Art at APL

Opalka Gallery is excited to partner with The Albany Public Library in the Art at APL program, a curated fine art exhibition program at the Pine Hills Branch. In two exhibitions each year, the program integrates professional artwork into public spaces within the library to enrich the library experience
and introduce patrons to art by regional and national artists. Art at APL is funded in part by the Friends & Foundation of Albany Public Library. Ask a librarian if you want to join the mailing list, get a list of artwork in the current show, or for other questions about the program.

Opalka Gallery is an innovative exhibition space on the campus of the Sage College of Albany (only 1.5 miles from Pine Hills) that showcases outstanding contemporary art and design from national and international artists. An important part of the cultural life in our Capital Region, the gallery hosts lectures, films, performances and other events in conjunction with five annual exhibitions.

Library Hours:
Monday 12-8 pm
Tuesday 10 am-6 pm
Wednesday 12-8 pm
Thursday 10 am-6 pm
Friday 12-6 pm
Saturday 10 am-5 pm
Sunday Closed


Art at APL is supported in part by the John D. Picotte Family Foundation.


In Residence: Albany Barn at APL
June 7 – November 8, 2024

Ashley Busby | Paula Drysdale | Frazell
Lexi Hannah | Lori Kochanski | Amanda Moore
James Paulsen | Megan Ruch | Kim Tateo

Albany Public Library (APL) and Opalka Gallery celebrate the latest Art at APL exhibition, “In Residence: Albany Barn at APL,” with an opening reception on Friday, June 7, from 6 pm to 7:30pm at the Pine Hills Branch library. The reception is hosted by the Friends & Foundation of APL, and includes light refreshments and music by the Michael Lamkin Trio. The art opening is free and open to the public.

This show presents work from a select group of artists-in-residence at Albany Barn in Albany, Electric City Barn in Schenectady, and Artistry Studios in Schenectady. Mediums include stained glass, fiber, collage, drawing, and painting. Alongside the artwork, artists have included brief statements about their valuable relationship with the programs, whether it is maintaining a studio, or living/working. “In Residence: Albany Barn at APL” features artwork by Ashley Busby, Paula Drysdale Frazell, Lexi Hannah, Lori Kochanski, Amanda Moore, James Paulsen, Megan Ruch, and Kim Tateo.

“At Opalka collaboration in support of artists is a key goal, so partnering with the Albany Public Library and Albany Barn is a perfect fit. We hope visitors enjoy learning about these artists, and the Albany Barn, Inc.’s important contributions to our region’s creative life, as much as we did,” noted Amy Griffin, director of Opalka Gallery.

What started with one location—the Albany Barn—has now grown to three buildings that stretch from Albany to Schenectady. They all provide valuable space and community for artists to continue the development of their work. Albany Barn, Inc., on 2nd St. in Albany provides live/work studio space as well as work-only, private studio space. Electric City Barn on Craig St. in Schenectady offers co-working space. And Artistry Studios on Eastern Ave. in Schenectady provides private studio space.

According to Christie Rose, site director of the Albany Barn, “Albany Barn, Inc., is dedicated to developing the infrastructure and culture necessary to support a thriving and equitable creative economy in the communities we serve. By providing personal and professional development opportunities to artists and emerging creative businesses, we’ve created a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment to produce, share, and sell creative work. Residency options include subsidized live/work apartments, private work-only studios, and project-based youth and small business residencies in our maker space.”





Dream Work, 2023, by Victoria van der Laan

Secondhand and repurposed textiles, stainless steel wire

December 1, 2023- December 1, 2024

Conceived with themes of interconnectedness (weaving/knotting/draping), diversity (of form, color, and size), and energy (bold colors and movement) in mind, Dream Work is a joyous manifestation of abundance and belonging for all. Each of the elements of the work was individually created and intuitively brought together with hand stitches to embody a vision of community care and support that mirrors the sanctuary of the library.

This installation is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Arts Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of The Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Arts Center of the Capital Region. 

