Although the 90-degree heat might be fooling some of us here in the New York, the summer is just starting to wind down. If you’re planning one last camping trip to escape the city with your family, consider the Wassaic Project Summer Festival. The weekend-long gathering of artists and art-enthusiasts runs from August 5-7, boasting fifteen featured artists, over twenty musical acts, and free admission!
Photographer: Scott Indermaur. Artwork by Rob Macinnis
The Wassaic Project describes itself as “an artist-run sustainable, multidisciplinary arts organization that focuses on community engagement and facilitates artists and participants to exhibit, discuss, and connect with art, each other, our unique site, and the surrounding area. “ The artists they’ve chosen to lead participants come from a wide swath of demographics and disciplines. Some are alumni of their residency program, like photographer Naomi Miller, whose work focuses on the economy of art and social relationships (and who runs Iron Maiden Artist Tours out of her 1978 Volvo station wagon). Another standout is American multidisciplinary artist and Fulbright scholar John Peña, whose works completed list includes “sending a letter to the Pacific Ocean every day for the last seven years and creating a pirated radio station that played extinct birds sounds.”
The festival is run out of an old grain mill in Wassaic, NY, where the animal stalls have been converted into artist studios and the barn has become the screenprinting shop. Now in its fourth year, the festival has entered the mainstream of contemporary art, attracting 2500 visitors in 2009 alone. This year’s festival will include film screenings, creative writing workshops, dance and music performances, a cake walk, and of course, exhibitions by residents and participating artists. A weekend camping pass can be purchased on their website, but all events are run on a pay-what-you-wish scale.