“Requiem for Ashokan” opens at Olive Free Library

Kate McGloughlin’s Ice Flow, Ashokan Reservoir

Olivebridge resident Kate McGloughlin’s family goes back 12 generations in Ulster County, and her maternal ancestors were among the 2,000+ people displaced when the Ashokan Reservoir was constructed between 1907 and 1915. Twelve communities were inundated when a 12-mile stretch of the Esopus Creek was impounded and flooded to provide drinking water for New York City. A celebrated painter, printmaker and president emeritus of the Woodstock School of Art, McGloughlin has captured the magnitude of the upheaval occasioned by this massive public works project in a book and several editions of an art collection that she calls Requiem for Ashokan: The Story Told in Landscape.

The third and newest iteration of Requiem for Ashokan will be unveiled on the artist’s home turf on Saturday, November 16 and remain on view at the Olive Free Library through January 4. The exhibition features prints, paintings, works-on-paper, historical maps, video and both written and spoken-word installations. An artist’s reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday will be followed by a talk and reading at 4 p.m.. Local authors Gail Straub (The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness) and Nina Shengold (Reservoir Year) will join McGloughlin for the presentation.

Future events to be hosted by the Library inspired by the exhibition include a children’s program, “Help Me Tell the Story,” on Saturday, November 23 from 2 to 4 p.m., which will include storytelling and a mural-making project for local residents aged 6 and up. And on Saturday, November 30 from 2 to 4 p.m., McGloughlin will moderate a panel called “Vanishing Olive,” featuring Vassar College Anthropology professor April M. Beisaw, SUNY-Oneonta Science Education professor LeAnne Avery and Adam Bosch, Public Affairs director for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.


All events are free and open to the public and will be held in the Olive Free Library’s Community Room at 4033 Route 28A in West Shokan.

Requiem for Ashokan:
The Story Told in Landscape
Nov. 16, 2019-Jan. 4, 2020
Opening Reception Saturday, Nov. 16, 2-4 p.m., Artist’s Talk 4 p.m.
Olive Free Library
4033 Rt. 28A, West Shokan
(845) 657-2482