Woodstock’s Center for Photography turns 40

Michael Feinberg and Howard Greenberg.

Forty years ago this past winter, Howard Greenberg was a struggling photographer, making much of his bread and butter money shooting the scene at the Joyous Lake and other nightspots around Woodstock. Michael Feinberg was also a photographer, not yet interested in the internet design world where he’d gain fame as a key games inventor. In April, they got together with a group of other photographers and decided that while being in a community known for respecting the arts, their particular art form needed more respect than it was getting. They called what they founded the Catskill Center for Photography.

Now that entity is the Center for Photography at Woodstock and launching a full year of celebration of its anniversary starting Sunday, July 1 with a two week exhibit, Woodstock Summer Love, opening at noon with over 170 pieces of framed art donated by top photo artists and collectors and available for purchase for $40 apiece, selling right off the wall. Plus a special old-style tintype photo booth with photographer Tom DeLooza on the CPW porch off Tinker Street from opening until 5 p.m. Take this unique opportunity to get your tintype portrait taken by local artist Tom DeLooza (reservations requested).

Also happening in celebration of CPW’s 40th will be a housewarming party at the now-venerable arts organization’s new Artist House from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at its location at 2261 Glasco Turnpike (parking down the road on Rock City Road, please).


The current sale/exhibit and Summer Love celebration will close out in two weeks with a July 15 Bare Walls Birthday Bash party with music and dancing, plus a push to sell all still on the Center gallery’s walls, then resume in New York City this October with CPW’s annual awards ceremony, gala and auction.

Instead of retreading the Center’s past, director Hannah Frieser pulled together accolades from newer residents and artists to have been pulled into CPW’s increasingly contemporary orbit in recent years.

“My first week in Woodstock I was alone for the first time in my life. Thanks to the staff at CPW I was made to feel at home, encouraged in my practice and welcomed into what I know will be lifelong friendships,” noted current artist-in-residence Brittney Cathey-Adams. “This experience has really changed me and given me the space to find answers to questions that I didn’t even know I was going to ask. May your next 40 years change just as many lives as it did mine!

Other notes have been coming in from workshop teachers, lecturers, and interns who have worked with CPW to further their love of photography over the years, a span during which the very definition of the form has shifted immeasurably.

“There’s always a tingle of excitement and anticipation walking into CPW: inspiration is guaranteed to follow,” noted Jaime Permuth, whose work will be among that on sale these coming weeks. “Here’s to the next decade of outstanding photography and fellowship and happy 40th to one of the true keepers of the flame!”

Added Frieser of all she’s been working with these past two years, but knowledgeable about for all her arts life, “What started with happy enthusiasm guided by a strong sense of purpose soon blossomed into a full-fledged art center that launched countless art careers and inspired ardent engagement with photography. CPW is proud to celebrate its track record of showcasing hundreds of carefully curated exhibitions, nurturing artists and their careers through residencies, mentorship and an inspiring work space, and offering workshops by leading image makers to teach techniques and vision in a creative setting… Our warmest thanks to the foundations, corporations and private supporters who have made these first forty years possible. You have enabled us to present hundreds of exhibitions, collaborate on dozens of large-scale projects, invite 118 Artists-in-Residence, acknowledge almost 90 regional artists through the Photographer’s Fellowship Fund, publish almost 100 issues of our magazine PQ, provide a productive workspace for thousands of artists, and be a center point for art in the Hudson Valley. Now let’s celebrate and let the next 40 years commence!”

For more on this weekend’s Woodstock Love Summer 40th anniversary celebration at the Center for Photography at Woodstock this Saturday, July 1, as well as the upcoming Bare Walls Birthday Bash on July 15, visit www.cpw.org