Terry James Conrad:
January 26 through March 13
Opalka Gallery is pleased to present Terry James Conrad: Object Permanence, a survey of the work of Terry James Conrad, on view January 26 through March 13, 2021. Check out the exhibition website here. Also, coming in early April, a full-color exhibition catalog. Preorder here.
At the heart of Conrad’s practice is the transformation of found or discarded objects into prints and sound. He creates sculptural printing presses from stacks of found wood and other detritus, plates from bent and molded tin cans, and inks from nuts, metals, dirt, and sediment. “I play with and explore these found materials with an interest in both craft and an unrefined, direct sensibility,” says Conrad.
In addition to his prints, three of Conrad’s sculptural presses will be included in this exhibition and one will be printing live throughout the exhibition. A new, large, sound installation will also be on display featuring a collection of primitive but amplified and motorized self-playing instruments, made from tin cans. The exhibition will also include several cigar box guitars, and other instruments Conrad has built in the past year.
Reflecting Conrad interest in the community and social aspects of printmaking, the exhibition will feature The Iowa Booth, a large installation inspired by a vintage voting booth he found onsite when he purchased an old firehouse in Round Lake, New York. The Iowa Booth is a wooden modular structure with dyed and printed canvas panels that will be changed throughout the exhibition. During the exhibition, Conrad will be in residence in the gallery on Thursday evenings, The Iowa Booth will serve as a base for a virtual series, Dispatches from The Iowa Booth. He will work on his printing presses, collaborate with musicians on sound pieces, and present a series of virtual events and discussions with individuals and collaborators who inspire his work. Confirmed participants include: interdisciplinary artist Brian Dewan, marine geologist Dr. Joan Bernhard, artist Donté K. Hayes, musician Tommy Santee Klaws, and conservationist Silvia Secchi.
A native of New York, Terry James Conrad is a 2017 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Drawing, Printmaking and Book Arts and was the 2015-16 Grant Wood Fellow in Printmaking and has been awarded residencies at Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), Penland School of Craft (North Carolina), and the Vermont Studio Center. He has had solo, two-person and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Conrad is currently Assistant Professor and Program Head of Printmaking at University of Iowa and an Iowa Print Media Faculty Fellow.
He previously taught at Skidmore College and assisted his partner Rachel Ziegler-Sheridan in founding the Round Lake School, which is a preschool/residency in Round Lake that follows the teaching philosophies of Reggio Emelia. Conrad is represented by Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.
(Note: all events will be online, and recorded)
TUES, January 26, 6pm
Virtual Opening: Exhibition Tour & Conversation with Artist
This event was recorded. Please see Past Online Events for the video.
WED, February 17, 6:30pm
Artist Lecture: Terry James Conrad
Join at this link.
THURSDAYS: Artist Residency and Dispatches from the Iowa Booth
(Note: all events will be online, and recorded)
You can still preorder the exhibition catalog for Terry James Conrad: Object Permanence!
$20, to be shipped at the beginning of April, 2021
Terry James Conrad: Object Permanence Exhibition Catalog
60 pages, 8.5 x 9 inches, full color
With essay by Nicole Woods, University of Notre Dame, Assistant Professor, Modern & Contemporary Art
Yura Adams, Joan Grubin, Ruby Palmer, and Christina Tenaglia
October 27 through December 19, 2020
Unraveling is an exhibition of four women artists–Yura Adams, Joan Grubin, Ruby Palmer, and Christina Tenaglia–who have been selected for their audacity, commitment, and strength of visual expression. As the world unravels, their resourcefulness in fabricating their art expands in equal measure. The work of these four artists shares an expressive quality and a dominant interest inform and these qualities unite the group visually. The artists are also united by their ability to make leaps of imagination in the studio and this show reveals this unraveling of resourcefulness.
Curated by Yura Adams, Unraveling unites this group under the theme of communicating a power of conviction in the face of an uncertain world.
View the exhibition website here.
The Virtual Opening Reception and Curator’s Tour with Yura Adams was followed by a panel discussion Artist/Woman. Woman/Artist., with the Unraveling artists and moderated by Nicole Hayes, curator at Art Omi, in collaboration with The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College.
This event was recorded and can be viewed on the exhibition website here.
