Hooray! The jury has selected the 2011 Wildcat Fellow—uhmm, fellows, actually: the collaborative team of Ellie Irons—an environmental sculptor—and Dan Phiffer—a new media artist.
Irons and Phiffer’s project is called “Neversink Transmissions.” As the artists have described it, “the project proposes complementary transmission and receiving structures from which the audience can access locally generated knowledge about the Neversink River and surrounding watershed. It [will] involve a public sculptural component built from locally sourced, biodegradeable materials and an interactive, digital component broadcast on a local wireless network…. An additional low-power radio component [will] draw attention to the project for local motorists. The project seeks to highlight critical topics of watershed management, generate a new archive of local oral dialogues, and explore issues of connectivity in modern rural communities.”
The Stream Project: Art Along the Neversink is sponsored by the Wildcat Fellowship Program in partnership with the Rondout/Neversink Stream Program of the Sullivan County Soil and Conservation District.
The jury that selected “Neversink Transmissions” was composed of the Neversink town historian, Carol Smythe, and four artists: Suzanne Bevier, Fred Gutzeit, Dee Shapiro, and Scott Woolsey. Of the four artists, two live in the Catskills: Scott Woolsey in Claryville and Suzanne Bevier in Roscoe. Here’s the scoop on the jurors:
Suzanne Bevier was educated in Detroit, Michigan at the Center for Creative Studies (formerly known as Arts & Crafts) and Wayne University. She migrated to New York City in the seventies where she continued her studies at the New School. She has had work in numerous group shows in New York and Detroit as well as Brussels, Belgium, and Paris, France. Recently her work has been shown at the Catskill Arts Center in Livingston Manor and the Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock. Her current medium is photography. Architectural photography for various clients is on display at the Rolling River Cafe (Parksville) and Willow & Brown (Livingston Manor). Bevier says, “My work is meant to make one laugh and all [my photos] have layers for interpretation.”
After study at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Fred Gutzeit received his MA from Hunter College. He has taught widely and is currently an adjunct assistant professor at City University of New York (CUNY). Gutzeit has been the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants and has been artist-in-residence at the Catskill Center’s Platte Clove House, to paint and draw the area landscape. He has had solo exhibitions at York College (CUNY), Philadelphia University of the Arts, The Contemporary Arts Gallery (NYU), the Herbert F. Johnson Museum (Cornell University), Ohio State University, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and the Andre Zarre Gallery, among other venues. His work has most recently been exhibited at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Front Room Gallery, and Pocket Utopia.
Dee Shapiro has exhibited widely in New York and elsewhere since the late seventies. Her works are included in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Everson Museum, Birmingham Museum, Dayton Institute and several other museum and university collections. Her work has also been included in the collections of Pepsico Corporation, IBM, General Electric, the Louis-Dreyfus Group and many other corporate and private collections. Shapiro was a gallery director and curator at New York City galleries, a photo editor for Reader’s Digest Books, an editor and stylist for Time Life Books-American Country Series, and art editor for Frigatezine.com. Her early pattern paintings were followed by 10 years of small horizontal city- and landscapes. Her recent works on paper are explosions of past obsessions with line, color and form that exude sensuality. Shapiro currently teaches studio art and art history for SUNY Empire State College.
Carol Smythe, an APHNYS Registered Historian, is not only the Town of Neversink Historian but also a trustee of the new Time and the Valleys Museum, which will be opening this summer.
Scott Woolsey received his MA in painting, drawing, and printmaking from the University at Albany, SUNY. He has also studied at the University at Binghamton and at SUNY Brockport. He has been a visiting professor at SUNY Potsdam. He and his son are well known in the Claryville area for the cairns of river stones they erect on the gravel bars of the Neversink River.
Ellie Irons and Dan Pfiffer will begin interviewing for “Neversink Transmissions” in early May. If you live in the Town of Neversink (Sullivan County) or the Town of Denning (Ulster County) and would like to share and preserve your memories and musings about the Neversink River, please e-mail The Stream Project through this blog’s comment feature.
The artists will be in full residence in Claryville in late July and will participate in a work-in-progress tour that will allow you to share your questions and comments with the artists. During the month of October, documentation for the project will be on display at the Old Stone House in Hasbrouck, NY. We will continue to blog the project as it—and the summer—progress.