New York’s Inaugural Upstate Art Weekend

More than a dozen institutions unite to celebrate art outside of NYC later this month

To celebrate the creative destinations that dot the Catskills and the Hudson Valley—from Newburgh to Woodstock and even the quaint town of Hudson itself—Stoneleaf Retreat founder Helen Toomer has plotted the first-ever UPSTATE ART WEEKEND. Running 29-30 August, the exciting event series finds roughly 20 institutions banding together to highlight art outside of NYC—with much of the programming free to attend. For residents and visitors alike, the Hudson Valley has long been a bastion of impressive outdoor art, be that at well-known locations like Storm King Art Center or emerging epicenters like Art Omi. UPSTATE ART WEEKEND aims to encourage unity between them all.

Macon Reed Installation, STONELEAF RESIDENCY 2017

“There’s a freedom to seeing art upstate that you can’t get in New York City—especially at this moment,” Toomer tells us. “There is so much creativity here and the institutions have built a solid audience which is growing almost as rapidly as the unconventional (and conventional) art spaces are! It feels like the Lower East Side in the early 2000s—there’s so much opportunity to show, create and see art. This is why we started UPSTATE ART WEEKEND, to celebrate the community and to connect the dots for those wanting to explore and support the arts upstate!”

Courtesy of MANITOGA

From Garrison’s MANITOGA / The Russel Wright Design Center and Cold Spring’s Magazzino Italian Art to Beacon’s Mother Gallery and Kerhonkson’s Starlite Motel, the programs and properties vary. In Kingston, Stoneleaf will showcase numerous works, including an exhibition of Keisha Scarville’s Passports images, as well as an audio piece by Sonia Louise Davis, we must be very strong/and love each other/in order to go on living, commissioned by The Laundromat ProjectThere will also be an outdoor reading circle of A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit—organized by Yard Concept.

UPSTATE ART WEEKEND’s site offers guidance on how to get to each place, though the easiest way (and safest, regarding travel in phase four of reopening) to navigate between them all is automobile. For specific stops, MetroNorth, Amtrak and Trailways Bus Service stop in various towns.

Hero image by David Graver