Safe Harbors of the Hudson and Ann Street Gallery are thrilled to introduce the
2024 Ann Street Gallery Emerging Artist Fellows:  

Orange County Gothic
Acrylic yarn
40 x 66” 

After it Expired 
Acrylic yarn
66 x 44”

for now
Foam board, joint compound, paint, wood, fleece, poly-fil
7 x 80 x 40”


Matthew Gilbert is a fiber artist and sculptor based in Newburgh, New York. Drawing inspiration from medieval architecture and rural American landscapes, their work depicts stories of isolation with a dark sense of humor.

Their hand-punched rugs and painted sculptures depict an abandoned world that explores the isolation of living as a nonbinary queer person in a small city. Using highways as a metaphor for Christian imperialism in America, Matthew’s fiber works combine medieval architecture with rural iconography. By placing modern symbols within Gothic wreckage, they collapse the timeline of human history, arguing that we as a species are a mere blip in the lifespan of Earth. Long after we make this planet uninhabitable for our species, nature will continue to evolve and adapt. Matthew’s three dimensional forms confront power dynamics in intimate relationships and self-isolation. Drawing inspiration from the sets of German expressionist films, these sculptures project the feeling of loneliness onto architectural forms.

During their Fellowship, Matthew will make work that responds directly to the architecture of Newburgh. They moved to this city because they fell in love with the beautiful overgrown buildings. Ivy growing up crumbling walls, branches sprouting through broken windows, even the decomposing rubbish speaks to them: the past, present, and future all exist at once. Matthew wants to focus on the small and overlooked moments where the natural and constructed world interact and consider how our relationship to the environment has been destructive and regenerative. They plan to experiment in different materials that align with their priority of sustainability in order to make a series of rugs and sculptures. Matthew hopes to use materials found around Newburgh, responding directly to the place they are salvaged from. Their process will analyze moments where the past and future collide on the streets and in public spaces.

Born in Brooklyn, and based in Newburgh, New York, Matthew received their BA from Wesleyan University in studio art and film studies. Their work has been exhibited in galleries around the Hudson Valley including at Wassaic Project and the Yonkers Public Library, as well as internationally in Germany and the Netherlands. From 2022 to 2024, they were a member of BAU Gallery, artist-led gallery in Beacon NY where they had a solo exhibition and curated multiple shows of contemporary painters. This June, they completed a residency at Art Farm in central Nebraska.

The Divine Feminine
Moss, pompous grass, passion fruit, drip irrigation mulch
Approx. 12’ tall
Goshen Green Farm, Goshen, NY

The Nest (Installation view
Portal: Art Fair, Governors Island, New York)
Recycled steel belted radial tires and recycled bicycle inner tubes
Approx. 7’ diameter

The Nest(detail)
Recycled steel belted radial tires and recycled bicycle inner tubes
Approx. 7’ diameter


Nicole Hixon is a public artist who creates sculptures and installations inspired by her personal experiences as a city-born multiethnic artist, and who now lives in Orange County, New York.

Nicole’s artistic journey unfolds in colossal living monuments. Her sculptures are an exploration of the cultural tapestry that defines her identity- the rich narratives shared by Quela, her Puerto Rican grandmother and her experiences as an artist of mixed heritage and religions. Nicole encapsulates the essence of the tales passed down to her, a testament to the enduring power of storytelling within her multicultural lineage. She strives to foster relationships, community, and environmental stewardship through her art. Recognizing that each artistic medium she chooses has a source and a final destination, she consciously seeks out materials that have already had a previous use. Just as our ancestors used every remnant of a natural resource she hopes to do the same with items that would end up in landfill.

For her Fellowship project, Nicole envisions the construction of a large-scale Yoshino cherry tree in full bloom made from locally-sourced recycled bicycle inner tubes, a metal and/or PVC frame, and repurposed grocery store bags. By juxtaposing the enduring nature of recycled items with the fleeting essence of life, she aims to provoke questions about one's own transient existence and the enduring impact of human creations on our planet. Nicole’s artistic pursuits are deeply rooted in the exploration of themes such as cultural migration, identity, and belonging. Through storytelling, expression, and shared experiences, she seeks to forge meaningful connections with herself, others, the earth, and her ancestors. As a multicultural individual, Nicole often navigates the complex interplay between belonging and displacement, which serves as a fundamental driving force behind her endeavors.

