Thursday, July 30, 2009


Or is that SHEDule ?
Just an update of which ARTISTS are at which HABITAT studio :


Ayesha Ibrahim is at the Studio in The Dorsky Museum  
Friday JULY 31 st    Saturday  AUGUST 1st and Sunday AUGUST 2nd

Molly Rausch is at the Main St Studio next door to 36 Main st Restaurant 
continuing through this week to Sunday  AUGUST 9th 

AUGUST 10 th Molly and Ayesha will be sharing the studio on Main St.

Ustya Tarnawsky will be starting for 3 weeks at the Habitat studio at Huguenot St
Monday AUGUST 3rd    through    Sunday  AUGUST 23rd

Mercedes Cecilia will be finishing up this week end at the Old Main Circle studio on campus Sunday   AUGUST 2nd


E Odin Cathcart will be starting at the habitat studio at Solar 1  AUGUST 11 th through
AUGUST 14th     (  all the way over on East 23rd beyond the FDR Drive next to the East River)

Chere Krakovsky will be doing a performance piece at the Solar 1 habitat studio AUGUST 15 th and 16th 

Shed Building Workshop with Simon Draper , a hands on build your own habitat studio
learning what tools , what materials and basic techniques you can use to build your own shed studio . There will be a simple manual to purchase ( PRICE to be announced). If you are interested sign up on :     just so we have an idea of numbers !!
Sunday AUGUST 29th around 4pm.

More dates to come at other locations .

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I just got back from the HABITAT STUDIO at Solar 1  , on the East River. I was going over the various events we want to schedule for the habitat studio there during the next few weeks. Including E. Odin Cathcart taking a short term residency there for the second week in August.
A Shed Building Workshop ,probably end of August with hands on techniques to build your own  back yard studio . And a couple more things we want to confirm with others . 

Whilst I was there I needed to repair part of the side of the Shed working photos ,which given the location I was very pleased with how well it was all holding up and looking pretty good ! Just as I was finishing up a fellow came up to chat . He remarked that he'd been enjoying the project and also showed me a photo he 'd taken on his cell phone . He went on to tell me he'd gone to the website and had been taken by the references to Tiny Homes, on the Shed working site .And had enjoyed looking at the various other ingenious small spaces folks had built and designed. He continued how especially in the city space is a premium and we can all do with making the most out of less !!     Thanks Chris , that exchange was one of those quality moments that make this project and some of the material we are discussing worth it all .  Chris also mentioned that he took other opportunities to talk about the various websites and to show other people the photo of the studio at 23rd Street . 

Infact each time I visit one of the Habitat studios around the valley and in the city I usually have a moment or exchange with someone about the project which is similar to this exchange
and is a shared moment of quality which makes a lot of the work well worth it !!

What's funny I 've been thinking about some of the topics that Lewis Hyde discusses in his book, "The Gift" recently and I think this sharing of creativity is key to this type of exchange. There is also the recent discovery of janitors that had set up a "special" place to hang out in, with in the State Assembly in Albany. Their own little habitat studio ? Whether or not you applaud their particular creativity and how it revealed itself, is not the point BUT I do think it indicates the notion that underlies this project of the need for personal space which is not
predetermined .(?) People engage in vast projects to add a bit more space to their house and are surprised that it doesn't always seem to warrant the cost .  Could have maybe built that shed in the yard . As a friend said , his grand dad would take himself off to the Pout House to just have a pout and a smoke. A house out side the House . 

Space has become a very interesting topic of late with a friend who just got back from Mumbai. Bombay for those who haven't looked at a map lately....    He'd been asked to visit with a view to making a film about Dharavi ,the 'slum' in Mumbai (and the subject of escape from in the movie "Slumdog Millionaire". ) What he and I find interesting are the many attitudes to the conditions with which people discuss the "quality " of living because of the lack of space. Infact he has been quoting Ivan Illich's many books about the proliferation of middle class values on the rest of the world by the West .  As though we were exporting tomes for greater happiness ?
What we're suffering from in the West more than not is disconnect, even given the prolific number of electronic interfaces we have which SELL on the premise of how in touch we will become.

Its moments such as the one with Chris today which are lacking in the normalcy of most peoples lives which don't come about because of a phone or email . It s real exchange , moments of quality that  ideas about impulses and thinking outside the box are shared in person. How much might we learn from Dharavi if we rethought the value of really being connected ?

Would we want to put any more people in disconnected hi-rise dwellings or a shed with better sanitation and running water ?

