Roost Studios Hosts CelebrateWomxn845

Roost Studios is an artistic staple for the New Paltz art community. Every year, artists from the Hudson Valley area come to the Roost to exhibit their art and share it with the people of New Paltz. To kick off the new year, Roost Studios decided to host “Celebration,” an exhibit and organization dedicated to celebrating women and womxn-identifying artists. Founded by visual artist Jamie Sanin, the exhibit will be running from Jan. 11 to Feb. 2 at the Roost.

Sanin has had an interest in the wide world of art and artistic expression since she was young.

“I’ve always just been exposed to art. I grew up doing dance, I grew up doing visual art and I grew up doing voice and theatre,” Sanin said. “I think that all of those informed me as a person.”

As of now, Sanin has dedicated herself to visual arts and received her Bachelor’s in Visual Arts Education from SUNY New Paltz in 2014. Sanin later founded CelebrateWomxn845 in 2018 to raise visibility for artists in the Hudson Valley Region who identify as womxn. The term “womxn” is an inclusive word used by anyone who identifies as a woman. 

All within 2018, her group has done work across the Hudson Valley, hosting “Warm-Up” in Kingston, “Celebration” in Beacon and “WomxnFest” in New Paltz. When the opportunity came to feature “Celebration” in New Paltz, Sanin took it. 

“Celebration” at the Roost is designed to be a space where womxn can present their artwork in a wide variety of mediums and styles. 

“It is a free-for-all. A lot of people think the theme of the show is ‘feminism!’ or something, but when we put out the call to artists, there’s no theme,” Sanin said. “We’re not looking for any kind of style or type of work or medium. The only kind of rule is whoever made the work is a womxn.”

Indeed, the style, medium and tone of the work varies from piece to piece. “Kim Has A Bad Day” by Kathy Ittler is a humorous thread and fabric recreation of a photo of Kim Kardashian crying. “Only Judy Can Judge Me” by ONOH is a stark collage of various paintings of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. “Part II” by Brianna Barrett is a simple acrylic painting of a black woman’s face from the nose down, with streaks of color running through it. The exhibit features something for everyone in terms of artistic preference.

Volunteer gallery attendant and musical artist Phoebe Heretz is incredibly proud that an exhibit like this is being hosted at the Roost. She has also performed at the Roost on Jan. 13 as Dagmara.

“Everyone has important womxn in their lives. Isn’t it time for us to be equal and have equal representation in the government, equal pay, equal opportunities, equal seats at the table and equal representation in the arts,” Heretz said. “Unfortunately, even with the progress we’ve made in the past century, we are currently a far cry from equality. CelebrateWomxn845 is helping us get there, by giving underrepresented womxn artists a platform for their art.”

“Celebration” will be performing its closing ceremonies on Feb. 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Roost’s next exhibit will be “ridge and TOWER,” which will be running from Feb. 7 to March 3.