guest curator. Selected for her curatorial work at the Tate Modern, MoMA and for SITE Santa Fe Biennial, she said she helped co-curate the exhibit with Dorsky Curator Daniel Belasco.
“I would add that Sarah was selected not only for her curatorial work but also her scholarship: both her writings on contemporary photographers like Lyle Ashton Harris, and her historical work on 19th century representations of African-Americans,” Belasco said. “She brought a fresh eye to [the Center of Photography at Woodstock] collection and the work of the institution and residency.”
Belasco said the two shows work well together as both Polich Tallix foundry and CPW are Hudson Valley based institutions that have supported the creative work of artists for decades.
The flow of people entering and exiting the Dorsky was constant and visitors were encouraged to snack and socialize on the veranda.
Hidden among the crowd were featured artists Polich and Otterness, both of whom said they were very honored to see their work on display. Otterness, who lives in New York City, said he came to New Paltz to celebrate Polich.
“We’re all here to celebrate Dick,” Otterness said. “It’s so much fun to have him, after all these years of having him watch us, on display. I’ve worked with him for over 30 years and we know each other as kind of old friends and opponents at the same time.”
Belasco called the turnout “fantastic.”
“It was truly an honor to Dick Polich and all he has given to the community, and to the art world,” Belasco said. “To have luminaries like Martin Puryear, Tom Otterness and David Ross, as well as representatives from the Roy Lichtenstein foundation and Nancy Graves foundation, present, was a testament to Dick’s impact on so many.”
The Dorsky will hold various gallery talks and demonstrations featuring Polich and Lewis, through November and the exhibits will be up through Dec. 14.