The exhibition at The Wassaic Project’s Maxon Mills could be the summer adventure you have been craving. The three co-director/curators have invited 36 artists to take over the seven floors of the old grain mill exhibiting artworks on the walls, hung from the ceilings, and installed in entire rooms. “If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now” is an exhibit that provides space for each artist to present a body of work, while inviting visitors to feel at home and enjoy the exhibit.
The ground floor holds Brandon Donahue’s assemblages, “Basketball Blooms,” which at first glance seem like large floral pieces. On closer examination, Donahue has created a garden of bold floral pieces from repurposed basketballs and footballs. Enter the next gallery and come face to face with Tamara Kostianovsky’s sculptural pieces hung from the ceilings. “Big Vulture” is constructed from discarded clothing and upholstery fabric and slowly twirls above the viewer’s viewpoint. In this darkened gallery space, you can’t miss Joseph Rodriguez’s light projection, where visitors are invited to step into the light and become one with the piece. This gallery also includes some marvelous weavings by Margot Becker and Christina Martinelli.
Moving upstairs, Brianna Lee Wilson has taken an entire room for “Home Made,” filled with ordinary household trappings decorated in bright pastel colors with what appears to be a cake decorating implement. Wilson has used the nostalgia of home and manifested a diorama of feminist awakening. This is contrasted with Hayley Youngs’ grouping of bright geometric paintings in the adjacent gallery.
Up on the next floor Janae Brown’s projected video room provides a moment to pause and reflect on the passage of time, and up on the next floor see Rachel Youn’s “Under Party,” where all manner of household convenience tools are dancing away, “beckoning viewers to celebrate a more hopeful future.”
Shoshanna Weinberger uses the next floor exhibiting her mixed media works on paper with an installation as the room’s centerpiece. “A Sense of Sight,” contains mirrored figures scattered across an elevated mirrored floor. The artist stated that “invisible blackness, passing, and double-consciousness are ongoing themes in my studio practice.”
Up to the fifth floor, see the illustrative paintings by Suzanne Kiggins, incorporating the reality of life with magical occurrences. “In The Laundry Room” shows a scene of the ordinary service porch with a washer and dryer and oversize garden flowers taking over the walls – a coyote-like animal stands on top of the appliances, directly gazing at you and laughing.
More wonders await visitors on this floor, the prescient pieces from Jin Yong Choi’s “Digital Shaman” series include a coat and headpieces to survive the future in a world ruled by technology. On Saturdays, ascend to the top floor to Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw’s “Hamburger Heaven, (Waiting for god(ot)),” where performance meets installation, placing you in a hamburger joint. The experience includes a moment to ask your question about life and receive an answer to provide guidance as you return to reality.
“If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now,” 2021 Summer Exhibition at The Wassaic Project through September 18, 2021
Location: 37 Furnace Bank Rd., Wassaic, NY
Phone: (855) WASSAIC (855) 927-7242
This article was originally published in the Poughkeepsie Journal Life Sunday, July 11, 2021.