A World of Art

Beacon event has artists from around the globe

By Alison Rooney

Group residencies that allow artists to live and work together for a short time are far more common in Europe than in the U.S., says Basha Maryanska, a Polish artist and curator and resident of Beacon who has organized the city’s first International Artist Residency. It opened Oct. 12 and continues through Oct. 26 at Scenic Hudson’s Red Barn River Center at Long Dock Park in Beacon, with a reception scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Artists participating in the International Residency, at work on their first day in the studio (left to right): Virginia Donovan, Katia Gerasimov, curator Basha Maryanska, and Neela Pushparaj.  Photo by A. Rooney

Artists participating in the International Residency, at work on their first day in the studio (left to right): Virginia Donovan, Katia Gerasimov, curator Basha Maryanska, and Neela Pushparaj.  Photo by A. Rooney

The participants include Mervyn Beamish (Australia), Catherine Gerasimov (France), Rella Gronovitz (Israel/Sweden), Irina Korotkov (Australia), Iwona Kulagowska (Poland), Dorota Michaluk (France), Hanna Oren-Huppert (Holland), Neela Pushparaj (India/USA) and Mira Sartyan, (USA/Poland). The U.S. artists are Virginia Donovan, Mary Ann Glass, Kathryn Hart, Galina Krasskova and Rafael Quirindongo.

Their artwork is on display daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and their public work spaces are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Besides creating and displaying their work, the artists will present talks and take part in workshops and other arts-related activities. They will also tour Dia:Beacon, Olana, Storm King, Locust Grove, the Morse estate, the Thomas Cole Museum and, in Manhattan, the new Whitney Museum and galleries in Chelsea.

The works on display include acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings, collages, photography, sculpture and mixed media. In some instances, notably panels of landscapes made by Mervyn Beamish with a specific topography from Australia, the artist’s nationality is well-represented in the work, while that of many others is more abstract.

The exhibit will be a fluid one, with Maryanska continuously curating and updating the work. The public is invited to view the pieces and talk to the artists while they work. Most non-local artists are paired with Beacon-based peers.

Scenic Hudson's Red Barn River Center (photo provided)

Scenic Hudson’s Red Barn River Center (photo provided)

The organizers describe the concept of an artist residency as an “opportunity for a group of artists to work in an environment that encourages innovation, support and growth. Having two weeks to focus on their work, artists find this a chance to create while meeting new artists and being exposed to different forms of art.”

Although much of the art will be created indoors, the setting and spectacular time of year is an inducement to head outdoors as well, and set ups will be available for those who wish to work outside.

Maryanska, who for the past 13 years has been a curator at Manhattan’s New Century Artists’ Gallery, meets many artists during her frequent travels here and abroad. “I have met such wonderful artists and developed great friendships through art, worldwide,” she said. “This is the perfect way to share ideas, problems, inspire each other and learn — everyone can present their story in art. It’s like a conference, and also serves as a meeting of different cultures.”

Paintings by Dorota Michaluk of France and sculptures by Hanna Oren Huppert of the Netherlands. (Photo by A. Rooney)

Paintings by Dorota Michaluk of France and sculptures by Hanna Oren Huppert of the Netherlands. (Photo by A. Rooney)

Changing what’s on the walls is an important part of the experience, said Maryanska, who has organized similar residencies in Arizona (Tubac), New Mexico (Taos) and Florida (St. Augustine), as well as in Europe.

“Because this show lasts two weeks, initially artists bring some work, but as they create new pieces, the show progressively changes, and I’ll be changing the whole thing many times throughout,” she explained. “You have to constantly be thinking of the composition, how things are hung. It’s important to have a curator, with one eye, one concept because with 12 artists, you then have 12 different ideas.”

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