ArtBeat: Michael Oatman and Colin Boyd Honored With ACCR Awards

May 16th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg
Colin Boyd, Arts Center President Chris Marblo and Michael Oatman.

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.


ArtBeat: Three Exhibitions at MASS MoCA [Get Visual]

September 30th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Sara
 Katharina Grosse: One Floor Up More Highly

Katharina Grosse: One Floor Up More Highly

By David Brickman

I finally got myself back to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams this week after a too-long absence, and it was well worth the trip. As my museum-going companion succinctly pointed out, MASS MoCA made its bones by taking risks, and they always seem to pay off – even when something there doesn’t work, you have to admire the effort.

At the very least, you have to be impressed by the scale of things at this gargantuan former factory complex, and you can count on the vastly abundant industrial forms that make up the physical plant to be esthetically pleasing and fascinating in themselves, sometimes even more than the art. One reason I made the trip now was to catch the tail end of an important installation by the German painter/sculptor Katharina Grosse, which opened many months ago and will close on Oct. 31.

Ungrammatically and, to me, annoyingly titled one floor up more highly, the piece combines elegantly sandblasted, pure-white forms in styrofoam with garishly spray-painted mounds of rocks and dirt that also contain a few recognizable objects, such as a massive wooden bench and articles of clothing. Also in this group is a floor-mounted, curved planar polygon that is either a painting or a sculpture, depending on your definition of those media, and through a door at the end of the gargantuan space containing these works are two levels of spray-painted rooms, one of which features a framed abstract painting hung on the wall.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual

ArtBeat: Michael Oatman’s All Utopias Fell @ MASS MoCA

October 21st, 2010, 12:01 pm by Sara

Michael Oatman: All Utopias Fell

Michael Oatman: All Utopias Fell

We gushed with excitement, but then we lamented when it was postponed. Now we’re happy to note that Michael Oatman’s All Utopias Fell is opening at MASS MoCA on Saturday, October 23 with an artist reception for MASS MoCA members. The show opens to the public on Sunday, October 24.

A long-term installation that will be open seasonally, All Utopias Fell is a project in three interrelated parts: The Shining and The Library of the Sun and Codex Solis:

The Shining is a 1970s-era ‘satellite’ that has crash-landed at MASS MoCA. This beautifully reflective, repurposed Airstream trailer – with large parachutes and active solar panels – is inspired by an earlier era of pulp aeronauts like Buck Rogers, Tom Swift and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, as well as the works of Giotto, Jules Verne, NASA, and Chris Marker’s 1962 film La Jetée.

Visitors will be allowed to climb a staircase and enter into the craft where they will encounter The Library of the Sun. Hybridizing a domestic space, a laboratory and a library, it has the feel of a hermitage, where the occupant will ‘be right back’, only it is 30 years later. Videos relating to the sun and its mythology flicker to life on the cockpit’s instrumentation panels. In addition to these elements, visitors will be stunned by a stained glass window in what was once the windshield of the vehicle.

Once inside the craft, visitors will also be able to view Codex Solis, a massive field of photovoltaic (PVs) or solar panels. At 50kw, the field will generate 7% of the power consumed by MASS MoCA. In addition to this 230-foot long grid, mirrors are interspersed in the middle of the field, and suggest an absent text. The arrangement of mirrors and solar panels is based on a specific quote by an unnamed author, and will not be revealed by the artist; instead the public will be encouraged to spend time with the piece, watch the reflected sky, and solve the riddle as birds and planes, inverted, fly by.

ArtBeat: Oatman’s “Utopia” Postponed

July 8th, 2010, 1:50 pm by Greg

All Utopias Fell

Michael Oatman: All Utopias Fell

We are soooooo bummed out.

Troy installation artist, collagist supreme and RPI professor Michael Oatman has been working a loong time on his latest, sprawling installation, “All Utopias Fell,” which was scheduled to open at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, July 31. And no question, it was going to be one of the Nippertown art world highlights of the summer.

But apparently, he’s going to be working on it a bit longer.

The opening of the exhibition – part of which is housed in an Airstream trailer that’s mounted on a trestle high above the ground – has been postponed til sometime in October. The exact date has yet to be determined.

Michael Oatman Crashes @ MASS MoCA

April 2nd, 2010, 11:57 am by Greg

All Utopias Fell

We are so very psyched to see the latest upcoming project by Troy artist and RPI art professor Michael Oatman.


Well, because he’s a crazy man, that’s why…and, of course, we mean that in the very best possible way.

And we’re also pretty jazzed about the project because it’s far and away the most ambitious, over-the-top, insanely intense installation that Oatman’s ever created – and trust us, that’s really saying something.

“All Utopias Fell” is a three-part, multimedia installation. It’s also a 1970s-era DIY satellite concocted from a vintage Airstream that just happens to have crash-landed in North Adams, Mass.

That’s right, it’s going to be on exhibit at the very prestigious MASS MoCA in North Adams.

And, oh yeah, did we happen to mention that the whole thing is waaay up in the air? How cool is that?

The only thing that we don’t like about it is that we have to wait til the end of July to see the finished project. (We did, however, get a pre-launch, work-in-progress guided tour by the artist back in the fall, and, yeah, this is definitely gonna be worth the wait.)

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