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Upstate Art Weekend

Your Insider Guide to Upstate Art Weekend

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Upstate Art Weekend is a new initiative organized by Stoneleaf Retreat to celebrate creative spaces in New York’s Hudson Valley, from August 29-30. This two-day, self-guided event incorporates more than 20 arts organizations situated between Garrison and Hudson, NY.

I’ve wanted to launch Upstate Art Weekend for years now, however having a baby, a job, and then COVID put it on hold. But, after four months of quarantine, I wanted to explore again and with the Hudson Valley already in Phase 4 of reopening, I knew the time was now! I’m so excited to create an event that shines a light on many wonderful organizations and artists showing Upstate.

Upstate Art Weekend

Courtesy of Upstate Art Weekend.

If there’s anything these past months have taught us it is that art and the outdoors are essential to our well-being. Upstate Art Weekend is a chance to escape, to enjoy the arts, support local businesses, and embrace the magical landscapes here. Between Garrison and Hudson, there are so many art spaces to visit, incredible farm-to-table restaurants, boutique stores, and epic views.

It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend! In the past month, we as a family have visited a lot of these places, as you’ll see by the photos. Harry, my son, had a great time exploring art at these kid-friendly spaces. Below you’ll find some itineraries perfect for if you are visiting from New York City.

Upstate Art Weekend

Eric [Romano] and Harry at Art Omi.
Photo by Helen Toomer

Book tickets in advance to Dia:Beacon. Catch the train from Grand Central to Beacon. Dia is walking distance from the station. There is so much to see at Dia:Beacon, it’s one of my favorite places and I’ve visited each year since I landed in New York in 2007. It’s a sanctuary and an ode to minimalism and I never tire of works by Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Smithson, and Richard Serra. There’s a fun new immersive installation—don’t miss out on Carl Craig’s “Party/After-Party” in the basement. That got me dancing in the dark!

After Dia, walk to the main strip and grab lunch at Homespun Foods and check out great local shops like Colorant. Also in walking distance are two galleries, right next to each other: Parts & Labor is showing Lois Dodd and Shara Hughes’ work; and Mother Gallery showcases Chie Fueki’s Mother Altar, (a moving experience), which is open until 9 pm.

Upstate Art Weekend

Harry at Storm King with our friends Christopher and Alex.
Photo by Helen Toomer

If you have time and you’re willing to catch a taxi/call a car, Magazzino (remember to RSVP) is only 20 minutes away in Cold Spring. The museum architecture and surrounding gardens—complete with donkeys!—is stunningly beautiful. A collection of Arte Povera works are on view and the “Homemade” exhibition of works made during quarantine is both thoughtful and touching.

Book tickets in advance for Storm King Art Center for 10 am! That is your first stop and a wonderful place to roam and see new outdoor installations by Louise Bourgeois and Kiki Smith and visit monumental works by Andy Goldsworthy, Maya Lin, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Take a picnic with you or order food in advance through their website.

Upstate Art Weekend

Harry with Louise Bourgeois at Dia:Beacon.
Photo by Helen Toomer

After Storm King, drive straight to Newburgh and stop in at Elijah Wheat Showroom, open 10 am to 6 pm, to see Azikiwe Mohammed’s solo show “A Place To Sit With Magnolias.” Then onto to 1 Liberty Street, Newburgh to Mohammed’s public work New Davonhaime Flag presented by Strongroom.

Next, drive north to visit us at STONELEAF RETREAT to experience new works and installations by our residency artists, Sonia Louise Davis, Leah Dixon, and Rebecca Reeve. We have special installations presented by Beverly’s and the Female Design Council until 6 pm, too. If you missed out on early Storm King tickets, please join us for refreshments for the opening reception between 12 pm-2 pm, and at 12.30 pm there will be an outdoor Yard Concept Reading Circle featuring “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit, RSVP here.

Upstate Art Weekend

“IT WILL GET BETTER” at STONELEAF, photo by Helen Toomer.

After that, you’ll want to get food, so there’s a couple of options! Go to Starlite Motel and see artworks by Liz Collins, Adriana Farmiga, Rico Gatson, Jeffrey Gibson, Tamara Zahaykevich, and more, and grab food by the baba truck, next to Hope Gangloff’s epic mural. Or you could go to Hasbrouck House and settle in for the night to watch the BlackKkKlansman (starting at 8 pm) and grab food from their outdoor shack or at their beautiful restaurant Butterfield before they close at 8.30 pm.

Get up early and drive to see Erik Benjamins’ public installation “Forgetting the Words” at Foreland, then carrying on driving across the Hudson River to Art Omi in Ghent. Art Omi’s Sculpture and Architecture Park is open and free to the public from dawn to dusk and we (especially my son, Harry!) love walking around and seeing works by Nari Ward, David Shrigley, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, and Agustina Woodgate. There’s also a solo show by Howardena Pindell at their Newmark Gallery, which you need to register in advance to visit.

Upstate Art Weekend

Paola Oxoa who runs Mother Gallery in front of “Mother Altar.”
Photo by Helen Toomer

Then drive to Hudson to get lunch at Fuego 69, Lil Deb’s Oasis outpost—the fish is delicious! Then stop by Ashley Garrett’s show at SEPTEMBER and Tschabalala Self’s public installation at Window on Hudson.

Check out The Hudson Eye, a festival running from August 28 through September 7, with lots of events and public artworks to view. Then drive down and stop at OLANA, whose breathtaking views are free to visit, then onto the Alexander Gray Associates outpost in Germantown to see Jennie C. Jones’ beautiful show. Don’t miss the work in the barn! If you get this all done by 6 pm, stop at JDJ in Garrison on the way down to see Noel W. Anderson’s show.

Upstate Art Weekend

Rebecca Reeve installation at STONELEAF, photo by Helen Toomer.

Also not to miss are places like D-DAYManitogaPoetry Barn, and Alison McNulty’s public work at PS21.

Next year – I think we may have to extend it to a long weekend, as there’s so much to see and do! This project is a labor of love (and joy!) and I very much hope people will visit, support, and enjoy all of the creativity here, during Upstate Art Weekend and beyond.

Upstate Art Weekend

Family pic with Sarah Braman at Art Omi.
Photo by Helen Toomer

You can view the whole program of Upstate Art Weekend, August 29-30, 2020, here and follow @upstateartweekend for regular updates and local favorite tips!




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Go inside the worlds of Art, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle.


Inviting the audience to feel, touch, and experience art in its most dynamic state is “When Forms Come Alive” at Hayward Gallery.
Susan Chen's first solo show at Rachel Uffner is on view now through April 20 in New York, including works in clay and ne paintings.


Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.