Catskill Art Space Opens With James Turrell and a Lofty Vision
Gone are the days when art was a niche affair. In the digital age, anything you can imagine can become a canvas for the artist.
As part of The James Turrell Project, art is going to be the canvas for the artist to express themselves. The space also doubles as a gallery space featuring new and emerging artists.
Located in the Catskill Mountains, the building also contains a wine-bar, a café, and a bistro.
James Turrell – Artist and Creative Director of The James Turrell Project
The art space opened in May 2017.
Kathy Pappas, owner and operator of the space, says James Turrell’s work has been all around the country.
It wasn’t always this way. Turrell, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a painter and sculptor. His work was exhibited in prestigious galleries but he struggled with the lack of public recognition.
“I had to rebrand myself,” says Turrell. “I came to see the problem. I’m a human being, not a product.”
Turrell was born with a learning disability that forced him to walk on crutches. After his parents divorced, when Turrell was 8 years old, his mom bought him a guitar. He took it around and played it for his buddies in the neighborhood, including the artist Richard Diebenkorn. Turrell began to play, and paint, as well. When he was 18 years old, he sold many of his paintings in Pittsburgh to make money to pay for art classes.
In his late forties, Turrell moved to upstate New York and began working as a curator at the Buffalo Art Museum. It was there that he met and worked with Richard Diebenkorn, who inspired him by giving him a real gift – a guitar.
“He gave me a love of playing,” says Turrell. “How do you explain that feeling?”
He also began doing painting as a way to express himself