Art At APL


Creative Curbsides showcases bright, colorful art installations in the front-facing windows of the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch on Henry Johnson Blvd. and the Bach Branch on New Scotland Ave. to greet users as they visit for curbside pickup of library materials. The exhibitions are meant to be viewed from outside the buildings. We invite you to visit on your next neighborhood walk or appointment to pick up library books!


“A Beneficent Fluid Bathes Us” at Bach Branch | 455 New Scotland Ave.

By Eight Plums (Gracelee Lawrence and Ben Seretan)

Lawrence and Seretan’s project responds to the building’s architecture, whose large, front-facing windows offer a wide view of the world from inside and an open view into the library from the outside.

Eight Plums used dichroic film to create a nature-inspired abstract design spanning the entire width of the front windows, transforming the building’s glass into an aquarium-like field of colors and shapes swimming in space. Dichroic is a term used to describe how crystals change colors based on light, viewing angles, and so on. The colors of the material change depending on where the viewer stands, or as pedestrians walk by. The artists’ abstract design is inspired by local waterways and the natural world, with images of flowers and budding leaves.

“A Beneficent Fluid Bathes Us” Artist Bios:

Eight Plums is a new collaborative studio between two newer Albany-area residents. Gracelee Lawrence is a working sculptor currently serving as the Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at University at Albany. Ben Seretan is a musician, writer, and former art world professional currently living and making work in Troy, NY. As recent transplants, the two have a uniquely enthusiastic view of the area, looking for the best in everything, and have taken immense pleasure in cycling up and down the Hudson River — one afternoon trip bike ride to Cohoes Falls provided the initial spark for the Art at APL project.


“A New Day” at Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch | 148 Henry Johnson Blvd.

By Dana Sela in collaboration with Kim Tateo (Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm)

Sela’s design is inspired by the Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm, a natural preserve in Arbor HIll committed to urban agriculture and environmental justice through conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation.

Sela designed a natural-themed landscape for the library windows with black tape, augmented by sections of colorful tissue paper, creating a “stained glass” effect across the building’s expansive front windows. Sela will apply the tape design, and Tateo will add the color sections. In January, Tateo will offer a 90-minute online workshop in “Painting with Plants” to engage community members safely from their homes. Sela envisions the piece as “visual escape” from our current pandemic reality.

“A New Day” Artist Bios:

Dana Sela is an artist and educator with a BFA from SUNY Purchase and a Masters in Art Education from The College of Saint Rose. When she is not teaching high school art, Sela is busy painting, drawing and block printing from her converted barn studio. Her work reflects her love and great respect for the simple beauties in the living world around us. Kim Tateo is an artist who paints her feelings into worlds of whimsy. A common theme for her work is interconnectedness—to each other and the Earth. She is the Executive Director and Farm Manager for Friends of Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm where she is inspired by the natural world.



Opalka, library branches hook up for art’s sake | Times Union

Albany gallery partners with library for new art exhibit | NewsChannel 13


Art at APL, which is curated by Opalka Gallery, is a fine arts exhibition program at the Pine Hills Branch showcasing the work of contemporary artists connected to the Capital Region. The program, which began in 2013, integrates professional artwork into public spaces within the library, enriches the library experience, and gives visitors something interesting and educational to look at while they browse the collections.  Art at APL is funded in part by the Friends & Foundation of Albany Public Library.

As the library has adapted to pandemic protocols in 2020-2021, so has Art at APL. Creative Curbsides allows art to be viewed in this temporary environment, and continue Art at APL’s mission to engage library patrons, neighborhood residents, and pedestrians.