ArtBeat: “Borrowed Light” @ the Tang Museum [Get Visual]

June 6th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Installation view of Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection (photo: Arthur Evans)

Installation view of Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection (photo: Arthur Evans)

Review by David Brickman

The future looks pretty frightening at the moment, and personal legacies may seem like a shallow concern – but Jack Shear’s personal collection of photographs, a huge selection of which is on view at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs through Sunday, August 14, is an absolutely dazzling legacy.

Shear, who is the executive director of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, is also a photographer in his own right and has experience as a curator (this selection was co-curated by Shear and Tang Director Ian Berry). But this more-than-500-piece collection, donated in its entirety to the Tang last year, is what he will be remembered for, and with good reason.

Beginning in the 1840s with a vitrine full of Daguerreotypes, and continuing through the early 2000s, this compendium of the history of Western photography is a treasure trove that belongs at a teaching museum, where Berry and Shear contrived to place it at the fingertips of students, curators and scholars for the years to come. For now, we get to be those scholars, exploring about half the collection where it is gorgeously arrayed through the Tang’s entire second floor galleries, in pristine rows and heady constellations of cleanly framed prints.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual


LIVE: Bear Grass @ Skidmore’s Tang Museum, 8/21/15

September 10th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Tim Reidy

Led by singer-guitarist Katie Hammon, Local 518 indie-folk-popsters Bear Grass took over the roof of the Tang Museum at Skidmore College for a free Friday night concert in Saratoga Springs last month as part of the museum’s summertime UpBeat On the Roof concert series.

UPCOMING: Bear Grass is back in the saddle for another free show at the Albany Public Library at 6pm on Friday (September 18) as part of the Garage Bands in the Garage concert series. They’ll be joined by Hammer Hawk and the Firs.

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LIVE: Bryan Thomas @ the Tang Museum, 7/10/15

July 17th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Rudy Lu

Bryan Thomas – who gets our vote as Nippertown’s finest singer-songwriter – thankfully seems to be getting out of the house a bit more these days. This free concert on the rooftop of Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs last week was already his fourth performance of the year, something of a record for the somewhat reclusive songmaster.

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LIVE: The Quiet Music Festival @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, 10/23/14

November 20th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Rosary Beard

Rosary Beard

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Portland, Oregon has been hosting the annual Quiet Music Festival since 2011, but last month the fest had its East Coast premiere at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs with an evening-long performance by a roster of talent that stretched from Gang Gang Dance vocalist Lizzi Bougatsos to Greenwich’s monologuist David Greenberger and A Strong Dog to Sun Foot (led by Quiet Music Fest founder Chris Johanson).

Other performers throughout the evening included poet Trinie Dalton, Brian Mumford’s avant-folk project Dragging an Ox Through Water, the acoustic guitar instrumental duo Rosary Beard (featuring Matthew Loicacono and Hunter Sagehorn) and others.

It was a very varied evening of performances, and they weren’t all about the low-key and low-volume.

One attendee described the night as “a snooze fest.” But organizer Chris Johanson didn’t take offensive at the remark. In fact, as he explained, the Quiet Music Fest is “the only festival where sleeping is encouraged.”

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LIVE: Dana & Susan Robinson @ the Tang Museum, 8/1/14

August 7th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg


Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

This Vermont-based couple was fun, funny and intimate, performing in front of a full-house gathered outdoors on the roof – no joke – of Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs for the latest concert in the 14th annual UpBeat On the Roof Summer Series.

Dana & Susan Robinson played some old-time mountain music, but focused primarily on their harmony-laden original songs based on events from their daily lives, their road travels or even inspired by watching the Discovery Channel in various hotel rooms from here to Ireland. One of the highlights of their stellar performance was “Farmer’s Market” (from their latest album, American Hornpipe) in which they survey the market’s offerings alphabetically.

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LIVE: The Tichy Boys @ the Tang Museum, 8/26/11

September 6th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
The Tichy Boys

John Tichy made his musical mark on the national scene as one of the guitarists who helped define the signature sound of the legendary roots-rocker Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen back in the ’60s and ’70s.

