art

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Hyde Collection, an art museum in Glens Falls, New York, has expanded to accommodate the collection of a Schenectady architect. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the new gallery is dedicated to modern art.

The Woodstock Film Festival’s 5th annual Spirit of Woodstock celebrates the roots of the Hudson Valley — its natural beauty, iconoclasts, art, culture, innovation, and the river that flows through and connects it.

This year they honor two local luminaries who have embodied those qualities — John Hall and Alf Evers. The event takes place on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 in Woodstock from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Joining us this morning, we welcome the festival’s Meira Blaustein to tell us more.

JOE WARDWELL - HELLO AMERICA: 40 HITS FROM THE 50 STATES at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

  This Sunday, May 28th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will open Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building, to the public. This beyond-grand-opening doubles the vast museum’s exhibition space and features long-term exhibitions and collaborations with global leaders in contemporary art.

In this audio tour, MASS MoCA Curator Denise Markonish tells us about work by Barbara Ernst Prey, Louise Bourgeois, Metabolic Studio/Optics Division, Robert Rauschenberg, Dawn DeDeaux, Lonnie Holley, Laurie Anderson, Gunnar Schonbeck, Mary Lum, Janice Kerbel, and James Turrell; Allie Foradas describes work by Jenny Holzer, and James Wardwell tells us about "Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States." 

MASS MoCA's daylong celebration to mark the opening of Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building - including welcoming remarks from museum director Joseph Thompson; a Nick Cave Soundsuit performance, Brooklyn United Marching Band and CAKE in concert on Joe’s Field.

The production of culture was once the domain of artists, but beginning in the early 1900s, the emerging fields of public relations, advertising and marketing transformed the way the powerful communicate with the rest of us. A century later, the tools are more sophisticated than ever, the onslaught more relentless. 

In Culture as Weapon, acclaimed curator and critic Nato Thompson reveals how institutions use art and culture to ensure profits and constrain dissent--and shows us that there are alternatives.

Building 6 (Robert W. Wilson Building) at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

MASS MoCA opens its newly renovated Building 6 this Sunday, giving the North Adams Campus – catch this - more gallery space than any other contemporary art museum in the country. The campus has always been big in scale and rambling. Now, we get more of a great thing.

Building 6 adds 105-Thousand square feet of gallery space – consisting of three floors of galleries, production studios, virtual reality galleries, event and performance space.

An all-day celebration will celebrate the grand opening for the new building, which will showcase installations by art-world stars such as Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, and James Turrell. Museum director Joe Thompson is here to tell us more. 

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill is now open for its 2017 season and features two new landmark exhibitions. 

“The Parlors” is an immersive installation that combines technology and meticulous historic restoration of the two parlors of Cole's 1815 Home, the rooms where America's first major art movement was born. It features a stunning discovery revealed during the restoration: the earliest-known, interior decorative painting by an American artist. 

Also, “Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills” is an exhibition of Catskills paintings of Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), a leading member of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, who credited Cole’s works with stimulating his interest in landscape painting. Gifford grew up in Hudson, and this is the first such show of this magnitude to take place in the region that inspired Cole and Gifford.

Betsy Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, joins us this morning to discuss the opening these two exhibitions and their importance to the history of the region. 

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper's dream forever, and now that senior year is halfway over, she's never felt more ready.

But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper's sister's tyranny thwarts every attempt at happiness for the Perish family. Piper's art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much?

Piper Perish is a new novel by Kayla Cagan.

Photograph of a portion of Tanja Hollander's "Are You Really My Friend?" at MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA's Instagram


  How often do you get a friend request on Facebook from someone whose name you don’t recognize? You have mutual friends. You check those names -- and then you aren’t sure exactly who some of those people are either - or how you know them. Imagine telling someone 15 years ago that you have friends you don’t know -- and not in that “a stranger is a just a friend you haven’t met yet” optimistic way.

Tanja Hollander’s new exhibition Are You Really My Friend? is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The show explores, through portraits and paraphernalia, what friendship means to Tanja and what friendship means today - in the age of social media and easy surface relationships. She set out to connect with and photograph her 626 Facebook friends.

I spoke with Tanja and curator Denise Markonish at the museum recently and began by asking Tanja when and where she had the idea for the project.

  In Identity Unknown, Donna Seaman brings to life seven forgotten female artists, among the best of their day: Gertrude Abercrombie, with her dark, surreal paintings and friendships with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins; Bay Area self-portraitist Joan Brown; Ree Morton, with her witty, oddly beautiful constructions; Loïs Mailou Jones of the Harlem Renaissance; Lenore Tawney, who combined weaving and sculpture when art and craft were considered mutually exclusive; Christina Ramberg, whose unsettling works drew on pop culture and advertising; and Louise Nevelson, an art-world superstar in her heyday but omitted from recent surveys of her era.

Donna Seaman is Editor, Adult Books, Booklist, a member of the advisory council for the American Writers Museum, and a recipient of the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. 

She will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck on Saturday, February 25.

 Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection is the first exhibition at the Clark to focus on the Institute’s permanent collection of Japanese prints. The exhibition spans more than a century of Japanese color woodblock printing as represented by three generations of artists who produced prints from the 1830s to the 1970s.

We went to The Clark in Williamstown recently to check out the exhibition with Jay A. Clarke, the Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the museum.

J.M.W. Turner is one of the most important figures in Western art, and his visionary work paved the way for a revolution in landscape painting. Over the course of his lifetime, Turner strove to liberate painting from an antiquated system of patronage. Bringing a new level of expression and color to his canvases, he paved the way for the modern artist.

Franny Moyle studied Art History at St John's College, Cambridge. She enjoyed a career in arts programming at the BBC that culminated in her becoming the corporation's first Commissioner for Arts and Culture. She is now a freelance executive producer and writer and lives in east London. Her new book is Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner.

Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. From 1984 until 2016, he was also the editor in chief of Southwest Review. He has written many books and essays about English and American poetry. For more than a quarter century he has been a regular contributor to the Leisure & Arts pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Drawing on more than six decades' worth of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, Willard Spiegelman reflects with candid humor and sophistication on growing old.Senior Moments is a series of discrete essays that, when taken together, constitute the life of a man who, despite Western cultural notions of aging as something to be denied, overcome, and resisted, has continued to relish the simplest of pleasures: reading, looking at art, talking, and indulging in occasional fits of nostalgia while also welcoming what inevitably lies ahead.

Danielle Krysa is the writer/curator behind the contemporary art website The Jealous Curator, and the author of Creative Block and Collage.

Her new book is Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative.

Kenneth Clark's thirteen-part 1969 television series, Civilisation, established him as a globally admired figure. Clark was prescient in making this series: the upheavals of the century, the Cold War among others, convinced him of the power of barbarism and the fragility of culture. He would burnish his image with two memoirs that artfully omitted the more complicated details of his life.

Now, drawing on a vast, previously unseen archive, James Stourton reveals the formidable intellect and the private man behind the figure who effortlessly dominated the art world for more than half a century: his privileged upbringing, his interest in art history beginning at Oxford, his remarkable early successes.

At 27 he was keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean in Oxford and at 29, the youngest director of The National Gallery. During the war he arranged for its entire collection to be hidden in slate mines in Wales and organized packed concerts of classical music at the Gallery to keep up the spirits of Londoners during the bombing. WWII helped shape his belief that art should be brought to the widest audience, a social and moral position that would inform the rest of his career.

In his new show at The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, N.Y., “Kings & Queens of Late Night,” running through January 2nd, “recovering lawyer” Geoffrey Stein paints collage portraits of an all-star cast of network and cable comedy and punditry.

Stein’s Lionheart Gallery lineup of the late night heroes who wield wit and humor like surgical scalpels includes Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Samantha Bee, Larry Wilmore, Bill Maher, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman.

Examples from this exhibit include Jon Stewart’s portrait made with the 9/11 Responders’ act he championed, Amy Schumer done with her cousin Chuck Schumer’s Gun Control bill, Jimmy Fallon created from thank you cards, and John Oliver done with USA Today and the London Tube Map.

Stein, who lives and works in New York City, received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London and has been painting full-time since 2000. 

Breathing Lights

Nov 23, 2016
Breathing Lights

This month and last, nightly from 6pm – 10pm, Breathing Lights has been illuminating the windows of hundreds of vacant buildings in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Breathing Lights looks to transform abandoned structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth. 

Concentrated in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, Breathing Lights was a winner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge which engages mayors to collaborate with artists on developing innovative public art projects that enrich communities and attract visitors.

But even after the closure, there will be months of programming and events to continue the conversation surrounding the issues. To tell us more – we welcome project architect Barb Nelson, Lead Artist Adam Frelin and Judie Gilmore, the project director. 


  The exhibition The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design, organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville is currently on view at The Albany Institute of History and Art through December 31st.

 

In the show, the chair is experienced not only as a functional item, but as art -- with more than 40 unique chairs on view.

 

Public Relations Associate, Aine Leader-Nagy and Chief Curator Doug McCombs take us on a tour.

Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the Hanna-Barbera imprint. Creating scores of popular series such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, and The Smurfs, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse.

Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning is the first museum exhibition on the world’s most successful animation partnership. It opens tomorrow at the Norman Rockwell Museum and runs through May 29th.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt (launching 11/15), joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers.

Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts.

Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims; two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates the Berkshires.

We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

The Tang Teaching Museum on the campus of Skidmore College in Saratoga will be having an Election Night Extravaganza - a full evening of dialogue, activities, and refreshments with live coverage of the voting results. 

The event is co-sponsored by Skidmore College clubs Democracy Matters, College Republicans, and College Democrats. This event is part of the exhibition A More Perfect Union and is free and open to the public which runs from 7 pm to midnight.

To tell us more – we welcome Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, and curator of A More Perfect Union. Minita Sanghvi, an assistant professor in Management and Business at Skidmore College who specializes in political marketing and issues of gender and power. And Ron Seyb is here, an associate professor of political science, who specializes in the American presidency, the U.S. Congress, political psychology, and the media and politics.