September 1 through October 10, 2020
Infinite Uncertainty showcases artists at work in a changing world: new projects initiated, old ones revisited, creative bursts and detours in practice. Selected from over 250 submissions, 33 regional artists attempt to make sense of this unprecedented time and its persistent, frightening and painful unknowns. Juried by Sharon Bates, Stacey Robinson, Ellen Letcher and Julie Torres.
Exhibition artists: Erika Aberg, Ever Baldwin, Cyndy Barbone, Richard Barlow, Judith Braun, Donnabelle Casis, Beth Caspar, Pauline Decarmo, Pierre Desir, Carla Dortic, Stephen Earp, Sara Farrell Okamura, Ray, Felix, Rebecca Flis, Peg Foley, Audrey Francis, Richard Garrison, Andrea Hersh, Hui Lee, Anthony Jackson (Bugzdale), Tatana Kellner, Norm Magnusson, Nathan Meltz, Adrian Meraz, Fernando Orellana, Roger D. Patrick, Tatiana Potts, Courtney Puckett, Jamie Ricardo Rodriguez, Christina Tenaglia, Hanna, Washburn, Jeff Wigman, and Deborah Zlotsky.
Check out the exhibition website and take a virtual tour here.
The 21st Annual High School Regional
Juried showcase of the best artwork by regional high school students from 24 districts. This year’s jurors are Rachel Baxter, Melinda McDaniel, and Jordan Nathaniel White. Tour the exhibition online.
Sage Art+Design BFA Exhibition
May 1 through June 13, 2020
Annual Showcase featuring senior work from the Sage College Art+Design BFA Program.
JoAnne Carson: Rise Up and Shine!
January 21 through February 29, 2020
Opalka Gallery is pleased to present a 25-year survey of the work of JoAnne Carson. JoAnne Carson: Rise Up and Shine! will open on January 21, with a reception on Friday, February 7 from 6 pm to 8 pm. From her punchy, exuberant paintings to her quirky, zoomorphic sculptures and expressive drawings, Carson has established a unique artistic voice that merges references to the natural world with strange juxtapositions, unexpected materials, and playfully dark moods. Despite few figures in her work, every shape Carson creates bursts with life: trees, rocks, and flowers bow, droop, pose, and even vogue.
The work is simultaneously joyful and cynical, smart and approachable, not unlike the artist herself. Carson, who has taught studio art at the University at Albany for over three decades, has had an immeasurable impact on the region’s artists and art community. JoAnne Carson was born in New York City and currently splits her time between Brooklyn, New York and Shoreham, Vermont. She received her MFA degree from the University of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate school.
Carson’s work can be found in various public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, Frederick Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, and Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska.
She has received many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, an Award in the Visual Arts, a Purchase Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Louise Bourgeois Residency from Yaddo, and an artist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Her work has been shown in numerous solo and two-person exhibitions including at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, University of Maine Museum of Art in Orono, and galleries in New York City including Black & White Gallery, Claire Oliver Gallery, Joan Washburn Gallery, Ruth Siegel Gallery, and Plus Ultra Gallery.
Notable group exhibitions in public institutions include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial Exhibition, the Whitney Biennial Exhibition, New Orleans Museum of Art Frederick Weisman Collection, the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Sheldon Art Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington, Vermont.
Opening Reception FRI, February 7, 6pm-8pm
Curators’ Tour FRI, February 7, 5pm
Student Reception TUES, February 18, 5:30 pm
Artist Talk TUES, February 18, 6:30pm
IN-FAUX-STRUCTURE, August 13 – October 19, 2019
Reception: Friday, September 6, 6-9, with live screenprinting by Rebekah Tolley
Guest Curated by artists Madison LaVallee, Julie Casper Roth, and Melissa Sarris
Opalka Gallery is pleased to present In-faux-structure (#infauxstructure), an all-new group exhibition co-curated by Madison LaVallee, Julie Casper Roth, and Melissa Sarris. The genesis for In-faux-structure came from a conversation among the curators, all regional artists, who discovered they were thinking along the same lines in the seemingly unrelated projects each was exploring in their own artistic practices. What began as a discussion of physical infrastructure—pipes, roads, structures, and networks that fortify our society—quickly shifted to an expanded view of the systems and structures that surround us, from social infrastructure and constructs, to our personal networks and communities. The title, “In-faux-structure,” refers to false or erroneous meanings related to infrastructure: the ephemeral nature of building materials, as well as ambiguities, ironies, and outright injustices related to the ways infrastructure is planned and considered. At every stage—from concept to construction—infrastructure is filled with omissions. These omissions comprise the “faux” of this exhibition. The metaphorical strength of infrastructure is weakened when people and power dynamics are hidden from view.
