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What’s new at the Catskill Art Space?

By Jacqueline Herman
Posted 3/24/23

Since the Catskill Art Space in Livingston Manor evolved from The Catskill Art Society, the scale and scope of exhibits have increased. 

In tune with the needs of the community, a large scale …

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What’s new at the Catskill Art Space?


Since the Catskill Art Space in Livingston Manor evolved from The Catskill Art Society, the scale and scope of exhibits have increased. 

In tune with the needs of the community, a large scale renovation, beginning in 2020 at a cost of $2M, relied upon funding by individual donors, a NYS Economic Development grant (facilitated by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther), and a bank loan. Board members and volunteers solicited donations through personal outreach, and funds were also raised via an annual gala dinner. 

The expansion was needed to meet a desire for performance space, classes, and more art displays, and each new exhibit required space in its direct environment to hold talks with the artist.

The architectural firm Bade Stageberg Cox formulated the design with ideas gleaned from long term forecasts, coordination with representatives from the estate of artist Sol LeWitt, and from James Turell’s studio. Upon their advice, the selected construction firm was Peak Construction of Fishkill, which employed several local subcontractors.

The building had been The Manor Theater, built in 1929. According to Executive Director Sally Wright, “second story walls had gaping holes and exposed insulation,” calling for extensive renovation to bring it up to building code specifications. Windows and doors had to be replaced as well. Now there is an increase of 4500 square feet to the inner usable space. The interior finished walls have been transformed into a stark, smooth, white surface and are meticulously cleaned between exhibits. During renovation, exhibits and activities were held at an annex, and the official re-opening took place October 22, 2022. Since then, membership has increased to nearly 200 individuals.

Now there is an improved front gallery, and a variety of classes for children (free) and adults (at a nominal cost). There is a kiln and 9 pottery wheels for ceramics classes, and there are life drawing and sculpture classes. Supplies are free. Children can attend after school yoga classes and mixed media painting, where the work of a well known artist is presented for inspired painting.

The long term exhibit includes works by Sol LeWitt (line drawings on walls), Ellen Brooks (a cluster of rolls of photo negatives suspended from ceiling to floor), and James Turell’s “Avaar” (a light installation in a darkened room with the purpose of “slowing down”). It is likened to the optical effect of being on a porch at night and turning the light off, causing one’s vision to eventually pierce the darkness.

A second story space with a view of Willowemoc Creek is populated with benches hewn from poplar wood grown near Narrowsburg. Made by British sculptor Frances Cape and polished with linseed oil, they are copies of and reminiscent of benches used in Utopian communal societies, implemented to encourage a sense of community, discourse and exchange. A pamphlet “we sit on the same bench”, describing a dozen communal societies, is available to enhance appreciation.  

Exhibits rotate every 4-8 weeks and the next exhibit runs March 25 – May 6. Inspired by the sciences, it includes a series of video, sonic and performative works by Nene Humphrey; displays that connect digital technology and painting by Carter Hodgkin; and Jon Kline’s murals that explore the primacy of light and shifts of color.

The public is welcome free of charge or for a donation. Ground floor exhibits are for sale. Membership is $40 for students/seniors; $50 for adults. 

The location is 48 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY. It is wheelchair accessible and open year-round.  Hours are  Friday-Saturday: 11am-5pm; Sunday:11am-3pm. For more info, call (845)436-4227 or email info@catskillartspace.org.


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