An outdoor sculpture exhibit presented by Collaborative Concepts sits on an historical 199-acre farm in Brewster this fall. The presenting not-for-profit, non-membership organization of professional artists has curated more than 40 exhibitions in galleries and outdoor settings throughout the Hudson Valley since its founding in 1999. The Farm Project 2021 at Tilly Foster Farm will be its 16th annual sculpture exhibition on a farm, it’s second at this location. The Farm Project used to be held at Saunders Farm in Garrison, NY, but in 2020, Putnam County invited Collaborative Concepts to exhibit at its working farm and educational institute. Due to the pandemic, there was no opening reception for the 2020 exhibition and masks and social distancing were required. This year’s The Farm Project is a welcome return to normalcy for the Collaborative Concepts community.
Forty-seven local, regional and international artists have come together to display more than 40 pieces of large-scale sculptural art throughout the bucolic, rolling fields of the farm through October 30. Of course, this is in addition to the small farm animal zoo, mile-long nature trail, community garden and farm-to-table restaurant that are also on the 19th century farm’s property.
The temporary sculpture installations, most of which are for sale, range in style from organic to abstract; from playful to experimental. There is plenty of wood and metal, of course, but also marble, canvas, steel wool, scuffed skateboards, aluminum cans and organ pipes.
In the entry field, Jim Lloyd’s Ferrosynthetic Garden uses metal car parts to create a garden of welded steel organisms that mimic nature’s shapes. Nearby, Marc Bernier’s site-specific Pixelated taps into recent social isolation by creating “a virtual intrusion in the idyllic farmland.” Bernier photographed the background location then pixilated the resulting image, as if seeing it on a computer screen. He then painted the “pixels” and reproduced the image on large panels. Bernier says: “Beauty is still there in the piece, but is it the world we really want to live in?”
By the pond, Inez Andrucyk’s Loamy Celebrations uses metal, wood and fabric to praise the development of fertile earth or loam. Andrucyk explains: “This combination of compost, silt, clay, sand and pebbles is where life ends, then begins.”
Across the field, Susan Buroker’s Recurrent evolved from a lifetime of witnessing the ecological changes happening to Long Island’s coastal shoreline. It is part of New Visions of Long Island, a larger collection of Buroker’s paintings and sculptures.
According to artist Hildy Potts, “a sculpture has to stand on its own, both physically and metaphorically… So that is the challenge of the great outdoors: how to get the viewer to notice and to circle around the work.” The artist appreciates the challenges that the Farm Project presents for her as an artist, year after year: the unknown weather, curious wildlife and change of scale. Her whimsical Bison roam the fields. She adds: “A piece may loom large in the studio (or garage, in my case), but when it is out in a field, it is small…Sculpture, because of its dimensionality, requires performance on the part of the viewer. The magic is in that engagement.”
A version of this article first appeared in the October issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.