Save the Date | Artists as Innovators Exhibition to Open September 9

Save the Date | Artists as Innovators Exhibition to Open September 9

Landmark exhibition celebrates three decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships and will travel to seven SUNY campuses between Fall 2017 and Spring 2020.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is commemorating three decades of NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships with the landmark traveling exhibition Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships. The fellowship program has supported more than 4,000 artists in various fields in the visual arts, literature, and performing arts at critical stages throughout their careers.

The artists in the exhibition are acclaimed and respected around the world, but what is less known is that they all received support from NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships at crucial points in their careers. Curated by Judith K. Brodsky and David C. Terry with the assistance of Madeline Scholl, Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships will feature work by more than 20 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellows who have gone on to record significant achievements in their artistic careers. The works on display will show how the fellows have addressed pressing and often controversial issues through their art, including racism, gender equality, sexual orientation, immigration, and globalization.

Participating artists include: Elia Alba, Ida Applebroog, Dawoud Bey, Sanford Biggers, Ross Bleckner, Wendell Castle, Tara Donovan, Carroll Dunham, Chitra Ganesh, The Guerrilla Girls, Barbara Kruger, Christian Marclay, Marilyn Minter, Lori Nix, Tony Oursler, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Dread Scott, Andres Serrano, Shinique Smith, Carmelita Tropicana, and Fred Wilson.

Exhibition highlights include The Guerrilla Girls’ “How Women Get Maximum Exposure in Art Museum,” perhaps one of the most recognizable works of the feminist art canon. The feminist art perspective is further explored through the works of Ida Applebroog and Chitra Ganesh; both Applebroog’s “Winnie’s Pooh” and several works by Ganesh reference mainstream imagery in surprising, sometimes disturbing ways that highlight alternate articulations of femininity to the broader public. Other featured works include stills from Dread Scott’s “Money to Burn” performance on Wall Street, a transgressive act that questioned one of the foundations of the international economy. By burning one bill at a time and encouraging others to follow, Scott made physical what happens on stock markets around the globe every day. Dawoud Bey approaches social issues through a more intimate, anthropological perspective, displaying his photographs alongside the personal accounts from his sitters. Through these works and others, the exhibition makes clear that NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellows are no strangers to confronting taboos and constructing alternate realities that question established systems.


Artists as Innovators will be celebrated with a public opening on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz. It will travel to Dowd Gallery, SUNY Cortland; Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred University; Marion Art Gallery, SUNY Fredonia; Burke Gallery, SUNY Plattsburgh; Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Stony Brook University; and Center for the Arts, Westchester Community College, full schedule below. As part of the exhibition tour, regional SUNY partners will present complementary exhibitions and programming.

“The work in this exhibition shows how these influential artists interpret our times, questioning our values and prompting social awareness, but at the same time creating works of art that are innovative and full of visual power,” said Co-Curator, feminist visual arts advocate, and NYFA Board Chair Judith K. Brodsky.

“SUNY is proud to partner with The New York Foundation for the Arts and open its doors to all New Yorkers, so they can join us in being inspired by some of the most well-respected artists of our time,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Thank you to NYFA for its ongoing support of New York’s artists and to the SUNY campuses serving as hosts to this outstanding exhibit,” she added.

Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, said, “We are pleased to acknowledge our fruitful collaboration with NYFA during the past 31 years. NYSCA has invested over $30 million, to provide cash awards of $650,000 annually to artists, living and working in New York State. These fellowships provide unrestricted support, and have nurtured thousands of diverse, engaged members of New York State’s creative communities. It is exciting to see this outstanding exhibition, which presents to the wider public the tangible results of what NYSCA, in concert with NYFA, has initiated and supported.”

“The Dorsky and its SUNY partners are thrilled to be participating in this collaboration with NYFA,” said Sara Pasti, the Neil C. Trager director of the Dorsky Museum, who also serves as chair of the SUNY Council of Museums and Galleries. “We’re particularly honored to have the opportunity to open ‘Artists as Innovators’ here in New Paltz, as the exhibition provides a unique opportunity for our students and regional audiences to see work by extraordinary contemporary artists who have played an influential role in art history. This is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Pasti said.

In addition to the visual artists in the exhibition, the roster of NYSCA/NYFA Fellows includes such significant figures as A.M. Homes, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, Lynn Nottage, and Suzan-Lori Parks in theatre and literary arts; Todd Haynes, Spike Lee, and Mira Nair in film; Meredith Monk, Julie Taymor, and Yvonne Rainer in the performing arts; and Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio in architecture.


Exhibition Opening

Title: Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 2017, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Exhibition Dates: August 30, 2017 – November 12, 2017
Location: The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Closed Holidays and Intersessions

Exhibition Schedule

Fall 2017: Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz, August 30 – November 12, 2017

Spring 2018: Dowd Gallery, SUNY Cortland, March 5 – April 13, 2018

Fall 2018: Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred University, August 20 – December 10, 2018

Winter 2019: Cathy & Jesse Marion Art Gallery; SUNY Fredonia; January 22 – March 10, 2019; Opening Friday, February 1, 2019

Summer 2019: The Joseph C. and Joan T. Burke Gallery, SUNY Plattsburgh, May 24 – August 30, 2019, Opening TBD

Fall 2019: Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Stony Brook University, Dates TBD

Spring 2020: Westchester Community College Fine Arts Gallery, Westchester Community College, Dates TBD

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are administered with leadership support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Funding for Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with shipping support from Atelier 4.

Find out more about NYFA’s Curatorial Services for organizations and the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program, a $7,000 unrestricted cash grant awarded to individual artists living and working in the state of New York.

Images, from top: (detail) Ross Bleckner, Dome, 2015, Courtesy of the artist, Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sturges; Ida Applebroog, Winnie’s Pooh, 1993, Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth; Dread Scott, Money to Burn, 2010, performance still, Courtesy of the artist

Amy Aronoff
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