Items tagged with 'art'

The state is looking for someone to design murals for the ESP food court

Empire State Plaza concourse with artThe state Office of General Services is looking for a New York State artist to paint murals on four walls of the recently renovated food court on the Empire State Plaza concourse. Press release blurbage:

OGS is looking for proposals for murals that will reflect the character of the State of New York and that will be made distinctive through the choice of design, color, and subject matter. The design should be suitable and acceptable for public viewing by people of all ages. The content of the murals should not serve as any sort of promotion or branding for any business or organization, or be overtly political in nature.

As this is a government contract job, there's a formal request for quotes process that details requirements and how bids should be submitted. There's also a mandatory site visit April 4 at 3 pm at which bidding artists will be able to ask questions.

OGS says the all-in price for the art work is not to exceed $21,000.

This could be a really cool opportunity -- not just because the work could brighten the day of thousands of people, but also because your work will be on display in the same venue as that of the ESP's extensive art collection.

40th Annual Photo Regional at Opalka Gallery

40th Photo Regional Opalka Gallery 2018

The 40th Annual Photo Regional -- titled Effects That Aren't Special -- opened this week at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus.

This year's exhibition, which rotates among venues in the area, was curated by Tim Davis, a professor of photography at Bard Collage. It highlights the photo work of more than 15 artists from the region. Blurbage:

Effects That Aren't Special is a way to describe the sense that photography is a tool for describing the everyday in a way that we never easily acclimate to. Special effects are aesthetic tools that grab us, but almost always feel like filigree or decoration, abandoning our attention.
The artists in this show employ optical, conceptual, or essential effects that we never get used to and that move to heart of the matter, defining the work rather than selling it to us. The show features generous selections from each artist, as well as a catalog with an essay by the curator.

There's an opening reception Friday (March 15) from 6-8 pm.

The exhibit will be on display through April 21. Admission is free.

Richly rendered scenes of Albany

The watercolor above -- of the Mechanics and Farmers Bank building on State Street in Albany, by local artist Kevin Kuhne -- floated our way via a Facebook tag this week, and we were happy it did. (AOA had been tagged because of the 2016 post about the history of that beautiful, odd, skinny building.)

The painting was recently part of a show of Kuhne's work at the First Presbyterian Church of Albany. That link includes a few more paintings.

Kevin Kuhne has painted many local scenes from around the area. We love the richness of the colors in the works.

Kuhne frequently teaches watercolor classes at Arlene's Artist Materials on Fuller Road. He has a pets and animals class this week, and a trees and foliage class in early April.

image via First Presbyterian Church of Albany Facebook

Gawking at the ceiling of the Smith Building

Smith Building ceiling 2

As we've noted before, the Smith Building stands across from the Capitol all buttoned up and dressed for work its quietly tasteful way for work. But start talking to it, and it's like finding out the guy in accounting you've never seen without a tie also paints watercolors on the weekend.

We took a few minutes this week to duck into the Smith Building lobby to admire the ceiling there. Yep, the ceiling. The top of the arched space includes a series of roughly 30 portraits of all sorts of famous New Yorkers ranging from Chester A. Arthur to Philip Schuyler to Robert Fulton to Theodore Roosevelt to Walt Whitman. (Check with the front desk -- they might have a sheet telling showing who's where.)

Here are a few more pics in large format if you'd like to gawk.

(there's more)

Shadows cast in chalk

ellis gallagher Pearl Street chalk shadow

It looks like chalk artist Ellis Gallagher was in Albany during the last few days. Tim spotted this work (above) at Pearl Street and Columbia Street Saturday. (Thanks, Tim!)

If you head over to Gallagher's Instagram, you can see a few more works: next to the Capitol, and at Lark and Spring.

Here's a NYT profile of Gallagher from way back in 2005 that looks at the origin of the chalk shadow work.

If you noticed any others and snapped a pic, we'd love to see them.

Between The Lines at ACG

Between The Lines Albany Center Gallery

One of the works by Russell Serrianne, flanked by pieces by Dana Piazza.

We got a chance this week to stop in and see the new exhibit at Albany Center Gallery, Between The Lines. It includes the work of four upstate artists -- Rhea Nowak, Dana Piazza, Kelly Schultz, and Russell Serrianne.

As the exhibit name implies, many of the works are made up of lines and repeating patterns on blank backgrounds. There's something kind of calming about them.

We especially liked the pieces by Russell Serrianne. What appears to be a bunch of squiggled lines from afar is, upon closer inspection, many vine tendrils that have been shellacked and arranged.

There's an opening reception for Between The Lines Friday, February 2 from 5-8 pm. And the exhibit will be on display through February 23.

Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau at The Hyde Collection

Alphonse Mucha Cycles Perfecta

"Cycles Perfecta" by Alphonse Mucha, 1902, color lithograph on paper. Courtesy of the Dhawan Collection.

The touring exhibit Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau opens this Sunday at The Hyde Collection. It includes more than 70 works by the graphic artist from a private collection.

Exhibit blurbage:

The exhibition examines how Mucha's work helped shape the aesthetics of French Art Nouveau at the turn of the century. Art Nouveau, or New Art, describes a style in architecture, and visual and decorative arts that flourished from the 1890s through 1910. It emphasized the beauty of natural forms in everyday life. Art Nouveau featured a sinuous or "whiplash" line, flattened space, and botanical shapes and patterns.
"Mucha's early work is centered on the epitome of beauty," said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs and programming at The Hyde Collection. "With use of subtle color schemes, lavish scrolling text, and exquisite women, he defined the Art Nouveau movement."
Many of the works in the exhibition feature beautiful women, dramatic curving lines, flowers, and plants. Mucha worked across many media and those are revealed in the exhibition, which includes lithographs, drawings, paintings, books, and advertisements.

The exhibit will be on display through March 18.

The Hyde Collection is, as you know, in Glens Falls, about an hour's drive from Albany. While you're there you can also check out the new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery, which opened last summer -- it features modern art collected by Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt, both Schenectady residents.

Earlier: Day trip: Glens Falls

Opalka Gallery 2018 spring season

Dawson City Frozen In Time Mae Marsh in Polly of the Circus

The lineup of events includes a screening of, and discussion about, the highly-praised documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time. The doc is about a huge trove of silent films, many thought to be lost, that were literally unearthed in Alaska.

The spring 2018 schedule at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus starts up next week with the opening of Practice What You Teach: Sage College Art+Design Faculty Show.

And from there, the gallery has a series of events lined up -- exhibits, talks, screenings, discussions -- each month through May.

Here's a quick look at the schedule...

(there's more)

Albany, the artist Walter Launt Palmer, and the colors of snow

Albany in the Snow by Walter Launt Palmer

The painting above is "Albany In The Snow" by Walter Launt Palmer. And when we saw it today -- thanks to the Albany Muskrat for pointing it out -- the work just seemed to capture the current feeling of January.

The painting is from 1871. That's the Court of Appeals building, which of course, still stands on Eagle Street.

A few things about Palmer, who was an Albany native...

(there's more)

Today's moment of art

pufferfish mural Troy alley off Congress St

Took a moment between stops the other day to admire the mural in the alley (Church Street) behind Troy Kitchen off Congress Street in downtown Troy. It's by John Hampshire and it's titled "Blue Pufferfish" and "Red Pufferfish." (Backstory.)

There's was something about the way the late-autumn light was slicing down the alleys of Troy.

A view of the great Cohoes Falls

view of cohoes falls pownall sandby

For no other reason than we saw this today and liked it...

Check out this 18th century illustration of the Cohoes Falls. The scene look so wild and alive in the image.

From the description at the Library of Congress:

A view of the great Cohoes Falls, on the Mohawk River, the fall about seventy feet, the river near a quarter mile ... // sketch'd on the spot by his excellency Governor Pownal ; painted by Paul Sandby ; engraved by Wm. Elliot.

"His excellency Governor Pownal" was Thomas Pownall, a British colonial official who served as governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay from 1757-1760. Pownall first arrived in North America in 1753 as the private secretary to Sir Danvers Osborne, who who had just been appointed governor -- and then committed suicide. Pownall stuck around and decided to travel around studying the colonies. He ended up becoming friends with Benjamin Franklin and attended the Albany Congress of 1754, an event that helped plant some of the seeds that later grew into the revolution.

Another random bit: Pownall in Vermont's Bennington County is named after him.

Paul Sandby was a British military mapmaker and landscape artist. He was also one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Arts.

A fanciful creature come to life

Capital Walls Kantorovitz mural progress animation

One more mural glimpse from downtown Albany from this week, just because it's so fun...

Here's a beginning-middle-end gif of a portion of Sylvie Kantorovitz's new mural in the Green-Hudson parking garage. It's one of three new murals downtown that are part of the Capital Walls project.

(And thanks to Francine for sharing the "middle" photo on our Facebook page!)

Have a great weekend.

Here's how those three new murals in downtown Albany turned out

Capital Walls mural Sylvie Kantorovitz

Here's some photo follow-up on those three murals-in-progress in downtown Albany was posted about last week.

The works are part of the Capital Walls project -- a collaboration among the Albany Center Gallery, curator Tony Iadicicco, and the Albany Barn. And it's being funded by the Albany Parking Authority as part of its ongoing effort to make its garages feel more welcoming. (See also: The two large murals on the Quackenbush garage.)

As Iadicicco told us last week, "The goal is to inspire and create community and sense of place."

Here's how they turned out...

(there's more)

Open call for artists to create mural in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood

More (potential) public art: The Pine Hills Improvement Group in Albany is working with Upstate Artists Guild to create a new mural along the side of the Maple Leaf Market building at Ontario Street and Morris. There's an open call for submissions from artists (the deadline has been extended):

Some themes for this mural might include community, neighborhood, maple leaves/trees, streetscape, historic city, food, among other options. You are encouraged to make this mural fun, playful, and funky. While you are welcome to complete the entire mural on your own, you are also encouraged to consider developing an outline and a color scheme that neighbors can then help paint in (think coloring sheet).

There's also some artwork on the 10 feet-by-40 feet wall. Whether it's replaced or incorporated into the new design is up to the artist.

The cost of materials for the work will be covered, and the artist will also get a stipend. Here are more details about applying.

The Pine Hills Improvement Group is committee of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association.

+ Three new murals for downtown Albany
+ That Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural is now complete

Three new murals for downtown Albany

Capital Walls murals 2017 October in progress Kantorovitz 1

Something you might notice this week: Three new murals are going up in downtown Albany.

Two of the murals are in the Green Street drive-through section of the Green-Hudson parking garage, and the other is on the side of a wall along Water Street and I-787 by the Riverfront parking garage.

The work is part of the Capital Walls project -- a collaboration among the Albany Center Gallery, curator Tony Iadicicco, and the Albany Barn. And it's being funded by the Albany Parking Authority as part of its ongoing effort to make its garages feel more welcoming. (See also: The two large murals on the Quackenbush garage.)

"The goal is to inspire and create community and sense of place," said Iadicicco of the murals.

The works should be finished within the next two weeks. Here's a quick in-progress look at each one...

(there's more)

Paper Is Part of the Picture at the Opalka Gallery

Opalka Gallery Paper Is Part of the Picture

If you have any design nerd interests -- papers, vintage posters, typefaces, the business of design, and so on -- the current exhibit at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus is worth a quick stop.

Paper Is Part of the Picture chronicles the evolution of the promotional materials for the 100+ years of the Strathmore Paper Company. Blurbage:

The company, founded in 1892 and now owned by Mohawk, pioneered the notion of paper as an essential visual and tactile aspect of a printed piece, rather than a simple commodity. It did so by embracing artists and designers as collaborators. Strathmore's paper promotions reflect the changing trends in American graphic design across the 20th century from Arts & Crafts to the digital era.

The headquarters of Mohawk Fine Papers is in Cohoes, as you know. The materials in the exhibit are from the Strathmore archive.

There's a curator's talk with Paul Shaw about the exhibit October 26 at 6:30 pm. And on November 3 at 6:30 pm there's a tour with Chris Harrold, VP and creative director at Mohawk. Both are free.

The exhibit is on display through December 15.

Luba Lukova
If you're interested in this exhibit, there's a good chance you'd also be interested in an AIGA Upstate New York event at the Opalka Gallery October 17 with Luba Lukova, creator of "arguably some of the most iconic and indelible imagery in the realm of contemporary poster design."

The talk is at 6:30 pm Tuesday. Tickets are $20 / free for students with ID.

The François Stahly labyrinth has returned to the Empire State Plaza

Empire State Plaza Francois Stahly Labyrinth 2017

Check it out: The François Stahly Labyrinth has been returned to the Empire State Plaza southwest corner near the Corning Tower. There are a few more photos below if you'd like a look.

The Office of General Services removed the wooden structures in 2015 because they were deteriorating from exposure to the weather. The pieces were shipped off to an architectural and wood conservator in Vermont, where the damaged sections were replaced with the same type of wood, an African variety called iroko. The $400,000 job included about 230 individual pieces.

About blurbage the design by the artist, François Stahly:

Labyrinth is a one of kind object with each piece of wood hand-crafted, numbered by the artist, and designed to fit together like pieces of a puzzle. The sculpture's rounded edges and totem-like tower suggest a primitive form of architecture and stand in contrast to the steel and stone buildings that surround it.
In Labyrinth, Stahly aimed to create a sanctuary for the Empire State Plaza's workforce by constructing "a quiet place in the midst of the stress." The idea reaffirmed [Nelson] Rockefeller's belief that the everyday presence of art increases a person's quality of life -- one of the main reasons why art was chosen to be displayed throughout the Empire State Plaza.

There will be a celebration for the installation's return on Tuesday, October 24 from 5:30-7:30 pm. The event will include African drumming as well as the telling of a folk tale about the iroko wood by a reverend from Zimbabwe. It's free.

(there's more)

Njideka Akunyili Crosby just won a "genius grant" and she'll be at The Tang this month

Njideka Akunyili Crosby "Mummy Mama Mamma"

"Mama, Mummy and Mamma" (Predecessors #2), by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, 2014. / photo by the New Church Museum, Cape Town, South Africa.

The MacArthur Foundation announced its 2017 class of fellows (the "genius grants") Wednesday and the list includes painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby -- who, as it happens, will be at Skidmore's Tang Museum October 21.

An exhibit of work by Akunyili Crosby -- Predecessors -- opens at The Tang this weekend and will be on display through the end of the year. Blurbage:

Njideka Akunyili Crosby's large-scale paintings have garnered international attention for their investigations into the confluences, contact zones, and third spaces of culture in her work. The paintings represent a fusion of her Nigerian upbringing, her immigration to America, and her subsequent marriage to a white Texan. Her artwork also plays with and subverts preconceived notions of Western art history by including portraits of her African family, material references to her Igbo tribe's customs, and images of Nigeria's British colonial past. Her subject matter focuses on quotidian aspects of domestic life, taking place in conventional, albeit subtly Nigerian, interiors.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Predecessors unites for the first time many works from the artist's Predecessors series. The series celebrates her family and Nigerian background through portraits of her late mother, an important political figure in Nigeria, her sister, and the artist herself, as well as re-imaginings of her grandmother's kitchen table with all of its pots and pans alongside the traditional Nigerian assortment of "tea things" (the artist's own phrase).

The October 21 event includes a talk by Akunyili Crosby and artist Julia Jacquette. It starts at 3 pm, with a reception at 4 pm. It's free and open to the public.

Below is a short MacArthur Foundation video in which Njideka Akunyili Crosby talks about her work.

(there's more)

That Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural is now complete

Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail mural complete

Another quick update on the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural project in Delmar: The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's Art on the Rail Trail committee selected artist Andrea Hersh to create the mural, and she finished the work this past weekend.

The mural is on the side of a garage building along the trail at Adams Street and Hudson Ave. If you walk or bike that section of the path in Delmar you can't miss it.

A clip from Hersh's statement about the design:

This mural represents a lush and pristine world of imagined creatures, with rolling hills that are part humanoid trees and vegetation. I continually strive to bring balance into my art. I am a person who always sees two sides to every story, balancing family and work, society and solitude, whimsy and cold reality. There are always two sided to every story and although we see the beauty in this image there is the underlying reality of our disposable world.

There will be a formal unveiling of the mural Saturday, October 28 at 11 am. Hersh will be there and there will be refreshments.

By the way: If you haven't walked or biked the rail trail yet, try to make some time over the next few weeks. The path through the Normanskill gorge up into Bethlehem should be beautiful as the leaves change.

A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America at The Hyde Collection

hyde collection folk art exhibit

The oil painting above is "Still Life with Basket of Fruit," by an unidentified artist, 1860-1880, courtesy of the Barbara L. Gordon Collection.

Now is a good time of year to take a drive north, and hey, look, the Hyde Collection has a new exhibit opening: The traveling show A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America opens this weekend. It includes more than 60 works of art created between 1800 and 1925. Blurbage:

A Shared Legacy celebrates art rooted in personal and cultural identity, made by artists who were either self-taught or had received minimal formal training. Created for ordinary people rather than society's upper classes, folk art was the prevalent art form in the United States for more than a century.
A Shared Legacy showcases the extraordinary imagination and powerful design of regional folk artists, some acclaimed in their day and many now unknown. The exhibited works were made primarily in New England, the mid-Atlantic states, and the Midwest. They include a range of paintings (portraiture, still life, and landscape), sculpture, furniture, and trade signs. Among the paintings are iconic works by Edward Hicks and Ammi Phillips. Exuberantly painted furniture and decorated manuscripts from German-American communities are exhibition highlights.

The exhibit opens to the general public on Sunday, which also happens to be a "second Sunday" free admission day.

While you're in Glens Falls, there are a few other things you might be up for doing.

And, you know, there will probably be some beautiful foliage around there, too.

Cityscapes by David Hinchen

Cityscapes by David Hinchen

Now on display at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center at Quackenbush Square: Cityscapes, an exhibit of paintings and photos by local artist David Hinchen. Blurbage:

"For me, buildings are the significant carriers of cultural memory. Surviving the builders and residents, they are reminders of remoter lives and times," says Hinchen. "Over the years, a city takes on an almost geological aspect, with successive generations leaving behind a layering of architectural styles."
Hinchen's work is characterized by these carefully constructed layers, remarkable for their complex details. In Hinchen's work, each stone and leaf is enumerated, each window lovingly detailed. In fact, Hinchen's buildings take on a human quality. He imparts these structures with an air of nobility, of quiet grace and dignity, befitting their cultural status. "There is a hard, beautiful dignity in weathering all those years - pure to themselves and uncompromising," says Hinchen. But if the buildings have a human quality, they also have the ability to impact humanity, says Hinchen. "The enduring physical makeup of a city directly influences its culture as well as its ability to survive as a place people care about."

We especially like Hinchen's architectural paintings, which have a certain warmth about them. You can see more of his work online and prints are available through his Etsy store.

Cityscapes will be on display at the visitors center through November 2.

Opalka Gallery 2017 fall season

Carl Sprague Grand Budapest Hotel

The schedule includes a talk by Carl Sprague, a concept illustrator on Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel and art director for other Anderson films.

The scheduled for the fall season of events at Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus is out. It includes artist talks, films, and a handful of interactive activities.

Here's a quick look at the schedule...

(there's more)

Meet-the-artists event with the finalists for the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural

proposed ART Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural site Adams Street

Quick update on that Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural project: The three artists selected as finalists will be at a public meeting at Bethlehem Town Hall September 7 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Press release blurbage: "The artists will be on hand at the community meeting, to discuss their proposals and address any questions from attendees. Each artist will bring their drawings and community members are invited to view each proposal and submit opinions to the committee."

Here are the three finalists selected by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's Art on the Rail Trail committee:

+ Andrea Hersh from Bethlehem

+ Michael Conlin from Albany

+ Dan Mehlman from Bethlehem

(You might remember that Conlin created the blue bird mural on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany.)

The mural site is a building at the corner of Adams Street and Hudson Ave in Delmar. If you've walked or biked along that section of the trail, you can't miss it. The land conservancy is hoping to have the mural completed by late October.

photo via Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

The Hudson River School at Albany Institute

Albany Institute Hudson River School exhibit

One of the most well-known and popular groups of items in the Albany Institute's collections are its Hudson River School paintings.

And the museum recently put (almost) the entire collection on display.

(there's more)

Troy Summer Square starts this week

The Troy Summer Square series -- a string of public art events centered around a pop-up pedestrian area at Monument Square -- starts this week and runs through August 5. Blurbage for the program being coordinated by the Arts Center of the Capital Region:

During its 3 week run, we will coordinate programming with local cultural partners, host fun events and showcase "Explore Troy Projects," temporary projects created by local artists. We will be asking all who interact with us, both in person and digitally, "What Are Your Ideas for art in Troy?" Information gathered will be presented in a Master Plan for Public Art and the ideas generated will be exhibited at the Arts Center for all to see. The Square will be followed up this fall by "Pop-up" Squares, one night of similar programming in other Troy neighborhoods.

The first event is this Wednesday, July 19 from 6-8 pm. The winning project proposals for 14 public art projects around the city will be announced, city historian Kathy Sheehan will lead a walking tour of downtown monuments, and Geraldine Fuhrmann will tell stories about Troy's history.

On Friday, July 28 during Troy Night Out, there will be a reveal of 10 public art ideas for Troy, with discussion from public art experts Judie Gilmore, who's leading the Summer Square series and was the project director for Breathing Lights, and Todd Bressi, who's worked with Mural Arts Philadelphia.

That link above has the full list of events, which are all in the evenings.

Taking in the murals in Rensselaer's Riverfront Park

Rensselaer Riverfront Park Venus mural

We had a few spare minutes in Rensselaer recently and happily spent them taking in the many, many murals painted on the Dunn Memorial Bridge overpass supports that stand in Riverfront Park.

Here are a few pics...

(there's more)

Gawking at those Nipper statues that now dot downtown Albany

Downtown is Pawsome City Lines closeup

One of the things you notice when seeing the Nippers out and about is the way each artist designed the eyes gives the dogs a different expression.

We got a chance during the past week to check out the new "Downtown is Pawsome" statues in downtown Albany as they sit in their new sidewalk habitats.

The three-foot-tall statues -- inspired by Nipper and decorated by local artists -- are part of the annual public art program coordinated by the Downtown Albany BID. Eight are already in place, two more will be out this week, and another ten are on their way.

Here's a quick photo gawk at the statues, along with a clickable map that we'll update as the statues appear. The pieces are all within walking distance of each other, so you could definitely string them together as part of your own walking tour some day this summer -- with, you know, maybe a stop for a drink or donut along the way.

(there's more)

A call for a rail trail mural

proposed Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural site Adams Street

A group connected to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy called Art on the Rail Trail (ART) has been working to set up public art projects along the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. And it's now ready to move forward on its first project, with a call out for artists.

The mural site is at the corner of Adams Street and Hudson Ave in Delmar (map). ART has an open house at 90 Adams Street on June 29 from 6-7 pm for interested artists. Blurbage:

ART welcomes all artists who apply, but is specifically interested in those who have experience in public art, mosaics, and murals. The group is hoping to hire an artist who lives in the Capital Region in an effort to support local community members. ART is particularly interested in proposals which incorporate the themes of connectivity and movement. ...
Throughout the month of August, up to three finalists will be selected and a public presentation will be made. The committee is prioritizing transparency in the selection process, welcoming community members to voice opinions on the different proposals. By mid-October, the mural will be completed, and there will be a mural unveiling ceremony.

Here are the instructions for submitting an application. The deadline July 31 at 11:59 pm.

The online materials don't specifically mention the budget that ART has in mind. But we checked with the the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, and here was the response: "ART's goal is to offer an artist fee, which will include all project management, labor, and material costs, of at least $3,000. The committee is actively fundraising and the budget may change over time. A finalized budget will be announced when finalist decisions are made in mid-August."

photo via Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

2017 Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region


Among the works in this year's exhibition is this chalk mural by Richard Barlow

The 2017 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region opens this weekend at the Albany Institute. The annual exhibit is now in its 81st year and it's said to be the longest running annual juried exhibition in the country. It's open to artists living within 100 miles of Albany and Glens Falls.

The exhibit includes 87 works from 32 artists. They were selected by this year's juror -- Jack Shear, a photographer, curator, and president of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation -- from a pool of 600 works submitted by 268 artists. The pieces range from paintings to sculptures to mixed-media works.

The annual exhibit rotates among the The Hyde Collection, the University Art Museum at UAlbany, and the Albany Institute. Each year the institutions acquire pieces from the exhibit for their collections. The Albany Institute has put on display some of the works it's acquired over the years at the head of this year's exhibit.

When you stop by for a look, also wander through the institute's adjacent gallery of 19th century sculpture. Shear has directed a temporary re-installation of the pieces there to provide a different perspective on them.

The 2017 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region is on display at the Albany Institute through September 3. There opening ceremony and awards reception was Friday evening. And there's a series of gallery talks with some of the artists throughout the summer. That schedule is below.

(there's more)

Waterproofing your dog isn't wise, typically

Downtown is Pawsome Nipper statues prep Tony Iadicicco

But there are exceptions.

While in downtown Albany Monday we happened upon Albany Center Gallery Tony Iadicicco applying a weatherproof coat to the Nipper statutes that have been decorated by local artists for the upcoming "Downtown is Pawsome" public art project. There are a few more pics below if you want a small sneak peek.

As we mentioned a few weeks back, the Downtown Albany BID call for submissions got so many applications that the org decided to do 20 statues instead of the originally-planned 10. They'll start popping up around downtown soon.

There's a garden party in Tricentennial Park to celebrate the project this Friday, June 16 starting at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $60 ahead / $65 at the door. (There's also a $40 ticket if you're under age 30.) Proceeds will benefit the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and other BID projects around downtown.

(there's more)

The Hyde Collection's new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery opens this weekend

White by Grace Hartigan Hyde Collection

"White" by Grace Hartigan, 1951. Oil on canvas, 38 x 44 3/4 in., copyright of the Grace Hartigan Estate.

The Hyde Collection opens its new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery Saturday with an exhibition of modern art works donated by the gallery's namesakes. It's also the museum's annual Community Opening Day, which includes free admission. Blurbage:

The Feibes & Schmitt Gallery is the result of a donation made last year from Werner Feibes and his late partner, James Schmitt, who gave the Museum their Modern and Contemporary art collection valued at more than $10 million, and a $1 million leadership donation to build the 1,500-square-foot exhibition space. The collection establishes the Museum as a regional hub for Modern and Contemporary art, and greatly increases its educational and programming opportunities. ...
The celebration June 10 also marks the opening of the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery's inaugural exhibition, To Distribute and Multiply: The Feibes & Schmitt Gift, which includes more than forty works from the collection, representing some of the twentieth century's most influential artists, such as Jean (Hans) Arp, Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, Keith Haring, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Man Ray, Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso, George Rickey, Bridget Riley, and Andy Warhol, among others.

Feibes and Schmitt had an architecture practice in Schenectady for many years, and they were prominent figures in the effort to preserve the Stockade neighborhood. After many decades together, they married in 2013. Schmitt passed away two months later at age 87. As Werner Feibes told the Times Union in 2015 when discussing the gift to the museum: "You can't own art. It's meant to be seen and enjoyed by people." [TU x2]

The new gallery opens to the public at noon Saturday, and there will be Community Opening Day events from 1-7 pm.

As you know, They Hyde Collection is in Glens Falls. Here are a few ideas for rolling a trip there into a day trip.

