Tara Cuthbert and Stuart Solzberg are obsessed with actualizing a history and genealogy for a conceptual project known as Bushwick Farms. Over the past five years Cuthbert and Solzberg have been constructing a tangible fiction, which revolves around a family farm, its extended genealogy, and a constructed mythology.

Bushwick Farms is an endeavor interested in blurring the boundaries between art and life. Cuthbert and Solzberg's process is multi-faceted and manifests itself in diverse forms. Incorporating mediums such as performance art, photography, video, interactive installation and constructed mythologies, they attempt to make their conceptual narrative real. References include cottage industry, hybrid genealogy, personal mythologies and otherworldly existences.

Bushwick Farms was created while Cuthbert and Solzberg were living in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. This area is known for its desolate industrial landscape. Through altering postcards and found photographs, they constructed an elaborate conceptual family history and genealogy for Bushwick Farms. In 2001, they decided to take Bushwick Farms national. They purchased a 1979 Ford pick-up truck and 1968 17ft travel trailer, and transformed them into a mobile studio/home. They placed large white vinyl letters on both sides of the trailer that read BUSHWICK FARMS.

Intrigued by the notion of blending fact and fiction, they began to live as Joe Rotto and Violet Gray. Joe Rotto is the youngest of three sons of the Bushwick family and manages The Traveling Variety Show, sponsored by Bushwick Farms. As written in the history of Bushwick Farms, Joe and Violet traveled America for several years with The Traveling Variety Show. Cuthbert and Solzberg spent four years traveling America under the guise of their conceptual Traveling Variety Show, all the while meeting others, some of whom would become characters within the Traveling Variety Show.

Currently, The Traveling Variety Show is in hiatus. Cuthbert and Solzberg recently returned to Brooklyn, New York—an event, they say, that granted them Official Bushwick Farms Representative status. As Official Representatives, they maintain and host The Bushwick Family Archives and TeaRoom. They continue to explore Bushwick Farms through a recent development, known as The Bushwick Family Creation Mythology.

The piece included in this issue of Tarpaulin Sky was written by one of the members of the Traveling Variety Show that Violet Gray/Tara Cuthbert and Joe Rotto/Stuart Solzberg met during their travels, the Fortune Teller. This excerpt comes from her multi-media journal [a project in process] and includes snapshots from the Bushwick Farms Traveling Variety Show album.

You can read more about Bushwick Farms at:

Official Representative, Bushwick Farms 2005
BFA, Pratt Institute, New York 1998

Official Representative, Bushwick Farms 2005
Southern Cross University, BA-Visual Arts, NSW, Australia, 1999
Pratt Institute, International Exchange Program, New York 1998


The MacDowell Colony, Artists in Residence, Peterborough, NH (2005)
John D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation Travel Grant (2005)
Visual Studies Workshop, Artists In Residence, Rochester, NY (2005)
(funded by National Endowment for the Arts and the Nimoy Foundation)
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Visiting Artists, Omaha, NE (2005)
Nevada Arts Council, Jackpot Grant, NV (2005)
Nevada Arts Council, Fellowship Honorable Mention, NV (2005)
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Artists in Residence, Omaha, NE
Nevada Arts Council, Jackpot Grant, NV (2003)

EXHIBITIONS (*denotes solo)

Solo exhibition, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE* (2007)
Seventh Side of the Die, Alona Kagan Gallery, New York, NY (curated
      by Anat Ebgi) (2006)
Miniature Worlds: Memories and Myth, OSX Gallery, Carson City, NV * (2006)
Video Installation, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX (2006)
Sssee The Sssensation…RoseGallery, Santa Monica, CA * (2005)
Touring Tent Show, Jack Olsen Gallery, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb,
      IL * (2005)
Fear and Hope, Woodstock Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY * (2005)
Alfresco! Santa Fe Center for Photography, Santa Fe, NM * (2004)
The Extravaganza!, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE *
Bushwick Farms Presents…CAC, Las Vegas, NV * (2003)
First Annual Trailer Installation, Circus Circus RV Park, Las Vegas, NV *


SUNY New Paltz, visiting artist presentation, New Paltz, NY (2005)
MacDowell Downtown, visiting artist presentation, Peterborough, NH (2005)
Visual Studies Workshop, visiting artist presentation, Rochester, NY (2005)
Northern Illinois University, visiting artist presentation and workshop,
      DeKalb, IL (2004)
Alliance of Artists Communities, panel discussion, Santa Fe, NM (2004)
University of Nevada Las Vegas, visiting artist presentation, Las Vegas,
      NV (2004)
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, visiting artist presentation, Omaha,
      NE (2004)
University of Nebraska at Omaha, visiting artist presentation, Omaha,
      NE (2004)


Bemis Center for Contemporary Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Private Collections