Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Examples of Arts and Ag Projects in Land Art and Performing Arts:

In Colorado, SnowTrack Art

In Japan, Rice Crop Art, The colors are created by using different varieties of rice plants, whose leaves grow in certain colours. This photo was taken in Inakadate, Japan. Thousands of tourists come (and leave). The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square meters of paddy fields.courtesy of Ron Gee
Just across the river
in Garrison: The sixth Farm Show at Saunders Farm, ended October 31,2011 More

In Quebec, since 2007, the town of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, has been presenting the Land Art event "Créations sur le Champ" (Creations on the Field).
Land Art on Fruit Trees is a unique concept in Québec, perhaps worldwide, and has already hosted over thirty artists. It reflects the value of culture, ecology and environment of Mont-Saint-Hilaire.
Kim Vergil, has been one of the artists to work on this program. She comes to Orange County each year and sees lots of parallels and potential for a similar project here... all to increase the number and range of people visiting the area. She said she'd come and help us get one started. She shared more about the project:
As artists our job (rules of engagement) was to create organic sculptures within the Landscape that were 90% of and from the land and only 10% man made materials could be used in the finished piece. It was a great way to frame the artists and make sure the focus is natural. We had 5 days on location to create the work though we had all been to the spot prior (except for the international artist) to see and pick our locations, and start our ideas flowing about what we wanted to create (this part was done in the spring). The towns people have now become an integral part of this exhibition happening because they come all week to watch the progress of the work by the artists and to ask questions and meet everyone. There was a lot of dialogue going on during the entire process. The nice part as an artist is that we were billeted at different artists homes locally and this encouraged a lot of exchange between artist internationally, regionally and locally. We all got together for our supper meal each evening and this way had a chance to get to know each other and form a community amongst ourselves as artists. Because this all took place in the fall the farmer was assured a steady flow of tourists, towns people and visitors from the city to come see the event, walk in the apple orchard, forest etc….but also they did a lot of buying the produce and apples etc from the farmer at the same time. This event is planned to coordinate with this apple orchards fall crops. This is truly a win, win for this farmer and the local community village that also reaps the benefit of people coming to see the Land Art during the fall colors and eat and shop locally …. By having an International Land Art event this agricultural area is able to distinguish itself from others by having the added benefit of integrating the arts into the agricultural landscape and by inviting an international selection of artists to participate it adds credibility of pears in a more global sense therefore enriching everyone’s experience in the global village. I believe this brings together both local and global as a team. Though many of the Final works are ephemeral there are pieces that remain and carry over year to year creating a way to grow the exhibition over time and watch the progress and transformation of the works.

Ag and Performing Arts Tannis Kowalchuck in Highland Lake, NY:

Nature educator Laurie Seeman sent this report on a very successful day-long event which made The Hudson River much more prominent in the minds and hearts of students. It might serve as inspiration for A Day in the Life of the Farm... with artists involved as guide/interpreters.

Arts as Fundraising engine: Robert Whitman Holds Benefit Performance to Aid Farm Workers
Sugar Loaf, NY (OCCF) – On Saturday evening, October 15, 2011, the Orange County Citizens Foundation hosted a special benefit to aid the farm community in the aftermath of recent flooding. World-renowned artist Robert Whitman will present MoonRain, a performance work referencing a famous collection of 18th century Japanese ghost stories by Ueda Akinari. All proceeds of the event will benefit farm workers and their families in the Orange County community who have been hard hit economically by recent tropical storms. Because of the unusual outdoor nature of the program, there is limited seating.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Local Arts and Ag NEWS

December 18 ++ The Rogowski Farm is starting a second season the Winter Markets which include local arts.

December, 2011 Over the coming months, The Warwick Valley Chamber will meet with various groups within the Valley to discuss ways in which businesses can take advantage of tourism. It is especially critical in these tough economic times to band together. Tourism is a viable industry here that will enable businesses to come together and organize to reach a broader audience and make the most of their marketing dollars. http://www.warwickcc.org/ for more information.

November Fall Festival, Warwick The Excelsior Hose Co. #1 is sorry to announce the canceling of the Annual Fall Festival this year due to weather conditions which destroyed much of the Local Farm crops. The Fall Festival which we have run for the past 60 years with the generous donations by our Local Farmers who donate most of the produce we give away. We feel that it would be insensitive of us to approach the Local Farmers for donations of their produce after suffering so much. We hope they have a better year in 2012 and hope to see everyone at next years Fall Festival, Nov 14 & 15, 2012.