Troy Summer Square

Troy Monument Square Broadway and River 2015-June

A new art project -- Troy Summer Square -- is set for the Monument Square area of downtown Troy later this summer. It's being organized by the Arts Center of the Capital Region and the city, and led by Judie Gilmore, who was the project director for Breathing Lights. Blurbage:

We will create a unique, beautiful pedestrian plaza on a temporarily closed city block where Broadway meets River Street, in front of the monument. Troy Summer Square will be an integrated public environment in which a painted street, chairs, tables, planters, stage and ongoing cultural programming will activate the space. During its two and half week run, we will coordinate diverse programming with local cultural partners, host fun public engagement events for residents, visitors and families, and showcase "Explore Troy Awards," small grant opportunities available for local artists to engage the public and space. Through a variety of methods and events, we will be asking all who interact with Troy Summer Square both in person and digitally, "What Are Your Ideas for Art in Troy?" Information gathered will be presented in a Master Plan for Public Art and the ideas generated during Troy Summer Square will be exhibited at the Arts Center for all to see.

There will also be three pop-up events in North Central, Lansingburgh, and South Troy later in the summer.

That first link above includes more info about the goals of the project and details about how to submit a public art project idea. Ten ideas will be selected, with awards of up to $1,000 each. The deadline to apply is July 1.

Picasso: Encounters at The Clark

Picasso's Dora Maar

Portrait of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso, 1937. Musée national Picasso-Paris. Pablo Picasso, 1979, MP158. Photo: Mathieu Rabeau © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A new exhibit or works by Picasso -- Picasso: Encounters -- opens at The Clark this Sunday, June 4. Press release blurbage:

[Picasso: Encounters] investigates how Pablo Picasso's (1881-1973) creative collaborations fueled and strengthened his art, challenging the notion of Picasso as an artist alone with his craft. The exhibition addresses his full stylistic range, the narrative themes that drove his creative process, the often-neglected issue of the collaboration inherent in print production, and the muses that inspired him, including Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot, and Jacqueline Roque. Organized by the Clark with the exceptional support of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, Picasso: Encounters is comprised of thirty-five large-scale prints from private and public collections and three paintings including his seminal Self-Portrait (end of 1901) and the renowned Portrait of Dora Maar (1937), both on loan from the Musée national Picasso-Paris.

The exhibit will be on display through August 27. There's a talk about the exhibit June 11 by curator Jay A. Clarke about "how Picasso's creative collaborations fueled and strengthened his art" -- it's free with museum admission.

As you know, The Clark Art Institute is in Williamstown, Massachusetts -- just about an hour's drive from Albany. In addition to rotating exhibits, the museum has a good permanent collection that includes a wide range of different types of works, including a bunch of paintings by prominent impressionists. The museum -- and Williamstown -- makes a fun day trip.

Gawking at the newly finished mural on the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany

Quackenbush Garage Hellbent mural finished

Right to the point: Here's a handful of photos the newly finished mural on the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany.

The artist Hellbent was in town last week(end) working on the mural. His inspirations for some of the patterns in the mural: Dutch porcelain, the orange and blue of the city flag, and some of local deco architecture.

It's part of the same collaboration between the Albany Parking Authority and Albany Center Gallery that produced the bluebird mural on the opposite side of the garage last year.

Let's have a look...

(there's more)

A few bits about that big, new mural going up on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in Albany

Quackenbush Garage Albany Hellbent in progress

Maybe you've noticed the new mural going up on the south face of the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany.

Here's what's up with that, along with a few in-progress pics...

(there's more)

Fields Sculpture Park at Omi 2017

art omi arcs

"Arcs in Disorder" by Bernar Venet.

There are a bunch of places around the greater Capital Region that are worth a short weekend drive to check out -- because they're fun or interesting or just a different place to be, if only for a little while.

The Fields Sculpture Park at Omi -- in Ghent, in Columbia County -- is one of those places. And its summer exhibition opens this Saturday, May 27 with new sculptures from a handful of artists. There will also be new site-specific installations, performances, and special lunch vendors in the cafe there. Admission is free.

What is the Fields Sculpture Park? About blurbage:

Comprised of over sixty acres of rolling farmland, wetlands and wooded areas, The Fields Sculpture Park presents the works of internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists, offering the unique possibility to experience a wide range of large-scale works in a singular outdoor environment. Founded in 1998, The Fields offer nearly eighty works of art on view - with several pieces added or exchanged every year.

It's a beautiful spot and a fun walk. We also hear it's a good art activity for kids because 1) Whoa! Huge, sculptures! and 2) They can run around in the wide open spaces outside.

Earlier: Sculpture parks to explore

TROY, Drawn

Troy on the Hudson. Watercolor on paper. #regionalpainting #upstateny #donmochon #midcenturypainting

A post shared by @troy.drawn on

Filed under "Local Instagram Accounts We Are Enoying": TROY, Drawn.

The account is dedicated to bringing the work of the late Don Mochon to new audiences. From a short bio on the TROY, Drawn website:

Born in South Troy in 1916, he grew up in a town that was vital with industry and manufacturing. He attended R.P.I, turning to architecture as something as close to art as he could imagine. He taught Design at the School of Architecture at RPI for many years and often served as the Dean of the School.
He believed that good design and art were partners. He invited artist friends, the painters Eddie Millman, Walter "Bud" Plate and sculptor George Rickey, to teach fine art disciplines to the architecture students. Later he was the first Director of the University Art Museum at SUNY Albany.

And from a 1996 UAlbany news item about an effort to compile a Don Mochon online archive and CD-ROM(!):

(there's more)

State Museum adds "significant" collection of art

Portrait of Martha by Eugene Speicher

"Martha" by Eugene Speicher, 1947, oil on canvas, The Historic Woodstock Arts Colony: Arthur A. Anderson Collection, New York State Museum. / photo: Eric R. Lapp

The State Museum announced Tuesday that it's acquired "a significant collection" of artwork from the Woodstock Art Colony: 1,500 works across different media from 170 artists from the early 20th century.

Press release blurbage (links added):

Long before the famous music event in 1969, Woodstock was home to what is considered America's first intentional year-round arts colony: the historic Woodstock Art Colony, founded in 1902. Its artists have been the focus of collector and donor Arthur Anderson for three decades, resulting in the largest comprehensive art collection of its type. The artists in the collection reflect the diversity of the artists who came to Woodstock, including Birge Harrison, Robert Henri, George Bellows, Eugene Speicher, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Anderson recently donated the collection to the New York State Museum, where the collection will be transferred and permanently housed.
"The Woodstock Art Colony Collection highlights an important piece of New York's art history with both regional and national significance," said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. "We're honored to now own these extraordinary artworks that reflect our art and cultural history and share them with the children and adults of New York State."

Here's a small sample of the works in the collection.

The portrait above, titled "Martha," is by Eugene Speicher. You might remember there was an exhibit of Speicher's work at the State Museum a few years back.

A call to customize Nipper

Nipper building

The upcoming round of downtown Albany public art projects will be decorated statues of Nipper. And the call for submissions is out:

For this year's exhibit, the Downtown Albany BID is accepting submissions from artists who wish to submit proposals to design 36" tall sculptures of Albany's famous canine resident Nipper the Dog. A beloved mixed-breed terrier residing in Bristol, England in the late 1800s, Nipper was immortalized in the 1898 oil painting "His Master's Voice" by Francis Barraud. He became an instantly recognizable mascot for the RCA Recording Company throughout the 20th century, perhaps most familiar to locals via the 28-foot, four-ton statue that keeps guard over the Capital City from a perch atop the former RCA distribution warehouse at the corner of Broadway and Tivoli Street. Celebrating an Albany landmark, a famous American musical icon, and the upcoming downtown Albany dog park, the ten Nipper sculptures will adorn highly visible outdoor public locations throughout downtown Albany's business and entertainment corridors from mid-June 2017 through May 2018.

The BID says the process is open to artists or groups of all ages, and there is no application fee. Selected entries will get a $500 stipend, two tickets to the launch party, and 30 percent of the proceeds when the sculptures are auctioned off at the end.

Here's the application, which includes details about selection process and criteria. The deadline for submissions is May 3 at noon.

This public art series stretches back more than a decade (it was originally called "Sculpture in the Streets"), and has included those large decorated Dutch wooden shoe replicas and the "Play Me I'm Yours" pianos.

The Downtown Albany BID advertises on AOA.

39th Annual Photography Regional Select Show

ACG Photo Regional 2016

We got a chance this week to stop in at the 39th Annual Photography Regional Select Show at the Albany Center Gallery.

It displays works from 52 photographers from around the region, selected by this year's jurors, Tara Fracalossi and Danny Goodwin. (And the photos are available for purchase.)

The show is on display through April 21 in ACG's new space in the Arcade Building on Broadway in downtown Albany.

By the way: Here's a cool interactive online walkthrough of the salon-style show that led up to the select show.

Snow as temporary art installation

Melanie sent along this photo today with a note:

Like making lemonade out of lemons, Douglas Rothschild makes art out of snow and by doing so brought surprise, delight, and smiles of appreciation from many passing by Mad Lark Laundry [on Madison Ave in Albany] today. Thank you, Douglas!

(Thank you, Melanie!)

1624 Keepsake Challenge

1624 Keepsake Challenge

This is fun: The Albany Center Gallery is heading up a different sort of public art project -- the 1624 Keepsake Challenge. Blurbage:

As part of the 1624 Keepsake Challenge, we will be inviting residents and visitors to create 1,624 hand-painted trading cards at events and locations throughout the City of Albany. Pieces will be displayed at Albany City Hall in April, as a prelude to the Annual Tulip Festival. Then, the cards will be used to create a work of art to be presented to Albany's Sister City in the Netherlands, Nijmegen. This gift is a symbol of the revitalization of the Sister City relationship and Albany's commitment to establishing an ongoing cultural exchange.
To make this project successful, we need your help. Create a trading card that reflects your vision of Albany. Think about your favorite place, or thing to do. Think about what makes Albany special. Then, create! This is a great activity for residents and business owners, providing a fun and creative way to reflect our city pride.

ACG is coordinating with the city of Albany and Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau on the project. And all three are serving as sites where people can pick up and drop off the cards and supplies.

There's also info at that link about how a business or org can become a trading card creation site.

The deadline for having a card included in the project is April 28.

Eight facts about the life of Edmonia Lewis

edmonia lewis

A c. 1870 photo portrait of Lewis from the National Portrait Gallery (via Wikipedia)

Maybe you saw this week that the Google Doodle on Wednesday honored the 19th century American sculptor Edmonia Lewis. And maybe you also noticed that Lewis was born in what's now Rensselaer.

The mention of Lewis prompted us to read up on her a bit and she is fascinating. From a biography, The Indominitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis, by Harry Brinton Henderson and Albert Henderson:

Think of Edmonia Lewis as an artist at war. As her heroes took to the gun, the pen, or the pulpit to attack the cruel social order of the 1800s, she weighed in with artistic gifts and tools meant for clay, plaster, and marble. In the grand struggle for respect, she was a regiment of one.
With every image she create, every appearance she made, and every interview she gave the press, she undermined the lies of white advantage in a cool counterpoint to the rage of Civil War and Reconstruction. Physically tiny and personally charming, she taunted the demons of bigotry as she carved her heritage and appeared with her work alongside the best artists of the day.

Here are eight bits about her life...

(there's more)

Upstate Collage Night at The Tang

upstate collage night collage

The Upstate Collage Night series art/crafts get-togethers will be at the The Tang Museum on the Skidmore campus February 9.

What is it? Blurbage:

Upstate Collage Night is an art party! Our roaming glue-and-scissors-social is a celebration of ephemera featuring a refined collection of vintage magazines to cut up and remix. It is hosted by Caroline Corrigan and Ira Marcks; two people dedicated to creating good things in UPSTNY.
... We find the perfect place, and provide all vintage magazines and supplies you'll need. Drinks and snacks are almost always available, and a good time is guaranteed! All you need to do is show up and let the scissors run wild.

You might already know Corrigan from Fort Orange General Store and Half Moon Market, and Marcks from his cartooning workshops and projects such as Creative Every Day. The series has had previous events at spots such as the Opalka Gallery in Albany.

The night at the Tang runs from 6:30-8:30 pm on Thursday, February 9. It's free and open to the public.

photo via Upstate Collage Night Facebook

Talking with Albany artist Elizabeth Zunon about illustrating a legend, drawing on her family's history, and stoking her creativity

elizabeth zunon legendary lena horne

Check it out: A new children's book about Lena Horne -- The Legendary Miss Lena Horne -- was illustrated by Albany artist Elizabeth Zunon.

She's illustrated a handful of children's books. And like her other work, the images in The Legendary Miss Lena Horne are beautiful -- warm and textured, incorporating illustration and collage.

We bounced a few questions to Zunon this week about working on the book, an upcoming project based on her family's history, and local spots where she stokes her creativity.

(there's more)

Taking in The People's Art


"Number 12" by Jackson Pollock

Let's look at some art. That sounds like a good idea today.

We got a chance this week to finally check out The People's Art at the State Museum this week. It's an exhibit of works from Empire State Plaza Art Collection. Blurbage (link added):

Beginning in 1965, Governor Nelson Rockefeller assembled a commission of art experts to select the works for the Plaza and personally signed off on each acquisition. The exhibition The People's Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection is a collaboration of the State Museum and the New York State Office of General Services. It features 20 works by 17 artists and includes paintings and sculpture by modern masters such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, David Smith, and Alexander Calder.

There are a few more selections after the jump if you're curious about what's included. It's on display through the beginning of this September.

Between this exhibit, the new Ice Ages exhibit (which just opened), and Hudson Valley Ruins, it's a good time to stop by the State Museum if you haven't been in a while -- especially now that we're in the gloomy mid winter period (meteorological period rather than artistic).

(there's more)

Checking out the new Albany Center Gallery space

Albany Center Gallery storefront Arcade Building

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...

(there's more)

Opening set for new Albany Center Gallery space

Arcade Building downtown Albany exterior 2016-11-02The Albany Center Gallery recently made the move down Broadway to new its home in the renovated Arcade Building and it's set the grand opening for the new space for January 6.

On that date the gallery's 12th Annual Member Show will open. And there's an open call for submissions:

While Albany Center Gallery (ACG) celebrates its 40th year, the Annual Members' Show focuses on the importance of local and regional artists that live and create work within 100 miles of Albany. ACG highlights and recognizes a wide range of talented members. Each of these exhibits bring together a dynamic cross--section of artists, in material and degree of establishment. Members range from student and emerging artists to established and international artists, from painters and photographers to sculptors and mixed media artists and beyond. ACG sees this show as an opportunity for exposure, promotion, and appreciation of all who have invested their time and energy in making our gallery what it is today.

There are details at that link about how to submit. And if you're not a member, it's $50 to join / $90 for two people.

The grand opening reception will be January 6 from 5-9 pm. The member show will be on display through February 17.

Earlier on AOA:
+ New home for Albany Center Gallery
+ Why Stacks Espresso picked downtown Albany for its next location (it's in the Arcade Building)

Magnetic Shift at Empire State Plaza

phil frost untitled at esp

An untitled work by Frost that's on display. Here's a larger pic if you'd like a better view.

We had a few minutes this week to check out the new Phil Frost exhibit on the ESP concourse, Magnetic Shift. It's in the Corning Tower, just behind the escalators that lead up to the plaza level.

Frost was born in Jamestown and grew up (and skateboarded) in the Albany area. Exhibit blurbage:

"From a young age I found myself inspired by the various forms of Modernism encapsulated in Wallace Harrison's architectural masterpiece, The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, most notably the works of Clyfford Still, Naum Gabo, Ellsworth Kelly, and David Smith," said Frost. "It is with great honor that I accept this privilege of being able to now, some 30 years later, form a curated conversation with this work in its unique home." ...
Frost creates work that combines the raw, gritty edge of the street through the use of found materials with an elegant, painterly aesthetic. Frost describes his art as being "comprised of a depth of layered sinuous sheaths of glyphic information that I refer to as intuitive mathematics; they are overlaid and dance atop figurative busts and repetitions or grids of heads that I call perceptive portraiture." Frost first became known in the early 1990's for his involved installations on the streets of New York City.

The exhibit is open Monday-Friday from 6 am to 6 pm. It will be on display through August 18, 2017.

80th Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region

MHR Hyde Collection Nasturcium Op 3 2015 by Elizabeth Panzer

Nasturcium Op. 3, 2015 by Elizabeth Panzer.

This year's Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region exhibit, the 80th in the annual series, opens Sunday at The Hyde Collection.

The show is open to artists living within 100 miles of Albany, and rotates among The Hyde, Albany Institute of History and Art, and the University Art Museum at UAlbany. This year's exhibit was curated by artist Michael Oatman and includes 126 works by 106 artists. Blurbage for the show:

MHR features works of art throughout The Hyde's campus -- on the lawn, in the Charles R. Wood, Rotunda and Whitney-Renz galleries, and in the historic Hyde House. "I thought we could do something different by trying to take the emphasis off regionalism and think more about situating our artists in a broader historical framework," said Oatman, who is an artist, professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and juror and curator of this year's MHR.
The result is a sprawling exhibition that features video, collage, mixed media, photography, oil, gauche, sculpture, watercolor, and intervention works. Each work is organized into a conceptual category, themes Oatman saw develop as he juried 520 submissions from 274 artists. Each relates to the history of display: site, vault, salon, cube, mirror/grid, and landview.

The exhibit will be on display through December 31.

While you're at The Hyde, you can also check out the new exhibit of modern art works from the collection recently donated by Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Day trip: Glens Falls
+ Eating in Glens Falls: 5-10-15-20

Common Side Effects

Common Side Effects Lisa Hoke Massry Center

"Coming Attractions" by Lisa Hoke

We got a chance to stop in at the Esther Massry Gallery at Saint Rose to catch a look at Common Side Effects, the exhibition by Lisa Hoke that's there right now. It's a series of sculptures, murals, and collages made up of product packaging.

Exhibition blurbage:

Quirky, intensely colored sculptures, giant wall murals and small collages are made from cast-off, familiar packaging reclaimed from our mass-produced, consumerist culture. Formerly trash bin detritus, these intricate and labor-intensive creations add gravitas to an ethos of excess and waste. The exhibition features a large-scale, suspended sculpture constructed in the vertical gallery.
Nancy Princenthal, writer, critic and contributing editor of Art in America, states "The ready-made graphics of her materials are meant by their commercial producers to be seductive, and Hoke only bumps up their appeal, organizing them into tapering cones, telescoping cups, fanned plates and pinwheeling spirals of the most dizzying allure." (Excerpted from 2015 essay on Lisa Hoke's exhibition "Attention Shoppers," published by Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.)

The pieces are vibrantly colorful, and they draw you in as your eye picks out all the various types of packaging involved.

Common Side Effects is on display through December 4 in the Esther Massry Gallery, which is in the Massry Center building (1002 Madison Ave). The small exhibit's worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood.

Saint Rose advertises on AOA.

The People's Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection

Smoker by Philip Guston ESP art collection

"Smoker" by Philip Guston is one of the works in the exhibit.

Opening this weekend at the State Museum: The People's Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection.

The exhibit features 20 works from the ESP's extensive modern art collection, including works by artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, David Smith, and Alexander Calder. Blurbage:

The Empire State Plaza Art Collection has been heralded as one of the greatest collections of modern American art in any single public site. Beginning in 1965, following a procedure he established decades earlier during the construction of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, Governor Nelson Rockefeller assembled a commission of art experts to select the works for the Plaza and personally signed off on each acquisition. Funds for the art purchases were allocated as a percentage of the construction cost of each building on the Plaza.

The exhibit will be on display until September of 2017.

By the way: If you stop by to see this exhibit, you might also want to take the short walk over the ESP concourse and see Magnetic Shift, a display of works by Phil Frost. It's at the Corning Tower Plaza and concourse levels. And opens October 31. It will be on display until next August.

Talking public art at Collar Works

Breathing Lights Stanley Street SchenectadyCollar Works Gallery in Troy is hosting a discussion this Friday evening about public art with a handful of national experts:

+ Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director of the Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy program

+ Caitlin Butler, director of development for Mural Arts Philadelphia, which has been helping to create murals around Philadelphia for 30 years

+ Jesse Hamerman, director of exhibitions for the Public Art Fund in New York City, which mounts public art exhibitions around the city with internationally-known artists

+ Judie Gilmore, the project manager for Breathing Lights, will be moderating

The talk is Friday, October 14 at 6:30 pm at Collar Works Gallery (621 River Street). It's free and open to public. RSVP:

Earlier on AOA: Breathing Lights begins

New home for Albany Center Gallery

Arcade Building exterior

The Arcade Building. / photo: Paul Gallo

The Albany Center Gallery announced Monday that it's found a new home: ACG will be moving to the Arcade Building on Broadway in downtown Albany around the end of this year/beginning of 2017.

The 40-year-old gallery has been located at 39 Columbia Street -- just off Broadway near Tricentennial Park -- for many years. But its lease is up in November and it's been in search of more affordable space. Press release blurbage:

ACG began to explore a new location starting in 2014 due to a 10-year lease with the United Group ending in November 2016. "We toured over two dozen properties and had offers to move to places such as Troy and Schenectady. We thought it was important to stay in Downtown Albany," said Brian Tromans, board member and chair of the ACG's relocation committee. "The United Group has been very supportive throughout our lease. It was not an easy decision to leave 39 Columbia Street, but the Arcade will bring a new chapter for the Gallery's creative history."

The Arcade Building is just about two blocks south of ACG's current location. Its owner -- Fairbank Properties -- recently converted the upper floors to apartments. The street level includes storefront space. (Stacks Espresso is also set to open a location there.)

In addition to showing art work in its gallery space, Albany Center Gallery has also been involved in many arts projects around the city -- including the large mural that went up on the parking garage by the I-787 Clinton Ave off-ramp earlier this year.

ACG Gala: The Albany Center Gallery's 40th Anniversary Gala is November 19 at the Renaissance Albany.

Screenprint Biennial 2016

screenprint biennial 2016 logo

The Screenprint Biennial is set to return to Troy this October at sites around the city:

+ The Arts Center of the Capital Region and Collar Works Gallery will have opening receptions for screenprint exhibits October 28. The work of 35 artists from around the world will be on display. The exhibits will be on display through December 23.

+ The Oakwood Community Center will be hosting a temporary site-specific screenprint-based artwork by Ian Cozzens.

+ A symposium October 29 will include artists from around the country talking about trends in screen printing. Also scheduled: a talk by Josh MacPhee, an expert in political graphics.

All events are free and open to the public.

The organizer of the Screenprint Biennial is Nathan Meltz, an artist and RPI faculty member. As he told Lauren ahead of the first biennial in 2014, the idea behind the event is to celebrate the artistic side of the widely-used medium and showcase many of the different paths this artform can take.

Breathing Lights begins

Breathing Lights Schenectady Stanley Street

Stanley Street in Schenectady

The much-anticipated Breathing Lights project opens this weekend in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. For the next two months hundreds of vacant buildings in the three cities will be illuminated from the inside by gently pulsing lights as part of the public art installation.

The project is backed by up to $1 million in funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, and it won out over more than 200 other entries in a national competition for public art projects.

Here's a quick overview, along with some thoughts at the start of the project's public phase...

(there's more)

Upstate Artists Guild leaving Lark Street space

The Upstate Artists Guild announced Tuesday that it will be leaving its longtime space at 247 Lark Street in Albany this fall. From a press release:

Over the years, members have dug into our own pockets to pay rent and other expenses. This past year, attendance is down, membership is down and people just aren't volunteering or donating like they used to. We are low on funds and manpower, so we are temporarily giving up our gallery space after our October show while we re-organize. This move will keep the Upstate Artists Guild running, and we plan to continue hosting 1st Friday events and have a pop-up show (still themed and accepting submissions) for each 1st Friday starting with November. We will most likely be at the current gallery space (247 Lark Street) for the November 1st Friday. The shows will only be the one night or possibly the weekend depending on the circumstance. We still plan on hosting our events- just in different spaces until we find a new home. Our goal is to find something more affordable and perhaps with another organization by April 2017's 1st Friday.

UAG has occupied the space since 2005. And it's hosted many, many exhibits, shows, and other events.

In other Lark Street storefront news... The clothing shop, which was once located in downtown Troy, has its grand opening at 248 Lark Street this Wednesday. And the Albany Ben & Jerry's, which re-opened on Madison Ave just down the street from Washington Park this past May -- will also be celebrating its grand opening.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Thinking about the future of Lark Street
+ Lark Street and the competition among the Capital Region's hip urban areas
+ Ideas for Lark Street's longterm future
+ Enigma.Co

That mural going up on the building at Pearl Street and Maiden Lane in downtown Albany

temporary facade mural 27 N Pearl by Rachel Baxter

N. sent along this pic today of the mural that popped up on the boards lining the exterior of 27 N. Pearl in downtown Albany with the message: "This made me smile, and it seemed like something alloveralbany would enjoy, too."

As it happens, the mural is a work in progress by Rachel Baxter called "You Are Here, Too." It's a collaboration between Albany Center Galleries, the Downtown Albany BID, and Fairbank Properties, which is renovating the building. (Fairbank also did the residential conversion of the nearby Arcade Building.)

The mural will stretch down Maiden Lane when it's finished, according to the BID. Blurbage:

Artist Rachel Baxter drew inspiration for the piece, "You Are Here, Too," from her time hiking and camping, and the connection between our environment and ourselves. In creating the piece, Baxter hopes people will be reminded to connect with their surroundings. The mural, one of several recently completed or in the pipeline, highlights Albany Center Gallery's mission to both exhibit contemporary work in their gallery space, as well as expand beyond the gallery walls by bringing art into the community.

The BID says mural is expected to be up for about eight months. And if it's still in good shape by the end of that time, it will be sold to benefit ACG.

(Thanks, N!)

The Downtown Albany BID advertises on AOA.

Orange Street Community Mosaic Mural

Orange street mural

We took a few minutes this weekend to stop by the new mosaic mural on Orange Street in Albany's Sheridan Hollow neighborhood. It was unveiled Friday evening.

The mural's on the side of the building at Orange and Dove that houses the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and Albany Center for Economic Success. There's also a new community space there, Sheridan Hollow Commons.

There are a handful of large photos after the jump.

Artist Jillian Hirsch headed up the design of the mural, and its installation included the help of many volunteers and donors. Also involved: thousands of Albany school kids, who made tiles for the mural.

The work is really bright and fun. And because it includes mirrored pieces, it catches the light in interesting ways and creates a sense of motion as you walk past it. It's worth a stop sometime to check it out.

The mural is just up the street from the ongoing Sheridan Hollow redevelopment project, where Habitat for Humanity and Housing Visions are buildings new, affordable owner-occupied and rental housing. And The Hungry Hollow cafe is set for a grand opening in in a mixed-use building there in October.

(there's more)

Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders at Opalka Gallery

Opalka Gallery Siona Benjamin 1

We took a few minutes to check out the exhibit currently on display at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus: Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders. The works are engaging and interesting, touching on topics of identity and multiculturalism.

From the statement at the head of the exhibit:

Siona Benjamin combines imagery from her Mumbai origins with global social issues to illustrate cultural, religious, and feminist narratives. Her life is a mosaic -- a Bene Israel woman, raised in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India, educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools, and now living in the United States -- and so is her art. Inspired by traditions as diverse as Indian miniature painting, Byzantine icons, illuminated manuscripts, and American Pop Art, she attempts to create a dialogue between the ancient and the modern as she transitions between worlds.
With degrees in both painting and theater set design, she weaves themes of identity and place, belonging and being outcast, into her varied works and forces us to reflect on myth and reality. Her use of blue in portraits represents her view of herself as "a Jewish woman of color, of being the other, of being transcultural, of belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time."

There is/was (depending on when you're reading this) an opening event Thursday evening starting at 5 pm with a talk by Benjamin. A reception from 6-8 pm follows. It's free to attend. There's also a curators tour September 29 at 5:30 pm.

