Downtown Albany was home to the opening night of the 2019 Mohawk-Hudson Regional Invitational this past Friday, Feb. 8. The Albany Center Gallery, located on Broadway Ave, had pieces created by local artists celebrated with the public at the artist’s reception. Amy Cheng, Susan Meyer, Karin Schaefer and Amelia Toelke are all distinguished artists that were selected to have their art showcased at this year’s invitational. Many from the area came out to enjoy the food, art and good company that the occasion provided.
The Albany Center Gallery selected this year’s recognized artists from a pool of originally 371 accomplished creators. The final decision was made by the gallery’s executive director, Tony Ladicicco after juror Jean Shin for the Mohawk-Hudson Regional show whittled the original number down to 38. Sponsors that made the invitational possible included Ann Pfau and David Hochfelder as well as ParkAlbany, New York State Council on the Arts and The Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts Festival.
The Albany Center Gallery’s website shared information regarding the artists displayed before the invitational. According to the site, Amelia Toelke is a visual artist located just half an hour outside of Albany. She focuses her creative talents on commonplace subjects and challenging the concepts of object, image, reality, and representation through her work. Amy Cheng, another featured artist, channels the traditions of the Middle Eastern Islamic, Eastern Hindu-Buddhist and European Judeo-Christian throughout her artistic vision. Cheng is another visual artist and her work includes geometric and floral designs that reflect the cosmos. Susan Meyer created many of the sculptures that were displayed at the showing and is from Hudson, NY. She calls her creative influence “experimental communities” and uses such to make artistic, geometric pieces. Finally, Karin Schaefer’s “Meditation Series” was showcased at the invitational and embodied her work that explores the place of mind as well as the nature of nature.
There was an overarching theme across of the gallery’s walls of bright colors and geometric shapes and patterns. In the heart of a central New York winter, there was almost a spring-like feel to the invitational. The contemporary art displayed had a wide range of styles including paintings, sculptures, and a particularly large, mirrored acrylic piece. “Dragonfruit,” a 2015 piece by Amelia Toelke covered an entire wall in the gallery with reflective, pink, geometric shapes. It definitely caught the attention of most of the attendees as modern and unique art. Basically, “Dragonfruit” resulted in many selfies of the pink reflections. It was really too beautiful and mesmerizing to miss such an opportunity.
In the case that you missed the opening reception, do not worry. The art will be on display at the Albany Center Gallery through March 16. The art being showcased is intriguing, thought-provoking, and all created by talented creatives right from our local region. This exhibition is completely free to the public and would truly be a shame to miss out on.