In Spring of 2024 Nicole was accepted into the Orange County Arts Council’s inaugural Sustainable Arts Program, where she received a grant to assist in the pouring of the foundation for her new studio. Nicole has shown public art on both the west coast and the east coast, most notably Urban Trees 4 (2007) on the North Embarcadero in San Diego, CA. While continuing to enrich her local community with public art, she has been commissioned for works in both Treecycle 2024 and The Hudson Valley Film Festival and will be showing at Upstate Arts Weekend at  Goshen Green Farm & Bull Farm.
Zeinab Manesh

Healing in Red and Green
8 x 4.5 x 1.5”


Road to Forgiveness
8 x 3 x 1/8”

Zeinab Manesh, is an Iranian American glass artist based in Beacon, NY who combines traditional Persian motifs with contemporary glass techniques, reflecting her cultural heritage.

As a glass artist, Zeinab is fascinated by the intricate blend of the ornament and tradition. Each artwork is not just a creative expression but also a testament to Persian culture's enduring beauty and glass' limitless potential. Growing up surrounded by Persian carpets' elaborate designs, Zeinab was captivated by their depth and symbolism. These age-old motifs hold stories of generations past, reflecting Iran's cultural tapestry. Inspired by this tradition, she embarked on a journey to reinterpret these patterns through glass's luminous transparency. Each piece begins with profound reverence for centuries-old designs, from medallions' symmetry to vine scrolls' lyrical arabesques. Yet, immersed in the alchemical process of glass casting, Zeinab embraces the medium's fluidity and spontaneity. Ultimately, she hopes her work serves as a cultural bridge, inviting viewers to discover Persian carpet motifs' enduring magic in a captivating new light.

During the fellowship, Zeinab aspires to expand her work by creating a large-scale glass carpet. This piece will not only celebrate the intricate craftsmanship and beauty of traditional Iranian carpets but also shed light on the complexities and capabilities of the lives of Iranian female carpet makers. Zeinab’s choice to depict the Iranian carpet is deeply rooted in her admiration for the resilience and artistry of Iranian women carpet makers, often hailing from underserved communities and belonging to ethnic or religious minorities. Her project will serve as a powerful means to raise awareness about the intersecting challenges faced by marginalized communities, particularly focusing on the experiences of women from Middle Eastern immigrant backgrounds with invisible disabilities. This project holds personal significance for Zeinab, as it reflects her own journey and the struggles shared by many others.

Zeinab is the founder of GlassqueenZ LLC and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Glass. She has held exhibitions in New York, Washington DC, Virginia, and Sweden, receiving critical acclaim. She has successfully managed her own studio, created glass products, and built strong relationships within the art community. Her expertise includes glass blowing, kiln casting, hot casting, and cold working. She speaks both Farsi and Turkish.

Now in our third year, the Ann Street Gallery Emerging Artist Fellowship program aims to provide a supportive platform for early-career or under-recognized artists in Newburgh and the Hudson Valley, with a focus on artists from historically marginalized communities. The fellowship provides three artists with opportunities for mentorship, networking, and professional development as well as a $2000 USD materials and supplies allowance, a cohort exhibition in the gallery during Newburgh Open Studios, and individual guidance toward identifying goals and further opportunities.

The Fellowship program supports experimental and substantive growth for a six- month fellowship from June through November 2024. Located in the heart of Newburgh NY, Ann Street Gallery is situated at the nexus of community and the arts. Fellows have direct access to Ann Street Gallery's and Safe Harbors Of the Hudson's exhibitions and programming, can explore the resources offered by Newburgh’s vibrant arts scene and cultural institutions, and have the possibility to connect and engage with arts professionals and practitioners based in Newburgh and surrounding areas, and those participating in Ann Street Gallery and Safe Harbors of the Hudson programming.

We are proud to bolster artists with experimental practices within the visual arts, performance, and interdisciplinary practice as an essential part of our program and mission. The Fellowship places special emphasis on artists exploring narratives aside or sub-current to those formally acknowledged by art historians, especially practices that foster an active exchange with local organizations and communities, or are rooted in exploring aspects of place, history, or non-dominant cultural competencies and practices.

The 2024 program is led by Gallery Director, Alison McNulty and includes the mentorship of regional artists and arts professionals in the form of workshops, conversations, presentations, critiques, studio visits, and trips to regional art institutions and spaces. Emerging Artist Fellows are selected by a jury led by McNulty with members from the region’s arts community from applications submitted during an annual open call.

The 2024 Emerging Artist Fellowship is supported, in part, by the TD Charitable Foundation. The 2024 Fellowship Exhibition is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.