October 15, 2011, the Orange County Citizens Foundation hosted a special benefit to aid the farm community in the aftermath of recent flooding. World-renowned artist Robert Whitman will present MoonRain, a performance work referencing a famous collection of 18th century Japanese ghost stories by Ueda Akinari. All proceeds of the event will benefit farm workers and their families in the Orange County community who have been hard hit economically by recent tropical storms. Because of the unusual outdoor nature of the program, there is limited seating.

Mr. Whitman is a pioneer of multimedia installation and performance. He began his career in the late 1950s presenting performances, including the innovative works American Moon and Prune Flat, as well as to exhibiting his multimedia work in some of New York’s more influential venues for showing new work, such as the Hansa, Reuben, Martha Jackson, and Sidney Janis galleries.

In 1966, Mr. Whitman co-founded, with engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhaver and artist Robert Rauschenberg, Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), a foundation that provided artists with access to technology through collaborations with engineers and scientists. His one-person exhibitions have been presented at such venues as the Jewish Museum, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and PaceWildenstein Gallery, New York. He has presented theater works in various European venues.

The Dia Art Foundation organized a retrospective of his theater works in 1976, and, in 2003, presented “Playback,” an exhibition bringing together a selection of key works from the early 1960s to late 1970s spanning various media. In 2005, Mr. Whitman launched Local Report, five live performances held on successive weekends at five locations around New York City in which participants used video cell phones to create and send short videos and sound reports from their areas, the final playback resulting in a multi-screen video and sound installation. He revived his historic work American Moon as part of the exhibition “New Realisms: 1957–1962” at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, in 2010. And earlier this year, he directed a piece co-located in Beacon, NY and Montclair, NJ

There are a number of different ways to give to this relief effort. At the $500 level, attendees will receive two tickets to the performance, a limited edition etching of an original Kurt Seligmann, an evening event program signed by Mr. Whitman, a pre-show tour of the Kurt Seligmann estate, and access to a post-show reception with Mr. Whitman. Other tickets are available for $150 and include one ticket to the performance, a signed evening event program, and access to the post-show reception.
“We are pleased Mr. Whitman chose the Kurt Seligmann Art Galleries and Homestead for this very special and much-needed event,” said Nancy Proyect, president of the Citizens Foundation. “The home and studio of the late Surrealist artist Kurt Seligamnn in Sugar Loaf is a former dairy farm. Given its roots in both the arts and agriculture it is the perfect setting for Mr. Whitman’s farm-aid benefit.”
The Citizens Foundation is a membership-driven organization that has been advocating on behalf of the residents of Orange County for 40 years. Its mission is to create the environment that betters the lives of Orange County residents through better land use and transportation planning, waste management, water conservation, and preservation of our environmental and cultural affairs.

In 1992, Arlette Seligmann, the wife of the Surrealist artist Kurt Seligmann, bequeathed their 55-acre homestead to the Citizens Foundation. The Citizens Foundation renovated the buildings and grounds and opened its offices and art galleries on the homestead in 2001. Today, one of the top priorities of the Citizens Foundation is to promote the work of Kurt Seligmann and the arts throughout the county. Mr. Whitman’s event is one in a yearlong series devoted to exploring the Surrealist movement.
The performance begins at 7:00 PM on the grounds of the Kurt Seligmann Art Galleries and Homestead located at 23 White Oak Drive in Sugar Loaf. Those ticket holders participating in the pre-show guided tour are asked to arrive at 6:00 PM.
For more information contact Nancy Proyect at 845-469-9459 or visit the Citizens Foundation’s website at www.occitizensfoundation.org.

Fall Newsletter from Jeff and Adina Bialas of J&A Farm in Black Dirt--Goshen, NY
Fall is upon us at J&A Farm. For those of you who have not heard, we were hard hit by the aftermath flooding of Hurricanes Irene and Lee last month. Over 90% of our farm was flooded and the rains that followed hurt everything that was not killed by the flooding, including successive new plantings of replacement crops. However we have remained optimistic and are persevering! In the past few weeks we have had some better (sunny and warm) weather and the new plantings are finally getting big enough to begin picking. We are happy to report that as of this weekend we are back at both the 97th Street and Pleasantville Farmers markets every week! We will continue there until we run out of vegetables for the season (we expect that will be at least until Thanksgiving). Our onions, shallots, herbs and radishes are beautiful and delicious and we should have more greens and lots of other special items each week to add to the offerings available.
This coming Sunday, October 30th, we are pleased to be hosting Lululemon's "Yoga for Farmers", a benefit that they are putting on for our farm (12 Indiana Road, Goshen NY 10924)

10/4/11 Here's a report on what happened... by Janet Fatta

It's very exciting to watch the local arts community develop ways to help create relief for the farms, farmers and workers impacted by the hurricane.
Warwick Farm Aid 2011
Local performing artists have stepped up for a four-hour concert on Sunday night, September 25 at the high school in Warwick, NY. Tickets are $25 and all proceeds go to the farmers through a local charitable organization.

