So Much For The Hinterlands

  |  October 24, 2014
thomas cole mountain house

Thomas Cole: A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning

Remember when we posted about this article a couple of weeks ago, in which James Trainor of ponders if the art scene will change the economics of the Hudson Valley? We think that’s a valid question to ask. However, provided a rebuttal to Trainor’s piece entitled “The Hinterlands: Can artists and deals change the creative and economic landscape of Upstate New York?” Hyperalleric blogger Faheem Haider boldly asserts right in the title: “The Hudson Valley Art Scene Does Not Need Saving.” Furthermore, the article argues that the Hudson Valley isn’t some backwater dependent on NYC for its culture, in need of an influx of cityfolk to turn things around. “Never mind that in 1825,” writes Haider, “Thomas Cole, a working-class English émigré landscape painter, sailed up the Hudson River and helped shape the first homegrown American ‘school’ of painting, the Hudson River School.” Haider states that Trainor’s article focuses solely on ex-pats from the city instead of the rich artistic history that is rooted in the Hudson Valley. Haider concludes:

“The Hudson Valley doesn’t need more house-flipping believers in Manifest Destiny; it needs voyagers and adventurers like the advocates of art and life people now call the ‘Hudson River School,’ who want to seek out new possibilities, push on despite challenges, put roots deep in the ground, who have long-term views on life and dwelling, who work hard yet wish to leave as little disturbed in their path as possible.”

Perhaps the HV arts scene isn’t in need of an outside savior. Maybe the arts scene is just fine and continuing to thrive thanks to those who have embraced the Hudson Valley’s creative past as a means to a bright future. Hardly the hinterlands, after all.

Read On, Reader...