Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I was among the twelve artists accepted into the NYFA Mark programfrom the Hudson Valley. We worked hard during the 6 month program of professional development. We also found ourselves forming a tight and lively community meeting outside of the scheduled meetings to plan and rehearse our upcoming New York presentation. The weekend in Manhattan was the culmination of the program. We were able to meet the other Mark artists from the state, and all present our work.

On the first night of the conference, wegathered with the other 50 or so artists from around the state at the Smack Mellon Foundation in Brooklyn to watch the first two groups from Buffalo and Ithaca present. The next morning was a series of workshops with arts professionals atthe NYFA offices. We met and spoke with independentcurators, gallerists, and representatives of various artsorganizations. The afternoon gave us the opportunity to visitgalleries, or gather ourselves in preparation for our Hudson Grouppresentations that night.

The presentations took place at Exit Art. Two members of our group,Matthew Slaats, and Laura Canamela produced an excellent introduction and conclusion about us as Hudson Valley artists, and the things that inspire us. Under the direction of two members, Lisa Breznak, and Dawn Breeze, we gathered postcards of each of our works and compiled them into folios which we distributed. We each had the opportunity to present a recent body of work andspeak about our methods, inspiration, and history.

It was a supportive atmosphere in which I felt our efforts were well received.On Sunday, an attorney spoke to us and answered questions, regarding copywright law and related art-law issues. Following the final artist's presentations from Rochester and Troy, the conference concluded.

The weekend was very full and also fun. I was able to meet and speak with artists from around the state and make some interesting connections. I know I was not alone in arranging future studio visits and possible collaborations. We were given a lot of food for thought as well as a long list of places to contact and research. It was a successful weekend and program, and I'm grateful to NYFA and CCCA for sponsoring and supporting it. Christa Blatchford (NYFA) and Jan Hanvik (CCCA) were exceptional in all of their efforts.The Hudson NYFA Mark group is planning to continue to work together, and exhibit at upcoming events such as Hudson's Artswalk, in October, and in Peekskill in September at a similar citywide arts happening.

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