Extreme Floods Roil Hudson Valley Art Community 

The Hudson Valley was the focal point of a storm system that shuttled across Upstate New York last weekend, yielding high levels of flash-flooding across multiple counties. Homes and buildings were washed away from their foundations, roads and paths destroyed or rendered inaccessible, and there is at least one person reported dead. Merely weeks before the upcoming Upstate Art Weekend, some Hudson Valley arts spaces reported damages and scheduling interferences due to the extreme weather conditions.

Storm King Art Center near New Windsor was closed to ticketholders on Monday, July 10, citing safety concerns due to road conditions. The 500-acre outdoor sculpture park reported no significant damages. The art center offered to reschedule admissions for those who had reserved tickets.

Manitoga, home of the Russel Wright Design Center and 75-acre woodland garden in Garrison, suffered extensive damage to its trails and landscape features. Vivian Linares, a spokesperson for the center, told Hyperallergic that Monday trail tours were canceled due to “significant damage to our grounds.”

Manitoga’s North Drive was rendered completely inaccessible by the storm.

“North Drive, our main road to the historic buildings, was washed away and we lost a beloved landscape feature known as the Beach Room at the bottom of a waterfall among much more damage,” Linares said, adding that no damage was caused to the Wright house and studio. “We had recently completed the ambitious restoration of the 30-foot waterfall, so this is devastating.”

Manitoga, designated as a National Historic Landmark, is now facing significant restoration costs, as the damaged areas are not covered by insurance.

“We will be seeking funding from any available sources to help with cost. And of course, donations are welcome,” said Linares. The grounds will reopen for tours this Friday with an altered map to avoid damaged areas.

Damages to the recently restored 30-foot waterfall at Manitoga/the Russel Wright Design Center (video by Rhiannon Parsaca)

While there were no damages reported at Kinosaito Art Center in Verplanck, Manager Michael Barraco mentioned that multiple employees reported transit difficulties on Sunday due to “incredibly hazardous conditions,” and said that he “felt in danger” during his short drive home to a neighboring town. “Local authorities were obviously overwhelmed and not able to troubleshoot all the problems in time to direct the public appropriately,” he concluded.

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