During the afternoon visual artists and others are creating family-oriented events to help develop a sensitivity to farms and farm issues. One of the organizers sent out this email, under the title:
Water has caused so much destruction. I am thinking of children (and maybe the child-in-the-adult) to be guided by you artists in the use of watercolor to create their own beauty. There may be those who would want to visually express their anger, frustration, and feelings about the recent floods, too.

The evolving response has included volunteer artists to help with community generated murals:
Water on Chalk Boards ... here... and gone
Opportunities for people and especially the farmers and farm workers- to Make your Mark on paper with paints, markers, and even mud from the local Black Dirt. These will all combine into a Community Response Mural and travel around the County. Some sections will be made into Appreciation Plaques for the DPW workers, EMS, firemen and police who assisted in the aftermath. Art as Appreciation
I'm just contacting local poets to come and roam through the crowd offering to recite a farm-themed poem for people. When was the last time a poet stood face-to-face with you and spoke his/her work? This did not happen
Also, there'll be art objects and services in a silent auction. I've donated a few of my books and a tuition to an upcoming workshop.

Any other ideas about arts capacity to create a memorable participatory event and help build community?
Here's what the day looked like by Paul Romano

September 12, 2011 Cheryl was on WNYC with Jacqui Berger of Just Food.


Between September and November 2011, there were twelve hours of charette or focus group meetings on ways arts and agriculture can work together in Orange County for mutual benefit. The Ag people are interested in increasing the dollar yield per acre, extending their marketing season, and bringing more people to their farm markets. Arts might be a way to do this. Artists are looking for new audiences and venues for both working and presenting work. The natural settings of the farm and established farm marketing techniques may be a good fit for artists.

The questions were:
How can arts add value to the farms and
How can the farms contribute to the arts in Orange County.

Over a hundred people participated in these discussions and many will continue on committees and via artsandagriculture.blogspot.com to select the most appropriate activities, people and locations. Some of the suggestions relate to art or farms only marginally ( Is local food “art”) (Are paintings at a farm market really a fusion of Ag and Art?)

Some of these ideas are already in action. For example there are at least two Orange County Ag cookbooks; there have been dance, drama and m,usic events on farms for many years. I think we're lookiong at an appropriate development of these.

Brainstorming Ideas
Present Arts/Ag in a wider context or “web” of community activities.
County-wide logo to link farms and art—central slogan so people associate Black Dirt and Orange County—AgArts in Orange County (8 votes)(17 votes—top 5)
Graphic design for labels and signage—for local foods (6 votes)
Farm logos collectibles/pins for festivals,T-shirts and cups (2 votes)
Mural or signage of what produce is actually produced. Decorating the farms (11 votes)
Get better photography and websites for the farms (no votes)
Road signs for farms like they have in wine country (Received 14 votes)
Internet portal that links to farm/art events; Website or literature for Orange County featuring what’s happening on the farms. Should feature farms and artists, put in magazine also.
Develop artist-type tourist maps, showing farms open to visit, restaurants, etc.(21 votes—top 5)
Get a celebrity spokesperson that feels a real connection to area, Morgan Freeman?.(12 votes
Orange County Farmers calendar, cookbook and paintings (16 votes—top 5)
Artist paints on side of trucks—advertisement for artists as well. . (Received 16 votes—top 5)
Set up geotracking program for mobile devices, giving addresses of farms and including website links, videos, etc. to provide information about institution or farm. (Received 6 votes)
Weekend bike tours around the County to farms; artists could create signage, etc. ( 5 votes)
Expand Arts Presence at Farmers Markets/Green Markets: add dance, poetry
Expand to other types of festivals—Potato, Maple syrupl , snow, ice, early spring blossom
Pop-up markets selling handcrafted items on themes of farms—historic, holiday, etc. (8 votes)
Art walks—fill Main Streets. Apples painted by artists, creating a picture from fruits/vegetables.
Develop Arts/Ag Package Tours: 2 days one night see the Uncommons of Orange County!
Find indoor farm/art market venue (15 votes) Downing Park, Newburgh, Chris Tripoli, mgr
Monthly Open house at farm with art connection, through Cornell Cooperative (21 votes)
Orange County Farm Market gift shop in each village/town (city too presumably) (no votes)
Artisans create custom items for farm markets/wineries: glasses, logos, baskets
Do a farm/art trail. Make the whole region a destination in pulling people through, like Shawangunk Wine Trail, spend the day (42 votes—top 5)

