Forget CSA shares and farmers markets (as worthy as they may be). Art is the new thing to do with the farm.
Such is the case at Vassar Farm in Poughkeepsie. The community agricultural hotspot launched its first ever art exhibition this summer. Although it was a bold proposition to begin with, the sculptural showcase has thus far been a success.
“It’s impressive, especially for our first year,” says Lee Anne Albritton, executive director at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP).
With the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and the picturesque Vassar College campus across the street, the Poughkeepsie Farm Project team had their work cut out for them from the start. Luckily, interest has been plentiful. They received thirty applications from Hudson Valley artists for the seventeen exhibit openings.
The enticing submissions paired with support and funding from Dutchess Tourism Inc. administered by Arts Mid Hudson turned the dream of the project into reality, notes Peter Van Aken. As the chief organizer, Van Aken worked in tandem with PFP to select and oversee the artists and their exhibits.
The chosen pieces cohabitate the farm space alongside the pre-existing rugby field, track lanes, ecological preserve, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) land. Because of this, attendance to the exhibition occurs accidentally just as much as it does on purpose.
The aptly titled “Art on the Farm” exhibit, which opened on July 1, will remain on-site until the end of October. On Sunday, October 29, the last day to see the works, PFP will host a “Walk and Talk” from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The event will give attendees the chance to meet the artists and learn more about each creator’s artistic style and process.
Albritton notes that the first “Walk and Talk” in July drew hundreds to the site, something she hopes will happen again in October. She personally loved the chance to connect with the artists and see their works firsthand. “It was really exciting for me to go,” she recalls.
With such a successful first-year turnout, Albritton and team are already in talks for a 2018 showing. Until then, enjoy the grassroots art that thrives on the farm.
LEARN MORE about the project online, search “pokartfarm.wixsite.com/artfarm.”
VISIT Vassar Farm at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie now until October 29.
MEET the artists October 29 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.