Marching Ahead: LEX*I*CON II, Community Conversations, and More!

Our Instagram feed is looking pretty good these days, thanks in BIG part to our lovely new honeybee Rebecca Cosenza. **The beehive, was a symbol for the Rebeka's (the female auxiliary of the IOOF) as a representation of cooperative industry, teaching the advantages of united efforts in all the ministries of the order. We welcome Rebecca C. to the Instar Lodge order!

Our Instagram feed is looking pretty good these days, thanks in BIG part to our lovely new honeybee Rebecca Cosenza. **The beehive, was a symbol for the Rebeka's (the female auxiliary of the IOOF) as a representation of cooperative industry, teaching the advantages of united efforts in all the ministries of the order. We welcome Rebecca C. to the Instar Lodge order!

This month at Instar we are grateful to host a plethora of community workshops and events that make transition seasons beautiful and more comfortable. 

Lauren Giambrone and Mandana Boushee are guiding us through The Art of Herbal Care for the Hometeam, a workshop for medicine making in all ways, with heart, hand and plant. 

We also have another plant inspired art workshop,The Art of The Avocado & Friends for both adults and young people.  Read more about these below and on our website.
LEX*I*CON II is happening (3/31@7pm)!  Our annual beloved reading of new work created at Instar Lodge.  This year we have poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction being read by marvelous female writers including our Virginia Scholar, Hallie Goodman and women from our Tailspinning group: Karen Keats, Rachel Ephraim and myself. 

Speaking of literature, we have a new program: What We’re Reading.  This is a curated monthly reading list from our in-house library.  Each month we feature select titles on our website and host an open community conversation inspired by the theme.  Last night we hosted a conversation on the pluralities and complexities of Love (our February theme). This month we examine leadership and the footsteps we walk in and forward from.  We are especially excited to be hosting this conversation on foot, at the historic home site of W.E.B Du Bois. Click here to read this months prompt and see our titles.
Are you following us on Instagram?  If not you should be!  We post daily content and local inspiration related to our arts community and events.  We also want to follow you—tag us in your posts so we know where we should look for great art, literature and general creative content locally as well as internationally.

February Lovin'

Our current local artist  WolfyII  studio is being put to beautiful use, and he is offering two community workshops this month at Instar! Wooo-hooo!  We are delighted to welcome artist  Louise Smith  into the space this month too! Thank you everyone for your support and for keeping art cool!

Our current local artist WolfyII studio is being put to beautiful use, and he is offering two community workshops this month at Instar! Wooo-hooo!  We are delighted to welcome artist Louise Smith into the space this month too! Thank you everyone for your support and for keeping art cool!

So, what is love in action?  When is love not a word?  For us it looks like slowing down enough to reflect on that question, and slowing down enough to see our own good even when we know we can do better, and slowing down more so that we can respond to daily circumstances in a way that is heart full, and slowed down even more to see the words in those words: ART-FULL
How is love in action art-full?  This is what we are thinking about over here and we hope you join us this month for art-full happenings.

We have a month filled with community gatherings and workshops highlighted below.  One of our favorites returns: Tailspinning, the wild and wooly creative writing group beginning this Thursday Feb 1st!  Sign up now, we still have a few spots!!

TAILSPINNING: Come spin your tail spinning tales in this wild unruly sometimes wooly group of writers.Begins Feb. 1st 7pm-9pm and meets for eight consecutive weeks.  Open to all levels, learn more andregister here. $110 member/$120 non-member

MENDING MONDAY: Bring your tattered torn loved and worn to be mended back together again--together!  Every first Monday of the month (Feb. 5th) we gather at 7:00pm, learn more here, all welcome.  Suggested donation $5.

DROP-IN-DRAW: Join artist-in-residence WolfyII for open drawing sessions Wednesday evening's in February.  Begins Feb. 7th 7pm-9pm Open to all levels, learn more and register here. $55 member/$60 non-member series $20 drop-in

DIY Silk Screen Workshop: Join artist-in-residence WolfyII for one of his much requested community silkscreening workshops.  This is an amazing hands-on making workshops, with students learning to draw, cut and print their own screen, walking away with quite a few fantastic t-shirts. Space is very limited to reserve your spot NOW. Feb. 10th 10am--3pm Open to all levels, learn more and register here.$125 member/$150 non-member

Parenting Praxis: Join this peer led parents group, (facilitated by Dawn Breeze and Rebecca Bray) focusing on what parenting as art can mean in community. Space is limited to support intimacy and connection, reserve your space now.  Meets 1x a month beginning Feb. 16th-June 15th 6:30-8:30. Read more here and register here. Suggested donation $10-$20 per session


A Fleet of Goodships: Sailing into 2018

Sail into 2018 inspired with thoughts of leadership, relationship, authorship, worship,and more. Did you know that 'Goodship' means: kindness, a favor, and grace? Let's embark on that ship together

We made a calendar of Goodships for you,  get yours now  

We made a calendar of Goodships for you, get yours now 

What a year, we have been busy doing what we do--advocating for creative growth and positive change with our mission to inspire creativity, courage and community with the arts.  We have done this through providing platforms and opportunities for artists to try new things, make new things, and learn new things together with community. Like what we did together this last year:

WORKSHOPS--Over 10 artist led workshops!

