Collaboration: Shared Visions

“Winter” by Lesli Uribe

Just when I think that collaboration is one of the hardest ways to work in the arts world, I become encouraged anew by what I see happening among artists in Westchester. What makes collaboration so difficult is that its success depends upon a shared vision. This shared vision may be hard to achieve, but it is what makes collaboration a powerful practice that has become somewhat of a holy grail, particularly in the community arts field.

Developing a shared vision takes leadership and, happily, Hudson Valley artists are up to the task. So it was welcome news to see 51 artists weigh in on The Art of the Tree in an exhibition throughout the Mariandale Center in Ossining. While we love gallery and museum exhibitions, it’s always refreshing when artists get together and find new spaces to show new work. In this case, it is works by Karen Allen, Lana Yu, Leslie Uribe, Lawrence Flood, Wendie Garber, Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Hillary Hostetler, Kristin Manner, Misa Mori, Peg Taylor, Sone Tower, Alex Uribe, Beth Dewit, Lavinia Wiggins and Lily Yu and others.

In another space, curator Lisa P. Oswald shared with me the news that Hastings-On-Hudson Village Arts Commission is presenting The River Flows Both Ways, an exhibition of abstract and representational art that celebrates the Hudson River. What’s unique about this collaboration is that it is a partnership with the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, which promotes Jasper Cropsey’s significance in art, history and culture at the same time as it introduces 29 artists that were selected from 238 submissions of artists residing in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Columbia, Dutchess and Ulster Counties, as well as New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Finally, kudos to the First Thursday Gallery Hop collaboration, which kicks off on Thursday, September 6 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. What’s challenging about this collaboration is that four arts organizations – Blue Door Art Center, Philipse Manor Hall, Urban Studios Unbound and Riverfront Art Gallery – have managed to corral 11 restaurants in downtown Yonkers to provide “specials” with coupons available at the galleries. Way to go!

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