“58 Snake” art exhibit/benefit at abandoned Catskill farmhouse

Pileated Woodpecker by Portia Munson, 2016, pigmented ink on photo rag paper, 17×22 inches

Are you a believer in the concepts that everything is interconnected and that in art, as in other aspects of our existence, context matters? If so, you’ll be pleased to hear that an uninhabited Catskill farmhouse – situated adjacent to property along Catskill Creek where Thomas Cole sketched some of his Hudson River School paintings, and recently protected by Scenic Hudson and the Greene Land Trust – is now being made available for an art exhibition. Titled “58 Snake” after the circa-1880 Second Empire brick building’s street address, the show opens next Saturday, August 12 with an artists’ reception from 2 to 5 p.m.

Untitled, Jared Handelsman, Photography

The farmhouse is described as “magnificently tattered,” featuring remnants of hand-stenciled wallpaper, clawfoot tubs, sweeping banisters, handcarved wooden mantels, ten-foot ceilings and a many-windowed porch wrapped. At present it lacks electricity and running water, but if you’re more interested in vintage architecture than in the art to be presented therein, you still might want to check out this event.


Still, who wouldn’t want to see the artworks on view in this unconventional setting? Of the ten artists represented, several are local; all are highly respected; and there are some common thematic and stylistic elements in their oeuvres – depictions of flora and fauna, the use of found natural materials or ambient light – that ought to pull this exhibition together nicely within its context of a conserved, undeveloped riverfront property. Andrew Cannon, Tasha Depp, Lauren Drescher, Kico Govantes, Valerie Hammond, Jared Handelsman, Laleh Khorramian, Portia Munson, Kiki Smith and Emma Thomas will all be participating. (You might want to schedule your visit to coincide with the opening of Smith’s one-woman show at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. that same Saturday).

The opening reception for “58 Snake” is a benefit for the Greene County Council on the Arts (GCCA). Admission costs $25 for the general public, $20 for current GCCA members. Reservations may be made at www.greenearts.org or by calling (518) 943-3400, and tickets will also be available at the door. “58 Snake Road” will reopen on Sunday, August 13 and the following Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Subsequent to the opening event, admission to the exhibit will be a $10 suggested donation. The exhibition venue is located at 58 Snake Road in Catskill.

Clockwise from upper left: Parlor mirror at 58 Snake; Standing, Kiki Smith 1998, silicon bronze, 57 in. x 37 in. x 14 inches © Kiki Smith 1998. Image courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery; JFK on the mantle at 58 Snake; Coiled Serpent by Lauren Drescher, relief print on antique French paper. 11.5×7.5 inches.