One of the few truly new and unprecedented artforms to arise during the late 20th century was holography. Seeing a hologram for the first time was like seeing a ghost: utterly surprising and a little spooky, there and yet not-there, tangible but untouchable. One of the giant innovators of holography’s breakthrough era, the late Rudie Berkhout, is the focus of “The Floating World,” on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY-New Paltz. “Made for You: New Directions in Contemporary Design” has been running concurrently with the Berkhout show, using objects of daily use made by Hudson Valley artisans to explore that blissful nexus where the utilitarian meets the aesthetically sublime.
As is usual at the Dorsky, fun and stimulating programming associated with the subjects of an exhibition pop up during its run; this weekend presents us with two opportunities to delve more deeply into the mysteries of holography and the joys of being surrounded by a houseful of beautiful objects. On Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m., Dr. Martina Mrongovius, director of the Center for the Holographic Arts in New York City, will conduct a hands-on “Hologram-Making Workshop and Demonstration.” Participants will actually get to collaborate on making a hologram, while learning more about how they work as well as about Berkhout’s process.
Then, on Sunday, June 5, also at 2 p.m., the monthly First Sunday Free Gallery Tour will be conducted by guest educator Jennifer Carlquist, design historian and curator of Boscobel House and Gardens. Her exhibition of contemporary furniture, “Hudson Hewn: New York Furniture Now,” is on view at Boscobel through mid-August (www.boscobel.org/events-and-exhibitions/special-exhibitions), and pairs well indeed with the Dorsky’s “Made for You.”
There is no fee for public programs at the Dorsky Museum, but visitors are encouraged to make a $5 donation upon entry. For more on these and other upcoming events, as well as the Dorsky’s current shows, visit www.newpaltz.edu/museum. The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is centrally located on the campus of SUNY-New Paltz, whose official address is 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz, though the closest parking lot is on South Mannheim Boulevard/Route 32 South.