The Wassaic Project is hosting a day chock-full of events for Upstate Art Weekend on Saturday, July 22 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Wassaic Project, which was founded by three artists in 2008, is a non-profit organization that uses art and arts education to foster social change. “We love this community, we love art, and we strive to continue to grow and serve the local Wassaic and Amenia communities, as well as the greater regional and national lovers of art,” says Jeff Barnett-Winsby, the co-executive director of the Wassaic Project.
The Wassaic Project will be hosting a variety of free events taking place all over the grounds, including at Maxon Mills, on the Gridley Chapel lawn, at Gridley Chapel, and at Luther Barn.
At Maxon Mills, there will be gallery hours and art nest hours, followed by open studios with the Wassaic Project’s July artists-in-residence. Later, Brandon Donahue-Shipp and Jessica Gatlin will present their 2023 video projection, Deep Breath: by Tithes and Offerings.
Outside on the Gridley Chapel lawn, there will be an Autistic Joy Mini Zine Garden and Community Interactive Zine-Making Station. Participants will be able to create a paper zine garden of autism acceptance, disability joy, and inclusion with disability art activist Jen White-Johnson.
“Zine making is an inherently community driven, empowering, communication tool,” says Barnett-Winsby. Today, many zines are reminiscent of the punk rock movement in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, during which they were used as a tool for community building and advocacy.
“This is the history we will look to for this drop in our workshop,” says Barnett-Winsby. “Please ask Jen White-Johnson about what inspired her to make, and share, zines when you join us!”
Additionally, Barnett-Winsby shares that it was important for the Wassaic Project to highlight autistic joy and inclusion because he believes that it’s critical to celebrate the differences in human cognitive function, “rather than striving to ‘cure’ or ‘fix’ them.”
“White-Johnson’s work celebrates what makes us unique, and does so by exposing us to lives of Autistic individuals. By helping to build larger acceptance we hope others will embrace and celebrate the joys of human experience in all its forms,” says Barnett-Winsby.
At Gridley Chapel, there will be a repeating screening of Wassaic Project residency alumni Adinah Dancyger’s 2021 video MOVING.
Finally, at Luther Barn, there will be artist talks with Beth Campbell, Adinah Dancyger, Danielle Klebes, Marianna Peragallo, Daniel Shieh, and Jen White-Johnson.
Giving us a sneak peek into the artist talks, Barnett-Winsby says that, “Beth Campbell will share the inspiration for her first very large scale public installation, Danielle Kelbes will take us through her immersive top floor installation, Marianna Peragallo will share her playful approach to materials and sculptural subjects, Daniel Shieh will walk us through his childhood nostalgia for his bedroom windows and the tension he felt constantly under threat of invasion growing up in Taiwan, and Jen White-Johnson will share her fascinating overlap of parenting, activism, art making, teaching, and viral shout outs from Mariah Carey!”
Lastly, from 7 p.m. onwards, there will be live music by Winter Family at the Lantern, the homey bar and restaurant next door.
“We would love to have our communities come out and see the art, check out the talks, see some video, and dance the night away at The Lantern,” says Barnett-Winsby. “Maybe the best approach is to check out the amazing art across our upstate region and then end up here in the afternoon ready to see art, eat and dance in Wassaic? Regardless, people will not be disappointed.”
The Wassaic Project
37 Furnace Bank Road
Wassaic, NY 12592
Saturdays & Sundays, 12-5 pm
Other days/times by appointment
A detail of the installation “7th Floor Walk Up” by Danielle Klebes, which occupies the top floor gallery in Maxon Mills. This piece is part of the larger summer show entitled: “Counting the Seconds Between Lightning and Thunder.”