'Burnt Tree' photograph by Rob Hann
The Wassaic Project in Dutchess County, NY, opens its doors to the public this weekend, and as part of their community-focused, multidisciplinary arts agenda, the exhibit Sea Change aims to push the boundaries of environmental art photography and investigations of controlled settings. Rural Wassaic is an ideal stage for this three-day festival that explores our engagement with the natural world and one another. Sea Change, curated by Alison Zavos, is a group photography exhibit that will closely examine our relationship with the fragile environment and the animals that populate our world.
photograph by Mark Mahaney
In the wake of the BP oil spill tragedy, it seems urgent to open up the doors of every community space in small town America in order to get to the bottom of what ails and endangers us. Curator and photographer Alison Zavos, who also is the editor of the online photo journal Feature Shoot , has done just this by bringing together 25 emerging and established photographers (most of whom are based in New York) for a thought-provoking line up that also references our ability to ‘see change’.
Highlights of the show include Nadya Wasylko’s image of sunbathers fighting for space along the bank of the polluted Dnipro River in Ukraine; Katie Shapiro’s ‘Malibu Sandbags’ series, which documents a last ditch attempt by residents to save their properties from rising sea levels; Katharyn Addcox’s photographs of women involved in sustainable farming; Kate Kunath’s documentation of beekeepers, signifying the rise of a more conscious ‘back to the land’ approach; and Mark Mahaney’s entrancing image of a mother and fawn frolicking on a manicured lawn.
Sea Change is on view from August 13-22, 2010 and will be installed on the beautifully decaying walls of seven rooms in the old Greek Revival Hotel section of Maxon Mills. Having grown up in the Hudson Valley, just one town over from Wassaic, it is exciting for me to see this former agricultural ghost town experience a renaissance through cultural and artists endeavors such as this. Metro-North trains now serve the area, but given the decades long struggle to re-invent this former grain hub and distribution center, it is promising to see green farming valleys being reseeded with creative enterprise.
Participating photographers include: Alexander Diaz, Annick Rosenfield, Billie Mandle, Charlie Engman, Elizabeth Weinberg, Eric White, Eva Fazzari, Geordie Wood, Jacqueline Di Milia, Kate Kunath, Katharyn Addcox, Katie Shapiro, Lexi Adams, Margaret Inga Wiatrowski, Mark Mahaney, Marten Elder, Nadya Wasylko, Niv Rozenberg, Rachel Barrett, Rob Hann, Robert Warren, Stanislav Ginzburg, Steven Brahms and Timothy Briner.