Rivers Closing Exhibition and Performances Covered in The Highlands Currents.

By October 10, 2023Artist News


Down by the River

Garrison Institute exhibit centers on water

Rivers, a multimedia exhibition centered on bodies of water, will wrap up its months-long stay at the Garrison Institute on Oct. 1 with a free program of river-centered art and shared experiences that will close the exhibit.

Many of the artists plan to attend a closing reception from 2 to 5 p.m., where community members can view and discuss the artwork and take a stroll around the grounds. There will also be a “movement experience” with Stephanie Diamond of 5Rhythms at 2:30 and a water ritual led by Jaanika Peerna at 3:30 p.m.

The show is part of Pathways to Planetary Health, an ongoing initiative of the Garrison Institute.

Each of the artists whose work is on display belongs to Think About Water (thinkaboutwater.com), whose members “interpret, celebrate and defend water,” says Fredericka Foster, who founded the collective and curated the show. “These artists have experienced the effect of environmental degradation as well as the transformative power of art; they have chosen water as their subject matter or medium.”


“Beacon Falls,” by Fredericka Foster

Foster is known for her paintings of water; her latest work, using acrylic paints, is focused on groundwater. Recently she was invited to curate a show, The Value of Water, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. She launched Think About Water during the pandemic shutdown to encourage artists to be resilient.

For the Garrison show, she chose rivers as the subject. “Water is the ultimate commons, shared by all living beings, and the institute is above the Hudson River,” she explains. “Our artists believe that art is a form of direct mental targeting, enlivening emotions and creating a sense of connection. We need both reason and feeling to create positive and lasting change.”

The artists participating in the exhibit include Rosalyn Driscoll, Doug Fogelson, Basia Irland, Ellen Kozak, Kelsey Leonard, Stacy Levy, Lauren Rosenthal McManus, Peerna and Meridel Rubenstein.

“I have lived half of my life near the shores of the River Pirita in my native country, Estonia, and the other half on the banks of the Hudson River,” says Peerna, who lives in Philipstown. “They connect within me as one love. All waterways are ultimately connected, if we only let them be.”

Along with leading the river ritual, Peerna contributed a painting to the exhibit.

Diamond, who also lives in Philipstown, created a movement sequence, “Conscious Dance for the Water and Earth.” She describes the 5Rhythms practice, which was created by Gabrielle Roth, as “a combination of group meditation and dancing with the ecstatic abandon of someone who is absolutely certain they are all alone but instead are in a supportive community. Dances begin slow, the pace picks up in the middle and ends with a slow unwinding.”

The Garrison Institute is located at 14 Mary’s Way, off Route 9D near the Philipstown Recreation Center. The reception is free but registration is requested at bit.ly/rivers-exhibit. The show is otherwise open by appointment; call 845-424-4800.