The Pop-Up Gallery Reopens

The Pop-Up Gallery is by design a moving target. It materializes in transitional spaces to exhibit emerging and established artists that are interested in making work that is not commonly shown in Orange County. The artists bring positive attention to the community while expanding opportunities for local businesses. Landlords get traffic in their buildings, restaurants and shops get new business and the artists get an opportunity to share their work.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Opening for Orange Alert III: Espiritu

Selections from Vincent Cianni's Gays in the Military photo: Brian Wolfe (detail)

All signs pointed to a good day for the opening. Low heat and humidity and clear skies welcomed many friends who traveled from as far away as New York City, New Jersey, Warwick and points north and west, and across the river from Beacon and Cold Spring. So many local people came. That's how communities flourish. We support each other! Plus many who missed the opening have reached out to see the show by appointment. That is possible until July 22! If you are interested, text 845-304-3142 for an appointment.

Many thanks to the artists Olivia Baldwin, Peter A. Campbell, Vincent Cianni, Joshua and Alaina Enslen and Bill Kooistra. Thanks also to Madeline Trezza (landlord), Thom Munterich (technical support), and everyone else who made this project happen. Thanks again to Orange County Tourism for their financial support.

Here are some photographs from the installation and opening.

Selections from the series Gays in the Military by Vincent Cianni
Performance of You Can't Get There From Here by Peter A. Campbell
Performance view from back corner of You Can't Get There From Here Photo: Theresa Gooby
Second floor during the opening

Second floor installed (l-r) Colors of a Poem Joshua and Alaina Enslen, Untitled (coconut tree) Olivia Baldwin, Bird is the Word Joshua and Alaina Enslen

Close-Up of First Two Lines Joshua and Alaina Enslen

Installation view (l-r) selections from Joshua and Alaina Enslen's Song of Exile textual history, selections from Bill Kooistra's Field Drawing Series
First floor during the opening  Photo: Abby Munterich
First floor during opening (l-r) Portugal Olivia Baldwin, Virgil Richards, Austin, Texas Vincent Cianni, Nathanael Bodon, Marlboro, New York Vincent Cianni  Photo: Theresa Gooby
Second floor installed (l-r) Bird is the Word Joshua and Alaina Enslen, Color Your Lovers Olivia Baldwin, First Two Lines Joshua and Alaina Enslen

Thanks for your support!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Curator's Statement

The artists included in Orange Alert: Espiritu all make the unseen visible.  They honor hidden identities, give voice to 100-year-old letters, express emotion through lush color and brushwork; translate poetry into visual data, or show weather and time through drawn and sanded marks.  
These artists all live in Orange County, some for decades, others for just a year or two. They come from Greenwood Lake, Sugar Loaf, Goshen, Cornwall-on-Hudson, and Newburgh. They have exhibited in venues such as Mass MoCA, Gallery Aferro, and LACMA. They paint, draw, take photographs, and create multimedia installations. By bringing these artists together, I intend to showcase the rich variety of artwork being made across Orange County.  
The original idea of P.U.G. Projects’ Orange Alert was to create a venue to exhibit abstract and conceptual works made by local artists who were well known outside of Orange County, but had rarely exhibited close to home. Now twelve years later, Orange County residents can see a wide variety of artwork at newly established venues, including pop-up galleries and performance spaces. My motivation this time has shifted to promote cross-pollination. I want to bring together artists from across the county, young and old, newbies and long-time residents,  to meet each other and share their art with the larger community.  Click their names below for links to their websites.
I truly enjoyed thinking and writing about the powerful work in this exhibition. Each artist demonstrates a profound commitment to their practice. I am especially grateful to the owner of 10 Carpenter AVENUE (not street), Madeline Trezza, who has been so helpful with each step of the installation. This amazing space is for rent, so spread the word!

Thanks also to Orange County Tourism for their enthusiastic support.
This project is made possible in part with funds from the County of Orange and Orange County Tourism.

