Biography

Bill BatsonBill Batson is an artist, writer and activist. He has worked for non profits, labor unions and
government in New York State as an organizer, writer and public relations specialist.

Bill is the co-publisher of NyackNewsAndViews.com, where he illustrates and writes a weekly column called Nyack Sketch Log and edits the weekly Local Arts Index.

He is also a contributor to New York History Blog.

On May 10, 2012 Bill became the artist-in-residence at the year-round Nyack Chamber of Commerce’s Farmers’ Market.  You can visit Bill at his booth every Thursday from 8:00a – 2p at the municipal parking lot from May until November and at the Nyack Center, at Depew and South Broadway from December until May.

On June 16, 2012, Batson produced the world’s first “Flash Sketch Mob” in Nyack.

As a Trustee of the Historical Society of the Nyacks, Batson curated: African Americans in the Nyacks 1800- Present.

In 1988, as the Art Coordinator for the New York City Housing Authority, he founded the
Harborview Arts Center, a fully equipped visual media training center that provides art
programming to support community and senior centers staff across the five boroughs. The year
round arts program conducts staff development workshops, distributes art supplies to community
centers, and organizes a Summer Art Camp with museum tours.

Bill’s writing has appeared in Essence Magazine, New York’s Amsterdam News, and The Argus
in Cape Town, South Africa. While in South Africa, Bill received the Bertram’s Young Writer
Award and won first place in the Sidelines Journal Student Essay competition. One of his
essays, “In Africa Men Hold Hands” is included in a college text book written by Susan Ankara
and published in 2003 by Bedford St. Martin’s.

Bill’s work as an artist has been profiled in New York Newsday (6/27/99), Daily Heights (6/16/05), Brooklyn Rail,(12/04/06), and The Journal News (2/26/05). His exhibition of hopper inspired drawing and writing “Hopper Country,” is on display at The Edward Hoppper House Art Center.

All of Bill’s recent work was inspired by Hopper Happens, a series of public art events, including pop-up projections and flash mobs commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Edward Hopper House Arts Center organized by multimedia artist Kris Burns.

Recent Press Coverage

November 29, 2014: New York History Blog, Exploring a Hudson River Village History 

November 18, 2014: USA Today, Bench to Honor Hesdra, Underground Railroad Conductor

May 1, 2014: Nyack News And Views, Nyack Village Board Creates Committee to Commemorate African American History

April 3, 2014: Journal News: Enterprising Success Stories

March, 2014: great digital tour of my Hopper Country show at the Edward Hopper House Arts Center: artsy.net

September 2013:  NyackNewsAndViews, Batson Receives Rockland County Executive Award

September  2013: Nyack Patch The Best of Nyack Sketch Log

September 2013:   NyackNewsAndViews. First Friday, Fiftieth Birthday at Nyack Village Hall

July  2013:  I was recently profiled by a precocious 14 year-old blogger Paulina.  You will be impressed by her journalistic chops.

May  2013: Welcome to Nyack, The Brooklyn Rail – Critical Perspectives on Arts, Politics and Culture

On March 24, 2013, Newday’s Elizabeth Daza profiled painter Victor Zaldivar, pianist Leann Mailly, Vincent Ear’s Tracy Kachtick-Anders and myself in an article, photo gallery and video about the connection between local history and  Nyack’s art scene.

On June 16, 2012, Bill organized a flash sketch mob in Nyack as part of the 7th Annual ARTWALK.  Over 100 artists participated in the creation of composite landscape portrait of the village.   On May 16, 2012, the Journal News covered the  Flash Sketch Mob concept. A slideshow of the artwork created can be seen on NyackNewsAndViews.Exhibitions. The Nyack Villager also recorded the event.

Recent Exhibitions

One Person Shows

  • December 2014, Nyack Library
  • March 2014, Hopper Country, Edward Hopper House Art Center.
  • December 2013, Gray Areas, The Corner Frame Shop
  • September 2013 The Best of Nyack Sketch Log, Nyack Village Hall
  • June 2013 Nyack Library, Farmers’ Market Artist in Residence Drawings
  • October 2012 Nyack Historical Society, Nyack: One Sketch at a Time
  • June 2012 Vincent’s Ear
  • May 2012 Art Café
  • December 2011 Hudson House
  • October 2011 Streamstudio

Public Art

  • June 2012 Produced Flash Sketch Mob

Group Shows

  • March 2012, Thank You Mayor Jen, Nyack Village Hall
  • August 2013 Nyack Library, First Friday
  • July 2013 Vincent’s Ear, First Friday
  • June 2013 Rockland Center for the Arts, Gay Pride
  • March 2013 Nyack Library, Pecha Kubra

Curated Exhibits

  • 1989, Black Barbershops and Beauty Salons as Cultural Institutions, Al-jira, Newark, NJ honorable mention exhibition of the year Art in America
  • 1987 Bed-Stuy, Minor Injury Art Gallery, Brooklyn
  • 1986, Racial Histories of Brooklyn, Minor Injury
  • 1986, Up South, Brooklyn Arts Center
  • 1985, Lost History

Awards

  • 2013 Mary Grant Patron of the Arts Award presented by Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef.


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