The Catskill bungalow has long represented an escape from New York City, a summer exodus away from the heat and grit of the city, a retreat from urban life
The bungalow has been idealized in film, literature, and art, from the movie “Dirty Dancing” to the Maus graphic novel. Visitors to the Catskills know there are many abandoned bungalow colonies and “kuchaleyns” (the Yiddish name for cabins with kitchens, also known as “cook-alones”) throughout the region. They were frequented by middle and working class Jewish New Yorkers and immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe, but also included Luxton Lake in Narrowsburg, NY, a popular vacation spot for African-American New Yorkers in the 1950s and 1960s. With the collapse of the summer tourist economy in the Catskills, more and more structures, from the lowly bungalow to giant resort hotels, have been abandoned and left to ruin, trespass, and vandalism: perfect material for artists.
Abandoned buildings are as much a part of the Catskills as its rivers and hills, the viewscape of all who live in or visit the area. “Bungalow” presents artists’ works in all media — including film, sculpture, and sound — that recall the past and present of these structures and the rich culture they represent, along with their diminished state today, with an eerie beauty all their own.
The show includes photographs by Robyn Almquist and Glenn Lieberman; films by Lisa Crafts, Caitlin Parker and Elizabeth Ennis; Caitlin Parker’s “Ghost House” multimedia sculpture; paintings by Andrea Brown, Barbara Friedman, Marc Travanti, Amy Talluto, Nancy Sadler, David Sandlin, and James Karpowicz; and fabricated vignette viewers by Michael Staats.
The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.