The artists or collaborative teams included are: Laura Battle; The Everyday Feminist; Kyra Garrigue; Joan Grubin; Sarah Kayhart & Sadie Kenyon; Lucretia Knapp & Lynne Yamamoto; Madison LaVallee & Michael Valiquette; Jeanna Mead; Janice Medina, Björn Bauer, & Carolyn DiFiori Hopkins; Oliver Peters; Julie Casper Roth; Claire Sherwood; Barbara Todd; Rebekah Tolley; Jason Kates van Staveren; and Jacqueline Weaver & Michael Cunningham.
The In-faux-structure exhibition is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.
The opening reception coincides with the first night of our outdoor Pop-Up Craft Beer Garden series, featuring food trucks, craft beer, and live music. For more information, please see: Pop-Up Craft Beer Garden
All events are free and open to the public
2018 Screenprint Biennial
Guest curator: Nathan Meltz
November 1 through December 14, 2018
Opening reception: FRI, November 2, 6pm to 8pm
Curator’s tour: FRI, November 2, 5pm.
Screenprint Symposium Saturday, November 3, 2018 all day
Steamroller Print Day: Saturday, November 10
Student Reception: THUR, November 8, 5pm
For full list of events, see our Events page.
Sharon Bates: Exhibit B
August 28 to October 13, 2018
Opening Reception: FRI, September 7, 2018, 6pm to 8pm
Artist’s tour: TUES, September 25, 5:30pm
Artist Lecture: TUES, September 25, 6:30pm
Student Reception: TUES, October 11, 5pm
All events are free and open to the public, unless where indicated.
Co-curated by Judie Gilmore, gallery director, and writer and scholar Rone Shavers, In Place of Now showcases both emerging and established artists whose work engages in the politically subversive acts of picturing “otherness,” reinventing the past, and reclaiming the future. These themes are common to Afrofuturism, now nearly 30 years old, but when viewed in today’s hyper-partisan social and cultural spheres, they appear more political and less fantastical, more dystopian than utopian, and surprisingly more about us now, rather than an exploration of the other at any other time. That is to say, given our current political climate, works that include or address notions of estrangement seem more relevant, present, and profound than ever before. Within this context, we are interested in artwork that offers new speculations regarding contemporary black identity and explores issues of blackness, which again seems to be in contention. FRI, February 22, 6-8pm: Exhibition Reception
FRI, February 15, 6pm: Afrofuturism + Music Video Screening
Youth FX Presents: A journey through the past and present of music video history through the specific and transcendental lens of afro-futurism. This cross-generational dialogue between artists from the past and the present is intended to highlight and portray Afro-futurism as a living breathing narrative that is constantly unfolding and extends beyond the art form as a lifestyle and a culture that speaks. The program will feature classic videos from the past and present that converse about how the past influences the present, and how the present, with the help of the past, will influence the future of black and brown artistry in American art and culture.
THUR, February 21, 4:30pm AND 7:30pm: Writer & Cultural Icon Samuel Delany
A one-of-a-kind giant of American literature, Delany is a disruptive practitioner of “outsider art,” an explorer of African American and Gay identities, and one of the most influential and innovative science fiction writers of the last half century. Co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.
4:30pm, Join us for a reading and conversation at Opalka Gallery.
7:30pm, Delany will lecture at UAlbany’s downtown campus in Page Hall, 135 Western Ave.
FRI, February 22, 6-8pm: Exhibition Reception, featuring DJ Trumastr
THUR, April 11, 5:30pm: Curators’ Tour
The 15th Annual Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition
May 3 through June 8, 2019
FRI, May 3, 5pm to 7pm: Opening Reception
The Annual BFA Exhibition offers a glimpse of the best of what the Sage College of Albany’s Art+Design BFA programs have to offer: Fine Art, Photography, Interior + Spatial Design and Graphic + Media Design. This year the following students were selected to exhibit their work:
The 14th Annual BFA Exhibition
May 4, 2018 through June 9, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, May 4, 5-7 pm
This annual showcase features work by seniors in the Sage College of Albany Art + Design BFA programs: Fine Art, Photography, Interior + Spatial Design and Graphic + Media Design. The Annual BFA Exhibition offers a glimpse of the best of what the BFA programs at Sage have to offer.
