Two weeks ago, on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Hudson River Housing teamed up with Middle Main and hosted a Beautification Day in the City of Poughkeepsie. Joining them was PAUSE, and a group known as Bike & Build. Bike & Build organizes groups of riders who get together and bike across the country helping with revitalization projects (such as Middle Main’s) that benefit affordable housing. The team that rode through Poughkeepsie started in Portland, Maine and will end up in Santa Barbara, California. Bike and Ride was previously in Poughkeepsie in 2009.
The riders split up into groups and helped with various projects created by Middle Main, HRH, and PAUSE. Two murals were painted, trash picked up, Fallkill Creek dredged for trash, storm drains marked, and seating/platforms built and the Metropolitan Block/535 Main cleaned up. For video footage of the murals, check out earlier posts in our blog. More video will be up soon, so stay tuned!
The day started out bright and early at 8am, with many enthusiastic cyclists, and members of the Poughkeespsie community. The group that was with PAUSE helped build three large platforms that will serve as seating when not in use, and can be placed together to make a performance stage. After going through many screws, batteries, and lots of sweat, the team took a break for lunch at the Public Service Building – local businesses provided lunches for the day.
After lunch, PAUSE received fill dirt that had been generously donated by Red Wing Sand & Gravel. As it is not yet growing season, we only planted basic grass seed but are planning to add more grass come September and are scheming with ideas for a community garden/park space. We do have a vision that we would like to see completed!
Throughout the day, we were approached by many people that were just walking by and wanted to know what we were doing. Some asked what they could do to get involved, and others were appreciative of the positive energy being brought into the area. Everyone was curious. A major goal of PAUSE is to get the community involved with what we are doing; to gain their trust, interest, and support. The more people we can reach out to the more we hope to get people interested in their home city of Poughkeepsie, and who want to see change happen and are willing to get active to achieve it.
The day was long and hot, but definitely worth it. You could tell that everyone was proud of their hard work! It is always amazing to see how just something so little as picking up trash can instantly transform a place into something brighter, more comfortable and a place that you don’t mind hanging out at. I can imagine what Metropolitan Block and Poughkeepsie will look like when the transformations really begin to pick up!
This is a selection of drawings done by students in two 4th grade classes at Governor Clinton Elementary in Poughkeepsie, NY. They were done as a part of Karen Brummund’s installation for PAUSE. Each student was given a piece of paper with an outline of a brick wall and then they were instructed to color them in using whatever design scheme they wanted to pursue.
The next artist to visit PAUSE is Karen Brummund. Presently hailing from Ithaca, Karen has long been working with ideas about drawing, time, and space.
For PAUSE, she is inviting the public to make drawings of the brick wall that frames the otherwise vacant lot at 535 Main St. in Poughkeepsie. Yesterday we had the pleasure of working with two 4th grade classes at Governor Clinton Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY to jump start this effort. She will be incorporating these drawing into a video installation.
The project builds on a series of video installations that Karen has been doing over the last few years. Recently she completed a participatory project at 126 Sears Street in Ithaca that addressed peoples perceptions of Greek Revival architecture. She wrote this recently on her blog
“The vacant lot is a little piece of green landscape in the city. It stops abruptly at the unremarkable side of another building. This video installation draws attention to the negative and positive space in the cityscape. Your participation echoes the paintings of the Hudson River School artists, who observed and responded to the landscape around them in a new way.”
If you are interested in participating in the project you can pick up information at the Middle Main office at 317 Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Or you can download the following packet here and email a high-resolution scan of your drawing directly to the artist.
You can use either of the two photographs to base your drawing. There is a guide for the first photograph, if you would like assistance with your drawing. Click on them to see the larger file and download. You can draw on any sized surface. To maximize your drawing for the video, use strong colors and clear marks. A graphite drawing will look fine if it has good contrast. Minimize the amount of white space you leave on your drawing.
You are invited to come to the installation on June 27th and 28th at 8:30pm at the Metropolitan Block 535 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY.