ArtBeat: “Upon the Ground, Below the Water” @ Albany International Airport Gallery [Get Visual]
Review by David Brickman
It can be easy to forget that the Albany International Airport Gallery is one of the premier contemporary art venues of Greater Nippertown, right up there with Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum and UAlbany’s University Art Gallery. Even more impressive is the fact that the Airport Gallery claims this high ground under a mandate of showing only regional artists.
But, for those of us already in the know about the Airport Gallery, and aware of the strength of our local artists, it comes as no surprise that Upon the Ground, Below the Water, the current show there through Monday, September 3, is quite a knockout. Featuring six artists in a broad range of media, the show’s theme is, in effect, our landscape – but it approaches the subject indirectly, in part due to a leaning in the direction of watery subjects (liquid or frozen), and in part due to metaphorical elements among these artists.
The result is an immersive experience well worth a special trip to the airport (that is, if you’re not already taking a special trip from the airport, in which case you’d be advised to budget an extra half-hour or so to peruse the show before going through security). As ever, the casual visitor gets a free half-hour in short-term parking, and you can get your parking ticket stamped at the Arts & Culture Program office or at the first-floor Departure shop for additional free time.
So, there’s no excuse not to give yourself the pleasure of viewing Kingsley Parker’s sprawling mixed-media wall piece “UpRiver,” or Richard Barlow’s grid of 100 meticulous ink renderings of peeling paint transformed into new islands, or Daesha Devón Harris’ masterfully evocative photo-collages under poetry-etched glass. And that’s just a sample of the outstanding work in the show by these three participants (each offers other significant work as well).