More Than 130 Participants Unite For Upstate Art Weekend’s 2023 Programming

Open studios, galleries, art centers and more coalesce across counties to nourish locals and visitors alike

This 21-24 July, UPSTATE ART WEEKEND will connect more than 130 participating organizations—studios, galleries, art centers and more—for an extensive fourth iteration of the artful extravaganza. Founded by Helen Toomer, the visionary behind the STONELEAF RETREAT artist residency and Art Mamas Alliance and the director of PHOTOFAIRS New York, UPSTATE ART WEEKEND activates New York State’s cultural centers across a handful of counties to nourish locals and visitors with an appreciation for art. We’ve loved and supported UPSTATE ART WEEKEND since 2020 for its abundance of inspiration and its emphasis on community. This year, 60 new organizations join a roster that includes 15 partners who have participated since the very beginning. From KinoSaito to MANITOGA and the Wassaic Project to Art Omi, every participant is a highlight.

“Nearly half of our 130+ participants, including galleries, museums, pop-up exhibitions and open studios, are new to UPSTATE ART WEEKEND and this year there’s also an influx of music, performance, design and architecture,” Toomer tells COOL HUNTING. “I’m excited that NADA Foreland returns after a year hiatus and that Magazzino Italian Art will host our official opening celebration. I also got a sneak peek of Urban Art Project’s incredible workshop, which they will open up to the public for the first time and nearby is a not-to-be-missed mini sculpture park of Frank Stella works!” Toomer also notes that this year Ellsworth Kelly Studio and The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College will offer a rare tour coupled with a conversation led by artists responding to the collage work of Kelly.

Toomer’s enthusiasm is anchored in the ever-expanding accessibility to the artistic richness of Upstate New York. The “arts community has always been robust, but in the past few years we’ve seen a surge of new creative energy,” Toomer explains. “It’s a privilege to collaborate with, and highlight organizations who have been fundamental in the arts upstate, like Dia Beacon, Hessel Museum of Art, Olana, Storm King and The School, while also welcoming new peers to the region like Assembly, Borscht Belt Museum, Catskill Art Space and David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center.”

Ultimately, Toomer says, it comes down to gratitude. “I’m grateful that Upstate New York is our home and that STONELEAF continues to be a retreat for artists and families. I’m also grateful that UPSTATE ART WEEKEND is a beautiful annual beacon of light shining on, and uniting the region.” This is a sentimental we align with entirely.

To assist in planning, the team behind the constellation of events has debuted an UPSTATE ART WEEKEND 2023 official Google map. More information will continue to be released as the event draws closer.

Images courtesy of BFA from UPSTATE ART WEEKEND 2022