Free art workshop! Quilt Collage with Victoria van der Laan

Pine Hills Library, 517 Western Avenue, Albany, NY

December 7, 4:00 to 4:45pm

Please register at this website. Registration closes Dec 7:

[For Ages 7+] Gee’s Bend is a small African American community in rural Alabama that has become famous for the stunning and unique quilts made by generations of women there. Learn about the Gee’s Bend quiltmakers and create your own collage note cards inspired by their bold and colorful quilts.

This program is presented by Victoria van der Laan, Art at APL’s featured artist, and it is sponsored by a New York State Council on the Arts grant in partnership with Opalka Gallery. Art at APL is generously sponsored by the Friends and Foundation of APL.




December 1, 2023- May 11, 2024


“10 Exhibitions to See in Upstate New York This March,” Hyperallergic, Taliesin Thomas. Read here.

Opening reception Friday, December 1, 2023, 6:00 to 7:30pm

Cyndy Barbone | Johnathan DeSousa | Kathy Greenwood

Lori Lawrence | Joy Muller-McCoola | Mark Olshansky

Jess Stapf | Barbara Todd

“Extra/Ordinary” highlights works by contemporary artists whose creations straddle craft and fine art. Artists from the region are using braiding, sewing, quilting, embroidery, felting, tufting, and needlepoint tapestry to expand domestic visual approaches to artmaking. The results mark time, include images of contemporary culture, are full of carefully embellished surfaces commemorating life, and represent a materiality that tricks the eye. 

In Extra/Ordinary, Barbara Todd pays homage to the history of craft with her work, Talking to History (After Center Star with Corner Stars), a quilt completed in black and white, like a memory, identical to an adored colorful historic quilt, “Center Star with Corner Stars.” Kathy Greenwood’s braided rugs gone wild allude to the kind of utilitarian objects women in the late 19th might have made using all of their household fabrics. Here, Greenwood’s titles—Hot Mess, In Labor, and Waste Not—allude to the intensity of domestic production. Cyndy Barbone also refers to “women’s work” by weaving portraits of women she knows personally who are facing various contemporary personal  issues. Joy Muller-McCoola’s felted wool artworks trick the eye with her juxtaposition of soft materials and hard-as-a-rock subject matter. Jess Stapf’s work also interferes with our sense of reality; her soft rug surfaces resemble cloud-filled skies. In the needlework realm, Lori Lawrence and Mark Olshansky embrace repetitive and detailed processes of embroidery and needlepoint tapestry that embellish landscape or abstraction. At 94 years old, Olshansky is the oldest artist in the show, and Johnathan DeSousa is one of the youngest. DeSousa’s work shows a fixation with the digital age. In his sewn assemblages, fabric imprinted with images from the internet are sewn together creating a mashup of narratives. 

Image credit:

Hot Mess 2, by Kathy Greenwood, photo courtesy Beth Mickalonis.





Past Exhibitions


Tag, You’re It!
June 2- Nov. 4, 2023

For APL’s Centennial Anniversary, we invited artists to collaborate on Exquisite Corpse drawings(a unique parlor game started about 100 years ago by the Surrealists)in a show we are calling, Tag, You’re It. 76 artists from the Capital region and beyond, in an orchestrated and “blind” mail exchange, worked together yielding 25 collaborative drawings. Groups of three artists were each assigned a section(“head, torso, legs”) and had to follow a specific mailing schedule. These pieces will be auctioned off in the Fall to fund more ART @ APL programs. Make note of the ones you like! 


Yura Adams, Fern Apfel, Polly Apfelbaum, David Austin, Ever Baldwin, Richard Barlowe, Sharon Bates, David Behl, Judith Braun, Farrell Brickhouse, Donnabelle Casis, Beth Casper, Ashley Norwood Cooper, Pauline Decarmo, Andrew Evans, Jean Feinberg, Rebecca Flis, Peg Foley, Rich Garrison, Danny Goodwin, Kathy Greenwood, Niki Haynes, Andrea Hersh, Juan Hinojosa, Natasha Holmes, Tana Kellner, Jenny Kemp, Anna Kenar, Hedya Klein, Ch