Oral history project collaboration between artists and farmers, farm workers telling stories of
Orange County/Black Dirt farms through storytelling, drama, writing, filmmaking, poetry,
photography (8 votes—top 4) … and integrate their stories into farmers markets (8 votes)
Tie the agricultural community to heritage/architectural tourism (11 votes)
Weekend arts/nature programs —food served, art created, but located on farm (13 votes)
Include animal farms/workshops fiber on animal to finished art project (16 votes—top 5)
Sensory and touch experience at farms, i.e. terrarium play plants (Received 12 votes)
Bugs education—draw bugs, have costume contest
Educate people on how to survive off the land (3 votes)
Meet-the Farmer Have farmers tell about environmental issues

Arts Events on Farms: permanent, seasonal and single day or weekend
Sculptural/Art trail on farms: Murals on barns, silos, sculptures (Received 55 votes)
Land Art projects fallow fields of color, tie into Google Earth for viewing (21 votes—top 5)
Recycle surplus farm materials and make art from them 8 votes—top 4)
Music/Jazz festivals, Dance Performances on farms;
Artist-in-residence program on farm with open house (artist-in-residence : artist attached to a facility for a period of time in order to create) ( 6 votes)
Children’s theater program, create and act out plays about farming history told by older farmers, farmers’ wives, migrants. (11 votes)
To extend season, Farms/Artists theme weekends Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Mid-Winter, Blossom festivals, Ice festivals, Birthing Festivals
Create Art from Natural Materials: using berry juice to create art (11 votes)
Doing project with local clay using vegetables at farm, can be sold at markets/farms/info booths,
Have a Farm program of Be-with-an-Artist for the day (1 vote)
Games on farms, scavenger hunt using photographs of items ( no votes)
Theater games for kids at farms in combination with educational farming programs (1vote)
Create a venue for performance art that would change monthly and benefit both artists and farmers, changing venue with seasons. Arrow Park would be good venue. ( 26 votes—top 4
Several artists share experiences in a multidisciplinary exhibition and show. (8 votes)
Christmas tree mazes. Flash mobs on the farms, Pumpkin float (no votes)
Stamping art—sell stamps created by artists,; take collecting book to farms and get a
stamp, with a prize for collecting certain number of stamps (Received 8 votes)

Develop Relationships with other Organizations
Contact Co-ops in NYC area and Invite them to “socials” in Orange County
Museum Village—tie in food and arts to that era (music) (11 votes)
International Center for Photography comes out to farms with theme (Received 4 votes)
Invite art schools from the city (kids adults)—practice their medium in nature. (18 votes—top 5)
NY Historical Society. Hands-on experiences from yesteryear, equipment demos. ( 8 votes)
Farmers participate in American Crafts Week second week of October?) (no votes)

Advice: When planning events, be aware of farmer’s seasonal demands . December to February are best available months
Foods Where’s the “arts” connection??
Local foods at festivals—locally grown foods (11 votes)
Tie in restaurants and cooking schools on farms, showcase local meal from farms (4 votes)
Create culinary school for 3 days/week, with B & B so you’re keeping people (3 votes)
To extend season, Farms host local foods dinners, have art exhibited

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Artists/Artisans designing for Agriculture

In the charrettes, sugegstions were made about artists creating signs, labels, products which enhance the look of the farm. This raises several interesting points about just how that's done.

A good place to start is to look at the Artful Home catalog/website. For many years they have successfully worked with artists/craftspeople to develop and market handmade items for the general public. Although the items are handmade and unique, they are similar enough to be able to be featured in a catalog.
Take a look


There are 642 farms in Orange County, New York. Not all of them are interested in being open to the public. Here are the Orange County farms already drawing people for their Pick-Your-Own experiences. This is an important group for our arts and ag discussion because these farms already have developed a style and comfort of actively working with the public.

