A new organization is hoping to spotlight the work of artists in the Gloversville area.
Called The Glove Cities Arts Alliance (GCAA), the nonprofit was formed earlier this year by several community members and artists.
“We all felt that there’s a ton of art and a ton of talent in this area but it wasn’t really being showcased like it could be,” said Janelle Krause, the president of the board. “Saratoga for instance is known to be a very artsy place but we felt we could also do that here.”
They’re starting on Saturday with an Art Walk, which will feature works from more than 30 local artists on view at businesses in downtown Gloversville. The artwork ranges from paintings to sculptures to photographs and more.
“We wanted to have a way to really bring some life and vibrancy back into the downtown area. People have been cooped up for so long so we wanted to plan something that could be appreciated and enjoyed even if there’s still COVID restrictions in place. You can still enjoy an Art Walk because it’s focused on viewing artwork from the streets,” Krause said.
For some artists, like Amelia Barkevich, the Art Walk will be the first time their work will be on exhibit. The 20-year-old Amsterdam resident has enjoyed the act of creating, particularly three-dimensional works, for several years. She most recently took courses at the College of Saint Rose and plans to continue taking some art classes at the University of Albany in the fall.
She enjoys working with metal and creating large-scale works with distinctive shapes and curving lines. While she was nervous to submit her work for the Art Walk, she said she’s glad she did.
“I’ve never seen my art anywhere except for my house and the studio. I’m very excited,” Barkevich said.
Her works will be featured at True Value on Bleecker St. One is titled “Frame of Reference,” and is composed of sloping strips of metal that intersect. The focal point is on a single oval. According to Barkevich, upon first glance, people often think it depicts an eye. However, she begs to differ.
“It can be hung in different ways. It even has the ability to stand but I like the way it looks when it’s hung. Hanging it in different ways changes the perspective of what it looks like to people so if I were to hang it vertical rather than horizontal, I think less people would see an eye. That’s why I named it ‘Frame of Reference.’ . . . I’m really proud of it,” Barkevich said.
Not too far away, at the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative, will be remarkable and at times eerie photographs by Glenville artist Abigayle McLane. Through a series of five photographs, she captures the Saratoga County Homestead, a large facility that was a tuberculosis asylum from 1914 to 1960. It’s in disrepair, though the owner hopes to restore it, and McLane took a tour of the desolate facility.
“I think the best part about it is they used to think light would help people so the windows are massive and the amount of light that comes in the building is just astonishing and that’s kinda what I wanted to capture was this beautiful, old decaying place,” McLane said.
A rusted-out light switch fitted into a stone wall takes up the focus of the composition in one of McLane’s photographs. In another, bright graffiti contrasts with the white peeling paint and light-filled windows.
Perhaps one of the most stunning photographs puts the viewer in a long, shadowy hallway, with piles of rubble lined up along the sides.
“You feel like you’re there when you look at it. You could get lost in it,” McLane said.
While the Art Walk won’t be the first time McLane’s work has been on exhibit, it’s an important opportunity nonetheless. Working a full-time job makes submitting to many local shows challenging, though McLane said she’d love to be involved in more of them.
Those sorts of opportunities and community exhibitions are exactly what GCAA is hoping to provide more of in the future. The Art Walk runs from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, though the artwork will be up through August 5, giving more people a chance to view the artwork during the summer.
Saturday’s opening will also include live music and a craftivity for children. The Southern Adirondack Wine and Food Festival, organized by
Gloversville’s Recreation Committee, is also slated for Saturday from 3-8 p.m. along North Main St. in Gloversville.
“Wine, food and art; you can’t really have a better pairing than that,” Krause said.
In the future, Krause said that GCAA plans to host other community arts events.
“We plan on having a variety of events in the future. I will tentatively say that the next thing we would like to plan out is a little fashion show. Our area is rich in leather works . . . So we might as well cater to that. We’re here to support the artists in the area and that’s all we want to do,” Krause said.
For more on GCAA and the Art Walk, visit glovecitiesarts.com.
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