Apr 20

3 - 5 PM




Art Omi

Art Omi and Thomas Cole National Historic Site present Framing Arcadia: Toward a Hudson Valley Protopia, a free event about the artistic depiction of the Hudson Valley landscape, then and now.

Art Omi exhibiting architect and artist Olalekan Jeyifous joins renowned Thomas Cole scholar Alan Wallach for a conversation tracing the evolution of Arcadia, the historic notion of an unspoiled and tranquil wilderness, through art and architecture history. The panel will examine the idyllic concept as it intersects with intricate systems of power and economy that have shaped our world. The discussion will connect Wallach’s critical examinations of the Hudson River School’s depiction of the Hudson Valley with Jeyifous’ futuristic vision for a sustainable, intentional community in the region.

Moderated by Cole Fellow Alum Sofia D’Amico, Framing Arcadia: Toward a Hudson Valley Protopia is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia…, on view at Art Omi through June 2. 

Framing Arcadia: Toward a Hudson Valley Protopia
Sat, Apr 20 | 3-5 PM

Free and open to the public.
Advanced registration appreciated.
Framing Arcadia will take place at Art Omi in the Newmark Gallery.


Olalekan Jeyifous received a BArch from Cornell University and is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work re-imagines social spaces that examine the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. He has exhibited at esteemed venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Vitra Design Museum, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where his artwork is featured in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture and Design. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, Olalekan has spent over a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces and was co-commissioned to design a monument for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as part of the City of New York's "She Built NYC" initiative. Olalekan has garnered numerous awards, including the notable Silver Lion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. Additionally, he is a recipient of the 2021 Fellowship by the United States Artists, has been a Wilder Green Fellow at MacDowell, and completed artist residencies at the Bellagio Center, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Drawing Center's Open Sessions program.

Alan Wallach has spent more than fifty years teaching the history of American art at a variety of institutions including Stanford, the College of William and Mary, UCLA, Williams, and Kean College of New Jersey. For his efforts, in 2007 he received the College Art Association’s award for the Distinguished Teaching of Art History. Alan has been studying and writing on Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School almost longer than he can remember. He has also written extensively on the history of art museums in the US and the historiography of US art history, as well as on the work of such artists as Augustus St-Gaudens, Grant Wood, Rockwell Kent, Philip Evergood, Norman Rockwell, and May Stevens. His latest book, Trouble in Paradise Twenty-Four Essays on the Social History of American Art, is forthcoming in hardback later this spring or early summer from Historical Materialism/Brill and in 2025 in paperback from Haymarket Books.

Sofia D’Amico is a curator and researcher based in New York City, with recent projects focused on policed borders and architectures, the politics of art-making in prisons, and abolitionist imaginings with artists across geographies of free and unfree. She holds an MA from Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies, where she curated Up River Studies: Carcerality and the American Sublime (2022), which was presented at the College Arts Association’s 2024 annual conference in the session, “The American Carceral Landscape.” She currently serves as director of Chelsea-based gallery Alison Bradley Projects and curatorial director of the Juvenile Justice Arts and Media Network (JJAMN), for which under Wave Hill she co-taught arts courses at Shawangunk Correctional Facility. In 2022, she was a fellow at the Thomas Cole Site and curated Talking Back: Artists of the Columbia Collective at Foreland, focused specifically on historic and present juvenile detention in upstate New York. Thieu D’Amico has worked in arts administrative roles at organizations such as the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, Asia Art Archive, the Isamu Noguchi Museum, LACMA, and Hauser & Wirth.

About Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia...

Amid evolving environmental and cultural shifts, there emerges a space for thoughtful yet whimsical reflections on an increasingly challenging reality. The tensions between our natural and built world—amplified by intensifying climate conditions—form the backdrop for Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia… Drawing inspiration from the Arcadian myth, the exhibition juxtaposes picturesque portrayals of idyllic pastoral life with glimpses of a retrofuturist urban protopia set within the Hudson Valley. In leveraging both the artistic and literary motifs of Arcadia, the exhibition engages us in considering the possibilities and challenges posed by an inventive world-making process that is simultaneously shaped by the polished echoes of historical ideals, contemporary socio-political anxieties, and the uncertainty of our future aspirations. Through engagement with the local architecture in the Hudson Valley as well as the rich history of landscape painting, Jeyifous seeks to interrogate the ways in which the myth of Arcadia has been interpreted and expressed through these forms. 

Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia… is curated by Julia van den Hout, Senior Architecture Curator with Guy Weltchek, Curatorial Assistant.

About Art Omi

Art Omi supports international artists across disciplines, serving as a lab space that nurtures and commissions forward-thinking projects in nascent stages of development and catalyzes expanded contexts for significant works due for critical reappraisal. A non-profit arts center in New York’s Hudson Valley, Art Omi welcomes visitors to experience the intersections of art and nature in our 120-acre Sculpture & Architecture Park. With more than sixty works in a bucolic setting of rolling farmlands, wetlands, and woodlands, and rotating exhibitions in our Newmark Gallery, Art Omi creates a sanctuary for the public and the artistic community alike to celebrate the transformative quality of art.

Art Omi offers residency programs for international artists, architects, dancers, musicians, writers, and translators, hosting more than 2,000 artists from over 100 countries since our founding in 1992.

Art Omi engages with our local community through a thriving arts education program, beloved by local families and children.

Free to all, Art Omi is open daily, year-round.

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About Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY, marks the birthplace of the formative art movement of the United States, now known as the Hudson River School of American landscape painting, as it was founded by Thomas Cole (1801-1848). The nationally recognized historic site is an affiliate of the National Park Service and operates as a forward thinking nonprofit organization embracing change and continually pursuing authenticity and resonance. Thomas Cole’s profound influence on America’s cultural landscape and the historic context of his work inspires us to engage broad audiences through innovative educational programs that are relevant today. Our programming and operations are continually evolving under our initiatives for Greening and Diversity, Equity and Access.