Talk later   SD

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Words aren't Pictures

Before I start , I know there have been a lot of promises of pictures lately and NOT to say there won't be BUT what has been going on of late is MORE about words , or more to say the lack of them . As with any starting point its merely a beginning . What ensues is not always planned and I think this project is about what is not SEEN or not planned . So where was I , well yesterday I met with Anne Gorrick and Beth Wilson to discuss the possibility of other writers being involved in the project specifically Poet's Walk and hopefully the New Paltz project as well. 

As with many meetings especially when across or inter disciplinary there is a moment of WOW we are not seeing things the same way ...  and that is not a slight .. but the way we are wired and how we might express the SAME experience(s) . What was said was that the blog does not convey the dimension of the project does not convey the the excitement which is palpable when around an artist working at one of the habitat studios. The changes being made in real time,the realm of all possibilities in  a moment. In that moment I realized that there needed to be a change in what was being "blogged "about . 

Coming from a visual background we do not work with that vocabulary there is a sign language which is an estimation of a reality ,...   it's cryptic and a cypher is needed ....there are hooks to bring the viewer to the work BUT at that moment the artist anticipates the viewer to do a lot more work . What you put in you will get out ....   and I think this is how how I have been blogging in regard to this project . 

So over the next couple of evenings I shall be looking to try and encapsulate some of the special qualities that make this project ...exciting , engaging and worth a look NO which might rock your boat. 

Sometimes when you're in the thick of it you can't SEE .let alone catch the right words. SEEING may be believing BUT the right words can engender the right FEELING . Bear with me as I seek the right words to EXCITE and involve you in this , I am told enticing project.   Later SD 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Habitat News

Having had the day rained off I thought I"d relay some Habitat news . I was bound for the bucolic setting of Scenic Hudsons Poet's Walk Park near Redhook today , with the intention of moving the habitat studio off the site line to the field nearer the Pavilion . Whilst in the process of moving the studio I was going to make some changes to it so it would suit writers rather than visual artists . It is slightly smaller than the usual 6 by 6 and therefore more suited to the creative act of writing. I will be having a meeting this week with Beth Wilson and Anne Gurrick
to discuss a writers group using this particular studio .

In New Paltz , artist Molly Rausch will be setting up her "Lost and Found Drawing Booth". There'll be more about this when she has completed the necessary signage to inform passers by
on Main St . how the Booth works.

At Huguenot Street , Nils Kulleseid will set up his stone carving at the picnic grove opposite the museum .

On campus Mercedes Cecilia continues her work , and there have been some wonderful changes made to the habitat studio's exterior .

I 've noticed that the Habitat studio in side the Dorsky Museum is getting thoroughly covered with renditions and words that inspire folks , Thank you .

In Beacon one of the remaining Habitat studios will be leaving to take up residence in Kingston with the help of Scott Gibson , of Eco pioneer. The water collection studio will be reset up at a piece of property Scott has off of Rte 209 behind the Staples store . More on the larger plans that the Habitat studio will be part off , later.

For now stay dry , and YES pictures to follow . I have over stocked my camera and now have to download individual pix so as not to duplicate and create those awful crammed non specific photo files . Perhaps a rainy day activity ? Later SD

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Closing Reception at Huguenot Habitat Studio

Try to see artist,Sarah Haviland and what she has been making at the Habitat Studio in the Picnic Grove on Huguenot Street. She is having a closing reception this Sunday July 19th 3 to 5pm. She'd love to share her ideas and the experience she's had which she refers to as her "incubation period". Join her for a light refreshment and share in the creative habitat !

Sunday also marks Ayesha Ibrahim's last day at the Main Street Habitat Studio. And remember to bring your best SMILE to receive a wonderful painting . Ayesha has had a blissful time at her temporary studio these past 3 weeks and please share with friends the time and exchange you have with this vibrant artist .

Mercedes Cecilia continues at the Habitat Studio on SUNY campus at the Old Main Circle.Though recently she has been suffering from some severe allergies at home so her time at the Habitat sudio has been hampered by this recent condition. She is seeking responses to a set of questions she poses based on the premise that most of us in the USA are IMMIGRANTS !

New Paltz Artist , Molly Rausch will start this week at the Main Street Studio. There will be a couple of days of installation BUT she assures me viewer participation is a large part of this new work .For those unfamiliar with Mollys usual work you can go to the Van Brunt website ,a Beacon gallery that shows her work.

