The Art Letters and Numbers in Averill Park
Hello, This about an artist residency that was
a total mistake misleading scam. The Art Letters and Numbers in Averill Park NY State turned our to be a false advertising hyped up disgusting crack like shit house . The director is an arch.professor! At Cooper Union the board and people involved print out like an uber intellectual forum. Way way higher learning and well read group. I chose this rez for its locations I could drive there and fill my car with supplies instead of flying and scratching around for supplies like I did at Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Italy! It was super cheap to go.. I should have known.. I arrived to a big old crumbling decaying house in no where, the sign was on the ground leaning against the house. I drove up the hill beside the house no one was there at first.. I entered this place with a strong smelll of mildew and damp. I wandered around some one popped up and we exchanged hellos
The people running it were not there they had gone to NY, but I was showed around by this young resident I felt not sure about it from the first minute. But was trying to figure out my thoughts he helped me bring stuff from the car and led me upstairs to the most disgusting bedroom. An old mattress on a wood pallet, filthy windows one broken, a filthy fan blowing on one , walls stripped of wall paper and moldy, elec. Outlets pulled out and hanging
It was like a crack house.. the youngster thought it was cool right? I was sick to my stomach and knew I could not stay there another minute. I took my things back to the car and left. I drove to the next big town, Albany and stayed in a hotel. Completely humiliated I wrote to the email I had with them and explained my disgust. oh sorry they wrote we will refund you. No problem. They said oh yeah it was an abandoned property for many years… as they did not have money yet to fix up. ! What! They paid me back and I am now of course a little jaded to really trust residencies. They thought it was cool ? Incredible and criminal.
Response to the “scratching around for supplies” comment about Arte Studio Ginestrelle. I was one of their first residents, and saw the efforts that the owner made to accommodate artists and make connections to show their work in Assisi. Do your research before you do a residency, arrange for supplies to be shipped to you, or pick them up en route in Florence. It is unfair to slander a legitimate and hardworking residency owner.
Arts Letters & Numbers have cleaned up their act (or at least their properties) considerably since 2018. The big house is still on the rough side, but it’s up to code at least, and the kitchen is really nice if you’re into the whole farmhouse thing. The grounds are beautiful and the building with studio space is great to work in. There are times that it’s booked at a pretty high density, though, so be prepared to negotiate with other residents for work space. It is a very social environment, and can be kind of chaotic. They have a rapid turnover of staff and visiting artists. You can get a pretty good sense of how they work by reading about prior events on their website.
Chashama is not really an art organization. It is a real estate company. They work with landlords to use unused commercial space. The storefronts are exhibition spaces which help lessen the blight, created by greedy landlords themselves, of the ever increasing mass of empty storefronts. Other spaces are rented to artists as studios. Work with them at your own risk. If you have any kind of problem, they are completely unsympathetic and unhelpful. In fact they are awful. It’s an amateur operation. For amateur artists, with amateurs in charge. They get a little bit of power, and they are pretty nasty to the artists. The quality level of the exhibitions makes that pretty clear. Their role is in the interest of the real estate industry, not artists. They are exploiting artists. Their role is to hasten gentrification, and window-dress the dreariness of the empty storefronts that sit empty for ages. Work with them at your own risk.