Woodstock Music & Art

Woodstock Music & Art

curated by Kathleen Kenyon and Kate Menconeri

featuring Nancy Bogen, Ken Franckling, William Gamble, Ron Naar, Shelly Rusten, Andrea Barrist Stern, and William Wade

November 20 – December 19, 1999

music … art …

…it’s what defines Woodstock – and why we are celebrated as – the small town known around the world

it’s the motivation of this exhibition to honor the spirit of Woodstock as a metaphor for creativity…

On the occasion of opening our newly expanded artistic home, it is this link that brings us together and what we honor today. The spirit of the arts forms our legacy as a cultural haven. We rejoice in the power of imagination
to bring us into community and to enrich our lives.

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In the past decades theater, opera, poetry, music, literature, painting, sculpture, crafts, and photography have competed for prominence in Woodstock. The list of internationally famous visual and performing artists associated with the town — the oldest functioning art colony in the United States — has filled volumes — Isadora Duncan, Helen Hayes, John Burroughs, Archipenko, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Will and Ariel Durant, Konrad Cramer, Russell Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Milton Avery, Janis Joplin, Philip Guston, Heywood Hale Broun, Gael Greene, Mary Frank, Jessie Tarbox Beals, Russell Lee, Manuel Komroff, and Clarence White, among others.

Woodstock’s origin as an art mecca began in 1902 with Englishman Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead’s establishment of an utopian arts and crafts colony, Byrdcliffe. The founders of the Woodstock Art Colony saw it was here that (man’s/woman’s) mightiest creative energies might be released. Shortly thereafter, the Maverick Colony was founded by Hervey White to allow artists, writers, and musicians greater freedom of expression. Maverick — the idea of originality and irrepressible freedom — is now embodied in the Woodstock tradition, the Center’s home, and the nation’s culture.

And as we move into the new century this is what we want to carry forward — free expression — It is the Center’s vision to present a space which allows each person to express their imagination in a community which supports individual sight. We bring together a culturally diverse community in an environment which encourages interaction and exploration of the visual arts through innovative programs. Together we give shape to a world in which a multitude of views are given life.

Woodstock is as much known for it’s visual art as it is for performing arts. This particular exhibit focuses on the power of song in Woodstock and on those who have made visual records. Our exhibition photographers (some of whom are musicians too), show us images of the talented musicians who have made their home in Woodstock, those associated with the place, those associated with its spirit, and those at the famous music festivals. Of course, none of the “big” music fests were ever actually in Woodstock proper, but all were named to honor Woodstock’s great power.

The Maverick Festivals were in fact the very first Woodstock Festival. Weekend long events, they were fundraisers to support a unique community of artists that lived here. The money raised throughout the years built a theatre, a concert hall, artist studios, subsidized daily existence, and created The Maverick Press (1915-40s).

Woodstock was once again in the news for music in 1994 when its name was used for a three-day music festival to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the famous concert that rocked the nation in 1969. The first concert wasn’t held in Woodstock, but in Bethel, about 100 miles south in Sullivan County, New York. Again in ‘94, the event was held, not in Woodstock, but on a farm in Saugerties, New York, 15 miles to the east, and, in 1999 on an airforce base in Rome, New York. And – as in 1969 – more than a quarter million people descended on these sites to hear rock and roll, which, in ’69 included Joan Baez, The Jefferson Airplane, and musicians who made their home in Woodstock — Bob Dylan, The Band, and Janis Joplin.

Many of the artists who photographed the original festival, and who were published in LIFE magazine, are included in this exhibit: Michael Fredericks, Elliott Landy, Lisa Law, and Shelly Rusten. Images from 1994 and 1999 are represented by Mark McCarroll, Patricia Mitchell, Ron Naar, William Wade, and videos by Dave Channon and Tobe Carey. Woodstock musicians are portrayed by Nancy Bogen, Dion Ogust, Ken Frankling, Andrea Stern, Roy Gumpel, Ben Caswell, William Gamble, John Cohen; including players who have performed at treasured sites in Woodstock proper – the Maverick (the oldest continuously run chamber music festival in the U.S.), the Kleinert/James Woodstock Guild, Bearsville Recording Studios, Opus 40, the Joyous Lake, to name just a few; and Tony Levin illustrates with innovation the local caves at which he recorded the music for From the Caves of Iron Mountain.

