One of the advantages of being a Shorewalker is that we have many friends in New York City, which enables us sometimes to get exclusive access to certain events and locations. In this case it was Sigrid Stropnik, our board treasurer, hike leader and born Austrian, who introduced us to the Austrian Cultural Forum NY and organized a tour of the impressive building and their latest exhibition.

On November 3, 2023, we had the unique opportunity to get an exclusive guided tour of their exhibition “Touch Nature” at the Austrian Cultural Forum on 52nd Street just off 5th Ave. The Forum’s director, Susanne Keppler-Schelsinger, gave a warm welcome to the 30 Shorewalkers members who were lucky to get on the attendee list. Stephanie Buhmann, their Head of Visual Arts, Architecture and Design, led through the exhibition and provided enthusiastic background stories about the artists and interesting details about the artworks.

The exhibition Touch Nature is seeking to explore the role of art in addressing the ongoing and increasingly severe ecological crisis and features a diverse selection of contemporary artists from Austria and the United States. Together, they engage in a dynamic dialogue that explores the impact of human activity on the environment and climate. The exhibition is open until the end of February 2024.

Our Shorewalkers members were also able to experience the critically acclaimed landmark building in which the Austrian Cultural Forum is housed. The modern glass, steel and concrete structure is only 20 years old and has beautiful open exhibition spaces over several levels. The group was also able to visit the in-house theater space with excellent acoustics, perfect for memorable concerts and events.

The cultural program of the Austrian Cultural Forum NY is open to everyone: Make sure to sign up to their monthly newsletter.

The visit was followed by lunch in Central Park at the recently reopened Chess & Checkers House Visitor Center and a leisurely stroll through the park.

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