Escape to Hudson

  |  May 30, 2012


That’s what a number of artists and urban malcontents have done, according to this opinion piece in the NY Times by David Byrne’s daughter, Malu. People no longer want to make it here; they want to make it anywhere.

Here’s an example: “Cornelia Livingston, a twentysomething New School art graduate, went to Hudson for a visit and decided to stay. ‘I found all these incredible opportunities coming my way, the kind that come with country life — picking your own vegetables at the C.S.A., cheaper living, access to waterfalls — as well as professional ones’ she says. With a friend who is a fiber artist, Cornelia just opened a store that is a venue for local artists, designers and craftspeople, many of whom escaped from the city, who sell their work on consignment. A feat that could take years of planning and much failure in the city turned into a beautiful, accomplishable dream upstate.”

Ah, yes, true. Easier to escape to the country permanently if you have a famous musician dad and don’t have to worry about rent, but her point is well taken. She extols the kind of creative life one can have upstate if it all works out financially. “The minute I stepped off the train, my lungs expanded to full size and my mind, long fogged up by the chaos of city life, cleared entirely. The people I was visiting live in a converted church; my friend uses the lovely little cottage across the street as a jewelry studio; her husband works in a huge barn up the hill. Affordable his-and-hers studios, plus a cozy cathedral of a house: you can’t find this in the creative capital of the world.”

Malu is trying to find her new creative home outside of the city. Perhaps you all have some suggestions for her. More pressing for the rest of us is how to get folks to buy our art so we can escape, too.

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