Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
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From Jamaica to Peru


April 13-October 26, 2019

In this photography-based exhibition, guest curator Ben Stechschulte explored the inextricable fortunes of TAUNY North Country Heritage Award recipient Forrence Orchards, in the northern Adirondacks, and the generations of Jamaican men who travel thousands of miles to work there each year. The project, based on Ben’s extensive fieldwork and documentation over the course of a recent production season, was originally published as an Adirondack Life Magazine feature in October 2017. The TAUNY Center exhibition offered an expanded presentation of photos along with video and selected objects reflecting the work and daily experience of the Forrence Orchard apple pickers.

TAUNY was pleased to present “From Jamaica to Peru” as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the North Country Heritage Awards. Forrence Orchards received a TAUNY North Country Heritage Award in 2009 in recognition of the multi-generational ownership and operation of the orchard, which is itself an example of an important regional agricultural tradition. This exhibit offered a unique, in-depth look at the essential role the Jamaican apple pickers play in sustaining the orchard, and through that focus it offered insight on one of the main topics TAUNY is exploring through the 25th anniversary celebrations: the ever-dynamic balance of change and continuity in how deeply-rooted North Country traditions are carrying on.

Ben Stechschulte is a portrait, editorial, and documentary photographer and filmmaker based in the Adirondacks and New York City.

TAUNY presented “From Jamaica to Peru” in partnership with Adirondack Life magazine, which originally published material from the documentary project in October 2017. This project was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Support for this project was provided by the Donald W. and Dorothe P. Stechschulte Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

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