The Wassaic Project
Embodying what it means to bring art to a community by
being genuine members of that community.
Story by ML Ball
Photo: Tony Turner
It hits you as soon as you turn off Route 22 onto Furnace Bank Road. A wonderful feeling of slow-moving, hard-to-find-these-days timelessness. You try to describe it, but the white-bearded man on the Wassaic Project’s website has already expressed it perfectly. “This is a magical place. This is a wonderful part of the world,” he states exuberantly. “It’s easy to see why so many people are here.” A magical place indeed.
Then you meet Bowie Zunino, co-founder and co-executive director of the Wassaic Project, and all thoughts of sleepy inactivity fly out the window. A delightful dynamo of positive energy, Zunino is one of the three driving forces behind the Wassaic Project, a multi-dimensional nonprofit that produces an astonishingly full and varied calendar of art exhibitions, arts education programs and an annual summer festival, as well as a community farm, all in the tiny hamlet of Wassaic.
Closely aligned with the Wassaic Project, and sharing the same facilities, is the Wassaic Artist Residency Program, a competitive program that brings artists and writers to Wassaic to live and work for periods of one to six months, producing site-specific art during their stay.