7 GROUP EXHIBITIONS-featuring over 400 artists with over 98% identifying as female  




Instar Lodge was founded under the pretense that it would operate for one year as a pop-up social arts project.  When we reached our anniversary (August), we decided to carry on, as there was an incredible swell of community engagement and we were curious where it would lead.  It has led us farther than we could have imagined, it has led us to NOW

"So much gratitude for Instar Lodge! Gratitude for my artist residency, for a local community arts space that's invited me to teach, create, exhibit, and engage in this work of being an artist. Gratitude for the community Instar creates. For its stake in the Germantown community. For the vision to build, grow, and offer this space to our local community. And more. So much more.”

- Katrina Rodabaugh, Artist in residence, 2017


Germantown Holiday Stroll


Join us tomorrow in Germantown for the first annual holiday stroll!

Saturday, 12/9 from 2-6

Alder East and Luddite will be gathering around the bonfire and enjoying Wolfy’s clarée, ricotta doughnuts from Sweet Deliverance, & popcorn. Stop by at 2:30 to meet a Germantown goat from Cat’s View Farm. Hot chocolate and gifts at Ottos, mulled cider + hot soup at Gaskins, ornament making at The Central House, shopping at Michael Robbins, eggnog at Mary MacGill, tastings at Lawlors & festive greenery at Floral Innovations.  Stop by Gtel for a special tree lighting and a visit from Santa!

Here at Instar Lodge we will be making gift wrapping paper, winter green swag's, selling brand new Gtown sweatshirts and our 2018 artist callendar, and celebrating WolfyII artwork with an open studio, where he will be creating drawings on request.  Hurray for the Holiday spirit in this sweet hamlet!

Thank you for shopping local and supporting small business.
Can’t wait to celebrate together!

Thanksgving Gratitude


"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude"-Friedrich Nietzsche

Dear Starlight,

We are grateful to you for so many things, far too many to list.  But what we are most grateful for is your belief in the value of creativity, and your courage to continue to open yourself to your own creative expression and that of your neighbors.  We believe this activity fosters feelings of belonging and joy in community, feelings which can ripple into benevolent action, creating ever more positive opportunities for loving interdependent relationships.

As we hear the word Thanksgiving, we wonder what something are we doing or have done at Instar Lodge that you are thankful for? It could be an idea, an event, a feeling, particular artists, workshops, an experience, an object, a newsletter—anything that we have done or are doing that sparks your gratitude.   Please share a few minutes of your time with us, sharing your gratitude here. We are preparing our upcoming Giving Statement and will love to craft it from our community reflections. Please submit your response by Monday, November the 27th.  All individual responses will be responded to in kind with a small token of our gratitude.
With oceans of love and a heart overflowing with thanks to you,

Dawn Breeze

Liberation is Praxis


 “Liberation is praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it."--Paolo Freire

(Image of locally foraged goldenrod for natural dyeing inspired by last months Medicinal Dye Workshop)

Dear Starlight,
Despite global warmings warm fall, we are headed into the darkness, winter is arriving at our door here in the North East.  As that cold feeling enters us from outside we often sense it within as well.  Instar Lodge wants to light inner fires, keeping them aglow through the upcoming cold days we face.
This season we invite you to participate in creative community process-based experiences.  Starting this month (Nov. 17th) we invite you to join Parenting Praxis, a monthly community parenting group that examines parenting as an art, one in which we begin creating a future community canvas with love. We also begin the month with our Mending Monday (Nov. 6th 7:00)and #artistmomsunite (Nov. 3rd 7:00), all open and free gatherings around creative care.  Tailspinning, our creative writing group continues to flourish and we now host a local group of Good Work Institute Fellow’s, who meet at the space to brainstorm new working solutions for place based improvements.  In addition to these offerings, we offer our space to your unique gatherings and groups.  Do you need a space to build creative community that will help you thrive?  If you feel your idea for a group fits with our mission, reach out to us.  We want to hold space for you too.

