Drive about two hours directly north from the top of New York City, and you’ll find yourself without much cell phone reception and in the town of Wassaic. It’s amongst the most beautiful places I’ve visited in the United States, and it’s the home of the Wassaic Project, an artist residency and summer arts festival that was genesis of a really good party. Co-founders Eve Biddle, Bowie Zunino, Jeff Barnett-Winsby and Elan Bogarin first proposed using the Maxon Mill as the site of a festival in 2008. In its first year, it attracted over 500 people. It now attracts over 4,000.
I went up this weekend to check out their annual summer exhibition held in the Maxon Mill. The bulk of the exhibition is made up of work submitted by former residents, but it also includes art selected through their open-call process as well as some art commissioned specifically for the space. Themes emerge and the show is curated in response to those themes.
And the mill is massive. This year the show, called Deep End for its exploration of the strange and dystopian, showcases more than 60 artists on all seven floors of the mill. Monday, I spent the afternoon exploring the show. A few highlights below.