Brewster Project

In the early 2000s, Brewster (Putnam County), a one-street village in New York, hosted the Brewster Project, in which over 30 contemporary artists from New York City were invited to create site-specific public projects that reflected on Brewster’s history, locale, architecture and specific cultural make-up. The artists were selected by a group of emerging curators working independently in New York who have formed a collective in order to interact with, learn about, and take up ‘temporary residence’ in the village.
Then and now, Brewster is positioned at a historical and socio-political juncture, where the rural meets the urban and local issues carry truly global implications. Brewster is many things to many people: an idyllic residential area; the source from where New York City’s water reserves originate; a home for Central American migrant workers; a hub where Manhattan commuters converge; and a slice of arcane American lore – here PT Barnum began his first traveling circus and Borden Condensed Milk established their first factory in America. Throughout the commercial enterprises, the churches, the vintage shops, and the historical sites, Brewster, like many small American towns, presently faces the pangs of economic and cultural transition. Having researched the various facets of Brewster both past and present, the invited artists developed projects that interacted with specific sites and highlighted the complexities of the area.


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