Founded in 1974 by four women artists committed to "developing an alternative space for artists to create new work and share skills," WSW's programs were centered on the artistic process and often informed by feminist values from the start. It was located in a two-story, single-family house for nearly a decade, with etching activities in the living room, papermaking in the attic and screen-printing in the basement. Very quickly, the organization established itself as a beacon for similar efforts around the country, as well as a sign that there was new life to rurally based artists both in New York State and elsewhere.
Film and video festivals, traveling exhibits and book-publishing kept them busy as they purchased and developed the Binnewater Arts Center in what had once been the Rosendale Cement Company store and post office. Over time, programming was honed to include a rich mix of residencies, fellowships, internships, community clay workshops, arts-in-education programs as well as the increasingly recognized Summer Arts Institute.
Starting July 5, the Institute's offerings this summer include the workshop "Cross-Pollination: Trace Monoprint, Paper Lithography and Encaustic" with WSW co-founder Tatana Kellner and Cynthia Winika of R & F Paints in Kingston; classes in "Sculptural Paper: Unusual 3D Techniques" and "Decorative Papers for Book Arts and Collage"; a "Photographer's Artists' Book" being run in collaboration with the Center for Photography at Woodstock; "Textile Screen Printing" with WSW co-founder Ann Kalmbach; a "New Directions in Monoprint" class (plus sessions on monoprints and encaustics); "Sculptural and Movable Books"; "Polymer Plate Intaglio"; "Screenprinting and Mezzotints"; "Photogravure"; and a fascinating "Rubbings and Tracings as Memoir" class with Nancy Azara.
Augmenting the classes - which will be in three-day as well as full-week stints this summer - will be a series of gallery exhibitions, including the current papermaking and letterpress displays by WSW's Artist's Book resident Susan Viguers, up through the end of June, followed by works by silkscreen and papermaking fellow Gretchen Schermerhorn, July 2 to August 2, and woodblock printmaking by Artist's Book resident Katie Baldwin. There are also community ceramics classes currently underway, with a few openings left before it ends on July 5.
Registration for all is ongoing, and can be done in person, online or over the phone. Women's Studio Workshop is located on Binnewater Lane, alongside Binnewater Road where it intersects Sawdust Avenue, just north of Rosendale. For further information call (845) 658-9133 or visit www.wsworkshop.org.