A Force of Nature in Peekskill

Twenty five years ago, the City of Peekskill announced a new vision. It would boost its revitalization effort by becoming an artistic outpost. At the time, Peekskill hadn’t yet met Livia Straus who, with her husband Marc, established the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill. Livia, a force of nature herself, proceeded to pepper the Peekskill landscape with outdoor sculpture. In a period of six years, she has brought dozens of art projects to the city, calling the effort The Peekskill Project.

Since the project began, some 650 artists from New York City, the Hudson Valley and international regions have participated. The latest is a stunning series of murals which fill the cavities created by an overpass structure near the waterfront. Who would have thunk at the time that it was possible to coral the Chelsea art crowd to invest in Peekskill. True, the city officials had a vision, but Livia Straus had a mission. Pushing beyond the walls of her fledgling museum, Livia has made Peekskill a destination with The Peekskill Project, on view until December 31.

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