Jacinta Bunnell is a fabulous example of creative and energetic people found in our Hudson Valley community. She is a productive artist and children’s book author, and an assistant 2nd grade teacher at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge, New York. She is also a co-founder of the Hudson Valley Broads’ Regional Arm Wrestling League (BRAWL), where she is known as Magenta Delecta.

There is no better proof that art is life, not a profession or commodity, than Jacinta. Her house, her life, her wardrobe, even her friends are all colorful, vibrant, and fun. Her artworks reflect events and pieces of her life, and her life is full of her artistic sensibility. She incorporates works by children in her work; she uses paint samples to create a garland to decorate her house. She even created artworks out of a tragedy. In 2011, the house she and her partner Michael were renting was flooded in Hurricane Irene. So much of their belongings were damaged. Her friends poured their support in the days following the storm, cleaning and drying damaged belongings, including stacks of paper which were laid out on the lawn to dry and photographed by Michael Asbill. Later she used those sheets of paper to create a map of Stone Ridge, which hangs in their new house.

The Hudson Valley BRAWL also blurs the line between art and life. Ordinary people like teachers, accountants, and nurses, adopt alter-personas like Accupunisher and Pushy Galore, clad themselves in elaborate costumes and put on a show with entourages, who collect money from the audience to raise fund for a charity, different at each event. “The BRAWL planning committee is made up of working class people. We are not your typical philanthropists, but we do this because it is important community work.” Being at the BRAWL always makes me wonder what art is.

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