Abscission (from the Latin ab, meaning away, and scindere, meaning to cut) is the shedding of various parts of an organism, such as a plant dropping a leaf, fruit, flower, or seed. In zoology, abscission is the intentional shedding of a body part, such as the shedding of a claw, husk, or the autotomy of a tail to evade a predator. In mycology, it is the liberation of a fungal spore. In cell biology, abscission refers to the separation of two daughter cells at the completion of cytokinesis. (wiki)

Dear Starlight,
We have successfully completed one rotation around the sun, and are currently celebrating the end of our first year and the beginning of our second. Most commonly Abscission is a word used to refer to the dropping away of leaves, and ripe fruit.  It is also the title of chapter 2. at Instar Lodge.  As a creative enterprise, Instar Lodge aims to model organic cycles, recognizing continuos change as necessary for health.  Cycles include waxing and waning, outward expression and inward rejuvenation, pain and joy and a myriad stew of complex and juxtaposing experiences.  We believe success is not measured by consistency or steady upward growth, but rather by flexibility, integrity, ingenuity and well-being.  


"I picture the garden: unruly, wild; lush with rot and overabundance.  The uneaten fruit of the tree lies decaying on the ground and floats down streams.  I try to create photographs perched between decay and new life, randomness and order, flatness and depth, the natural and the fantastical. “—Tanya Marcuse (upcoming exhibiting artist, Land & Memory, image: 549 Fallen)

What abscission will look like for Instar Lodge is yet to be seen, we will watch it unfurl together.  We will be focusing on letting what is not needed fall away, as the leaves from our local deciduous trees do.  We will be saying yes to more contemplation, more conversation, and richer engagement with creative processes with our artistic community near and far.  It will be a time of research creation.  It will be a time of bringing more people into Instar Lodge as creators of this cultural vessel, as we are building it’s basilica together. We invite you into the evolution of this social-artistic organism.  How would you like to be a part of Instar Lodge’s development now? Please take a look at some potential volunteer opportunities and collaborations listed on our website, and also please don’t hesitate to reach out with something else you have in mind.




Image: Katrina Rodabaugh

We welcome this new year and close of the first, with September artist-in-residence, Katrina Rodabaugh along with an exceptional exhibit Land & Memory curated by local artist Caitlin Parker that opens at the end of the month.  Both Katrina and Caitlin embody the tone of Instar’s chapter change through their artistry and deep rooted connection with the earth as prima materia.  Katrina will be using her time at Instar Lodge as an opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations and research with local herbalists, artists, and farmers.  She is actively researching intersections between art, ecology and land stewardship.  She has a notable practice and strong committed following, in Fiber Art, Slow Fashion and the Art of Mending.  During her residency she is offering a one day Medicinal Dye Plants: Natural Dyes + Remedy Making, with the ineffable local herbalist Lauren Giambrone of Good Fight, they will be focused on plants that double as natural dyes and medicine–offering herbal dyes that might serve as talisman or amulets or otherwise add healing properties to our garments alongside natural and glorious color. The workshop will be held Saturday, Sept 16 from 1-5pm. As of now there are still a few slots open.  Additionally, Katrina will lead a public conversation with regional artists and collaborators from her month residency at Instar Lodge, as a special event dovetailing the opening of Land & Memory September 30th. Conversation will explore how our connection to the land can inform our creative process and vice versa; How the local environment can shift art process, and how art process can result in a physical shift in the environment through gardening, homesteading, observation, and land alteration; How a connection to the land can also result in intimacy, stewardship, and preservation.


Full list of panelists TBA but will include Katrina Rodabaugh, Brece Honeycutt, and Caitlin Parker. Katrina's studio at Instar Lodge will be open before, during, and after the conversation to share her experiments and observations from the month. In corresponding with the exhibition, Land & Memory, guests will be encouraged to move from public conversation, to open studio, to exhibition to experience various expressions of art & environment. Please arrive by 5pm for the public talk and open studio.

Land & Memory an extraordinary and timely exhibit, curated by Caitlin Parker, brings together the expressions of eleven female identifying artists around the idea of the landscape being less a static ideal then a living, transformative nature. The title is a response to Simon Schama's Landscape and Memory. Schama presents landscape as an Arcadian and largely masculine concept projected onto the natural world, in contrast to land, earth and raw matter. Contemporary artists, particularly women artists, are taking a more visceral and immersive approach to exploring the land around them. For these artists, landscape isn't something “other” to be observed from on high and imbued with Edenic mythology, but is instead the source.  All of the artists included in the show are women making work about the natural world oftentimes including the earth into the work through raw and foraged materials. Most live in the Hudson Valley full or part time, allowing for dialogue with the Hudson River School painters. The exhibit opens Saturday September 30th from 6-8pm (artist talk at 5pm) and the runs through Columbus Day weekend.  More details are on the website.

"...imagine what might exist outside of the human ability to perceive. Just as the light of day is continuously shifting just beyond our awareness, so do all elements in the natural world constantly move and change in a cycle of growth, decay, and regeneration." —Sharon Core (upcoming exhibiting artist, Land & Memory)

We have just opened our third iteration of the wildly popular creative writing group Tailspinning for sign-up.  Tailspinning begins the first Wednesday evening of October and runs for eight weeks through November.  It’s limited to eight participants, first come first serve, warning spots go fast!  More October workshops will be added to the website soon, stay tuned for updates via social media.

We were delighted to have artist-in-residence Amanda Taylor in the studio this July and look forward to hosting an open studio in October, to share her work created during the residency, date TBA, and we are excited about her upcoming LEX*I*CON blog post!  Lastly, we want to remind you that we have the much loved writing room open and available for women who want to write at Instar Lodge, it’s available as needed by the day.  Check it out!  

There is much more to be said—and we hope you artists are saying it!

With galaxies of love and light for you,
Dawn Breeze