Applewood Orchards, 82 Four Corners Rd., Warwick. Open daily. 9am-5pm. Apples in Sept. to Oct. 845-986-1684. applewoodorchards.com
C. Rowe and Sons, 113 Station Rd. (off Rte. 208), Campbell Hall. Open daily. 7am-1pm, June. Pick your own strawberries. 845-427-2254.
Halfway Acres, Purgatory Rd. (off Sarah Wells Trail), Campbell Hall. Open Late April to Oct. 845-294-7869.
Hodgson Farms, 2290 Albany Post Rd., Walden. Open daily, May-Aug. Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. 845-778-1432. hodgsonfarm.com
Jessup Road Orchards, 101 Jessup Rd., Warwick. Apples, call for dates. 845-986-3331. jessuproadorchard.com
Manza Family Farm, 730 Rte. 211, Montgomery. Open daily. 9am-5pm. April to Dec. Farm stand. Xmas trees. 845-692-4363.
Maskers Fruit Farms Inc., 45 Ball Rd., Warwick. Open daily. 9am-5pm. Sept. to Nov. Apples. 845-986-1058.
Ochs Orchards, 4 Ochs Ln., Rte. 94, Warwick. Open daily. 9am-5pm. June to Dec. Strawberries, call for dates. 845-986-1591.
Overlook Farm Market, Rte. 9W, Newburgh. Open 8am-6pm, closed Tuesdays. Apples and pumpkins starting in Sept. 845-562-5780. overlookfarmmarket.com
Pennings Orchard, 169 State Rte. 94, Warwick. Apples and pumpkins in the fall. 845-986-7080. penningsorchard.com
Scheuermann’s Farm & Greenhouses, 73 Little York Rd., Warwick. Pick your own sweet corn. Call for dates, 845-258-4221.
Slate Hill Orchards, Rte. 6, Slate Hill. Pick your own apples, concord grapes, pumpkins and vegetables. Call for dates, 845-355-4493.
Soons Orchards & Farm Market, 23 Soons Cir., New Hampton. Apples mid-Sept. to end Oct. Pumpkins. 845-374-5471.
Warwick Valley Winery & Orchards, 114 Little York Rd., Warwick. Pick your own apples, open daily, Sept. 11am-6pm. 845-258-4858.
Wright Family Farm, 325 Kings Highway, Warwick. Open May- Dec. Seasonal fruits & vegetables. 845-986-1345.

This is a slightly different list of all Apple growers in the County and the various services they offer... U-Pick-It and other
Apple Ridge Orchards
101 Jessup Rd. Warwick NY, 10990 (845) 987-7717 www.appleridgeorchards.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Roadside Stand, Special Events

Applewood Orchards LLC
82 Four Corners Rd. Warwick NY, 10990 (845) 986-1684 www.applewoodorchards.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Farm Market

Jones Farm Inc
190 Angola Rd Cornwall NY, 12518-1110 (845) 534-4445
Apple Grower, Roadside Stand, Special Events

Lawrence Farms Orchards Inc
39 Colandrea Rd Newburgh NY, 12550 (845) 562-4268
Apple Grower, U Pick

Masker Fruit Farms Inc
45 Ball Rd Warwick NY, 10990 (845) 986-8852 : www.maskers.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Farm Market

Ochs Orchard
4 Ochs Lane Warwick NY, 10990 (845) 986-1591
Apple Grower, U Pick, Roadside Stand, Farm Market, Cider, Gift Boxes

Pennings Farm Market Inc.
161 Route 94 S Warwick NY, 10990 (845) 986-1059
penningsfarmmarket.com www.penningsorchard.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Roadside Stand, Farm Market, Gift Boxes

Roe's Orchards
3278 Route 94 Chester NY, 10918 (845) 469-4724
Apple Grower. Roadside Stand, Farm Market, Cider

Slate Hill Orchard
Rt 6 Box 297 Slate Hill NY, 10973(845) 355-4493
Apple Grower, U Pick, Farm Market, Cider

Sleepy Hills Orchard
1328 Rt. 284 Johnson NY, 10933 (845) 726-3797 www.sleepyhillsorchard.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Farm Market

Soons Orchards Inc
23 Soons Circle New Hampton NY, 10958 (845) 374-5471 www.soonsorchards.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Roadside Stand, Farm Market, Cider, Gift Boxes, Special Events

Warwick Valley Winery
114 Little York Road Warwick NY, 10990 (845) 258-6020 www.wvwinery.com
Apple Grower, U Pick, Farm Market, Special Events

Here's a list of the Farmers Markets in Orange County which might be the platform for expanded arts activity:

Cornwall , Town Hall, 183 Main St. 9am-3pm. Wednesdays, July-Sept. 534-0626.
Florida, 190 North Main St. (Rte. 17A /94). 11:30am-5pm. Tuesdays, June to Oct. -651-6000.
Goshen, Village Sq Park. 10am-5pm. Fridays, May to Oct. 294-7741. goshennychamber.com
Greenwood Lake , CVS parking lot. 1pm-7pm. Fridays, May to Oct. 477-8773.
Highland Falls, across from Visitor’s Center. 9am-3pm. Sundays, June to Nov. 446-2459.
Middletown, Erie Way. 8am-1pm. Saturdays, June to Oct. 343-8075.
Monroe , Rte. 17M, Museum Village. 9am-3pm. Wednesdays, June to Oct. 344-1234.
Newburgh, Downing Park, Rte. 9W and South St. 10am-4pm. Friday, July to Oct. 130
Newburgh, Broadway, 9am-2pm. Mondays, July to Nov. 565-5559. newburgh-ny.com
Pine Bush, 62 Main St. Town Hall. 9am-1pm. Saturdays, May to Oct. 534-0626. pinebushfarmersmarket.com
Port Jervis, Front St. 8am-2pm. Saturdays, June to Nov. 856-6694.
Tuxedo, 240 Rte. 17. 9am-2pm. Saturdays, June to Oct. 915-4058. tuxedofarmersmarket.com
Montgomery , Clinton St. 10am-4pm. Fridays, May-Nov. 800-6118.
Walden, Village Square, Scofield St. Noon-6pm. Thursdays, June to Oct. 778-2177. waldenfarmersmarket.com
Warwick, South St. 9am-2. Sundays, May to Nov. 987-9990. warwickinfo.net/farmersmarket
West Point/Town of Highlands, Municipal lot, Main St., across St. from Visitor's Center. 9am-2:30pm. Sundays, June-Oct. 446-9211.


