Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

I like following what is going on at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in upstate New York. I have fond memories of being an artist-in-residence there. Here is a poem–published in SEVEN PLACES IN AMERICA–written there:

Body Of

body of water

body of work

yellow mustard field
body of evidence

body of liberties

body of knowledge

body of research

body of principals

body of water

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park
Today we celebrate new work by visiting artist Jen Dawson. ‘Super Natural’ is composed of cement, wire mesh, and braided and patinated steel wool. The bodily nature of the work embraces change— the steel wool will quickly rust and transform, creating dichotomies of seduction and recoil, welcoming and resistance. Experience the dynamic and complex ‘Super Natural’ located in the Secret Garden.
Thank you @jendawsonart for working tirelessly and enthusiastically, rain or shine, this week at the park.
ID: A large rounded and blunt rock-like structure with large black and brown braids crowning the top and sides.


First Sculpture Up In Poetry Yard

Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge, a sculpture by Isabel Winson-Sagan, is the first piece to go up in the Yard. It is made of wood and the plastic caps off of baby formula. It references forest fire, and the flooding caused by ecological destruction.

The photographs are by Matthew Morrow.

Miriam and Isabel are a mother/daughter creative dup working under the name Maternal Mitochondria.

If you are interested in visiting the Yard or proposing a project, contact us at

Artist’s Statement from Isabel Winson-Sagan
Miriam Sagan will be opening The Poetry Yard this year, an outside space where sculpture and poetry can be fully experienced. Here is a sneak peak at the first sculpture to go up- a permanent feature of the yard. Made entirely of recycled materials, this land art project helps direct rainfall by incorporating a dry pond. The sculpture’s relationship with the land may change over time- will the wood rot when exposed to water? Or will it remain an ever present reminder of fire and drought? As our climate changes, the sculpture may reflect that change on a local level. Along with the ambiguity and anxiety of climate change, “Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge” brings up issues of human consumption and how different organisms feed. The sculpture takes inspiration from saprophytic fungi (mushrooms that consume dead wood) and the twin processes of parasitic and symbiotic growth. The plastic and dairy industries are an ambiguous two-edged sword- using unsustainable environmental practices while at the same time greatly expanding human access to food and vital resources. So the question is: how do we achieve a balance between human needs and biological destruction?
The text on the piece reads:
(A triangle) Between me / G-d / and the water



People die, and gravestones are erected. Some of the first sculpture is funerary. Armies conquer, and huge triumphal arches mark city streets. As to the conquered, they often simply pass out of history, or not. The urge to memorialize might be private or political. The statues of dictators are pulled down by crowds in squares, or are so ancient they are left to stand, maybe missing an arm, or a head, towering over masses who don’t speak the same language these tyrants did, nor follow the same beliefs or customs. Obelisks list the names of the dead—whole farming towns in New England emptied of every young man who fought the Civil War.
The Holocaust has spawned a great deal of memorialization. Stumbling stones interrupt pavement (see below). Shoes stand without occupants.


This from Wikipedia, thanks to Michael Smith: The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial in Budapest, Hungary. Conceived by film director Can Togay, he created it on the west bank of the Danube River with sculptor Gyula Pauer to honor the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank.

And then there is Katrina. How to memorialize an event that essentially swept everything away? It’s like a memorial to Pompeii or Atlantis. But New Orleans is still there.

To see responses in three New Orleans Museums:


And as the article notes, things gain in context.


Stephanie Patton’s “It Will Happen” (2014).

Paula Castillo at William Siegal Gallery

It’s been a good few days for art here in the Railyard. I’ve followed Paula Castillo’s work for many years. The current show of sculpture seems a bit less ephemeral, perhaps a bit more classic, than previous. Each piece retains a sense of movement, as if it might take flight or float off despite its material. Basically, they are just really beautiful.






Lithic: Poem and Photographs by Miriam Sagan






stone wood

I come across a barn in the field
the sculptor
is building the tenth version
of shale and stump
all the rest have collapsed…

it is all about the balance

wood can petrify but stone cannot grow

boulder pulverized to pebble

schist colored with ferric oxide
and floating bones with teeth

new mountains from old rock
cirques and horns

like gravestone
or what can be
from the glacial erratic

shale that breaks along parallel points, fissility
composed of mud, quartz, calcite

a covered bridge
a caul, a veil, purdah

a pocketless shroud
without knots
or buttons

how death is public, a final
resting place
Puritans with their unadorned
death heads
a burying ground
not next to any church

a cairn can mark a trail

record a visit
to memorialize a spot

this earth is metamorphic
for what is not?



Poem inspired by the gallery show GROWTH UNDER PRESSURE, Salem Art Works, NY July, 2014.