From the Catalogue: Works Benefitting the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Feb 14, 2017 11:02PM

Phillips is delighted to offer the following selection of works benefitting The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) in Peekskill, NY. Founded by the Straus family in 2004, HVCCA is a 501-C-3 public institution that has contributed significantly to the rejuvenation of the Hudson Valley region as a haven for cutting edge contemporary art.

Livia and Marc Straus have been art collectors since the beginning of their marriage. At that time, Marc was a medical student and Livia was teaching elementary school after just beginning graduate school. With limited means, they acquired their first works of art—a Kenneth Noland Chevron and an Ellsworth Kelly Chatham painting, the first of this seminal series to be sold. Over the next few decades, their unique collection of established and cutting edge artists has been the focus of nine museum exhibitions. During a museum tour to five museums between 1998 and 2001, Livia was inspired to open a public space where art could serve as a teaching vehicle and help a struggling community. At that time, Peekskill was a Hudson River waterfront town with high crime rates empty store fronts, and a population where only 35% of the area’s children were continuing on to higher level education. It was these factors that prompted Livia to open HVCCA to serve as a place where the imaginative process could stimulate learning skills and a desire for educational advancement.

In May 2014, HVCCA was honored by Arts Westchester for making a seminal contribution to the community by supporting local artists, as well as by bringing a broader audience to the region. A month later, HVCCA received a Proclamation from Peekskill for playing the central role in the revitalization of this area. As a result, this waterfront town is now thriving, and many more students are succeeding and advancing to college. Today, it has become one of the most important outdoor sculpture sites in New York. Additionally, many new artists have relocated to the area, and the number of studios now exceeds 200. 

Central to HVCCA’s mission is showcasing important emerging international art. For over 100 artists including Folkert de Jong, Adrian Ghenie and Shinique Smith, HVCCA marks their first inclusion in an institution in the U.S. The center also hosts the Peekskill Project, a citywide arts festival that has featured over 120 emerging national and international artists. The festival has gained major acclaim, serving as a model for other cities in showcasing artists working in experimental and non-commercial disciplines, as well as for its use of abandoned spaces to bring art out of the museum walls and into the community. The success of HVCCA proves that art can enhance local pride and improve a low income community in a number of ways. 

The following selection of works marks the 4th triennial auction of art to raise funds for HVCCA. Artists, collectors and galleries have been enormously generous in offering these works, including those by several artists making their auction debut, including Peter Bynum, Anna Leonhardt and Jong Oh.

Explore Phillips: New Now on Artsy, and place max bids on nearly 200 artworks. Live bidding opens Tuesday, February 28th, at 2:00pm ET.