10 Exhibitions to See in Upstate New York This July

With the arrival of July, we exalt the aspects of our culture that inspire — particularly the freedom of artistic expression. Summer is in full swing and the arts scene in the Hudson Valley is ripe with exhibitions that engage and uplift. This month, Hudson Hall presents a series of radiant paintings by father-daughter duo Ara and Allan Osterweil, while capillar at the Re Institute in Millerton includes sculptural pieces and installations by husband-wife artists Bill Schuck and Itty Neuhaus. I’m Bad: Artworks by Judith Braun at Kiddie Pool in Albany features a series of sultry mixed-media artworks by the pioneering third-wave feminist, and Dave Ortiz at 1053 Gallery in Fleischmanns includes paintings and sculptures that reflect his Pop-Art-Meets-Minimalist sensibility. As we revel in a month that welcomes fireworks, parades, carnivals, and outdoor music, may July bring continued art adventures to art lovers everywhere! 

Water Works

The title Water Works aptly captures the summerly essence of this four-person show at Pamela Salisbury Gallery in Hudson. Homages to water as a divine resource in the form of beach life and coastlines flow into our collective soul. Diana Horowitz’s soft-toned “Corn Hill, High Tide” (2023) is a precise location as indicated by the artist, yet this seaside vision recalls lovely locales all around the world. The computer-generated video “Floating (dusk)” (2021–24) by Adam Hurwitz ships us, floating on our backs, out to sea: A pair of bobbing feet float serenely through day, dusk, and night. While all the aforementioned artworks include sumptuous color, it is Eric Wolf’s nostalgic ink-on-paper work “Philips Preserve 5” (2023) that grounds us in a black, white, and gray-toned vision of a land against water on a somber day, a perfect balance.

Pamela Salisbury Gallery (pamelasalisburygallery.com)
362 1/2 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Through July 21


Dave Ortiz commands abstraction with a contemporary edge. A self-described “colorist,” Ortiz spent the 1970s and ‘80s in downtown Manhattan developing his bright, quasi-industrial visual style before moving to the Catskill Mountains of the Hudson Valley. Colored presents a series of 50 paintings and 16 sculptures that combine Pop Art and Minimalist influences. In the painting “PALMER HILL VIEW” (2024), for example, a jagged landscape embraces a smooth disco-lit green of a bucolic field, a lone cow enjoying the psychedelic spectacle. In works such as “CITY” (2024), Ortiz captures a vista of skyscrapers at bold angles, softening the scene with a patchy blue sky above. The strong graphic-like quality of the painting “TREE OF LIFE” (2024) hints at summer nostalgia in the countryside, while his raw wood sculpture “Eagle Up” (2024) solicits a smile for its anthropomorphism. 

1053 Gallery (1053gallery.com)
1053 Main Street, Fleischmanns, NY
Through July 28

I’m Bad: Artworks by Judith Braun

This exhibition at Kiddie Pool in Albany is a lovely example of the heartfelt and collaborative art scene in Upstate NY — “KARLEY” (2024), for instance, depicts curator Karley Sullivan as a noble goddess. Installed throughout Sullivan’s handsome home, I’m Bad encapsulates the badassery of Braun, a pioneering third-wave feminist artist, via her sultry mixed-media works. With a career spanning more than 40 years, Braun’s latest works are brassy, large-scale portraits of female acquaintances that glow in pop-inspired day-glo hues. In “MORGANE” (2024), a nymph-like woman reaches forth from a liquid realm, inviting us to join her cosmic bath, while the pinkish-purple “FEVER” (2024) shows off the unique effect of Braun’s process of using black carbon photocopy on neon paper. Don’t miss “Some Pussy” (1988), which captures Braun’s playfulness through images of cats made from carbon toner photocopies and press-type. 

Kiddie Pool (kiddiepool.org)
128 Grand Street, Albany, New York
July 6 – July 28

second nature

The group exhibition second nature, curated by Karlyn Benson, is a joyful ode to the endless stimulation offered by the diverse landscape of New York. N/A Project Space, which is seasonal by design, is dedicated to showing women and Upstate artists; this show presents the work of seven artists based in the Hudson Valley who celebrate nature through diverse mediums while calling attention to the delicacy of those shared ecosystems. Mollie McKinley’s “Enter Through Smoke” (2023), for example, positions an egg-shaped rainbow-toned piece of blown glass atop a lump of carved and charred salt, suggesting an elegant yet unstable arrangement. Kathleen Vance’s “Traveling Landscape: Long Black Case” (2019) uses reclaimed luggage as a vessel to both present and protect a robust slice of Mother Earth, while Jason Middlebrook’s “Defining My Grain in Black and White Terms” (2022) consists of a geometric pattern in acrylic on curly maple wood, reminding us that nature is the ultimate architect of all things.

N/A Project Space (naprojectspace.com)
137 Martin Sweedish Road, New Paltz, NY
July 13 – 28

Ara Osterweil and Allan Osterweil: Shapeshifters

This pairing of the father-daughter duo Ara and Allan Osterweil is a radiant blow-out of unabashed chromatism. These two artists share an affinity for abstraction and landscape painting, ignited by a fantastically wild tonality. “Enigma” (2023) captures the exhilarating flow of Allan Osterweil’s compositions with circular shapes that cross jagged, mountain-like lines. Ara Osterweil’s all-over color explorations include her large-scale “Autofiction” (2024), an expressionistic and surrealist vision of a lone naked female figure anchoring an otherwise abstract environs.

