Summer Place

Sup September--We See Y😍u!

From the August Community Conversation in Hudson, NY

From the August Community Conversation in Hudson, NY

Here we are beginning our third year at Instar Lodge. I have been reflecting on what that now means and looks like. I suppose what it looks like is it’s name: Instar (the period between moltings). We are in another stage of development and transformation, and one that I am over the moon about. During this last year we took a turn inward, we slowed down, and began to cultivate creative community around the actual lodge space, as being a nest if you will. We welcomed more women into the space to make, to think, and talk, while simultaneously going out and activating various public spaces with new ideas and new people. This motion was not an added expense or burden--it felt cozy and bright actually. You know when you don’t know what to do, doing what feels good is probably right.

I think what feels good is what is most exciting about our Instar #3, which is that our team tripled! This is HUGE as an entirely volunteer run organization currently supported by Instar community donations (like the $5-$25 a month kind). It was always my goal with Instar to create something living that could become self-supporting and it appears to be taking form, even if that form is not definite and only one new creative Instar. Please visit our new team page and celebrate our wonderful talented editions: Nina Pelaez, Rachel Ephraim, and Frances Vigna (three glorious writers!) we also have a new artist-in-residence: Kate Minford! Welcome Kate!

Here we are: Autumn. It is bursting with community, creativity, and critical engagement at Instar Lodge, with the opening of Womens Workplace our self-serve club for creative women who want space to make, write, or gather. The club offers Space Memberships for workspace only, and Social Memberships for WWP programs only. The first WWP Wine + Unwind” will be held at Instar Lodge on on September 24th at 7pm. (NOTE: Any WWP members who join before then are welcome to bring two complimentary guests to drink, snack, and chat with creative ladies.) The first “Work (Workshop)” will gather on October 8th at 7pm--imagine roundtable discussion meets thinktank with a throwback to art school group critiques.

Instar Lodge is pleased to announce our FREE Autumn Place Community Conversations series, with our amazing co-host Good Work Institute (We love GWI!) kicking off on September 23rd, 3-5pm at Magpie Bookshop in Catskill, NY. Though no prior reading or expertise is required, Autumn Place Community Conversations are inspired by our What We’re Reading book list. This season’s titles continue to explore questions of place--our relationship to place and the myths and narratives about place that might need reexamining. Community Conversations invites the public to make new friends and engage in experiential learning through dialogue where all voices are valued. **We also want to say if your local, Magpie Bookshop has incredible used books. The owner is a wealth of intelligence and kindness--so visiting her place is a visit to any place your mind and heart might want to wander through the path of literature.

We have already begun adding programming to the October calendar and will continue to be adding in the next few weeks so please check the site out--especially excited about upcoming children’s creative opportunities and there is talk of hip-hop yoga, great adult painting and writing workshops too (hint: Tailspinning is already listed and filling up) October will be busting at the seems! We are joining the O+ festival for our Oct. 7th Community Convo, w/ Mural Tours in the city of Kingston!!! RSVP appreciated at


Beginning October 1st, Instar Lodge will resume FREE Mending Mondays every first Monday of the month at 7pm. Whether you’re an expert or beginner, come weave love back into something tattered.


And we’re off and running into the hay fields and autumn light!

August: Last Summer Daze

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Lizzy Marshall

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Lizzy Marshall

How are you feeling? How are you handling the humidity and sticky sweltering wetness? It’s summer and a wild season of unbelievable beauty whether or not we love the weather. But we do love the weather. We love the peach sky and crespular haze rising from the green meadows and touching the felted clouds. These soft nights where dreams move to the melody of peepers. What’s not to love about a Hudson Valley Summer?
We are excited to close August with a magnificent Community Conversation this weekend in Hudson, NY.  Joining up with Kites Nest on Sunday at 3pm, and walking along Front street, witnessing the historic city’s diverse waterfront.  We will observe it’s living histories while discussing big questions about what citizenship means and what belonging to a place means. Join us, it's FREE always and all are welcome!RSVP here.

Our Summer Place Community Conversation series has been a treasure trove of field trips and new friendships. We are so grateful to our Co-host Good Work Institute (btw their upcoming fellowship applications are open now!) and all of our generous sponsors and partners for making this season incredible! Stay tuned for our Autumn Community Conversation Series, kicking off in September! We will be announcing our partners and location details in just a few weeks.
In other news, we had the delight of visiting artist Lizzy Marshall in her Kingston T-Shirt Factory Studio. Her studio, words, and work are featured in this month’slex*i*con. There is nothing like peeking into an artist’s private world. Please tag us on Instagram if you would like to be considered for a lex*i*con feature.  We know many amazing artists in the area, but we want to know all of you! (We have epic aspirations-we’re artists!)
Lastly, we open our doors to the first women of the Womens Workplace in only two weeks. We spent the last few months reading applications and learning more about what our creative women want—and so we modified our club structure and created membership tiers, making the process once accepted, easy-easy for everyone! Not only are the women walking in AMAAZZZZZING but we also have a new WWP leader: Rachel Ephraim, who will lead up the monthly WORKshop and Wine+Unwind which are the club socials.  Learn more now, and join the funhouse, I mean workplace, I mean home of the Wonder Women!
Wishing you all the sweetness of field flowers,
xxxDawn Breeze

PS. Don't forget to join us for our new hot practice with Yoga instructor (fabulous photographer + gem of a woman!) Valerie Schaff.  Val leads a drop-in yoga class, all levels on Monday mornings at 9am. We call it the Magic Hour!  We hope you will start your week off hot with us! Learn more online.

