Hungry for Music
Our benefit for the Hungry for Music foundation, a silent auction featuring musical instruments made into works of art by local artists, was a success — better than the similar auction they did in Washington, DC, says HFM founder Jeff Campbell. Hudson Valley art lovers are the best!
Phaidon Press, “the world’s premier publisher of books on the visual arts,” writes us:
We are currently preparing a major book about site-specific art entitled Art & Place; Site-specific Art of the Americas. This large format book will be the first to offer an in-depth and extensive look at major works from all periods, that are inextricably linked with their site. It will include around 170 sites from North and South America – from Isamu Noguchi at Storm King or Donald Judd in Marfa, to the Toltec warriors in Tula, Mexico or standing figures on Easter Island, all the featured works are specifically made for a particular place – be it landscape, interior or urban environment.
After many years of research, during which we considered over 3,000 works, I am delighted to let you know that Opus 40 has been selected for inclusion.
Read the article. and then please DONATE something to the Barbara Fite Landscape fund for rebuilding Opus 40.
Here is an article on Pat and Tad from the Saugerties Times, by Sharyn Flanagan, photos by Dion Ogust:
We’re making our way through winter, looking forward to spring and a new season.
Nature and Earthwork Sculpture
The big project this year will be restoration of some important areas of the sculpture. Storm damage caused a collapse of one wall on the south side of Opus 40 (the left side as you stand facing the monolith), and there are other areas that need work as well.
Opus 40 is an environmental sculpture, and any environmental sculpture is a continual work in progress. Not only that, it’s always going to be a collaborative project. Your collaborator is Nature, and your collaborator generally doesn’t like you very much, and very rarely has the same ideas that you have. This is why so many of the earthwork sculptures of the 1970s have fallen into disrepair, and essentially been abandoned.
Harvey Fite recognized the power and creativity of Nature, both as creator and dissassembler. He found, in 1938, a natural landscape that had been seriously disrupted by human beings who had little interest in Nature’s input. Where she had laid layers of sedimentary rock over the course of millenia, etched it with rushing water. packed it down with glaciers and scraped it clean as the Ice Age ended and the glaciers receded, the quarrymen had torn away huge chunks of that rock, and when they had finished, left haphazard piles of rubble behind.
Nature began to work her artistry again on those abandoned quarries, and you can see her work in old quarries that are still scattered throughout the Saugerties area — saplings push up through crevices and become trees, ferns and wildflowers find places to sprout, natural aquifers create quarry pools, Nature’s paintbrush of mosses and lichens transforms surfaces.
Harvey Fite, when he began the work that was to become Opus 40, gratefully appreciated Nature’s suggestions. Where saplings had begun to sprout, he made spaces for them to grow into trees. Where there were quarry pools, he gave them a shape. And he offered a solution to the human destruction of the aeons-old sedimentary layers: the construction of huge, carefully fitted walls and terraces.
Nature respected those new walls, enjoyed letting the water rise and fall in the pools with rainfall and drought, looked on with approval as the saplings grew into trees, and in some cases decided, after a time, that the trees had lived their allotted life span. But nature also loved her ice, her violent rainstorms, her frost heaves, and over time, she was going to make her pitch for favoring her wild chaos and slow upheavals over those walls.
So the dialog continues. We, as the stewards of Harvey Fite’s legacy, have to keep up our part in it, and 2013 will be our year to do that.
On February 17, we met to discuss what’s needed to begin the restoration project. In this picture are Ed Gerrard, Pat Richards, Peter Himberger, Brigid Walsh and Lee Walker. Pat, Brigid and Tad are board members, Lee is Opus 40′s Buildings and Grounds Consultant, and Ed and Peter are filmmakers working on a movie about Harvey Fite and Opus 40 (see below). Also at the meeting, not seen in the picture, is our buildings and grounds guy, Bill Cochrane.
Tim has given us a plan for rebuilding which we hope to start implementing this spring. We’ll be working on the collapsed area, and also the main ramp. We plan to use the techniques and tools that were used by Harvey Fite in the original construction of Opus 40.
This will be an invaluable educational experience, to watch or even to participate in. We hope to create a master class for stonemasons, and also to involve local young people. And we definitely plan to film it. We are coordinating with Peter and Ed to make the renovation a part of their film.
Here’s an article from the Saugerties Times on Peter and Ed Himberger, and their plans for an Opus 40 movie.
Lee Walker, Bill Cochrane and local sculptor/welder Michael Ciccone have just finished converting our front gate so that it will open and close electronically. This is something we’ve needed for some time, so that we can close the gate when we’re closed, but people who need to get in will still be able to.
Holiday sale in the Barbara Fite Room of the House on the Quarry at Opus 40! Saturday, November 24 – Sunday, November 25, 11 am – 3 pm.
We will be offering the unique handmade jewelry of our neighbor, Althea Meneses, long a favorite of visitors to our gift shop, along with jewelry and handbags by Derin.
We will have our coffee mugs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, note cards, post cards, Opus 40 posters, prints and other items from our gift shop.
We’ll have coffee, cider, snacks and kind words for everyone.
“A highlight of our visit was Opus 40. It is a place to visit in any season.”
Car & Travel Magazine – AAA New York, July 2011