February 1, 2011 — Utica, NY- Utica’s hidden cultural treasure, Sculpture Space, was featured in a 5-gallery exhibition at the Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY, in a new show entitled, Recent Artists From Sculpture Space, Utica’s Utopia, that opened Sunday February 21 and was on view through the end of March. The show presented cutting edge sculpture and installations created in Utica-Rome between 2006 and the present, by twelve recent Sculpture Space Fellows.
Four of the artists’ works were represented with large scale photographs since they cannot be moved, such as Ann Reichlin’s site-specific West Utica sculpture, Translucent Home and Slinko’s Oneida Square “You are Here” glacial mountain range installation. Sculpture Space Executive Director Sydney L. Waller was the guest curator of the show, a portion of which will travel to the Utica Public Library in September. The exhibition was sponsored by DeNicola Design, Cooperstown and Seifert Graphics, Oriskany.
“We are honored to be invited to organize this exhibition, “ Waller noted, “ our first on Long Island, arguably the state’s most densely populated area. It is a pleasure to showcase the innovative art being made in the Mohawk Valley, and to introduce the hidden Utica to other parts of the state. The exhibition features original artworks, highlights the creative processes that flourish in a total-immersion residency program and emphasizes the importance of a residency opportunity to artists’ professional and artistic development. “
Two galleries were devoted to the breadth and depth of work that a two-month artists’ residency can generate. Betsy Alwin’s photographs, drawings and sculptures, included a solar-powered hammer she designed, are based on her discovery of area diamond mines. Patrick Grenier offers a glimpse into a community-based project he developed by filming a number of Utica residents in his makeshift built for the occasion film studio modeled after Thomas Edison’s Black Maria.
The main gallery displayed single pieces including a single channel video narrative by Yeon Jin Kim that is based on sculptural models that she filmed. Diana Al-Hadid (Brooklyn) presents a monumental exploding floor piece that evolved from processes that she developed at Sculpture Space, Megan Biddle created an evocative site-specific installation above the ornate fireplaces in the museum, and Cesar Cornejo offered a miniature shard city potentially transformed by a utopian relationship with the city’s museum. Lynn Koble ‘s elegant Bellows and Manifold installation used scientific glass lab ware as well as blue felt. Dorothy Schultz ‘s low-lying installation of Vietnam era military uniforms incorporates high tech butterflies in an unlikely juxtaposition.
The permanent collection gallery was transformed into a video room for the duration of the show and offers visitors interviews conducted and produced by Utica’s Mohawk Valley Community College sculpture professor Christi Harrington, who had steadily been creating a film archive to document the artists’ processes. Featured in the Islip show were interviews with Patrick Grenier, Sarah Bednarek and Heather Dewey Hagborg, whose large scale works — a billboard and a scintillating disco office cubicle—are featured in large-scale photographs.
An informal catalog accompanies the exhibition, which includes section about the artists interaction with the community, ‘Artists in ‘Beautica’,
The Islip Art Museum offers a residency in its eponymous Carriage House, which is like Sculpture Space, is a founding member of the New York State Artist Workspace Consortium, a model association o artist “workspace” programs throughout the state.