In addition to our community gatherings we are boasting two amazing local artists currently in residence: Jef Scharf (alias Wolfy PartII), socially engaged multi-medium artist and Hallie Goodman, creative writer.  Both artists are cooking up exciting workshops and community engaged projects for you in December, stay tuned.  We love our artists in residence so much! September artist-in-residence Katrina Rodabaugh’s open letter about her experience at Instar is now up on our online journal LEX*I*CON for you to enjoy.
On a fun note, I attended the Crises on Democracy, which was the Hannah Arendt Center’s annual conference at Bard College.  I went primarily because artist Tanya Bruegera was speaking.  In the intermission I found myself in the elevator alone with her.  In those offbeat moments I learned about her Instar project in Cuba.  Her Instar is a school for ‘artivismo’ in her house.  I also learned that InstarI in Spanish means “to urge” “to push forward”.  When I opened Instar Lodge, I did so as an extension of my home (my house is two doors away) as I needed more creative space—which after I had it, I realized I wanted to share it with you. 
As Instar Lodge progresses it is important to remember it comes from the impulse of the home being where the heart is.  Instar Lodge is not a commercial venue, we are a home with a hearth stoked by creativity and community and we want you to help us keep that fire alive.  We are a place studded with stars hoping and urging forward liberation with light, recognizing the precipice of transformation, and acknowledging the value of whatever creative stage you are in now. We are here to get stoked with you!
Please help keep our fire going. Donate. Volunteer. Cheerlead. Participate.

With galaxies of love and light for you,
Dawn Breeze



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


Dear Starlight,

We are gearing up for another incredible art fun-raiser for Planned Parenthood, specifically our local chapter, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.  Instar has joined together with Kristen Dodge from September Gallery to create ACT I. a postcard exhibit featuring 100’s of artists original small artworks, hung at Hudson Hall.  A hundred percent of the artwork sales will be donated to UHPP and sold one night only (7/22) for $50 each, as part of  Rally In The Valley.  Rally In The Valley will be July 21-23 in Hudson, NY.

Currently we are accepting submissions of all artworks any mediums, from all artists near and far! All submissions received before June 29th (HURRY!) are eligible for inclusion in the limited edition printed postcard collection as part of this exhibit. All submissions will be accepted up to July 19thsubmit now! Please share this invitation with your artist friends!

And lastly we have been thinking of action and burnout.  Self-care can even begin to feel like an action that one must do, one more thing to add to the list of to-do's.  When is too much good action bad action?  We are learning that this is a very personal question and one that can only be answered by you.  We encourage you to s l o w d o w n in our rampant climate of busyness and ask yourself: Am I acting with love, self-love?  Love is the only action that should be daily and it is the only one that will not deplete you or others.  If we all lead with loving action the world is certain to change.  

How are you acting with self-love today?  

(Show us on instagram, so we can high-five you and send you some loving affirmation back!#act1selflove @instarlodge)


“The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom.”

--bell hooks in Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representation, 1994, excerpt on Grassroots Economic Organizing website.

A Letter of Shining Light at Instar Lodge

Image: Qualities of Integrity Cards made by  Stay Best   at Creativity=Capital workshop

Image: Qualities of Integrity Cards made by Stay Best  at Creativity=Capital workshop

Dear Starlight,
It feels like there is so much to say.  We have had really rich weeks at Instar Lodge.
I lead my Creativity=Capital workshop, in collaboration with Hudson River Exchanges Spring Workshop series.  It was the beginning of a new season of Creativity + Courage™ at Instar Lodge which founded originally as the home to Creativity + Courage™. We are so happy to begin offering it in full effect this coming fall!  And something else to put it in your pocket: I will be accepting a few select clients for creative consulting starting in September.

Griffon, (detail 8” x 8”) 2017 Mixed Medium in Paper by Ellen McKay   

Griffon, (detail 8” x 8”) 2017 Mixed Medium in Paper by Ellen McKay

In the mean time we have another incredibly exciting workshop series starting in only two weeks.  In June we begin, Heart Desire: The Thinking Person’s Guide to The Law of Attraction, with artist Ellen McKay.  This is a 2hr workshop, meeting Wednesday’s from 4-6pm in June. Ellen McKay is an exceptionally juicy fine artist who has been working the magic of the teachings of Abraham Hicks for years with great success and now she is sharing her learnings with us.  Her current students say:
I must say I was skeptical at first, but now I am an enthusiastic member of a Law of Attraction group…I am practicing the principles of Thought Transformation on a daily basis. Ellen McKay is an excellent teacher-- Judy Lechner
Ellen presents her signature "Heart's Desire" workshop with grace and surety. I found the class to be interactive, informative and intuitive. I have been nourished by attending her workshop, being in her presence, and following her wise suggestions. I highly recommend taking her "Heart's Desire" workshop. Your heart will thank you! ---Peggy Malloy,CHHC
You can read more about Ellen McKay, and see some of her gorgeous paintings and sign up for theworkshop here.

