“Manhattan Transfer is an exhibition of nineteen artists who share the process of relocation from Manhattan to the area of Columbia County in upstate New York. The reasons for this relocation are varied, but generally include economic betterment and insecurity about living and working situations. Many of the contributing artists fell victim to landlords who used commercial leases which had no protection against price gouging. Manhattan had for decades been the mecca of the international art world and, as such, drew thousands of artists to its doors. With the exception of the A.I.R ( Artist In Residence program), nothing official was done by city and state governments to protect and encourage this great cultural asset and heritage. Consequently, artists began to leave the city, seeking someplace within which to function effectively and cheaply. Many came to the Mid-Hudson Valley of Columbia, Dutchess and Green Counties, specifically to the 18th-century city of Hudson and its immediate environs.
In the spring of 2004 I curated the first version of Manhattan Transfer in a small commercial artgallery in Chatham, NY. The intent of this earlier exhibition was simply a means of gathering this body of talent together to demonstrate the professional vocabulary of the newly arrived creative individuals in the area. In this revised version, using many different artists, it is hoped that this show will become a beacon depicting our locale where art can not only survive but flourish.
A big thanks to Jennifer Baahng of Zone Chelsea Center for the Arts.”