Celebrating the cultural diversity of the Hudson Valley.
Brickmaking in the Hudson Valley
Though brick making emerged as early as the mid-1600s in Albany and New York City, Hudson Valley brick making reached its zenith in the nineteenth century. At peak in 1906, the Hudson Valley boasted 131 brickyards producing 1.3 billion bricks per year, making it the largest brick district in the world.
Most of the production from yards on the river was shipped to New York City for use not only for walls but for sidewalks, sewers, and forty miles of brick-lined tunnels carrying water to New York City from the Croton Aqueduct. Brickyards away from the river supplied the local market. For exampel, the building that houses the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center was built of brick from the Flagler and Allen yard on "Brickyard Hill" on Route 44 east of Poughkeepsie.
The exhibit at the Heritage Center has bricks from dozens of different brickyards throughout the Hudson Valley.
Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge - Walkway Over The Hudson
Italian Americans in Poughkeepsie
Mexican Americans in Poughkeepsie
American Portraits - Poughkeepsie
This black and white photo documentary series of artistic portraits by artist Bibiana Huang Matheis brings the lens to a particular community for a certain period in time. It is a portrait of individuals which are part of a community and collectively, the series offers a portrait of the community itself– American Portraits of a town and its people. The subjects are regular, ordinary people living regular lives. The project started in 1985 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. In New York she photographed Pawling as part of the American Portrait series, published in print in the Pawling Press from 2010-21012. The American Portraits - Brewster, New York, were displayed at the Southeast Museum, Brewster in 2003. The series continues with the American Portraits - Poughkeepsie and will be on display at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center on Main Street in Poughkeepsie each month with a new portrait.
The Soft Sculpture Mural depicting the Mid-Hudson region (specifically Poughkeepsie, New York), conceived and designed by Diana Salsberg, was created by volunteer community members of all ages and backgrounds.
The Mid-Hudson Heritage Center on Main Street Poughkeepsie fostered the idea, and provided the working space to bring many people together in a creative and artistic way. A simple sketch for placement and content derived from direct observations of the current look of this Hudson River town and city, and from photographic books, many historical, of the area.
Participants gained a greater knowledge of textiles during the making, which led to more inventiveness. Artistic 'license' and available materials strongly influenced the outcome of the piece, which relied on donations generously supplied by everyone.
It was a great pleasure to work with the many volunteers from area high schools , senior citizens, professional artists, and people who did not consider themselves artistic, willing to give time and energy to the project. Truly an inter-generational experience was enjoyed by all.
Wielding hot glue guns, needles and thread, and using recycled materials from every source imaginable, this amazing mural evolved. Imaginations were free to roam; scale, perfection and criticism were delightfully abandoned while this three-dimensional 'fabric painting' emerged with life of its own. It exists for sheer joy, whimsy and as an expression of love.
The following people participated in the creation of this Soft Sculpture Mural:
Catherine Albanese, Maureen DiCorcia, Carol DiPalo, Denise Burda, James Thompson, Roy Budnik, Nestor Madalengoitia, Andrew Sawtelle, Christine Haake, Melissa Chavez-17 yrs, Marisol Ortiz-15 yrs, Natividad Valencia-15 yrs, Jennifer Santos-15 yrs, Stephanie Bravo-15 yrs, Michelle De la Cruz, Jared Lloyd, Mary Flad, Joan Henry, Project AWARE (Adolescent Women Are Realizing Empowerment) at Mill Street Loft, and students from Rombout Middle School in Beacon (Frances Diaz, Ruth Grippo, Anastasia La Guerre, Taleemar Ortiz, Kyra Husbands, Kiara Garris, Shayan Ashley, Karli Wylde, Tahira Vaughn, Talia Villani, Jessice Wallace, Peer Mentor (Our Lady of Lourdes), Takneesha Shortes, Peer Mentor (Poughkeepsie High School))