Another way to look at increased exposure for Arts/Ag is to start with where the people already are. That is, instead or before, teying to get more people to the farms, go to where the people already visit and introduce the Farms/Arts.

Woodbury Commons, the largets tourist attraction in New York State ... in the State? Oh poor Niagara Falls, The Statue of Liberty?

Bear Mountain State Park, one of the most frequently visited park sites in the United States, with total numbers rivaling those of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone?

Lots to talk about here.

Friday, November 4, 2011


On a sunny pleasant November afternoon, we gathered again to explore and refine the emerging intersections of the Arts and Agriculture worlds in Orange County. This has been not unlike the process of developing Night Vision. There's first the undifferentiated darkness, then slowly forms appear and then come to take on details.
A few observations, made earlier, but now clearer:
The "Ag" community is as widely varied and diverse as the "Arts" community. Some farmers/artists want just to be as left alone as possible. They are not interested in "intersections" with each other or other groups. GO AWAY! People at the meeting could name local farmers and local artists who, no matter how you plead, will not join some new group.
This is interesting for us artists who hear rumors of NYC artists with Orange County homes or studios. They come here to stay off the radar, not to become a local celebrity.

Similarly, only some of the 642 Orange County farms are even open to the public. And those that are range from the rough mom and pop "Buy raw milk and eggs here on Saturday" to the well-stocked, year-round farm market with restaurant and maybe a pub.

So what's a next step?

Well, back to night vision. First, try not to bump into anything.
Second find a few familiar landmarks: artists who already have some ag connections and some farmers who already see the value or "value added" of incorporating arts into their mix.

Third Arts and Ag Meeting

It was a wet, dark night. About 30 people gathered to share food and thoughts on how arts and agriculture can grow together in Orange County. We were at The Seligmann Homestead, an old farm, now home to the Orange County Citizens Foundation and the Orange County Arts Council. Tasty, homemade foods were provided by the Rogowski Farm

There were three practicing farmers there: Cheryl Rogowski, Steve Pennings and John Wright. One question was what can arts do to add value to a working farm?
John Wright immediately pointed out that all the agri-tourism is centerd on the autumn. Was there something to do that would extend the traffic throughout more of the year? There were a few dozen suggestions for both short-term and ongoing mutual activities, some costly, some not so much so. (Specifics can be found below)

It was generally agreed that greater ongoing visibility for arts activities on the farms was a start; that there should be some kind of branding of Arts and Ag in Orange County and Steve Pennings suggested that some membership association of artists and farmers be formed to pursue this. In such an organization, the right motivated farmers can meet up with the right artists and develop unique relationships and projects. The Arts Council may be the place to help start such a group as it carries on the planning work of this part of the NEA support into some kind of implementation

It seems that there is a group of farmers who already are involved with arts and they might form the initial core of the next part of this Placemaking process. In my introduction, I pointed out this Blog and the reports on the many, many Ag/Arts projects already underways across the world.

It was about six weeks after Hurricanes Irene and Lee devastated the area and Farmers Rogowski and Pennings were still talking about lingering damage in both the upland and Black Dirt farms. Earlier that evening, Cheryl Rogowski accepted a check for $100,000 from the community. The goal was to raise $25,000 before September 25th. Four times that was raised, with $$ still coming in to an ongoing Farm Community Reflief Fund.

I mention this because one consequence of the Hurricanes was to make the farming and arts communities more porous. Much of the relief money was raised through arts activities. This has super-charged this particular time as an important one for moving along the relationship between arts and agriculture.

Also, this NEA support is about "Placemaking"... how spaces take on meaning in communities. Art is a way that meaning gets made. It can make experiences more memorable.