- Hannah Akots, Graphic + Media Design
- Afton Beattie, Interior + Spatial Design
- Nitish Bhardwaj, Interior + Spatial Design
- Erin Cahill, Graphic + Media Design
- Emma Dickinson, Graphic + Media Design
- Hannah Fisk, Graphic + Media Design
- Jami Frosell, Graphic + Media Design
- Allison Havens, Graphic + Media Design
- Kylie Heusel, Graphic + Media Design
- Emily Hill, Interior + Spatial Design
- Khidr Joseph, Photography
- Tai Lopez, Painting & Drawing
- Mia Murphy, Graphic + Media Design
- James Reeves, Graphic + Media Design
- Ayleia Shields, Photography
- Thaddeus Sipe, Graphic + Media Design
- Brittany Trayah, Graphic + Media Design
- Alaudeen Umar, Graphic + Media Design
- Leah von Fricken, Graphic + Media Design
In The Little Gallery in Rathbone Hall:
[email protected]: Photography
Reception: May 11, 5 to 6:30 pm
The 40th Annual Photo Regional: Effects That Aren’t Special
Guest Curator: Tim Davis
March 15 to April 22, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, March 16, 6 – 8 pm
Curator Tour & Lecture: Thursday, March 15, 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm
Student Reception: Tuesday, March 27, 5-7 pm
Practice What You Teach: The Sage College of Albany Art + Design Faculty Show
January 16 to February 24, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, February 2, 6 – 8 pm with
performances by Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company throughout the gallery starting at 6:30 pm
Exhibition Tour: Thursday, February 8, 5:00 pm
Student Reception: Tuesday, January 23, 5-7 pm
Paper Is Part of the Picture: Strathmore Paper and the Evolution of American Graphic Design
October 3 – December 15
Opening Reception: Friday, October 6, 6 – 8 pm
Curator’s Talk with Paul Shaw: October 26, 6:30 pm
Exhibition Tour with Chris Harrold: November 3, 6:00 pm
Artist talk with Seymour Chwast: November 3, 7:30 pm
Paper Is Part of the Picture is an exhibition, curated by Paul Shaw, about the evolution of paper promotion over the course of the past 125 years as seen through the archives of the Strathmore Paper Company.
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.
Among the designers on display are such luminaries as Will Bradley, T.M. Cleland, W.A. Dwiggins, Lucian Bernhard, Lester Beall, Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast and Marian Bantjes.
Paper is Part of the Picture | Strathmore Paper and the Evolution of American Graphic Design
By Paul Shaw
Edited by Judie Gilmore and Amy Griffin
20 pages, $20 in gallery, $24 online (includes shipping and handling)
Paper is a substrate. It can be appreciated for its texture, its rattle, its pliability and its color. But for paper to truly come to life, it must become a surface for the addition of words and images.
Although this seems obvious today, in the 1890s American papermakers promoted their papers principally for their printing, folding and mailing abilities. That all changed in 1895 when Horace A. Moses, founder of the paper company that would later become Strathmore, commissioned famed American designer Will Bradley to create a sample book for the Strathmore Deckle Edge Book Paper. Bradley understood that paper was an integral part of printed design, and his innovative promotions marked the beginning of a fascinating partnership between Strathmore and artists, designers and advertising professionals. The notion that “Paper is Part of the Picture,” a slogan coined by Strathmore in 1921, has embodied the company’s promotional efforts for over a century.
Many of these promotional efforts along with numerous sample books survive as The Strathmore Archive at Mohawk. Collectively they represent a rich repository of graphic artifacts that provide a new perspective on the past 125 years of American graphic design. They are also a reminder that, even in our digital era, much design remains physical and tactile.
This catalog is printed as a portfolio with 19 unbound leaves featuring text by Paul Shaw on one side and reproductions of artwork by Lester Beall, Simms Taback, W.A. Dwiggins, Will Bradley and more.
August 15 – September 9
Opening reception: Friday, September 1, 6 – 8 pm
Kathryn Field’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the county and in Sydney, Australia. Last fall, her commissioned sculpture “Celebration” was installed in the Shea Learning Center on the campus of Russell Sage College in Troy, a gift from Donna Robinson Esteves, Russell Sage College alumna and member of the The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees.
