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Photos document forgotten historic sites

Photos document forgotten historic sites

Two photographers are on a mission to preserve the architectural essence of the Hudson Valley. In th
Photos document forgotten historic sites
Robert Yasinsac's photo of Sing Sing State Prison in Ossining, Westchester County, is part of 'Hudson Valley Ruins,' an exhibit at the New York State Museum in Albany.

Two photographers are on a mission to preserve the architectural essence of the Hudson Valley.

In the past 16 years, Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi have taken more than 500 photos of churches, mansions, hotels, mills and train stations.

You can see 80 images of those sites, from the very humble to the most grand, in “Hudson Valley Ruins” at the New York State Museum in Albany.

Based on their 2006 book, “Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape,” the show runs through Dec. 31.

Development, vandals, time and exposure to the elements all change our landscape, the photographers explain on their website, but they also hope that seeing this exhibit will draw attention to historic structures that need help so they don’t fade away forever.

On www.hudsonvalleyruins.org, you can take a trip from Yonkers to just south of Albany, clicking on their photos and reading the history of forgotten places.

Bannerman’s Castle, an abandoned General Motors parking lot in Tarrytown and the 1825 cellblocks of Sing Sing Prison are just of few of the sights.

“Hudson Valley Ruins is a powerful visual convergence of place and history,” New York State Museum Director Mark Schaming says in a press release. “Yasinsac and Rinaldi’s masterful photographs richly echo the past and invite viewers to better understand the history of the Hudson Valley through its forgotten cultural treasures.”


Elizabeth Opalenik, a California artist who is known as a workshop teacher in our area, is showing her work through Sept. 25 at the Photography Center of the Capital District in Troy.

In “Reflections on the Edge/Altered Egos,” Opalenik transforms the body into images that evoke allegorical connections, be it memory, a moment in time or a feeling vaguely recalled.

“Without digital manipulation, using her model, a few simple props, the light and uncanny play of reflection, she conjures visions of ethereal figures in a realm of layered, painterly color,” says Helaine Glick, curator of the exhibit.

Opalenik credits artists Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt and Fernando Botero as inspirations.

Her work, which can be seen at www.elizabethopalenik.com, is represented, collected and shown internationally and has been profiled in major photographic publications.

Some of Opalenik’s photographs and books will be available for purchase during the exhibit.

“Elizabeth has been my mentor, friend, adviser and artistic inspiration since I first enrolled in her workshop at the Center for Photography at Woodstock over 20 years ago,” says Nicholas Argyros, executive director of the Photo Center.

Opalenik has also led workshops at Art Omi, Voorheesville Inn, the former Fulton Street Gallery and the Photography Center.

The Photography Center (www.photocentertroy.org), 404 River St., is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 12 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Light the night

Arts Fest Friday and Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce will present a sneak peek of “Breathing Lights,” a Capital Region public art installation, during a free arts and entertainment event on Friday, Sept. 9, at Spring Street Gallery.

Scheduled from 7 to 9:30 p.m., “Light the Night” will feature music, food and an appearance by Adam Frelin, an artist who is working on “Breathing Lights.” The project, which will illuminate vacant houses in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, begins in October.

The windows of Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring St., will be lit each evening for six weeks as a preview and to raise Saratoga’s awareness of “Breathing Lights.”

Reach Gazette reporter Karen Bjornland at 395-3197, [email protected] or on Twitter @bjorngazette.

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