WOOP---WOOP!!!  BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!  ACT I, an art exhibit organized by myself and Kristen Dodge of September Gallery is happening July 22nd, at the HUDSON HALL as the big event of a city wide extravaganza: RALLY IN THE VALLEY, a weekend long festival of arts and activism, raising awareness, fun, and funds to support our own local Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.  Check it out on their Website—more is being added daily as workshops and events are being scheduled.
We have an open call to artists (YOU!!!!, Your BFFS, Kids, Neighbors…YOU ALL!) We are accepting postcard size original artwork everyone can submit up to two works—all works will be hung blind (think postcards from the edge) in a wonderful treasure hunt style sale—all artwork will be priced at $50 and all funds go directly to UHPP!  We did it at Nasty Women HV, we did it at Post Election, and we will do it again!  No rest, no stopping, we create change—Be a part of the good!  Read more here, submit your gorgeous works and mark your calendars for the weekend!
Of course I have more to say—but this letter is getting long. Before signing off I want to share a few key points I took away from the DIY in the Art World panel I was on this weekend with incredible women atLabspace in Hillsdale, NY.
*’The Art World’ is many worlds—and you are already a part of it
*Create your own artistic opportunities with your community (they are your best audience)
*Don’t’ wait to know how, learn by doing
*Realize you are your own authority—permission all of yourself to be expressed (be whole)
*Deciding to be an artist is a decision to make your creativity and its expression a priority in your life—but everyone and anyone has the potential to claim their identity as an artist, creativity is an innate human characteristic
*Surround yourself with encouraging community
*Your work as an artist is to liberate (start with yourself)
*Recognize the value of what you do in multiple ways: cash, social, essential + more
*Thrive vs. survive
*Recognize what you personally need to thrive as an artist (For me it’s simply time and space to create, an audience to share my work with, and enough income to keep that cycle rolling—so keep the ball rolling by finding a balance distributed between what you need to thrive)
*Recognize when you reach your limits of sharing.  Develop courage to pull back and value again what makes you thrive.  Sacrifice=death
*DIY with others
With a sky full of our shining light,

Pure Magic This May at Instar Lodge

 Isaac Green Diebboll will be performing an original piano piece titled  ‘Requiem For My Father’

 Isaac Green Diebboll will be performing an original piano piece titled ‘Requiem For My Father’

Dear Starlight,

We have been asking ourselves if we had a million dollars would we be doing what we’re doing?  The answer is YES!  YES, because we are crazy passionate about producing and sharing creativity with community, and we will do that with penny’s in the pocket or millions.  We love you and we want to see your creative brilliance shine!  

Have you wondered who is the “we” in Instar?  Well, It’s a very small team of volunteers including myself, working to provide space and opportunities to advance creative community happenings of all sorts.  It’s also YOU!  Your participation in events, and your membership, donations etc. help keep the ship sailing.  We do not have any behind the scenes funder or some giant financial engine pumping the heart of Instar. For this reason we need your continued support.  It’s really easy to support Instar’s community arts efforts.  Here’s how: 1# become a monthly member committing to any small amount you feel comfortable giving.  2# make a one time fully tax deductible donation 3# donate in-kind services, materials, products #4 volunteer (we have so many opportunities for volunteers, just send a hello here) #5Internships, we are looking for interns in a variety of arts positions (project coordinator, curating, general admin) Send a letter of inquiry. #6 Please share us with your own arts community, let people know about us, follow us on social media #7 Something else that is not on this list but you imagine would help us.

Thank you for your continued support x1,000,000!

Seder, Sounds, and Space at Instar Lodge

“...there is a paradox: a tradition must experience change or else it will die.  In the world of archetypes, our imaginations must collectively create a new synthesis of techniques, materials, and forms in order to nurture this aspect of change.  Then, as we create change within the rules of the tradition, we feel a change in ourselves as well.”---John Diebboll
Dear Starlight,
I wonder about these religious traditions like the Seder.  Have they died, or grown stale? Or can they be re-imagined anew to re-awaken us while also reminding us of histories that need remembering?  I believe they can and must as John Diebboll speaks of.
Last night I was honored to have a ‘Seat at The Table’, the Seder-Style dinner created by artists Bahar Baharloo, Emma McCann, Rebecca Beccer and Sonia Corina as part of the current ‘Tragic Instant’ exhibit.  These artists did what Diebboll speaks of—they broke tradition while simultaneously inviting us into their cultural heritage.  Sitting with community, we shared interfaith rituals and traditions of re-birth; all gathered around Carla Perez-Gallardo’s monumental alter-installation titled, ‘On Death and Dying’. 
One of the symbols on the Jewish Seder plate was the egg, symbolizing the circle of life and the cyclical nature of sorrow and joy. I cannot help but feel the sorrow these days and I cannot help but feel the joy of yellow daffodils trumpeting “LIFE, LIFE, LIFE”.  I appreciate the spaces and places artists bring us, to the table set to honor the whole cycle of life including the beauty of dying and even suffering.
John Diebboll passed in 2010, he was an architect, artist, piano imaginista and he is the father, best-friend and muse of our upcoming featured artist Isaac Green Diebboll.  Isaac’s project at Instar ‘Requiem for My Father’, is an original site-specific piano performance one night only, May 5th.  Rsvp is recommended as we have limited seating.
And if you missed the amazing ‘Tragic Instant’ opening and the Seder-Style Dinner, do not fret, the gallery is open this TODAY through Sunday from 12-6pm and Sunday at 4pm we have a closing artist talk (Basilica Back Gallery 110 Front st.). Do not miss this very alive exhibit exploring the tragic instants that temporarily suspend life.
Leaving the pallor of yesteryear and rejoicing spring is here!

