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Polly Apfelbaum

It’s Necessary to Talk about Trees, installation view, River Valley Arts Collective, Catskill, NY (2019). Photo: Jake Smisloff.

Polly Apfelbaum included in It’s Necessary to Talk about Trees, curated by Candice Madey, at River Valley Arts Collective, Catskill, NY.  

The institution's press release follows: 

River Valley Arts Collective is pleased to present It’s Necessary to Talk about Trees, an exhibition that evolves from the new non-profit’s focus on material and process, and its mission to serve artists of the Hudson Valley. This exhibition and related activities will take place in Catskill, NY at Foreland, a 175-year-old former textile mill that is currently being developed by artist Stef Halmos to house studios and galleries and to host cultural programming.

It’s Necessary to Talk about Trees presents work by a group of artists who express a unique sensitivity to the environmental and social issues that inform their practice. The exhibition title comes from Adrienne Rich’s 1991 poem “What Kind of Times Are These”⁠—an urgent question and a provocation⁠ in which Rich speaks allegorically of a forest that is haunted by the shadows of history. The poem’s conclusion, “It’s Necessary to Talk about Trees,” is a call to action that highlights how inspiration is found in the natural world and recognizes the power of art-making in troubling times.

The exhibition considers artists’ agency and their role as primary producers, the environmental factors that drive their work, and the generative power that renders visible what others seek to make disappear. Through the found and crafted, tactile and felt, artists create tangible evidence of time and place.

It’s Necessary to Talk about Trees
September 7 – 29, 2019
River Arts Collective
Catskill, New York