We will be posting a schedule (SOON) for future artists taking resident at one of the four New Paltz Habitat Studio locations . And,..... YES we now have a MAP of their locations around the village , pick up at a habitat studio near you !

IN ADDITION , visitors will notice a NEW sculpture at the Main Street site . This is by New Paltz's very own Richard Gottlieb , known by most as owner of the climb store ROCK and SNOW. Well it turns out he's a sculptor too . I believe he described the piece as a SELF PORTRAIT. Check it out ,.....

We will be posting photos from the CITYSOL event from last week .This studio will continue there some time and still has the Shed Pavilion as part of it , so if you're in the City stop by !

There's more stuff brewing at the various locations and for those not in the know pick up the NEW card which has all current locations plus a dazzling tapestry of Habitat studios past and present . I'll post this card on the blog as its a good-un !! Thanks to Todd Sargood for getting that together .

Enjoy the week end and try to stop by one of the MANY habitat locations . Oh , by the way the habitat studio in the Dorsky Museum is looking great . AND we still need images of other peoples studios !! (large or small) for the interior collage. Email to me at

Friday, July 10, 2009

Habitat @ Citysol features

Habitat will be displaying a sneak preview of the new book by the folks who bring you - "The only daily updated guide to the lifestyles of shedworkers and those who work in shedlike atmospheres." Gotta love that!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Please join us at the Habitat Studio which now resides on the banks of the East River at 23rd St,
Stuyvesant Cove. The studio is part of a three day festival , see details below , starting this Friday July 10th through Sunday July 12th . Programmed events start at 6pm , but there will be some of us there before setting up a second pavilion habitat which is celebrating the SHED. For those of you who didn't know the UK has been giving pride of place this week to this most idiosyncratic and democratic structure . With the generous gift of many images of all things shed by Alex Johnson of Shedworking , we have been able to give a brief preview of images that will be appearing in his new book on the varied uses of the common and not so garden shed .

Over the course of the event I and others will be repurposing material from other habitats inside this pavilion , including old artwork and a mix of off cuts that have been made in making habitat studios. Drop by and join in or pick out a piece you might like to have reside elsewhere,....and make a bid , every dollar counts ! This pavilion will only be here for 3 days so make the effort to see it . Amy Lipton, of ecoartspace will also be there so do try and come by and see what else we 've been up to.

This small pavilion will evolve into the square foot garden which will accompany the original studio first seen at ecoartspace this past Spring at their Mercer Street project room .We hope to have the CSA ,Common Grounds at Stonykill join us in the weeks to come ,so stay posted.

Other artists will be using the habitat studio at Solar 1 during it's stay on the River banks , so make a note to stay posted on upcoming events.

More news from other habitat studio locations will be posted over the next few days , including sightings of artists at Poet's Walk , en plein air ...... NEW artists in New Paltz and new habitats
sprouting up at Common Grounds CSA near Beacon NY .

Lots to see and do , hope to see you sometime ....... best SD

Habitat at Citysol 2009

Solar One hosts - learn more here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A random selection of habitat studio pix, which one is which ?

Lets start by saying Saturday's performance was pure magic ! Those of you who were there witnessed something unique and sustaining . Dar's final song "Hudson" is the track that accompanies the video short on "Marnie's Shed" (link) .Which has now moved to Poet's Walk Park and has been our poster habitat ! It 's those tie ins which make this project meaningful as we don't have some design team working on stufff like that , it happened organically ,....

More to come on the Concert.

This week the Habitat Studio at the project room of ecoartsapce MOVED . It is now residing on the banks of the East River ,at Stuyvesant Cove , home of Solar 1 . We are in our second day of install and will be eventually building a 6 by 6 ft raised garden in front of it . For the week of the shed I will be posting many images of sheds supplied by Alex Johnson Of Shed Working /UK and images of Habitats , past and present. I am calculating that with a 12" by 12" format we'll get 48 images on a habitat studio side. Calendar NOTE ...... CITY SOL event JULY 10 /11 /12 th .

We'll be there .

Changes in New Paltz today , we have artists starting at Main st and on Campus ,and there will be a writing performance piece at Huguenot Street . New artist starting there next week July 6th. We will be posting links and schedule dates very soon . There are a number of artists who will be taking up residence over the summer and once we have dates confirmed we will link to a schedule . This week is particularly nutty as many folks have left on vacation for the 4th , but HFA never sleeps ,....

. Back soon with more news and opinion .SD

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