A Beautiful Tragedy at Instar Lodge

“For blue has no mind.  It is not wise, nor does it promise any wisdom.  It is beautiful, and despite what poets and philosophers and theologians have said, I think beauty neither obscures truth nor reveals it.  Likewise, it leads neither toward justice nor away from it.”—Maggie Nelson

Dear Starlight,
It’s April showers, bluish-gray, it’s cold and wet.  We have been wading through the weather these days.  The promise of Spring renewal is testing our faith.  It’s difficult.  I have been thinking about the loneliness we create around our perceived difficulties.  I wonder why we eagerly share our joy but often hide the blues?  Why does it feel so wrong to feel wrong?  I imagine like the gray skies we have been held under in the North East, we don’t want to stay dark and dank, we want warmth and sunshine.  Our discomfort acts as a catalyst to change…but sometimes it’s just the weather passing through us. Can we bring company in, to watch the thunderstorms, the mists, the haze, with wonder and awe?  Can we find beauty exactly where we are, together, in moments of discomfort as well as ease?
This coming month we open by inviting you to come together, to witness the ‘Tragic Instant’, curated by Sonia Corina Ruscoe, presented at Basilica Back Gallery, in Hudson, NY.  Looking back on The Tragic Instant (11/8/16), it is a moment that catalyzed rage, heartbreak and despair. It is the pinpoint remembering the breath of invitation for more insidious negativity like boredom and the slow damping of a spirit. The intensity of such moments fade over time, but remembering the instant that a change is ushered in has an undeniably weird intensity of its own.  Sonia Corinna, brings together seven artists (and friends) to converse multi-disciplinary works that explore the strange urgency of instants.

In addition to the exhibit a unique public event has been created by the artists.  A Seat at the Table is an interfaith, intersectional, non-secular Passover Seder / Easter Dinner / Persian New Year Celebration. A festive and delicious Seder-style conversation about the history of Oppression in America and the many forms it takes. This evening is a practice in coming together as a community and as many communities to combat oppression, eat and honor our ancestors. This event is open to the public, but reservations are required.  Reserve your spot.

It’s raining outside.  Stay warm inside.  Invite the light of another over for Calmbucha®,
Have faith in your own flowering that still hides underground unseen.  Don’t force your bulbs—light a candle for now.  Share the beauty that’s in your gray matter.  Let the rain nourish what needs to grow.  Leave home without an umbrella.  
xxDawn Breeze

Thinking of You, Spring

Artist/writer Annie Bielski listening to her co-readers at LEX*I*CON reading.

Artist/writer Annie Bielski listening to her co-readers at LEX*I*CON reading.

Dear Starlight,

I am thinking of you.  I am thinking about wealth and how we measure it.  How do you measure it? Navajo scholar Gary Witherspoon writes, 

“A Navajo often counts his wealth in the songs he knows and especially in the songs he has created. A poor Navajo is one who has no songs, for songs enrich one's experiences and beautify one's activities.”  

This idea of wealth being connected to an individual’s creativity, measured by how it beautifies a collective experience is rich to contemplate.  It suggests that it is not the money paid for the song that makes one wealthy but rather the ability to create and express oneself that makes one wealthy.  

I can’t help but think about this as our leaders run our country into the ground, in attempts to squeeze money from rocks.  I agree our country is poor right now, from lack of creative capital, social capital, and spiritual capital. That said, our local community and community of artists illustrate a richness that cannot be robbed, because it is within each of us, shining brightly in each other’s company.  

We saw it this last weekend at Instar during our first LEX*I*CON reading, where four women writers shared powerful, funny, vulnerable, poignant writing with an engaged and compassionate audience.  We see it in the artist in residence studio, with Katie Grove busy as a bee, making, researching, playing, repeat!   

Starlight, it is your creativity that makes you rich.  Creativity is regenerative capital.

Join us for the work of our inaugural artist-in-residence, Katie Grove. She will hold her open studio on March 25th, starting at 3pm.  
During her month long residency at Instar Lodge, she expands her most recent project, Great Migrations, by investigating actual woman naturalists of the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular Margaret Morse Nice, an ornithologist and naturalist born in 1883. In this work, she takes the details of her life and the meticulous data and observations she collected during her career and re-imagines them into drawings and book art pieces. 

Open Studio: Saturday March 25th 3:00-6:00 

Spinning Into Spring at Instar Lodge

Dear Starlight,

We know what Viola Davis meant when she said, ‘I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” during her Oscar speech.

We witnessed a celebration of life at Instar Lodge this weekend with over 300 guests coming to admire and purchase artworks generously donated by close to 100 artists for a Planned Parenthood Fundraiser organized by the ineffable FOUR-D.  Within hours over 5k was raised!