Olivia Baldwin’s lush paintings seem to play with duality. They are beautifully messy, full of gorgeous brushwork and luminous color, yet also splatters, scratches and even the occasional crack.  Simultaneously ambitious and casual, her paintings would be at home on the walls of a Brooklyn loft or a New England farmhouse. In fact, Baldwin grew up in New England, yet her color palette glows with California light reminiscent of the Bay Area Figurative Movement.  Allowing whatever landscape surrounds her to soak into her studio practice, Baldwin riffs on a seemingly neon cartography. Her titles suggest places or narrative moments, prompting examination of these abstractions for hints of meaning. In short, these works are a visual banquet. They embody a “joie de vivre,” a spirit of creative vivacity and play that permeates the viewer’s experience.

Bill Kooistra finds inspiration from the landscape around Goshen. The works exhibited here come from his investigations of the fields near his home. We often think of landscape as vistas, but Kooistra tilts our gaze downward to suggest the play of wind and rain across the grasses and brambles of a winter field.  These works are physical.  His marks scatter across the paper and knit into dense patches of tangled line. The expressive way Kooistra draws bear witness to his hand making the mark at particular place and time.  The artist is indeed present. The smaller abstractions included in the exhibition evolve from a different process, although still inspired by nature. Looking at shell fragments, Kooistra builds layers, lightly sands away portions, and rebuilds, creating “ghost marks” that suggest history and impermanence. In this sense, these two groups of works describe complementary methods of the same creative investigation of time, place and mark-making.

Peter A. Campbell’s installation is inspired by a trove of letters David Freund, a photographer, collector, and 2010 PUG Projects alum, shared with him. Responding to an ad in the 1916 Pittsburgh Press of a man looking for a suitable wife, women wrote brief letters introducing themselves. Campbell acknowledges the difficulty of re-presenting their words. The gulf of history creates an impassable divide even as the letters offer a glimpse into the lives of the women who wrote them. Considering this, Campbell creates this installation to place the past and the present beside each other. Viewers see present day Pittsburgh and its surroundings while concurrently hearing the letters read as performers re-enact their writing. In this sense, Campbell evokes the spirit of the past through the lens of our present experience. Playing on the taciturn directive, “You can’t get there from here, “ Campbell suggests that perhaps, with enough imagination, you actually can.

Joshua and Alaina Enslen create an “intertextual history” of the Brazilian poem Song of Exile, written in 1843 by Antonio Goncalves Dias.  Although less known in the US, it is one of the most imitated poems of all time, inspiring thousands of parodies and pastiches. Because Song of Exile glorifies Brazilian landscape and culture, it has been used both for nationalist causes and as a way to criticize the government. With the advent of the internet, its use has skyrocketed.  The works exhibited here are a portion of a multimedia installation the Enslens have created in Portugal. Their art depicts information collected from search engines and social media platforms, representing literally thousands of data points. Some pieces reference the cool detachment of minimalist art. Others suggest the lyrical quality of the poem’s primary metaphor, a bird. The poem starts and ends as an abstraction. It is language made into data, which in turn the artists transform into visual art. The Enslens make beautiful abstractions that reveal Song of Exile’s longevity and influence.

Beginning in 2009, VincentCianni traveled across the United States for three-and-a-half years to over 21 states making photographs and recording oral histories of gay military personnel. The resulting project Gays in the Military includes nearly 120 active duty service members and veterans of different ages, races, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds who served in every branch of the military. Either photographed alone, with family, or among objects that attest to their former lives, we observe them while listening to or reading their stories. Together they reveal the devastating effects of the policy that banned gays in the military and the continued harassment before, during and even after DADT. At times surrounded by medications, medals, or souvenirs from far away deployments, these service men and women gaze back at us with undeniable dignity. Finally being recognized for who they are and what they have suffered under the gay ban, the people depicted in Gays in the Military bravely share their stories to attest to their ongoing battle for justice. Cianni’s deeply moving project has brought national attention to their cause. In addition, the portraits and oral histories he has collected are now published in the book Gays in the Military and are archived at Duke University.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Look for this doorway for the entrance to Orange Alert III: Espiritu. 
Located at 10 Carpenter Avenue, it is just off the north side of Broadway, two blocks east of 9W. 
Look for the blue building on the corner of Carpenter and Broadway.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Photos of the Installation and Opening--Orange Alert 3D

Even with drizzle and many competing events,
we had quite a large group for the opening.
Thanks to those who came out to support these artists.
Special thanks to people who missed the opening but were able to stop by during the week. Part of cementing the community in Orange County is simply meeting each other and offering support to the work being done here.

