“Heavy” at St. Joseph’s Church

Posted on July 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm
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Who knew St. Joseph’s Church would turn out to be one of the largest art gallery in Albany? I paid a visit to “Heavy”, the latest show organized by The Marketplace Gallery and the Historic Albany Foundation at 38 Ten Broeck St., and brought back a slew of photos. “Heavy” is a multicultural arts and music event to benefit the restoration of St. Joseph’s Church. The three five-day show features about 40 artists, musicians, poets, and dancers showing and performing live in the building. A few pieces from local artists certainly looked familiar last night, while others from residents of New York City, Los Angeles, Israel and even France were a welcome surprise.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.

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This is yet another big art show for St. Joseph’s Church since “Flux” back in October 2009. There is something about that unusual space that can really highlight large scale and street installations. Smaller pieces can get a little lost in this imposing building though. I couldn’t help but notice that the art was much better lit this time around, a detail for some, but one that can really make or break the experience for both the artist and the amateur photographer.

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A quick note about the place (lifted from the event’s web page). St. Joseph’s Church was designed by noted American architect Patrick Keely. The building has graced the downtown Albany skyline since its dedication in 1860. The church held its last service in 1993, was sold to a private owner and eventually became the property of the City of Albany. By the end of that decade, the church had deteriorated considerably and faced demolition. In June 2003 the City transferred ownership of the church to the Historic Albany Foundation. The Foundation immediately rose to the occasion to spearhead an effort to save St. Joseph’s. It hosted a series of public meetings to get community input on St. Joseph’s future. The concerned citizens who attended those meetings overwhelmingly recommended that the building serve as a community resource. Below, Vines with Metalworking by Matt Hart.

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The Historic Albany Foundation is a private, not-for-profit membership organization working to promote the preservation and appreciation of the built environment in and around the city of Albany. Since 1974, the Historic Albany Foundation has fulfilled its mandate through public education, promotion and membership, provision of design and technical assistance, community projects, advocacy for endangered buildings, publications, tours, lectures and operation of an architectural parts warehouse. Located in Albany’s Industrial South end, The Marketplace Gallery showcases visual and performance artists from the Capital Region, NYC and beyond. The Marketplace Gallery has (I quote), an artistic mission with a social goal: bring contemporary art to the people. Below, “Musical Chairs” by Peter Leue.

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“Heavy” kicked off yesterday night (Friday) at 38 Ten Broeck St., and will end Sunday night. The $5 admission to the show will go toward the restoration of St. Joseph’s Church. Update: the event will run for two more days — 5-11 p.m. Friday 30th and 2-11 p.m. Saturday 31st.

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I would love to put a name next to the the pieces I took a photo of, so please feel free to comment either here or directly under each photo on Flickr. Thanks. Below, “Big Oil” by Dan Killion.

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Below, “”MORTUI VIVOS DOCENT”, neon-glow skulls by Chris Harvey.

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Below, Head-shaped “Love” Hut by Scott Michael Ackerman.

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Tags: Albany, show, St. Joseph's Church


  1. jason says:

    This was a great exhibit that was in the perfect venue. You really captured the scale too. Great shots.

  2. Go Phish says:

    Great pics, but… I’m still waiting to see the results of your trip last week where the cops were called ;-) (Twitter cliffhanger!)

  3. Sebastien says:

    Haha thanks. From that site where the guy yelled at the cops to stop me, I salvaged only one shot. But the two other sites were great. I’m processing as fast as I can, but I take so many photos, ugh.

  4. Brian says:

    Nice shots! I had to rely on a woefully inadequate point-and-shoot. The sheer size of the space, the installations and lighting (sometimes lack thereof) does make capturing the true magnitude of the show difficult.

    (Roughly in order of your thumbnails above – from what I recall)
    The 30ft tall 4-side pyramid – Samson Contompasis.
    Neon-glow skulls – Chris Harvey.
    Vines with Metalworking – Matt Hart.
    Twisted metal cables entitled “Big Oil” – Dan Killion.
    Hand-crank organ called “Musical Chairs” – Peter Leue.
    Golden head on the scale – Megan VanAlystine.
    Firefly room (spray paint stencils) – Dwell & oneUnit.
    36ft praying figure on top of a bible creature at the alter – Radical!.
    Chained woman figure – Alexander Contompasis.
    Illuminated sculptures – Sarah Haze.
    Rose paintings – Gutman.
    Graveyard – CAKE.
    Tower of media – Deacon Czar.
    Head-shaped “Love” Hut – Scott Michael Ackerman.
    Interactive Orb – Peter Edwards of Casper Electronics.
    Sale Display & cupcakes – Angela Washko.
    DJs (from Left to Right) – Dwell, Truemastr, OFI.
    Hope this helps.

  5. Sebastien says:

    Thanks a lot Brian, I updated most captions!

  6. Brian says:

    update: the graveyard installation was a collaberative effort of NYC street artist CAKE and Patrick Seeley.

    FYI: I unfortunately did not write the names of any pieces down, so the rough descriptions were my own. (Besides “Big Oil” and “Musical Chairs” which I remembered.) My intent was not to rename pieces, simply to help identify the artist (in the event that someone does know the proper names).

  7. Chris Harvey says:

    hey guys thanks for the great coverage !
    nice pix. fyi, the skulls collectively are titled:
    (the dead teach the living)

  8. Sebastien says:

    Thanks Chris. Contact me if you need the high-res photos.

3 Pingbacks

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