Notes on Meeting by Megan Tennerman

Orange County Assets Unique to the Arts
• Connection to history; Renaissance Faire, Civil War Re-enactments at
Museum Village, etc.
• NYC—close enough to be a market, far enough to take refuge
• Landscape art
• Nature-based art/drawing inspiration from the landscape
• Storm King/outdoor sculpture
• Stone walls
• Intellectual haven
• Unique museums
• Art movements
• The place to show art
• Varied and diverse
• Growing and becoming renowned in region/increasing tourist draw
• Local food festivals (Applefest, etc.) provide market

County Assets Unique to Agriculture• Black Dirt
• Apple orchards
• Fields/landscapes change seasonally
• Dairy and horse farming still present in Orange County
• Agricultural diversity now present—no longer just onions or apples
• Ethnic contributions to Black Dirt farming
• Preservation effort in Orange County quite strong
• Relative economic strength—impact of bad economy not as bad as it
could be. (Steve Pennings contribution)
• Northeast climate—challenging weather
• Water as double-edged sword (flooding, drought)
• Familiarity as image—old farms, old walls, farm architecture
• Unadulterated by merchandising and other diversions

Assets Common to Agriculture and Arts• Entrepreneurship and creativity necessary to both industries
• Proximity to NYC
• Both industries require commitment and passion for the work
• Family-oriented businesses/lifestyle careers
• Similar needs in terms of funding, materials, specialized tools,
marketing, and other resources
• Cooperative partnering between industries already in place
• Both industries are year-round operations
• Both industries are visual and experiential
• Both industries nourish
• Both industries are spread throughout the County
• Both industries are creative
• Both industries benefit from open space
• Both industries can benefit from trend toward “staycations”

Second Arts and Ag Charrette/Focus Group
On Monday, September 26, about 30 people gathered on a sunny afternoon at Soons Orchards in New Hampton, New York ( where they grow 52, yes 52, varieties of apples) to continue the exploration of the common and developing areas for arts and agriculture. The questions:
How can arts and artists contribute to a more vigorous agricultural economy?
How can the farms and farmers help develop new venues for arts and artists?

The Wallkill River School of Montgomery, NY has been recognized by a National Endowment for the Arts planning grant to pursue these topics with several other Orange County partners. The grant reads this way: To support the development of economic strategies for long-term, sustainable partnerships between the arts and agriculture in Orange County. Project activities include a study on the economic impact of the arts, community workshops, planning meetings, and arts programming to integrate arts into the rural communities of the county.

The three-hour event starts with an inviting table of local foods--indicative of the importance of Orange County in the regional "Food Shed".
The question is asked to people sitting a tables: "What's unique about arts and what's unique about Agriculture in Orange County AND then what do they have in common?" After about 15 minutes of discussion the answers are shared among all and it becomes more clear how arts and agriculture can work together.
This meeting was particularly interesting because of the devastation of so many local farms in Hurricanes Irene and Lee. There was a heightened sense of community and shared concern.
To this observer, it looks like artists and farmers interested in actually developing programs and projects together will be matched up and encouraged to "seed and grow" them. In general, it was agreed that the arts can help draw people to the farms and deepen the experience of how time, space and nature interplay on the farm. Visitors to a Farm/Art partnership will likely have an experience of something very special and memorable. They will feel "connected".

How did others of you there remember these discussions?

Here is Megan Tennerman's summary of the key points of the event:

Orange County Assets Unique to the Arts
• Storm King
• The work itself is individual and unique
• Don’t know what the end product will be
• Some artists (not all) tend to keep to themselves and their work
• Number of people practicing
• Evolving with new people
• A manageable size
• Show art at vegetable markets in the city/culinary arts at a farm
• Hudson River School of painting
• Atypical venues
• Different audiences—arts
• Artist as facilitator/coach
• Artist as mentor
• Frank Stella' studio on Rt 17K

County Assets Unique to Agriculture
• Black Dirt
• Work goes in cycles
• More often passed on in a single family
• New apple trail
• Old/traditional
• Changed use
• Ethics of land
• Understanding ecology
• Many farms/density

Assets Common to Agriculture and Arts
• Hand work
• Hard work
• Nature based
• Largest 4-H program in NYS (verify)
• Proximity to Metro NY
• High risk
• Starts within the person—heart’s passion
• Need to provide experiential learning
• Connection to local history
• Visually gorgeous
• Appreciation of the arts helps you get into your soul
• Work gestates slowly
• Both farmers and artists tend not to want to deal with marketing
• Movement in specific repeating patterns
• Affected by outside forces
• Dependent on consumers/viewers
• Not 9-5 jobs
• Work involves people of all ages
• Artists and farmers both feel isolated
• Both industries need more opportunities to meet and connect and
build a trail (a network, maybe? Or an actual trail?)
• Sculptural trail on farms
• Jazz festival on farms
• Fusion/juxtaposition of art and nature
• Create memorable experiences, making special.
• Use of old silos?

