Best of 2022, On Exhibit: Van Gogh still washing over visitors; Walter offered ‘Breath’ that refreshed
There was no shortage of intriguing exhibitions at the Capital Region’s museums and art galleries in 2022.
Some of the most exciting came out of Electric City, including the new sculpture park and national touring Van Gogh show. Out of town, some of the best shows highlighted artists working in the region, notably Takeyce Walter’s A Breath of Fresh Air and John Van Alstine’s Transformations.
Here are some of the most notable exhibits from 2022.
Van Gogh in Schenectady
This one tops the list in part because of all the hype surrounding it. “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” opened at the Armory Studios in May and has remained so popular, its run has been extended several times.
With overhead projections of Vincent van Gogh’s work, prints, a drawing room and a virtual reality experience, the exhibition has attracted thousands of viewers.
It includes approximately 400 representations of the artist’s drawings and paintings throughout his life. In one of the main rooms, paintings are projected onto the walls and floor, literally bathing the viewer.
The virtual reality experience is another highlight, guiding viewers on a journey through “a day in the life of the artist” and including scenes that inspired some of the artist’s best-loved works, including “Bedroom at Arles” and “Starry Night Over The Rhone River.”
The exhibition is open until February. Hours are 10:00-19:00 Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; Friday from 10 am to 8 pm; 09:00-20:00 on Saturdays and holidays; and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $39.90 for adults and $23.90 for children. For information, visit vangoghexpo.com/albany.
Sankofa Sculpture Park
Hamilton Hill got a new park this summer thanks to the Hamilton Hill Arts Center. Sankofa Sculpture Park at 412 Schenectady St. pays homage to the arts center’s 50-plus years of history — and paves the way for its future.
The half-acre park features a stunning sculpture designed by Jerome Meadows, a Savannah, Georgia-based artist known for designing and creating public art. The piece was inspired by Ogun, the Yoruba god of blacksmithing, considered the foundation of civilization.
The park also features work by local artists and there are plans to add more works in the coming years.
“A breath of fresh air”
The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy treated viewers to “A Breath of Fresh Air” this fall.
Peaceful landscape paintings by Round Lake artist Takeyce Walter lined the walls in an exhibit that was neither crowded nor sparse. Walter has an eye for capturing the fleeting nature of sunlight or ripples in lakes and ponds, and takes a holistic approach to her work, rendering not only landscape but also atmosphere in a contemporary impressionist style.
The exhibition featured some of her best recent work and was a visual treat.
John Van Alstine’s retrospective of Johnstown at the Hyde Collection was another highlight of the year. Featuring sweeping steel and stone sculptures, Transformations marked five decades of work for the artist, whose studio is in Wells.
Displayed in two of the largest galleries in the museum, his sculptures juxtaposed natural and man-made materials, balancing the two in ways that seemed to defy gravity.
Opalka Gallery presented “Judith Braun: My Pleasure,” a cheeky and disturbing exhibit that seemed to capture the moment. It included 15 paintings and a series of painted sculptures along with site-specific murals by Braun, an Albany native. The works were linked by the idea of pleasure.
While there were a number of troubling pieces, the show resisted hitting a single note, and some paintings resonated with a livelier tone.
“Parting and Closing”
This year’s Mohawk-Hudson Region Artists Exhibition was a new take on a long-running show. Known for featuring some of the best artists in the area, the show brought together some of the newest local voices for an intriguing and at times disorienting show. It is on view at the Hyde Collection until the end of the year.
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Categories: Art, Life and Arts, Life and Arts