There are a few other quick pics of the exhibit after the jump if you're curious.

The exhibit is on display through October 9.

(there's more)

Intercollegiate Iron Pour 2016

salem art works intercollegiate iron pour

Some events are more metal than others: The Intercollegiate Iron Pour will be back at Salem Art Works September 23-25. It's the 10th year for the event, which serves as a conference for college students and artists interested in the cast iron arts.

But it's also an opportunity for non-participants to gawk at, and learn more about, the craft. Blurbage (emphasis from the original):

Saturday, the morning begins with young and established artists preparing their molds, furnaces, and getting ready to pour metal. Early afternoon thru early evening visitors will see demonstrations on "dung molds", "cuttle bone casting", and "painting with iron", have the opportunity to make a mold of their own with family-friendly workshops options including "scratch blocks", "doodle bowls", and "cuttle bone castings". Metal will be poured in the late afternoon with live commentary from Iron Hostess Heather Spencer-Holmes to familiarize visitors with what is happening. An informational exhibition and Renegade Cast Iron art show will be in the Cary House Gallery and Barn III. Other activities include, a small anagama wood-fired kiln firing, glass blowing demonstrations, blacksmithing demonstrations, live silk-screen printing (bring your own items to have printed on, or purchase something new), as well as a display of hand made merchandise created by SAW artists, available for purchase.
Sunday morning artists will reveal what they made, divesting their molds with sludge hammers, chisels, and wire brushes, visitors who participated in a workshop can stop by to pick up their finished product.

The events are free to attend (though SAW would probably appreciate a donation while you're there). See the link above for a schedule.

Salem Art Works? SAW is a nonprofit art center and sculpture park, "dedicated to supporting both emerging and established artists in the creation of new and progressive work, as well as promoting the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art within the region." It's located in the hamlet of Salem in Washington County, a little more than an hour's drive from Albany.

photo via Salem Art Works

The house with the view that's always changing

Now at Art Omi: A house that spins. Yep. That's a video clip of it above.

From the exhibit blurbage for ReActor:

ReActor is the newest work in an experimental, performative series of "social relationship architecture" designed and built by internationally renowned architect-artist duo Alex Schweder + Ward Shelley.
Located in Architecture Omi's Field 01, ReActor is a habitable sculpture, where Schweder + Shelley will live in full view of Omi's audience. The 44-foot by 8-foot structure rotates 360-degrees atop a 15-foot concrete column in response to its inhabitants' movements, exterior forces, and interior conditions, making visible the intimate relationship between architecture and its inhabitants.

This week T Magazine has excerpts from Schweder and Shelley's diary of living in the house for five days earlier this month.

There's another performance/habitation (?) September 24-25, and then a five-day performance October 6-10.

Spinning house or not, Art Omi and its Fields Sculpture Park in Ghent (in Columbia County) is a worth a visit sometime. Big sculpture works are set in a gently rolling landscape. It's beautiful and peaceful and weird (in a good way). And admission is free.

Large donation of modern art to The Hyde Collection

hyde collection feibes schmitt gallery rendering

A rendering of the planned gallery.

The Hyde Collection formally announced this week that it received a gift of art and cash totaling more than $11 million from Werner Feibes of Schenectady. The museum says it's largest donation since donated her home and artwork to establish the museum in Glens Falls in 1952. And it says it's planning to use the money and art to open a new gallery for modern and contemporary art next summer.

From the press release:

For more than four decades, Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt built a world-class art collection that aligned with their personal tastes and interest in non-objective art, Pop art, abstract art, and Minimalism. Building on Mr. Feibes' previous donation of 55 Modern and Contemporary works to The Hyde in 2015, the bequest includes the remainder of the collection (105 works). Combined, the Feibes and Schmitt gift more than doubles The Hyde's holdings of Modern and Contemporary art, situating the Museum as a regional hub for Post-war art. ...
Mr. Feibes and Mr. Schmitt began collecting in the 1950s. Their collection of paintings, drawings, prints, mixed media, and sculpture includes work from some of the best known and most respected artists of the twentieth century, including Josef Albers, Jean Arp, Grace Hartigan, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Robert Motherwell, George Rickey, Louise Nevelson, Bridget Riley, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Smith.

Feibes and Schmitt had an architecture practice in Schenectady for many years, and they were prominent figures in the effort to preserve the Stockade neighborhood. And after many decades together, they married in 2013. Schmitt passed away two months later at age 87.

As Werner Feibes told the Times Union last year when discussing the gift to the museum: "You can't own art. It's meant to be seen and enjoyed by people."

Painted scenes from Albany's history

Milne Hall mural Schuyler Hamilton courtship DC Lithgow

Here's a larger view, if you'd like to look closer.

A bonus track from the post about the Rezone Albany downtown UAlbany neighborhood public event: We took a few minutes during Monday's session in Milne Hall 200 to take in the murals that circle the room. And they're worth a look if you ever have the chance.

Here's a UAlbany library page with images and descriptions of each of the murals.

The murals were created by artist David Cunningham Lithgow in 1935 and they each depict a scene from Albany's history (with one exception), among them Henry Hudson's arrival, the signing of the Dongan Charter, and -- as you can see in the pic above -- the courtship of Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton.

(there's more)

Orange Street mural, in progress

Orange Street mural

We took a few minutes this week to stop by the new mural that's in progress on Orange Street in Albany's Sheridan Hollow neighborhood. Even the mosaic is just starting to be installed, its mirrored pieces are already reflecting light and adding energy to the wall of 255 Orange.

The work is sponsored by the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and the Albany Center for Economic Success, and it's intended to "serve as a visual reminder of the beauty, vibrancy and deep community roots of this neighborhood." More background blurbage from the Community Loan Fund:

The project began last summer at the Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy's and the Boys' and Girls' Club summer youth program. Guided by Liz Vigoda, a local potter, and Jillian Hirsch, a ceramic muralist, we made tiles with the students. The response was so positive, we were asked to make it a district project. With coordination from Kate Wright, the Art Department Chairperson, we had 16 Albany City schools - and more than 2,000 children - make tiles for this community mural. ... In addition to the Albany City School District, the Albany Academy for Girls, the Albany Institute of History and Art, Delta Academy, the Greater Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill, St. Anne's Institute and the Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood Association participated in tile making.
Jillian Hirsch designed the mural and is overseeing the artistic portion of this project. She met with the Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood Association, residents and community advocates to Urban Resilience Imageensure that the community's vision was included. The theme of the mural is Urban Resilience (resilience of the neighborhood, the community and its residents). The design is a bright depiction of honey bees and monarch butterflies in a wild flower garden. It will be installed this month and we'll need LOTS of volunteers to help cement the tiles on to the wall and to grout the tiles.

There's a community tiling day this Saturday, July 16 from noon-4 pm that's open to anyone who would like to help. The project is also looking for volunteers and donors to help with the transformation of the side lot by the mural into a green space. (Details at that first link above.)

Here are a few more pics of the mural so far...

(there's more)

Flocking to downtown

Quackenbush parking garage mural

We stopped by the Quackenbush Parking Garage in downtown Albany Tuesday to see large mural that artist Michael Conlin recently completed there. There are a handful of large photos after the jump if you'd like to have a look.

The mural -- which is roughly 25 feet by 85 feet -- is part of an effort by the Albany Parking Authority to make its garages more welcoming. The art is the result of a collaboration between Conlin and a handful of local orgs, including the Albany Center Gallery.

City officials have also said the mural's site -- along the Clinton Ave off-ramp from 787 -- also means it can also double as a way of welcoming people to the city. The mural depicts a group of Eastern Bluebirds (the state bird of New York) flocking toward downtown.

(there's more)

Fence 2016

Fence show 2016

The annual Fence show recently opened at the Arts Center of the Capital Region and we stopped in this week to browse for a few minutes. It's worth a look if you have some time in Troy. There's an artists reception this Friday (May 27) evening during Troy Night Out.

What is the Fence show? Blurbage:

Now in its 51st year, the Fence Show got its name when members' artwork was exhibited on the iron fence surrounding Washington Park in Troy, the original location of the Arts Center. Today, the exhibition typically features approximately 500 pieces, displayed salon style (floor-to-ceiling) in our galleries. All levels of skill and ability are represented, from novice to professional.

One of the things we like about this exhibit is that it's usually a mix of works -- all sorts of materials, styles, and subjects. And this year's exhibit -- with 382 pieces by 231 artists -- is no different, with works ranging from illustration to painting to photography to sculpture.

The Fence show is on display through June 26. The annual Fence Select exhibit opens July 16.

Touring Olana as a three dimensional artistic composition

Olana from afar

Emily sent along this photo from one of the carriage paths as an example -- the lake, meadow, slope, trees, and house were all part of Church's design.

The Olana State Historic Site in Hudson -- the home and studio of Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church -- has a new tour this season, and it highlights an aspect of the site that was new to us: That the area around the beautiful home is itself a designed landscape.

The guided electric vehicle tour follows roughly five miles of the carriage road system on the 250-acre site, surveying the various landscape elements that Church designed.

We heard about the new tour via Emily Lemieux*, who's been leading it. And we emailed her to find a more. Here's a clip from her response:

Frederic Church wasn't just a landscape painter, he was a landscape architect and the entire 250 acres of Olana is a designed landscape, a three dimensional artistic composition. It's like Disney Land for Art History fans.

(there's more)

Flock, in progress

Quackenbush parking garage mural in progress

Quick, in-progress update on that new mural project in downtown Albany: We stopped by for a few minutes Thursday afternoon and it looked like artist Michael Conlin had already made a lot of progress.

The mural will eventually depict a group of Eastern Bluebirds flocking toward downtown. There are a few pics after the jump if you're curious.

The Albany Parking Authority commissioned Conlin to create the mural on the side of the Quackenbush Parking Garage on Broadway (alongside the 787 off-ramp for Clinton Ave) as part of an effort to make its garages more welcoming. He told us earlier this week the mural would probably take a few weeks to complete, depending on weather conditions.

(there's more)

The parking garage as canvas

Quackenbush Garage mural site

If you look closely, you can make out the mural pattern on the garage.

Over the next few weeks a flock of birds will emerge in downtown Albany. A flock of really big birds.

The side of the Quackenbush Parking Garage that faces the Clinton Ave off ramp from I-787 will serve as the canvas for a new mural depicting Eastern Bluebirds flying into downtown. The Albany Parking Authority commissioned local artist Michael Conlin to create the work.

"There's something great about seeing a fantastic piece of art, for free, on the side of a building as you're coming to a city," APA exec director Matthew Peter said Monday after the public announcement of the project. "It sort of feels like you're supposed to be here."

(there's more)

Noticed in Troy

girl noticed mural troy

While walking around downtown Troy Friday for Troy Night Out, we stopped to have a look at this new, temporary mural on the side of YWCA building.

It was created last week as part of a national touring project called Girl Noticed. Project blurbage:

My name is Lori Pratico and along with photographer Elizabeth Sanjuan I will be traveling 50 states in 3 years to erect a series of large exterior murals. Each mural will depict a female that has been nominated from their community to be noticed. Some murals will be crafted in charcoal, weather conditions and time will naturally and quickly fade away these images. Others will be painted, and over time these will be erased or replaced, again to be forgotten. There is a window of time to "Notice" the artwork, to "Notice" the girl. All of the murals represent the message: "when an individuals talents, intelligence, and character are left unnoticed, they may fade away, disappear, or be replaced and never be seen or developed into their full potential." Photographs will be taken during the creation of the mural and will comprise a book to be published at the completion of the project.

The YWCA building is at the southwest corner of State Street and 1st Street.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Under the bridge... IT'S TROYBOT!
+ The big picture in Troy
+ Sprinting across the wall on Central Ave
+ Restored at Madison and Main
+ Living Walls in action

Breathing Lights discussion at Opalka Gallery

Breathing Lights Schenectady test

One of illuminated buildings in a recent concept test in Schenectady. / photo: Hyers + Mebane

The lead artist and lead architect for Breathing Lights -- Adam Frelin and Barbara Nelson -- will be at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus this Tuesday to talk about the large upcoming public art project.

Breathing Lights won up to $1 million from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. It's set to illuminate hundreds of vacant buildings in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy neighborhoods this fall. Project blurbage:

Warm light will fill each window with a diffuse glow that mimics the gentle rhythm of human breathing. Concentrated in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, Breathing Lights will transform abandoned structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth.
This unprecedented, multi-city installation will also transform public streets into an evocative experience and will provide a platform to reinvigorate stakeholders around the Capital Region's most visible symptom of decades of disinvestment. Working with over 25 community and private-sector partners, Breathing Lights includes eight months of programming and events, including: youth media projects, building reclamation clinics, community arts presentations, policy discussions and more. ...
In response to a call for proposals from the Mayors of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, Breathing Lights was designed to use one of the region's historical assets, lighting technology, to illuminate this issue, start conversations, inspire artistic expressions by citizen artists, and spotlight the efforts of reclamation in each community.

This project will get more attention as it develops this year, both due to its scale and because it's touching on an important topic in the Capital Region. It also prompts some questions about how such a project can respectfully work with the neighborhoods it'll be inhabiting -- and there's sure to be some skepticism.

So, if you're curious -- or have questions or concerns -- this seems like an opportunity to find out more directly from the people leading the project.

The event is Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 pm. It's free.

North Central
This Wednesday the Sanctuary for Independent Media is hosting a meeting about vacant buildings in Troy's North Central neighborhood. It will include discussion about plans by Habitat for Humanity, the city of Troy, the Troy Community Land Bank, TRIP, and Breathing Lights. It's at 6 pm and it's free.

Earlier on AOA:
+ More details about Breathing Lights
+ Capital Region project wins national public art challenge

GameFest 2016 at RPI

RPI GameFest 2016 posterThe annual GameFest returns to RPI this weekend with a bunch of demos and talks about video games and their futures, along with an electronic music event. This year's theme is "Visions of the Virtual." The events are free and open to the public.

Here's some blurbage about the student-created games demo and competition at EMPAC that's part of the fest:

On Saturday, April 30, the GameFest expo, competition and symposium at EMPAC features over 50 student teams from colleges and universities across the Northeast, with a game design competition hosted by Vicarious Visions. Dive into virtual reality and fly a stunt kite, or become a narwhal making sandwiches at a deli counter. Play through a tale of love and loss using your own facial expressions, or explore an immersive environment of freshwater ecology. Check out the future of multiplayer gaming, haptic feedback devices, mobile games and more.

(Aren't we all narwhals making sandwiches at the deli counter of life?)

The schedule also includes Algorave 0x0F -- "an evening of cutting-edge electronic music, interactive visuals, and live-coding performances" -- Friday night at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity. And there will be keynotes and mini talks on Saturday. A condensed schedule is after the jump.

(there's more)

Sculpture parks to explore

sculpture parks composite

By Julie Madsen

You want the arts and the culture that come with a museum, but it's finally getting nice out. Who wants to be cooped up inside in the springtime?

The solution: sculpture parks. You get your arts and culture, you get your fresh air, and hey -- you might just get some exercise while you're at it, too.

Here are a bunch of sculpture parks within a day trip of the Capital Region...

(there's more)

Imaging the American West at the State Museum

Paul Manship sculpture Indian Hunter and his Dog from The Met

"Indian Hunter and his Dog" by Paul Manship. / photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Opening this weekend at the State Museum: Imaging the American West: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It includes 48 works from the collection of The Met. Blurbage:

In the decades just before and after the turn of the 20th century, paintings and sculptures depicting majestic landscapes, Native Americans, cowboys and cavalry, and animals of the plains and the mountains served as visual metaphors for the Old West. Imaging the American West explores the aesthetic and cultural impulses behind the creation of artworks with American western themes so popular with audiences then and now.
The exhibition covers works dating from about 1850 to 1930 and centers on four specific themes: the land, Native Americans, wildlife, and cowboys. Artists represented in the exhibition include Albert Bierstadt, Paul Manship, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederic Remington, and Charles M. Russell. The exhibition offers a fresh look at the multifaceted roles played by these artists in creating interpretations of western life and scenery, whether those interpretations are based on fact, fiction, or, most often, something in-between.

It will be on display at the State Museum through July 17.

By the way: The State Museum recently got a new website and it's a big upgrade. An example: check out the "ongoing exhibits" page.

More details about Breathing Lights

Breathing Lights Schenectady test

One of illuminated buildings in a recent concept test in Schenectady. / photo: Hyers + Mebane

There are some more details out about the Breathing Lights public art project that's set for this fall in Albany, Schenectady and Troy.

You might remember this is the project that won a large grant in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge last summer as part of a national competition. It will be illuminating hundreds of vacant buildings during eventing in October and November with pulsing, "breathing" interior lighting with the goal of generating interest in neighborhood development.

Project organizers recently completed a test of the concept at a handful of houses in Schenectady.

Here's a condensed outline of some events, along with some info about opportunities to get involved...

(there's more)

Every Which Way and Art of the Heirloom

arts center exhibit abe ferraro

We stopped into the Arts Center of the Capital Region this past Friday to catch a look at two fun exhibits currently on display.

Every Which Way
Every Which Way by Abraham Ferraro includes his series of Directions sculptures made of packing boxes and labels, and interactive pieces with giant light switches. The exhibit is colorful and active and fun. That's a pic above.

Hudson Valley Seed Packs: Art of the Heirloom
You already know we're fans of the Hudson Valley Seed Library packages. (And the seeds are good, too!) So it was great to see this traveling exhibit of some of the art from which the package designs draw. There are a few quick examples after the jump.

Both exhibits are up through April 24.

(there's more)

Today's moment of art

ESP art Untitled by Fritz Glarner section

This is just the middle portion of "Untitled." Here's a view of the the whole work.

A lot of the art on display in the concourse of the ESP can be an acquired taste. But we liked this 1968 mural by Fritz Glarner from first glimpsing it. The work covers a wall in the Abrams Building opposite a series of windows the look out into the Vietnam Memorial courtyard.

Maybe it feels more alive because it gets natural light.

Glarner was an immigrant from Switzerland. His style was influenced by the work of Mondrian, who was a friend. (See it now?) About five years before creating the mural above he was commissioned by Nelson Rockfeller to design the dining room of Rockefeller's NYC apartment -- the panels he created for that project were later sold during the 1980s, and are now part of a museum collection in Zurich.

The mural in the Abrams Building was commissioned for the ESP. And according to placard for it, the work was created in three sections and then attached to the wall, "specifically placed to complement its surroundings." It ended up being Glarner's last mural. He died in 1972 at age 73.

Upstate Collage Night at Opalka Gallery

upstate collage night collage

Could be something different and fun: Upstate Collage Night will be at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus April 1. What is this night of collage? Blurbage:

Upstate Collage Night is an evening of ephemera featuring a refined collection of vintage magazines to cut up and remix. It is hosted by Caroline Corrigan and Ira Marcks; two people dedicated to creating good things in UPSTNY. ...
They are open to the public and sponsored by your kind donations. No need to bring supplies, we have all the art supplies, snacks to eat, craft beer to drink, and cool people to meet.

You might already know Corrigan from Fort Orange General Store, and Marcks from his cartooning workshops and projects. Here are photos from a previous collage night.

The event at the Opalka Gallery starts at 6 pm on Friday, April 1. It's free to attend.

We hear Corrigan and Marcks are also interested in bringing collage parties to other venues. Here's booking info.

photo via Upstate Collage Night FB

Creative Everyday

creative everyday adam cresko clip

Here's the rest of the story. / image: Ira Marcks

Check out these charming comic stories about real people and their creative work by Troy-based artist/writer/educator Ira Marcks. Each tiny story in Creative Everyday covers the general arc of the person's work, from when they were a kid to how it's become a part of their life today.


Ira Marcks is drawing a comic to inspire kids to explore careers in Upstate NY's Creative Economy. The book is called Creative Everyday. With the help of the Workforce Development Institute and Capital Repertory Theatre's 'On The Go' School Tour, the book will be distributed for free to 10,000+ school kids around NY State.
Right now, Ira is collecting TRUE TALES from creative professionals about the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of ART & LIFE colliding.

If you have a story you'd like to share, Marcks has an online form for you to fill out.

Norman Rockwell in the 1960s at Hyde Collection

Norman Rockwell Final Impossibility

"The Final Impossibility" by Norman Rockwell, published in LOOK magazine in 1969. From the Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections.

If you're looking for a prompt for a quick trip: The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls opens new exhibit this weekend -- Norman Rockwell in the 1960s. Blurbage:

In the 1960s, leaving behind the beloved storytelling scenes that appeared on the covers and pages of the nation's prominent periodicals, Rockwell threw himself into a new genre--the documentation of deeply felt social issues.
In 1963, after ending his 47 year association with The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell began work for the reportorial magazine Look with a true sense of purpose. He invited consideration of important social issues including the Space Race, depicting the moon landing before and after it actually happened. His 1964 painting, The Problem We All Live With, gently presents an assertion on moral decency. This first assignment for Look magazine was an illustration of a six-year-old African-American schoolgirl being escorted by four U.S. marshals to her first day at an all-white school in New Orleans. In 1965, Rockwell illustrated the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and in 1967, he chose children, once again, to illustrate desegregation, this time in the nation's suburbs.

The exhibit includes 21 illustrations and magazine covers created by Rockwell during the decade. It'll be on display through April 3.

You can definitely make a day of trip to Glens Falls and the Hyde Collection. And here are some ideas on where to eat.

Speaking of Norman Rockwell...
As you might know already, the Norman Rockwell Museum is just over the Massachusetts border in Stockbridge. (Rockwell lived in Stockbridge.) It's open year round, seven days a week.

And Rockwell used Troy as inspiration for a handful of his illustrations.Two of them sold at auction a few years back -- "Saying Grace" for $46 million, and "Walking to Church" for $3.25 million.

Day trip: Dia:Beacon

Beacon DiaBeacon composite

The greater Capital Region includes a bunch of interesting museums that span a variety of different topics. And if you're up for going a little bit farther afield, here's another one you might enjoy: Dia:Beacon.

It's just a 90-minute trip south, and the area around it is also worth exploring...

(there's more)

Hyperplace Troy

hyperplace Troy logoThis could be interestingly weird or weirdly interesting: Hyperplace Troy, a series of events this weekend. Blurbage:

Our contemporary notions of place have shifted and expanded as technology and mobility touches the lives of local and global communities. Virtual environments, GPS signals, gentrification, psycho-geography, local ecology, and urban decay are some of the themes artists traverse while navigating their relationships with Place. ...
Hyperplace Troy's program will feature media and visual artists, readings, performances, workshops, and discussions. Hyperplace Troy seeks to bring together artists and audiences from various backgrounds and to foster engagement, sparking new discoveries and conversations.

The events this Friday and Saturday include iParade ("a locative film experience" through downtown Troy), a discussion panel at the Rensselaer County Historical Society, and a performance at the Troy Music Hall ($15).

Rose refreshed

warehouse district rose mural refreshed 2015-08-27

We noticed this week that the prominent rose mural gracing the side of an office building on Broadway in Albany's Warehouse District was looking a bit brighter. And it turns out the mural recently got a refresh. (Here's how it looked last year.)

In one of those coincidences of fate, the artist who painted the mural almost two decades ago was Casiano del Peral -- the father of Nine Pin Cider Works founder Alejandro del Peral. As you know, the cidery opened a few years back in a building right below the mural. And Casiano was the one back on the scaffolding to refresh the rose.

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

Seeing Double at the Albany Institute

egas anaglyph albany institute

Opening this weekend at the Albany Institute of History and Art: Seeing Double: The Anaglyphs of Eric Egas.

Anaglyph? They're stereoscopic images that appear to be 3D when viewed with through special glasses.

Exhibit blurbage:

In this experiential exhibition, Egas engulfs viewers in situational modalities through the selection and placement of anaglyphs that explore human relationships with nature, the meaning of the absurd, human aggression, and aesthetic impulses. Thirty-five prints, ranging in size of about four square feet, show the range of Egas' career experimenting with the medium. Visitors will explore the exhibition with anaglyph viewers which will allow them to experience the depth and contrast of the photographs.

And, yep, 3D glasses will be provided.

The exhibit opens this Saturday (August 15) and runs through October 25.

Egas, who spends part of the year in Greenville, will be at the Albany Institute September 3 for a talk about his work. And because that's a Thursday, admission to event is free.

Opalka Gallery 2015 fall season

Here's the slate of events for this fall at Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus. One of the things that caught our eye about the lineup is that it includes a bunch of events about video games.

Without any further ado....

(there's more)

Pasties, Pencils, and Pints 3rd anniversary

pasties pencils and pints 2015 JulySassy drink 'n draw Pasties, Pencils, and Pints returns to The Hangar in Troy July 16 after taking a few local months off. It's the 3rd anniversary of the series.

The model for this month's session is Miss Couple. There will be a cash bar, and music from DJ Heat Machine. And it's BYODS -- Bring Your Own Drawing Supplies. (There will also be coloring books available.)

So, what's the motivation behind these drink 'n draw nights? We talked with organizer Emily Armstrong about it almost two years ago:

It needs to be sassy. And it's like, the model is supposed to be sexy and everybody's encouraged to cheer for them. The model's working their sex appeal -- whatever that means for for him and her. And people are supportive of it and people cheer, no matter if that's somebody that they'd be attracted to. That's irrelevant, they're there and they're participating and doing an encouraging, fun thing.

The event starts at 8:30 pm on Thursday, July 16. It's $10.

The Making of the Hudson River School -- online

A View of the Great Cohoes Falls on the Mohawk River by Pownall

"A View of the Great Cohoes Falls on the Mohawk River," Thomas Pownall (1722-1805), engraved by Paul Sandby (1725-1809), etching on laid paper, c. 1761-1768 - Albany Institute of History and Art, Bequest of Ledyard Cogswell, Jr.

The Albany Institute of History and Art has put together an online version of its The Making of the Hudson River School exhibit, which ran in 2013. Blurbage:

[T]his exhibition reveals that much more went into the making of the Hudson River School, such as the influence of European traditions and cultural movements, as well as America's natural environment and commercial spirit. The Hudson River School also emerged alongside the new medium of photography, the new science of geology, and new technologies that transformed travel and inaugurated an industrial revolution. The Hudson River School ultimately helped shape an American identity.

The online exhibit is nicely designed, taking you a series of themes and developments that set the stage for, and then exemplified, the Hudson River School. And it's packed with works of art -- many of them depicting local scenes -- that you can click on to get better view.

One work that caught our eye today in the "Topographical Tradition" section was this above drawing of the Cohoes Falls by a British official Thomas Pownall in the late 1700s. From the description that accompanies the work:

Pownall visited the falls twice, but it was during his second visit, when the river was high, that he encountered its sensational splendor and made his sketch. He recounted "I went a second Time to view these Falls; they were then a most tremendous Object. The Torrent, which came over, filled the whole Space from Side to Side; before it reached the Edge of the Fall it had acquired a Velocity which the Eye could scarce follow; and although at the Fall the Stream tumbled in one great Cataract: yet it did not appear like a Sheet of Water; it was a tumultuous Conglomeration of Waves foaming, and at Intervals bursting into Clouds of Vapour, which fly off in rolling Eddies like the Smoak of great Guns."

The Albany Institute has been steadily expanding its online collections, which are full of maps, drawings, and objects related to Albany-area history and beyond.

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

Capital Region project wins national public art challenge

breathing lights project rendering

A rendering showing how Breathing Lights might look.

A joint Albany-Schenectady-Troy project has been selected as one of four winners of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, and is now in line for up to $1 million in funding from the org.

The local project is called "Breathing Lights" and aims to make use of vacant properties in the three cities.