Reflecting on the success of the event, what perhaps is most noteworthy is how this benefit extends far beyond Planned Parenthood and into a future of many.  The event highlighted the work of Four-D, beautiful and affordable artwork moved from artists studios into new homes, it brought business into a tiny hamlet, people ate at our delicious local restaurant Gaskins (who generously donated beverages at the event raising money for PP with us!) and shopped atLuddite. In the end money was given to Planned Parenthood, who will use it to give their services and care to women in need--this generates more life to love.

We chose to be artists. We are pro-choice. We will continue to support the rights of women to choose, thank God!

With my heart full of love for you,
Dawn Breeze

Speak More of Love

Photo by Stella Lembcke

Photo by Stella Lembcke

Hello Starlight,

I’ve been feeling especially inspired thinking about “story” and have been reading theater maker Anne Bogart on the subject. She says:

“Artists and scientists are activists.  They look at the world as changeable and they look upon themselves as instruments for change.  They understand that the slice of the world they occupy is only a fragment but that the fragment is intrinsically connected to the whole.  They know that action matters.”

What are your actions right now?

“A talent for speaking differently, rather than for arguing well, is the chief instrument of cultural change.” --Richard Rorty, philosopher  

ARTISTS—THIS is what we do—we speak up and we speak differently!


Artwork by Lucy Blaire

Artwork by Lucy Blaire

I want to remind you that next week over 100 Nasty artists speak wildly, hard, soft, full of heart, beautifully and differently in the Nasty Women exhibit and Planned Parenthood FUNraiser!  The incredible Four-D curatorial force has amassed exquisite submissions from a wide range of talent and expression (see the list below).  All works are priced at $10-$100, making the exhibit a community gift exchange. Cash and carry, and please remember that Instar Lodge parking is the Municipal Lot.

Opening: Friday February 24th 7:00-9:00 Closing: Saturday February 25th 12:00-5:00

Thanks to participating artists: Marion Albers, Jen Ann, James Autery, Nancy Barber-Stone, Lauren Barnes, Aly Barohn, Atsuko Bauman, Emily Beresford, Hannah Berger, Annie Bielski, Lucy Blaire, Dawn Breeze, Eve Brown, Lars Bulrecz, Madeleine Buzbee, Sarah Carpenter, Chloe Chappe, Lizzy Chemel,Susan Chiappini, Claire Conley, Hillarey Dees, Erika deVries, Michael DiRosa, Lindsey Erin Luna, Alison Fox, Dana Gentile, Beka Goedde, Jessica Goehring, Christina Graham, Loey Gregory-Wiley, Freeda Handelsman, Clara Harlow, Sue Havens, Michele Hertz, Genie Hertz, Brece Honeycutt, DJ Horres,Bethany Hughes, Laetitia Hussain, Aiyana Jaffe, Licha Jiminez, Ellen Jouret-Epstein, Gretchen Kelly,Stella Lembcke, Anne Lindberg, JJ Manford, Ian McElfresh, Richard Minsky, Moriah Mudd-Kelly, Portia Munson, Ripley Nichols, Sophia Orlow, Nellie Ostow, Caitlin Parker, Adina Pease, Scout Pines, Rosa Polin, Sara Quinn, Heather Rae Hatton, Lucy Reiss, Emma Ressel, Maryann Riker, Emily Ritz, Karla Roberts, Katrina Rodabaugh, Mandolyn Rosen, Sonia Ruscoe, Studio Scrivo, Val Shaff, Parker Shipp,Barbara Slate, Kiki Smith, Simon Smith, Elisa Soliven, Sophie Strand, Amy Talluto, Nicole Ucedo, Becca Van K, Scott Vander Veen, Jack Whitescarver, Julia Whitney Barnes.

We invite you to share yourself with us.  We are now accepting creative submissions to our online journallex*i*con from any artist, educator, student, curator, or writer that has participated in anyway at Instar Lodge as well as Instar members.  We are accepting fiction and non-fiction writing, images, video and audio pieces.  We are also going to be featuring artist stories and interviews, so please keep us informed about your practice or special projects for consideration.  Please send all submissions to: with "lex*i*con submission" in the subject line.

Instar Lodge members are our loving community who give small monthly amounts of money to help support general operating costs at Instar. Please consider being a member if you’re not already—it’s super easy, you sign up to have a monthly amount of choice automatically deducted from your account, and you can cancel at any time.  When people ask how we are funded, it feels amazing to say by our believers—YOU, our community. Click here to learn more. 

With cosmic love,
Dawn Breeze

A NASTY Winter Awakes at Instar Lodge

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde

As we open the doors to 2017 we recognize our country has been temporarily cloaked in an orange toupee representing greed, power, and a hate that threatens what we love and who we love. I ask you to remember two things.

