Poughkeepsie Gateway Unveiling Highlights Art’s Transformative Power

O+ joined its partners from the Poughkeepsie Alliance and Arts Mid-Hudson along with representatives of government, the local business community and city residents to celebrate the unveiling of the 16,000-square-foot Poughkeepsie Gateway mural on Aug. 15. The work of art was made by boogieREZ (Risa “Boogie” Tochigi and Rez Ones) and features whimsical creatures, colorful pop culture imagery and words like “Impact — Inspire — Empower” and Poughkeepsie references like “PKNY — Queen City — 845” on two sides of the Route 9 underpass on Main Street.

Risa Tochigi cuts the ribbon with Mayor Rob Rolison.

“This was once kind of dimly lit. It was rather dark and uninviting, and it was on the busiest corridor probably right here in the city of Poughkeepsie,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “Now this spot has been transformed into a place of color, and it’s full of life.”

Golden Paintworks, a division of O+ sponsor Golden Artist Colors, donated the gallons of paint needed to transform the underpass and RL Baxter Building Corporation loaned the lift. Sherwin-Williams Paint Store in Poughkeepsie and Rider Painting assisted the project with the priming of the massive mural.

Paul Calogerakis, director of economic development for the City of Poughkeepsie and founding chairman of the Poughkeepsie Alliance (which provided the bulk of the funding for the project), described the mural as “exactly what we envisioned. It’s a bright and colorful entranceway to the city of Poughkeepsie, and we’re just thrilled.”

State Sen. Sue Serino (R-Hyde Park) presented Tochigi with a proclamation from the New York State Senate: “It is the sense of this Legislative Office to honor those individuals of artistic significance which highlight the creative talents that have contributed to the cultural enrichment of our communities and our Nation.”

High school and college-age cast members from the Standing Room Only Theater Company’s production of “Hair” sang iconic songs from the musical while dancing among the mural’s whimsical imagery. (Photo by Zakee White)

In an Instagram post, Tochigi thanked Mayor Rolison, project partners, equipment and paint donors and the Poughkeepsie community for their constant support: “The good vibe we generate and spread is the best medicine for our MIND, BODY and SOUL!!! We are all ROCK STARS!!! Let’s keep on making, imagining and inspiring one another!!!”

Watch a video of the unveiling here:

Partners, City Celebrate Poughkeepsie Gateway Mural Aug. 15

Poughkeepsie Alliance, Arts Mid-Hudson and O+ Poughkeepsie invite the public to the unveiling ceremony for the Poughkeepsie Gateway mural Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 4 p.m. Mayor Rob Rolison will give a keynote as part of the celebration at the Poughkeepsie Train Pavilion, corner of Main Street and Detective John Falcone Memorial Avenue.

The mural encompasses both sides of the nearby Route 9 underpass on Main Street. Poughkeepsie-based artist Risa Tochigi, part of the art duo boogieREZ, has spent a month transforming the underpass into a public artwork.

Special thanks to Golden Paintworks Mural Paints and RL Baxter.


Organizers Reveal Lineup, Programming for Ninth Annual O+ Kingston

The lineup for the ninth annual O+ Kingston (Oct. 5-7, 2018) is the art, music and wellness festival’s most diverse, experimental and inclusive to date. Confirmed acts for the 3-day weekend include: The Comedy Resistance Presents Janeane Garofalo and FriendsEvan Dando of ’90s alt-rock band The Lemonheads, Woodstock-based pianist Marco Benevento (psych rock and dance); Balún (Brooklyn by way of San Juan, Puerto Rico, dance/electronic);  Nous featuring experimental jazz icon Karl Berger (Woodstock / Germany) in collaboration with ambient composer Christopher Bono and percussionist Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin and Wood); Malian guitar genius Mamadou Kelly (world/West African); Willy Mason and the Pandemorium (folk singer-songwriter, Massachusetts); nerdcore rapper MC Chris (collaborator with Talib Kweli, Andrew WK, Cee-Lo, Childish Gambino and Gwar); and indie rock band Pete International Airport (featuring Peter G. Holmström of The Dandy Warhols) of Portland, Ore. In addition, composer Michael Hollis of New Paltz will debut “The Edge of the Hill,” an ensemble piece featuring electronic elements based around the Ulster County environment and what its citizens do to preserve and protect it.

The rest of the confirmed lineup includes:

