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  • Writer's picturesusan petrie

Artist Statement

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

I've recently set up at the Troy Waterfront Framers Market (Maker's Market) and people are buying images and asking questions. So, for the curious, here's my artist statement.

Growing up in Troy, I was lucky enough to have a free-ranging childhood. I discovered Mount Ida Falls one winter day when I was 9, and I remember feeling awestruck by the gushing water, the beauty, the discovery. I didn't realize it then, but nature, history & just a little bit of danger are connected here, and form an incredible story that is Albany, Troy, & the Hudson River.

This is a region of hard work, of firsts. It is also the difficult paradox of Empire shaped by what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget. 100-mile home is my discovery of the things that make this region powerful but that are often neglected, ignored, misunderstood, invisible, uncelebrated, or driven past.

In learning the region, I've found an unparalleled natural history along the Hudson and Mohawk rivers and between the Catskill and Adirondack mountains. The contours of the land as old as the earth itself, and the animals that roam, swim, and fly tough survivors in a difficult evolution.

I've also found a deep human story that is Mohican, Dutch, and English. I've discovered that the history of American innovation starts here - its sloops, steamers, tugs and trains, and Emma Willard, Joseph Henry, Glenn Curtiss, Kate Mulaney, John Morrissey. It's the van Rensselaers, Burdens, Schuylers, Cornings.

It's also a physical story, a world made of clay, brick, iron, wood, stone, fire.

These photos document the complex layers of human and natural history in Albany, Troy, and along the Hudson River (with occasional forays into Cohoes, Watervliet, Schuylerville, and along Route 20). They are the deep terrain of my 100-mile home.

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