The Hamlet of Wassaic is the last stop on a Metro North line two hours out side of New York City in the Harlem River Valley. In many ways this place feels like a dead end town, with a two block main street and only a bar, post office and tiny convenience store full of expired goods. This was a factory town, at one point with great significance as home to the first condensed milk factory in the United States. For many decades Wassaic sat quietly alone, but today it is home to a new artist’s community whose core members have more than tripled since their original three 6 years ago. Their foundation is built upon shared ideologies of collective engagement and the cultivation of a community with a profound relationship to the place.
The Wassaic Project gave me the opportunity to pursue these themes which have interested and compelled me for many years, this time on the inside, as a member of their community as a visiting resident in summer 2012 and again in winter 2013. In this work I am a true participant in the experience, living among the founders and others who have come to take part in the experience. I do not need to physically place myself into any of the images to have an active role in the project, and still am interested in looking upon my peers and the environments that surrounded us. Striving to infuse my work with a sense of community and integration, the moments that unfold in these images are born out of the process of collaboration with my subjects.