We present this exhibition in honor of Susan C. Scrimshaw, PhD, who stepped down in June 2017 after serving as President of The Sage Colleges since 2008.
The 13th Annual Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition
May 5 – June 17, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 5-7 pm
This annual showcase features work by seniors in the Sage College of Albany Art + Design BFA programs: Fine Art, Photography, Interior Design and Graphic + Media Design. The Annual BFA Exhibition offers a glimpse of the best of the best of what the BFA programs at Sage have to offer.
The students included in this year’s exhibit are:
18th Annual High School Regional Juried Art Exhibition
March 22 – April 23, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 24, 5-8 pm
The Opalka Gallery is pleased to host the 18th Annual High School Regional Juried Art Exhibition presenting artwork by students from 20 regional high schools. The exhibit runs Wednesday, March 22 through Sunday, April 23. At a reception on Friday, March 24, Juror and Sage College of Albany Dean Jean Dahlgren noted the impressive talent on display and the difficulty of being able to only choose 1/3 of the work submitted.
On the jury panel, Dahlgren was joined by Daniel Goodwin, artist and Head of Photography and Related Media in the Department of Art and Art History at the University at Albany, and Elizabeth Greenberg, Director, Opalka Gallery at The Sage Colleges.
Participating schools and districts:
The Albany Academies, Albany City Schools, Averill Park, Ballston Spa, Bethlehem, Burnt-Hills-Ballston Lake, Cairo-Durham, Doane Stuart, East Greenbush, Emma Willard, Greenville, Guilderland, Ichabod Crane, Mohonasen, Niskayuna, North Colonie, Schenectady, Schodack, Scotia-Glenville, Shenendehowa, Voorheesville.
Awards were presented to the following:
The Sage College of Albany Dean’s Award: Leah Paulson, Averill Park
The Opalka Gallery Award: Malika Umar, The Albany Academies
The Sage College Department of Art+Design Award: Cecelia Lu, North Colonie
The Albany Center Gallery Membership Award: Emily Ma, Emma Willard
The Lori Tansky Juror’s Award for 3d Art: Alexis Graham, Ichabod Crane
Alexis Ebanks, North Colonie
Jackson Lalor, Bethlehem
Josh Langford, Ballston Spa
Morgan Moscinski, Averill Park
Gravity and Light: Caroline Ramersdorfer Sculpture, 1985-2016
December 2, 2016 – March 5, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, December 2, 6-8 pm
Born in Austria, schooled in Paris and Italy and now living in upstate New York, Caroline Ramersdorfer is influenced by a sense of place. Starting with huge blocks of marble, granite and other stone, Ramersdorfer carves intricate interiors as if from the inside out, harnessing light and the material’s innate properties. She works in contrasts—smooth and rough, architectural and organic—to create sculptures that simultaneously appear grounded and weightless.
Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders
August 23 – November 13, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 8, 6-8 pm; lecture by artist, 5:00 pm
Curator’s Tour: Thursday, September 29, 5:30 pm
Siona Benjamin’s boldly colorful work reflects her transition between worlds as she attempts to create a dialogue between the ancient and the modern. Originally from Mumbai, now living in the US, Benjamin holds MFA degrees in both painting and theater set design. Her multimedia work reflects her background as a Jewish Indian woman raised in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India and educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools. Inspired by traditions as diverse as Indian miniature painting, Byzantine icons, illuminated manuscripts, and American Pop Art, she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic that includes cultural, religious, and feminist narratives.
Featuring over 80 works, this survey will include examples from her early series, Finding Home, begun in the 1990s, on up through her current project, Exodus: I See Myself in You, about the struggles of Syrian refugees. Her heritage informs her practice; she weaves themes of identity, place, and belonging into everything she does. Many of her figures, such as the female characters in Finding Home, have blue skin. It’s a color Benjamin says she picked for its neutrality to represent her “skin color as being a Jewish woman of color, of being the other, of being transcultural, of belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”
The show will also feature an interactive installation, My Magic Carpet, a gold tent 11 feet in diameter into which viewers will be invited to recline.
The recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, Benjamin has exhibited widely and has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Art in America.