Our new gallery which showcases this exhibition, and is housed in the property chosen (and purchased in 1987) as the Center’s permanent home. A historic two-story building located at 59 Tinker Street, the Center is in the heart of Woodstock on its Main Street. The structure dates back to the 1700s, and has a venerable history, much of it with artistic and musical associations. In 1907 and 1908, the Art Students League held classes in the building. The students opened an art supply shop and started a tea room called At the Sign of the Hearse – a reflection of the building’s earlier incarnation as an undertaking establishment. Later in the decade the building functioned as a town social center, housing Woodstock’s first ping-pong parlor (quite the rage in those days) and providing space for dances held during the school holidays. In the next decade the Woodstock Library was located in the building.

By the 1920s the building’s owner rented studio space to artists and opened The Nook, a coffeehouse where the artists sold small paintings and postcards and could buy photographic films. The Nook became The Espresso, which in the 1960s saw the birth of the great folk music revival with performances by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. In Woodstock’s Espresso Café (the Center’s first floor), Dylan, Baez and a teen-aged John Sebastian would sit around a rickety old table, glasses of wine in hand, and sing old folk songs like House of the Rising Son. Then Dylan would walk upstairs to his rented apartment, (the Center’s second floor) muse before his manual typewriter and write such songs as It Ain’t Me Babe, Subterranean Homesick Blues and Mr. Tambourine Man. Later the first floor space was the site of the Tinker Street Café, where many local players performed.

When people speak of the Woodstock Sprit, the Woodstock Generation, what do they mean?

Seeking to answer these questions, our shows parallel the dreams of those who come now and reveal a shared history. Inheritors of the Woodstock Festival spirit, the Center contributes to the town’s vital creative tradition and serves to link artists and audiences from all generations. Those who came to the musical explosion in the 1960s celebrated ideas seeded on the same spiritual ground where Hervey White — fifty years earlier — had set the stage for his catalytic Maverick Festivals.

The Center for Photography at Woodstock’s COMING HOME: BUILDING OUR FUTURE capital and creative program drives have allowed us to open our new doors to invite in a wider audience and to better serve our community.

We create this context to raise and deepen awareness of Woodstock’s rich artistic legacy and to serve as a beacon of hope for those who seek the joy of art.

There was peace and harmony …Woodstock became a symbol to the world of a better way of life – of freedom, of love, of spiritual union between many. There was hope…. Woodstock is a way of thinking, a way of being – kindness, consideration, sharing, and enjoying life as it should be…”

– taken from Elliott Landy’s Woodstock Vision, The Spirit of a Generation, 1994.

 

Joan Lebold Cohen

Joan Lebold Cohen

Asian Studies II

November 20 – December 19, 1999

It was all very innocent in the beginning. I had to have slides to teach about Asian art history.

I had no notion of being a photographer or that I would become addicted. What began as a simple documenting exercise of people and landscape became a quest to reveal the full-blown culture, humanity and the range of forms and patterns in nature. I am a student of cultural history and each image promised a more profound level. Moreover, I was in constant dialogue with the paintings I had studied and the formal aspects of composition.

If asked what kind of photographer I am – I always think of myself as a photographer of mountain mists. However, I do so much like to take pictures of people. I strive to have them reveal their inner quality and natural being.

Joan Lebold Cohen, art historian/photographer, a specialist in Chinese art and film, has been a sometime resident and regular visitor to Asia since 1961. Her book, The New Chinese Painting, 1949-1986, introduced recent generations of Chinese artists to the world. She curated four exhibitions of new Chinese art in America, including a photographic exhibition titled New York, The City and Its People, shown in Beijing and Tokyo. Her other books are Yunnan School, A Renaissance in Chinese Painting; Angkor Monuments of the God-Kings; and Buddha. Ms. Cohen is the photographer and co-author with her husband, Jerome Alan Cohen, of China Today and Her Ancient Treasures. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and are represented in public and private collections in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Cohen has lectured, for more than 22 years at Tufts University/School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is currently a research fellow at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and an associate of Columbia University’s Modern China Seminar.

joanleboldcohen.com

Nina Kuo

Nina Kuo

CHI PAO (CHINESE BANNER DRESSES)

September 25 – November 7, 1999

This mixed media installation addresses gender stereotypes in conventions of femininity prevalent in Chinatown.