(there's more)

"The Late Drawings of Andy Warhol" at The Hyde Collection

wigs andy warholAn exhibit of drawings by Andy Warhol -- The Late Drawings of Andy Warhol: 1973 - 1987 -- opens this weekend at The Hyde Collection. Blurbage (link added):

More than any other medium, drawing was essential to Andy Warhol's creative output. This exhibition, organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, offers works created during on of the most prolific periods of his life employing a confident and fluid contour line to depict some of the same motifs of his iconic paintings: celebrity portraits, flowers, and ads. Many of the drawings in this exhibition are on view to the public for the first time.

Opening night for the exhibit is this Saturday, June 20 from 6:30-8 pm. It's $30 per person and includes hors d'oeurves, wine, and beer.

The exhibit will be open as part of general museum admission on Sunday. It will be on display through September 27.

image: Andy Warhol, Wigs $8.95, ca. 1983. ©AWF

Winslow Homer
Also opening Sunday: Homer's America: Selections from the Permanent Collection, "a selection of approximately two dozen works, including engravings, etchings, and paintings that focus on the artist's chronicling of American life."

Earlier on AOA:
+ Day trip: Glens Falls and The Hyde Collection
+ Eating in Glens Falls: 5-10-15-20

Who hasn't been inspired by the "Let's Have a Party, Albany" video?

drawing up central 2015 winner

You know that Washington Park Moses is going to keep it festive and chill. / photo courtesy of Central Avenue BID

Here's the winning entry from the Drawing Up Central sidewalk art contest this past Saturday in Albany.

The winning entry, a play on Albany's coat of arms, was created by Sam Wickstrom, who told the Central Ave BID her panel was also inspired by the "Let's Have A Party, Albany" music video from 1986. Heh.

Here are more photos from the contest.

AOA was a media sponsor of Drawing Up Central.

Rutabaga the Adventure Chef

rutabaga comic composite with author

By Lauren Hittinger

When you think of adventures in mysterious lands with dragons, kings, and barbarians, you probably don't think of chefs.

But that's exactly how local artist and graphic novelist Eric Colossal imagined Rutabaga, the main character in his recently released comic Rutabaga, the Adventure Chef. This tenacious and scrappy chef seems to always cook his way out of the troubles he invariably finds himself in.

I chatted with Eric Colossal about the story behind Rutabaga, and his experiences becoming a full-time artist working on published books.

(there's more)

GameFest 2015

rpi gamefest 2015 posterReturning to EMPAC this weekend: GameFest. What is GameFest? Blurbage:

GameFest at Rensselaer is an annual celebration of creativity and innovation in digital games, with a student showcase and competition, music performances, and presentations from veteran game designers, critics, scholars, and indie developers.
Since 2003, GameFest has grown into a regional event that brings together game design students from schools throughout the Northeast, with a competition judged by industry experts. Talks and panels include topics from serious games and entrepreneurship to deep design questions and the democratization of independent game development. Music performances range from music made with repurposed game consoles to an orchestra performing classical arrangements of music from games.

This year's event, which runs Friday evening through Saturday, includes:

+ A discussion about games for purposes beyond entertainment.

+ A concert featuring "game music, chiptunes, livecoding, circuitbending, beats, and interactive visuals from this eclectic collective of DJ's, musicians, and video artists."

+ The game design showcase with work from students from eight colleges and universities.

+ A keynote by James Portnow, "a game designer and consultant known for his theories on socially positive design."

Here's the full schedule. It's free and open to the public.

The Seahawks didn't run the ball and The Clark ended up with this painting

Albert Bierstadt Puget Sound

This work -- Albert Bierstadt's "Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast" -- arrived at the Clark Friday on loan as part of the museum's Super Bowl bet with the Seattle Art Museum. (The Clark had put up one of its Winslow Homer paintings for the bet.)

The painting will be on display at The Clark for the next three months.

By the way: You still have a month to catch the Machine Age Modernism exhibit at the Clark.

Earlier on AOA: Day trip: Williamstown and The Clark

image: "Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast" by Albert Bierstadt, The Seattle Art Museum -- via Wikipedia

Drawing Up Central 2015

Drawing Up Central 2014 winner koi pondThe Drawing Up Central sidewalk art contest is back May 9. The grand prize for this year's contest is $500 cash.

Contest blurbage:

This community-wide event, which is part of the City of Albany's 67th Annual Tulip Festival, will feature artists from all over the region, competing for cash and prizes in a sidewalk chalk art contest. Join individuals, families, students, and organizations, and create your masterpiece, right on Central Avenue's sidewalks. Every participant will receive chalk and other materials as part of their registration. "Drawing Up Central" will be staffed by young people from Equinox's Youth Outreach Center. Providing youth at risk with opportunities to perform community service within their community and support local businesses is one of the positive development objectives of the center.
This year's contest will take place on Central Avenue, between N. Lake and Quail Street, in the heart of Albany's Midtown Grid. ...

The photo on the right is last year's grand prize-winning entry.

The contest is organized by the Central Avenue BID. Registration is $10 and available online at the link above.

photo: Central Avenue BID Twitter

Electric City Couture 2015

Electric City Couture 2015 promo

The Electric City Couture Fashion Show will be back at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs April 25. Tickets are $15 and for sale online now.

Blurbage for this year's show:

The evening will showcase Signature Collections of 5 Regional Designers including Schenectady based special guest 'MA+CH (f. Marika Charles),' an international fashion brand and for the first time ever, a full mens line by Saratoga based 'frittelli and LOCKWOOD' supported by upcycled footwear designer Schenectady based 'The Last Gentleman Co.' The show will have roughly 55 male and female models on the runway. Targeted proceeds from this years show will go to the ongoing restoration work of Historic Universal Preservation Hall. ...
The Electric City Couture mission is to provide a platform to increase awareness for regional fashion designers and fashion support industries to stimulate a regional fashion based economy.

The show starts at 8 pm on Saturday, April 25. It's general seating, first come, first sit, with standing-room overflow.

photo: Lea Sophie Foto

Capital District project is a finalist for national public art prize

bloomberg public art project finalists map

A map of cities that submitted proposals. / map: Bloomberg Philanthropies

A joint submission by Albany-Schenectady-Troy to the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge has made it to the final round, the org announced today. The competition will award at least three cities as much as $1 million for their proposed projects.

And what did the Capital District cities end up proposing? Blurbage:

Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NY - Breathing Lights
Illuminating the Need for Community Revitalization

The City of Albany, in partnership with its neighboring cities of Schenectady and Troy, proposes to illuminate up to 500 vacant homes nightly over two months. Working with artist Adam Frelin and more than 25 community and private sector partners, including the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, this multi-site installation aims to regenerate interest in once-vibrant neighborhoods that currently have high vacancy rates. This consortium proposes to culminate the project with a regional summit on vacant homes and abandoned buildings to engage local residents, prospective buyers and investors, and policy makers.

Bloomberg Philanthropies says 237 cities submitted projects.

The other finalists: Albuquerque; Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Des Moines; Gary, Indiana; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Hartford; Los Angeles; Maplewood, Minnesota; and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Earlier on AOA: Public Art Challenge

Made in Troy: The Iris Lamp

Check it out: A Troy-based company called Lightexture is making these adjustable "iris" lamps that create a range of light patterns. The company is raising money on Kickstarter -- it's already raised $31k, more than double its goal -- with 18 days to go.

The video above shows the lamps in action. There are also a few photos after the jump.

The people behind Lightexture are artists/designers Yael Erel and Avner Ben Natan. You might recognize Erel's work from the "Subliminal Transcriptions" light exhibit at the Arts Center of the Capital Region a few years back.

Oh, and if you're thinking the lamps look like vegetable steamers, there's a reason -- a metal steamer was used as an early prototype.

(there's more)

Machine Age Modernism at The Clark

sledgehammers Sybil Andrews

"Sledgehammers" by Sybil Andrews / Daniel Cowin Collection

This looks interesting: The Clark is opening an exhibit called Machine Age Modernism: Prints from the Daniel Cowin Collection this Saturday (February 28). It includes prints from a handful of early 20th century British printmakers. Exhibit blurbage:

The first three decades of the twentieth century in Britain were a time of great civic and cultural change, ones that witnessed social and economic growth followed by depression, political turmoil, and vast technological advancement. Today known as the Machine Age, this was an era when industry and mechanization were embraced both economically and visually. New modes of communication and transportation--radios, trains, automobiles, airplanes--along with the rise of new building types such as the skyscraper transformed the landscape of the country. Amid the mass consumerism that emerged at this time, the fascination with all things mechanized ultimately gave rise to its seeming opposite: a desire for a return to craft and the hand-made.

The exhibit includes 13 works by Sybil Andrews, as well as works by Edward Wadsworth (image search) and C. R. W. Nevinson (image search).

There's an exhibit opening talk with curator Jay Clarke this Sunday, March 1 at 3 pm.

Machine Age Modernism is at the Clark through May 17.

Earlier on AOA: Day trip: Williamstown and The Clark

Day trip: Glens Falls

glens falls day trip composite

By Lauren Hittinger

As the winter drags on, I'm continuing to look for accessible day trips to keep away cabin fever. I recently visited Glens Falls, which was a perfect spot for a little adventure and exploration.

Glens Falls is far enough away that it's not a regular destination for me, but close enough for an impulse day trip.

Plus, the town is filled with arts and culture.

(there's more)

Day trip: Williamstown and The Clark

The Clark Clark Center exterior 2015 January

The new building at The Clark.

By Lauren Hittinger

Normally I am a very active person, but the cold weather makes me an unhappy shut-in. This winter I want to change all of that. I'm going to be highlighting some great day trips and activities that work well in the winter, by either celebrating the snowy weather... or by staying mostly indoors.

Our first destination is Williamstown, which is great for art lovers. I started out the day at the newly renovated Clark museum, and spent the rest of my time enjoying this old Western Massachusetts town.

(there's more)

The Poestenkill Lion

The artwork above -- known as "The Poestenkill Lion" -- is now on display at the Rensselaer County Historical Society. It's a sharp turn of fate for artwork -- it was almost firewood a few years back.

From an RCHS press release:

The lion first came to RCHS in 2011, when long-time RCHS supporters Hughes and Eva Gemmill donated this delightful painting. The painting, which dates to c.1840 and is by an unknown artist, is done on four wide boards, thinly painted with milk paint on unfinished wood.
Discovered a number of years ago during the demolition of a summer kitchen in a house in Poestenkill, the lion was almost lost to history. The dismantled wood was slated to be used as firewood. Thankfully, before these four boards were burnt, the Gemmills noticed a bit of color peeking out from underneath layers of plaster and wallpaper. After some careful removal of the plaster and wallpaper, the complete image of the lion appeared.
The Gemmills did find evidence of at least one other animal. RCHS also has in its collection the small fragments of wood that depict another animal, possibly a leopard, which came from the same space. It is possible that there were more animal figures on other boards that did not survive.
Once the Gemmills had the complete painting of the lion, they hung the four boards over their bed, until they decided to donate the painting to RCHS.

RCHS says the lion is probably based on an illustration from a Bible or maybe the work of Edward Hicks. The artist is unknown.

The historical society got a $2,500 grant this year to restore the work, and sent it to O'Connor Art Conservation in the Berkshires for cleaning and repair.

image: Rensselaer County Historical Society

Public Art Challenge

sculpture_in_the_streets_pearl.jpgThere's still time to submit ideas for the Public Art Challenge, a local effort to land as much as $1 million for a public art project in the Capital Region. Blurbage:

The cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy are jointly soliciting submissions for public art projects, as part of a collaborative response to the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. The challenge invites mayors of cities with populations of greater than 30,000 residents to collaborate with artists and arts organizations in developing innovative projects that engage residents and attract visitors.

A committee made up of the mayors' offices and Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy will review the submissions and select one to jointly submit to the Bloomberg competition.

Here's a FAQ -- it says collaboration among people is encouraged, and you don't have to be an artist to submit an idea.

The deadline for local submissions is November 17.

By the way: The Capital Region Creative Economy Regional Summit is this Thursday, November 13 at Proctors. It's free and open to the public (registration required).

East Coast Screen Print Biennial in Troy

screen print biennial 2014 composite

Clips from pieces from some of the artists whose work will be on display (clockwise from top left): "They Said Stones" by Shawn Bitters; "Canopy" by Taryn McMahon; "Demos Onoiroi" by Mark Hosford; "Laugh Riot" by Midwest Pressed (Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson).

By Lauren Hittinger

This September the first East Coast Screen Print Biennial is coming to the Capital Region, and it's a pretty big deal.

Screen printing as an art form has been around since the early 1900s, tracing its roots to industrial printing. And most of us have screen printed items in our houses, probably in clothing and other textiles. Even so, there hasn't been a recent large scale exhibition in the United States to showcase the art form.

Local artist and RPI faculty member Nathan Meltz decided to change that. So he organized the biennial at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy to celebrate the artistic side of the medium and showcase many of the different paths this artform can take.

(there's more)

Submissions for BUILT 2014

HAF BUILT logoHistoric Albany Foundation's annual BUILT event is just a few months away, which means the deadline for submitting pieces of art for the art-inspired-by-Albany-architecture auction. About what HAF is looking for:

Historic Albany Foundation invites artists of all ages and skill levels to submit work. All submitted artwork should speak to the buildings of Albany's past, present, & future and their impact on Albany's built and social environments.
In addition to photography and traditional artwork, Historic Albany is encouraging and opening its "window" to a broader range of media; including items constructed from salvage, textiles, metalworking, graphic media, etc.

Artists split the proceeds on each piece 50-50 with HAF. There's also a $400 best in show prize, and $350 in other prizes. It's $30 to submit a work.

The deadline is submit is September 8.

HAF advertises on AOA.

Under the bridge... IT'S TROYBOT!

TroyBot mural

Check it out: There's a new mural under the Green Island Bridge depicting TroyBot.

The mural is on the wall of the Troy-side bridge overpass. It's based on a design by Ben Karis-Nix from Troy Cloth and Paper. A group of volunteers, including RPI and Sage students, helped paint the piece last week.

The TroyBot character is an imagined version of the Green Island Bridge that can transform into a giant robot. The mural depicts TroyBot helping the city after a storm.

Here are a handful of large-format pics.

Hudson River School stamps

USPS Hudson River School stamps

The US Postal Service is releasing a set of Hudson River School forever stamps on Thursday. The set includes four paintings:

+ Distant View of Niagara Falls (1830) by Thomas Cole, from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago
+ Summer Afternoon (1865) by Asher B. Durand, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
+ Sunset (1856) by Frederic Edwin Church, from the collection of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute
+ Grand Canyon (1912) by Thomas Moran, from the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Oddly enough (well, it's odd to us), none of the four stamps in the Hudson River School set appear to depict a Hudson River location. (The Frederic Edwin Church is apparently thought to perhaps be depicting a scene from New Hampshire.) Sure, "Hudson River School" doesn't necessarily mean "Hudson River," but, you know, the USPS could have done the river valley a philatelic favor.

As you know, the Albany Institute collection includes more than 60 paintings, along with many other materials, from painters associated with the school.

Harvey Milk: The USPS issued a stamp honoring Harvey Milk earlier this year. As you also know, the activist and politician was a UAlbany graduate -- class of 1951.

Paper artist Niki Haynes


Niki Haynes at work

By Lauren Hittinger

Niki Haynes says she's "living the analog" dream. Haynes and her husband, Steve Rein are artists who came to Troy 14 years ago, from San Francisco. And a field where many are forced to do unrelated jobs to pay the bills, Haynes and Rein are thriving as full time exhibiting artists, working in spacious studios in their downtown Troy home, operating with multiple etsy shops, turning old objects, and paper, into new art.

(there's more)

Directions in sculpture

Art break: Check out this short film about Albany artist Abe Ferraro and his LEGO/erector set-like shipping box sculptures.

The video is part of "Albany my Albany," series by Juan Luis Lopez Fons profiling local artists and entertainers. There are six episodes in the current season.

(there's more)

Basilica Soundscape 2014

tim hecker corn field

Tim Hecker is among the artists lined for this year's Basilica Soundscape.

The Basilica Hudson is bringing back the two-day music and art festival Basilica Soundscape on September 12 and 13. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $35 per day / $60 for both days.

The blurbage calls the fest "a carefully curated two-day program ... featuring a wide range of music, visual art, and literature that aims for specific connections and overlaps instead of 'festival'-style overload. ... The weekend will also include visual arts, performance art, readings, farm to table food and more."

The lineup, so far, includes: Swans, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter, Richard Reed Parry (from Arcade Fire), White Lung, Meredith Graves (from Perfect Pussy), Guardian Alien, Greg Fox, and Emily Reo.

Visual artist Sterling Ruby will be creating works for the fest, and once again there will be food from Alimentary Kitchen.

Basilica Soudscape is a collaboration between Basilica creative directors Melissa Auf Der Maur and Tony Stone, Pitchfork senior editor/director of events Brandon Stosuy, and Brian De Ran of music management company Leg Up. Over at Pitchfork there are pics from last year's event. And Sasha Frere-Jones wrote about it for The New Yorker.

The Basilica itself is a former 19th century factory in Hudson located near the train station there. It's a cool space.

photo courtesy of Tim Hecker

Mingle mural

mingle mural samson contompasis

Here's a larger photo.

We took a minute this week to stop by Mingle on Delaware Ave in Albany to gawk at the new mural on the side of the restaurant building.

The mural is the work of local artist/gallery owner Samson Contompasis, and is based on imagery from Prohibition-era Albany. (Contompasis also recently decorated one of the pianos in the "Play Me, I'm Yours" Sculpture in the Streets installation.)

We hear another mural is in the works for the opposite side of the building.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Interesting in 2011: Samson Contompasis
+ Sculpture in the Streets 2014
+ Sprinting across the wall on Central Ave

Mingle advertises on AOA.

Sculpture in the Streets 2014

play me i'm yours suny admin

This year's Sculpture in the Streets in downtown Albany officially opens Friday -- there's a garden party then to celebrate the opening -- but the pieces were in place Thursday, so we took a few minutes to check them out.

This year's installation is "Play Me I'm Yours," a series of actual, playable pianos that have been decorated by local artists. The pieces are part of a series created by artist Luke Jerram that's appeared in 45 cities around the world.

There are 13 pianos in the Albany installation. That link includes a map and artist information.

The series is a fun idea. Even in just the few minutes today while we snapped a few photos people were stopping to check out the pianos and play a few notes.

A handful of pics are after the jump.

(there's more)

The School

the school kinderhook

Still looks like a school from the outside.

How about this: A NYC-based gallerist has turned a 30,000 square foot former elementary school in Kinderhook into a gallery (yes, that Kinderhook). Its name: The School. (Because of course it is.)

From a NYT T Magazine recap of the opening (with slideshow) this past weekend of Jack Shainman Gallery's The School:

The last time artwork adorned the walls of the Martin Van Buren school in Kinderhook, N.Y., it had been commissioned at the request of elementary school teachers. On Saturday, however, both new and retrospective pieces by the artist Nick Cave were installed throughout the newly converted 30,000-square-foot building, while dancers costumed in Cave's idiosyncratic Soundsuits performed outside for a crowd of art-world cognoscenti and local residents. ...
Joining Dia Beacon, Storm King, the much-hyped forthcoming Marina Abramovic Institute and other new galleries that recently cropped up in the area, the reworked 1929 Federal Revival building and its five-acre property -- situated near the main square of the quaint, picturesque village -- offer yet another lure for art seekers heading north from the city.

Or, as Vogue would like you to know: "In case you hadn't heard, upstate New York is the art world's latest hotspot." (There's also video from the opening at that link.)

The School will be open to the public on Saturdays from 11 am-5 pm starting May 31, according to the gallery's website.

Also: The new season at the Art Omi's Fields Sculpture Park in nearby Ghent opens June 14.

(Thanks, Jamie)

photo via Jack Shainman Gallery FB

Visions of a Capital Region after us


From John Bulmer's Reclaimed series.

By Lauren Hittinger

Have you ever wondered what the Capital Region would look like if everyone just disappeared? Whether it was from zombie apocalypse or mass exodus, the landscape would certainly change if we weren't around to mold and maintain it.

Photographer John Bulmer has taken this idea and turned it into two series of remarkable of photo illustrations. His Reclaimed series imagines an abandoned Capital Region landscape after a catastrophic situation. The Dark City series is a little more peaceful, imagining how our region would look at night without artificial light from sources such as buildings and streetlights.

The images in both series are eerily believable.

(there's more)

"Play Me, I'm Yours" applications

play me I'm yours Times SquareThis year's Sculpture in the Streets project for downtown Albany will be "Play Me, I'm Yours." Blurbage:

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I'm Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. More than 1200 pianos have now been installed in 45 cities across the globe, from Paris to Santiago, bearing the simple invitation Play Me, I'm Yours. The project has already reached more than four million people worldwide.
The Downtown Albany Business District is presenting Play Me, I'm Yours from June 13 until July 27 2014. Ten pianos, decorated by local artists and community groups, will be located in parks, squares and other public spaces in Downtown Albany for anyone to play and enjoy.

The Downtown Albany BID is accepting applications from artists who are interested in decorating one of the pianos. Here's the application. The deadline is this Friday, April 25. (Yep, we should have mentioned this sooner.)

The Downtown Albany BID has advertised on AOA.

Pecha Kucha at the Opalka Gallery

opalka gallery sage perceptions exhibit

The Opalka Gallery

The first official Pecha Kucha event for the Albany area is lined up for this Friday (February 28) at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus. The event starts at 6:30 pm, with presentations beginning at 7 pm. It's free.

Pecha Kucha? It's a rapid presentation method in which a speaker gives a talk using 20 slides that are displayed for 20 seconds each. The format forces people to just get right to the point. The idea is to keep things fun -- and moving. First started in 2003, there are now Pecha Kucha nights all over the world.

The Opalka event will be connected with the current exhibit Perceptions: Sage College of Albany Art + Design Faculty Show. The presentations have titles such as "Searching While Sleepwalking...and Still Searching," "On Being Creative and Curious," and "My Smart Phone's Photographic Journey Through Albany and Beyond."

The organizers for the local series are Hezzie Johanson from CAC Troy, Laban Coblentz from Tech Valley Center of Gravity, and the Opalka Gallery's Elizabeth Greenberg.

(there's more)

The Albany Institute, Googled

google art project albany institute screengrab

A screengrab from the Albany Institute's collection on Google Art Project.

Check it out: The Albany Institute of History and Art has been added to Google's Art Project, an online gallery of works from museums around the world.

The Google project, started in 2011, now includes 53 works from the institute, ranging from old images of Albany to the Hudson River School paintings to photos of objects. The interface for browsing the images is nice -- and the works are available is very high resolution. An example: check out this panorama of the Albany waterfront from around the beginning of the 20th century. You can zoom in to see details very clearly.

Google Art Project currently has collections from 314 museums posted online. Of that group, 92 museums are also available in "museum view" -- it's like StreetView, but inside the museum. Example: The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Albany Institute will eventually be joining that group -- the Google camera was there today.

It's good to know that when Google's army of robots eventually over the world, the art might be saved.

Earlier on AOA: Virtually browsing the Albany Institute's collections

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

screengrab from Google Art Project

Ansel Adams: Early Works at The Hyde Collection

clearing winter storm ansel adams

"Clearing Winter Storm," by Ansel Adams / The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Opening this weekend at The Hyde Collection: Ansel Adams: Early Works, which include 40 of the famous landscape photographer's works. From the exhibit blurbage:

For much of his early adulthood, Adams was torn between a career as a concert pianist versus one in photography; later, he famously likened the photographic negative to a musical score, and the print to the performance. Yet most museum goers are only familiar with the heroic, high- gloss, high-contrast prints that Adams manufactured to order in the 1970s-80s, coinciding with the emergence of the first retail galleries devoted to photography; as performances, these later prints were akin to "brass bands." Much less familiar are the intimate prints, rich in the middle tones - the "chamber music" - that Adams crafted earlier in his career. The present show focuses on the masterful small-scale prints made by Adams from the 1920s into the 1950s. Already in this time period there is quite an evolution of printing style, from the soft-focus, warm-toned, painterly "Parmelian prints" of the 1920s; through the f/64 school of sharp-focused photography that he co-founded with Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham in the 1930s; and, after the War, towards a cooler, higher-contrast printmaking approach.

The Adams exhibit opens Saturday (January 25) The Hyde Collection and runs through April 20.

A visit to the Hyde + a stop at the new Rare Earth Wine Bar in Glens Falls could be a nice day trip.

(Thanks, Paul.)

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon the hot dog suspended in beer jello

capital region in aspic by mr dave

Ok, maybe that's not the original quote.

Words fail to truly capture the emotions evoked by the newest work from Mr. Dave, proprietor of The Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York. He calls it "Capital Region in Aspic." (There are more photos at that link, including cross sections. Bonus photo.)

Leaving behind meatloaf and mashed potatoes of his other recent work, Mr. Dave has instead embraced a new collection of media: Knox gelatine, Stewart's Mountain Brew, a Hot Dog Charlie's mini hot dog.

As with any work of art, it's better not to attempt explanation. Meet the work on its own terms. Experience it. Allow your interpretation to flow, as if water, finding its own level.

You will find yourself changed.

photo: The Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York

A tribute to Jerry Jennings in meatloaf and mashed potatoes

mr dave's loafy jennings

Please stop what you're doing and take a moment to view a new work of art. A marking of a historic moment in Albany history as it makes an every-few-decades-or-more transition. A tribute in the media of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Behold: Loafy Jennings.

This masterwork is the creation of the esteemed Mr. Dave, proprietor of the Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York -- where he details the process of creating the meatloaf relief:

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings has been synonymous in my mind with the city at large for the past 20 years. Alas, as all things eventually do, his run as the leader of the city in which I was born has come to an end. One of the dominate traits of my personality is that I do not handle change very well and that I am prone to fits of nostalgia. I am already nostalgic for the Jennings era and it hasn't even come to a close yet. So I was thinking of how, in my own small way, I might offer tribute and in my own nonsensical manner immortalize Mayor Jennings.

All hail Mr. Dave. He has won the local internet today.

photo: The Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York

Advice for buying local art?

framed tulip photoHiggs emails:

Do you know of local stores/galleries from which one can buy art? I'm thinking mostly along the lines of paintings created by local artists, but anything else is great, too.

There are a lot of galleries around the Capital Region, especially if you draw the circle wide enough to include a place such as Hudson. And if you have a favorite local gallery or local artist, please share.

But we're also hoping people will have some advice for Higgs (and everyone else) about the process of buying art. Where to look? What to look for? Buy directly from an artist? Advantages/disadvantages of buying through a gallery? Maybe tips about how to figure out what you like and how to make it work in your house/office/wherever?

So, got a suggestion on any of that... please share!

"The dreams that you have... they're floating dreams"

Check out this nice video piece by the Sanctuary for Independent Media about the creation of the Freedom Square mural in Troy this past summer. Famous Philadelphia-based mosaic artist Isaiah Zager come to town to lead workshops and help coordinate the process.

We like how the video captures a little bit of the joy of creating a new work, something Zagar gets at in this clip:

To see their energy vibrating outwardly, and the joy that comes from feeling that they're accomplishing something. And the accomplishment can be very simple. Somebody walks up and says, "Can I put one tile on?" What is the meaning of that, one tile in there? They placed it, it's going to stay there. They're just ecstatic about something very simple. That it's part of something much bigger. And they understand that. And they feel that. And the the person that works all day -- what do they feel? They feel tired at the end of the day. How lucky it is to feel that they accomplished something. And they're tired. And you go to sleep. And the dreams that you have... they're floating dreams.

