Imagine it is 1665. The place is the wilderness along the banks of the river whose “waters flow both ways.” The native inhabitants are the Mohicans, the newcomers wishing to settle and trade are the Dutch. Exactly 350 years ago a deed was signed for the land the Mohicans called Caniskek, a place that would change forever and evolve into the present day town called Athens, New York.
“Taking Root: Caniskek and The Meeting of Two Worlds” is the exhibit which takes this local historical event and uses it as a jumping off point to envision and contemplate the past as well as reassess the immediate world around us.
Neither a traditional historical nor a contemporary art exhibition, “Taking Root” employs an unexpected and interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter. Juxtaposing historical artifacts and excerpts from period journals with contemporary art, the exhibit tells the tale of colliding worlds, investigating what the world was like here in 1665 as well as the powerful ideas of exploration, settlement, ownership, loss, culture and destiny…the very concepts which are so much a part of our American journey.
“Taking Root”, curated by Carrie Feder, opened at the Athens Cultural Center, 24 Second Street, Athens, New York, on June 6th to a crowd of three hundred viewers. The exhibition will run through July 26th with gallery hours on Fridays: 4 -7 pm, Saturdays: 2 -7 pm and Sundays: 1 – 4 pm or by appointment: call 518 421-3443. More information about the Athens Cultural Center can be found at athensculturalcenter.org. A schedule of upcoming events planned around the exhibit can be found here.
Artists included in the show are: Bob Braine, Matt Bua, Tina Chaden, Dikko Faust: Purgatory Pie Press, Geoff Feder, Jeanette Fintz, Jim Holl, Kahn & Selesnick, Cynthia Karasek, Pat Kaufman, Louise Laplante, Michael McKay, Julie Anne Mann, Michael McKay, Claudia McNulty, Patrick McPhee, Terri O’Connor, Leslie C. Reed, Christy Rupp, Kiki Smith, Crystal Tourtillott and Susan Wides. Excerpts from the written word and recorded background music by members of the Stockbridge – Munsee Community, Band of Mohican Indians are also included in the exhibition.
This exhibition is supported by a grant from the New York Foundation for the Humanities and made possible (in part) with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts administered through the Community Arts Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts, Peckham Family Foundation and the Athens Community Foundation.