Each month, filmmaker Stephen Blauweiss visits with artists and explores the galleries and museums of the Hudson Valley for our monthly web series, "ArtScene." Stephen gives a behind-the-scenes look at what to expect in this month's episode, featuring Dia: Beacon, Doris Cultraro of DC Studios. Available at Chronogram.com/TV. As told to Kelly Seiz.
"Dia: Beacon is housed in a former Nabisco factory—it's actually the National Biscuit Company, that's how they came up with the name...so literally, it was the Nabisco box printing facility, and it was abandoned for years, and Dia, based in Chelsea, bought it in the early 2000s and turned it into this mammoth space to present modern conceptual art. The space is different in the sense that it's absolutely gigantic. The Dia location in New York is big for a gallery space, but this is massive—and many of the pieces have been designed for the space."
Doris Cultraro of DC Studios
Stained glass artist
"It was really amazing to go to Doris's studio and see the little bins of different colored glass that she could pick from. She has large panes of glass everywhere, and four or five tables of different jobs she's currently working on. She carefully traces out the shapes of this 100-year-old glass, melting the old lead off, which only has a lifespan of 50 to 70 years, to find the little edge of copper foil and removes it like deboning a fish. She does it all herself–no assistant, no interns, no workers. Then, she uses this fantastic custom software with images of actual glass to help her design from scratch, or allow clients to pick and choose exactly what shades they want."
"Even though Hugh Morris is technically a New York City resident, he and his wife, Viorica, have had a house up here for 13 years and they're very involved—they've been on the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour for five years. They have, adjacent to their house, a little gallery. They're active in the area, even though he works during the week in the city, painting the sets for the Public Theater. He decided a number of years ago that he would do a portrait of each star of the major plays he worked on. They're a kind of outgrowth of working there. The interview is actually at the gallery, so if you see the gallery, with the portraits behind him, that is in Saugerties."
ArtScene explores our vibrant community of artists, galleries and museums, and history. Produced by independent filmmaker Stephen Blauweiss, hosted by Chronogram editor Brian K. Mahoney, and sponsored by Artist Workspace Factory Lofts in Kingston, New York.