  The following are some photos of the installation and event.

Stefana McClure's Protest Stones (foreground) and Earbud Ball (background)

Gerardo Castro discussing his Collares de Mazo with Ann Street Gallery curator, Virginia Walsh.

Detail of One is Older by Judy Sigunick
Detail of Infinite Passage (opened) from Bruce Chapin's Reliquary series

Gerardo Castro's Collares de Mazo (foreground) Judy Sigunick's Roaming (background)

Daniel Mack's Animas

Several ceramic and mixed media works of Judy Sigunick.

Stefana McClure's work (right to left)  Earbud Ball, Moby, and Map of the World: Caribbean.

 Detail of Bruce Chapin's Device 

  If you missed this, please note several of the PUG Projects 3D artists are having exhibitions in the near future. Judy Sigunick's 155 Project opens June 1st in New York City. Gerardo Castro is having a solo exhibition at Theo Ganz this July. Stefana McClure is participating in Art=Text=Art exhibition currently in Iceland.

This project was made possible in part with funds from Orange County Tourism and the County of Orange. Thanks again to everyone who made it a success.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today is the Opening!

In order to really appreciate this exhibition space, you would have had to see it two weeks ago. The aisles were crowded and the tables were covered with literally hundreds of objects. Ellen and Alice worked very hard to clear out the center of the warehouse to accommodate the exhibition.  Note, this is a functioning work space, not a white cube. A little rough around the edges is okay with us, but keep an eye on your kids.

Here are some samples of the exhibition to whet your appetite. Stop by today between 1 and 4 pm. We are located at the corner of Johnes and South Williams. Off street parking available.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Curator's Statement for Orange Alert 3D

The Hudson Valley has a thriving creative community. We benefit from our proximity to New York City through the number of talented artists who are attracted to the area. They live quietly among us, a blend of long time residents, new arrivals, emerging and established. Engaged with conceptual and formal considerations, the five artists participating in Orange Alert 3D have received significant recognition outside of Orange County. PUG Projects is excited to exhibit their work close to home. This is the good kind of Orange Alert.

PUG Projects had its first exhibition eight years ago across from the Yellow Bird Gallery on Newburgh’s newly opened Front Street. Now many more artists have relocated here from high rent areas south and east of us. Orange County, particularly Newburgh, has almost reached the “critical mass” of artists that our neighbors enjoy. Certainly Newburgh has the cheap studios and easy ferry access to attract them. PUG Projects intends to encourage the trend. By staging exhibits in unrented or transitional spaces, it draws artists and art lovers to potential galleries and studios. By exhibiting artwork not commonly seen in the area, PUG Projects brings attention to the diversity of art being made here in Orange County.

Gerardo Castro, co-owner of Newburgh Art Supply, came to Orange County about eight years ago from Jersey City. He still teaches art at New Jersey City University. He is known internationally for his colorfully detailed paintings that combine embroidered elements with beautifully rendered figures. He often pulls imagery from his Afro-Cuban heritage, using symbols from Santeria and hybrids forms of Catholicism. Densely layered, his paintings revel in visual complexity. For Pug Projects, however, less is more. Castro is exhibiting several collares de mazos, ceremonial sashes, which he painstaking threads using glass beads. Differing from elekes, a related beaded necklace, these beautifully ornate objects have long layers of beaded fringe that suggest the soundsuits of Nick Cave. The sashes are displayed in radial bursts of color, becoming circular sculptures. During the opening, Castro wears one of the mazos so viewers can hear the soft percussion of this work.

collares de mazos

Bruce Chapin made a career shift in 2004 that allowed him to dedicate himself full time to his creative pursuits. He is a consummate woodworker, and exhibits his sculptures throughout the United States. Chapin exhibits several pieces here, including a selection from his series Reliquary and Seven Deadly Sins. Perhaps the most striking quality of his work is its engagement with the darker, more absurd aspects of the examined life. Chapin finds inspiration in the fertile ground between the sacred and profane. Many of Chapin’s pieces open to reveal figures or spaces inside the bellies of the sculptures. (Viewers are welcome to carefully touch these.) For example, in Infinite Passage, the vaginal opening reveals a figure positioned for passage, yet one senses this is the end of the journey, not the beginning. When opened, the gold inner doors suggest wings and thus link death to (re)birth.  

