New Exhibit Curated by Opalka Gallery, “Pieced Together,” Opens Oct. 1 at Pine Hills

September 22, 2021 | Art & Music

Indoor public art returns to Albany Public Library with the “Pieced Together” exhibit, curated by Opalka Gallery, which opens on Friday, Oct. 1, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Pine Hills Branch.

The opening reception includes light refreshments and live music from Jazz for a Cause. This reception will be held outdoors with timed entry open to Albany residents who register in advance.

“Pieced Together” can be viewed by the general public during operating hours at the Pine Hills Branch (517 Western Ave.) starting Oct. 2 and continuing through April 17, 2022.

The exhibit showcases artists who transform cut paper and other discarded materials into new compositions. Whether through model making or collage, these artists find inspiration in scrap paper, fabric remnants, old maps, photos, or magazines. For some, the allure of a commonplace material like cardboard is the freedom inherent in it—it isn’t precious or perceived as valuable so anything goes. For others, it’s the history of the material—all the other stories it has told and can yet tell. Often it’s simply the economy of re-using scraps. Ultimately, the satisfaction comes from piecing it all together into something new.

“Pieced Together” artists include:
● Fern Apfel (Kinderhook, NY) uses remnants of the past to create a narrative that presents life not as then vs now, but as an inescapable circle of time and memory. Apfel’s work is in the permanent collection of many regional institutions, including The Hyde Collection and the Tang Teaching Museum. 
● Paula Drysdale Frazell (Albany, NY) is inspired by the work of Romare Bearden. She loses herself in the messy process of collage and thrives in the chaos. Her challenge is to make the separate elements all work together to speak in one strong voice. 
● Danny Goodwin (Delmar, NY) plays with photographic veracity, constructing table-top models of meaningful sites, sometimes related to the growth industry of Homeland Security. His book on the topic, “Job Security,” co-authored with Edward Schwarzschild, is forthcoming from MIT Press in early 2023. 
● Chloe Harrison (Troy, NY) is a recent BFA graduate of Russell Sage College. She thinks of her art as a one-sided conversation in which she explores her struggle with truly connecting with people. She’s drawn to birds as a subject matter as she likens herself leaving her comfort zone to a fledgling at the rim of a bird’s nest. 
● Niki Haynes (Troy, NY) makes collage that is a commentary on consumer culture and social mores. Her early exposure to a community of artists encouraged her to develop her own visual vocabulary. She was recently the subject of a solo show at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. 
● Beth Humphrey (Catskills, NY) starts with brown paper bags and builds up the surfaces with paint, drawing, found materials, light, intuition, and shadows. She has exhibited widely including solo shows in Woodstock, NY, and Kingston, NY. 
● Henry Klimowicz (Millerton, NY) builds sculpture out of cardboard. His interest in nature envelops all of his art works, from his process to the finished work. He owns and operates “The Re Institute” in Millerton, NY, a 2,000-square-foot exhibition space situated in the hay loft of a 1960s barn. 
● Juan Hinojosa (New York City) constructs complex collage-drawings from found objects, challenging greed, obsessive consumption, and the social stratification of America culture. He recently had solo exhibitions at Union College’s Mandeville Gallery and at Materials for the Arts and Allegra LaViola Gallery, both in New York City. 
● Melinda McDaniel (Albany, NY) grew up in Florida, inspired by the visual overload of Walt Disney World and the endless light at the center of the state’s predictable weather. Her work explores an alternative approach to the photographic medium that has more recently reflected on the contradictions within the current political climate. 
● Michael Oatman (Troy, NY) has re-mixed books, paper, found objects—and the collections of museums, archives, corporations and private citizens—for over 30 years. Conceptually, his practice incorporates material culture, archives, biography and the history of science. His long-term installation “all utopias fell” has been on view at MASS MoCA since 2010. 
● Kenneth Ragsdale reconstructs memories of his childhood in the Pacific Northwest—the further back the memory goes, the more the actual and fantastic begin to collide. Ragsdale is represented by Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn. 

Also on view in the central stairwell of the Pine Hills Branch is “A Melody with Embedded Harmonies,” a temporary installation by artist Kenneth Ragsdale made possible by an Upstate Coalition for a Fairgame Arts Grant. The piece was installed in December of 2019 and has been extended due to the pandemic.

Art at APL is a curated 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. The program is curated by Opalka Gallery and funded in part by the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library.

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is APL's public information officer, and manages the library's communications, public relations, and marketing efforts. No, she isn't a librarian, but feels as if she's among her people here at the library.