Wassaic Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies’ Auxiliary

In his 1997 book Air Guitar, Dave Hickey attributes the following quote about becoming an artist to Peter Schjeldahl: ‘You move to a city. You hang out in bars. You form a gang, turn it into a scene, and turn that into a movement.’ No doubt this strategy has born plenty of fruit over the years but is there a point at which cities are so awash in artists that their voices just drown each other out? Let’s face it, does Brooklyn really need more artists?

The Wassiac Project takes the opposite approach to becoming (or just being) an artist: move to small town, get to know the community, and on some level, make an actual difference in peoples lives. The Wassaic Project is “an artist-run sustainable, multidisciplinary arts organization that focuses on community engagement and facilitates artists and participants to exhibit, discuss, and connect with art, each other, our unique site, and the surrounding area.” The project was started in the tiny Hudson Valley hamlet in 2008 by RISD alumni Bowie Zunino, her husband Jeff Barnett-Winsby, and collaborator Eve Biddle. Here’s an article that lays out the details.

Breanne Trammell who runs the Project’s print shop (and whose work was included in The California Printmaker) sent us some great pics of an outreach project that she’s been doing with the Wassaic Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies’ Auxiliary. Breanne had been living in NYC but she’s been something of a permanent Wassaic Project artist resident since doing a residency in 2010. She assisted in setting up the Project’s Screenshop in an old livestock auction barn and started making posters for the Ladies Auxiliary after a Cake Walk benefit for the local Fire Dept. According to Trammell, “They loved the poster I made for that and asked if I could take their microsoft word print-outs and create advertisements in a similar Cake Walk vein for the fundraising suppers, breakfasts, and events that happen monthly at the firehouse.” One great project spawning more great projects- nice!

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4 Responses to “Wassaic Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies’ Auxiliary”

  1. breanne says:

    thanks so much! you guys are awesome!

  2. Nancy Luther says:

    I just want to say THANK YOU to Breanne for the awesome job she did printing up the posters for the Wassaic Fire Co. and Ladies Auxiliary. I had so many nice comments on them. And I have saved each one for my archives. Looking forward to having more printed when the shop re-opens!!

    Thanks again. Nancy

  3. […] Wassaic Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies’ Auxiliary by Jason Urban « BROOKLYN ART PROJECT HUFFINGTON POST » Posted by wpwpadmin Permalink […]

  4. beth cotler says:

    hi – I am President of the Bradley Beach ladies fire Auxiliary in Nj. Can you help us get cool like you? Thanks – we just survived Hurricane Sandy and could use a few tips. PS – What is a cake walk? Thanks Beth