Having paid his road dues with the Commander, guitarist-vocalist Tichy finally planted roots in Nippertown a couple of decades back and threw his hat into the ring with a variety of local bands, stretching from the Fabulous Armadillos to Johnny & the Panty Raiders. These days you’ll find him co-leading the revved-up rockabilly band, the Tichy Boys, with his talented 20-something son Graham Tichy, whose guitar-wielding and singing proves the old adage that the apple never falls far from the tree.

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ArtBeat: Environment and Object: Recent African Art at the Tang Teaching Museum [Get Visual]

June 23rd, 2011, 10:00 am by Sara
Yinka Shonibare: Black Gold I

Yinka Shonibare: Black Gold I

It can be easy to do if you live nearby, but please don’t take Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum for granted. While other local museums regularly present wonderful exhibitions of art we love, shows at the Tang often take it a step further – challenging us to think about art in new ways and helping us to see a bigger picture of the world than we are accustomed to seeing.

While this process at times can be unpleasant, a current Tang exhibition titled Environment and Object: Recent African Art makes the most of the visual joys of a group of well-established African-identified artists (not all of whom live on the continent or were born there) to expose and explore some very difficult issues that Africa currently faces. Curators Lisa Aronson and John Weber have chosen well, highlighting the process, the politics, and the pictorial results in equal measure to create a show that is as enjoyable as it is disturbing, with art that feels both relevant and exotic.

Though many name artists are included, this selection of 16 has a pair of stars around which the rest seem to revolve – the internationally renowned Ghanaian artist El Anatsui and his Nigerian student Bright Ugochukwu Eke each re-use discarded material to make vast tapestries of form and color (analagous to the vast continent itself). Eke’s two site-specific constructions of plastic drink bottles (some of them still a bit sticky) and charred slices of fallen timber were made with the help of a legion of Skidmore students, an ideal application of the “teaching museum” concept, and they look great in the space (to watch videos about the process, click here).

Click to read this story at Get Visual.

Media Watchin’

January 7th, 2011, 2:37 pm by Greg
Chris Martin: The Record Painting @ The Tang

Chris Martin: The Record Painting @ The Tang

Here are a few items worthy of note that we discovered poking around various magazines and such:

It’s fair to assume that because they’re based in NYC – the epicenter of the art world – New York Times art critics aren’t likely to be spending much ink on exhibitions tucked away far outside of the five boroughs, like, say, in Saratoga Springs. Which is one reason that we’re so thrilled to see Holland Cotter’s sparkling review of “The Jewel Thief” exhibit at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum. Kudos to curator Ian Berry

Tom Lindsay and Michael Eck are the members of the folk duo Lost Radio Rounders. But they’ve also collaborated on some magazine articles for the pretigious, coffee-table-worthy magazine Fretboard Journal. Their latest tag-team effort – Lindsay snaps the photographs, while Eck pens the article – is on stands now in the current issue. This one’s about Woodstock guitar builder Joe Veillette, while a sidebar focuses on Veillette employee Martin Keith, who also builds a series of deluxe electric basses under his own name. Both Veillette and Keith are musicians who perform around the region in a variety of ensembles ranging Prana to Uncle Rock. Fretboard Journal is available locally at Guitar Center in Colonie and Borders in Saratoga Springs.

If you’re an indie rock fan, you’ve probably run across Jack Rabid’s magazine The Big Takeover sometime during its 30 years of ranting ‘n’ raving ‘n’ rock reviewing. In the current issue – No. 67 with Teenage Fanclub on the cover – the mag gives a big shout-out to Nippertown’s own The Last Conspirators, as Bryan Swirsky reviews the band’s latest CD, “When It All Comes Down”: “A five-song follow-up to ‘Warparty,’ this equally potent recording hints these guys are not only are on to something good, they’re just getting started. Fronted by Upstate NY punk legend, Tim Livingston (whose credits go back to Killed-By-Death style Albany punks, the Morons), the band fills the same sonic space as the Clash, Adverts, Ruts, Stiff Little Fingers and New Model Army. If you want to know where the real songwriters in punk are this day and age, look no further.”

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Ramblin Jug StompersG.C. Haymes