The Albany Center Gallery opens its new members show exhibit Wednesday -- and it's doing so in a new gallery space in the Arcade Building on Broadway in downtown Albany.
We got a look around the new space this week and talked with executive director Tony Iadicicco for a few minutes...
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What's up at ACG
Albany Center Gallery was founded 40 years ago in a space at the Capital District Psychiatric Cente and has hopped around the city since in search of space. For the last decade it was located in a building on Columbia Street just off Broadway. And as you might have heard last fall, its lease was up and the projected rent in the next lease was going to squeeze the non-profit arts org.
So ACG started shopping around for new space. Tony Iadicicco said they looked at a bunch of different spots around the region -- 16 in total -- before seeing this storefront space in the Arcade Building, which was recently redeveloped by Fairbank Properties. (Stacks Espresso also recently opened there.)
Iadicicco said Fairbank was willing to combine two storefronts into one for the gallery -- the new space is about 2,000 square feet, about 400 square feet larger than the old spot -- and offered an attractively-priced 10-year lease.
"With a place like this, we'll be able to sustain it but also grow," Iadicicco said, referring to both physical space the cost of the space. "It's going to open people's eyes up to see there is high-level art being produced and that people should value it and patronize and really support what's happening in the region."
Iadicicco said the savings on rent has allowed ACG to hire a part-time staffer, which he's hoping will allow the org to do more projects in the community -- like the mural project on the side of the Quackenbush Garage it helped coordinate last year. That fits in with the gallery's mission to showcase the best arts within a 100-mile radius.
The Arcade Building includes 60 residential units on its upper floors, part of the ongoing shift of downtown Albany into a more residential neighborhood. Iadicicco said he's looking forward to how the increased activity will provide opportunities for the gallery to expose the art it displays to more people.
"I'm hopeful for the city of Albany, especially downtown, because there are unique people that are trying to make it cooler and attract good energy and that energy hopefully then turns into more people wanting to live here more, invest more, but still, at the same time, supporting the arts," Iadicicco said as we sat in the one of the large windows that looks onto Maiden Lane. "Because the arts are usually used as a tool to help build a community and they're often the people who are priced out because you don't necessarily make a lot of income off of it. So it's just a balance of understanding the community development side, but also the importance of having a community and culture and the arts. So I think that the city gets it, the mayor, Capitalize Albany, and the BID, they understand the value of the arts."
The Albany Center Gallery members show -- which includes the work of more than 175 artists -- will be on display through February 18. There's an opening reception Wednesday, January 18 from 5-9 pm.
Albany Center Gallery
Albany, NY 12207
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