This Saturday at Freedom Square is StoryHarvest, a community event with food and music, from 1-5 pm. The event will also serve as the last stop for the Collar City Pre(R)amble, part of an effort to create a trail of sorts through Troy for non-motorized transportation.

Sprinting across the wall on Central Ave

We stopped by the alley next to Earthworld on Central Ave in Albany Friday to check out this excellent new mural. A handful of photos are post jump.

It's the work of the street artist Phlegm, who's painted murals all around the world. He got connected with Albany via photographer Bob Anderson of Art Geek Studios -- Brooklyn Street Art has great photos of the mural by Anderson, along with some backstory.

We get the impression Phlegm's a bit of a mystery man. Low key. Doesn't like having his picture taken. And he created the Central Ave mural in about two days, working from early morning to night, powered by Sovrana's turkey subs. Almost like he's an art superhero.

"I love looking at it," Earthworld owner JC Glindmyer told us today of the mural. "It just brings something different and special. It what's art does ... it moves you."

Glindmyer said Phlegm was quiet, an "awful nice guy." One thing that prompted the artist to react -- Glindmyer mentioning the work reminded him of Edward Gorey meets Terry Gilliam. "He totally beamed at that."

We stopped into Tintstar, an automotive modification shop next door. We'd heard they'd played a role in helping line things up for the mural. Said D, the guy we talked with there: "Seeing the whole process definitely gives you more of an appreciation of it ... He made it look effortless."

And of Phlegm, the guy: "He was just a genuinely good dude."

[via @missstafford]

Earlier on AOA: Living Walls in action

(there's more)

An Armory Show

opalka gallery an armory show

We stopped by the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus today to check out An Armory Show, an exhibition put together by artists Michael Oatman and Ken Ragsdale. Blurbage:

'An Armory Show' is a multi-discipline project, which pays homage to 'The Armory Show' of 1913, held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City and presented by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. The work presented will speak to the dynamic changes that occurred in the art world in general as a result of its occurrence, and to the history of its effect on the artistic life of the Capital Region.
A salon, an exhibition within the installation, will include the work of over 30 artists from the region, including that of RPI faculty Shawn Lawson, Larry Kagan, Nathan Meltz, Paul Miyamoto, and Bill Bergman.

The salon is set up within space created by a drywall facade that resembles a giant tank (complete with turret). It makes the gallery space feel more intimate, and the many of the works of the in the salon -- including illustrations, video, sculpture, collections of small items, one of Heather Dewey-Hagborg's DNA portraits -- prompt you to look closer. It's like of like hanging out inside someone's imagination.

The exhibit just opened this past Friday. It runs through December 15. There's an artists tour with Oatman and Ragsdale October 1 at 5 pm.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Michael Oatman's All Utopia's Fell
+ Peering into Ken Ragsdale's memory

Marina Abramović Institute, kickstarted

Abramović giving a virtual tour of the project in Hudson.

The Marina Abramović Institute in Hudson reached its Kickstarter goal today -- $600,000 raised for the "long-duration performance art" facility. The Kickstarter campaign runs until Sunday afternoon.

The money raised is going toward phase one of the project. MAI says Abramović has put up $1.5 million to this point. So the Kickstarter money will push the total over $2 million. The whole project is projected to cost $20 million.

Looking through the various funding levels, the distribution caught our eye. As you might expect, there were more than 1,000 funders at the $1 level (reward: a hug from Abramović). But there were also 21 people who pledged $10,000 or more.

Abramović is probably the most famous performance artist in the world, thanks in large part to her MoMA exhibit The Artist Is Present. So that fame, plus the out-there ambition of the institute, definitely helped the fundraising campaign. And a naked Lady Gaga probably didn't hurt, either.

Virtually on display at Art Omi

art omi augmented reality tourThis could be kind of interesting: Art Omi in Ghent is hosting augmented reality tours of its Fields sculpture park. From the blurbage for Augmented Reality: Peeling Layers of Space Out of Thin Air:

This 40 minute tour allows viewers to enter a virtual world and see pieces created by 8 architects for Architecture Omi. Using an app installed on your smartphone, these works are viewable in real time as spatial projections onto the landscape - marking a further integration of novel technology in our everyday experience. What we experience here is not fully virtual; what we see on our phone is what we see around us, eerily enhanced by the overlay of digital content.
*This exhibition is only viewable through an iPhone, iPad, or Android. An iPad is provided for shared viewing.

The tours start at dusk (they're aiming for 5:30 pm in August). They're free and open to the public. (Though, as it mentions, you'll need one of those mobile devices -- and it looks you'll need the Layar app, as well.)

It appears Omi has done this before, in 2011. A video clip of the exhibit (installation?) is after the jump.

Augmented reality is one of those things that gets hyped now and then -- and seems like it maybe, could be cool and useful eventually -- but often falls flat. It'd be interesting to see how it plays out in this setting.

(there's more)

Hey, that's Marina Abramović and Lady Gaga and... that's... yep...

lady gaga abramovic

The Kickstarter campaign for the proposed Marina Abramović Institute in Hudson got a burst of attention Thursday after it posted a clip of Lady Gaga practicing the "Abramović Method" -- "a series of exercises designed to heighten participants' awareness of their physical and mental experience in the present moment" -- at a "three-day retreat in upstate New York."

Oh, and Lady Gaga appears naked in the video. (It's probably NSFW -- because of the nakedness -- but it's pretty tame.)

Gaga and Abramović makes sense -- Lady Gaga is probably a performance artist more than anything else.

As of this morning, The MAI Kickstarter had raised a little more than $260k of its $600k goal with 16 days to go. The campaign recently added a new benefit for backers at $1 level: a hug from Abramović herself:

At this event, called THE EMBRACE, Marina will thank everyone who has joined her to create Marina Abramovic Institute with a personal hug.
THE EMBRACE will be held in two undisclosed locations, one in New York City and one in Europe, with exact dates and times to be announced. Founders who are unable to attend will be offered a special reward in lieu of a hug from Marina, to be revealed shortly.

The plan for MAI is to provide a space for "long-duration performance art" at a building in Hudson. A bunch of details about plans for MAI were posted online this past spring -- they're ambitious (the building design includes contributions from Rem Koolhaas) and, depending on your point of view, kind of bonkers (sleeping cocoons and a blood bank).

Picasso Baby: Inspired by Abramović's "The Artist is Present," Jay Z recently performed one of his songs for six straight hours at an art gallery in New York City. It was condensed to a video of about 10 minutes. [NYT] [Vulture]

Earlier on AOA:
+ Marina Abramović Institute Kickstarter
+ A peek at plans for the Marina Abramović Institute

(Thanks, colleen)

screengrab: Marina Abramović Institute Vimeo

Marina Abramović Institute Kickstarter

Marina Abramovic Institute 8-bit video game grabThe Marina Abramović Institute in Hudson -- a facility for "long-duration performance art" created by the famous performance artist -- has a Kickstarter running for the project. And it's a big goal: $600,000, by August 25.

The institute is said to be a $20 million project. So why turn to Kickstarter for some of that? From the project page:

An institute for the benefit of all is best funded not only by a few large donations but also by smaller contributions from the people it hopes to serve. By inviting the broader public to contribute to our early development, Kickstarter helps to affirm and build the engaged community necessary for sustaining MAI into the future. We have designed rewards that encourage backers to engage with time-based and immaterial works. With your contribution, you become a founder of the institute not only financially, but also conceptually, by partaking in the very experiences we hope to create.

It goes on to say that Abramović has already put up $1.5 million toward the project.

Funder awards range from a download of an 8-bit "Digital MAI" game ($5), to a personal session with Abramović via webcam to learn the "Abramovic Method" eye gazing exercise ($1000), to the $10,000 level ("Marina will do nothing. You will do nothing. You will not be publicly acknowledged").

A bunch of details about plans for MAI were posted online this past spring -- they're ambitious (contributions from Rem Koolhaas) and depending on your point of view, kind of bonkers (sleeping cocoons and a blood bank). But the really new and different stuff usually does.

image: MAI / Pippin Barr

Following Stranger Visions

Here's a short TED documentary about the process RPI grad student Heather Dewey-Hagborg uses to create 3-D "portraits" from found DNA. The video is part science talk/part how it's made/park reflection on the near future. Another thing we liked about it is the way it highlights some of the uncertainty in the work, something Dewey-Hagborn readily acknowledges and folds into her thoughts about the project.

[via Colossal)

Earlier on AOA: Stranger Visions

Sidewalk painting from the 2013 River Street Festival

troy river street festival 2013 sidewalk painting

Matthew Ruotolo and his dad, Richard, had side-by-side panels. Matthew's panel (left) is based on a design by Connor Moran, a friend from Wynantskill suffering from Crohn's Disease. Friends of Connor are raising money for his treatment by selling t-shirts with his design.

Our favorite part of the annual River Street Festival in Troy is the sidewalk painting contest. It's fun to the finished panels, but it's even more interesting to watch as the talented artists -- both adults and kids -- carefully create their works with chalk and charcoal.

Here's a big batch of sidewalk panels from the festival this past Saturday...

(there's more)

Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George at the Hyde Collection

petunias georgia o'keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe's "Petunias" (1925). Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Opening this weekend at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls: Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George, an exhibit of the painter's work during her time staying at Lake George. Blurbage:

The Hyde Collection, in association with the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, is organizing a first-of-its-kind exhibition that will closely examine the extraordinary body of work created by O'Keeffe of and at Lake George. From 1918 until the mid 1930s, O'Keeffe (1887-1986) spent part of the year at Alfred Stieglitz's family estate, a thirty-six acre property situated just north of Lake George village in the southern basin of the lake. The exhibition will present a selection of fifty-eight paintings from both public and private collections.

Stieglitz, himself a famous photographer, organized O'Keeffe's first solo exhibition at a gallery in New York City. Their relationship -- which included a prodigious exchange of letters -- eventually led to marriage. And O'Keeffe became a frequent subject of Stieglitz's photos.

Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George is said to include "full range of works by the artist" -- from "magnified botanical compositions of flowers and vegetables, to a group of remarkable still lifes of apples and pears" to architectural subjects and Lake George panoramas.

The exhibit will be at the Hyde Collection June 15-September 15. The museum is expecting crowds -- so it's offering advance tickets. They're $12.

The Arkell Museum

arkell museum composite

By Casey Normile

Sometimes you don't need a whole day trip, right? It can get tiring, to have the whole long day away from the joy of work and traffic, to just shop and eat and enjoy the day. No, thank you, just a half-day for me. That's all I need.

One destination for a quick half-day trip: the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie.

(there's more)

Philadelphia mosaic muralist leading workshop in Troy

magic gardens philadelphia

From Isaiah Zagar's "Magic Gardens" in Philadelphia.

This could be interesting: Mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar will be at the Sanctuary for Independent Media this weekend for a mosaic mural workshop. Zagar is the creator of the "Magic Gardens" mosaic space in Philadelphia. Event blurbage:

In this two day workshop, we will come together as a community to learn about mosaic construction with recycled materials. Participants will work on a mosaic from conception to completion.
Zagar will teach the arts of breaking tile, cutting mirror, gluing tile, and grouting. While learning the Zagar mosaic-making technique, students participate in the beautification of the local North Troy neighborhood through the completion of a permanent, public mosaic mural at Freedom Square.

The workshop runs 9 am-5 pm both Saturday and Sunday. The org is taking registrations for people who'd like to participate in the full two days. The registration fee is a sliding scale: $1-$350 "depending on what you can contribute." There are also drop-in sessions each day from 1-5 pm ($10 suggested donations / $5 students).

The workshop is part of a year-long "Found Art in North Troy" project and construction of Freedom Square.

photo: Flickr user sashafatcat (cc)

"Subliminal Transcriptions"

subliminal transcriptions by yael erel

We gotta admit when we first read the description for "Subliminal Transcriptions" -- an upcoming light installation at the Arts Center of the Capital Region -- with its mentions of "transcription" and "topography" and "minuscule conditions" we were kind of like... huh? But then we saw the photo above.

Interesting. Beautiful.

"Subliminal Transcriptions" is the creation of Yael Erel, an architect currently in an RPI grad program for architecture and lighting. She's also the co-founder of a lighting design company called lightexture. Here's a short Etsy video about the company from a few years back.

Exhibit blurbage:

Subliminal Transcriptions grew out of a project to understand and control projected reflections from light fixtures, along with the drawings they produce. While working as a luminaire designer, an accidental discovery allowed Erel to realize the complexities evident in the simplest materials and smallest textures. "It all started with a piece of double sided tape" said Erel. When amplified with a reflector, the minuscule and seemingly invisible surface textures were revealed beyond what the naked eye could see.

The opening reception for the installation is June 6 from 5-9 pm. The installation will be on display in the Arts Center's black box theater June 6-8.

Yep, the Arts Center has advertised on AOA.

Stranger Visions

Heather Dewey-Hagborg DNA self-portrait

Heather Dewey-Hagborg and her self portrait. (photo: Dan Phiffer)

Filed under... well, we're not sure: Heather Dewey-Hagborg -- a PhD student in RPI's electronic arts program -- has been creating 3-D "portraits" based on found DNA. From the statement for "Stranger Visions":

In Stranger Visions artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material collected in public places. Working with the traces strangers unwittingly leave behind, Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to the impulse toward genetic determinism and the potential for a culture of genetic surveillance.

A press release from this March explains how she creates the portraits. The process, boiled down: Dewey-Hagborg collects discarded hair, cigarette butts, and chewing gum. She then takes it back to a lab, extracts DNA from the sample, amplifies certain parts of it, then looks for certain segments that are associated with various physical characteristics. The info then goes through a 3-D modeling program and the portrait is printed on a color 3-D printer.

Her website has a bunch of the portraits, along with photos the samples and where they were collected.

(there's more)

Nearing the last word in the Bible

Glazer Phillip In The Willows

Phillip Patterson beneath a willow tree, from 2010. Photo by Laura Glazer.

A few years back Jess wrote about Phillip Patterson, a Columbia County man who was working to handwrite the entire King James bible. From 2010:

Phillip Patterson says he wouldn't necessarily classify himself as a religious person. In fact, some days he veers more toward agnosticism. But he found himself wondering about the bible.
"It's probably one of the most important tomes of Western Civilization," he explains. "We swear on it , we damn people with it, but no one's really read it. We read passages of it, but that's it."
So he decided that the best way for him to really, truly understand this book would be to hand-write it himself, line by line, page by page. He started working on in August 2007, and is now working on the third volume of what he expects will ultimately be 8 or 9 volumes in total.

As Patterson worked on the project, Laura Glazer -- of Hello Pretty City fame -- was documenting his effort through a series of photos.

Well, Patterson is now close to finishing the bible. He'll officially do so at an event at St. Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown on May 11.

The AP's Michael Hill recently talked with both Phillip and Laura about the project now that it's nearing completion. As Phillip told him: "I hadn't counted on the fact that it would end up being beautiful ... Or that it would be so exhilarating. And so long."

A peek at plans for the Marina Abramović Institute

Marina Abramovic Institute interior rendering

The plans include building a "white box" inside a former theater building (that was more recently used for tennis).

There's now a better look at the planned Marina Abramović Institute in Hudson -- a facility for "long-duration performance art" -- thanks to a new website for the project. The eponymous artist is well-known for this sort of this work, most famously for The Artist is Present at MoMA. And the Hudson facility -- which is being designed by an architectural team that includes Rem Koolhaas -- looks ambitious. In a video posted today, Abramović says she hopes it might "change the consciousness of our society today."

The website includes a bunch of renderings and information about the mission of the institute and other long-duration work. But the part that will probably bake your noodle is the presentation on the various aspects of the experience the institute intends to create. Among the parts:

+ A "contract" in which people pledge to spend at least six hours at the institute.

+ Visitors will be asked to leave behind watches, telephones, computers, and cameras -- they'll then be outfitted with lab coats and noise canceling headphones.

+ There will be various chambers: for drinking water, eye gazing, and so on.

+ A "blood bank" aiming to collect "250 drops of blood from the most influential scientists, artists, spiritual leaders, writers, philosophers, and musicians and to preserve a bank of these drops inside MAI."

+ A chamber devoted to Tesla.

+ Sleeping cocoons for people fall asleep during performances.

It all has the feeling of something from science fiction.

MAI is a $15 million project, according to its website. It's aiming to open in 2014.

[via @HudsonMusicFest]

image: OMA

How Phoenix took flight

mass moca xu bing installationOver at the MASS MoCA blog there's an interesting backstory on how Xu Bing's massive Phoenix installation made the long journey from China to the museum. Here's a clip:

The boat ultimately arrived in Philadelphia. It docked there because the crates into which the phoenixes were packed do not conform to containerized standard dimensions. There are very few ports left in the country that can deal with non-containerized sea cargo. Those crates then had to clear customs. MASS MoCA employed a shipping broker to expedite that process. We also hired a trucking company based in New Jersey, which seemed to take its time making its way to MASS MoCA. (I put that as politely as I can.) When something like that--on top of shipping issues and even weather issues--is outside of your control, the frustration really builds up. Once we finally got the art here and started to wrangle with the various components, it was incredibly hard work and a challenge and a test, but that was welcomed after a protracted period of frustration.

The whole story includes a "slow" boat, the Panama Canal, trucks, cranes, huge crates squeezed through doors, chains, and instructions translated from Chinese.

photo: Jane Burns / MASS MoCA

On restoring Albany's ghost signs

Bond Ghost Sign - Chuck Miller.jpg

The Bond Clothing sign the prompted the idea for the project. (From a photoset by Chuck Miller of local ghost signs.)

This year the Downtown Albany BID's Sculpture in the Streets project is titled "All Signs Point to Downtown" -- the BID is aiming to restore a handful of "ghost signs" around downtown. The announcement of the project and its call for artists prompted some interesting discussion about the idea this week, both critical and supportive. And the interest is understandable: this work will be on display for thousands of people all around downtown.

Among the people with a reaction: Samson Contompasis, a mural artist and the organizer of the Living Walls mural project. He reached out to AOA with some strong objections -- both artistic and practical -- and we thought it'd be interesting to share them here. We also talked with the Downtown Albany BID to get its perspective.

First up: Samson...

(there's more)

New spirit for ghost signs

ghost sign state street albany by chuck millerHow about this: For this year's Sculpture in the Streets, the Downtown Albany BID has decided to restore ghost signs. From the info/application form (doc):

This year's exhibit titled: All Signs Point to Downtown will restore old retail signs, also referred to as ghost signs, on the sides of our historic buildings retelling the story of downtown Albany as the commercial hub for the Capital Region prior to the creation of suburban malls.
Now through April 12, 2013, the BID is accepting submissions from artists interested in participating. Painting will take place between mid-April to mid-June and an honorarium will be paid based on the size and complication of the retail sign.

We've converted the doc to a pdf for easy scanning -- it's post jump. It includes info on requirements, guidelines, and other details.

There are at least a handful of preservation efforts around the country aimed at keeping ghost signs from totally fading away -- especially out west, where the signs are apparently still numerous (see Butte, Montana and Fort Collins, Colorado). Interestingly, there are some people who think the signs should be allowed to fade out.

Be sure to check out Chuck's photoset of local ghost signs. He created a book from the set. (That's one of Chuck's photos on the right, from State Street.)

[via Biz Review and @AlbBizMikeD]

Earlier on AOA:
+ Last year's Sculpture in the Streets was the giant Dutch clogs
+ So, how do you create a giant clog sculpture?

photo: Chuck Miller

(there's more)

Currier and Ives exhibit at Albany Institute

Currier and Ives lexington

"Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," a lithograph printed by Nathaniel Currier. The Lexington was a luxury steam ship that caught fire and sunk in 1840.

Opening this Saturday (February 9) at the Albany Institute of History and Art: The Legacy of Currier & Ives, an exhibit that includes 64 prints from the famous 19th century printing and publishing firm. Blurbage:

The exhibition, organized around five themes of Identity, Progress, Home, Success, and Artist, introduces the visitor to the firm of Currier & Ives and illustrates, through interpretive and educational materials, how their imagery became ingrained in the national consciousness. During the seventy-two years that Currier & Ives operated (1834-1907) the firm produced more than 8,000 lithographs. Their colorful prints, which hung in homes and public buildings across America, gave testimony to the events and ideas that shaped national history, its progress, and art. Currier and Ives worked with several prominent artists like Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and George Henry Durrie, whose designs are represented in the exhibition along with others.

The story behind the firm Currier and Ives is interesting -- it specialized in identifying images that would be popular and then producing them inexpensively. We bet Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives would have been all over the web if they were operating today (CurrierIvesFeed?).

The Albany Institute exhibit runs through June 15. It could make a pretty good double bill with the also-currently-open Making of the Hudson River School exhibit.

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

image: "Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," from the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts

Uncle Sam, before the makeover

blank uncle sam statues Troy BID

"Sir, you're looking rather pale." "As are you. And you. And you..."

This caught our eye on Monday: the "blank" Uncle Sam statues that the Downtown Troy BID will be placing around the city in the spring. The BID's exec director Elizabeth Young tells us the the photo is from the factory in Maine where the statues are being made. (The company -- Fiberglass Farm -- touts itself as "Your #1 source for street art festival planning.")

Twenty-five artists have been selected to decorate the Sams, much like the horses around downtown Saratoga Springs. The downtown exhibit will officially open at the April Troy Night Out (April 26). It's sponsored by the Louis and Hortense Rubin Community Fellows Program.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Sculpture in the Streets 2012
+ So, how do you create a giant clog sculpture?
+ Horse vandals get treatment they deserve

photo courtesy of the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District

Gordon Parks photos at State Museum


"Street Scene: Two children walking, Harlem, NY, 1943" by Gordon Parks

Opening January 26 at the State Museum: Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, an exhibit of work by the renowned photographer and director. The collection includes one of Parks' most famous photos -- a take on Grant Wood's "American Gothic" (backstory) -- as well as images that weren't previously exhibited.

From a Parks bio at his foundation's website:

Born into poverty and segregation in Kansas in 1912, Parks was drawn to photography as a young man when he saw images of migrant workers published in a magazine. After buying a camera at a pawnshop, he taught himself how to use it and despite his lack of professional training, he found employment with the Farm Security Administration (F.S.A.), which was then chronicling the nation's social conditions. Parks quickly developed a style that would make him one of the most celebrated photographers of his age, allowing him to break the color line in professional photography while creating remarkably expressive images that consistently explored the social and economic impact of racism.

Parks would go on to become Life magazine's first African-American staff photographer, documenting many famous figures of the 20th century.

Also: he directed the movie Shaft.

The exhibit will be on display at the State Museum through May 19.

photo: Gordon Parks, "Street Scene: Two children walking, Harlem, NY, 1943" - Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress LC-USW3-023994-E

"Art or Evidence" at Mandeville Gallery

union college gilles peress

"First snow in Ardoyne, a Nationalist neighborhood, Belfast, Ireland, 1981" by Gilles Peress

Could be worth a look: the just-opened exhibit "Art or Evidence: The Power of Photojournalism" at the Mandeville Gallery at Union College. Blurbage (link added):

This exhibition features the portfolio, Flashpoints, by international photojournalist Gilles Peress, which includes work from the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Iran, Rwanda and Bosnia. Peress sees his work as "gathering evidence for history" rather than art, though the forensic aspect of his photography is a mere fraction of its meaing. Thirteen additional photojournalists are included, whose work ranges from the battlefield to the social sphere of everyday life.

The exhibit will be up through March 10. On February 10 there will be a talk from Alison Morley, chair of the photojournalism department at the International Center of Photography.

The Mandeville Gallery is open 10 am-6 pm Monday-Sunday. It's in the Nott Memorial (which itself is worth seeing). It's free and open to the public.

Jeremy Fish at Spring Street Gallery

jeremy fish spring street gallery show 2012A show from illustrator -- and Saratoga native -- Jeremy Fish opens this weekend at the Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga Springs. It's called "Prom King Class of 1992." As Fish explains on his blog:

as far as i know, i am the only person ever to graduate from my high school who won homecoming king, and prom king in the same year. that being said, its my only real claim to fame in my hometown, and therefore the obvious title for my upcoming art show. so, next saturday i will be showing some screen prints just blocks away from the house i grew up in, and the skatepark i worked at. if you are anywhere near upstate NY, and like funny drawings, please show up, enjoy art, and party like its 1992

After his electoral sweep of Saratoga Springs High School, Fish has gone on to show his artwork in galleries all around the world, and even on at least one magazine cover.

The show will be up through December 14th but there is an opening reception this Saturday from 6-9 pm, and Fish will be there (he lives in San Francisco now). Most of the prints go for about $100 or less, and part of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go to support On Deck.

Comic book artist Alex Ross at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Alex Ross Justice League NRM

The Justice League as depicted by Alex Ross.

An exhibit of work by award-winning comic book artist Alex Ross opens this Saturday at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. And Ross will be at the museum that evening to talk and sign autographs.

From the blurbage for the exhibit, Heroes & Villains:

Heroes & Villains is the first museum exhibition celebrating the artwork of Alex Ross, today's foremost comic book artist. Ross, acclaimed for the photorealism of his work, is often referred to as "the Norman Rockwell of the comics world." Heroes & Villains features over 130 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from Ross's personal collection. The pieces range from a crayon drawing of Spider-Man that he created at the age of four to paintings from his early career on projects like Marvels and Kingdom Come through to his more recent work on Flash Gordon and Green Hornet. This exhibition outlines Ross's career of redefining comic books and graphic novels for a new generation of followers of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and other classic comic book superheroes.

The reception is from 6:30-8:30 pm. It's $20 / $15 teens and students / children under 10 $10.

The Ross exhibit will be on display through February 24.

Albany Comic Con
Speaking of comics: The Albany Comic Con is this Sunday at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road, from 10 am-4 pm -- admission is $5. Among the events part of the con: a silent auction of original comic book art to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

image: Alex Ross, "Justice Vol. 1" paperback cover, 2006, courtesy of the artist, ™ & © DC Comics. Used with permission.

American Impressionism at the Albany Institute

in vorhees garden by matilda browne

"In Voorhees’s Garden" by Matilda Browne.

A new exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art -- American Impressions: Paintings from the Florence Griswold Museum -- is now open, and there's a reception today (Thursday) from 5-8 pm. From the blurbage:

It is both history and art. The genre is from the turn of the century, complete with all the Yankee charm of New England. And the art is genuinely American, derived from the classic impressionists of Europe and enhanced with authentic Yankee heritage. You might notice the artists' deft use of shadows to accent shapes and dimension, or you might be in awe of the gifted brush techniques, or you might be amazed at the striking use of color -- but nobody has to know any of that to just plain love these beautiful stories told in images.

The exhibit includes 50 paintings from American Impressionists.

The works are on loan from the Florence Griswold Museum in Olde Lyme, Connecticut -- the town was the site of one of art colonies in which American Impressionism simmered around the turn of the 20th century. The Albany Institute and the Griswold Museum have worked out a trade of sorts -- the institute sent the Griswold an exhibit of Hudson Valley art earlier this year, and the Impressionists exhibit is the Grisdwold's side of the trade. It will be on display until January 6.

William Kennedy: The author will be at the Albany Institute Sunday talking about how "how Albany has changed during his lifetime, including downtown, Capitol Hill, Center Square, the advent of the South Mall, the eradication of the Gut, the changes wrought after the decline of the Dan O'Connell / Erastus Corning machine, the leadership of Mayors Tom Whelan and Jerry Jennings, and the role of Nelson Rockefeller in these changes." The talk is at 2 pm. It's $10 / $8 students.

The Longshoreman and the Snake

A little something to watch this evening*: "The Longshoreman and the Snake," a short animated story by Troy illustrator Ira Marcks. The story is narrated another Troy artist, Jess Fink.

