Prattsville (New York) Case Study, 2019-ongoing

 

In July of 2019, ICS was in residence at the Prattsville Art Center (PAC), an innovative community center and art project bringing together artists and residents to rebuild the town that was devestated by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The Art Center, located in rural upstate New York, features music, lectures, films, workshops, auditions, dinners, exhibitions and other community-building events. 

Guided by the ICS mission to document granular history -- moments in ordinary lives that get lost over time -- the goal of the residency was to begin a longer term project based on some aspect of Prattsville history. 

Prior to the residency period, I conducted research into a random sampling of Prattsville citizens living in the area in the early 20th century. Over several brief research trips to the Catskills, I spent time at the Greene County Historical Society and the Zadock Pratt Museum, learning more about the area’s history and the Prattsvillian subjects of my investigation. Using this information, I created family files for each individual that included any research material I found as well as drawings of the citizens’ family trees and timelines based on data from online genealogical sites. The residency period was spent meeting with descendants of these families, most of whom can trace their lineage back in the region for generations. During the residency, the ICS office was often open to the public and I invited visitors to PAC to engage with the project through conversation and sharing of stories, which I consider to be a vital part of this “artwork.” 

This project continues to develop as the residency research material is processed in my home studio. Look for regular updates on Instagram!

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