Nina Kuo’s Chinese style dresses incorporate film stills from the 1940s – 1950s that evoke the post World War II era of Hong Kong movies, where Western and Eastern notions of romance met highly stylized emotions associated with dramas, family struggles, sacrifice, self denial, and virtue that middle class citizens may question as they seek a renewal of their own heritage and fantasies.

In Chi Pao these film still images are juxtaposed with the artists’ own version of middle class portraits, posing contemporary gestures with past models of global Asian pop culture.

The alluring photo dress monitors the evolution of the Chinatown voyeur inspired by Hollywood glamour, fast food, and everyday fashion. These transformed images reveal a deja vu sensation of how time flirts with Chinese American values.

ninakuo

Personal Permanent Records: Contemporary South American Photography

Personal Permanent Records: Contemporary South American Photography

curated by Malin Barth

featuring Alexander Apóstal, Claudia Aranovich, Sara Maneiro, Eduardo Medici, Oscar Muñoz, Luciana Naphchan, Juan Leal Ruiz, Antonio Saggese, Ana Tiscornia, Milagros De La Torre, and Janiana Tschäpe

September 25 – December 19, 1999

The selection of these particular artists is based upon research I undertook in 1997.

I traveled from the south of Chile to the north of Mexico over a period of seven months, and I have had the privilege of meeting and talking extensively with the majority of the artists about their work. Identity and memory were repeating phrases. The work presented here is an intricate fusion between messages and the media – photography. The images give the reader an extensive cross section of prolific South American artists’ and their approach to the medium of photography. It also presents an understanding of their regional concerns as the subject matter of identity and memory through portraiture.

Photographic portrayal is one of the dominant usages of the camera, and portrait genre has had a strong hold since the camera’s invention. Portraiture photography has inundated our everyday lives, with family pictures, ID cards, and portraits in the media. These artists validate, through portraits, differentiated identity and memory: personal, sexual, collective, national, and historical. The artists eloquently manage to incorporate many dimensions of meaning into their work. Understanding the individual portrait and its meaning as the emblem of identity and memory is the most significant.

This work is an indication of recent developments in contemporary art of South America. Several of the artists extend the accepted boundaries of photographic principles by shifting the emphasis away from the camera and onto the finished print / object itself. These artists focus on a great variety of approaches to portrait photography in their quest to portray and discuss identity and memory. Each of them is crucial in the summation of the current panorama of the medium being made throughout the region of South America. The images represent individuals’ personal preoccupation with the subject of identity. It is possible to trace regional particularities, such as a specific idiosyncratic or special historical / political circumstances, but these are not turned into homogeneous emblems. The artist’s interpretation maintains formal characteristics that are hybrid and multiplex. The work selected recognizes the parallel evolution of the twentieth century’s art across continents, an evolution reflecting both international movements and regional concerns.

– Malin Barth, 1999

MALIN BARTH was the Director of Throckmorton Fine Art, New York. An artist and curator, she has lectured in Cuba, Norway, and New York City on topics related to photo-based art from Latin America. Barth has curated shows of work by the following artists: Lola Alvarez Bravo, Tina Modotti, Bastienne Schmidt, and Paul Strand.

[one_half first]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Alexander Apóstol[/one_half] [one_half]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Claudia Aranovich[/one_half] [one_half first]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Sara Maneiro[/one_half] [one_half]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Eduardo Medici[/one_half] [one_half first]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Oscar Muñoz[/one_half] [one_half]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Luciana Napchan[/one_half] [one_half first]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Antonio Saggese[/one_half] [one_half]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Ana Tiscornia[/one_half] [one_half first]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Milagros De La Torre[/one_half] [one_half]"Personal Permanent Records", curated by Malin Barth, September 25 - December 19, 1999Janaina Tschäpe[/one_half] [hr]

Picturing Home – Images from the American South

Picturing Home – Images from the American South

curated by Kate Menconeri

featuring Lynda Frese, Mark Goodman, William Greiner, Earlie Hudnall Jr., Nancy Marshall, Meg Reilley, Margaret Sartor, Melissa Springer, Thomas Tulis, Angela West

June 5 – July 18, 1999

I was born in Boston, raised in the North, a first generation Yankee on my mother’s side. As a child I spent each summer with my family in the delirious heat of Port Arthur, Texas, a small town along the Louisiana border.