The story is one of Marcks' "Tales from St. Forget," the town in his graphic novel Witch Knots. He funded the project on Kickstarter and published the book this past summer.

*Or morning. Or afternoon. Or whenever you're seeing this.

Iron Pour at Salem Art Works

salem art works iron pour


We when saw the email about this event -- the "Annual Intercollegiate Iron Pour" at Salem Art Works -- we figured it was referring to something metaphorical/philosophical/post-modern. But, no, it's really about pouring molten metal.

From the blurbage:

This annual event provides a platform for college students across the Northeast and Midwest to come together and cast iron in the context of an intensely focused weekend. Spectators may observe thousands of pounds of molten iron poured into artists' prepared molds. Visitors can even choose to participate in the iron pour by creating a scratch block: your very own piece of artwork in iron!

The event is September 22. It includes a keynote by cast iron artist Matt Wicker on "current trends in cast iron and his thoughts on the future of the medium." SAW's other workshops will also be in action, so you can get an idea of what they have going on there.

Salem Art Works is in Washington County (Salem, specifically -- you probably figured that out).

photo courtesy of Salem Art Works

Grants of as much as $5k from the Arts Center

arts center of the capital region logoHeads up: the Arts Center of the Capital Region has started the process for its next round of community arts grants -- individual grants can include as much as $5,000 in funding. During the last round the Arts Center distributed a total of almost $90k.

There are three types of grants. From the blurbage:

Community Arts Grants fund nonprofit organizations that produce high-quality arts and culture programming in the community.
Arts Education Grants fund cultural organizations or teaching artists to support programs that integrate the arts into non-arts curriculum in K-12 public school classrooms.
Individual Artist Commissions provide funds to individual artists to create new works that engage their local community.

Applicants must show up at an information seminar -- there are a bunch of them over the next month-and-a-half. Check the schedule at the link above.

Five grand can go a long way in the right (creative) hands. Maybe those hands are yours.

The deadline for applying is October 5.

Yep, the Arts Center does advertise on AOA.

Han Solo, frozen in LEGO

carbonite han solo lego mass moca

"You're made of LEGO." / "I know."

This made us laugh: it's a (more-or-less) full-size replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite -- made of LEGO.

We wandered into the Kidspace section of MASS MoCA this weekend, and after gawking at the mammoth skeleton, our eye immediately was drawn to LEGO Han. Both pieces are part of the new "Curiosity" exhibit there.

LEGO Carbonite Han is the creation of Nathan Sawaya -- he's a professional LEGO artist whose work has been exhibited all over the country. His pieces range from re-creations -- like Han -- to works that are more philosophical (a man ripping open his own chest, LEGO bricks spilling out). As Sawaya told Stephen Colbert a few years back, he was working as a lawyer before becoming a full-time LEGO artist.

The Han piece is made of about 10,000 bricks. Larger photos are post jump.

Earlier on AOA:
+ LEGOmania at the Albany Institute
+ Trinity Church, reconstructed

(there's more)

Restored at Madison and Main

madison and main mural albany

It wouldn't be that neighborhood without it.

We stopped by this week to check out the restored mural on the side of the building at Madison Ave and Main Ave in Albany. The 35-year-old mural is a bit of landmark in the Pine Hills neighborhood -- but it had been looking a little worse for wear (Akum has the backstory). It was restored a few weeks back by a group that included Constance Dwyer Heiden, the original artist, and was coordinated by the Beautify Upper Madison Project.

A stitched-together (crude, distorted) panorama of the mural is after the jump.

By the way: The Beautify Upper Madison Project is having a fundraiser at the Madison Theater August 3 -- a midnight screening of Spaceballs. Tickets are $10.

(there's more)

Witch Knots

witch knots book ira marcks

Check it out: Troy-based illustrator Ira Marcks recently released a graphic novel called Witch Knots:

Witch Knots chronicles the hardships faced by the residents of St. Forget, a destitute town with a mystical and long-forgotten history. The town itself is in danger of being overrun by a supernatural force embedded in its inhabitant's collective DNA. All of the residents of St. Forget are called upon to play a role in the salvation of their town. As events unfold, questions of what it takes to be a hero are explored, as is the question of why some are drawn to a be antagonists.

witch knots excerpt illustration ira marcksIra funded the project on Kickstarter earlier this year. He explained some of his inspiration for the project then:

WITCH KNOTS is a loving tribute to classic sci-fi, fantasy clichés and the great young adult fiction of the 60s & 70s... All the magical books from my childhood. THINK: an S.E. Hinton coming of age tale, stuck inside a dystopian world of Ray Bradbury's, with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft mythos.

The 170-page, hardcover book is $20 (you can order at the website -- also for sale at Market Block Books in Troy). Ira's been posting the story bit by bit online, where you can get a sense of the book.

Ira will be at the Arts Center of the Capital Region this Friday (it's Troy Night Out) with a live storytelling performance in the center's black box theater that will include live music and projected illustrations. It starts at 6 pm (it's free). And he tells us it's a kid-friendly event.

Fence Select: While you're at the Arts Center, be sure to check out this year's Fence Select exhibition, the opening reception for which is Friday night.

photo and illustration: Ira Marcks

So, how do you create a giant clog sculpture?

giant clog by liz zunon

The clog by Elizabeth Zunon.

It's hard to miss the giant Dutch clogs that now populate downtown Albany as part of this year's Sculpture in the Streets installation. They're fun and kind of whimsical. (We've seen people attempting to "try on" the shoes, which has been funny.)

Curious about how one goes about decorating an enormous replica of a Dutch wooden shoe, we asked talented local illustrator Elizabeth Zunon to share how she created her clog, which sits outside the Olde English on Broadway.

It's interesting to hear about her inspiration for the piece, and some of the other projects she's working on...

(there's more)

The Billboard Art Project

billboard art project site Fuller Road

The site on Fuller Road.

Interesting: an org called The Billboard Art Project has rented a local electronic billboard so it can use it to display art during July. The billboard is located on Fuller Road between Central Ave and Railroad Ave.

From the blurbage for the project:

The Billboard Art Project is a nonprofit organization that acquires digital billboards normally used for advertising and repurposes them as roadside galleries. Projects are held in cities all over the country and are open to all individuals and groups who are interested in participating.

There's a Flickr stream of previous billboard collections in other cities.

The project's director, David Morrison, tells us in an email that they picked Albany in part because of an invitation from local artist/curator Jennifer Hunold. And about how they picked the spot on Fuller:

The exact location of the billboard was determined by a combination of things. First, we look for a billboard that has the availability so we can book it. The next thing we look for is a place where people can pull over an watch the show. The third thing is it is always great if traffic stops around the billboard for a stop sign, traffic light, whatever. In this case, people stop on Cherry and Dorlyn as they wait to turn onto Fuller. If they are looking both ways as all good drivers should, they might catch a glimpse of some artwork! 18,000 to 20,000 cars pass by each day.

Hunold -- who you might remember from the Be Nice project -- is also a curator at the Collar Works Gallery in Troy. She's collaborated with the Billboard Art Project on a gallery show there of previous billboard art.

The opening for the gallery show is June 29 at Collar Works in Troy (444 River Street) -- Morrison will be there for a short talk and Q&A.

Three of the pieces that will be part of the billboard exhibit are after the jump, along with a press release with more info.

(there's more)

Sculpture in the Streets 2012

oversized clog near Hudson River Walkway

On Broadway, near the Hudson River Walkway.

The new series of Sculpture in the Streets pieces have been popping up in downtown Albany this week. This year's theme: "Stand in the Sole of Albany." The pieces are all giant Dutch clogs. You know, wooden shoes.

Thirteen artists have decorated the oversized clogs -- some big, some really big -- for this year's series. Photos of a handful of them are after the jump, as is a list of this year's artists.

The clogs are fun. And this afternoon they definitely had people stopping to take a look. A brief "What the heck..." moment was usually followed by a smile. Some people even tried them on (so to speak).

This year's Sculpture in the Streets series will be officially unveiled at a garden party hosted by the Albany Downtown BID Friday evening. Tickets are $50.

Maps of all the sculptures will be available from the BID and downtown merchants starting Monday (June 18). The clogs will be on display until May 2013.

(there's more)

Food Cycle

Currently up for funding on Kickstarter: Food Cycle, a project aimed at producing and delivery compost around Troy. On bikes. From the blurbage:

Food Cycle, a project of Troy Bike Rescue and Collard City Growers, is a bicycle compost delivery project employing neighborhood youth, while diverting household and restaurant food and yard waste back into the ground on our urban farm all by way of the transportation of the future: The bicycle!
Food Cycle will create a hyper-local compost network that lays the groundwork for a self-sustaining, scalable enterprise. We need the help of financial backers (you!) for initial investment.

Abby Lublin, from Collard City Growers (you might also know her from the Front Parlor story telling series), emails us (link added):

We're really making moves in N. Troy. These pedal-powered haulers will be used for many purposes, in fact, we're doing bike valet, tune-ups, bicycle blending (pedal-powered blender), and possibly delivery at the Farmers Market starting in June (through Tight Knit).

As of this morning, Food Cycle still needed about $7,500 and had 22 days to go.

Other local Kickstarter projects

There are at least nine other local Kickstarter projects looking for funding, ranging from fiber arts to beer to zombies...

(there's more)

Applications open for street painting competition in Troy, and this year's Fence Show

river street festival 2011 casey aoa entry

Casey's AOA-sponsored entry in last year's competition.

The Troy River Street Festival -- one of our favorite local summer festivals -- is coming up June 16. And that means applications are now open for the annual street painting contest at the festival.

The competition includes space for 75 artists, a range of age-specific categories, to chalk designs on a panel of sidewalk along River Street. And there's $1,000 in prizes.

The entry fee is $15. And the competition does fill up -- so the earlier you apply, the better.

Speaking of arts and downtown Troy... the call for entries is now out for the annual Fence Show at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. The Fence Salon will open June 16. This year's juror, Jim Richard Wilson from the Opalka Gallery at the Sage Colleges, will select works from the salon for inclusion in the Fence Select show that opens July 27.

Yep, the Arts Center advertises on AOA.

More about that Marina Abramović/Rem Koolhaas project in Hudson

Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art in Hudson rendering OMA

The Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art.

OMA, the architecture firm that includes superstar architect Rem Koolhaas, has posted renderings of the project it's designing in Hudson for performance artist Marina Abramović. From OMA's site, about the Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI):

The mission of the MAI is to cultivate new kinds of performance while functioning as a living archive, preserving and hosting performances of historic pieces. Abramovic plans to use the space as a laboratory for exploring time-based and immaterial art - including performance, dance, theater, film, video, opera, and music - through collaboration with practitioners in the realms of science, technology, and education. Working with the local Hudson community as well as schools and institutions from around the world, the MAI will host workshops, public lectures and festivals. As well as training artists, Abramovic also wants to train audiences in the mental and physical disciplines of creating and experiencing long-durational work. ...
The institute will be housed in a former theatre, which later became an indoor tennis court, then an antiques warehouse and market before falling into disrepair. Abramovic bought the theatre in 2007. OMA's design will enhance the existing structure to accommodate both the research and production of performance art. As a venue specifically created for long duration performances, OMA will also develop new types of furniture, lighting and other elements to facilitate the viewing of such works.

There are more renderings and designs on OMA's site (linked above)

The design project is being led by Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu, another partner in OMA. Here's a bit more about what Abramović has planned. [Art Info]

The project is expected to cost $15 million and could be open by 2014, though Abramović still has to raise the money. [AP/Washington Post] [WGXC] [NYT]

Earlier on AOA: Rem Koolhaas to design building in Hudson

image: OMA

Brian Dewan: Filmstrips at UAlbany (beep)

Could be both fun and weird, in the good way: Multimedia artist Brian Dewan will be showing a group of his "I-Can-See" filmstrips at UAlbany Friday. Where? In a classroom, of course. (beep)

From Jed Davis, who's helped organized the performance with WCDB and Eschatone Records:

Brian's "I-Can-See" filmstrips are hand-drawn and soundtracked to resemble 20th Century educational filmstrips, complete with "beeps" to indicate a frame advance. Subject matter ranges from over-the-top retellings of Aesop's fables to wry commentary on modern culture. ...
Brian, who lives in Catskill, has presented these filmstrips in New York City at the Whitney Museum, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Galapagos and Pierogi Gallery (which was decorated to resemble a mid-20th-Century classroom for the occasion), in the UK at Modern Art Oxford and the Royal College of Art, in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts, and in Los Angeles at Post Gallery. As far as New York state is concerned, this will be the first time they've been shown north of NYC. (beep)

One of Dewan's hand-drawn film strips is embedded above. It's called "The King of Instruments" -- it's about the organ menace that threatens us all. It's funny. (beep)

Dewan is an artist/musician who's performed, collaborated, or create art for groups ranging from They Might Be Giants to the Blue Man Group to Neutral Milk Hotel. And he and his brother Leon have built a series of electrical musical instruments called, appropriately, Dewanatrons. (beep)

The show starts at 7 pm in Lecture Center 6 on the uptown UAlbany campus. It's free and open to the public.


On Deck Saratoga

saratoga skatepark tshirt jeremy fishThis could be fun: the Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga has a show lined up called "On Deck" -- it's a benefit for the Saratoga skate park. It opens this Saturday. From the blurbage:

... over 50 stupendous skateboard decks by 50 amazing artists who have donated their work for silent auction to benefit the newly-reopened Saratoga Skate Park. Works by Jeremy Fish, Daesha Devon Harris, Radical! and more, food and festivities galore! This is an ALL AGES event, auction prices start at just $25.

The opening reception is Saturday from 5-8 pm. The show will be up at the gallery through March 23

That design on the right a t-shirt design by Jeremy Fish -- the shirts will be on sale at the opening.

Earlier on AOA: A concrete vision of skateparks in the Capital Region?

S[around]OUND at The Troy Gasholder Building


Art + architecture+ music+ inflatables + projection = S[around]OUND

This sounds pretty cool. Art and architecture students from RPI's PIP(Production,Installation,Performance) class have collaborated on a performance art project that will be unveiled next month inside the Troy Gasholder building. S[around]OUND (Surround Sound) will combine art, architecture, animation, hybrid violin, computers and lifts to move the audience around inside the space.

We said it sounded cool.

(there's more)

Conversations with photographers

black birds gray sky justin higginsThis is good: Sebastien has started a series of conversations with local photographers.

The first person up is Justin Higgins, who lives in Schenectady. We don't think we've encountered his work before, but we're glad to know it now. And we enjoyed Sebastien's conversation with Justin about art, technique, and having a personal style.

We're looking forward to reading more.

photo: Justin Higgins

Interesting in 2011: Laura Glazer

Laura Glazer - Interesting 2011.jpg

"I can only really be myself..."

All this week we're highlighting some of the interesting people we've gotten to know over the past year.

Laura Glazer's voice has a breathy, tiny, childlike sweetness about it, but it's not the kind of voice you're used to hearing on the radio. Still, since 2003, she's been introducing the Capital Region to all kinds of fun and interesting music on her radio program Hello Pretty City.

A little over a year ago HPC moved from its morning slot on WRPI to Sunday nights at 8 on WEXT. With that move, Glazer pretty much doubled her audience, and in the last year we've noticed her hosting live shows, appearing with WEXT at shows like Larkfest and curating the music line-up for events like the Local Harvest Festival.

But we were first introduced to Laura through her wonderful photography. For the last few years she's been photographing Phillip Patterson's efforts to transcribe the entire King James Bible by hand -- a project that was featured in the The Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

In addition her fun pins and drawings, Albany wallpaper and other art projects help make the Capital Region a more fun place to live.

Laura came to the Capital Region about ten years ago after having lived in Virginia, New York City, Minneapolis, Texas and a number of other places, but she's made a home in Albany. As she preps for the first Hello Pretty City of 2012, we talked with her about music, art, Albany, pinball and the party at Sponge Bob's house.

(there's more)

Interesting in 2011: Samson Contompasis

Thumbnail image for samson 2.JPG

Living Walls Albany creator Samson Contompasis

All this week we'll be highlighting some of the interesting people we've gotten to know over the past year.

Drive around the city of Albany these days and you're likely to feel the influence of Samson Contompasis. He's the guy responsible for most of the large scale mural art that's been popping up on walls all over the city. He didn't paint it, but he made it happen.

It's likely you've heard of Samson before -- The Marketplace Gallery founder and operator is pretty well known on the Capital Region arts scene. But this past fall he brought the first Living Walls Conference to Albany. The event attracted internationally-renowned mural artists to Albany, and before they left, they transformed walls all over the city into public art. Some people like the work, others... not so much, but either way, it definitely got people talking. The conference also had workshops on sustainability and lectures, all of which Samson says were meant to create "an open dialogue between the people and city."

We caught up with Samson a few weeks ago while he was curating the mural art at Art Basel, an international art show in Miami.

(there's more)


LOL art exhibit at ALB composite

Perhaps not ROFLMAO, but definitely smile inducing.

No, the Joe Bruno bust isn't at Albany International right now. But there's other stuff to see -- and funnier.

If you're heading out of town, or delivering/picking someone up to/from ALB over the holidays, take a few minutes to stop up at the 3rd floor gallery to check out the LOL exhibit.

You might even want to just take a trip out to see it -- even if you're not going anywhere -- just for giggles.

(there's more)

Dark Sky app funded, and other local Kickstarter projects

Dark Sky, the weather-just-ahead app from Troy-based web developers Jackadam (Jack Turner and Adam Grossman), reached its $35,000 goal on Kickstarter over the weekend. Its deadline was the end of this month -- and the project is still accepting funding through then.

Here are a few other local Kickstarter projects that caught our eye that are looking for funding -- or recently met their goal...

(there's more)

LEGOmania at the Albany Institute

albany institute lego challenge composite 2011

Legos + creativity at the Albany Institute

This weekend, fortified by turkey and stuffing, teams from all over the Capital Region competed in the Albany Institute of History and Art's first LEGO Building Challenge. Teams of LEGO-maniacs faced off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Their mission: create Albany architecture from either the past, present or future.

We got to judge the contest on Sunday afternoon along with David Brickman, Jim Kambrich and Rebecca Angel Maxwell. We saw everything from an awesome model of the 1864 Saratoga Race Course, to a Village People concert at The Egg, to a futuristic hydroelectric power plant...

(there's more)

John Crispin's Willard suitcase project

This is remarkable: photographer John Crispin is documenting suitcases -- and their contents -- from a long-closed state mental facility that have been preserved at the State Museum. He explains on his Kickstarter page:

In 1995, the New York State Museum was moving items out of the Willard Psychiatric Center in Willard, NY which was being closed by the State Office of Mental Health. It would eventually become a state-run drug rehabilitation center. Craig Williams and his staff became aware of an attic full of suitcases in the pathology lab building. The cases were put into storage when their owners were admitted to Willard sometime between 1910 and the 1960s. And since the facility was set up to help people with chronic mental illness, these folks never left. An exhibit of a small selection of the cases was produced by the Museum and was on display in Albany in 2003. It was very moving to read the stories of these people, and to see objects from their lives before they became residents of Willard.
I have been given the incredible opportunity to photograph these cases and their contents. To me, they open a small window into the lives of some of the people who lived at the facility.

He explains more in the video embedded above. His Kickstarter project has already reached its funding goal -- and then some.

Crispin has been posting some of the images from this project on a blog. The collections of items are beautiful in a way.

Crispin says on Kickstarter the State Museum has more than 400 suitcases in its collection. A handful of them were on display at the museum in 2004, and later became a traveling exhibit (exhibit website). There was also a book that came out of the exhibit, The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic . [Village Voice] [USA Today]

(Thanks, Jess!)

Capital Comics Collective

capital comics collective composite

By Emily Rippe

After several attempts at networking with local artists, mostly of the painter and photographer varieties, cartoonist T.J. Kirsch still felt out of the place. The scenes just didn't feel right to him.

So he formed his own.

Fast forward four months and the Capital Comics Collective has not only become a place for local comic artists to meet like minded folks and develop ideas -- they've already managed to publish their first min-comics anthology.

(there's more)

Small Batch Editions

grossingers indoor pool sebastien barre

"Poolside" by Sebastien Barre, one of the first prints available through Small Batch Editions.

Worth a look: Small Batch Editions, a startup business from local curator Melissa Stafford, which is aiming to put together new art buyers with up-and-coming photographers. As Melissa explained in an email:

The idea is something that has been building in my mind for at least 3 years now. In the course of working at the gallery in Hudson I often met a lot of people who fell in love with a photograph or painting, but were unable to afford it. I also met a lot of artists struggling to sell their work. Considering the economy these days and how limited most budgets are, I wanted to create an opportunity for both artists and buyers to have a meaningful exchange; by publishing special limited edition prints at more affordable prices I hope to grow the market for unrepresented photographers, increasing their visibility. At the same time, we as collectors get to discover new and exciting work and support the artists we love.

The initial lineup of photographers includes some local names you might recognize: Joe Putrock, Sebastien Barre, Holly Northrop.

Small Batch Editions hasn't officially launched yet. Melissa is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to cover some of the initial costs. Contributors will be able to pre-order prints and be eligible for other rewards. (And, as with all Kickstarter campaigns, the money is refunded if the goal isn't met.)

You might recognize Melissa's name from Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson, where she was the gallery's first director. Here's a little bit more about what prompted her to start Small Batch Editions...

(there's more)

Wandering through Yaddo

Yaddo exterior.jpg

On Sunday, for only the 5th time in its 111 year history, the mansion and private grounds at Yaddo were open to the public. About 1,400 people wandered the rooms where people such as Langston Hughes, Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Eudora Welty, John Cheever and thousands of other artists gathered, ate, slept, held court and of course, created.

The house is gorgeous and filled with impressive antiques, but what we loved was being able to wander through a place where so many amazing and creative people have lived and worked. If there was ever a place we wished that walls could talk, this was it. We walked through the rooms imagining moments of inspiration, unguarded conversations and wondering what kinds of things might have happened in rooms full of so many creative people.

If you weren't one of the 1,400 who took the tour, here's the quick version...

(there's more)

Living Walls in action

Spring Street Elk 3.jpg

The Elk is still unnamed, but we're playing with Elke. Too on the nose?

Update: Check out Sebastien's account of getting his wall included. He also has photos from a bunch of other murals.

Last night we got to watch a little of the Living Walls project in action. And it was cool.

We caught muralists Broken Crow in the midst of putting up this giant Elk on the wall of a house on Spring Street in Albany.

The finished product, and some thoughts from Broken Crow, after the jump

(there's more)

The Living Walls project

living walls livingston

The first completed Living Walls mural was done by Gaia and Nanook. It's on Livingston Avenue between Broadway and North Pearl

By Danielle Furfaro

Cities are living, breathing creatures. Like other living things, they thrive on positive reinforcement, growth and creativity. And sometimes they exhale the slow reek of decay. Samson Contompasis, owner and curator of the Marketplace Gallery, looks around Albany and sees beauty and possibilities everywhere. He wants to take decaying or barren vistas and make new life out of them, turning them into awe-inspiring pieces of art. So he's launched Living Walls, a public art project aimed at making Albany a bit more alive with art.

He's brought together a slew of mural artists, some local and some nationally regarded, to help create works of art around the city. The public art project will be accompanied by a lecture and workshop series that will run September 16 and 17.

You may have already seen the first completed wall, which is at 74 Livingston Avenue between Broadway and North Pearl Street. That one was done by the artistic team of Gaia and Nanook, who came up with the concept for the piece after touring Albany.

Samson loves to talk about the power of art, legal or illegal, massive or fleeting...

(there's more)

Raising the Albany Barn

St Josephs Academy

The former St. Joseph's Academy, future home of the Albany Barn.

Six years ago Capital Region residents Jeff Mirel and George Kansas decided to help raise money for victims of the tsunami in South Asia. A few weeks later they'd packed 2,000 people into the Palace Theater to see dozens of local artists and musicians, raising nearly $30,000.

Fast forward five years.

That successful Rock2Rebuild concert has spawned another effort: the Albany Barn. Organizers hope the project will be a creativity incubator that helps provide resources for artists, offer arts programming for the region, create educational opportunities for inner city kids, and acts as a catalyst to revitalize neighborhoods.

(there's more)

"Then & Now" at Albany Center Gallery

thom o'connor printOpening today at Albany Center Gallery: "Then & Now (Small Prints)" by Thom O'Connor.

The artist, a former UAlbany professor, is a photographer and accomplished print maker. From the blurbage (link added):

Thom O'Connor's work has been consistently praised and highly valued for its construction and thoughtfulness throughout his career. O'Connor is recognized internationally as a master of printmaking, and for his innovation and skill with new techniques. In an Albany Times Union article, author William Jaeger explains, "O'Connor's prints survive because they have unusual visual sensitivity, [and] show extraordinary craft. There is an undercurrent of drama that suggests, without delineation, a very human dimension to the works."

The show opens today and runs through September 10. There's a reception on August 12 at 5 pm.

Look for this Friday: "Forgive Our Trespasses," an exhibit opening this Friday at the Albany Barn, of urban exploration photos by Sebastien Barre, Paul Gallo and Darren Ketchum. There's a reception with the artists starting at 5 pm.

image: Thom O'Connor

Marks of Identity

tattoo portrait photo DeMichelleSomething to look for at Troy Night Out: "Marks of Identity" by William DeMichele at the Photo Center Gallery. From the blurbage:

For over 30 years, William DeMichele has been a Capital District professional photographer, and for the last 2 decades he has traveled 5 continents to document the colorful world of tattooing. his approach to photographing tattooed men and women is to use a formal studio setting and to concentrate on the person in front of the lens. "these are portraits of people with tattoos, not tattoos on people", DeMichele proclaims. the result in and intimate look at those who have made a commitment to literally wear their hearts on their sleeve.

The opening reception for is tonight. The exhibit runs through August 21.

photo: Bill DeMichele

"Pulp Fiction Paintings" at the Mandeville Gallery

pulp fiction paintings madeville

Action! Sex! Intrigue!

Now open at the Mandeville Gallery at Union College: "Pulp Fiction Paintings
Selections from the Robert Lesser Collection."
From the blurbage:

This exhibition contains 37 paintings from the Robert Lesser Collection of Pulp Fiction Art and is on loan from the New Britain Museum of American Art. ... The paintings, roughly 30" x 40", were done as covers to the "pulp fiction" genre of the 1930's and 1940's. The subject matter includes adventure, mystery, science fiction, war, and westerns. Tarzan and the Shadow are two protagonists that are well known today. ...
The influence of pulp fiction is vast, seen in the development of later forms of detective and science fiction literature, super heroes, and film noir. The hyper-American imagery was later taken up by the Pop Artists of the Sixties.
After buying his first painting of the Shadow Lesser says, "I began to realize, my God, for these little ten-cent pulps, they had magnificent oil paintings for the cover art. I was amazed how great some of it was, how well trained these artists were."

Here are a few images from the exhibit. Comments from the curator. And a recent review of works from the collection.

"Pulp Fiction Paintings" is on display until September 25. There are a few events associated with the exhibit, including movie marathons and a talk, "Pulp Fiction and the Modern Reader," by Skidmore's Janet Casey (September 15).

The Mandeville Gallery is in the Nott Memorial at Union.

images from the Robert Lesser Collection, via the Mandeville Gallery

Mitch Messmore: from Schenectady to Beirut and, eventually, back

By Danielle Furfaro

mitch messmore with paintingMitch Messmore takes the Capital Region art scene very seriously. The Schenectady native has spent the past several years championing local art and attempting to bolster the arts community through his work with various organizations. In 2007, back when cities started getting the art walk bug, he founded Art Night Schenectady. This was just after he became the chairman of the board of the Capital Region Initiative Supporting the Arts and just before he was named the executive director of the Upper Union Street BID. He's also been involved with Upstate Artists Guild, Existing Artists and the Schenectady Photographic Society, just to name a few.

