Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill Invests in Future of Schoharie County Arts, Announces 2019-2020 Arts Fellow

The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill has named Dean Babin its first Arts Fellow. 

Cobleskill, NY – The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill has selected Cobleskill-based artist, furniture maker, and woodworker Dean Babin to be its first Arts Fellow. Babin will serve as a fellow of the Institute for 2019-2020, and will be awarded a $5,000 fellowship through the Institute’s Center for Arts and Culture. The fellowship officially commences September 1, and will run through May 2020.

“Through initiatives and the individuals with whom we collaborate, both on campus and in the community, SUNY Cobleskill fortifies our region’s arts and culture ecosystem,” says College President Marion A. Terenzio. “In this case, the Institute for Rural Vitality is making a significant commitment to enhancing our role as a leader in the Schoharie County arts community. We are proud that this work will branch out from SUNY Cobleskill and, specifically, the work Dean will complete as a fellow of the Institute. We are extremely excited to welcome Dean and his great talent to our College.”

Babin will spearhead projects including the production of wooden sculptures, wall art, and/or home goods pieces, crafted exclusively from wood sourced within Schoharie County. He will also exhibit original works created in his time as a fellow of the Institute, and in Grosvenor Art Gallery, on the SUNY Cobleskill campus.

Additional projects stemming from the fellowship will include the exhibition of work completed by studio artists that will be exhibited with Babin’s primary works, and a final report including the artist’s suggestions on advancing and promoting the arts in Schoharie County. Institute Director Dr. Jason Evans says Babin is also expected to collaborate with students studying in Plant Science, Communications, and Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental programs at the College, to “produce video and written content that gives context to wooden exhibit pieces.”

“It is an incredible opportunity to be able to bring Dean to SUNY Cobleskill, and to continue advancing the Institute’s role in local arts and culture,” adds Dr. Evans. “From those on our Woodsmen’s Teams, to our Plant Science students, to our entire campus community, this fellowship will tie together many pursuits already underway. The projects we intend to launch will complement much of what we do, and continue to elevate the Institute’s Center for Arts and Culture as a leader in tying together ecology, arts, and rural culture.”

Babin will arrive at SUNY Cobleskill with an impressive and diverse resume, having worked in carpentry, furniture making, cabinetry, and digital operations, including at the television network Nickelodeon. He has owned and operated Dean Babin Furniture, LLC since 2017, and his work has been featured in numerous shows and exhibitions in New England. In 2017 Babin won the Alden Artisan Advancement Award from the American Furniture Masters Institute.


This release was initially issued by SUNY Cobleskill, 08/07/19

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