Moonboy Dreaming

Daniel Mack also made a career shift toward a more creative endeavor that brought him to Warwick 30 years ago. When he isn't teaching at the Omega Institute, he is the artist behind Rustic Furnishings, making architectural installations and furniture using natural materials. From these, PUG Projects selected three stools for the gestural quality of their legs. They evoke the lightness of step of walking deer. A selection of Mack’s Anima figures welcomes viewers to the exhibition. Reminiscent of Antony Gormley’s Field or Ana Mendieta’s silhouettes, these small objects are fashioned from bark collected along the Hudson River. Mack finds the figure held within the bark. He sees them as having their own agency in terms of form, placement and even display. He listens, observes and then creates. In addition, Mack contributes several twig sculptures. Like the stools and the anima, these works capture sentient movement found within wood. 
Triple Anima

Stefana McClure recently moved to the area from Brooklyn although she is originally from Lisburn, Northern Ireland. She investigates verbal meaning, or the obfuscation of it, by transforming words into visual forms that are quietly beautiful yet almost entirely illegible. McClure draws inspiration from sources as seemingly disparate as Melville’s Moby Dick, Japanese anime and the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Language, an abstraction itself, can take many forms. McClure seems intent on making this clear. While the textual meaning of her source is lost, McClure does communicate an overwhelming sense of time. Her works are the result of a performance, a labor-intensive translation from linear time to a circuitous moment. For example, McClure cut out each written line from a book of Moby Dick and attached these strips of paper end to end to create a long “thread” of words. She then carefully wound the words like yarn to create a spherical ball held in place by a pin. The time it took her to make this work and its visual elegance instantly arrest the viewer’s attention. She creates a distilled experience of information.

Map of the World
Judy Sigunick uses her daughter’s warehouse, this exhibition space, as a part time studio where she creates her ceramic sculptures. Concurrently with this exhibit, she is showing at Broadfoot and Broadfoot in the Lower East Side. Like all the artists here, Sigunick is completely engaged with the unique qualities of her medium. Even when glazed, her work has a raw, almost painterly surface that retains the presence of the artist’s hand. Her clay figures seem to have emerged from the primordial goo, glistening and unclean. Exotic animals and people inhabit a space evoked as much by their color and texture as by whom they might be. While some of her pieces are reminiscent of Daisy Youngblood, her more recent work is distinctly her own. Not quite marauding Carthage warriors or fairytale maidens, Sigunick’s figures transport viewers into a world entirely of her creation.


I offer my sincere gratitude to all the artists for participating in Orange Alert 3D. It has been my pleasure to spend time looking, thinking and writing about your work. I also thank Orange Arts of Orange County Tourism for financial support for PUG Projects. Many thanks as well go to Ellen Sigunick and Alice Vaughan for opening their space to all of us.    Jackie Skrzynski, curator

Beyond her studio practice, Jackie Skrzynski is interested in projects that bring art to the community in creative ways. She started the Pop-Up Gallery in 2005 as a curatorial vehicle. In 2009, Skrzynski began the year-long collaborative performance Silent Walks on the Half-Moon. She exhibits her drawings and paintings extensively, most recently at Theo Ganz Studio in Beacon, NY. Her work was part of the exhibit, Art about Motherhood: The Last Taboo, curated by Diana Quinby, in Avallon, France. Skrzynski was nominated for the Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, received a NYFA SOS grant and three Orange Arts Individual Artist grants. Her work has been published in 2River View, Reconciling Art and Mothering, Ten Words and One Shot, and The Gathering of the Tribes Magazine. She teaches drawing and painting at Ramapo College of New Jersey.