In November of last year, Messmore moved temporarily to Beirut to be with his wife while she is there working on a SUNY research project. You might think that while he is living in the Middle East, Messmore's penchant for local art would have at least been put on the back burner, but the multi-media artist has remained as active and committed as ever, continuing to run Art Night Schenectady via Skype, email and phone with the help of a posse of volunteers.

Now, Messmore has launched Art Night Beirut as a sister organization to the one in his hometown. His exhibiting his abstract paintings at a Beirut gallery. And he's thinking about how to turn the Capital Region into the cultural hub of the Northeast...

(there's more)

All Utopias Fell

mass moca all utopias fell oatman

Worth the bout of acrophobia.

We were out at MASS MoCA recently and finally had a chance to check out All Utopias Fell, Michael Oatman's outdoor installation there. We're glad we did. It's fun.

The installation is a collection of three elements. From the MASS MoCA blurbage:

The Shining is a 1970s-era 'satellite' that has crash-landed at MASS MoCA. This beautifully reflective, repurposed Airstream trailer - with large parachutes and active solar panels - is inspired by an earlier era of pulp aeronauts like Buck Rogers, Tom Swift and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, as well as the works of Giotto, Jules Verne, NASA, and Chris Marker's 1962 film La Jetée. Visitors will be allowed to climb a staircase and enter into the craft where they will encounter The Library of the Sun. Hybridizing a domestic space, a laboratory and a library, it has the feel of a hermitage, where the occupant will 'be right back', only it is 30 years later. ... Once inside the craft, visitors will also be able to view Codex Solis, a massive field of photovoltaic (PVs) or solar panels. At 50kw, the field will generate 7% of the power consumed by MASS MoCA. In addition to this 230-foot long grid, mirrors are interspersed in the middle of the field, and suggest an absent text. The arrangement of mirrors and solar panels is based on a specific quote by an unnamed author, and will not be revealed by the artist; instead the public will be encouraged to spend time with the piece, watch the reflected sky, and solve the riddle as birds and planes, inverted, fly by.

The trailer is great. It's like something from an alternate reality, in which you could have gone camping in space during the 1960s -- and the owner of this particular trailer was a bit on the obsessive side. The inside is a meticulously constructed world, down to the jars of tomatoes.

All Utopias Fell is a seasonal exhibit. It's perched at the top of a few flights of metal stairs outside the old power plant for the factory that preceded the museum at the site. The exhibit is open through October.

After the jump: an interior pic, plus a few bonus pics.

(there's more)

Canned Art on Delaware Avenue


They're almost too nice to throw trash in -- but you should throw your trash in them.

These new trash cans, which will soon be out in front of businesses on Delaware Ave in Albany, are part of a new collaboration between the Delaware Avenue Merchants Association and the Upstate Artists Guild.

Local artists painted all the cans, and each can has a theme based on the business in front of which it sits. Keith Picard, a Spectrum co-owner and a member of the DAMA, says it's just another way the merchants association is working to bring art to the street.

You can get a closer look at some of the cans after the jump.

(there's more)

Sculpture in the Streets 2011 is kinetic

sculpture in the streets 2011 composite

Looking for the George Rickey sculptures on the streets of Albany is a little like playing a giant game of Where's Waldo, or trying to find the toaster in the tree. Once you see them, you don't understand how you could have missed them, but at first they're oddly hard to spot.

The five moving metal sculptures are this year's edition of Albany's Sculpture in the Streets project. If something about them seems familiar, think about the Empire State Plaza -- there's been a Rickey sculpture on the ESP for years. There's also one on the RPI campus (where Rickey spent three years teaching in the architecture program), at the Albany Institute of History and Art and on the second floor at Albany International Airport.

Maybe it's the size or steel gray color that makes them blend into the background a bit -- another large metal object in the middle of a city. They kind of disappear into the landscape. But then the wind catches one and you find yourself standing in the street trying to figure out how it does that.

(there's more)

River Street Festival photos 2011


Thanks, Casey!

That's Casey above -- she created AOA's sponsored entry in the Troy River Street Festival's street painting contest this past weekend. It's a bird sitting on the Egg. Heh.

Thanks to Sebastien for the photo -- here's a set with more of his photos from the festival. And Bennett's posted a lot of good photos of the street painting artists creating their panels.

There are a bunch of other photos from the street painting contest after the jump. There were a lot of good entries this year.

(there's more)

Jess Fink has created the best book about Victorian robot sex that we've ever read

jess fink chester panels

Admittedly, it's also the first book about Victorian robot sex that we've ever read.

Troy artist Jess Fink is a successful illustrator and t-shirt designer. If imitation is flattery, she's gotten a lot of compliments for her work.

Jess also creates comics. One of those comics -- Chester 5000 XYV -- was recently published in graphic novel form. And it's gotten praise in a bunch of places, among them: Paste, The AV Club, and io9.

So, what's Chester 5000 XYV about? Oh, it's just another Victorian-era tale of a man who creates a sex robot for his wife -- in all its graphic detail.

(there's more)

A mesmerizing video from where Troy's old city hall will soon no longer be

Rob sent along this clip -- it's a video for a J. Tillman song (he's also part of Fleet Foxes). The video was shot in Troy. You'll recognize the spot when the former city hall arrives in the frame.

The video was shot by Matt Blodgett. It's dreamy and mesmerizing.

About the old city hall: It's on its way out. Demolition started back up again today.

Art on Lark 2011

art on lark 2011In case it has somehow escaped your attention: Art on Lark is this Saturday in Albany. Lined up this year:

+ The Living Walls project will have a group of artists creating a mural on Hudson between Willet and Lark.

+ There will be a pop-up gallery organized by Albany Underground Artists in the former Planned Parenthood building, along with food from the Chefs Consortium (food is $10).

+ The Grand Street Arts' Youth FX program will be screening six short films. (Liz talked with some of the filmmakers in the program earlier this year.)

+ And an outdoor gallery organized by Albany Center Gallery.

Also: a bunch of good local music organized by WEXT. The schedule for that is after the jump.

(there's more)

Chalk it up, Casey

casey wilkinson chickadee

Hey there, chickadee.

We're happy to announce that we've picked Casey to create the panel for AOA's sponsored entry into the Troy River Street Festival street painting competition.

We really liked Casey's work -- that's one of her prints above (a few more after the jump). And we thought her style would translate well to the sidewalk. Check out her Etsy shop, Lady Sparrowhawk.

Thanks to Pearl, Richard, and Elisa for also sharing your work. We bet you all would have done a good job.

The River Street Festival is June 18 in downtown Troy.

(there's more)

AOA wants you to draw on the sidewalk

sidewalk art your work here

Chalk it up!

One of our favorite parts of the annual Troy River Street Festival is the street painting competition. So we're sponsoring an entry this year.

One problem: we don't have an artist.

So, we're looking for an artist to participate in this year's competition. We'll cover the entry fee -- you cover the sidewalk.

Sound like fun? Post a comment to this entry with a link to some of your work by noon this Friday -- we'll pick one winner. (If you don't have work online, please email us with an image.)

The street painting competition is organized by the Arts Center of the Capital Region. It's open to everyone, but space is limited. The entry fee is $15.

The River Street Festival is June 18.

Earlier on AOA:
+ River Street Festival sidewalk chalk 2010
+ Sidewalk chalk winners 2009
+ Sidewalk chalk 2008

Photo Regional at Albany Center Gallery

ACG photo regional 2011 posterThe 33rd annual Photo Regional exhibit opens this Friday at the Albany Center Gallery in downtown Albany. There's a reception from 5-9 pm as part of First Friday. From the blurbage:

From nearly 500 submissions―a near record―35 images created by 30 artists comprise the exhibit. Artists selected include Jeffrey Altman, Steven Rolf Kroeger, Mark McCarthy, Jenny McShan, Linda Morrell, Anthony Salamone and Dave Waite.
It was curated by Ian Berry, of the Tang Teaching Museum and Melissa Stafford from Carrie Haddad Photographs Gallery in Hudson. Tim Kane, independent arts journalist, was associate curator.
The Photo Regional remains a mainstay of the local photography scene as a source highlighting the region's diversity in the medium. Started in response to the lack of venues staging exhibitions with photography as fine art, the rotating and yearly survey provides a snapshot on recent activity in the field within a 100-mile radius of Albany.

The exhibit runs through July 16 at ACG. There's also an awards ceremony June 11.

Through a glass, brightly

hinchen joan of arc st peters
Here's something delightful: David Hinchen's photos of stained glass windows from churches in the Capital Region.

The Albany artist's Etsy shop includes a bunch of photos from local churches such as St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Troy, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Albany, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. The window in the photo to the right, depicting Joan of Arc, is from St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Albany.

Hinchen has captured beautiful illumination of the windows. And it's interesting to be able to look so closely at the details in the scenes.

In addition to photography, Hinchen also does illustrations of buildings and architectural landscapes. Here's a portrait of the Miss Albany Diner that's available through his Etsy shop. A here's a portrait of The Palace. Some of his cityscapes are currently on display at The Stockade Inn in Schenectady (until June 30).

Earlier on AOA:
+ A short tour of Albany's historic stained glass
+ Saints vs. The State for Washington Avenue

thumbnail: David Hinchen

14 hours at Crisan

If you're wandering down to Lark Street for 1st Friday tonight, here's a clip of what you'll see in the window at Crisan. Artist/architect Shadi Khadivi spent 14 hours photographing what goes on in the kitchen at Claudia and Iggy's Lark Street bakery/edible art gallery.

Shadi teaches architecture studios at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, and Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, and owns her own design studio in Albany. She says she's fascinated by the creative process and by bringing what goes on in the background to the foreground. So she edited a full day in the Crisan kitchen down to about 11 minutes. You won't get any secret family recipes, but you will get a feel for what goes on behind the scenes and what goes into the creation of some of those gorgeous pastries. The project, called 6:45-9:00, will be projected on a screen in the front window of Crisan tonight.

Failure, the show

failure exhibit big

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Failure is like a sucker-punch to your self esteem, and something most people don't like to talk about. But it's a topic that Yaminay Chaudhri wants out in the open. "There's a lot of human dignity in learning to keep moving and getting back up," she says.

An architect turned artist, Yaminay is a graduate student in studio art (with a focus in combined media) at UAlbany. She's the curator of Failure -- a show that's taking place tonight at Collar Works in Troy.

It features work from local artists -- videos, journal entries and greeting cards -- all on the topic of failure. It will also have a "wall of shame" -- an invitation for you to contribute.

(there's more)

Be Nice. Please.

be nice1

The brochure is paper, but all the text was created with embroidery.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Jen Hunold's a firm believer that you get back what you put out. So much so, in fact, that she created Be Nice. -- a project about basic social courtesies.

Jen's a visual artist who has an MFA from UAlbany. She's used embroidery to create brochures and post-cards that you can download and hand out to kindly remind people that smiles brighten bad days.

It was one of those frustrating bad days that prompted the idea for Be Nice.

(there's more)

Get the Message at Albany Institute

Graphic Design Exhibit Composite

A few of the images from Graphic Design: Get the Message.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

The Graphic Design: Get the Message exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art is definitely worth a visit for design nerds, it will also be interesting to anyone who's a critical consumer of media -- or just curious about the images we see every day.

Stay a little while and you'll see it's also about world history, innovation, how far we've come as a country, and how we absorb information...

(there's more)

"Weeds and Wildness" at the Nott

weeds and wilderness nott exhibit space

The Nott Memorial provides a unique exhibition space. (panorama)

By Bennett V Campbell

The Nott Memorial at Union College is itself a work of art. If the dramatic circular structure, slate dome, and large windows letting natural light pour in from all sides aren't enough, the second floor hosts the Mandeville Gallery. And the current exhibition is worth checking out.

"Of Weeds and Wildness: Nature in Black & White" brings together 17 nationally and internationally recognized artists working in a variety of media. Kara Jefts, the gallery's interim director, was kind enough to give me an impromptu tour, fielding a few questions about the exhibit itself and the Nott Memorial in general.

(there's more)

Post Secret at UAlbany

post secret ualbany four cards

Four of the post cards from the exhibit.

By Akum Norder

"In my dreams, God exists and is not a total bastard, and s/he makes my son well and gives him back to me."

"I found God and I am happy. But I am scared to let others know that."

"Even though I'm a scientist ... I still believe in miracles."

"I hate my parents for raising me in a religion that taught me to hate myself."

"Post Secret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God" -- which opened at UAlbany on Wednesday -- does what good art exhibits should do: give you something to think about.

(there's more)

EMPAC Spring 2011

empac_concert_hall_ceiling.jpgEMPAC's spring 2011 slate is officially out -- and, as usual, it's full of stuff that looks interesting, challenging, and weird (you know, in the good way.)

Here are a handful of shows/exhibits/performances that caught our eye...

(there's more)

The artist as metalsmith: John De Rosier's jewelry

De Rosier bracelet

Sterling silver flattened links bracelet.

By Akum Norder

To someone who's really creative, one creative job may not be enough.

John De Rosier is best known for putting a spin on the day's news as the Times Union's editorial cartoonist.

He's also a jeweler.

His jewelry has a rich simplicity about it, echoing both natural and industrial forms. Metals and shapes are the focus here; he uses gemstones rarely. The designs are modern but not sterile, and very eye-catching.

Read on to learn a little about his work and his inspirations.

(there's more)

iArt: Dan Burkholder's iPhone Artistry

A time-lapse of Dan running through how he creates an image.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Dan Burkholder is an accomplished photographer and artist. His recent canvas of choice? The iPhone.

Dan has managed to coax the iPhone into creating works with rich textures and sweeping panoramas. He's become so good at it that he wrote a book on the subject that will be out in a few months.

We first heard about Dan's work through an exhibit in Troy last year -- his images were being shown at the Martinez Gallery.

We recently took a trip down to the Catskills to visit Dan in his home studio. He lives there with his wife, Jill (another accomplished photographer), and four cats. He was kind enough to show us how he turns an iPhone snapshot into a work of art.

(Video of how Dan creates an image, plus a handful of his works, after the jump. And the youtube versions can be found here and here)

(there's more)

Arts Center looking for submissions, curators

arts center call for entriesThe Arts Center of the Capital Region has posted a call for entries:

Submissions will be considered for opportunities including solo exhibitions, small and large group exhibitions, installation possibilities, arts-in-education opportunities and more. Visual artists in all media - painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, video, photography, performance, and mixed media presentations - are invited to submit.
The Arts Center is also interested in offering emerging curators the opportunity to propose exhibits for future programming.

The deadline is January 7.

Uncertain Spectator at EMPAC

empac uncertain spectators wolfson

A still from Jordan Wolfson's "Con Leche" video piece, part of "Uncertain Spectators"

Looks interesting: EMPAC has a genre-spanning exhibition called "Uncertain Spectator" opening Thursday evening. From the blurb:

A group exhibition confronting anxiety in contemporary art, Uncertain Spectator asks individuals to cross a threshold -- to place themselves in situations riddled with tension, confront deeply charged emotional content, and grapple with feelings of apprehension. The works presented deal with a general mood of uneasiness arising from recent political and economic events that frames a future rife with imminent threats. Uncertain Spectator not only responds to these unsettling situations, but also creates them by challenging individuals to step outside of a place of comfort both physically and emotionally.

Hmm. Shocking they were able to mine recent events for feelings of apprehension.

Among the special events that are part of Thursday's exhibition opening:

+ A performance by the Troy Chainsaw Ensemble

+ A screening of Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark, which stars Bjork.

Events get started at 6 pm. It's free. And we hear there will be free snacks, too.

The exhibition runs through January 29.

Bonus Thursday stuff to do: The annual B3nson Family Funsgiving is Thursday night at Valentine's. Many of the collective members are lined up to perform: We Are Jeneric, If Madrid, Scientific Maps, Que Caro, Barons in the Attic, Sgt Dunbar, and Beware! The Other Head of Science. $10 at the door, $8 with a non-perishable food item.

Yep, EMPAC has advertised on AOA in the past

image: Jordan Wolfson via EMPAC

Ordinary Things

sebastien carrie haddad wilks

Mother and son, over 20 years.

The new show at Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson -- "Ordinary Things: When artists make their private life public" -- caught our eye. So we were happy to see that Sebastien had a chance to check it out. He writes of a series of photos by photographer Harry Wilks around which the show formed:

This is one of the most interesting piece of the show in my opinion, as it spans more than two decades. It started in 1987 as a simple picture of the artist's wife and young son, leaning on the bumper of their first car, and turned into a photo ritual year after year. Watch his son age, turn into a teenager, his wife mature, gracefully. This series was never intended to be shown in a gallery - it was a personal project. [Curator] Melissa [Stafford] asked Harry if she could show them and from there the whole exhibit started to grow as more artists joined the project. I was impressed by the vision and the resolve of Wilks, the strong composition over 20 years, the attention to details. I wish I had started such a project already.

Many more thoughts and photos at Sebastien's site.

"Ordinary Things" runs at Carrie Haddad Photographs until December 12.

photo: Sebastien B

12 hours in Columbia County

columbia county composite

Enough for more than a day.

Columbia County is so close that... you might already be there. And if you're not, you should go -- unless you don't like food, art, shopping and beautiful scenery.

No, those things all sound pretty good? Well, here are some ideas on how to spend a day in Columbia County...

(there's more)

Kevin Clark's big pictures

Kevin Clark troy music hall mural

Kevin working on the Troy Music Hall mural in August.

Kevin Clark likes to do things big.

Kevin's a mural artist -- you've probably seen his handiwork on Capital Region Walls.

The "Welcome to Troy" mural? His. The one on the side of Brown's Brewing? His. He's also responsible for works on the walls of a bunch of schools, arenas, restaurants and shopping malls around the Capital Region.

His latest creation stands on the side of a building in downtown Troy and depicts the interior of Troy Saving Bank Music Hall.

Just passing by his work kind of brightens our day. And after we caught him in action last month in Troy, we had a few questions about this large scale work and the guy behind it.

Kevin's answers, and some more of his amazing work, after the jump.

(there's more)

Breaking My Art's A.C. Everson


Stuffed rooster.

Annine Everson spends hours creating works of art.

And when she's done, people break them.

Everson makes piñatas of all shapes, sizes and colors. She makes them for parties -- and for performance art.

Yes, we scratched our heads about that last part, too.

But after the jump, Albany's only piñata making performance poet explains the allure of breakable art, piñatas and performance -- and her philosophy on strings vs. paddles.

(there's more)

Center Square wallpaper

CS Wallpaper Big Picture.JPG

It's like a giant "Where's Waldo" game for Center Square.

Laura Glazer and Lori Hansen think Albany's Center Square residents are proud of their neighborhood. So when they were working on a 1st Friday project for the big windows at Capitol Wine, in the heart of the Washington Park/Center Square neighborhood, they wanted to find a way to express that pride.

The photographer and graphic artist considered a number of ideas before settling on the one thing that neither of them felt they were good at: drawing.

The result: some fun rolls of Center Square "wallpaper" that are fun, quirky and as it turns out, just a tiny bit AOA inspired.

Photos and a little more from Laura Glazer after the jump.

(there's more)

The big picture in Troy

troy music hall mural 3

Just a few more touches...

We were walking through downtown Troy today and stopped for a few minutes to watch artist Kevin Clark put a few last touches on the new mural on the side of 50 Second Street (adjacent to the bank parking lot).

The work depicts the inside of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The project apparently sparked some discussion about how public art projects should be reviewed in Troy. [Troy Record]

It was interesting to watch Clark this afternoon as he applied a few highlights to the huge painting. He'd move around on the motorized lift and apply a few brush strokes here and there.

You've probably seen his work before. He's painted a bunch of murals around the Capital Region -- including the one on the side of Brown's Brewing.

The Arts Center of the Capital Region is holding an "unveiling" of the mural August 31 at 5 pm (we hear there will also be confetti and gelato -- hard to go wrong there).

A bunch of other pics after the jump. Including a (stitched together) big pic of the mural.

(there's more)

EMPAC Fall 2010

laurie anderson empac fall 2010The schedule for the upcoming fall season at EMPAC is out. And, as we've come to expect, it includes a bunch of interesting/odd/challenging shows.

Here are a few that caught our eye while scanning the list...

(there's more)

PostSecret coming to UAlbany

postsecret exhibit winnipeg

An earlier Post Secret installation in Canada.

Here's something to look forward to: PostSecret, the post card confessional web series, is bringing one of its touring exhibits to UAlbany. The site's exhibit schedule reports it will be at UAlbany's performing arts center from January 19 to February 11.

PostSecret describes itself as "an ongoing community art project where people
mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard." The cards are often creatively decorated or illustrated. Among the recently posted secrets :

"I'm 25 and finally in a loving, committed relationship. It just happens to be with a married couple."
"I'm convinced that being a Mets fan has taken years off my life!"
"The romance of being with a pilot has worn off. I want my own adventure."
"We haven't been dating long, but I constantly daydream about our Star Wars theme wedding."

The site started in 2004 -- and quickly became very popular. Material from the site has since been turned into four books.

(Thanks, Jessica R!)

photo via International Arts & Artists

Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside

By Patrick Dodson and Timothy Maher

The Contemporary Artists Center moved from North Adams to the former Woodside Church in Troy last winter. The CAC is renovating the church for use as an artist residency program for national, international, and local artists, along with exhibition space.

In July, the org won a $20,000 grant for the renovation from the Chase Community Giving program. And in May it won a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh program.

Patrick Dodson and Timothy Maher are Machine Should Be.

Secret Selves

secret selves nimoy mass mocaMASS MoCA has a new exhibit opening this weekend -- and you might recognize the artist: Leonard Nimoy. Yep, Spock.

From the MASS MoCA blurb for Secret Selves:

Inspired by Aristophanes' theory that humans were once double-sided creatures with two heads and multiple limbs before Zeus cleaved man in two and left him forever struggling to be whole again, Nimoy's photographs reveal his subjects' other half. Shooting in nearby Northampton, Massachusetts, Nimoy recruited volunteers from the local community with an open call for portrait models willing to be photographed posed and dressed as their true or imagined "secret selves." From the popular rock star and superman to the more unexpected dog lover and Pan, these various secret identities (off-line avatars as they might be described) offer an intimate, sometimes humorous, and often profound new look at the residents of Northampton and the inner yearnings and fantasies that we all share.

Nimoy apparently has been a serious photographer for decades. From a NYT article this week about the exhibit:

(there's more)

Photos from Heavy at St. Joseph's

heavy event photos

"Mortui Vivos Docent" by Chris Harvey.

Sebastien sent along a photoset from Heavy, the art event at St. Joseph's this past weekend. He noted on his site: "There is something about that unusual space that can really highlight large scale and street installations."

Heavy has been extended for another two days -- this Friday from 5-11 pm and Saturday from 2-11 pm.

Update: Matthew has a short recap, as well, with high praise for the event.

Also: Sebastien's collection of urban decay photos is now available as a photo book, The Unnoticed.

photo: Sebastien B

"I Love New York" by CAPow!

capow I Love New York

When we look at this, we get the urge to pronounce the county names they way they're depicted.

We really like this New York State print by local artist CAPow!. We came across it in this interview she did with Jess Lyons.

The "I Love New York" print is available in CAPow!'s Etsy store -- an 8x10 is $25. She's also selling 16x20s for $50.

She also has prints in the same style for: Albany, Troy, Manhattan and Massachusetts.

Earlier on AOA: RagamuffinDesign by Jess Lyons

image: CAPow!

"Snapshot" paintings by Scott Hotaling

scott hotaling snapshot paintings composite

Three of Scott's "snapshot" paintings.

By Kalyn Belsha

Scott Hotaling is an artist, but he also describes himself as a part-time genealogist. The 30-year-old Selkirk native has spent hours visiting family members to make a detailed family record, which he uses to identify subjects in the paintings he creates using old family photographs.

Scott's impressive body of work includes many small "snapshot" paintings, some of which are modeled after black and white Polaroids dating back to his Sicilian great-great-grandparents and a cast of other characters that fascinate him, despite the fact he's never met them. In addition to his family, Scott paints "found photos" -- ones he's been given, bought at estate sales or stumbled across on Flickr.

This August, Scott has two exhibits, one at the Romaine Brooks Gallery and another at the Albany Center Gallery, that showcase his snapshot paintings, in addition to some haunting local landscapes. He gave AOA a sneak peek at some of the artwork he'll be showing and talked with us about how he creates his snapshots and why Albany has no shortage of views to inspire artists.

(there's more)

Sculpture in the Streets 2010

sculpture in the streets 2010

The piece outside 30 South Pearl.

Sebastien has put together an excellent photoset, post and map of this year's Sculpture in the Streets exhibit in downtown Albany. He comments:

This body of work by Seward Johnson, an American artist known for his hyper-realistic imagery, is part of a collection of 250 cast bronze figures depicting people of all ages engaged in day-to-day activities. I invite you to take a nice, long walk downtown Albany and take a closer look at these intriguing sculptures. Bring metaphorical hiking shoes because you are about to embark on a trip down the Uncanny Valley.

Each sculpture is sponsored by a local business or organization (among, them We Want Trader Joe's in the Capital District). One of the sculptures, "Crossing Paths," was "community sponsored."

The series of sculptures will be in place until October.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Sculpture in the Streets 2009
+ Sculpture in the Streets 2008

photo: Sebastien B

River Street Festival sidewalk chalk 2010

river festival chalk 2010

Chalk it up!

One of our favorite summer events is the annual street chalking competition at the Troy River Street Festival. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it this year -- but Sebastien was there, and he's posted a photoset with a bunch of panels.

Bonus photoset: the modestly-attended rescheduled World Naked Bike Ride in Washington Park.

photos: Sebastien B

Art on Lark is coming up

art on lark 2010 logoThe annual Art on Lark festival is this coming Saturday in Albany. Lark Street will be closed off for all the artistic happenings.

Among them is a new event: the Lark-ternative Hair Competition. From the Lark Street BID:

The competition will feature four of the most innovative and talented hair designers in the Capital Region. Each of the four contestants will have the opportunity to show five different avant-garde or alternative hairstyles as a complete head-to-toe look with make up, clothing and accessories. The stylists will also get the opportunity to explain the vision and inspiration behind their collections.

A panel of judges will pick a winner.

Art on Lark will will also include music on two stages. The lineups are after the jump.

(there's more)

Nao Bustamante moves on

Local performance artist -- and RPI associate professor -- Nao Bustamante made it through another episode of Bravo's Work of Art reality series last night.

This week's challenge was to create a sculpture from objects at an electronics recycling center. Bustamante piece (above) earned her a spot in the middle of the field, advancing her to the next ep. (Also, being in the middle meant less screen time.)

Last week we wondered if she was being cast as the "villain" or "oddball" (or oddball villain). It looks like she has some competition. This week Miles, her partner last episode, slept on his sculpture -- a giant screen-printed pillow situated between two large concrete anuses -- and then was seemingly compelled by some irresistible urge to slam a fellow competitor during the critique.

Also: We're waiting for the moment when the judges on this show suddenly break character and say, "Just kidding! We don't really believe (or understand) what we just said, either!" (Unless the judges are actually the contestants...)

Earlier on AOA: RPI's Nao Bustamante on Bravo's "Work of Art"

photo: Bravo TV

Could Nao Bustamante be the "villain" on Work of Art?

nao bustamante work of art episode 1

At one point, she tells a judge: "I'm not responsible for your experience of my work."

