PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – There's an art explosion about to go off in the City of Peekskill. This weekend, contemporary art takes over the streets, the parks, formerly vacant warehouses, storefronts and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA).

The two-day art event kicks off Peekskill Project V.  Performance art, installations, sculpture, video works, painting, photography and interactive artworks are all on tap. So are live music, artist talks, a guided walking tour and a reception. Around 90 artists are presenting works this weekend.

"The Golden Mean" by Carole Feuerman. Courtesy HVCCA.

Maps to locate art sprawled throughout Peekskill are available at the Peekskill Train Station or at the Info Stand in Downtown Peekskill at the Gazebo (corner of North Division St and Park St).

Most of the art is within walking distance. Shuttle buses will loop throughout the city, which spans 5.50 square miles.

Don't be surprised if the names of the artists partaking in this year's event are recognizable. Hyperrealism sculptor Carole A. Feuerman helps launch Peekskill Project V with an artist talk beside a newly-installed sculpture at Riverfront Green Park.

Installation artist Greg Haberny's latest multimedia work occupies center stage at HVCCA. He gives a talk at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the museum.

Hu Bing is presenting work. Her installation Shattered Debris, Sheer Transformation was installed at the NYC's Prow Art Space at the Flatiron Building Space this spring. The Shanghai-born artist has exhibited at MoMA's PS1, the Brooklyn Museum, the Carriage House at the Islip Art Museum and other museums and galleries around the world.

A full artist line-up can be found at www.hvcca.org.

In general, there's a sprinkling of international artists with the bulk of the artists hailing from NYC and Hudson area, said Katrina Ellis, Executive Administrator of HVCCA. The general public has been reacting positively to the contemporary art installed in anticipation of this weekend, said Ellis.

For instance, the sculpture Pedestrian Shuffle by Leon Reid IV has added a happy kick to an ordinary stretch of sidewalk outside of the library, she said. "There's humor to it, making it easy to relate to," she said. "It's already gotten people talking....People immediately get it. The signs are a big hit."

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"Pedestrian Shuffle" by Leon Reid IV, 2011. Steel pole, aluminum signs, enamel. 10 ft x 9 ft x 1.5 inches. Courtesy HVCCA.

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When the weekend is over, the art won't be. Some of the installations will continue on view by appointment. In addition, HVCCA will offer monthly programming from October 2012 through July 2013. Events are expected to be held on the second and third Sundays of every month. All tolled, 120 artist will participate in the year-long Peekskill Project.

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Performance art by Andrea Bianconi. The artwork will feature two bicyclists riding around the city on Saturday and Sunday. Image courtesy HVCCA.

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The expanded programming and keeping some of the art on view beyond the weekend represents an expansion of The Peekskill Project, said Ellis. The annual contemporary art festival is designed to coincide with the beginning of the art season in New York City.

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Artist Daniel Phillips stands outside the barn where his screenings will take place this weekend. The current artist-in-residence at HVCCA, he has created multi-media artworks using the Hudson Valley as inspiration. Phillips is based in MA.

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"Projectionist" by Daniel Phillips, 2012. Digital photograph from video. Courtesy of the artist and Dodge Gallery.

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The Project's duration was also extended as HVCAA will continue to hold contemporary art happenings and educational programming throughout the year, said Ellis.

The weekend contemporary art explosion also aims to draw attention to the fact there is a contemporary art museum in the Hudson Valley, said Ellis. The museum is located in an industrial area in an unassuming building that was formerly used to house building materials, said Ellis. For this year's Project, the building itself became a site for art.

Skewville, an international muralist based in the neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn, N.Y., created an outside work on top of the building. Installed on white aluminum sheets and written in "blocky" letters is the phrase 'What's outside that counts,'" said Ellis.

Inside the museum is Greg Haberny's installation In Case of Emergency, Break Everything. An airplane fuselage at HVCCA was incorporated into the work.

Haberny's art makes use of snatches of 1960’s French film noir, Warner Brothers and Disney animation, political propaganda (past and present) and ephemera of all kind. In July, he presented an installation at artMRKT Hamptons. Haberny's work was exhibited by Lyons Wier Gallery of Chelsea, N.Y.

Haberny's installations are layered with cultural meanings that reach through history and across political lines. After cutting through the sensory overload often experienced as a first impression, the individual artworks captive. Examining the details and contemplating the art slows down the whirling sensation. This allows for quiet within Haberny's chaotic mini-world of art.

Haberny gives a talk on the site-specific HVCCA installation on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Greg Haberny working on his installation, "In Case of Emergency, Break Everything." Courtesy Lyons Wier Gallery.

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Greg Haberny working on his installation, "In Case of Emergency, Break Everything." Courtesy Lyons Wier Gallery.

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Artworks for Peekskill Project will be presented in traditional venues and alternative ones including cavernous, vacant buildings, storefront windows without occupants, parks and streets.

The Project's goal is to put contemporary art into the public eye and outside of a museum setting. It's also a way to link to the Hudson Valley's heritage of inspiring artists for generations. The Hudson River School painters are viewed as "America's first artistic fraternity," according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their work in the 19th century broke from European practices and paved the way for the tradition of American landscapes.

The current day Hudson Valley area is still a draw for artists, said Ellis. The Peekskill Project helps make the point that art still has a vibrant home there and continues to inspire artists.

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"A Refutation of the Argument from Design" by Virginia Martinsen, 2012. Oil and gesso on linen, 92 x 216 inches (triptych: each canvas is 96 x 72 inches). Courtesy HVCCA.

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"Woodbury Quarry" by Robert Lobe and Kathleen Gilje, 2011. Hammered aluminum and oil on canvas, 96 x 97 x 25 inches. Courtesy BobKat Studio and HVCCA.

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BASIC FACTS:  Peekskill Project V takes place today and tomorrow in Peekskill, NY. The citywide contemporary art festival presents works by around 90 emerging and established artists. Exhibitions and events are free. Events take place on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art is located at 1701 Main St, Peekskill, NY 10566. Select exhibitions of the Peekskill Project V run through July 28, 2013. For details on Peekskill Project V and HVCCA, visit www.hvcca.org.

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • Hi Pat- Last week I sent you invitation to new opening at the Sirens’ Song Gallery in Greenport.
    “Mermania & Other Fantasies” in partnership with East End Arts and Arts Alive Long Island month long event. The joint event is titled: Maritime Heritage of the North Fork .
    I hope you received the images of artists in the exhibit., and will post the event on Hampton Art Hub.
    Thanks for your support. I look forward to your blogs. Best! Caroline

    • artsreporter

      Got it! As you can imagine, there are many things happening on the East End of Long Island and beyond. Art exhibitions are listed in the week they open.

      All the Best!
      -Pat

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