Dune / Shift


A public sculpture commission curated by Kelly Schroer for the Newburgh Sculpture Project 2019

At SUNY Orange in Newburgh, New York

On view through Oct 25, 2019

Native dune grasses and plants [non-invasive Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal,’ Panicum virgatum 'Cape Breeze,' and Arctostaphylos uva ursi 'Massachusetts’], sand, earth, charred cedar 

36” x 96” x 96” 


Using native dune grasses, Mollie McKinley has created a triangular cutaway of a coastal Atlantic sand dune overlooking the Hudson River. "Dune / Shift"continues the artist's ongoing work with erosion, time, and site. By using earth as material, McKinley questions the cultural value of natural resources. The transference of the dune from its maritime environment to the Hudson Highlands also evokes a mystic convergence of the two landscapes. The work is informed by the artist’s interest in ancient ritual sites and symbols, as well as her childhood landscape of coastal Cape Cod—where climate change has accelerated natural geological erosion.

The work responds to the site, which is on a bluff in Newburgh overlooking the Hudson River. The wind tunnel of the location activates the dune grasses, creating movement and sound that evokes a visit to the ocean. Hudson Valley marsh birds are often heard, adding to the effect of converging landscapes.

Other artists participating in the Newburgh Sculpture Project include Vivien Abrams Collens, Amy Feldman, Daniel Giordano, James Holland, and Stuart Sachs. This inaugural year of the project has been supported in part by the Orange County Arts Council.

"Dune / Shift" was made possible thanks to the contributions of Rebecca Dragonetti, Sean McClelland, Patti Dale, Katie Burley, Rainger Pinney, Noah Sokoloff, James Holland, and Kelly Schroer, without whom this project could not have materialized.

*entrance to campus can be accessed via footpaths on Grand Street, Broadway, or First Street. The dune is on the SUNY campus oval.