RPI professor -- and performance artist -- Nao Bustamante made it through the first episode of Work of Art, Bravo's "next great artist" reality show (like Project Runway or Top Chef).

Said Bustamante in her introductory clip on the show: "I feel like I've already won... and so I feel like I could be really generous with my criticism." The interspersed video then shows her "ehh-ing" other competitors' work. And a little later, after she offers a luke-warm critique of another competitor's piece, the competitor says: "Nao's really rude." Oh, the reality show drama (there's always someone edited to be the "villain" or "oddball").

When we talked with Bustamante last week about her appearance on the show, she said it was "more intense than I expected."

You can watch the full episode here. The first elimination challenge was to create a portrait of a fellow contestant. Her partner didn't seem to cooperate -- and it's probably fair to say that Bustamante went abstract.

Earlier on AOA: RPI's Nao Bustamante on Bravo's "Work of Art"

screengrab: Bravo TV

The often-imitated Jess Fink

jess fink cookie comparison

From left to right: Jess Fink's original design, the Forever 21 t-shirt design, the Goldman work

If imitation truly is flattery, Troy artist Jess Fink should be getting a lot of compliments.

Somehow we're guessing that's not the way it feels.

Fink tweeted last night that she's come across yet another piece inspired-by/ripped-off-from her work. This time she says it's Todd Goldman, an artist with a huge merchandising operation. She posted a screenshot of a Goldman work that bears a strong resemblance to her "Cookie loves Milk" design.

(there's more)

Upcoming classes at the Arts Center

arts center stained glassWe were skimming through the catalog of classes at the Arts Center of the Capital Region today and a few caught our eye:

(there's more)

Road Trip: North Adams & MASS MoCA

Mass MoCA lg.jpg

The trip to MASS MoCA is part of the art

By Jessica Pasko

One of the good things about living in the Capital Region is that there are a wealth of cool places within a short distance.

Such as MASS MoCA and North Adams.

After the jump -- the virtual road trip.

(there's more)

Schenectady Art Attack

schenectady light bulbThis first Schenectady Art Attack is this weekend in (where else) downtown Schenectady. What's an "art attack?" From the brochure:

The Schenectady Art Attack is an attempt to bring hundreds of creative people together for a weekend to display their visions of what the world is and could be. We have invited painters, poets, musicians, wood workers, film makers, writers, photographers and others to attack the city with their collective artistic power to invigorate the city and its inhabitants.

We hear from the organizers that there will be live music, photos from 20 photographers, films by local directors such as Mike Feurstein and Román Jáquez. And... chainsaw carving.

The event runs Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. It's free. You can pick up a brochure with maps and info at Schenectady City Hall.

Dancing on the Ceiling at EMPAC

dotc empac

As we understand it, there will be no Lionel Ritchie.

EMPAC has a group exhibition coming up that looks like it'll be worth exploring. From the blurb for Dancing on the Ceiling:

Dancing on the Ceiling will bring together artworks that use the metaphor of floating or weightlessness as an expression of the relationship of the individual to social, political or personal contexts. In addition, several of the pieces relate to lightness as akin to an agility of mind, freed of entrenched perspectives.
The artworks in the exhibition deploy helium, parabolic flight, rigging, and digital effects. They feature floating performers, an upside-down kitchen, an isolation tank and skateboarders freed from physical laws. They evoke the golden age of space exploration and the dreams of the counter-culture. Dancing on the Ceiling is a provocative convergence of time-based photography, sculpture, installation, and video.

The opening reception is this Thursday from 6-10 pm, when the building will open so people can check out all the exhibits. It's free.

Bonus: There will be a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey on EMPAC's 56-foot screen that night at 7 pm. Douglas Trumbull, the special effects director for 2001 and many other films, will be giving a talk beforehand.

image: Dennis Darzacq

Tang looking for local pieces

tang for youUpdated Wednesday morning

The Tang Museum at Skidmore has an exhibition called "For You" coming up in June that will feature local works by artists who have passed away. And they're looking for your help. From the site blurb (emphasis added):

This summer, the Tang will present a unique open call exhibition of artwork created by artists who have passed away, but whose work and memory continue to impact individuals in the greater Capital Region. Entitled For You, the exhibition is inspired by Troy resident Bruce Ottmer, who sat on the corner of Lark Street in Albany holding a painting by his late wife, Claire Durani Nack. Determined to bring her painting to a larger audience, but unable to find a venue to exhibit it, Ottmer decided to sit on the street and share the painting with passersby. Motivated by Ottmer's dedication, the Tang is organizing For You to give locals like Ottmer a venue to exhibit work made by loved ones, while simultaneously celebrating the lives and talents of the artists.

The submission process starts next Monday. There are details on the Tang site.

(Thanks, StickFigureMan! And Summer!)

Rewriting the bible in Columbia County


Phillip Patterson beneath the willows. (photo by Laura Glazer)

By Jessica Pasko

Phillip Patterson is hand-writing the Bible.

Yes, the entire bible. The 1611 King James bible, to precise. The Columbia County resident hopes to complete it by next year, the book's 500th birthday.


Laura Glazer was. Yes, that Laura Glazer. The host of Hello Pretty City.

What's all this about?

A mix of things, really.

(there's more)

"What are you doing now?"

burkholder iphone print

There's an app for that?

That piece above is by artist Dan Burkholder. He made it using an iPhone. Really.

It's part of an exhibition that opens tomorrow night at the Martinez Gallery in Troy as part of Troy Night Out.

The exhibition's title takes a cue from sites such as Twitter and Facebook: "What are you Doing Now?" It features 18 local artists providing an example of their most current work, using a range of media -- including the iPhone.

The Martinez Gallery is at 3 Broadway in Troy (that's the Cannon Building). In addition to TNO, it's open Wednesday through Saturday 2-5pm.

Marketplace Gallery re-opening


Art from The Market Gallery's "Recovery" show, just about a year ago

By Jessica Pasko

The Marketplace Gallery , located in a loft down by the Port of Albany, held several awesome art shows last spring and summer. The expansive space, run by Samson Contompasis and his brothers Alex and Max, was a great addition to the Albany arts scene, until an electrical fire back in August shut it down.

Now, after months of rebuilding, the Contompasis brothers are re-opening their gallery and they've got some promising plans for the place.

(there's more)

Electrical Forest

Over at PBS' art:21 blog, artist Noah Fischer writes about Electrical Forest, his installation at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy:

During my initial research missions to Troy, New York I met a colorful bunch of historians, painters, potters, professors and arborists, and was struck by the miniature grandeur of the city. There was a need to respond to its historical aura; going to Troy was stepping into another world. This was interesting to me because it's not a gentrified international destination; it's more or less a graveyard of American industry, a city of the Rust Belt. Working with The Arts Center of the Capital Region and independent curator, Lauren Wolk, who invited me to Troy for the project, I crafted the outlines of Electrical Forest: Made in Troy. It was to be a project that depended on the community of Troy to harness the aura of their city. Electrical Forest: Made in Troy would tell the story of a small American city set deep in the landscape of progress.

Fischer got people to come in and work on an "assembly line" manufacturing leaves for the projects (video embedded above).

Electrical Forest will be on display at the Arts Center until December 24.

At the mall, with Andy

crossgates warholesque

Pop Egg.

We noticed this Warhol-esque installation at Crossgates last night. It's at the top of the escalators by the new Dick's store.

It seemed a little groovy for the mall. In a good way.

Mooing at Uncommon Grounds

cow paining Karin Kuck


We love the art on display this month in the Albany Uncommon Grounds. Karin Kuck's paintings of cows (and a few giraffes and chickens) are really fun. They make us smile every time we look at them.

Oh, yeah: Uncommon Grounds now has a blog -- and there's some good stuff there, including tips on keeping coffee fresh, a profile of a regular and "The Managerwich".

Earlier on AOA:
+ Off the lunch menu: wi-fi
+ How much is that bagel in the window?

photo via UG

Photos from Flux

Vincent Tocco collage

A collage by Vincent Tocco.

Chuck sent along this photo from the Flux art show at St. Joseph's this past weekend. He's posted a photoset from the event.

Sebastien has also posted some good photos from Friday night, including this great wide shot of the interior.

photo: Chuck Miller

Flux at St. Joseph's

st. joes


By Jessica Pasko

Remember that Papergirl project? It's part of a bigger art event called Flux that's being held this weekend.

Flux promises three nights (and two days) of art, music and food (served up by the Albany Pump Station). But the real star of the show will be the venue itself, St. Joseph's Cathedral in Albany's Ten Broeck neighborhood. It's a beautiful, fascinating building that you shouldn't miss the opportunity to check out.

Really -- you need to see this building.

(there's more)

Following along with The Rent Project

rent project weeds

A new title.

After Jess' post about Warren MacMillan's "Rent Project," we've been following his project blog -- and it's fun!

It kind of reminds us of one of those procedural TV shows. A person shows up looking for help, Warren takes on the job, finishes it... and on to the next one. The only thing missing is Jerry Orbach.

So far, Warren's $3.50 jobs have included drawing, business card design, picking up dog poop, door knob removal, weeding and critiquing. And he also got some reiki.

We're looking forward to seeing what comes next. And we've added his project blog to the Neighborhood.

photo: Warren MacMillan


papergirl posterSina Hickey imagines a group of people riding on bikes through the streets of Albany and passing out original art at random.

It's worked in Berlin and a few other places, and the 24-year-old Guilderland resident's got a feeling the Capital Region could pull it off, too. And she's looking for your help.

(there's more)

The Rent Project

money and envelope

1/100 of the way toward his goal

By Jessica Pasko

A local artist who recently lost his job is turning to some pretty creative means to pay rent on his Troy apartment.

Warren MacMillan, a sculptor with an MFA from SUNY Albany, has launched The Rent Project as a way to come up with $350. And make some art in the process.

Here's the deal...

(there's more)

Sunken ships + amoebae = art

lake george shipwreck amoebaThe 250-year-old sunken ships in Lake George about which AOA recently talked with underwater archeologist Joe Zarzynski are part of a weird new exhibit that promises to "introduce viewers to the contemporary synthesis of art and science." From the Lake George Arts Project:

Artwork based on "The Sunken Fleet of 1758" shipwrecks was scanned and then reduced to a miniature scale. Using micro-lithographic methods, these images were then transformed into 3-dimensional surfaces. Testate amoebae [harvested from Lake George] were released onto these surfaces and allowed to interact with the archaeological artwork. Dr. [Sam] Bowser and science artist Elinor Mossop examined these interactions using microscopy methods. Ms. Mossop interpreted the creatures' exploratory movements and created a series of cutting edge drawings and paintings that show the micro fauna encountering and reoccupying "The Sunken Fleet of 1758." Her approach is based on a previous art/science collaboration between Bowser and New Zealand artist Claire Beynon.

As part of the exhibit, waterproof artwork has been placed on easels at the the bottom of Lake George near the shipwreck.

"Raising the Fleet" opens today at the Lake George Arts Project gallery. There's a reception Friday evening.

The exhibit runs until September 10.

image: Lake George Arts Project

Sol LeWitt charts well at MASS MoCA

mass moca lewitt

The exhibit is a collection of wall drawings.

The most recent NY Mag includes some high praise for the recently installed Sol LeWitt retrospective at MASS MoCA. The mag's "Approval Matrix" calls the installation "one of the best single-artist exhibits ever." (That would be in the upper right corner, for "highbrow" and "brilliant.")

The LeWitt retrospective is massive -- it covers 27,000 square feet. It'll be on display until 2033.

The Approval Matrix also charted Taking Woodstock, though the film didn't fare so well. The word "boring" was used.

Earlier on AOA: The Sol Lewitt retrospective at MASS MoCA

photo: Flickr user albany_tim

Out of This World at ALB

Chris Harvey

"Seven Columns of Commerce and Pleasure" by Chris Harvey

One of our favorites things about the Albany International Airport is the upstairs art gallery. We appreciate the fact that a place that's all about hustle and bustle has a space that's dedicated to pausing and thinking.

If you have some time during your next swing through ALB, the current exhibit is worth checking out.

(there's more)

Fork Art

fork-art- hot rod.jpg

Forks you can't eat with.

By Jessica Pasko

When your parents told you not to play with your food, they probably meant the utensils too. But what if they knew you could make a living at it. Really.

At this year's Tulipfest and Art on Lark events, I spotted this very cool art made entirely of forks.

Just bent forks.

No glue, no soldering, no Matrix-like powers -- just a pair of pliers.

(there's more)

Lori Hansen's vintage letterpress

Lori at the letterpress.jpg

Lori Hansen and her 1882 letterpress

Monday through Friday she works with pixels and laser printers, designing computer
graphics for advertising and public relations at EMA in Albany. But on Saturdays Lori Hansen abandons keyboard, mouse and laser printer for ink, wood and steel.

A couple of years ago Hansen found a vintage 1880's letter press on Ebay. Fifteen hundred dollars, five guys, a hydraulic lift, an elaborate system of pulleys and a big truck later it was hers.

She gave us a tour of her vintage print shop, tucked away in a corner of the Historic Albany Architectural Parts Warehouse, where she prints fun, quirky, handmade cards on beautiful paper.

A closer look at Lori and the press, including photos and video of how it works -- after the jump.

(there's more)

The people behind the Craigslist ads

de-classified thumbnailCheck out this online photo exhibit by Saratoga Springs-based Mark Andrew. (might be NSFW)

It's called "de-classified" -- and it features photos of people who have posted missed connections and other personals on Craigslist. It. Is. Fascinating.

From Andrew's artist's statement:

When I began the project, I anticipated that by the time I got to 50, I would have captured a fairly complete representation of what was to be had. But now that I've hit that milestone, it is very obvious that I've barely touched the surface. Perhaps when I've completed another 200 I'll be closer to what has become my internal true north for the project - an exhibit that represents the human condition.

Some of the pictures are suprising. Some are sweet. Some are sexy. Some are a bit disturbing.

Many of the people featured are local. Among them: the guy trying to sell his underwear, the woman looking to get her money back and the two girls who spotted a hot guy at Washington Tavern.

We're even pretty sure we highlighted this guy in one of our weekly "Craig and his wonderful list" posts.


(Thanks, Dan!)

photo: Mark Andrew

Davey Jones Locker

Fish 1.jpg

Something fishy.

By Dawn Padfield

Since my husband is allergic to every animal that walks on earth, fish have become the pet of choice at our house. But the over bred and sad little fishies sold at the big box pet stores weren't cutting it. I needed to find fish with gumption. I needed to find fish with the will to live.

My search led me to a flipping good fish store (I know, but it's really tough to resist a good fish pun).

Davey Jones Locker is like a funky little aquarium on Delaware Avenue in Albany.

(there's more)

Chalked up

sidewalk art

On the River Street sidewalk in Troy.

Above is one of the winning entries in this past weekend's River Street Festival sidewalk chalk art contest. The panel is by Kelly Salerno, who was also one of last year's winners.

Sebastien has posted a photo set from this year's contest. There were a lot of great entries. We especially liked this panel inspired by Where the Wild Things Are.

photo: Sebastien B

Project Larkway winner Joleen Button

larkway winners 2.JPG

Joleen Button (in the white dress) designed the winning collection for Project Larkway.

You get the feeling Joleen Button doesn't watch much TV.

A few weeks ago at Art on Lark, Button's collection of retro inspired summer dresses (plus one vintage style red bikini) won her the Project Larkway competition. But she's still playing with the collection, trying to make the dresses look a little better.

When she's not altering clothes to create new outfits, she's painting, doing graphic design, even making music. Constantly creating.

Button sat still just long enough to talk to AOA about the arts scene in the Capital Region, her passion for all things vintage and her great love affair with art (small "a") .

(there's more)

Jennifer Maher's toy portraits

jennifer maher.JPG

DJ Jennifer Haley and her toy portraits

So it's no secret by now that AOA spends a fair amount of time at Uncommon Grounds.

And lately we can't help but smile at the art on the walls. The current show includes a group of portraits of quirky, well loved, interesting toys -- bunnies, lambs, squeezy bath toys and Japanese cartoon favs.

They're the work of Jennifer Maher -- known in local rave circles as D.J Jen Haley.

Jen's on hiatus from the rave scene (or what's left of it) until her new daughter gets a little older. These days she's writing a little and painting a lot --specifically custom portraits of favorite toys.

She talked with AOA recently about her art, the allure of toys, and the common ground between cuddly animal paintings and rave culture.

(there's more)

The Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum

Sembrich Museum indoors.jpg

The opera isn't the only reason to visit.

By Jessica Pasko

Okay, so the words "opera museum" don't exactly scream cool.

Still, I'm going to risk my street cred and suggest a visit to the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum .

No, you don't have to like opera to enjoy it.

So why should you go there?

(there's more)

Project Larkway

larkway winners 2.JPG

Winning designer Joleen Button and Lark Street's top model Sarah von Ouhl, wearing a Button designed bikini.

So this weekend at Art on Lark, AOA's too-fabulous Jess Pasko got her best Tim Gunn on and joined Kristi G, fashion designers Katie Pray and Gina Ulrich and Upstate Magazine's Christa Dijstelbergen to judge Project Larkway (think Project Runway for local designers and models).

This year's designers were Amy Orr , Jill Castle and Joleen Button. Button won.

Here's a little of the inside scoop from the judges on how it went down and more pictures from the runway.

(there's more)

Lorraine Murphy's pin-up art

Lorraine Murphy 1.jpg

Lorraine Murphy

We started reading Amy's post about First Impressions Boutique a few days ago and thought "Pin-up art? Hmm. We have to know more about this."

So we called Lorraine Murphy, artist, photographer and owner of First Impressions, to find out if, in fact, Capital Region women are going all Bettie Page. Turns out this is a little bit of a thing. More pictures and Lorraine's answers to our questions, after the jump.

(there's more)

Peering into Ken Ragsdale's memory

Ken Ragsdale Art 1.jpg

A picture of Ken's memory

Last week we told you about artist Ken Ragsdale's Edible Albany exhibit at Crisan. The object of Ragsdale's art is to take pictures of his own mind.

And the result is pretty cool: recognizable images, created out of paper, that are only simple on the surface. The longer you look at them, the more you start thinking -- thinking about thinking and memory and reality.

Plus they're just fun to look at. There are more of them, plus more about Ken, after the jump.

(there's more)

Edible Albany!

Edible Albany 1.jpg

Look-- a tiny little edible Lark St.

We wandered over to Crisan this afternoon to talk with baker/artist Claudia Crisan-Calabria about her upcoming edible art lecture at "New York in Bloom" -- and look what we found. A tiny little edible Lark Street.

What's it all about?

(there's more)

Equus at Carrie Haddad

equus posterIf you're looking to get out the house for a bit this weekend (be sure to bundle), you might think about heading down to Hudson.

Carrie Haddad Photographs has a new exhibition called "Equus" -- it features, not surprisingly, works that involve horses. From the gallery's site:

Through the ages, the Horse has remained inseparable from man as a symbolic element of the sublime within the spirit of humanity. As representations of strength, devotion, wisdom, divination and freedom, the equine form projects not its own beauty; it reflects instead the beauty - or horror - of man's unconscious power. Equus ... spotlights the multi-layered relationship between people and horses. The exhibit will include the work of local and international photographers Tim Flach, David Seiler, Ida Weygandt, Juliet Harrison, Paul Solberg and Christopher Makos.

Three of the photographers from the exhibit will be giving a talk at the gallery Saturday from 4pm. (Here are some pics of the exhibit space.)

It could be a fun little trip down to check out the exhibit and then have dinner at one of Hudson's interesting restaurants.

Live with Less at UAlbany

By Jessica Pasko

UAlbany trash exhibit .jpgThe new art exhibit at UAlbany is kind of trashy.


But it's also kind of cool. And it makes you think.

(there's more)

The book on Phil Pascuzzo

Phil Pascuzzo book covers

Cover art by Phil Pascuzzo

By Melissa Mansfield

Everybody's heard that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But is that really true?

Phil Pascuzzo should know. He's the drummer for local band Scientific Maps. He's also a book cover designer -- he's created more than 300 of them. (Phil's also designed artwork for local musicians such as Brent Gordon, Brian Patneaude, and Sgt Dunbar.)

(there's more)

Jess Fink has a lot of fans

jess fink tshirt comparison

One of these things is A LOT like the other. The one on the left is the Jess Fink original.

By Jessica Pasko

When Troy artist Jess Fink isn't designing art for video games, creating logos, illustrating children's books, doing caricatures or writing irreverently funny comic strips, she designs really cool t-shirts. She's designed shirts for bands like Fall Out Boy and Less than Jake, and she creates original designs for websites like She's pretty awesome, and a lot of people like her work. Some like it a little too much.

(there's more)

The Sol Lewitt retrospective at MASS MoCA

mass moca lewitt time lapse

A frame from the time-lapse for "Wall Drawing 1152"

Check out these cool time-lapse videos of the wall paintings being installed for the "Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective" exhibit at MASS MoCA (LeWitt bio). The exhibit is massive -- it covers 27,000 square feet over three floors -- and took a small army to install. From MASS MoCA's site:

The drawings at MASS MoCA were executed over a six-month period by a team comprising twenty-two of the senior and experienced assistants who worked with the artist over many years; thirty-three student interns from Yale University, Williams College, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and fourteen other colleges and universities; and thirteen local artists and recent graduates and post-graduates from many of the nation's leading studio-art programs.

PBS's NewsHour has posted a slide show of some of the works with audio commentary by the director of the Yale University Art Gallery (he was also a friend of LeWitt).

And here's a Flickr pool of photos from the exhibit.

If you're interested in checking out the exhibit in person, you have a little bit of time. It's scheduled to be up for the next 25 years.

screengrab: MASS MoCA

David Geurin

Super Guy by David Geurin

One of Geurin's pieces from his Kismet show.

By Jessica Pasko

Monsters, and aliens and superheroes, oh my!

For artist David P. Geurin, they're the stuff art is made of. The Albany-based artist combines comic book styling with movie monsters, aliens, a touch of pop art and a little sarcasm to create colorful works that show off an irreverent sense humor and genuine love of cartooning.

(there's more)

Carrie Haddad Photographs

vincent laforet at haddadThe Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson is opening a new photography gallery called, well, Carrie Haddad Photographs. And the first exhibition, titled "Such Great Heights," looks very cool. Here's a bit about it from the gallery:

The inaugural exhibition at Carrie Haddad Photographs, the brand new exhibit space of Carrie Haddad Gallery, borrows its title from The Postal Services' song, Such Great Heights. The song romantically proclaims that, "everything looks perfect from far away" and the five photographers featured in this show explore a world seen from this same spectacular vantage point. Whether they attempt to transmit a narrative or not, they radiate a sense of great magnitude; the world appears immense and yet wholly intimate and personal.

We're especially interested in the tilt-shift photography of Vincent Laforet (that's his photo on the right) and Keith Loutit (check out his awesome tilt-shift "video" of Sydney Harbor); and the photo montages by Lori Van Houten.

The new gallery opens this weekend. There's a reception on Saturday from 6 to 8 pm.

The Heroes of Troy

By Jessica Pasko

Heroes of Troy PortraitRemember the song "Everyday Heroes"? Well, a new art project in Troy is kind of based on that idea.

OK, that sounds kind of cheesy. But trust me, it's much cooler than it sounds. And you could be a part of it.

(there's more)

It's no longer Kismet


Maybe the art vending machine can find a new home.

Word got around this weekend that Kismet, the art gallery and Troy Night Out staple, is closing. From an email sent out by owners Michael Fiske and Christina Stott:

For the last 2 years we strived to maintain the best Art Gallery in the region but have been unable to turn a profit in that time. Due to the struggling economy and our new obligations with our full time work schedules we will be unable to operate Kismet after October 31st. If any of our artists, or there friends, or families are interested in purchasing the business form us please contact us and we will consider all serious offers.

Earlier on AOA: The art vending machine at Kismet

(Thanks, Melissa)

Lunch with Rousseau, Gauguin, Klimt and Munch

Rousseau's Hungry Lion

The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope by Henri Rousseau.

Here's something a little different for your lunch hour if you work around the ESP. The New York State Museum is starting a four week Thursday lunchtime film series today called "The Post-Impressionists." Blurb from the announcement:

At the close of the 19th century, artists freely explored the innovations of Impressionism by expanding on the use of color, light, subject, and texture. The 2008 film series examines how the Post-Impressionists helped to usher in a new era of art by paving the way for Modernism.

Today's film is about Henri Rousseau. The next three weeks will cover Paul Gauguin, Gustav Klimt, and Edvard Munch.

Each film is 50 minutes long and will start at noon in the NYS Museum's Huxley Theather. And, yep, you can bring your lunch.

Earlier on AOA: Three things to see now at the NYS Museum

Three things to see now at the NYS Museum

Rockefeller campaign button

Yeah, man, he's the groovy candidate.

Heads up: the Latin American and Caribbean Art exhibit at the New York State Museum closes in two weeks.

We wouldn't go out of our way to see this exhibit as it seems the folks at MoMA were pretty stingy in deciding which "selected highlights" from their collection would make the trip up the Hudson. But we did enjoy seeing a few pieces, including Botero's Mona Lisa, Age Twelve (there's a Diego Rivera, too).

If you do stop by, be sure to take a few minutes to check out the great Nelson Rockefeller campaign memorabilia on the wall leading into the gallery. Campaign buttons were a lot more fun back in the day. (A few more of the pieces, including a Rockefeller potholder, are after the jump.)

And one more stop to make -- the Cohoes Mastodon is back on display. It's way in the back of the natural history section.

Any one of these things alone isn't really worth the trip, but all three aren't bad on on a rainy day.

(there's more)

Capital Rep's pay what you will


What is art?

Heads up- tomorrow is pay what you will night at Capital Rep. Yep, you name the price.

The play is Art. . It's a Tony Award winning comedy that raises interesting questions about art and friendship. Questions like "if your friend pays a ton of money for a big white canvass with a few lines on it, is he gullible or cutting edge?" And "if you think he's nuts, do you tell him, or keep your mouth shut?"

Curtain is at 7:30 PM. Tickets go on sale at 10AM. They sell out quickly so get in line early. If you're sending someone to buy them for a group, just remember the limit is four tickets per person.

The art vending machine in Troy


The art vending machine.

By Jessica Pasko

Art? From a vending machine?

Yes, IPods aren't the only things that come in vending machines here in the Capital Region. A vending machine* in Troy has been refitted to dispense miniature pieces of art by emerging artists.

Yeah, we know It sounds a little weird, but it's actually kind of cool.

(there's more)

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

No precedent: The life of Kate Stoneman

The bar exam is one of the toughest tests anyone seeking a professional license must take. Imagine spending months studying for this one test, cramming... (more)

Piled up

As we miss out on on the Nor'easter of the week (thankfully), the National Weather Service Albany put together a map of snowfall totals from... (more)

Solar Energy for Everyone info event

A group of environmental and renewable energy orgs are sponsoring a "Solar Energy for Everyone" event March 28 at East Greenbush Methodist Church. Poster blurbage:... (more)

Central Drone New York

The Cuomo admin and others have been trying make the corridor between Syracuse and Rome a hot spot for the drone industry, and Syracuse could... (more)

What's up in the The Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Schenectady pizza, Middle Eastern cuisine, groceries at CVS, baking soda, an... (more)

Recent Comments

Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

An orchard for Washington Park

...has 3 comments, most recently from Craig

Morning Blend for Mar 21

...has 1 comment, most recently from grandmastergus

The state is looking for someone to design murals for the ESP food court

...has 1 comment, most recently from Justin Devendorf

International Tuesday at The Low Beat

...has 1 comment, most recently from Erin T.

Cynthia Nixon is running for governor

...has 4 comments, most recently from Steve