Hudson Hall (hudsonhall.org)
327 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Through July 28

Drawn To Precision: In Monochrome

Co-curators Munya Avigail Upin and David Lesako bring together the works of seven artists in Drawn To Precision: In Monochrome. Featuring graphite and pen-and-ink drawings, the show reflects the dynamic backgrounds and solid draftsmanship of this group, including Stephanie Anderson’s “Frenzy” (2023), a marvelous scene of a tortoise and parrots battling it out for a snack, and “Orchard Variation 4” (2024) by Douglas Gilbert, in which primal chaos is buried within the controlled architectural layering of linework. Kate Minford’s “Portal 2” (2020) is a hypnotizing vision of floral beauty, while Ario Elami’s “Massabielle” (2023) is a sensual take on the exquisite corpse. Other themes explored throughout this drawing-focused show include mandalas by Melissa Forbes, microscopic moments detailed by Maja Kihlstedt, and angelic figures in quotidian scenes by Monica Miller.

Spencertown Academy Arts Center (spencertownacademy.org)
790 Route 203, Spencertown, New York
Through August 4

Pixerina Witcherina Magisterium

“Pixerina Witcherina” was the name of Virginia Woolf’s secret language of play, and serves as inspiration for this show of three women artists. As curator Julie Heffernan describes it, the exhibition is a celebration “too muchness.” If one takes “too muchness” to allude to the abundance of one’s interiority, then these three offer up the splendor of their inner lives. Former book and fashion illustrator and renegade tattooer Ruth Marten’s surrealist-inspired gouache on photogravure “#47” (undated), for instance, depicts a naked woman in a dream-like, dirt-laden environment, her body softly covered in silky snow. A series of works by Joan Bankemper are carefully crafted using hundreds of molds from both antique and modern found ceramic objects: The ornate “Wicker Park” (2017) embodies a colonial style with a contemporary twist. Taking the “too muchness” concept even further, a series of dynamic sculptures and ceramics by Jenny Lynn McNutt are curiously cute in their blending of familiar creatures and ambiguous forms: Works such as the clay “Inanna” (2017) reimagine animal lore as grounded in biology.

Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild (woodstockguild.org)
34 Tinker Street, Woodstock, New York
Through August 4


Tinkering is the birthright of every artist. capillar presents carefully tinkered sculptural pieces and memory-infused installations by Bill Schuck and Itty Neuhaus, respectively. This show also reflects the ongoing timber of their relationship: The pair met in 1994 at an art opening in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, and have since developed a union that, in their words,“resemble parallel raindrops landing in a pond forming two adjoining ripples radiating outward.” In Schuck’s automaton-like sculptural assemblages such as “stepwise” (2024), miscellaneous objects are interconnected within a structure, like a robot with an art-infused heart. Neuhaus’s self-described “scratch-work” technique adds graphical dimension to layered landscapes. Works such as “Kaaterskill Falls in Loooooove” (2024) seem almost alive, a backlit film suggesting water surging forward. 

The Re Institute (thereinstitute.com)
1395 Boston Corners Road, Millerton, New York
Through August 6

Bound Rocks and Functional Women: New Work from Jared Handelsman and Portia Munson

This show at Opus40 in Saugerties pairs Munson, an installation artist with a kinky edge, and Handelsman, a photographer and sculptor who fragments and reintegrates photo documentation. In her Functional Women Drawings series (2017–ongoing), Munson’s drawings disclose a frisky undertone. “Into Her Head” (2019), for example, is a graphite drawing of a teeny porcelain cup with a female face, her eyes frozen in a moment of girly anticipation. “Missing Salt and Pepper” (2018) details a small holder for the spice duo; however, the holder is a woman, and the missing spices are suggested by her oversized breasts. Munson’s curved ladies flow into Handelsman’s curved shapes in a delightful swoop: The latter presents seductive, black-and-white silver emulsion photograms of calligraphic shadows cast by miscellaneous objects — all made without a camera — such as “Rope” (1997) and “Bolt Cutter” (1995), as well as bound sculptures. 

Opus40 (opus40.org)
356 George Sickle Road, Saugerties, NY
July 11 – August 11

Symbolic Convergence

The three-person exhibition Symbolic Convergence features artworks that embrace symbolism and collage. Known for his unique reconfiguration of musical instruments into sculpture, Ken Butler’s “Hip Bone Saz” (2005) combines a slim guitar-like instrument covered in light touches of spray-paint with the pelvis bone of an animal in a work that blends flair, punk, and piety. Linda Ganjian’s meticulous mixed media works bring together ink, watercolor, origami paper, and giclée on paper to create mid-century-modern-meets-sci-fi patterned designs in works such as “Queen of Darkness” (2024). In Melissa Murray’s dreamy acrylic and gouache on paper work “Before You Learned to Harness The Stars” (2022), butterflies and strawberries float above a table that appears to fade into the cosmic landscape above. Taken together, this distinct pairing of three singular approaches demonstrates how symbolism welcomes ornamentation (Butler), representation (Ganjian), and narrative (Murray).

Front Room Gallery (frontroomles.com)
205 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
July 13 – September 1

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