The absolute beauty of this project is that it reacquainted me with an old friend. I’ve lived within a few miles of the Hudson my entire life. It’s always been there whether or not I took any notice of it. Not until I spent time away did I realize how greatly I was tied to it, how much I’d taken it for granted. There is more to life on a river than commerce and industry. It is healing, regenerative, and flowing. Each step through this project—as the process directed me to all things foreign, all things alien—I found that I was discovering the Hudson anew. What is the Hudson without the precious devils heads? What is the Hudson without the people who live along it? How does one affect the other and what is given in return? Can man really change life, or does life take over with man’s altered states?
The blood, sweat, tears and celebration! – and that is only the start of the journey; the portion of just loading the “mixed metal beauty of a tree” traveling from Red Hook (Hudson) to White Plains.
We started our morning at 9:30 am, prepping and adding the finishing touches. The moving van departed with it’s weary three person team from ArtsWestchester at 4pm. Installation of Fish Tales officially begins!
Shown here is a portion of a mosaic mural by the Peekskill train station in the public park, Riverfront Green. Standing approximately 5ft high and 6ft wide , titled: An ancient mariner’s map of the Hudson River designed by Haifa for the City of Peekskill. It conveys the wealth of surrounding “wild life” at a time when numerous species of fish also filled the River.
Haifa Bint-Kadi holds an M.F.A. from Istituto d’Arte per il mosaico in Ravenna, Italy and has been designing and fabricating public art mosaics since 1993. She recently completed the construction and installation of a sculpture park for the State of New York at Suny Oneonta symbolizing the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Haifa Bint-Kadi has recently been awarded the competitive Create Change Residency which will culminate in a large scale public art project for south Yonkers.
“My work involves working closely with community in developing public art projects that reflect the community’s interests, history and perspectives using a constructivist model to engage the public in the Big Idea of community and in making connections to the environment. I call this work, Resurrection History. I believe public art should be accessible to the public and not simply because it’s installed in a public space, but because the artist has engaged the public through research, history and the discourse the public art inspires. I’m only interested in projects that engage the public in authentic ways.”
Test your knowledge and guess which beautiful fish goes with which fish fact?
1.The Tautog is a popular inshore gamefish that lives along the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. Although capable of reaching relatively large sizes, they are very slow- growing
2. The American Shad is an anadromous fish, spending its adult life at sea and returning to fresh water rivers to spawn. They are primarily plankton feeders, but will eat small shrimp and fish eggs.
3. The Black Sea Bass is anadromous but does not spawn in Long Island Sound tributaries. They are popular sport fish that appear in the Sound in the summer, feeding on squid and finfish.
Todd Rawson is an artist whose vibrant illustrations tell stories by combining symbols and picture-making. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute and has worked with diverse clients ranging from international publishers, record companies, and museums. Todd currently resides in New York City where he works as a design director for an educational tech company.
Laura Vila Rawson lives in New York City with her husband and two cats. She grew up in the Midwest and studied at The Chicago Art Institute and Pratt Institute. Laura believes that being curious about the world is important and has spent her career as an artist exploring this through art and storytelling.
A collaborative effort between art and science took shape in Mr Bugara’s science lab at the Blue Mountain School in Croton last week. With the guidance and support of Mrs Krause and Mr Gioacchini, the talented art educators on staff; the invitation by R.A.R.E. and ArtsWestchester to build a “fish tank” of wildlife for the sculpture garden at the Arts Exchange Gallery (in White Plains) spurred a fury of recycled creativity, problem solving, team building and lots of duck tape. Take an inside look into the high school’s process of representing the wealth of species in the estuaries that call the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound their home.