Saugerties curatorial extravaganza: Jen Dragon teams up with Jennifer Hicks

Cocoon by Frances Vue Wilson.

Never count Jen Dragon or her Cross Contemporary exhibition services out. When she closed her own gallery space on Partition Street in Saugerties last holiday season, the parting party was as celebratory as one of the opening receptions Dragon’s become known for. Where would she pop up next?
Dragon soon hooked up with Jennifer Hicks of the burgeoning 11 Jane Street Art Center. She started curating new shows for Hicks in and around in the old JJ Newberry’s space on Main Street as well as the more intimate gallery on Jane Street.

Painting by Heather Hutchison.

Dragon’s latest Cross Contemporary extravaganza, an energetic group show of the work of sculptors, painters and installation artists, is named Aestivus, Latin for the summery season. She’s managed to pull together a wide assortment of top contemporary talents (Richard Edelman, Jan Harrison, Hicks, Heather Hutchison, Alex Kveton, Ian Laughlin, Adam Miller, Lowell Miller, Debra Priestly, Suzanne Rees, Christy Rupp, Christine Schiavo. Christopher Skura, Kurt Steger, Wayne Swarthout, Frances Vye Wilson and Joseph Zito), and arranged their work throughout the spacious interior of the old Newberry’s with panache and verve. The show will be up at least through August 18.

Augmenting Aestivus at 11 Jane Street Art Center beginning this Saturday, August 10 will be a new show of large new experimental works by Woodstock’s Hutchison entitled “In Praise of Shadows,” up through September 3. Hutchison describes the show as “an exhibition of new large-scale works constructed of mediums and methods I’ve been developing over the past year.” Several accompanying events will occur.  Mobius Dance will be in residence in the North Gallery throughout the exhibition, curated by Hicks, who’ll be doing an August 18 5:30 p.m. conversation about the new work while walking around the gallery. On August 31 she will host a dialogue between her husband, Mark Kanter, and novelist and playwright Carey Harrison, followed by a free screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1962 masterpiece “L’Elisse (The Eclipse)” in the the Newberry building.

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Mobius’ Mari Novotny-Jones, a member of the Boston-based artists’ group since 1980, will be doing a six-hour durational performance, “The Diseases of Astonishment,” this Saturday. Among the artist’s most recent international credits have been participation in art events in Macedonia, Croatia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Belarus and Transylvania. 

Art critic Eleanor Heartney has written an essay accompanying Hutchison’s new exhibition.

Stop by 11 Jane Street or the old Newberry’s at 236 Main Street, or call Dragon at 399-3791.

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