100 Strings (santoor & tabla, Walden); Adrian Aardvark (freak folk, Plattsburgh); The Beautiful Bastards (rock, Kingston); Blood & Stomach Pills (garage rock, Kingston); The Bobby Lees (punk blues, Woodstock); The Bottoms Up Dixieland Jazz Band (Dixieland jazz, Hudson Valley); Justin Bush (hip hop, Poughkeepsie); Danger*Cakes (rockabilly, Austin); Alyssa Dann (folk, Woodstock); Driftwood Soldier (roots / blues, Philadelphia); Duane Mark trio (Americana / folk, Texas); Rhys Ellis (multi-instrumentalist, Tillson); Ian Flanigan (soulful pop acoustic, Saugerties); The Forefathers (funk/soul and R&B, Kingston); Daniel Frankhuizen (cello, Poughkeepsie); Fraternal Twin (indie rock, Kingston); Full Walrus (indie rock, O+ Poughkeepsie alumni); Garth. (R&B / pop, Queens); Globelamp (indie rock, Kingston); The Golden Grass (heavy-country-funk-boogie and progressive-psychedelic-freakbeat, Brooklyn); Hairbag (punkadelic, Kingston); Hiding Behind Sound (indie rock, Red Hook); The Hipstones (indie rock duo, Kingston); Key of Q (vocal ensemble, Kingston); Kulton The Maker (hip hop, Hudson); Treya Lam (piano-based pop, Queens); Mark Marshall (rock, Kingston); Marlon DuBois (hip hop, Woodstock); Morricone Youth (live scoring Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent classic, “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog,” Queens); Keenan O’Meara (singer-songwriter, Olivebridge); Lorkin O’Reilly (acoustic songwriter, Catskill); a place both wonderful and strange (occult dance music, Queens); Orphan Jane (cabaret, Queens); Denzil Porter (hip hop / rap, Bronx); Qing (Catskill, pop); Billy Rogan (solo guitar instrumentals, Woodstock); The Sad Voice Sings Clare and The Reasons and others (with chamber ensemble, Kingston); Schmave (lo-fi jazz, New Paltz); Shadow Witch (heavy psychedelic / grunge, Kingston); Spliffs (psychedelic space jazz pop, Woodstock); The Star Sisters (folk, Rosendale); Stranger Cat (electronic indie pop, Brooklyn); Sun Voyager (stoner rock, Hudson Valley & NYC); Toebow (math-style indie rock, Brooklyn); TOP Nachos (garage / punk, New Paltz); Tygersounds (synth-pop/new wave, Beacon); JK Vanderbilt (indie rock, O+ Poughkeepsie alumnus, Kingston); Wah Together (indie rock, NYC); and Yolanda Yolanda (indie rock, West Hurley).

Check out our O+ Festival Kingston 2018 Spotify playlist that highlights some of this year’s bands, solo artists and ensembles.

O+ will expand its music offerings for the entire family, adding children’s programming (Esther Crow, interactive singing with puppets) and Kinder Disco with DJ Ali. Friday and Saturday nights The Beverly will feature performances from emerging bands from the local DIY scene.

This year’s conference at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center features three moderated panel discussions with a focus on topics pertinent to today’s independent artist, musician and community member. And  The Comedy Resistance, which pairs headlining comedians with voter registration, to bring an evening of laughter and activism to festival audiences.

This year’s 27 participating artists and artist-collectives will respond to the theme of Shadow.

“The art committee is thrilled to highlight art projects interpreting the theme both literally and conceptually, as shadow implicates the existence of a duality,” says O+ Director of Art Denise Orzo. “No light, no shadow. Our focus this year is predominantly on locally based artists. We are excited to offer interactive and participatory projects as well as murals, light and shadow projections, and surprising temporal site-specific installations throughout the city of Kingston.”

They are: Nashville-based Bhalvin Prince, whose artwork illustrates his time spent in immigration detention in Orange County Jail in Goshen, (postcards workshop); illustrator Marker Snyder aka Redsharkboy of Kingston (gallery installation); mixed media collage artist, photographer and poet Delilah Jones of New Paltz (collage workshop); Poetry Barn literary center based in the Catskills (interactive); Allison Braun aka Smell the Damn Roses (Exquisite Corpse Cafe workshop); Ana Azzue Gallira of California and Ori Alon of Beacon (Hidden Fortune Wheel interactive installation); Callie Jayne of Kingston and Ocean Lofgren of Rosendale (experimental video highlighting the stories of those directly impacted by the criminal justice system); Annie Poon of New York City (stop-motion animation video that explores mental illness); Evan Pachón of Irvington (large-scale projection); Cagil Harmander of Istanbul (animation video); Glass Eye Shadow Pictures of Highland (shadow and light performance); Andrew Shirley of Kingston (Wastedland 2 post-apocalyptic graffiti wonderland installation); Emily Vail of Kingston (Tannery Brook site-specific installation); and Jessica Gaddis of New Paltz (temporary site-specific installation that draws attention to Kingston’s historic buildings). Braun, Lofgren and Poon are O+ alumni.

The mural art roster includes: Samantha French / Aaron Hauck(Kingston), Will Lytle aka Thorneater Comics (West Hurley, O+ Kingston alumnus), La Morena (Arizona), Lindsey Wolkowicz (Kingston), Dina Kravtsov / Mat Schulze (Kingston) and boogieREZ (Poughkeepsie, O+ Poughkeepsie alumnus). Tani Ikeda and O+ Kingston alumni Jess X. Snow and Layqa Nuna Yawar will create an installment of their nationwide project and augmented reality mural, “Survivor Love Letter,” a call to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones to publicly celebrate their lives.

O+ artists and musicians receive health and wellness care in an Artists’ Clinic staffed by volunteer providers and in local dentist offices as a thank you for their creative gifts to festival audiences and the Kingston community. O+ calls this exchange: the art of medicine for the medicine of art.

A red O+ wristband serves as an all-access pass to the art happenings and concerts, as well as wellness offerings, which include cycling events in a variety of distances and terrain — including a mural-to-mural slow ride for all, an EXPO+ curated that highlights locally available health and wellness services and EXPLO+RE classes in yoga, meditation, dance, sound healing and more.

O+ Kingston is sponsored by WMCHealth/HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, Golden Artist Colors, Lagunitas and Ryan & Ryan Insurance.