1. Care for yourself—radically like you’ve never done before.
2. Let the beauty you love be what you do.

This is the hard work. Keep your heART full of love, we love you and we love what we have to offer you this coming season. 

xoDawn 2/1/17


Join us for FOUR-D’s latest pop-up exhibition NASTY WOMEN HV, the Hudson Valley edition of the NASTY WOMEN exhibition series, created in collaboration with the eponymous New York City-based collective as a response to the presidency of Donald Trump.
NASTY WOMEN HV will feature works by an international group of artists coming together in solidarity to support women’s rights, especially reproductive rights, in the face of an administration that seeks to erode them. Each work in the exhibition will be for sale (prices range from $10-$100) with all proceeds donated to Hudson Valley Planned Parenthood. In presenting this exhibit, FOUR-D hopes to foster a vocal and active creative community in our area, and inspire artists to expand their thinking about the agency of artists and art institutions during times of political division.
Works will be received through open call beginning January 9, 2017 and closing on February 11, 2017. To submit work, please visit the FOUR D website.
Opening: Friday February 24th 7:30-9:00
Closing: Saturday February 25th 12:00-5:00
Cost: Free
Instar Lodge 4 Church Ave. 3rd fl. Germantown, NY 12526

Check out the latest additions to Instar Lodge’s spring 2017 calendar, including our first reading of the season, lex*i*con #1, and Tragic Instant, a thought-provoking art exhibit for April. 

Donations and charitable gifts to Instar Lodge are tax-deductible. Instar Lodge is proud to be a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts organization.  Thank you so much for your continued support. You may gift any amount by clicking here.

More Love To Give And Recieve At Instar

There is so much to say, and we hope your saying it!  We want to let you know about some upcoming Instar Lodge happenings that we are happy are happening-happiness still exists in here despite our general malaise about the maliciousness running rampant in our current political climate and country.  We are grateful for all the good we can generate in small and large ways, and we are grateful for all the good you are doing too!

With so much disrupt and pain during this giving season, it's important to remember the art of gratitude, the power of creativity, and the gift of healing and self-care as being sources of regenerative courage and fortitude. Give more LOVE freely to yourself and others. 

Instar Lodge is giving space to healing artists in residence for the next few weeks.  Christina Bohnsack and Rebecca Squiers (local Germantown women artists) will be in residence from Dec. 1st through Dec. 22nd, both offering their healing arts practices in a community clinic on Thursday afternoons from 3:00-7:00pm, as well as private sessions throughout the week.  They may also invite other healing artists to join them as special guests throughout their residency.  Learn more about their massage and reiki practice here on the website and book your private appointments.  Clinics are walk in and priced at $30/$25 members for a 30 minute session.  The artists are contributing a portion of the clinic proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

As part of our emphasis on the healing arts this month, we are offering a special healing arts day of workshops Dec. 10th.  The day will include multiple artists, with the option to participate in an entire day of care including a vegan lunch, or the opportunity to take the workshops a la carte.  We will be announcing the line up this coming Friday and making it available to enroll on our website then!  Teaser: Sound, Chocolate, Herbs, Art, Free Radicals-Free Love

We have a new child & caregiver exploratory art workshop starting Wednesday mornings with the well loved and loving artist Alison Fox.  The workshop is called 'Little Big Art Explorer'--the name says it all--the biggness of a dive right into process based play with art materials, alongside cherished children ages 0-4--allowing paint and color to lead the way to new discovery!  Learn more here on the website.  Drop-In's Dec. 7th &14th $20 first child/$15 each after. The full series starts in January, enroll now on website (limited scholarship available).
WHATS MORE?! Come see us this weekend at the first ever Germantown Market hosted by our new neighbors Alder & Co.  We will be sharing products made by our future workshop facilitators (think raw chocolate by Not Your Sugar Mama's, made in america travel bags by Humane Imperfection and even more goodness) artworks from exhibiting artists, and we will also set up a creativity table--you make it happen!

Hauntingly Beautiful Autumn Abundance at Instar Lodge

Mark your calendars now and join us for the upcoming event Tabitha, a collaborative art exhibit investigating places of transformation and transition. Organized by Instar Lodge Director Dawn Breeze and featuring new work by acclaimed artists Alison FoxMeg LipkeLauren Luloff andRuby Palmer.

The four artists in Tabitha are painters who have transgressed the discipline by reconstructing and deconstructing what we think of as painting, blending the hard lines into dimensional forms with soft materials, using architectural elements that highlight the interior and exterior, hand printing textiles and often times using floral motifs.  Breeze recognized these women were constructing a new place within what is traditionally a male discipline, and wondered what they might collectively create within Instar Lodge, a place that was historically built as a lodge for men who cared about raising human consciousness.
During their first meeting at Instar Lodge the artists responded to the place (and perhaps the ghosts inhabiting it) determining to investigate the liminal spaces between transitions of worlds, realities, and lives and explore such points of transformation. Tabitha, first famous for being a woman raised from the dead in the bible, and later famous as the beloved house-wife-witch on the 70’s sitcom Bewitched, playfully suits the title for the powerful and magical work these women have whipped up to share in this remarkably colorful and haunting exhibit.