Capital region resident Patrick Harbron began his career photographing the luminaries of rock and roll. Rock and Roll Icons: Photographs by Patrick Harbron is an exhibition at the Albany Institute of History & Art taken from Harbron’s body of concert and portrait photography of influential musicians and groups of the 1970’s and 1980’s, captured at pivotal moments in their careers.

The exhibition features many photographs that have never been published or exhibited. Harbron photographed artists such as Blondie, Rush, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Elvis Costello early in their careers. He followed these artists to prominence and others that were already well known including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Queen, The Who, Genesis, KISS, U2, Aerosmith, and Prince.

The exhibition will include Harbron’s collection of posters and ephemera gathered throughout his career along with guitars borrowed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The exhibit runs from November 5th through February 12th. 

Nick Cave "Until" at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke


  Nick Cave is an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. He is best known for his Soundsuits: wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and otherworldly.

In his new work, “Until,” Cave uses MASS MoCA’s football field-sized space to create his largest installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, which will make viewers feel as if they have entered a sensory tapestry, like stepping directly inside the belly of one of his iconic Soundsuits.

For the piece Nick Cave and his curators and assistants have gathered 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 1 crocodile; 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys -- and so much more.

We visited MASS MoCA during the installation of “Until” - which opened on October 15th and will be on view in North Adams, MA through early September of next year.

Nick Cave and curator Denise Markonish lead us through the exhibition.

  Boston in the 1740s: a bustling port at the edge of the British empire. A boy comes of age in a small wooden house along the Long Wharf, which juts into the harbor, as though reaching for London thousands of miles across the ocean. Sometime in his childhood, he learns to draw.

That boy was John Singleton Copley, who became, by the 1760s, colonial America’s premier painter. His brush captured the faces of his neighbors -- ordinary men like Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams -- who would become the revolutionary heroes of a new United States. Today, in museums across America, Copley’s brilliant portraits evoke patriotic fervor and rebellious optimism.

The artist, however, did not share his subjects’ politics. Copley’s nation was Britain; his capital, London. When rebellion sundered Britain’s empire, both kin and calling determined the painter’s allegiances. He sought the largest canvas for his talents and the safest home for his family. So, by the time the United States declared its independence, Copley and his kin were in London. He painted America’s revolution from a far shore, as Britain’s American War.

His story is told in Jane Kamensky's new book, A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley.

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, writer, activist, and photographer.

In his new book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, he shares real life stories of late-night parties; backstage anecdotes; cross-country road-trips with his dog, Honey; and poignant memories of his life, loves, family, fellow actors, and friends. 

  B. A. Shapiro brilliantly captured the world of art-theft and forgery in her critically acclaimed best-selling novel, The Art Forger.

Shapiro’s latest is The Muralist, a story about the birth of abstract-impressionism set against the backdrop of The Great Depression and the eve of World War II.

  Tomorrow at 8pm, film composer and singer-songwriter Peter Salett and illustrator Michael Arthur will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams to perform Suite for the Summer Rain and Dance of the Yellow Leaf --two related song-cycles that will be accentuated and elevated through a collaboration of the artists that melds the live music performance with live illustration projected behind the band.

The O+ Festival is a celebration of art and music that creates a bridge to access health care for artists. O+ fosters complete physical, mental and social well-being by connecting artists directly with a coalition of health care providers and health resources, in a shared vision to nurture the individual and the community.

O+ was founded in 2010 in Kingston, NY – the idea has caught on and festivals have now taken place in cities all across the country. This year’s festival in Kingston takes place October 7th, 8th, and 9th.

To tell us about this year's highlights – we are joined by: Nurse-in-charge Shannon Light, pop-up clinic director; Rocket Scientist Micah Blumenthal, creative director and co-curator of music; and Art Witch Denise Orzo, art director.

Barn painting by Tom Kerr
Tom Kerr

Here are some numbers for you: It is the 26th Anniversary of the Agricultural Stewardship Association and on October 8th, ASA will present their 15th Annual Landscapes for Landsake Art Sale & Exhibition.

The event is a fundraiser to support local farmland conservation, the show features thirty-one artists whose work is inspired by the region's working landscapes. It takes place in the historic barn at Maple Ridge in the hamlet of Coila, just west of the Village of Cambridge.

Teri Ptacek is Executive Director of the Agricultural Stewardship Association and she joins us along with Dave Horn, a former Board member and Board Chair. Dave was one of the founders of the exhibit and has been critical to the success of the show as an active volunteer for 15 years.

  Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado is the current exhibition at The Clark in Williamstown, MA.

The exhibition features twenty-eight Old Master paintings from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid by Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, and many others. The exhibition explores the role of the nude in European painting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the collecting and display practices of the Spanish royalty.

We are taken on a tour of the exhibition by The Clark's Kathleen Morris, Sylvia and Leonard Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions and curator of decorative arts; and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, interim curator of paintings and sculpture.

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