Visiting my relatives in Louisiana and Texas; time would be spent eating shrimp creole and butter beans, telling stories at sleep-away camp in the deep east Texas woods in Silsbee; fishing for red snapper off the cut at Sabine Pass and watchful of jellyfish and crabs at the Gulf beaches; driving down scary back roads hearing tales of Sarah Jane and Evangeline; connecting in my own unconscious and curious way, to my Southern heritage. As an adult, when my feet hit ground at the airport in Houston, and that familiar thick air enwraps me, I feel most decidedly, that I’m home.

The idea for Picturing Home was inspired by my own sense of “home” in the South; by my love of Southern literature and the special connection that exists between art and writing; and by the abundance of contemporary talent creating powerful imagery about the South. The artists featured in this show present a myriad of views and observations that in some way express their own individual experience or expression of the South through a variety of photographic processes – digital, color, gelatin silver, platinum-palladium, and montage. These artist live (or have lived) in the South, and they were born in Alabama, Louisiana, Boston, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina. These are visual artists breaking new aesthetic and conceptual ground. The work presented here is specifically of images they have made that deal with the South, which is not to say that their work as visual artists can in some way define “Southern”.

The South – and our collective imaginations of this phantasmic land – is one of the most popular areas of our nation – preserved as a distinct and mythical region, stereotyped, and cherished all at once. Volumes of books and anthologies are published just on Southern writers and artists. How do these myths influence the image making of the artists – and how in turn do the images perpetuate or debunk the myths of what the South is? One important note is that origin of place does not necessarily make everyone who photographs in the South a “Southern” photographer. bell hooks provides insight in Remembered Rapture – “There is no black literature, only literature which conveys our experience as black people … .” and in this manner, there is no Southern photography – but images which convey an experience of the South. The stereotypes that intersect with the South have an expansive history of their own.

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The South, deceptively complex, is varied in its people, politics, landscapes, and values. It is associated with many things, sometimes clichés, often conflict and contradictions – magnolias & romance / grace & violence / slavery & benevolence / poverty & wealth /pride & guilt / community & segregation / hedonism & devout religious practice / hospitality & racism / etiquette & doublespeak / loss & fertility / ghosts & shadows. Geographically the South is manifold and uncontestedly a land of physical beauty- with mountains, coastal lowcountry, pine forests, sacred rivers, cypress kneed swamps, cotton farms, big sky oil towns, grand mansions, and moss lined bayous. The South is home for peoples with Scotch-Irish, African, Spanish, French, Cajun, Mexican, Vietnamese, Acadian, Creole, German, Chinese, and Chicano heritage. Parallels in the literature and visual expression about the South lay in shared but varied – history, land, and heritage. It stems from a place where emphasis is on the land itself, family and community, tradition and myth, history and religion.

The distinct history and land of the American South does distinguish aspects of this region to other parts of the nation. Originally the American South developed as an agrarian center for cotton, indigo, and tobacco, while the North focused on industry. The history of the South, tied indelibly to the Civil War, distinguishes the South from the other areas of the nation, and still profoundly resonates today – a sense of defeat, loss, guilt, and memory. The romanticized myth of the Old South (that of the wealthy white plantation holders/ antebellum) still a provides a great tourist industry and pervades some contemporary thinking – that of chivalry, beautiful homes, gracious living, a code of honor, astute manners, southern belles and noble gentlemen, jasmine draped verandahs, grand plantation houses. But this romantic view of the past, (that so many cling to), omits atrocities of slavery, oppression, violence, and economic inequity. The “Gentleman’s War”, fought under the benevolent live oaks, among the land southerners cherish, triumphantly put an end to legal slavery, and put the Southern cities in ruins, destroyed the plantation economy, and ignited churches in flames. While white Southerners bereaved the fall of the plantation system, black Southerners, while free, were left without much opportunity or resources. Racial violence post slavery rose to new heights. Out of this was born a civil religion known as the “lost cause” – to preserve the sacred honor of the South. Plantation romances became a popular form to perpetuate a world behind the times, based on romantic tradition.

