If you had the opportunity to visit Newburgh this weekend, you picked the perfect moment. There were numerous events happening city-wide which, were all samples of future things to come. To begin, Friday night was the reception and exhibition of Ruedi Hofmann‘s Pivotal: Faces of Change project. We estimated over 200 attendees came out to Thornwillow Institute at 7 South Lander Street. Mr. Hofmann interviewed and photographed over 50 participants who are creating positive change in Newburgh. That’s not to say there aren’t many more people doing so, but this was just a small sample.
Normally, you probably wouldn’t want to wander alone at night in this grassy field on South Lander Street. But here we were, taking over a “new” urban space that felt safe, exciting, and hopeful all at the same time. Most of us in attendance were also part of the short film that was displayed, edited by filmmaker Merle Becker. If you missed it, you can still watch it on the Pivotal Newburgh website. As Mr. Hofmann said on the website, “a new energy can be felt in Newburgh.” There was no better place to experience it than this night!
The inside of the future Thornwillow Institute was transformed into an art gallery where all of the portraits were displayed. The exhibit will be available to view till October 25th. See the website for more details. Before visiting, you should download the Live Portrait app which will make the photographs come to life.
Pivotal was just the kickoff for the annual Newburgh Open Studios weekend. City sidewalks were busy, full of visitors with maps in hand walking to the 21 art venues and studios on tour. Between touring, chatting, and checking out Ms. Fairfax, we only actually made it to one art venue. I appreciated seeing families with their children excited to discover each new studio. I appreciated seeing artists in every studio getting the opportunity to explain their work, and I appreciated seeing their raw work space, which looked like they were ready to pick up a brush at a moments notice.
Each year Newburgh Open Studios is growing, which solidifies the city’s maturing role in the Hudson Valley art scene. Bravo to Michael, Gerardo, and everyone else who works so hard to make it possible for us to enjoy this wonderful event. Don’t miss Newburgh Open Studios 2016!