I just got a note from Austin Thomas with more details about Camp Pocket U, an artists residency project that I’m participating in at the end of the month. Since Thomas’s Bushwick salon Pocket Utopia, closed last year, she has tirelessly continued to organize events and exhibitions throughout the city and elsewhere. When Jason Andrew of Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts told her he had a place at Rouses Point in upstate New York, they came up with the idea for an artists’ summer camp based on the Black Mountain College model. Thus Camp Pocket U was born. The Opening Ceremony takes place on Wednesday, July 21 at 6:00 p.m.
Inspired by a Joseph Beuys-type thinking of what artists are, Andrea Zittel’s ongoing investigations into living and building, and Jen Dalton and William Powhida’s examinations of the way art is made and seen, They have put together a schedule of free classes and evening salons which include dance, drawing, ethics, knitting, mural making, chess, and wordplay. In addition, on Wednesday, July 21, there will be an opening celebration for “Ab Hinc,” (Latin for “From Here On”), an exhibition featuring work by Drew Ali, Sharon Butler, Elisabeth Condon, Diane Fine, Brece Honeycutt, Ellen Letcher, Matthew Miller, Lars Kremer, Kevin Regan, Adam Simon, Kay Thomas, and Brenda Zlamany.
Later in the week, Jen Dalton and Rico Gatson will give lectures on issues of art and identity. Each night Kevin Regan, artist and founder of Famous Accountants, will gather campers for inspirational, planetary, cosmic speeches and guided meditations, Jason Andrew will teach everyone about Fernand Léger’s life in Rouses Point, and Julia Gleich will discuss her unusual vision of movement and the science of vectors. Kay Thomas (Austin’s mother) will demonstrate orizomigami, suminagashi, and milk resist painting. Plenty of other activities and discussions are in the works.
On Sunday, July 25, I’ll be leading a discussion on art in the Blogosphere that will include Dalton and Powhida, and later in the week, independent curator and writer Klaus Ottmann will lead a discussion about curating in the 21st century. The multimedia financial-services company the Motley Fool is sponsoring a 100-yard dash and pancake breakfast. I’m not sure which comes first– but I hope the 100-yard dash.
If you’re looking for a cheap art-intensive vacation/artist residency where the kids are welcome, sign up for a few days at Camp Pocket U. Take Amtrak to Rouses Point for $100/rt, stay at the only hotel in town for $75/a night, eat a sublime grilled cheese at the Best Friends Diner and enjoy a communal supper at Jason’s place nightly. Attend the salons, swim in the lake. In short, join the communal table. Everyone is welcome but pre-registration is required at nortemaar.org or by email at email@example.com.
Camp Pocket U, 20 Pratt Street, Rouses Point, NY 12979
Image above: Norman Jabaut, “Camp Pocket Utopia at Sunset,” 2010.