With Ellsworth Kelly at his Hudson Valley studio.
Start your engines: The holiday season is upon us.
It’s already November. Clocks have been turned back, and Christmas cards have been on store shelves for weeks. (We just happen to have an excellent collection available in our Marketplace — “Happy Elfing Holidays” is a personal favorite.)
In the middle of all of this madness is that sweet holiday: Thanksgiving. A moment to be grateful. I often find that it’s a moment to be grateful for the ability to BE grateful.
With that in mind, the team at New York States of Mind considered what made us thankful to be New Yorkers. We thought of the incredible work that innumerous charities perform on a daily basis, over many years, to keep our cities running and our citizens cared for; it’s un uphill battle, but also an essential one. And it became evident to us that people throughout New York, in a variety of capacities, make difficult choices each day in order to live lives of integrity, ingenuity and fearlessness.
And so we arrived at our second issue, the “New York OUTSTANDING State of Mind.” This is a month of stories about OUTLIERS: People who unexpectedly take the road less traveled, prevail in the face of adversity, and share their gifts with the communities in which they live.
This week, we’ll introduce a short film of a conversation between American artist Ellsworth Kelly and MoMA President Emerita Agnes Gund. Both have always drawn outside the lines: Ellsworth, quite literally, as a bold artist who defended his creative vision against critics, and Agnes, a fearless female leader of a major institution and the founder of Studio in a School, which brought artists into NYC’s public schools after budget cuts slashed arts education. We’ll also travel to Kingston to see a former shirt factory that was flipped inside out to become a 50-unit artists’ studio haven.
Week two brings Veterans Day, a time to memorialize those who have traveled to the outer edges of the world in the name of military service and, more often than not, remain on the periphery when they return home. And so we share the stories of several organizations — like the Hire Purpose and the Patriot Guard Riders of the Finger Lakes — that, each in their way, return dignity to those who served this country.
In week three, we chat with two outfitters who translate their creative vision into clothing — with a twist. We sat for a delightful video interview with high-end fashion designer Lela Rose, the queen of “local,” who out-dresses the competition by very deliberately manufacturing her garments in NYC’s Garment District. And we spoke with Buffalo’s You & Who, which provides local artists with an outlet for creating T-shirt designs that are sold with a two-pronged charitable component: a shirt is donated for every shirt sold, and a portion of the proceeds benefit a local charity.
And we wrap the month with Thanksgiving in mind. Tucked into New York towns are unassuming outcroppings, fighting the good fight, including Utica’s Leaf, Loaf & Ladle, which provides outlets curated specifically to the skillsets of those re-entering the workplace; the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, which celebrates living turkeys on Thanksgiving; and Saranac Lake’s Community Store, a shop built and jointly-owned by many members of the community,
So, sit back and enjoy the stories we have to tell of those whose virtues will outlast the test of time.
Oh, and don’t forget that Hanukkah is only 24 days away, and it’s T-50 to Christmas. Just sayin’.
From New York City,