On Exhibit: Colors, patterns stand out at Albany Center Gallery

Executive director Tony Iadicicco brings together works of four artists
Karin Schaefer, “Intersectional #2,” left, and Dragonfruit, Amelia Toelke, right.
Karin Schaefer, “Intersectional #2,” left, and Dragonfruit, Amelia Toelke, right.

Pops of gold, glassy acrylics and gliding paintings greet the viewer in the latest exhibition to open at Albany Center Gallery.

Some works, like “Noodlebowl,” by Susan Meyer, may be familiar to those who keep a close eye on the local arts scene, as they were part of the 2018 Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region, which brought together 38 artists and was juried by Jean Shin. 

But in ACG’s closely curated “Mohawk-Hudson Regional Invitational,” executive director Tony Iadicicco brings together just four of those artists, taking a deeper look into the works of each.  

Upon entering the gallery, a glint of what first appears to be a glass banner catches the eye. 

Hundreds of acrylic and wood triangles are connected by links, cascading down from a bar.

The piece, called “Beach/Bench/Blanket,” is just one of several of Susan Meyer’s colorful sculptural works.

It’s nearby two of Karin Schaefer’s pieces, which rival Meyers’ in brightness through a different medium. Pink lines both quivering and steady shine through a dark background that looks either dark purple or black, depending on how you look at it. The entire piece looks a bit like a wavy grid as if one has magnified a piece of fabric and can view the warp and weft holding it all together. Called “Forgotten Fruit No. 1,” it’s part of Schaefer’s Meditation Series, in which she maps out what she calls “an inner space” onto paper, using dots, lines and patterns of light; whatever she sees while meditating. 

Her works pair perfectly with Amy Cheng’s, another artist included in the Invitational. In “We Spin a World,” colors and leaf-like patterns hula-hoop around a central figure, a pearl-colored dot. It’s both mesmerizing and meditative, as is “Atlas,” another bright piece in the show. Cheng ’s swirling and spiraling paintings are inspired by traditional Middle Eastern Islamic art as well as Judeo-Christian European and Eastern Hindu-Buddhism. Though her works aren’t religious, there are religious themes throughout, in the form of either shapes or symbols. Each of her pieces included in the Invitational is rather large, filling the space with vibrant colors and patterns that one can easily get lost in. 

Across the room from “We Spin a World,” is an impressive work by Amelia Toelke. Shining pink/purple mirrored acrylic pieces in speech-bubble shapes, curves, flowers and other shapes come together to create a flower-esque figure that takes up nearly the entire wall. Called “Dragonfruit,” coming in at just under nine feet, is a joyously reflective work. 

“High Five #2” is another joyously reflective piece, with tiny gold leaf hand figures intertwining. In its neighboring piece, “High Five #6,” the gold-leafed hands come together to form triangles. These two pieces are perhaps most representative of Toelke’s artistic beginnings as a jewelry maker and metalworker. Using mediums that are both two and three-dimensional, Toelke intertwines reality and reflection, which works well not only within the Invitational but within the Albany Center Gallery’s space. 

“The Mohawk-Hudson Regional Invitational” runs through March 16. The Albany Center Gallery is located at 488 Broadway, Suite 107 and is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

For more information visit albanycentergallery.org or call 518-462-4775.

Other Goings-on

From 2-7 p.m. on Saturday, ACG and the Albany Distilling Company will host a Winter Art Fest. Six artists will be featured, including Acadia Rae, Gregory Maxwell Dunn, miChelle Vara, Michael Townsend & Leah Smith from Tape Art and The Helderberg Blacksmith (Noah Khoury). There will also be ice games. Admission is $15 and includes a beverage, light fare by Capital Q BBQ and a Cider Belly doughnut. The festival will take place at ADCo’s Bar and Bottle Shop (75 Livingston Avenue, Albany).

The event also includes a chance to win two tickets to see Mumford & Sons. 

Opening this weekend 

“The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg” opens on Saturday at the Norman Rockwell Museum. 

As an artist and cartoonist, Goldberg created complicated machines through his comic strips during the 1930s. He also drew political cartoons and instructional materials from the Famous Artists School. The exhibition also includes some of the artist’s pen and ink drawings and some of his gag cartoons, including an “automatic dieting machine with goat attachment,” and a “Revolvometer for looking at modernistic art.”

The exhibit runs through June 9. The Norman Rockwell Museum is located at 9 Glendale Rd/Rte 183, Stockbridge, MA. For more information visit nrm.org or call 413-298-4100. 

Categories: Art, Entertainment

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