Fence 50 installation view – Photos provided by the Arts Center of the Capital Region
Review by David Brickman
It’s been 50 years, and the Fence Show is still going strong at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. I can remember in the early ’80s hanging the works on the spikes of the wrought-iron fence that gave the show its name, and it retains the wide-open feeling it had then of being a show for the people.
This year’s edition attracted 382 entries from a total of 237 artists, 40 of which were submitted by 33 K-12 students, and as is the tradition, all are on display in a jam-packed salon presentation (as seen in the photo above) through June 27. Such clutter would require a stepladder – and a lot of time – to properly peruse, but that’s what juror Julie Lohnes (curator of Union College’s collections and Mandeville Gallery) must have done in order to choose works for the Fence Select edition of the show and designate the prizes.
Such a democratic enterprise has its pluses and its minuses. The only requirement for inclusion is membership in the ACCR; it appears submissions were limited to two per artist, and I’m guessing there was a size limit – but otherwise, if you brought it, it got in. The result: Everybody gets to participate (yay!) but a fair amount of truly awful work is thereby presented, and even the best work pretty much gets overwhelmed by the swirling mass of media in the show.
Colin Boyd, Arts Center President Chris Marblo and Michael Oatman.
Two Troy artists were the recipients of new, no-strings-attached cash awards that were presented at Wednesday (May 15) night’s gala celebration at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy.
Michael Oatman was honored with the Established Artist Award of $7,500. A faculty member at RPI’s School of Architecture, Oatman is an artist who works primarily in collage (currently on view in the Albany International Airport Gallery’s “Some Assembly required” exhibit) and large-scale installation (including the long-running “All Utopias Fell” at MASS MoCA in North Adams).
Colin Boyd was honored with the Emerging Artist Award of $5,000. A co-founder of Collar Works exhibition space in Troy, Boyd is an artist whose work encompasses sculpture, installations (“Cormorants and the Whale” is on view at the Albany International Airport) and drawing.
The 2013 awards were presented by Arts Center president Chris Marblo and sponsored by EP&M International, with additional funding from Karen & Chet Opalka and the Marcelle Foundation.
Also honored at the gala were David and Katie Haviland for their lifetime commitment to the arts and the Arts Center.
If you’re a regular Nippertown reader, you know that we’re pretty much devoted to two things – the local arts scene and dogs. So we dove right in three years ago when the fine folks at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society asked us to be the honorary chairs of their annual Art Saves Animals fundraiser, and we’ve been working hand-in-hand with them ever since.
The eighth annual Art Saves Animals reception and auction takes place on Thursday (October 11) from 5:30-8:30pm at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. And once again, it promises to be a most fun, festive evening.
A monoprint by Harold Lohner will be one of the featured works at Art Saves Animals.
Music by pianist Ron Musto…
An open wine, beer and soda bar…
And, of course, there’s the art auction itself, featuring both silent auction and a live auction of a wide array of original artworks and handcrafted items. Among the more than 100 artists who have donated artworks for the auction are Len Tantillo, Harold Lohner, Joseph Schuyler, Charlene Shortsleeve, Robert Gullie, Victor Juhasz, Deborah Zlotsky, Connie Frisbee Houle, Chuck Miller, Ali Herrmann and Jason Blue Lake Hawk.
You’ll even be able to bid on artwork by a number of regular Nippertown staffers, contributors, advertisers and friends, including John Caldwell, Richard Brody, Dennis Herbert, Sara Ayers and Greg Haymes.
Artist Len Tantillo is serving as the honorary chair of this year’s event, and once again WNYT 13 meteorologist Jason Gough as emcee-auctioneer.
Richard Deon: Paradox and Conformity (Photo by Richard Deon)
By David Brickman
You probably remember the Richard Dreyfuss character in the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” whose obsession with a curious monolithic shape takes over his life. Another Richard D. has a similar obsession, as evidenced by a fascinating solo exhibition at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy titled Richard Deon: Paradox and Conformity.
The show represents an extremely adept artist with a conceptualist’s thought processes, an installation artist’s approach, and an illustrator’s skill, who is not afraid to employ a wide range of media (acrylic on canvas, sculpture, collage, inkjet) to articulate his vision. And a rather peculiar vision it is, drawing heavily from elementary-school primers, historical references, and ideas about painting and corporate culture, just to name a few obvious influences.
No question about it, composer John Cage was ahead of his time. In fact, although he died in 1992, his music is still ahead of our time. So it seems only proper that the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy would be ahead of its time in honoring the centennial of his birth.
Caffè Lena has received a 2011 Grammy Foundation Grant which will go to help preserve Caffè Lena’s rare recordings of live performances from 1960-1975 with help from three-time Grammy Award-winning sound preservationist Steve Rosenthal. They are currently planning the restoration of recordings by Pete Seeger, Mississippi John Hurt, Jean Ritchie, Don McLean, Kate McGarrigle and others, with listening copies made for the Library of Congress. If you or someone you know made an audio or video recording at Caffe Lena, please contact the Caffe in order to help preserve its rich recorded history.
Amy Williams, president and CEO of the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, will leave the organization on July 15 to become project manager at Exhibit Planning & Management International in Menands. Former WMHT executive Deborah Onslow will become ACCR’s interim president. Williams has held the top job at ACCR since 2008 and served as vice president for more than 20 years. Best of luck, Amy!
MICHEAL BENEDICT & BOPITUDE: In late January, jazz drummer/bandleader Michael Benedict slipped into Cotton Hill Studios in Albany for a weekend-long recording session with an all-star line-up that featured trumpeter Chris Pasin, saxman Brian Patneaude, pianist Bruce Barth and bassist Mike Lawrence. (We reported on the sessions in depth with a two-part story by Andrzej Pilarczyk; read it here and here.) The album is being released on the Catskill-based jazz label, Planet Arts, and the band will celebrate with a release party at The Linda in Albany at 8pm tonight (June 10). Tix are $15.
TRADEWINDS: Fronted by vocalist Evan Hummer, the young quintet is throwing a CD release party at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany at 7:30pm tonight (June 10). Joining in the festivities will be the Night Life, Restless Streets, Scarver and Our Longest Hours. Tix are $8 in advance; $10 at the door.
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