HUDSON RIVER OF BRICKS
GlenLily Grounds 2017
Saturday, Sept 30 & Sunday, Oct 1, 12-6pm
532 Grand Avenue, Newburgh, NY
THE INSTALLATION WILL BE ON VIEW BY APPOINTMENT IN OCTOBER
Three years into collecting bricks all along the Hudson River and New York City, my scale version of the Hudson River (formed out of historic Hudson River bricks) will at long last be on view. Handmade bricks are like fingerprints; no two are identical. The Hudson River region was the world capital of brick making in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century and fueled the city’s population boom. Hundreds of brick making facilities existed along the river from the late 1700s into the 1940s. None remain in business today.
Living in Brooklyn, it was an almost daily event that I saw brick edifices demolished, disassembled into piles that were gathered and carted off to points unknown. I started collecting bricks from destroyed buildings and defunct brickyards. After two decades in NYC, I followed these bricks back to their source along the Hudson and relocated to a 100+ year old house (with a brick foundation) in the city of Poughkeepsie. I even found a sizable stack of stamped bricks stored under my "new" home's deck.
Of the estimated 400 brickyards that once existed along the Hudson, I currently have 180 brickyards (and hundreds of bricks) represented in my collection. Each brick has the name or symbol of the historic brickyard stamped into the top indicating its origins. The stamps can only be seen before the bricks are assembled into structures or after the building is disassembled. "Hudson River of Bricks" forms the curves of the Hudson River (where the brickyards existed) from NYC to north of Albany. The work is created out of bricks that were originally clay dug from the river itself. I glazed one example from each brickyard with a watery blue hue and then re-firied them in a modern kiln. Each blue brick will be put in the geographic location along the sculpted river where the brickyard once stood.
My goal is to collect an example from every Hudson Valley brickyard and I plan to eventually turn the work into a permanent public artwork in a brick-rich area along the Hudson.
To see images of the work in process visit: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/hudsonriverofbricks/
GlenLily Grounds 2017 is an exhibition curated by Lacey Fekishazy of outdoor site-specific art, installation and sculpture. It will be spread out on the estate over 11 acres of field, hill, and wood. This year we will feature work by Joseph Ayers, Jamie Chesser, Dave Choi, Vivien Abrams Collens, Angela Conant, Tom Costa, Andy Cross, Amy Feldman, Stacy Fisher, Daniel Giordano, Beka Goedde, Kate Harding, Gabriel Hurier, Will Hutnick, Julian Armand Jimarez-Howard, Elisa Lendvay, Charlie Malgat, MaryKate Maher, Matthew Mahler, Page Ogden, Antonia Perez, Trevor Reese, Kristen Rego & Nik Jacobs, Ryan Roa, Steve Rossi, Ryan Scails, Zach Seeger, Greg Slick, Elisa Soliven, Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, Karen Tepaz, Julia Whitney Barnes, & Andrew Woolbright. Lacey is the founder and director of Sardine in Bushwick.
This massive installation is made possible thanks to the dozens of people who gave me bricks and advised me on all things brick-related. A very special thank you to Roy Budnik at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, Andy van der Poel and Fred Rieck at BrickCollecting.com (an excellent resource that was invaluable to researching the history of bricks), Stephanie LaRose Lewison (her impressive collection is well documented here), Jean-Marc Superville Sovak for being my brick-brother and is even loaning me the brick-mobile-pickup, Lacey Fekishazy for providing the perfect location to install this work, and my dear husband Sean Hemmerle who has spent countless hours digging through sludge and bugs to brick-hunt with me!!!!!
If you have bricks to donate to the project, please be in touch.