When thinking about the South, one is confronted with a cultural and literary heritage that stems from this history of loss and prosperity, honor, and oppression. It grew from the universal struggles of racism, urbanization, poverty, industrialization, and the desire to preserve distinct cultural characteristics – inspired by geography, folklore, unique history, myth and legend. The New South, with its suburban-urban sprawls, Motel 6, super highways, shopping malls, Dairy Queens, and Burger Kings, has been suggested to be the most typically “American” place in our nation. The South is still an intense place of beauty and rich culture. The artists in this show depicting a “South” give us glimpses of both old and new South – they deal with many themes – memory, loss, family, land, sense of place, ritual, tradition, and the suburban infrastructure rapidly shooting through the skies. Many of these themes are rooted in the history of Southern tradition and in literature, as too, these themes can be all understood and felt on a universal and individual level.

– Kate Menconeri, 1999

[one_half first]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Lynda Frese[/one_half] [one_half]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Mark Goodman[/one_half] [one_half first]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999William Greiner[/one_half] [one_half]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Earlie Hudnall Jr.[/one_half] [one_half first]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Nancy Marshall[/one_half] [one_half]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Meg Reilley[/one_half] [one_half first]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Margaret Sartor[/one_half] [one_half]Melissa Springer[/one_half] [one_half first]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Thomas Tulis[/one_half] [one_half]"Picturing Home", curated by Kate Menconeri, June 5 - July 18, 1999Angela West[/one_half] [hr]

Common Boundary

Common Boundary

curated by Sandra S. Phillips

featuring Angela Cappetta, Hideo Kobayashi, Jonathan Moller, Marla Sweeney, Margaret Sartor, Ricardo Valverde, and Terri Warpinski

April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999

Common Boundary features artists were selected from the international community by curator, Sandra S. Philips, Curator of Photographs for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This show features work by ANGELA CAPPETTA (New York, NY); HIDEO KOBAYASHI (Tokyo, Japan); JONATHAN MOLLER (Oberlin, OH); MARLA SWEENEY (Austin, TX); MARGARET SARTOR (Durham, NC); RICARDO VALVERDE (Los Angeles, CA); and TERRI WARPINSKI (Eugene, OR).

The photographs are color, black-and-white, digital, collage, and mixed media. The artists deal with issues of space, borders, and boundaries within the arenas of community and town, family and friends, culture and art.

Angela Cappetta‘s bold color prints reveal a narrative of the life of a young Latina girl coming of age in Brooklyn, NY. Jonathan Moller‘s precise black-and-white images tell a story of the uprooted Mayan people in Guatemala and members of the Communities of Population in Resistance. Marla Sweeney‘s large color prints capture a sense of place and reveal with humor and irony America’s small town communities.

Hideo Kobayashi‘s large conceptual work focuses on the power and nature of objects. Southern-based artist, Margaret Sartor pictures family and friends in our ragged and tender unpredictable world. Ricardo Valverde paints and manipulates the surface of his black and white imagery to play opposing forces of reality and fantasy. Terri Warpinski‘s Field Studies series combines photographs with drawing, paint, mapping, and digital imaging to deconstruct the landscape and reevaluate the relationship between local and universal.

– the Center for Photography at Woodstock

Sandra S. Phillips has been the curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since 1987. She lectures and teaches at the San Francisco State University. Prior to her work in San Francisco she was the Curator of Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY. She has served as a consultant for PBS and lectured widely on photography at places as the International Center for Photography, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and abroad. Exhibitions curated for SFMOMA include Photography After Modernism: Extensions into Contemporary Art; Police Pictures: The Photograph as Evidence; Commonplace Mysteries; Crossing the Frontier: Photographs of the Developing West; William Klein, New York, 1954-1955; and Dorthea Lange. She has served as the juror of the Statewide Competition and Exhibition of Photography, Triton Museum, Ca; Vision of Excellence, San Francisco Art Institute; the Second Tokyo International Photo Biennial; and Photographic Collectibles Symposium, 1997.

[one_half first]"Common Boundary", curated by Sandra S. Phillips, April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999Angela Cappetta[/one_half] [one_half]"Common Boundary", curated by Sandra S. Phillips, April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999Hideo Kobayashi[/one_half] [one_half first]"Common Boundary", curated by Sandra S. Phillips, April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999Jonathan Moller[/one_half] [one_half]"Common Boundary", curated by Sandra S. Phillips, April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999Marla Sweeney[/one_half] [one_half first]Margaret Sartor[/one_half] [one_half]"Common Boundary", curated by Sandra S. Phillips, April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999Ricardo Valverde[/one_half] [one_half first]"Common Boundary", curated by Sandra S. Phillips, April 11- Sunday, May 23, 1999Terri Warpinski[/one_half] [hr]