Annual RiverArts Music Tour

June 3rd 2017




Jan 6th - Feb 5th, 2017


 - a multi-media installation featuring the video, audio and photography of james dean conklin, and the photography of Nancy Jo Johnson


Pilgrimage: A Journey Through the Life of the Buddha

“Themes of interconnectedness, impermanence and the elimination of suffering, all found throughout Buddhism, are expressed through video, sound and photography. Over a period of three years I documented Zen monk Maarten Olthof’s pilgrimage along the life path of the Buddha in Nepal and India. This exhibition, featuring the forthcoming documentary film, Go Without Fear, shares Olthof’s mindful, interconnected journey - a journey that represents the ideals of pilgrimage, compassion and peace.”                                  

james dean conklin, New York, Dec 2016

james dean conklin s an American filmmaker and musician who transitioned from television animation (MTV, Nickelodeon, Locomotion, Warner Bros.) to live production in 2003, when he accompanied a rock band on a series of international tours and embarked on a crash course in documentary filmmaking. In 2007 conklin co-founded eco-activist band, Solar Punch, which continues to educate and celebrate ecological and environmental solutions to climate challenges. Mr. conklin lives with his wife in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

Maarten Olthof s a Dutch ecologist and Zen monk who has spent 20 years in Nepal and India studying Buddhism, Buddha and ecology. In 2003 Oltho walked the forgotten one thousand kilometer route through India and Nepal that connects the Buddhist pilgrimage sites and marks the path Buddha traveled from birth to death. Oltho’s journey has been documented by filmmaker james dean conklin, and the resulting documentary film is currently in post production, scheduled for release in summer 2017.

Pilgrimage: Nourishing the Spirit

“The photography of Nancy Jo Johnson, informed by her keen eye for the beauty to be discovered in the harsh reality of the Nepalese and Tibetan landscape, her sense of responsibility as a witness to suffering and an advocate of its elimination, and her study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, reveals the experience of the Buddhist pilgrimage.

Mairead Daly-Diep, New York, Dec 2016

Nancy Jo Johnson is a clinical social worker, photographer, writer and human rights advocate. Her apprenticeship began in 1980, when she met a group of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. For the next three decades she traveled to Southeast Asia producing stories for LIFE Magazine, National Geographic and TIME. Her inspiration to attain an MSW and practice as a clinical therapist in the field of trauma, was a natural progression from her reputable career achieved as a photojournalist. Ms. Johnson has studied Tibetan Buddhism since 1987, and lives with her husband and children in Yonkers, New York.

The opening reception on January 6th, 7-9pm, will include remarks by Zen Buddhist monk Maarten Olthof about his walking pilgrimage and his efforts to reestablish this Buddhist tradition, as described in his book Go Without Fear, and documented by james dean conklin. Olthof will also share his personal insights into the meaning that each of the four primary Buddhist pilgrimage sites holds for him, and how he learned to “go without fear” as he progressed along his unique journey. Additional events including live music, meditation and dialogue with Maarten Olthof, and talks by the artists are scheduled throughout the exhibition’s run and listed on our events page.





Nov 5th - Dec 18th, 2016

Creighton Michael & Ben Diep

rgbDRAWING: Pigment on Paper  

An Innovative Collaboration


rgbDRAWING: Pigment on Paper is a unique collaboration between Creighton Michael and Ben Diep showcasing selections from eight recent series of digital drawings. This next generation of hybrid work uses a large digital format in a time capture process fusing gesture drawing and photography. Instead of capturing motion in sequential frames, as video does, all activity is recorded in one frame. In this new photographic work, corrupted image patterns from personal marking history as well as debris from my sculpture practice are used as drawing implements in a marking technique that incorporates aspects of puppetry with other stagecraft elements to expand the traditional boundaries of drawing.

Creighton Michael’s focus on “mark making” has taken him on a rich and varied artistic journey from painter, to sculptor, filmmaker and printmaker. Michael has numerous national and international solo shows to his name, and his works are in many prestigious collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, MoMA, The National Gallery, D.C., and the Hafnarborg Institute of Culture and Fine Art, Iceland. Michael is an active member of American Abstract Artists, and is well known in the art community, not only for his expansive body of work, but also for his generosity as an educator, mentor and promoter of the arts.

Ben Diep is a master printer, photographer and painter who is known for infusing a painterly quality into the photographic images he works with, both digital and analog. Diep has produced prints exhibited at numerous U.S. and international galleries and museums, including MoMA, NY and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany.  Diep is co-founder of Square Peg Gallery, specializing in both emerging and mid career artists.