Schenectady County

New push for Stockade art

The Stockade soon will be known for more than just its history, if Rob Gavel has anything to say abo

The Stockade soon will be known for more than just its history, if Rob Gavel has anything to say about it.

He has founded a new art group designed to bring large art shows into the Stockade, year-round. The effort began Friday and will continue on the third Friday of every month.

The Historic Quarter Cultural League began with a collection of art from 27 women and no men at an art show dubbed “Ladies Night.” They set up their work at the First Reformed Church. Nearby at the Stockade Inn, sculptors (of either gender) displayed their work.

Tony Iadicicco, who helped host the recent art show “Sex, Politics & Religion,” came up with the idea for Ladies Night.

He read the phrase, “It’s a girl thing,” and immediately saw the possibilities of creating a female-only event.

“It is a powerful statement, to have an all-female show,” he said. “I saw it and thought, this is a beautiful idea.”

He was deluged with artists asking to join the show as soon as he announced the theme.

“There were so many people who said, ‘I want to show.’ I think that [theme] is why we got so many artists,” he said.

He won’t reveal next month’s theme. It will be a surprise, he said.

Gavel is hoping the events will spread Art Night into the Stockade. For more than a year, only the downtown venues have hosted the monthly art shows.

“This is the perfect place for it,” Gavel said. “It’s beautiful, it’s historic — it’s the perfect setting.”

They also hope the downtown Art Night organizers won’t see them as competitors.

“I really feel like there is no competition,” Iadicicco said. “We all highlight each other.”

But he also wants to build a better show. He wants to create a social atmosphere that encourages visitors to enjoy the art. He wants to bring in a constant flow of new artists. And he wants art that will spark discussion.

“It’s to make it more welcoming for everyone,” he said. “I don’t want just a certain group to come appreciate the art.”

Although Friday’s show did not shock visitors in the way that “Sex, Politics & Religion” did, the art was clearly female-centered. It ranged from nude portraits of a pregnant woman to photographs of children. There were even fantasy watercolors of a female centaur.

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