Artist’s website: www.artsiona.com
The 12th Annual Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition
May 6 – June 18, 2016
This annual showcase features work by seniors in the Sage College of Albany Art+Design BFA programs: Fine Art, Photography, Interior Design and Graphic + Media Design. All seniors take a Capstone class which focuses on a personal direction in the major in preparation for this exhibition. Selections are made by a jury of faculty and the Opalka Gallery director. As such, the Annual BFA Exhibition offers a glimpse of the best of the best of what the BFA programs at Sage have to offer.
- Diana Ayala Bedoya
- Sasha Barnes
- Anthony Cinque
- Caitlyn Coon
- Oliver DeRosier
- Annemarie Dolfi
- Wayne Duffy
- Jacob Esposito
- Alyssa Gullotto
- Gabrielle Hier
- Adam Hitchcock
- Michael Hotchkiss
- Monika Hotchkiss
- Anas Jamali
- Meradith Kill
- Jessica Lucia
- Sydney Lussier
- Ben Neadle
- Mark Patti
- Sara Pisarski
- Michaela Schumaci
Kate Teale: The Housed
January 26, 2016 – April 10, 2016
London-born, New York City-based artist Kate Teale makes atmospheric paintings and large-scale drawings of waves, bedsheets, and windows. She works in oil, watercolor and graphite to create images that float between figuration and abstraction. Whether with smaller works on canvas or large-scale site-specific drawings, one of which she’ll create in the gallery, she mines imagery that swings from the private to public, specific to universal but all loaded with meaning.
Teale was educated at Oxford University and City and Guilds of London Art School before receiving her MFA from Hunter College/CUNY. Her first solo show in NYC was at Spring Gallery in 1996 and she’s since shown at AIR Gallery, Monya Rowe Gallery, Jim Kempner Fine Art, Kristen Frederickson Contemporary Art, the Richmond Center for the Visual Arts at Western Michigan University, and Hampden Gallery at UMass, Amherst among other places. She’s the recipient of a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and a NYFA Fellow. She’s also a writer, curator and founder of the Big&Small/Casual Gallery in Long Island City.
“The Housed” travels to Opalka Gallery from Western Michigan’s University’s Richmond Center for Visual Arts where it was curated by Don Desmett.
Published by Western Michigan University with essays by Lucy Lippard and Sarah Schmerler and an interview with the artist by curator Don Desmett.
From Concept to Console:
Art and Aesthetics in Video Game Design
September 4 – December 13, 2015
Curator’s Tours: 5:30 p.m.
Friday, October 2
Friday, November 6
Thursday, December 3
Video games have come a long way since Pong; the video game is an artistic medium all its own now. “From Concept to Console” looks at art in video games, pulling back the curtain to reveal the process of how it is conceived and created. It’s an examination of the creativity, diversity, and wide range of artistry that spans many disciplines in a medium that is, in some ways, still in its infancy.
“Our goal from the outset was to move past the outdated question of whether video games can be considered art because we believe that, emphatically, they can be. Instead, we wanted to highlight games that we think are pushing the medium forward – those that display the highest levels of artistry – and the artists who contribute so much to the final product,” notes co-curator and Opalka Director Elizabeth Greenberg.
The seven games from six different studios appearing in the exhibit reflect the spirit of conceptual problem solving and aesthetic beauty in a multitude of ways that embody the range of talent, skills, interests as well as the cultural backgrounds of the artists who created them.
Though new artistic territory in the technological age is being explored here, the aesthetic sensibilities are grounded firmly in the past. Influential painters such as Salvador Dali, John Singer Sargent, Otto Dix and Gustav Klimt inform the artists and much of their work makes use of traditional drawing, painting theory, sculpture and even origami. “Gamer or not, everyone will be able to appreciate the range and beauty of the works on display as well as the talent of the artists who made them,” says co-curator Edward Ticson.
Perhaps what is unique about the art in these games is that it is not intended to be a passive viewing experience but an interactive experience that engages viewers. With so much having already been explored in the visual arts, “Swap Force” concept artist Dave Phillips asserts that “interactive art is the new frontier.”
Some of the best work and artists of the last ten years will be showcased, including the singular talents behind the games Machinarium, Botanicula, Skylanders: SWAP Force, The Dream Machine, The Unfinished Swan, Transistor, and Tengami.