By David Brickman
It’s entirely appropriate that the final exhibition organized and installed by outgoing Director Sharon Bates at the Albany International Airport Gallery expresses the value of its title, “Staying Power.” Bates has the same qualities as the 11 venerable artists she has assembled for this excellent, elegant show – and she will no doubt amply demonstrate that in the next chapter of her life, when she sets forth in retirement as a full-time artist.
Her swan song is a paean to perseverance, a celebration of agelessness, a fascinating collection of excellence and diversity. The artists presented here have but two things in common: They are all located in the greater Capital Region; and they all have been at it for quite some time. Oh, and they’re all darn good. Naturally, I have my favorites among them, but I am reluctant to sully the unified purpose of this show by picking and choosing.
Instead, here’s an overview:
One feature of the show (which will hang through Monday, January 2, 2017) is a series of video interviews with the artists that has been placed on monitors in several spots throughout the gallery, as well as in a larger projection room. It underscores the purpose of the show to not only display the work these artists have created, but also to plumb their minds and their motives, as they discuss matters within the lifelong pursuit of an artistic career.