Artist Lecture Series

Co-sponsored by the Opalka Gallery and the Department of Art + Design.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Melissa Thorne

Tuesday, January 31, 6:30 p.m.

Melissa Thorne’s work addresses multiple formats, including paintings on canvas and paper, and large-scale site-specific wall drawings in ink and watercolor. Her paintings have been shown widely in solo and group exhibitions, including at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and University Museum at SUNY/Albany. She is represented by Devin Borden Gallery in Houston, TX, and Galerie Anke Schmidt in Cologne, Germany.

Nina Roefaro Lomeo

February 28, 6:30 pm

Nina Roefaro LomeoNina Roefaro Lomeo is an artist and designer best known for her hands-on work with detailed and large-scale projects across New York City and the East Coast. Her signature work focuses on interior-architecture and furniture design.

Nina is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Syracuse University, where she holds a degree in Interior Design. She routinely teaches and lectures at the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, The New York School of Interior Design, Syracuse University, Baruch College and Sage College of Albany. She is also a member of the SUMMA mentoring program.

Terry James Conrad

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 p.m.

Terry James Conrad is a printmaker and educator living in Round Lake, NY and interested in the communal and social aspects of printmaking. The 2015-16 Grant Wood Fellow in Printmaking at the University of Iowa, he has been awarded several other residencies and grants. He’s exhibited widely in solo and two-person shows, as well as group exhibitions. He holds a BFA from Alfred University and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Julie Casper Roth

Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.

Julie Casper Roth is an award-winning filmmaker and video artist interested in underdogs, paradox, and the oft-unseen. A 2008 NYFA Fellow in Video, a 2012 CAA Professional Development Fellowship recipient, and a two-time finalist for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, Casper Roth embraces narrative, moving between experimental, documentary and fictional modes. She is currently at work on a documentary about indigent burial in the United States.

Film Series

Persepolis (2013)

Thursday, February 2, 6:30 p.m.

Based on Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, Persepolis is the story of a precocious young girl living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. “I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists,” Satrapi says. Nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, the film was widely acclaimed. (96 mins.)

Cameraperson (2016)

Thursday, March 2, 6:30 p.m.

Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera. The NY Times called it “…transfixing. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before….”(102 mins.)

1984 (1984)

Screening with panel discussion

Tuesday, April 4, 6:00 p.m.


In the totalitarian state of Oceania, conformity is required, pleasure is illegal, and lives are dominated by fear. Workers are under constant surveillance by the Thought Police, and all must pledge total loyalty to Oceania’s leader, Big Brother. Winston Smith (John Hurt) toils away in the records office of the Ministry of Truth during the day, only to return to a squalid existence at home, dulled only by government-issued liquor. On April 4, 1984, in a small but perilous act of resistance, he begins keeping a forbidden diary. If found out, he risks arrest, torture, and vaporization. (1 hr. 53 mins)

Note: This film is being screened as part of the National Screening Day of 1984 to initiate community conversations about truth and human rights in our current political climate. Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Dr. Steven A. Leibo, Sage Professor, History and Society, and the Sherman David Spector Sage Professor in the Humanities; Dr. David Salomon, Sage Professor, English; Dr. Harvey Strum, Professor, History and Public Affairs and Public Policy Director.

Beauty is Embarrassing (2012) 

Thursday, April 13, 6:30 p.m.

Beauty Is Embarrassing

A funny, irreverent, joyful, inspiring documentary about Wayne White. White, who found early success as one of the creators and designers on the show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” has created some of the most iconic images in pop culture and found success in the fine art world, too. The film reminds us that we should all follow our passions–it’s those creative impulses that lead us where we need to go. (88 mins.)

Sign Painters (2013) 

Thursday, May 11, 6:30 p.m.

We see them almost every day without a second thought. Weathered by time, distinct characteristics shining through, hand-painted signs are a product of a fascinating 150 year-old American history. What was once a common job has now become a highly specialized trade, a unique craft struggling with technological advances. Sign Painters stylistically explores this unacknowledged art form. (81 mins.)

Other Events

PechaKucha Night

Friday, February 10, 6:30 p.m. snacks, 7 p.m. talks


Short talks by interesting people. PechaKucha is a format in which speakers present 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Join us for an always fun and engaging evening. Free!

Jill Adams, “My writing practice and my mother’s death”
Shawn Allan, “You’re learning Dutch? … But why???”
John Chaplin on “Building in Wood”
Michael Chrisner on “Stealing Ideas and Honoring Influences in Graphic Design”
David Hochfelder & Ann Pfau on “The Faces of Urban Redevelopment: Albany’s South Mallby the 98 Acres in Albany Project”
Natasha Holmes on her art
Jim MacNaughton & Nate Wilson, on their experiences of seeing the band DISCHARGE on their disastrous 1986 tour
Libby Post on “Advocacy: Now More than Ever”
Dan Smith, “Radical Politics and Labor Organization: Leon Davis and the Pharmacists’ Union of Greater New York”Joe Ullman on “Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers”
Lisa Vines on her collection of shopping lists
Charmaine Wijeyesinghe “Looking at the How of Racial Identity”

Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company

Friday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m.

After three highly successful site specific performances at the Opalka Gallery in the last four years, ESDC has been invited to create a new performance in relation to Austrian-born sculptor Caroline Ramersdorfer’s current exhibit, Gravity + Light: Caroline Ramersdorfer | Sculptures 1985-2016.

The performances by ESDC will consist of a premiere, entitled At Any Given Moment, created by Artistic Director Ellen Sinopoli and her dancers, set to music by Evelyn Glennie, as well as two current repertory pieces, Auriga and Tumble, brought to new life for the gallery space.

Exhibition walk-through with artist Caroline Ramersdorfer

Friday, March 3 at 5:30 pm.

Before the dance performance by Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company on Friday, please join us as Caroline Ramersdorfer takes us on a tour of her exhibit, “Gravity & Light: Caroline Ramersdorfer | Sculpture 1985-2016.”