One of the most refreshing occasions on the annual arts calendar, Upstate Art Weekend returns for a third installment this 22-24 July. The exhilarating 2022 program includes 100 exhibitions, coupled with more than 50 open artist studios—a first for the series. This is a substantial increase from last year’s 61 participants, and the 23 venues of Upstate Art Weekend’s 2020 debut. More than statistics that support one weekend’s success story, these numbers represent the astounding year-long artistic presence across the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions, as well as the fact that many New Yorkers are drawn to upstate New York art excursions. This year, Upstate Art Weekend stretches from Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess and Greene counties to Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties; so many of our favorite upstate art and design venues, like Manitoga and the Wassaic Project to Dia: Beacon and Foreland, will take part.
None of this would be possible without the continued efforts Helen Toomer, the founder of Upstate Art Weekend and Stoneleaf Retreat (Toomer’s first arts initiative outside of New York City). Now in its sixth year, Stoneleaf Retreat is a residency that supports women artists and their families. As part of Upstate Art Weekend 2022, Stoneleaf Retreat will host its first-ever Supportive Event at 3-6PM on Friday, 22 July. Buying a ticket to the event directly benefits the residency program and its artists.
“Each year is a welcome surprise as there’s so much more than people realize to experience artistically and culturally in the Hudson Valley and Catskills region,” Toomer tells COOL HUNTING. This ranges from “monumental works and exhibitions by Wangechi Mutu at Storm King” to “Portia Munson at Art Omi, Black Melancholia at CCS Bard, Harmony Hammond at Alexander Gray Associates and a screening of cinematic works by Carolee Schneemann focusing on the artist’s work in the Hudson Valley from the 1960s to 2008 by Glasshouse. Plus group shows focused on highlighting the talent of Hudson Valley artists like LABspace and The Dorsky.”
“Our approach hasn’t altered since 2020 as a connector of creativity in the Hudson Valley and Catskills region,” Toomer says. “What’s interesting is the thirst to experience the magic here continues to grow between locals and tourists alike each year, and with this, the support of artists continues to increase. Ultimately supporting artists and those dedicated to uplifting artists and the arts upstate, is why we created Upstate Art Weekend.”
The entire Upstate Art Weekend program can now be viewed online. Though inspiring, it may also appear daunting to very eager participants. Such an extensive roster merely underscores the region’s artistic abundance and, having participated in years past, it would be our advice to note all the exhibitions and open studios that move you and then build an itinerary across all three days based on where they’re located. To support this, Upstate Art Weekend assembled a Google map with participating venues—and even provides a video on how to make your own. Pursue as many as possible because every stop has something spectacular to offer.
Hero image courtesy of Angela Pham at BFA during UPSTATE ART WEEKEND 2021