Peekskill, NY

Leaving visitors feeling a subtle bond of relatedness, Peekskill Project's 111 artists, selected by 16 curators, proffered engaging art interludes throughout the small historical upstate city.   To start, artist Dan Seiple produced a tourism project with a free bus ride from NYC to Peekskill, complete with Hawaiian floral hats for each traveler.   At the Hudson Valley Contemporary Art Center Elsie Sampson displayed treasure-packed Chinese Sweatshop zines, while at the nearby psta factory Natalia Leginowicz's silk-screened Moldable Matters lavished in a corner of a raw room.   The piece's graphic aqua and red Colorform-like shapes rolled over each other, buckled, twisted, drooped, and curled as Leginowicz gamboled with the pliancy of paper.   Next downtown, Judith Scott Larson's Water Tower with swirling ethereal liquid patterns project on an exotic turret addressed multiple issues of water, while Nicolas Dumit Estevez staged an intervention during which he kept his eyes shut from arrival in Peekskill to departure.   Exploring personal pilgrimages, Estevez invited passersby to escort him through the city, with one empathetic participant, lighting designer John Pfeiffer, gingerly leading him on Alison Levy's tour for a couple of hours.   Without external goals of getting somewhere or seeing something, Estevez migrated himself, Pfeiffer, and others into an interior sphere where not superficial appearances, but intimate personal rapport, vulnerability, and physical sensory experience, were the guiding principles.   Finally to the waterfront where, curated by Lisa Paul Streitfeld, Daniel Rothbart held his Hudson River: Meditation/Mediation .   In a Buddhist-like relinquishing control generosity, Rothbart provided various sized metal vessels to be filled with meaningful experiences of collaborating performers.   Most spirited was Livia Straus's enactment of the Rosh Hashanah Tashlich ceremony ending with matzah representing sins being hurled by all into the river to be eaten by myriad birds.

Savannah, Gae, "Peekskill Projects: Peekskill, New York," Flash Art International, Milan, Vol. XXXIX No. 251 November - December 2006