Fall, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 18" x 24" by Alison Fox

Fall, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 18" x 24" by Alison Fox

In this bold exhibit, the artists have pushed their boundaries exploring new ways of creating.  Meg Lipke says: 
“I am an artist working primarily in flat and sculptural painting but for this project I tried to push into a different space in my practice. The result of my investigation is two bodies of work shown at Instar Lodge. The first is a singular hanging sculpture that resembles a shroud filled with sewn scraps and objects that symbolize both the weighted down-ness of human experience and the flimsiness and non-functionality of objecthood when faced with death.” 

Opening Reception: Oct. 29th 5-7pm
Viewing Hours: Oct. 30th, Nov. 5th & 6th 12-6pm

Instar Lodge 4 Church Ave. 3rd fl. Germantown, NY 12526

October: A landmark exhibit and publication 'Girls In Trees' opens

We have so much new and so much good to announce this month at Instar Lodge!  We are thrilled to be starting the month with Girls In Trees, a wild-hearted, tender and almost painfully exquisite landmark exhibit, and limited edition publication, on the theme of girls and wilderness. Curated by acclaimed novelist Rebecca Godfrey, Girls In Trees features new work by thirty-three emerging and established artists, including the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Sharon Olds, portrait photographer Brigitte Lacombe, and Guggenheim Award winning novelist Jenny Offill.

"I was Inspired by the photographs I took of my daughter tree-climbing, and I was interested to see how other artists, including photographers, novelists, painters and poets, experience this fleeting moment of beauty, a moment when girls are precarious, agile, careless, carefree.  For me, Girls In Trees investigates and celebrates the moment of girls in trees as an often secret place of wildness, a time before they are girls in cars, in uniforms, in schools, in contained and restrictive spaces. The exhibit also aims to present and explore scenes of girls in trees found in literature, bringing to gallery walls images that match moments found in beloved books.  In Wuthering Heights, for example, Emily Bronte describes Catherine in the trees, “swinging twenty feet above the ground (with) no necessity for descending... half thinking, half dreaming, happier than words can express.” --Rebecca Godfrey

Opening Exhibit Reception October 15, 6-8 p.m. 
Book Launch Party and Reading: October 22, 6-8 p.m.

Instar Lodge Super Stars--otherwise known as the Advising Council met for the inaugural session to begin the conversation of advancing the mission of Instar, review upcoming project proposals, artist residency applicants, and to determine the first awardee of the Virginia Scholarship. We are extremely proud to announce the first Virginia Scholarship has been awarded to local author and poet Karen Schoemer--who couldn't be cooler and a more interesting writer.  In reference to the Virginia Scholarship the great poet Bernadette Mayer says,"Karen is a keen observer and an excellent writer...I want to see what she writes." We do too!!!

The advanced children's art class Wildlings began meeting Saturday mornings, and is actively exploring the children's innate wild and free artistic nature in a variety of provocative, exciting and fortifying ways.

Tailspinning begins this week--an eight week experimental creative writing group co-led by artists Dawn Breeze and Annie Bielski.  The group formed by an invitation that spun in such a way that no one knows who's who who's coming and the mystery only just begins this Wednesday.

Below are upcoming October wonders not to be missed!  Yoga every Monday, our second screening in the Free Range Film series curated by Jackie Goss and an incredible collaborative exhibit between four extraordinary women artists: Alison FoxMeg LipkeLauren Luloff and Ruby Palmer (We will be sharing more about 'the exhibit Tabitha' soon!  Below is a drawing of a site specific installation made in white clay that artist Ruby Palmer is working on...)

Don't forget to follow us on social media for the latest up-to date postings and please consider becoming a member of Instar Lodge for whatever amount you want to give.  Instar Lodge is for the community with the community by the community.  Our motto is #creativitycourageandcommunity

Suicide Imprint

Listen here to the live recording of the reading 'Suicide Imprint' at Instar Lodge.

Sept 17th we hosted a group of courageous women writers (myself included, pictured here) who shared their riveting autobiographical stories of suicide.  Rarely is there an opportunity to listen to a suicide survivor speak their truth and yet suicide occurs frequently within our communities.  Suicide is on the rise increasing over 2% a year.  The time is now to begin speaking of it and listening deeply.  The authors this evening read from a small chapbook titled Suicide Imprint that they created this year, in a workshop organized by Maureen Cummins and Denise Ranaghan, led by author Beverly Donofrio.  The workshop was supported with funding and space provided by the Mental Health Association in Kingston, NY.  The authors included: Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Dawn Breeze (me!), Lorraine Coscia-Ackerman, Maureen Cummins, Linda Melick, Karen Ogborn, and Denise Ranaghan.

Following the reading the authors participated in an open conversation with the audience about their personal experiences with suicide, as well as shared ideas and thoughts about prevention, stigma, and how to help support survivors. 

We have made a limited number of the hand-sewn chapbooks available for purchase on our online store.