Seven artists look at how we view structures in ‘Frame // Unframe’

Katherine Chwazik’s “Intersection (Madison and Philip),” woodblock on paper and wood. (Indiana Nash)

Katherine Chwazik’s “Intersection (Madison and Philip),” woodblock on paper and wood. (Indiana Nash)

The latest exhibit to open at Albany Center Gallery invites viewers to reexamine the structures around us; from patterns in nature and city streetscapes to more interior spaces.

Called “Frame // Unframe,” it includes works from seven regional artists. They each use different mediums to reflect on visual or psychological constructs.

Laura Cannamela’s earthy sculptures, dotted through the gallery, form the bedrock of the exhibit. Made from wood-fired stoneware, pieces like the aptly named “Cleofan” depict a rugged, perhaps mountainous form. Cannamela is inspired by natural patterns and cycles a glacially formed gorge near her home and often layers different kinds of clay together to create a more realistic geological pattern.

Her work is juxtaposed with that of Katherine Chwazik, who depicts local buildings and city streets through a combination of printmaking, drawing and sculpture.

In one piece, titled “Intersection (Madison and Philip)” Chwazik layers the past and the present, including pieces of architecture visible today and others that live on in the memories of residents.

“Composite,” perhaps the largest work from Chwazik featured in the exhibit, is an architectural rendering of a streetscape with layers of sketched different details that blur the designs of each building. The piece juts out from the wall, bridging the gap between a two and three-dimensional work.

Not too far away are prints from Amanda Kralovic who focuses on nature-inspired patterns. “Blue Tiles” features two water-like patterns, shown in white with navy and turquoise backgrounds. They create an illusion that makes the viewer feel like they’re looking into a swimming pool, with a checkered liner. Elsewhere in the exhibit, Kralovic also reflects on water though through a more somber lens, particularly in “Reflection Puddle – Strength.” With a khaki-colored background, the center is filled with an abstract shape colored a rich brown with undulating v-shaped patterns.

Interior spaces

Artist Drea LaRose focuses on interior spaces, which many of us have been confronted with more than ever in the last year or so. LaRose’s work blends photography and digital artwork, magnifying familiar materials and pulling them outside of their traditional context.

In one work, called “Untitled (PlasterWall_LeatherChair),” slivers of graph paper patterns are paired with what looks like sunlight pouring in through a window frame. Next to it is a strip of plaster, with a piece of wood sealed inside it.

According to LaRose’s artist statement, her work during the last year has shifted toward “the inherent beauty, conflict and security within our conception of ‘home.’”

Dorothea Osborn, another artist whose work is featured in “Frame // Unframe,” also makes the familiar strange. In one mixed media installation,

Osborn combines a yellow canvas featuring an checkerboard pattern, with black and white gloves sewn to the bottom of it and a trail of black faux hair trailing down the entire piece and onto the floor.

Nearby is another work, called “Questionable,” which combines vintage men’s shirts and pants and paint. The shirts are wrapped around a frame of sorts and cascade into a pair of pants, which feature a rock tucked into the cuff as if weighing the entire piece down.

Perhaps it’s a reflection on #MeToo issues, though the composition seems to reject a simple interpretation.

Not too far away is the work of Sean Desiree, which uses found wood pallets and other discarded materials to create polished, geometric sculptures. Desiree’s “Reflexion” and “Connextion” mix different wood grains, colors and textures, creating a sense of vibrancy.

Striking photographs from Justin Baker round out the exhibition. One eerie image features a grim parking lot and a grassy incline with discarded sheets strewn across it. Another, called “fresh air fund summer 2007, version 2,” balances a somber color palette with a vibrantly colored frame. The bottom edges of the work, depict a dull cityscape, while the center is filled with a more fictitious form. The three-dimensional rectangular figure takes the shape of a billboard-like structure, with a sign declaring “Disponible” (which translates to “available”).

“Frame // Unframe” is an absorbing exhibition, bringing together seemingly disparate works in a thought-provoking way. It runs through July 30 at Albany Center Gallery. There will be an opening reception on Friday, July 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information visit

Categories: Art

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