Brainstorming Ideas

1. Weekend where all artists can link up with farms—experience the
farm. Photography at one farm, sculpture at another, etc.
(Received 15 votes)
2. International Center for Photography comes out to farms with
theme (Received 4 votes)
3. Sensory and touch experience at farms, i.e. terrarium play plants
(Received 12 votes)
4. Orange County Farm Market gift shop in each village/town (city too
presumably) (Received no votes)
5. Doing project with local clay using vegetables at farm, can be sold at
markets/farms/info booths, etc. (Received 8 votes)
6. Farmers and artists work together at markets in NYC to connect
people with where the food comes from. (Received 8 votes)
7. Art walks—fill Main Streets. Apples painted by artists, creating a
picture from fruits and vegetables. Promote farms and farm tours.
(Received 13 votes)
8. Bring art schools up from the city (kids and adults)—students can
practice their medium in nature. (Received 18 votes—top 5)
9. Website or literature for Orange County featuring what’s happening
on the farms. Should feature farms and artists, put in magazine also.
Artistic experience. (Received 11 votes)
10. Partner with NY Historical Society discussing farming history. Handson
experiences from yesteryear, equipment demos. (Received 8
11. Create culinary school for 3 days/week, hook up with B & B so
you’re keeping people to learn about local produce. (Received 3
12. When linking artists to farm in #1, have a show to have artists share
experiences in a multidisciplinary exhibition and show. (8 votes)
13. Artist paints on side of trucks—advertisement for artists as well.
Add in groups of children and amateur artists. (Received 16 votes—
top 5)
14. Go to markets everywhere with literature and message to visit
(Received no votes)
15. Create a logo so people associate Black Dirt and Orange County—
Agarts in Orange County (Received 8 votes)
16. Get a celebrity that transcends, that all know, that feels a real
connection to area, like Morgan Freeman. (Received 12 votes)
17. Book of stories of farm workers (we have something like this—
collection of photo essays, maybe. Check w/Tourism) (Received 10
18. Farms doing theme weekends e.g. Christmas, Easter, Halloween; get
artists involved. (Received 4 votes)
19. Flash mobs on the farms (Received no votes)
20. Develop artist-type tourist maps, showing farms open to visit,
restaurants, etc. (Received 21 votes—top 5)
21. Get road signs for farms like they have in wine country (Received 14
22. Tie in to #10—Children’s theater program, create and act out plays
about farming history told by older farmers. Farmers’ wives stories,
too, and sense of community. (Received 11 votes)
23. Have farmers tell about environmental issues, e.g. bugs education—
draw bugs, have costume contest (Received 3 votes)
24. Orange County Farmers calendar and paintings (Received 16 votes—
top 5)
25. Educate people on how to survive off the land (Received 3 votes)
26. Create a database for interested farmers and artists that are willing
to work together. (Received 24 votes—top 5)
27. Farmers can participate in American Crafts Week (October 7-16,
2011—always second week of October?) (Received no votes)
28. When planning events, be aware of farmer’s seasonal demands
(Received no votes) (Likely intended as reminder rather than idea)
29. Have a program of be with an artist for the day (Received 1 vote)

First Arts and Ag Meeting
The first of four brainstorming meeting was held last night at the Wallkill River School in Montgomery, NY. Despite closed roads and overbooked fall schedules, 30 people turned out to explore the common area between Arts and Agriculture in Orange County... and begin to develop some actions to make both more visible and viable.

The Wallkill River School with several County partners got an NEA Our Town grant to explore and develop the relationshiop of arts and agriculture:
Using arts to create greater awareness of the importance of Orange County in the NYC FoodShed.
How can arts and artists contribute to a more vigorous agricultural economy?
How can the farms and farmers help develop new venues for arts and artists?

One major agreement was that an arts and agriculture tourism push has to party of a larger "web" or matrix of activities in Orange County. Comparisons were made to the area wine trails... where visiting the wineries was just a part of the experience of coming to the County. The restaurants, stores, B&Bs all benefit and contribute to the feeling of excitement, discovery and satisfaction visitors get-- and want more of

Other art/ag initiatives included:
*More Open Houses on the Farms... which include some local arts presence
*Develop highly visible Land Art projects on the farms
Use Google Earth to promote.Look at what "black Dirt" looks like from Google Earth!
*Develop a simple Logo and Slogan to brand arts and Ag of Orange County and try
to streamline how easy it might be to get information...
* Offer in-depth Farm-to-Finish days... where people can learn how farm-grown
products get made and used.

The next event, like this, is September 26 at Soons Orchard in New Hampton.

To those other 39 of you who were there. Did I remember well enough??