“This project is based on the idea of having the artist in residence working in the studio, in the gallery, where the artist is seen working and in process,” said Simon Draper, the project curator and founder of Habitat for Artists. Draper explained that he wanted to create venues where the artists were not isolated from their communities, and in which the community can access the artists differently than in a typical “gallery system.” Instead of the public going into the gallery and seeing the art as a fait accompli, people can get a look at how it’s made. The public is free to casually converse with the artist-at-work to ask questions and exchange ideas; art is continually “populated” in the structure and spread around the community, for display or sale, culminating into longer-term projects, themes, connections and collaborations. The project concludes Nov. 13 with a closing reception. The gallery is open Thursday-Saturday from 1-5 p.m.
New Paltz artist Molly Rausch’s featured theme sticks deep in the craw for many in Rosendale: the beloved, time-ravished Fotomat booth at Fann’s Plaza. Rausch said that her plans have her digging a tunnel between the Roos gallery and the Fotomat booth. “I think it would be interesting to establish a connection — either physical or conceptual — between the abandoned Fotomat booth and Simon’s Habitat in Roos. The Fotomat booth is a beautiful subject; the purpose of both places is to develop pictures of some kind; and they rather neatly bookend much of Main Street, Rosendale.” Rausch’s last collaboration with HFA was self-published into a book.
Rausch’s involve everything which a typical Ulster resident should have for tunnel-digging: a shovel, pick-axe, a bright head-lamp and mapped drawings, which she described as “pretty self-explanatory.”
Draper sees Rausch’s tunnel-dig as a working metaphor for the entire community, and a nod to his YOU ARE HERE theme. “[Rausch’s] project is interesting because of Rosendale’s history with the digging of the D&H canal they discovered cement that would dry underwater, later used for the footing of Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty, and there is this whole mining history in Rosendale, quarrying, which ties into the project,” said Draper. “When you look at Rosendale and see it’s a pastoral river village, you wouldn’t think that it had a major chapter in New York’s industrial revolution.”
According to Heige Kim of Rosendale, founder of Roos Arts, SUNY New Paltz art lecturer Beth Wilson will be visiting the shed at on a regular basis, responding to other artists and their work in the space via typewriter. “The integral part of this project is a carbon copy of the text that the artist can use, read and or respond via typewriter,” said Kim.
Stiching a history
Another unexpected Rosendale-centric project involved local embroidery by visual artist Jessica Poser: a map of the village of Rosendale embroidered on an old feed sack that bought at a nearby farm. Poser will work on several with different kinds of maps using materials donated by fellow artists or guests. “I wanted to participate in this iteration of Habitat for Artists because this summer I was one of the artists at the Kingston HFA, and it had an impact on how I think about my practice,” said Poser. “Working in the Habitat made me and my work part of a very different, and more public, conversation about working and making. When Simon told me about the HFA at Roos, I thought it would be a great opportunity to continue this conversation in collaboration with an emergent community of artists and I am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.”
Does it even happen if no one records it into a time-lapse series of photos? Filmmaker Michael Montella will be validating that dilemma by recording the entire series in time-lapse photography to later be shown at the closing party. “My participation in the Habitat project is as the role of observer — using time-lapse photography to record the visual layering taking place during the six-week period,” said Montella. Montella’s videos can be viewed at the gallery’s website — roosarts.com/you_are_here_blog/
The schedule of rotating artists, including can be found at the gallery’s website as well. Participating artists include: Kit Burke Smith, Robert Capozzi, Simon Draper, ezerd, Carol Flaitz, Carla Goldberg, Sebastian Garcia Huidobro, Ayesha Ibrahim, Chris Manning, Micheal Montella, Michael Natiello, Jessica Poser, Molly Rausch, Todd Sargood, Tom Sarrantonio, Matthew Slaats, Carly Still, Ustya Tarnawsky, Angela Voulgarelis, Susan Walsh and Beth E. Wilson.
For more information, visit Roosart.com, call (718) 755-4726, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.