WONDERMENT, a Community Conversation

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“The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”― John Burroughs

Please join us this Sunday for a FREE delightful Community Conversationexploring the theme of WONDERMENT in place.  We turn our attention to the outdoors, walking and talking together at Wood Chuck Lodge, the home of naturalist John Burroughs, as part of our Community Conversations co-hosted with Good Work Institute. Always FREE, always for anyone. 3-5pm 7/29

Prompts for discussion: Attention is the beginning of love, or as the poet Mary Oliver says, it's the beginning of devotion or worship.  How do we attend to our place?  How does the intention of our attention change our experience of our place?  What is most calling our attention in our place?  How can we create opportunity for wonderment in a culture more attached to screens than leaves of grass?  Why return to nature as guru?  What is our understanding and connection to agriculture?  What do we need to change about our relationship to agriculture in our place? What is the culture of our place?

* Prompts have been crafted and inspired by our monthly reading list, no prior reading necessary to participate

RSVP appreciated:
MEET 7/29 3:00pm at Woodchuck Lodge, Roxbury NY, Home of John Burroughs, famous American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement

July, aka We're HOT and so are you

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Dawn Breeze at her the Studio

This month's LEX*I*CON artist: Dawn Breeze at her the Studio

It’s HOT. We’re HOT. What are you all doing to stay cool? 
We have been going to as many waterfalls and pools as we can. You’re more likely to find us hiding under the shade of the forests than behind our screens these days. The heat admittedly has us slower, languishing and lollygagging about, and we feel just fine about that. Next time we see you and you ask us what we’re up to, the answer is “being hot and slow." Busyness is so last season.
This month we’ve picked up a new hot practice with Yoga instructor (fabulous photographer + gem of a woman!) Valerie Schaff.  Val will be leading a drop-in yoga class Monday mornings at 9am called the Magic Hour!  We hope you will start your week off hot with us! Learn more online.
In addition to our Summer Place Community Conversation at Woodchuck Lodge on the 29th where we will walk and talk about wonderment in the footsteps of naturalist John Burroughs, we have added another conversation called ‘Drinks + Thinks’Thursday evening the 19th. At Drinks + Thinks we will discuss the pop-cultural phenomenon of the utopian and dystopian TV shows that have kidnapped our collective imaginations: Wild Wild Country and The Handmaiden's Tale. This FREE event is by RSVP only. Read more about it on our website. We hope you will join us for both conversations.
In this month’s LEX*I*CON journal, we feature my studio. Yup, that’s right—and it has brought up my discomfort of visibility.  How many of you artists and creatives are truly comfortable being your own agents?  Or being in front of the camera?  How many of you feel able to sing your elevator speech and let the world see your light?  How many of you feel comfortable showing the world a whole picture, the self that isn’t always smooth?  The art that is in process? For those of you that can answer yes, I applaud you!  For those of you that answer “not me”—I’m with you.  Because of this, I am imagining ways for us to collectively gain courage through practice. I will be folding this into programming and the Women’s Workplace this coming year.
We do not need to be found or given permission by an outside authority—we need to see and permit ourselves to show the world our creative light. We are in a new time. We are new women!

Summer Place: Joyous June News

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Summer Party, Switzerland. Cyanotype by Rebecca Cosenza, this month's LEX*I*CON artist
SUMMER is HERE! Or so we believe with our ready, sweaty imaginations, and bodies wanting to wade in water and munch on watermelon—Mmmmm!
This Summer we take a break from indoor activities and turn our attention to the outdoors with our Community Conversations. We are delighted to announce the Summer Place series, co-hosted with Good Work Institute, an amazing local organization building a network of Hudson Valley creative entrepreneurs and changemakers, working together to do more good work.
We will be visiting a few of our favorite places with partnering orgs: Olana,Woodchuck Lodge and Kites Nest; walking and talking about how we understand place and our relationships with it and with one another through time. All of our conversations are based on topics found in What We’re Reading. We are fortunate to offer these FREE conversations in thanks to the routine support we receive from our Instar Lodge Members, our local sponsors, and friends: Made + CollectedOtto’s MarketUpstate Diary and Farm Table.

This month in our LEX*I*CON journal we feature our very own Instar star, artist Rebecca Cosenza and her studio and reflections on what it means to be an artist. We have opened our applications to:WOMENS WORKPLACE , a co-working space for creatives and club inspired by the Rebekah’s Membership Club. Every day a new application is received we become shooting stars with glee! Apply now to begin working, hanging, making, playing, drinking, eating, talking, and creating together. Read what the club offers on our website and join us.
Thank you to all of you who visited, joined and partnered with us in May for the many events we hosted.  Each time we greet a new face and meet an old one, we fall more in love with our creative community. See you soon!

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PS. What are you doing this Saturday? On a personal side note, you're invited to my art opening, Wear the Earth at the Re-Institute in Millerton, NY 4-7pm, featuring new sculpture. Stay for a potluck dinner at the farm after. I would love to see you there:)

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