Millay Colony for the Arts

Promoting the vitality of the arts and the development of writers, visual artists, and composers by providing a retreat for creative work.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Snow Art in the Berkshires

New genre artist Sonja Hinrichsen descends in snowshoes on the rolling hills of Columbia County this January to make snow art in response to the landscape. The project will be open for the public to view and participate as Hinrichsen walks the “canvas” at the Columbia Land Conservancy managed property of the Ooms Conservation Area at Sutherland Pond.

Hinrichsen first conceived of the project while spending a winter in the Colorado Rockies photographing footprints and animal tracks in the snow. This led her to experiment with her own footprints as she was walking across large expanses of untouched surface area. “The snow became a giant canvas,” says Hinrichsen, “almost limitless, yet unforgiving of any execution flaws…my designs are required to be composed of one single uninterrupted line.”

Hinrichsen, a Millay Colony for the Arts alumna, will create each drawing as one single performance act, which can take anywhere between 20 minutes and several hours, depending on the size and density of each piece. Also varying is the length of time the art will survive. “At the time of its creation,” she says, “the duration of each piece is completely unpredictable. It can last as long as a few days or as short as a couple of hours only.” Hinrichsen doesn’t mind this. In fact, that is part of the appeal. “I like the ephemeral character of this work and how it defines the landscape during its short presence. I like that these works are reclaimed by nature within a short time, while they live on only in their photographic documentation.”

Sonja Hinrichsen received her MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute and two State Exams in visual art and media art from the Academy of Fine Art Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany. Sonja, who exhibits nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, has received numerous awards and fellowships as well as 21 residencies in artist colonies around the world including her 2007 stay at the Millay Colony. During the length of this winter visit she will reside as a Winter Shaker at the Colony with additional snow works on the grounds available for viewing.

The 180-acre Ooms Conservation Area at Sutherland Pond contains a scenic pastoral landscape with spectacular panoramic views of rolling countryside and the Taconic Mountains. The property is owned by the Open Space Institute and managed by the Columbia Land Conservancy. Hinrichsen plans to create a series of snow drawings during her two week stay.

Directions to the Rock City Road parking area and entrance at For further information the public can contact Columbia Land Conservancy at 518-392-5252.

No comments:

Post a Comment