Tracy Frisch became a freelance journalist while building her small, mortgage-free, solar home in Argyle, New York, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream of going back to the land. Her writing on agriculture, the environment, and local issues appears in Main Street, Hill Country Observer, Valley Table, Adirondack Life, and other publications. Tracy led the New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (1989-95) and the Regional Farm & Food Project (1996-2004) as founding director, and co-founded the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market. An avid gardener, she has long embraced the spirit of the 100-mile diet.
Amy Halloran writes children’s picture books and adult short stories that embrace the pedestrian and the fantastic. Her work has appeared in Salon, McSweeney’s, Pindeldyboz, Gargoyle, Tarpaulin Sky, and Mississippi Review. A teacher as well as a writer, she is a student of Troy and its many phases of urban renewal. Amy likes improvisational storytelling and collaborations, especially those that result in community-based writing projects. In an attempt to get children interested in local history, she is raising funds to print Under the Bridge comics for distribution in local schools.
Artist Michael Oatman has produced more than 25 major site-specific installations. These nonlinear “un-vironments” address subjects from eugenics to the prison industrial complex; he identifies his practice as “the poetic interpretation of documents.” He also makes large-scale collages from thousands of hand-cut pieces—works resembling natural history dioramas that critically engage cultural and environmental issues. Michael lives and works in Troy and teaches in the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently working on commissions for MASS MoCA, The New York MTA, and The Cambridge Arts Council. Occasionally, he writes about art and science, as he does in this month’s Portfolio with Spencer Finch.